Rollercoaster

A few weeks ago I was chatting with a fellow autism mom and she suggested that there would continue to be up and down moments through this entire process. Part of me scoffed. I know, I didn't do it out loud but I was handling this really well for the most part and I was working my tail off to make things "NORMAL". I continued to try and do as much as I could and then yesterday, it all fell apart.

I had wanted the DOWN to be the part shortly after diagnosis and then I wanted it to be a straight shot up. Truth is. Its not. I have days of climbing up that hill when I accomplish all my household duties, get my work done and even have some time to be on top of my volunteer stuff but then there are days when a roller coaster ride seems like a good idea and I HATE roller coasters.

Yesterday was one such day. I won't type out a laundry list of items but know just one included one of my children being left out and another included finger nail polish on tables and trim. Those were two issues but the rest were too many to count.

Last night I was done. Done being a mom. Done being a special needs mom and I was feeling overwhelmed, guilty, angry and sad. All at once. I wrote this stupid Facebook post regarding the positivity of the Autism Movement and wondered exactly how all these parents were "UNSTOPPABLE" like the shirts say OR how "autism is beautiful" because right now, "autism sucks". The last part is my quote because yesterday, it did.

As I lay in bed in a dark room with a child pulling my hair sobbing until she could sob no more I wondered how many more nights of this we would endure. Yes, I post the pretty pictures on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter...who wants to look at what life with Autism is really like? No one. That text to my husband as he walked the dog? "Did a bear fucking eat you?" At that moment in hour number 3 of our littlest grabbing me and screaming I was wondering if I wanted to get eaten by a bear? Would it be less painful?

Shortly after he got home and sheepishly climbed the stairs, I laid into him. Why? He's the only one who can take the vulgar feelings that well deep within the abyss that is my heart. I screamed about how I needed support, how our kids were ungrateful and how I was exhausted. I have NEVER before wished summer over, but this summer? I do. I lamented about the hoops I have to jump through to get services, the daily therapies that interrupt our life and the inability to have my child at the school with her siblings. The one thing that bothers me most. I ranted about the house and my inability to keep it clean and he listened. Yesterday I wanted to check out. I wanted to hide from the reality of my new normal because honestly? Its not beautiful and I am not unstoppable. I am a mess. I am a mess of a mom trying to meet the needs of 5 kids while still trying to figure out exactly how I ended up where I am. I am a mom who is guilty questioning everything in my pregnancy and everything after her arrival. I am a mess of a mom wondering why God chose me and how come I feel so alone in this right now.

As my husband retreated to get ready for bed, I checked Facebook and there it was. Support. It wasn't from people I would consider my "go to" friends. Well, one is a local go to mom who listens to me lament often but the others I didn't really expect to respond and maybe in their response I realize that even when I feel alone, when I feel like I can't do it, there are others living this life and knowing the experiences I feel. Maybe these friends I don't see daily or maybe even ever are my "wing support". They are the ones I knew from years past, when we were 15 and never even considering parenting. They are the friends who are living with the reality of their own new diagnosis, friends whom I consider close but don't always talk to and they are the mom's from birth boards who have seen me grow not just as a mother but a person.

After waking this morning with a small peanut snuggled in my side I knew it was a new day and potentially one to climb out of that abyss I felt I was living in just yesterday. As my eyes opened I listened as I heard "Mama, you wake" a phrase I longed to hear just 2 months ago. I listened as my 7 year old was downstairs making her own breakfast and how my 5 year old insisted he was "sick" and quickly asked to watch TV all day to which I responded..."nice try". This morning I got up to a text or two of support and realized that yesterday my safety belt on my roller coaster came undone. I realized yesterday the air in my tire had deflated and I realized that some days Autism is going to kick my ass. Yesterday was one of those days.

Today hasn't been perfect. Therapy sucked. Again. This child of mine is more stubborn than a mule you are staring straight in the eyes. Today however has been an upward climb because I did get a few good moments after therapy myself. I also made my youngest four happy with a playdate from a neighbor and friend and I found my own happy in an hour of workouts.

I would like to get off this Rollercoaster. I am not one to enjoy them in any way shape or form. I like my life planned and perfect and this new normal is far from either but unfortunately I am in the middle of the ride and there is no emergency exit. So today I will try not to scream or cry and I will try to focus on the little steps to the top of the hill and maybe just maybe I will learn to enjoy the view.

Comments

  1. Ellie. You are so courageous and remember to ask God daily for all the graces you need to endure this challenge. With Him, all things are possible. Do not try and do it alone. Allow our Creator to be with you every step of the way. Count me in as one of your prayer warriors. I will be offering you and your family up in prayer daily. Sending you a big hug. Ox

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  2. Piece of my heart, I hope you know how much God really loves messy. When things are smoothly on track as planned, where is the opportunity to learn and grow and become better people? Yup, autism sucks. Yup, whining kids suck. Yup, the extraordinary demands of life suck. But you are more than qualified to handle it, Remember, Moses argued with God, citing his shortcomings and lack of qualifications for what was being asked of him. You are in good company! And like Moses, you are given His confidence and strength. Just be open to it in whatever form it takes, like the unexpected but wholly welcome "Mama, you wake"!

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