When I look at you

What does Autism look like to you….What does normal look like to you. Here is what it looks like to me

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When I look at you what do I see

I see a boy, born to be free

Free from stares, or funny looks

Included in games or reading books

I see a boy, who plays alone

whether in school, or at his home

A boy who knows when to ask

even though, it can be quite a task

A boy born special, with words in his head

If only they’d come out of his mouth instead

A boy that is patient, handsome and kind

Yet all too often, we have to remind

those that don’t know you, or understand

non verbal is not the definition of you

There are many things that you can do

I see a boy, so clever and brave

inquisitive of mind, you don’t misbehave

I see a boy who gets frustrated and sad

Sometimes with the world you may feel mad

I see a boy who defies the odds

gets on with the challenge and carries the rods

I see the boy willing to learn

no matter the difficulty, knowledge you yearn

I see the boy watching and waiting

hoping the people will stop their berating

Not all people are born the same

I see the boy who will change the game

of life how we see it, being ‘normal’ and all

it depends on whether, you throw or catch the ball

Normal to you is to watch and observe

hoping someone will have the nerve

to stand beside you and see the boy

not the Autism, that’s just a decoy

Look beyond the stims and the unique ways

sit with him, make his day

I see the boy who doesn’t want to pretend

Like, you and I, he just wants a friend

Don’t be afraid to look inside

No need to ignore, walk away or hide

He is just a boy to be understood

His heart is full of all things good

He may be shy or a little afraid

but please don’t exclude him

ignorance is man made

I see a boy, who is often alone

like the heron waiting, yet he never moans

in silence he sits, amusing himself

The kindness you show him, is worth all the wealth

so please be ‘normal’ and show your good grace

it will be worth it, to see the smile on his face

What’s normal for you is different than mine

and kindness will win, time after time

 

 

for Joseph, with love……. (and everyone else on the spectrum)

Photo Authors own, taken by the River Slaney, Enniscorthy

 

© carrie sherbourne and Relay shun sips – itsjustnoteasy.com Blog, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carrie sherbourne and itsjustnoteasy.com Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

want to break free ?

from early on we strive to build friendships, work, build networks and build a home, but during all this ‘building’, do we ever feel overwhelmed, overburdened, overshadowed and then feel the need to break free?

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We are conditioned by nature to seek out relationships.  We are engineered by our environment as to the types of relationships we build, based on what and whom we are exposed to.  Some of us are born to our families and remain with them all of our formative years and maintain good relationships when we flee the nest.  Others do not get to stay with their family of origin but may still have some form of contact, or none whatsoever, depending on the circumstances and the circumstances can be many and varied.  We are shaped by the people around us, parents, siblings, grandparents, teachers, friends.  We learn from each other.  We build and we adapt, depending on whom we are with and what we are doing.  We often ‘go along with things’ so as not to stick out, be the odd one out, rock the boat.  To keep the peace is often the easier option. We may surpress what we really feel and deny ourselves the opportunity to be honest and open.  To do so could offend, incite an argument, evoke scrutiny that we may not wish to recall or simply we may think it is kinder to not be honest in certain situations.  After all, we all have different tastes, ideas, ideals, opinions, beliefs and perspectives, and that is fine.

Sometimes though, it can all become too much.  We are but one person.  In order to survive we NEED others, we NEED  relationships.  We need to love and be loved, to feel value and give another person a sense of value.   We need relationships on some level, for us to feel full and complete.  This can lead us to feeling good, yet overwhelmed.  As the saying goes, ‘we cannot please all of the people all of the time’.  One person, whether a mother, a father, a brother, a sister, a grandparent, a child, we must ‘interact’.  It is in the interacting with all of the people in our circle and indeed outside of our circle that can lead us to feeling overwhelmed, overburdened, overshadowed.  We can deny ourselves so much and so often, that we don’t even realise that we are denying ourselves.   It can become a way of life, a habit, and habits are easy to form yet difficult to break.

Like an animal, taken from the wild and placed in a zoo,  it can adapt to his new surroundings.  He will be fed, exposed to company, given somewhere to live, given the basic things needed to survive, but, will he be happy, all of the time or for that matter, any of the time.  Yet he stays, no option but to stay, he is so tightly monitored and guarded that his existence is secured.  He learns to adapt to his new way of life, but may still yearn for his former life, for his independence.    His offspring born in this new habitat will no nothing of the wild as they would have been born to this habitat and will not know any different….. but what is their instinct.  They may not know how to hunt, how to take care of themselves, how to survive in the wild, but perhaps they have a desire to find out.  Perhaps they have a desire to break free, perhaps their instinct is engrained in their DNA.

We are the same.  We were born into our surroundings, guided, nurtured, ensuring or needs were met.  We conform to the rules of our environment and of our society.   We built friendships, relationships, homes and families of our own.  Some of it is easy, some of it is difficult, but still we strive.  However, there comes a time, often more than once, that we may want to’ break free’.   Not necessarily forever, maybe just for a day or a week or even a few hours.  We need to break free for our sanity, for us to be us, the person we were born to be, not the person someone expects us to be.  For a short time we need to take care of us, we need to take the time to be free, to recharge, re-energise, reflect and reconnect, if we so choose.  We have to NOT deny ourselves of what we want or need. We need to practice self care, in order that we can fulfill and continue to be part of all the other relationships that we encounter and are party to.  We need to go and find something, a place, a thing, a journey, whatever it takes, but we need to find our joy,  our peace, our inner calm and ourselves.  If that means you need to break free, then break free, just do it – you need to love and have a relationship with you!

 

Picture authors own taken at Fota Wildlife Park.

 

 

Retribution

It was all she could do these days, sit in the chair watching the world go by, surrounded by the same dreary four walls. Consumed with the constant gloomy thoughts, listening to the dulcet tones of the swish and squelch of the oxygen tank. The dank smell of putrid piss and shit hanging in the air, almost choking her, but what could she do about it? She scanned the room for an answer.

She knew it wouldn’t be long now, she would just have to surrender to it. Recalling and recoiling at the thought of the night when it all changed. It had begun like any other typical night, out walking the dog along the canal side, the moon covered in a blanket of mist. Nothing but the sounds of her footsteps and the panting of the dog at her side. Her reverie interrupted by the phone in her pocket breaking the otherwise peaceful stroll.

It had been years since she had spoken to her mother and she vowed she would never step foot in that house again. What she had done was unforgivable. Yet here she was now at the end of the phone, pleading and begging her to come.

As she watches her chest heaving in a convex and concave motion, mists of steam spouting at the base of her nostrils, she feels nothing but anger, fury and yes, pity. It’s the pity that fueld her intense rage. It’s time for retribution.

This piece was written for the first heat of the NYC Midnight Microfiction Challenge of 2019.
Genre: Drama . Action – walking a dog. Word: scanned.

Assholes and airheads

Assholes and airheads, they’re everywhere

One right beside you, on the chair

Laughing and giggling, messing around around

Behaving crazy, scandals abound

Fitting in, or sticking out

Eyebrows on, lips in a pout

Click, click, click strike a pose

Where it ends up, everyone knows

Not on the cover of a magazine, but in full view of every screen

Do some work, no,? Too much effort

Do charity work, and be treated like a leper !

Get some skills, they’ll do you good,

You can’t be bothetrd, but you know you should

Hang out with pals, come rain or shine

Home when you must, to tow the line

Up and down like a big rollercoaster

Who needs to cook, when you have a toaster?

Streets are littered with boys in hoods

Passing the packets, or stolen goods

Ask for some help, earn a few bob

Are you crazy or what, they dont want a job

Manners as good as a dog in a manger

This generation, the entitled teenager

Old fashioned, they say, that’s what we are

But assholes and airheads, a bridge too far

I want to put some sense in your head

Stop following a crowd that’s easily lead

Down dark alleys, and dangerous roads

Where it will lead, everyone knows

Anxiety, fear, the thrill of the chase

Will lead to something, you won’t want to face

Pull up your socks and knuckle down

Don’t be an asshole, like the rest of the clowns

If it doesn’t feel right, just walk away

Be proud not to be, an airhead today

© carrie sherbourne and Relay shun sips – itsjustnoteasy.com Blog, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carrie sherbourne and itsjustnoteasy.com Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Free to Flit

Life’s journey gives you perspective on the things that really matter

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Easily bored or a restless soul

to do so much, is my goal

The job’s I’ve had, more than a few

Good or bad, is a point of view

I liked them all, in their own special way

But, I always knew, there would come a day

when it was time to move, to pastures new

gain new skills, new acquaintances too

Back to school, always yearning

Gain more knowledge, all that learning

It fills me with a sense of joy

to push myself, in no way coy

As for the Arts, a new found passion

also clothes and the latest fashion

A trip to the theater, gallery or museum

Neither time nor inclination

so tired with delirium

when the children were small, and full of demands

never spare time, on my hands

Now older and wiser, more self assured

I fill my time, so I’ll never be bored

I call the shots and work when I can

in between life’s joys or when the shit hits the fan

Priorities change as life races on

the person you were, has somehow gone

Each stage of life brings its changes

Goalposts move to different ranges

I don’t call it boredom, maybe its wit

to know when it’s time, to be free to flit

Dip in and out of the things that bring pleasure

Fill up the soul with meaningful treasure

Not in the oddments of material things

But of people and places that makes my heart sing

© carrie sherbourne and Relay shun sips – itsjustnoteasy.com Blog, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carrie sherbourne and itsjustnoteasy.com Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Moving on

affection board broken broken hearted
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Shaking, breaking, falling down,

calling, crawling, on the ground

Noises, voices, in my head

sadness, madness, I see red

Aching, breaking, heart in two

Pleading, needing, I thought, You

Rejecting, accepting, down the black hole

feeling, seething, emotion parole

soothing, moving, erratic disdain

seeing, believing, in love again,

passing, moving, carry on

one to two, then two to one

sad, happy, angry , mad

past, future, memories, glad

old, new, a chapter begins

acknowledge, forgiveness

cleansed of sins

© carrie sherbourne and Relay shun sips – itsjustnoteasy.com Blog, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carrie sherbourne and itsjustnoteasy.com Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

For love nor money!

When people are in crises, when they just can’t cope or chose to put their lifestyle first, who pics up the pieces, who takes care of the children caught in the crossfire and why?

adult aged baby care

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

It really grieves me to see so much antisocial behaviour, manifesting itself, usually through, but not always by, alcohol or drug abuse. Sometimes it is just a lifestyle choice, beginning perhaps as a dare, to seek a thrill, to feed a habit, to be cool or to fit in. Sometimes it’s learned behaviour, if a child grows up in that type of environment and knows no better. Sometimes a child will ‘act out’ because of the environment that he/she comes from. Whatever the reason, there is often a ‘child’ involved, affected or impacted, somewhere along the line.

Often these children find themselves in the #foster care system, either because they are out of control or they have been neglected, due to various different circumstances or that their parents, simply cannot cope. It is not an easy job being a parent. I would say it can be one of they most difficult and demanding jobs ever. I speak from experience. It is a job that requires 100 percent commitment. There is no day off. It really is a 24 hours per day for 365 days per year, for at least 18 years, but in reality, beyond the 18 year old thresh hold. Being a parent means, to a certain extent, you put your own life on hold. Your children come first, meeting their needs, come first. They depend on you to be a good role model, they depend on you to keep them safe, they depend on you to reel them in, when they go too far. The need that, even when they think ‘they know best’. They depend on you to guide them, they depend on you for everything!

Throughout the ‘children years’ there are different stages of challenges, between the sleepless nights, the teething, the terrible two tantrums, the stamping of the feet, and of course, the ‘piece de resistance’, the teenage years. None of it is easy, but we do it, we do it the best way that we can. Along this path of parenthood, there are other challenges we have to deal with, such as if our children have friends, if they are good friends, if they are kind and caring individuals, if they are easily led, if they have any health issues, if they have any special needs, if they are prone to being bullied, if they are a bully. The list goes on and on and on. Still, as parents, we do the best that we can, to love, protect, advise and keep them safe. It can get pretty messy at times, it is not all plain sailing. There will be arguments, tug of war, a battle of the wills and an outright hatred (particularly during the teenage years). Parents are supposed to be hated during this time, right? Parents are supposed to hate the back chat, the disrespect, the laziness, the moods etc etc. Still we carry on. We plough through the sea of emotions, we battle on and mould and shape our off spring to be good responsible people, to set them free into the world, and hope we have done a good job, prepared them well and have them ready for adulthood.

Being a ‘foster parent’ requires all that listed above, plus you have many other tunes to dance to. The children are not wrapped up in a blanket delivered by the stork. They often come in the shape of a 2 year old or 10 year old or 15 year old. Full of fears. I would too, if I had to go live with a bunch of strangers. They come with uncertainty. They come with behaviours. They come with attitudes. They come with attachment issues. They come with all sorts of challenges. They come with social workers. They come with family of origin, somewhere in the picture. They come with spite. They come with attitude. They come with someone else’s genetic makeup.

Taking a child into your home, into the heart of your family is not always easy, for anyone. Your own biological children may not want to share their home, their parents, their siblings. their toys, their friends, their everything. There may be a reason the child doesn’t like you or your children or your home, your pet, your food. You may not particularly like them after a while, a behaviour they are displaying or something deeper that you cannot put your finger on. This is all within the realm of taking care of a child that is not biologically yours. What do you do?

Thankfully, in my own case I have ‘liked’ all of the children I have looked after. Thirteen in total. I have even loved them. Don’t get me wrong, there were challenges, there were sleepless nights, there were clashes with my biological children, there were attitudes. There were scary moments of self harm and mental health issues. There were flight risks, as in running away. There were schooling issues, there were issues of dishonesty, there were issues of spitefulness. There were times I feared I could not continue to do this any more, it was all too much to deal with. So what did I do. I prayed. I prayed to God to give me strength to carry on. To find a way to manage everyone. To manage behaviours. To help me to continue to support all the children. To help me to mind myself in amongst the madness that it could often be. At the end of the day, they needed to be loved and supported. Some children come for just a short time, a few months, a year or two and then they get to go home. I consider that a success. I am happy for them, even though they take a piece of my heart with them. They are where they belong.

Others stay longer, sometimes forever. They can never go home. They are the ones that you hope you can mould more, support more, because you have more time with them. More time to help unravel them, soothe them lead them, love them, advise them, show them. Be a role model for them. There have been times, that it was very difficult, but here I am, still doing it, still loving, protecting, supporting, advising, hoping above hope, that I, and the rest of the family, have helped to make a difference.

The children become part of the family, bit by bit, challenge by challenge, pulling and tugging, laughing and loving, they fit in, they belong. Some people wouldn’t do it ‘for love nor money’. Why did I do it? I didn’t do it for love nor money either. I did it because I felt someone needs to help look after the children that need taking care of. I guess it feels a little like asking a priest or a nun or a doctor or nurse, why they do it. It is kind of like a vocation. I think if people did do it for money, they would soon give it up, because, well, there is no money to be made that could compensate for the time, the effort, the highs and the lows that go with being a foster carer. If you think you would like to do it for the money, think again, become a child minder instead. Those children go home at the end of the day. You don’t have to deal with their families, their worries, their behaviour, social workers, police, doctors, teachers or other such challenges. Being a foster carer should be considered because you are committed to genuinely helping and supporting a child during a very difficult time and help transition them, either back home, or into adult hood, a much stronger person, than when they first arrived on your door step.

There are some children that are lucky enough to be in foster care with their extended families, this makes it less terrifying for them. Unfortunately, not all families will do it for love nor money. I can tell you it is challenging, but it is rewarding and if you feel you have the time, the commitment and the determination to see it through, to help make a child’s life better, to help steer them from anti social behaviour, to help get them onto a good path, so that they can have a good and reasonable life, full of hope, responsibility and dreams, then go for it. Do it, and if you are doing it, but finding it a struggle, pray. Pray to your God, to help give you the strength to carry on. The children need YOU.

http://fostercare http://children
http://family