Non-Warrior Pose

I’ve been in Warrior Mom mode since yesterday, sending emails to the school, rapid-fire (pew, pew, pew!), making phone calls to the county social services department to make sense of the mailings they sent in the wrong order, spending over an hour to modify an assignment for The Boy to do last night, and making an executive decision to skip Tuba practice as he fell asleep while doing said assignment.

And then the special soup I bought for dinner was gross, so I basically had cheese and crackers for my evening meal.  And I had to wait for the boys to use the microwave for their own dinners, and mine was last and turned out to be yucky anyway.

And the ex emailed with more promises to call later this week (yeah, right).

And then the cop directing traffic this morning looked at me funny…

and I burst into tears.

I sent another email this morning, and had planned to do some medical legwork since I didn’t get anyone from the county to answer my questions yesterday.  But I’m thinking I may just not.

I may just take a day to not fight the world.

I may do some yoga, may attempt to draw some more Zentangles.

I think I need to heed my own tears, spend some time in the sun, stop communicating with the sources of my frustrations, breathe, cry if necessary, but slow down and take a day with no anger or fear guiding my actions.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Golden Gate Tea Garden

Advertisement

The Fight

Last week, The Man and I had a moment, a disagreement, shall we say.  And I wasn’t sure if I was gonna go there, if I was going to share with you about this experience, because, well, some things are private, and dirty laundry and all that.  But I decided that sharing the essence of what happened is important because the whole point of this blog is sharing my true experiences as a single mom, now remarried mom raising a boy with autism, and possibly showing others in the same or similar boat that they aren’t alone.

So we had a moment.  We were getting ready to leave the house to visit some friends for dinner, all three of us.  The Man and The Boy had a disagreement in the kitchen about which lunchable to take with us in case he didn’t like the food being served.  The Man got angry and stomped off.  I assisted The Boy with his lunchable, got his things together and we went to wait in the car.  After waiting in the car for a bit, it was clear The Man wasn’t coming right out, so I went in.

And we argued.  And neither one of us was completely rational — I know I was defensive (naturally).  The argument petered out enough so that we could go be social with our friends, and over the course of dinner, everything got turned right again.  Afterwards, we apologized to each other and talked a bit about what happened, and it was all good.

BreatheBut I continued to think about the argument, because I had rarely been so angry with The Man.  And I wondered at my reaction, and then it dawned on me.  The previous day, I had reacted to The Boy much the same way when he refused to leave Grammy’s house at the appointed time, even with the help of multiple timers.  I was frustrated and handled it badly — I had stomped off in anger.  And that’s OK.  Everyone who lives with autism has those moments, where we rebel against this thing that runs our life sometimes, because it’s not fair.  We react, lightning-quick, with anger because just for that second our resources of patience have run thin from over-use.  We are human.

I had gotten so angry at The Man for being human, for having a moment of weakness, for not being perfect when I clearly wasn’t the day before.

The point is, if you live with autism, and never “lose it”, you need to be recommended for sainthood.  I know I’m not a saint, and I know I didn’t marry a saint.  And recognizing that, and seeing myself in my husband was a much needed paradigm shift.

I Hate that Sound…

frustration

frustration by Sean MacEntee

One of the worst sounds to my ears is the sound of The Boy expressing frustration.  Partly because, if left unchecked, it could lead to a meltdown, or perseveration on some negative thing.  But mostly because he is 11, and I have tried and tried for years to teach him to ask for help when he gets frustrated, and instead he continues to do this thing…  This “ARGGHHHH!” thing, to which I think I am supposed to come running and solve his problem.  Or the extremely loud self-talk that sometimes accompanies it (but which I can’t understand, because it is often coming from the basement).  I don’t ever respond, except to say, “Do you need help?”  I rarely get a response, just more “ARGGGGHHHH!” and indistinguishable self-talk.  Beyond that question, I do not respond, knowing that if I do, he will learn that I will try to anticipate his every need, and instead, I want him to learn to communicate his needs and ask for help, even when frustrated.

And so, I will wait him out, turning on some music to drown out the “ARGGGGGHHHH!” until he comes to me of his own accord, or gets interested in something else.

But that noise is just about the worst…