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  • Writer's pictureWellington Lambert

Foster Chronicles



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We are in the car, both staring straight ahead.

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The pot holes are bad this year, like they have a life of their own, a job, to totally fuck my car up.

“You don’t get it.” My oldest tells me.

He’s right, I don’t get it, no one will, that’s the problem.

I am fighting a battle with a past that is eating him, a biology that will always be a mystery.

“You just need to hang on.”

I tell him this, unsure of what he can hang on to. Our love is useless when fighting the demons of his wiring.

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“You need to take your pills.” I offer.

“I don’t need my pills, I won’t be able to afford them anyway.”

“You will if you sign the papers, you need a safety net.”

“I won’t take charity.”

Silence.

Bump.

This “I won’t take charity” thing is new. Like a badge of honour justifying his desired independence, his need to be his own person, take his own path.


I refocus on the road, smelling the spilt coffee in the cup holder beside me. The car is small, the engine clearly marks its gear changes with a cough and shake, it is my mothers. We borrowed it after our last car died in a huge puddle…true story, it’s messed up.

I turn the radio on, hoping we can reach middle ground through music, we usually can.

“Turn it off.” He reaches up and turns the radio off.

I want to yell at him, tell him he’s being an asshole, but I’m not really talking to him right now, I’m talking to someone else and that “someone” desperately needs control. It’s not about ego, it’s about survival.

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I want to tell him it will all be alright; I want to say that no matter what he decides we will be there for him. And we will be there, but our power is limited. I can’t reach into his brain and give him what the rest of us take for granted. On top of it all, his differences, his challenges, will be hidden. I know all his tricks, I can see the mask, but no one else will. Deep inside, the war will always be raging, even with the aid of drugs to round off the edges.

He needs to make the right decisions, the world has decided he is an adult, but he isn’t. They have put the responsibility of managing the complexity of his mental property into his own hands.

Time is running out…

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I distract myself again to lower my anxiety level and appear slightly indifferent but hopeful. He is a terrified animal that needs to be approached from every angle, but not directly. I will switch to my peripheral dance.

“What’s for dinner?” He asks, the usual approach, ignore everything, but I get it. Overload is different for everyone.

“I don’t know, whatever I make.”

Silence.

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