Monday, March 26, 2012

You can be happy now......

I had my heart broken today. I realize that my younger children are going to ask questions about Chandler and autism. And I am very matter of fact, and I try to explain it in a way they can understand. I was mortified a few weeks ago when my 3 and 4 year old were watching old home movies with my mom (who is in a wheelchair from MS), and he pointed out to her "Hey Grandma, that's when you could walk!" She just smiled and said "Yep, it was." I pulled him into the other room and calmly explained how that might make her feel. I thought I did a pretty decent job.
Tonight, Chandler had a massive meltdown, complete with kicking and screaming, pinching and crying. I was on my very last nerve and I sent him downstairs to his room to calm down. Elliott thoughtfully ate his peanut butter toast, and he frowned and turned to me "Mom. Why does Chandler have autism?" Me: He was born with it, it does things to his brain. Ell: Can you take it out? Me: No, sweetie. Ell: Can you fix it? Me: No, honey, I can't. Ell: Can Jerot fix it? He fixes a lot of stuff. Me: No he can't. I wish he could. Ell: Well, can we get rid of him? Me: (choking back tears) Elliott, he's your brother and we could never get rid of him. Why would you say that? Ell: He pinches. And he gets so mad. Me: That's part of his autism, but we still love him. Ell: Is that why you cry in your room? Me: Sometimes. Ell: Do you cry because he does this? (imitates flapping and rocking) Me: (full out crying now) Yeah, sometimes. 
Elliott got up and hugged me, and said "I'm going to watch Adventures of Tin Tin! I think Chandler's done with his meltdown. You can be happy now."

Friday, March 9, 2012

I'm ready....

I haven't blogged in a few months but it feels like a year. My life has taken some unexpected and expected hills. I can tell you this "never think you know", you don't. After I graduated college in December I had about a day and a half to celebrate, then I had court for my divorce. Messy, ugly, spiteful, hateful divorce. I still have such powerful anger toward parts of this situation, I'm not ready to blog about that yet.
 I also decided to take a break from school or work, or much of anything really. What kind of effect does this have on autism? One would think that spending more time at home with more hours for therapy, reading, working on language would be a the best case scenario, and it should be. I am at a turning point figuring out a new direction because I have the time to. It feels good. Getting back to the roots of autism, finding a new path. Never giving in.
I get thrown curveballs every day largely, the financial ones largely due to a bitter divorce. I spend more hours than I need to crying and filled with a rage that was starting to overtake me. On top of everything else, I had agreed to become part time caretaker for my mother, who has a very debilitating form of MS. I began to drive an hour, three times a week, making dinner, playing cards, putting her pajamas on, putting some make up on her. And I began to become very sad. I had become so busy that my own mother had become someone I didn't really think about. A ghost grandmother my children didn't really know. I didn't know her anymore. Did she feel like my son? Isolated, misunderstood, frustrated? Surely, I wasn't a bad daughter! I hadn't stayed away from my parents home because it was difficult to me that I had no mom to call for advice, or spend shopping weekends with. I simply was so busy....right? I felt like I had just walked into a cement wall. Were my problems the worst things that could happen? I couldn't consider this right now. I couldn't...right?
My arguments with my boyfriend about my stress reached a pinnacle, he could see that I was breaking down, shutting down. I shot back at him with pure venom. After a particularly tough week, I was watching my ex destroy my credit, my financial problems circling like a drain, answer my phone to Chandler's OT calling me to tell me my son was plateauing on his skills and wanted to drop him. Tears begun to fill my eyes, I wanted to surround myself with my two babies. My little boys are light and joy. A beacon in darkness. Unable to call my youngest two sons because no one answers when I call,  and unable to help Chandler, my mom, myself. I lost it. Full on LOST it. My meltdown was equivalent to autism's worst day. Sobbing I went to the basement....Chandler was playing his ipad on the couch next to his dog. He was getting upset because he couldn't find the right place on the Elmo video he was watching. He yelled and then he flung his arm out toward Gweneth. I flinched in fear he was going to hit her, but he took a breath and rested his hand on her head. ... . Take a breath. I sat on the couch next to him and we just were. Frustration island. I put my arms around him and he sighed.
Fast forward a week or two.....Weekend with no kids, just what I needed. I thought. A couple glasses of was a decent night. I was edgier than I thought when I came home. The last couple weeks flooded me emotionally and I lost it again. This time was the worst. Crying, shaking, hardly able to breathe. It felt like a panic attack. Then I had someone stop me. Look me in the eye and tell me all the things I was doing wrong. All the things I was hanging on to, letting them eat me alive. Having someone wrap me up in their arms, silently,.....all I could do was sigh. I was ready. Ready to take this on. Ready to stop feeling sorry for myself, angry at the world, bitter.
Things began to take a course unheard of in my life. I found myself at church one morning. I found myself renting a sad movie (unrelated to autism), something I had been unable to do in years. I found myself laughing from the center of my body. I found myself slowing down. I found myself taking a morning off to read and stay in bed until noon. I found myself unimaginably happy with someone who allowed me to be. My life that had been filled with dramatic events, pain, and unthinkable mountain climbing had started to shift. A letting go, a quiet, uneventful, blissful letting go. Peace. I had finally learned a thing or two about love. And only now can I be a good mother, daughter, sister, friend, and partner. Thank you. You know what you've done for me.