I wanted so badly to be able to write to you about something new and exciting that you were doing this week, but unfortunately, this week autism was just plain hard. The truth of the matter is the mood you wake up in often dictates the type of day we will have, and starting bright and early Monday morning I had to push up my sleeves, pour an extra cup of coffee, and put on my game face – you were irritated the moment you rolled out of bed.
I got my first glimpse into the state in which our day was headed when I asked you to use the potty (or at the very least to remove and throw away the bursting at the seams pull-up sagging between your knees - how dare I ask such a thing of you!?!), and our first round of screaming began. Not just any screaming, but the kind that you dig way down deep for that “makes your whole body tense up, drooling and sweating” kind of scream. It’s epic. Clearly, you saw this request as being unreasonable, and you were going to let me know it!
Ah yes, insert “setting of the tone” for an eventful day, or week in this case.
After our first struggle of using the potty and getting dressed commenced, it didn’t take long before you were back into the throws of agitation. The dogs were innocently playing with each other, making some low toned growling sounds (you know, like dogs do… ), unaware how unpleasant their sounds were to your auditory system today. Oh, and you let us all know by screaming and throwing yourself on the couch in a very dramatic fashion - repeatedly.
Fast forward to the popcorn you asked for. Apparently the bowl it was served in was the wrong color. Who knew such a thing could cause such anger!?!
Run an errand? Well, even on your bad days, life goes on and we may have to leave the house whether we want to or not.
We attempted a quick run to Target, and yes, how dare I think it actually might be faster to run in than to use the ever so convenient new “Target to go” drive up we now have. You removed your headphones, simultaneously walking in the door only to hear the ever so faint sound of a crying baby (no joke in the back of the store somewhere there was a faint baby cry… you seem to possess the same unique hearing abilities of an elephant) which instantly set you off! You let out three shrill screams, making our presence quite known.
Hello Target! Yes, we have arrived! You wanted nothing to do with your headphones, deep breaths, or counting - all three which are techniques that we use to help you cope in strenuous situations. I literally needed only 3 things! So I made the decision (probably at the dismay of other shoppers in our presence) even with “MADdie” having made her appearance, that we would forge ahead - even gave some serious thought to wearing the headphones myself. Could you imagine mommy wearing your headphones? Don’t laugh, it might happen one day. Having “MADdie” in tow did however make for the fastest Target trip in history for me.
Next, I had to put gas in the van, what could possibly go wrong here? I mean you don’t even have to get out of the car! Clearly from your screaming, I was wrong. I suppose now you are yelling because your separation anxiety has morphed into a bitter hatred towards gas automobiles (because they require your momma to get out of the car to pump gas into them)! Prius here we come…
Add starting a new therapy to our list of weekly events, and we are on the verge of boiling over. You have been having potty accidents regularly again – I guess you have found using the toilet strictly inconvenient and dare I saw optional?! I understand that our new puppy Finn just pees on the floor, so why can’t you, right? The steam cleaner is already out and ready to go – so perhaps you think you’re a puppy now?
Through coping with meltdowns and disciplining tantrums – yes, there’s a difference, we did a lot of deep breathing and sitting in time out.
These days are the ones that way heavy in this journey. Nobody wins You can’t communicate exactly what is going on, and I can’t understand your intentions. I start overthinking everything. Upcoming events in our near future. We have a wedding in a few months… how will you behave at the ceremony, will you even be able to get on a plane to travel there? Will we be asked to get off? How many people will be annoyed with us if you meltdown? Will I find some random Facebook video post of us depicting what an unruly child you seem to be, and how we shouldn’t have become parents? I’ve seen many of these posts, people are cruel.
It goes even deeper in analyzing my life and how this journey has made me even more introverted than before – if that’s even possible. Not because I don’t like people, I do, but most of the time I’m mentally exhausted pure and simple and just don’t have the energy after being screamed at most of the day.
This week sucked. There’s no better way to describe it. I, as did you I’m sure, felt beat down and wanted to just call uncle.
While I know these days will pass, I’m also not naive enough to think that they won’t inevitably come creeping back when we least expect it. It’s just part of the territory.
I stumbled across a special needs parenting blog this week that reference the moment you stop worrying about going out with the general public. You see Ad, the unpredictability of what might happen can feel like the weight of the world sometimes, and when something does go awry, it feels like you’re being crushed trying to feverishly dig your way out of rumble.
I’m not worriless yet, but I look forward to that day, and I know in my heart it will come.
We don’t have the answers, but what we do have is faith that tomorrow is a new day and we get to try again.
Love and faith, if we don’t have anything, we have that right?!
I’m so sorry you struggled this week, I’m sorry I couldn’t seem to make it better for you either, but we are all here for you always - even if I need to count to ten myself.
I love you, baby, it’s far from easy, but we’re in this together.