I’ve recently finished reading a book called The Elephant in the Playroom. This book is about the trials and difficulties a parent goes through when raising a special needs child. It specifically talks about the “unspoken” disorders with young children– OCD, Extreme Anxiety, Aspergers, Phobias, Bi-polar, Schizophrenia, etc.
My son has OCD (still to be evaluated might be along the lines of Autistic Spectrum Disorders in my personal Momma opinion). This condition deters him from making friendships easily. He is preoccupied with order, rules, structure. He is very fear driven when it comes to dogs, cats, birds, (any animal that might come close to him), and natural disasters (tornadoes, hurricanes, thunderstorms).
I remember it was difficult, back in Memphis, to explain to someone how sensitive he is. They take it in stride and almost ignore me, probably thinking she is out of her mind.. he just needs to toughen up! It just wasn’t welcomed to be spoken of. Instead, we would refuse certain play dates due to the loud noises that might occur (inflatable bounce houses), animals that might be there (zoo playdates), or rather rambunctious children that Zach might come in contact with. It doesn’t help that his social phobia overwhelms him in a big group setting.
My point in this story is it WAS the Elephant in the Playroom. Nobody wanted to speak of it. Nobody acknowledged it even though it was VERY VERY apparant. I myself got used to ignoring it as.. something he would grow out of. Maybe he DOES need to toughen up? I was making excuses b/c that’s what was acceptable by my peers, my Momma “friends”. (note** these weren’t ALL my friends just the one I met in the first year I was in Memphis)
After I finished reading this book, it hit a nerve with me. I’m feeling those feelings all over again, but not with Zach. I will openly admit it and converse with anyone that might have questions or concerns about my son. It seems familiar b/c I feel like I’m living it again.. but with myself. Follow me.
Meeting new people in a new town is always difficult, but when I share my passions and interests with women I meet I get the “look”. If I invite someone to a Bible Study or share with them a new Christian song I heard, all of a sudden her schedule is filled so they can’t even FATHOM trying a Bible Study with me. The statement I said about Chris Tomlins song.. is completely ignored. It’s the Elephant in the Room. A few times I caught myself making excuses. I’ll say something like, “Well it’s a Bible Study, but you know.. anything to get away from the kids is good.” When did being a Christian and talking about it become taboo? It’s ignored by many and they’d like to keep it that way for fear of differing opinions. (again, I’ve met women who are nothing like this, but they are few and far between)
There are so many religious spectrum’s out there. I fall into neither of ’em. I have and want to keep hold of a relationship with Christ. That’s it. It’s that simple. It doesn’t matter if you’re Catholic or Baptist. You know the same God I do and it’s okay to be excited about it. It’s okay to display it throughout your house, on a bumper sticker, or on a piece of jewelry. It’s okay to SPEAK of it.
Picture this: The Cross. It is sitting in your living room with Jesus nailed to it. It’s the elephant in YOUR room.
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