The “Forrest Gump” Comparison

My heart was trampled on this week by my son’s pediatric developmental specialist.  She didn’t mean to do it.  She was doing her best to explain the inexplicable because (I assume) there’s no medical textbook explanation for my three year old son.  Some of his behaviors are characteristically autistic, while most are not.  She couldn’t give him the “complete autism diagnosis” because not all he does (or doesn’t do) pertain to the disorder.  She called him a “very slow learner”, he has “lack of intelligence” and compared him to “Forrest Gump”.  Had we been outside in the hallway or out of the building, I probably would’ve went to jail for second degree assault for kicking her ass, but, we were in her office and she was doing her best to make a complex condition very plain to me.  Her explanation sounded more like a surrender than a diagnosis.  She told me to start preparing now to have to care for my son for the rest of his life, and make legal plans for his care in case me or his father died.  I left the appointment feeling extremely burdened and discouraged.  Soon after, I had another appointment with another agency regarding my son.  They checked his growth rate, which has fallen below average for a child his age.  It’s what I expected to hear because I told them my son refuses to eat.  They repeated techniques for me to try that simply do not work for him.  I know because I’ve been trying them for over two years.  I know I’ve never heard of such, and you may not have either, but an anorexic three year old boy exists.  And I can’t believe he’s my son.  I’m hoping he’s not the only one, and there is some medical explanation out there that hasn’t been brought to light yet.  Even Forrest Gump was smart enough to eat.

The “Forrest Gump” reference bothered me a lot.  I had knots in my chest, lumps in my throat, and tears in my eyes for a couple of nights until I stopped reacting and started thinking.  First of all, I love the movie.  It’s one of my favorites and in my opinion, best shows one man and his many achievements in spite of his “lack of intelligence.”  The movie best displayed how a person doesn’t  have to be smart (by society’s definition) to reach Forrest’s level of accomplishments and prestige.  And, the catalyst to Forrest’s success was the sacrifice and strong will of his mother from the very beginning.  Thank God times have changed a lot, so I will not be sleeping with any school administrators to get my son placed into programs; however, I will continue to have him enrolled in programs and be an active participant in his education.  I was an active in-school volunteer for my daughters when they were growing up.  Both of them are full-time college students now.  (I told the pediatrician as well because it was the only ‘comeback’ I had for the “Forrest Gump” comparison.)

I was angry.  Too angry to cry tears even.  I had words of discontent for God, but didn’t dare utter them.  I had to recite the Lord’s Prayer many times out loud before I felt myself calming down.  I was pissed off like an employee who had been promised a holiday off, but then got scheduled to work it because of some issue beyond their control.  I felt Jesus was betraying me, for having me and my son survive all we had to live like this–in the scrutiny of others and simplistic adolescent behaviors turned into complex obstacle courses.  But, if I didn’t have this going on, I wouldn’t have anything to blog about because I’m basically a boring person.  I mostly stay home, and take care of my family, a lot like Mrs. Gump, and I can’t be mad at that.

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Does Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, Keep His Promises? pt. 2

So, my son and I survived a high-risk pregnancy that several doctors were certain would leave one of us dead.  The pregnancy was hell on Earth, and my suffering wasn’t over.  Two weeks after giving birth, the cesarean incision re-opened due to three large hematomas (oversized blood clots) that formed in my abdomen.  My life again is endangered more so than before because this time I “saw the light.”  Well, actually, I didn’t see any light at all.  In fact, I became light, as in weightless, motionless, unaware and unwilling to fight for vitality until I noticed my boyfriend weeping his eyes out and begging God for my life at the hospital bedside.  It was a moment of euphoria and elation like I’ve never experienced.  It was calm and easy without worry or care.  I always thought I would leave this Earth kicking and screaming, fighting to live life for myself and my loved ones, but no.  Not this time.  There was no time for a repentance prayer, and the comfortably light feeling of death was ready to take me whether I was ready to go or not.  There can’t be any substance on Earth natural or man-made that creates the lightness I felt.  I seriously did not realize what peril I was in until I heard the sobs of my boyfriend.  The fight within me kicked in instantaneously.  Suddenly, I was awake, aware, and metaphorically kicking and screaming to live.  He was relieved to hear me speak, and I don’t remember what it is I said.  What I do remember is later on that evening, the same voice that told me that I would survive gave me more conditional promises.  Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, instructed me to leave 9-1-1.  It was my intention to return to work full-time after my maternity term expired.  The job was very secure, and I made good money with a lot of available working hours and great benefits.  I took that instruction very hard.  I didn’t want to leave the job I so much loved.  I had friends, memories, and it provided stability for me having to raise my daughters as a divorced mother.  Moreover, I acquired the job by divine inspiration to begin with.  When I applied for the job, I had a sister in Christ with me pray over the application, and claim the job.  I needed that extra prayer because my ex-husband was on the wrong side of law enforcement, even though I’ve never had a record.  Anyhow, I couldn’t fathom why it is Jesus would want me to leave.  He said if I left and moved to Phoenix (with my oldest daughter and mother), my oldest daughter will attend college, my youngest daughter will run track, go to 2016 Olympics, and attend Arizona State University, and my son will be taken care of for life.   At the time, my oldest was in an emotional rut because she couldn’t find a job or attend college because I couldn’t afford to pay out-of-state tuition at the community college.  My youngest daughter had become a high school track and field champion and I missed most of the meets because of the pregnancy.  And my son, well, he was a newborn so I needed the job to raise him of course.  The Holy Spirit also promised me a successful writing career.  Just before I became pregnant, I had finished my first novel: “18 Years of Grace and Mercy: A Teenage Mother’s Testimony, Vol. 1” and was looking for a publisher, and researching the industry.  It was never my intention to leave my day job to start a writing career.  I discussed the divine instructions and promises that I received with my boyfriend.  I told him we would have to move to Phoenix, Arizona.  He replied, “let’s go.”  He was (and still is) supportive.  I also had to bring my father with me who became ill with advanced complications from diabetes.  Needless to say, I decided to move across the country with a cumbersome load of responsibilities, leaving behind my hometown area where I was reared, educated, employed, and most of all, loved.  That was back in 2011.  To date:  my oldest daughter works and attends community college full-time.  She has her own apartment and doing well.  My youngest daughter graduated high school and is currently a freshman at Arizona State University, on academic merit scholarships.  If she makes it to the 2016 Olympics remains to be seen.  Right now, she’s not putting forth the effort, but that’s a whole other blog entry.  And my son, he was born healthy, but has global growth and developmental delays for which he is receiving services for, and may have to for the rest of his life.  He is on the autism spectrum.  Being home with him every day is much tougher than working for 9-1-1.  My writing career has been started with two novels published (“18 Years….” and “The Pusher, the Prostitute, and a Preacher”), a website, Facebook, Twitter (@18graceandmercy), LinkedIn, Goodreads.com, and my own website http://www.TamikaTrammel.com.  It’s not nearly what I (or anyone) would call a success, but every day that I am breathing is another opportunity to become more successful.  So yes, Jesus Christ the Holy Spirit does keep His promises in spite of the sins I commit, I’m not always faithful to His instruction through church leadership, and I fall short every day of His glory.  However, in spite of dark moments of despair even lingering regret at times, He sends messages through others that He hasn’t forgotten me, nor the promises made to me.  I asked my boyfriend not long ago, “I wonder what would’ve happened if I stayed home?”  He replied, “You would’ve died.”  The Bible says in 1 Samuel 15:22  “…to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.”  Therefore, I am encouraged that what I’ve done is pleasing to Him, because I live in faith rather than substance.  My faithful works will bring forth substance.  My work will not be in vain.  I will continue to be living proof that Jesus Christ keeps His promises.