Jake struggles off and on with what he continually refers to as “lies,” “bad thoughts,” or “evil thoughts.” These can be quite persistent in taking over his mind, and I can usually tell when he is struggling because he will start telling himself “NO!” out loud, sometimes while angrily looking at himself in the mirror. While it can be heart-wrenching to hear him express this torment to me (Tara, his mom), I thank Jesus that he finally has the ability to explain via RPM and a letter board!
One of the ways the bible teaches us to deal with harmful thoughts and beliefs is to renew our minds by focusing on His promise of peace (John 14:27). Having the freedom to choose our thoughts is easier said than done, and very personal. I asked Jake if he would like to think of 10 good thoughts that made him feel happy and peaceful. He was a bit shaky getting started, but after the first three got on a roll……this is his list:
Jake’s 10 Good Thoughts
1. Life can be happy.
2. So many stars!
3. Really so much I not have to worry about.
4.To have my reality most special.
5. Only I not have to do stupid talking all the time.
6. Most really having good love in my heart most of the time.
7. Really so good to have time to search my soul.
8. Most I eager not have mad heart, means I am a nice person.
9. Most like good times, very pleasing to my soul (when asked for 3 examples): swinging, feeling I am OK, most awesome music, etc.
10. Most have laughter in my family.
At the age of 22 he began expressing his very personal thoughts and feelings more fluently with me (his mom), and it was his idea to begin writing “The Story of My Life” one day. He is diagnosed with severe autism as well as intermittent explosive disorder. He has given me permission to share his story and our conversations. He continually expresses his desire to “find purpose” to his life…I hope his willingness to share will help others learn about this misunderstood condition known as “autism” that has so much to teach us all.