People who equate truth with fact are missing the point.

Beautiful Boy

Can you see my beautiful boy? He’s not invisible, but you might have to squint a little bit to see him clearly.

You will be tempted to pity him, but rest assured that he will never make you small by pitying you.

He will show you fear in a handful of dust, but he will also offer you the bright perfection of the poetry that is his breath.

Can you see the whole under the broken? The well under the sick?

When he says, I hate myself for being different, will you agree that he is worthy of hatred?

Or will you find a way to show him that our differences are an illusion?

Will you see him? Truly see him as a bearer of the light of creation itself?

Even if he scares you?

Even if he scares your children?

Even if we have to restrict his movements to protect ourselves from him?

Will you honor his humanity on the days when he doesn’t act very human?

If the day comes when he does the unspeakable?

His name is Carter. Always and forever Carter, a name chosen with love, his dad’s middle name.

Not psycho.

Not madman.

Not freak.

Not schizo.

Carter. He is Carter.

The world says terrible things, does terrible things, to people like Carter.

He might scare you (he scares me, too).

He might make you angry (he makes me angry, too).

But there is more.

Look under the surface to the more.

I can’t protect him always. I won’t be able to take care of him forever.

I’m counting on you to see the boy (someday man) under the symptoms.

There is a beautiful boy in there.

He has an illness, but he is not an illness. His needs are different from those of most people.

His value, though, is the same.

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28 comments to Beautiful Boy

  • Stigma and judgement are both shitty shitty things.
    It’s so unfortunate that people take “face value” and see people as their diagnosis rather than what’s on the inside. As long as the people in his life surround him with unconditional love, the cruelty of the world can break that wall.
    Beautifully written. Carter sound like an amazing soul.
    And his Momma loves him very much.

  • Superkitty

    Carter is a great kid who happens to have a life changing illness. It may restrict him and at times debilitate him, but it doesn’t define him as a human being. And if other people choose to label him and not see beyond that, then it says far more about them than it does about Carter. I have been fighting this kind of depression since I was diagnosed at 12 years, and I don’t have all the answers, but that much I do know.

  • Labels do not define our kids. Unfortunately,without the right supports, the world is not going to see the beauty that is him.

  • Ah, crap you’ve done it again… I’m sitting here crying my eyes out from the beauty, the power of your words. Can there be anything more painful in the world than to hear your child tell you “I hate myself”? I know how deep your fears for your son lie. I know that they are based in truth, in experience, and I will not sugar-coat and tell you not to worry.

    I wish I could have a crystal ball and that it would show that everything is going to be alright for your son, that they will soon discover a miracle drug, targeted nanobots that can go into the brain and turn around all the bad brain chemistry so that Carter can be his most shining self without all the gathering darkness.

    One of the comforts I can hold about my Jacob is that his autism renders him still unaware of how different he is. When other kids make fun of him or laugh at him, he thinks they are playing with him, laughing with him. It breaks MY heart to witness, but he is not yet wounded by it. That Carter is so self aware, that he is so pained by his difference? Tears me asunder, truly.

    I don’t know what else to say. Just.. I am here and I value your son, I see the beautiful boy in there, and count his value with the stars in the sky.

  • It is people like you who will make more people look beyond illness and stigma to the person underneath. That is an amazing, beautiful thing. Thank you.

  • It is so so so hard for some people to see beyond the illness, to see the person and it makes me so upset.
    If we (people with mental illness) had terminal cancer, or MS, or hundreds of other long term illnesses that are not of the mind – people would still see the person, people would still act as though you are a person, not your illness not “Cancery” or “MS-y” so why do we get “Insane”?
    I will always see your boy because I know he is a person, first and foremost he is a person who is trying to deal with something more major than a lot of grown ups have EVER experienced – and he is managing. It is not ideal, it is hard, it is horrible, but he still tries.
    He is a person as much as I am as much as anyone who reads this is.
    And always will be.
    Nothing can change that.

    • Smartphone’ is now an outdated term, often used in the past by those who orinigally used a separate PDA and phone. The first smartphones’ were a somewhat unhappy marriage between a PDA and a phone to create a converged device. Now, all but the most basic phones have converged capabilites.

  • i hate that we are afraid of what is different … no matter what the difference is, we fear it. human nature is sucky. what makes carter different is what makes carter beautiful. absolutely.

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gabryyl and Adrienne Jones, Adrienne Jones. Adrienne Jones said: Can you see my little boy under his illness? I'm counting on you to see him. […]

  • I see Carter.

    Thanks to your words, i see him even more clearly.

  • I see you Carter.

    I think you might have some of your mother’s strength.

    I see that you? Carter? Are a little boy.

    Who plays with toys, and makes some noise
    Who laughs and jokes, and sometimes pokes

    Who sometimes gets hurt,often feels burnt
    Who is a small boy, and deserves some joy

    that is all

  • Meg

    That’s sweet. Carter is lucky to have you as mom.

  • Love this post. I think the people who deserve Carter will see him. And those who don’t see him just aren’t good enough.

  • CDG

    You show us Carter, lumps and all, so often–really show him to us. He is, to me, exactly as you paint him. A little boy. A beloved little boy. A beloved little boy with a terrible illness.

    Keep educating, keep shining a light into the dark. Keep showing him to us–the magic and the heartbreak.

  • I see every precious inch of Carter.

    I also see his amazing mom and the strength of her advocacy.

    Thank you.

  • So beautiful. The best way for people to see Carter is you making sure that they do.

  • Carter’s unique way of seeing the things that no one else can is often a gift.

    Seeing Carter through your eyes is how Carter is changing the world.

    I love you guys.

  • I see Carter and all the others like him who are judged…
    I’ve just found you and every post of yours that I read, I stand more in awe of you.
    You’re incredible.

  • New reader. With eyes wide open.

  • Beautiful. You’re one amazing (and very talented!) mama.

  • This is my first time on your site and this is the first post that I have read of yours. It sounds like the perfect introduction to your son. Nice to meet you, Carter.

  • I know what you feel. My middle guy has Asperger’s and I hear the whispers and see the nudges in this small town.

    Makes me want to wring someone’s neck. They just dont’ see past their own ignorance and unkindness. Unkindness to fellow man.

    I don’t see how that can be OK with a person.

  • I see Carter. I always do. through your words and love. I see him.

  • I debated about commenting because this is my first visit here, but I found your post so moving. I hope I am not out of line in saying that Carter is lucky to have such a supportive mom. And I imagine he has given you so much in life – besides the usual mom and child love fest – maybe an expanded view of life and human nature. It is so hard to watch our children venture forth into the world when we are so acutely aware of their vulnerabilities.

  • I don’t have the right words to say. Thank you for this post.

  • Aline Spencer

    I hope I am not out of line in saying that Carter is lucky to have such a supportive mom. I see him. Beautifully written. I’ve just found you and every post of yours that I read, I stand more in awe of you.

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