This post has been hard to write.
It’s written from the point of feeling in a way that I wish I didn’t. From a place of guilt, and angst, and wishing I could do better.
Recently I had a weekend with just Bug and Pip, as Boo and Kiwi Dad were away. We had a magical, fun, and intensely calm weekend. There were smiles galore, hugs, care-free childhood moments. There was a deep sense of me relaxing, enjoying, and just being, with Pip and Bug.
And then the Boo returned. Along with the mountain of laundry, came a clearly exceedingly overtired, over-wrought, over-stimulated Boo, who had clearly spent the weekend holding his quirks, tics, and all things ASD, inside resulting in them bursting forth like a surge of flood waters. The peace was shattered with near hysterical crying. The calm suddenly became fraught and a case of quickly shifting up the gears away from relaxation and in to crisis management. He lost the ability to speak normally, instead doing his echolalia, and highly irritating ‘stupido’ talk. He couldn’t listen, couldn’t process, and dominated the household. He was too tired to unwind to sleep. I was caught utterly off guard so took it all personally.
After eventually getting him off to bed, the next morning I was woken to him again with ‘stupido’ voice, waking me up with questions that were entirely non-urgent yet being treated like they were life or death. The next two hours was a hell of strange walks, semi-meltdowns, inability to listen, and a whole heap of stimming. None of the usual sensory calm down methods worked.
I, by now, was feeling highly resentful and like a coiled spring myself. My calm, my joy had been ripped away from me. I had missed this child intensely, and yet here he was, pure and simple hard-work. The eggshells were back, scattered all over so they were impossible to avoid. I hadn’t seen the joy of his weekend away – the ‘good’ bits – yet here I was picking up the pieces. Much that I wish I didn’t, yes I did feel resentful. I felt deeply upset, and stressed.
How could I have missed this child so much and now wish he was away again? How could I have closed the door of his empty room just 24 hours before wistfully missing that slumbering stolen kiss goodnight when now I wanted him anywhere but here? How could I profess to love this boy so much, yet right now hate everything that was happening?
That’s Autism for you. There’s no even keel of emotions, or life in general. It’s intense, it’s painful, it’s downright distressing. It’s treading on eggshells over and over. You don’t even realise how much it affects every tiny facet of life from how you call your children to dinner, to how you cut a sandwich. You don’t realise that every moment of every day is completely and utterly consumed with life management to enable them to cope, until you don’t have to do it for a few days. You don’t realise the stress those constant demands put on you, because you just have to do it. It’s your reality.
So, for the sake of everyone I need to shake off that resentment. It’s our reality and this kid is amazing. It’s our dynamic and we make it work.