Sounds of the Aching Soul

October 2, 2016

I had learned that Robert had a difficult time in his Day Program, long before he came home.  His case manager sent me an e-mail early in the morning. Although, Robert calmed down later and was able to participate in other activities, with the help of his instructors, I knew that he would arrive home confused, embarrassed, and anxious.  He usually needs at least 24 hours to recover from the psychological consequences of the behaviors he was not able to control. I don’t know how he remembers the episodes of his heightened anxiety.  I suspect that they are as foreign and strange to him as they are to the witnesses.   I suspect that some of them present themselves to him  like shocks or even seizures.  I suspect everything.  I know nothing.

All afternoon, Robert was making noises.  For the first few hours he kept producing never-ending cooing sounds.  They were painfully sad as if they were weaved from the strings of loneliness, estrangement, and melancholy.  They were soft but piercing.

“Are you singing?” I asked as I followed Robert.  He wandered from room to room carrying his sad music everywhere with him.  “Are you singing? ”  I kept asking.  Robert didn’t stop and didn’t answer.  Although my question was stupid, it was, nonetheless, a form of a well-meaning effort to break Robert’s alienation.  I felt that he was moving farther and farther from me. With my clumsy question I attempted to reestablish connection I felt I was loosing.

I was glad when Robert replaced the cooing sounds by the sounds of irritation and anger.    It was a step toward our mutual world.  The sounds of anger were loud and directed at something and someone (me).  I didn’t like those sounds, but I understood them.   I didn’t agree with the message but I understood it.

Of course, I still didn’t know the exact reasons for his low tolerance level and the explosion  of trumpeting irritation. Did his stomach hurt?

Did his soul ache?


Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: