“Like all the best families, we have our share of eccentricities, of impetuous and wayward youngsters and of family disagreements.” Queen Elizabeth II.
I have 5 children. My oldest is 25 this year. I have not seen him or spoken to him in 3 years. I know he is alive. I know he is living somewhere in Brisbane & I know he does not wish to see or speak to anyone in his family.
I think Jossie may have Aspergers, a form of autism. I do not know because he has never been diagnosed. He was not diagnosed because when he was growing up few people had heard of Autism let alone Aspergers. He was in his teens before his behaviour became so outlandish we became alarmed. He is so high functioning (read diagnosed *gifted*) all the experts assured us his behaviour was normal teenage angst. I have raised 3 other teenagers. Nothing about Jossie's behaviour is remotely normal.
I have 4 other children. In retrospect I can see just how abnormal Joss' behaviour was but he was my first. I thought he was just odd & being different is no reason to be ostracised ~ but Joss was. He was clumsy & not good at sport, an almost unforgivable sin for a male in Australia's sport obsessed culture. He was easily angered by trivial upsets. He was manipulative & vindictive. He had trouble following directives & I would have to hold his face between my hands & make eye contact to issue instructions; never more than 3 at a time or he couldn't cope. The most telling thing is that he simply could not make friends. His grasp of the social niceties is almost non~existent. He was laughed at & ostracised by his peers his entire childhood. It did not help that he had an extraordinary grasp of language with which to abuse his tormentors & that he was obsessed with things of no interest to the average child.
I'm not a doctor. I could be wrong but as he entered his teens Joss became extremely aggressive. His rages were frightening & out of control. He shot up rapidly & became a gangly 6'6''. School became a nightmare & we pulled him out but Joss was on a spiral we were unable to halt. He moved out of home. For a while things would go well but Joss seems unable to manage his life or to grasp that there are consequences to his actions. Eventually someone or something would trigger him & he would go on a violent rampage kicking in doors & walls. I have never known him to hold a job; he cannot cope with the necessary social interaction. When he is calm he talks extremely intelligently & is an interesting conversationalist but his tendency to focus on the negatives in his life means he rapidly forgets kindnesses, positives, & that other people have feelings too.
He was living on the island with his only friend who, being homosexual, was nearly as ostracised as Joss. He was deeply into on~line computer games & seemed to spend all his time playing them when I picked him up for Christmas. It had been arranged previously, by Joss, so wasn't unexpected but he was put out at having to leave his game & not in the best frame of mind. Within 1/2 an hour he was smearing mango pulp all down our windows. It did not occur to him that this was socially unacceptable behaviour & flew into one of his rages when asked to desist. He demanded I take him back to his place of residence. He ranted the entire way about how badly he was treated & that he never ever wanted anything to do with us again.
A few weeks later, running into his friend, I asked how Joss was. His astonished friend blanched. 'But, I thought he'd moved back in with you!'
Joss was gone. He had told no~one & taken nothing, not even his wallet or phone, none of his clothing or possessions. The shock was devastating. You see, I love my boy. He is a piece of my heart & I have lost him. I cannot fix what is wrong. I grieve for his anger & sense of isolation; I fear for his safety. I know despite his height & age he has the emotional maturity of a young child, rather than a young man.
I am not one of those Christians who believe bad things never happen to true believers. I don't think the bible teaches that. Rather it teaches us to grasp hold of He who is our strength & refuge, our present help in times of troubles, our alpha & our omega. I cling to what I believe the Lord has promised me concerning my son & trust Him for the rest. It is all any of us can do.
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul. Horatio Spafford.