It’s been a rough several years. I keep thinking I should be one of those Aspergers moms who blog about it, because who else is an Aspergers mom and doesn’t blog about it, or at least make consistent Facebook posts about it? Why do I not want to write about my kids or husband (all three of them ASD) unless it’s about the funny shit, the happy stuff? I don’t think it’s that I’m afraid to, though sometimes I do worry about familial judgement should I write anything less than sparkling about momming my Aspies.
I don’t think they know how hard it can be, or how little help there really is out there, and how much I sometimes need to vent, but there’s no one to vent to who knows. Despite this “puzzle piece” organization and that “ribbon” organization and those Regional Centers saying, “Here we are! Here to help all afflicted with autism spectrum disorders! No matter your income, no matter your location, no matter the severity, we’re here for you!”… well, where exactly are you? Because this family just seems to be getting recommendations for helpful places that give recommendations for other helpful places that give recommendations for other helpful places, and there seems to be nowhere to land. We’re just bounced around, pawned off to the next org.
Because my youngest couldn’t get the help he needed, he was kicked out of four schools for violent outbursts that no one could understand, reason with, or control. And now he’s finally in a special school that’s equipped to handle his meltdowns and not lock him in an isolation room until we could pick him up. And though they’re equipped to “handle” him, the behavior modification goals in his IEP just aren’t moving along the way we’d all hoped. For some reason this kid feels constantly threatened and is defensive to the point of being aggressive. He wants to hit and kick and throw things at those he feels threatened by, even if the threat is nothing but a mild argument, or a tongue poked out in his general direction. And I am fucking tired of it. I want to live in a world without meltdowns.
Tonight I asked the boys to take out the trash. They both said no. I said, “Fine, then I won’t be making ice cream.” They bickered back and forth, blaming each another for this ice cream making boycott… it’s YOUR fault…no, it’s YOURS… and finally deduced that their parents hate them.
I explained for the million-and-eighth time that everyone needs to do their part around the house, that “annoying interruption of other, more worthwhile activities” they feel when they do a chore? I feel that twenty-fold, because I’m constantly cleaning up after everyone (picking up dishes from far corners of the house, flushing the toilets they won’t flush, piling up the dirty clothes they leave on the floor and the couch, picking up the shoes they leave in my walking path that I keep tripping over and twisting my ankles on, picking up towels they leave sopping wet on the bathroom floor or slung over the shower door… I mean, holy shit… this is too much!
And they thought about it quietly in their separate spaces for a little while. And then, at the same time, they both decided they were going to take out the trash and earn some ice cream. And do you know what that turned into? It turned into… I was going to do it!… No, I was!!… and that felt like a threat to Gadget, who went and grabbed a drumstick to “defend” himself with (this is typical), though no one had actually threatened him in any way, shape or form.
I told him to go put it down, because no one was fighting. He went to sit on the couch. His dad, Vin, sat next to him.
“But everyone wants to kill me!”
“No one wants to kill you. All we want is calm.”
“But you all hate me!”
“Nobody hates you. We all love you, and we don’t want you to hurt anyone, so please put the stick down.”
“I haaaaaaate you!! [starts kicking and hitting Vin] Dad just tried to kill me! He just hit me!”
Vin got up and went to his computer to chill, or avoid, or something. And he clammed up, shut down, and left me with the brunt.
“No, he didn’t. He put his arm up in front of his own face to keep you from kicking him.”
“I’m going to come over there and cough on you!”
“I’d rather give you love, and I don’t want you to cough on me.”
Gadget ran to me, grabbed onto my arms, which were folded in front of me for protection, and proceeded to pull himself up near my face several times to cough at me. Then he slapped me and went back to the couch.
I said, “Are you done?”
“I want you both gone!!”
“Fine then. I’ll get in the car and leave for a little while.”
“No! I don’t want you to go!”
“What do you want? Do you want to calm down and cuddle and get some love?”
“Okay, then come here. I have love for you.”
“No! I hate you, and I want you to GO AWAY!”
So I grabbed my coffee and my iPad and went out to the back patio. And Gadget went to my room (we have two rooms and desperately need two more so everyone can have their own space), slammed the door, and yelled for a few minutes until his dad did something to help calm him down (I’ve no idea what).
And here I am now, thinking that maybe I’ll try this blog-venting thing in this blog that is supposed to be fun. And I’ll tell you that this shit happens at my house consistently. Sometimes more mildly, sometimes completely out of control. And I’ll tell you that it’s not just the little guy that does this… it’s also the big guy who outgrew me by about five inches within the last two years. Because if I throw this out there to the internet, maybe I’ll feel a little better somehow? Though I can’t imagine how. Perhaps it will be read by another Aspie mom who feels isolated, and she won’t feel so alone. Perhaps I’ll write more about this life in bits and pieces? Or maybe I’ll just keep this blog weird, just have fun here, and shut up about this stuff. Fuck if I know. We’ll see.
I will say that we finally found therapists for both boys, and yesterday completed our second “evaluation” visit. I’d hoped we’d go in there and someone would wave a magic wand and make it all better, but then I realized we live in Realityland, and this is going to take dozens of post-evaluation visits to even make a dent. But hey… it’s something.