There are times when I feel like there is such a strong need to protect Monster Man. It seems like there is always something, somewhere that he needs me to protect him from.
The outside world can be such a cruel place, especially with those who don't understand what he is going through. During the early stages of one of his rage episodes, I overheard someone who was witnessing it state that he was being a brat and that he needed disciplined. They had no idea what he and I were both dealing with at that particular moment, that his rage was not something that he could easily control, and that disciplining him in any way other than to remove him from the situation and give him time to 'cool down' would only have made the situation worse.
The cruelty of those that make remarks like that are not the only thing he needs protected from, though. He's recently started having a severe head-shaking tic. There are times when it is very mild, and there are other times when he shakes his head repeatedly to the point that he makes himself dizzy. As you can imagine, this means that certain situations are not the best to have him in while his tics are at their worst. We were at a cookout yesterday, and he was swinging rather high on a swing right near our picnic table. As he was swinging, he was shaking his head worse than he had all day. I had images in my head of him getting dizzy and falling from the swing. Later, we were swimming in the lake where we were having the cookout, and he was still shaking his head rather hard. I could tell by his expression that he was getting dizzy, but he was refusing to admit it because he didn't want me taking away the fun he was having with his friends in the water. He isn't a very strong swimmer, so I already didn't want him going anywhere where he couldn't touch the ground, and the head shaking made me even more determined to keep him in shallow water. He was heartbroken that I didn't trust him enough to let him go into deeper water, but I had that need to protect him.
The sad thing is that I know I will not always be there to protect him from things that some people might not see the danger in. I won't be there to keep him from going headfirst into deeper water, to keep him from getting in over his head in a situation that he might not be able to get himself out of. And I won't always be there to keep him from being subjected to the cruel comments and stares of people who don't understand the challenges he faces on a daily basis. I will eventually have to allow him to protect himself and to know how to handle these situations.