When You Don't Want To Do This

After a snippy weekend full of mom losing her cool and wondering how to maintain it when the kids were racing through the house, tearing out toys and obsessing about Christmas, I melted.

First, I texted my two closest friends. They both were busy today and I really didn't want to impact their day but I was done.

I didn't want to do this anymore.

This?

Oh yeah, this autism parenting. Didn't you know I was really good at supporting my friends with special needs kids. I felt for them. I understood. Really? I didn't.

Today after the kindest of kind older ladies offered my screaming toddler a sweet and reminded me God counted my being at church 3x I just felt I couldn't do it.

Why God?

Why her?

Why me?

As I watched holding her little body in my arms, her legs tensed to the point that it seemed she couldn't control. Tears streamed down her face and she sobbed. No, she screamed until her body went limp. When it did, I relaxed and she began again.

I ached. My heart ached. I wanted to fix her suffering and I couldn't. What kind of mom can't help their child? What kind of mom can't take away their pain? Why me? Why me God? Was I not kind enough? Did I not do enough? Was I not who you intended me to be?

As we drove home I snapped. I had spent nearly an hour in seclusion trying to help my child and instead I felt like a freak show. I felt like I couldn't parent her and I felt alone.

So I texted two friends.

Thank God for those friends. First, one told me I had no choice. Damn it. She's always right. I don't have a choice. These are my cards and though they may not be the easiest cards to play, I am a trained card shark.

Then another told me to get out. She reminded me my husband COULD and WOULD take care of the kids.

Finally, as they went off to their own activities I laid in bed, sunk. I wept and tears streamed down my face.

I hurt. This isn't what I wanted to do. I wanted a child that was like the others. You know the ones I am talking about. The children that have friends. The children you can sign up for soccer. The children you watch walk into a classroom unafraid of what they may face. Instead, I wonder, will she ever have a friend? Will she ever play sports? Will she ever be in a regular classroom with peers who are typical?

So many have said I have accepted this diagnosis well. I guess in some ways, I have. Still, there is a part of me in the darkness of night that weeps for the child I imagined. There is a part of me that questions everything I ever did while I was pregnant and there is a part of me that wonders about everything I exposed this child to in the early months of her life.

As the tears stopped falling I needed family. Family isn't always close and I didn't want my husband. He tries, but he's a scientist and a self-admitted Aspy. So I FaceTime'd my mom. She's the one that cried harder than I did with the initial diagnosis. Perhaps she knew what I was going to face. Perhaps I had no clue.

 She didn't answer.

I went down the list.

My cousin

This girl who I considered a sister got me smiling for a minute then crashing. Memories hold the two of us close at holiday gatherings or even in our early days of college. I can picture our friendship going through its own challenges and my loving her as any person loves the sibling they have in their house. I held it together for a moment and then like an earthquake I collapsed, crashing into sobs saying I can't do it. I don't want to do it and I am tired. I am. I am exhausted. Each day is exhausting. Each day I don't know what I will face or how I will handle it. Each day I question the needs I don't meet of each children I have and the needs of my Serrie. I can't meet them all and I wonder. I wonder why? Why me?

There are moments when autism gives me such joy. When I see the strides my wee one makes and want to help her to grow and then there are moments when the pain pushes me until breathing seems like the only thing I can do. Today was one of those days.

Today, breathing was a challenge because honestly, I just don't want to do this anymore.

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