I went to see my Naturopath yesterday. I haven't been sleeping well for awhile and my anxiety attacks have been unusually persistent. She wanted to know why I thought this might be...
My son's Autism has been a little out of my control lately. Not that I ever can control it, but I can sometimes help him maintain a more even level of mood. It's been a bit crazy of late. The fact that he is preteen is probably part of it. The school has been calling a lot, wanting me to pick him up. They are trying to find a way to help him that works for him, we disagree however on what that looks like. I'm worried they are going to end up putting him in a more restricted environment where he will learn new behaviors and regress further.
I don't often tell people this unless they too have a child with special needs, but sometimes we have to lock ourselves away from him in a bedroom when he gets out of control. Most of the doors in our house need to be replaced as he has tried to break them down at one time or another. He isn't always like this. Months can go by without him melting down to this level. But when I tell people this their eyes grow big, they unwittingly move their body away as if I or he can cause this emotional trauma to spread to them, even though they know better. So I just keep my mouth shut about it except to a few trusted confidants who also have children with different needs.
Recently we got off the waitlist into the local Autism Clinic's Extreme Behavior Clinic. We show up each week and they keep telling me I'm doing what I'm supposed to, and not offering much in the way of help in changing what is going on. They just keep saying to keep on doing what I'm doing.
As I spoke of just the tip of the iceberg of this situation with my doctor, I was suddenly on the verge of tears. There is so much emotion, fear, guilt, heartache, and loneliness that is aching to come out. I'm sure that she heard the emotions in my voice.
She was very kind and listened. Then she said, "What you are going through is hard. I think what you are dealing with right now is realizing that it (Autism) is never going to go away."
"It's never going to go away." Those words struck me and have stayed with me for the last 24 hours. I know that. I've known that since I first started delving into the books after his Autism diagnosis. But there is a difference between intellectually knowing something and knowing it with every tired, taunt, worn out part of your being as you live through it.
"It's never going away." Recognising this reality requires a whole different mindset because your brain just can't handle the stress of your life otherwise. It requires a whole new round of the grieving process that you already have gone through multiple times since the diagnosis, and likely will again.
You feel like you're floundering once again and going to drown. You keep bobbing up for air, but sometimes it feels like those chances for air are farther and farther between.
You love your child desperately, and you would never wish him not to be part of your life. But this child stretches you until you are breaking. The cloth of your soul is ripping and fraying down the middle. You just don't know how to pick up the pieces again and start living again. Why does it have to be this hard? Why?
And in the midst of all of this, there is a child who is struggling too. He is trying SO hard to be good, trying to make good at life. But there are so many things he just can't handle. There are so many triggers that set off reactions beyond his control as hard as he tries. I can only imagine how confusing and difficult it must be for him in this body that doesn't quite work the same way most other people's do. I imagine that sometimes he must rage internally too trying to figure out how to live without becoming so unsettled. How to pick up his thoughts and feelings that have been smashed all about the room. How unfair it must seem to him. As a Mother, you are hard-wired wanting to fix things and protect your child. You can't make this go away, you can't protect him from it. You can only love him.