April 25, 2018

The Write Reasons By Vickie Stam

Psalm 34:18 "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed." NLT

This verse can truly serve as the very first stepping stone into my world of writing. 

I started pouring my thoughts onto paper back in the late eighties. I was a young mother, twenty four years old with two sons, aged five and three. My youngest son, Jason was diagnosed with autism in 1989 at the age of three. I was devastated but not so much by his diagnosis but by the way it was presented to me. 

I remember keeping a close eye on my beautiful blonde haired boy, Jason as he ran around the doctor's office. I wished he would just sit down. Sit still. He couldn't. He fluttered about the room like a gently butterfly. His hands flapping like wings in time to his own rhythm. He really was in his own little world running about on his tip-toes, completely oblivious to the fact that his father and I were getting ready to talk about him. We wanted answers into the strange behaviour he possessed and his lack of speech. 

My attention was suddenly diverted when
Jason's doctor  slid a blank piece of paper across the table at me and said, "Your son has autism. He looks at you no different than that piece of paper." 
"Your wrong." I snapped. "He knows exactly who I am."

Tears swelled in the corner of my eyes. I had no idea what she was talking about yet it didn't sound good. This was the answer we had been waiting for - autism. I said the word over and over in my mind all the while looking at the doctor.

Doctor N as I will call her in this story, was not the warm and fuzzy type. She never blinked after I barked at her. She never apologized, hugged me or even shifted uneasily in her chair. She simple broke my heart and wanted to move on. It was as if this was just another routine day for her. 

For me, it marked the beginning of my first journal. A book filled with heart-ache and pain. It served as more than a glimpse into the world I never asked for. If someone were to have read it, it would have been more like a window.

It was there in my darkest hours that I penned just how broken I felt. How inept I felt as a mother. How my planet had just been turned upside down. How the hopes and dreams that I had for my children immediately disappeared to a place I was no longer allowed to go. My life had abruptly changed.

I needed somewhere to transform my pain. Bury it. I began to put it down on paper. Each time I closed the cover I tried to make the hurt go away. Sometimes that worked. I felt relieved. Other times - the words only seemed to pollute the pages. Still, I continued to write.  

ventually my journal served as a healing tool. A learning tool. I began to write about Jason's progress and not only his struggles. His laughter and not only the sadness in my heart. I could see the sparkle in his eyes. I penned his first words that came much later than other children his own age. Most of all - I wrote about everything that I loved about him. And I hoped that he and Matt would one day be close like brothers should be.   

With a crushed heart, I needed to find a way to persevere. Little did I know that it was God who had provided a way for me to do that. In my suffering he opened the door for me to write. 

To this very day, I love to write. It's not as if I'm saying that I enjoy writing about the unpleasantries I've experienced over the years but more about the freedom I felt and still feel when I write. I feel at liberty to express myself in a way that I never imagined. There are times when writing takes the place of speaking out loud. It's less complicated. It's peaceful, relaxing and most of all safe. I can choose to write for my eyes alone or for others to see. 

When people learn that I am a writer, some simply smile at me. They don't know what to say in return. I've even rendered some people speechless. Their eyes widen and their mouth drops. I guess they can't picture me as a writer. For the most part people are quite curios. But they never ask me 'why' I write. They really want to know..... what I write.

I have a
story. It's my life. I write because God gave me a way to express my thoughts and feelings. And I just can't stop.  

Psalm 139:1-4
"O Lord, you have examined my heart 
       and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up
       You know my thoughts even when I'm far away.
You see me when I travel
       and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
       You know what I'm going to say
even before I say it, Lord."


  1. Vickie your story touched my heart. I am so glad to hear that you are able to write about the many blessings you find in your son! Autism is not who he is!!! I to write about heartache. My husband of almost 29 years decided he no longer wanted to be married to me and left me Dec.21st 2017. For the first time in my life I am on my own. I love your last sentence, you write because you just can't stop. That is me. I write because I have to, all of my hopes and fears and tears and anger and happiness, joys and progress, heartache, and if I don't I just can't deal with it all. Writing helps me cope. Thank you for your story!!! I pray God continues to bless your sweet family and may you discover many more wonderful things to write about!!!!

    1. So sorry to hear that your life has some not so happy challenges right now. Thanks for your encouraging words and prayers. I too will keep you in my prayers.

  2. This is another wonderful example of how writing serves as a processing tool in our lives. It seems it is like that for most writers. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Your story and the way you told it, Vickie, have moved me to tears. Writing through blurry eyes, I don't know what to say, except that you wrote so I could feel your pain, your hurt, your anger, and also you joy, when you could allow yourself to see and write about the joy that your son gives.

    This doctor, and I use the word reluctantly, because she was not a healer and she did not abide by the Hipporatic Oath, was wrong. You had every right to feel angry, hurt, and confused.

    I have taught children who are on the autism spectrum and there is much more to each of those children than their autism. They knew who I was and they knew who their loved one were.

    "It served as more than a glimpse into the world I never asked for. If someone were to have read it, it would have been more like a window (into your soul)." This is a powerful statement and I know exactly what you mean. Keep writing, Vickie, not for yourself alone, but for others who can identify with you and learn from you. May God continue to bless you with love and understanding.

    1. Thanks Sharon for your response. Having taught children with autism you know first hand their abilities and their challenges. I always appreciate the stories that come from people who have worked with autistic children and the stories that come from parents. There is a love that shines through in both scenarios. Thank you, my friend.

  4. Oh Vickie, thank you for opening your heart to let us see a peek at the inside. I connect with your reason to write as a therapy and healing, although sometimes "the words seem to pollute the page" ... as you say: "There are times when writing takes the place of speaking out loud. It's less complicated. It's peaceful, relaxing and most of all safe." It is a safe place to journey our questions. Keep writing! Brene Brown sees vulnerability as a strength not a weakness. Great strength in your post today!!

    1. Thanks Jocelyn. I will be sure to look up Brene Brown as I have not heard of her. Seeing vulnerability as a strength not a weakness sounds very interesting. Thanks for your words of encouragement and your support as a writer.


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