Just when I think I can’t take it anymore
I often marvel at the timing of things in my life as C’s parent. People compliment me on the positive spin I put on autism, and I am often reluctant to express great sadness or frustration. Yet lately, sadness and frustration have been our norm. It’s as though we’re living a lie. To all looking in from the outside, everything probably looks great, but at home we’re falling apart. So near tears am I at so many points of the day I find myself grateful for a respite in both my own work and C’s school.
C’s behavior the last couple of months has been horrendous. He’s Jekyll and Hyde from home to anywhere but home. Fits, tantrums, defiance, and completely uncontrollable behavior have taken me to the end of my rope and convinced me that I am quite possibly the worst parent ever to roam the Earth. I’ve always said I could understand how the divorce rate for parents with children with autism is so much higher than the national average, but I never really got it until now. It’s not that we differ in our opinions on what to do for/with/about C, but rather, by the time we’re done dealing with him, we have no energy left to give to our relationship. I’m thankful, through these difficult periods, that we are so fully committed to our marriage and to C. It probably allows for a certain amount of taking each other for granted, but I don’t think either one of us is up for tending to each other’s needs at the moment.
Yet just when I don’t think there is any light to be found in this tunnel, something happens to remind me it’s not completely dark here in my life as C’s parent. As I watched him tonight, miraclulously shoveling fistfulls of salmon and rice (two foods he’s never had) into his mouth, not gagging or covering his ears with his hands (shaking them instead, but we’ll take that), I was given a bit of happiness to temper everything else that’s been going on lately. I was reminded that I do enjoy being a mother while he read me a book, his voice full of inflection, clarity and excitement. His behavior made me revel in the entertainment of dealing with “sometimes almost typical” instead of “creature from the wicked planet.” Even if tomorrow is back to terrible, I will have at least had this brief moment of joy that will help me get through to the next moment of joy. And it is for that I am thankful this night.
Entry filed under: autism. Tags: autism, behavior challenges, challenging behavior, difficulties of parenting, high functioning autism, joy of parenting, sensory integration, special needs, spirited child.