Went to my first autism parent support group tonite. It was really great. Very well organized. Very well lead. I met some really great people. There is something very similar about each of us that were there. We are all dealing with something that is so difficult and so volatile. I realized how similar our paths our and how socially isolating all of this autism can be. Being able to share all of these feelings with people who are walking on this same path with me made me feel less lonely. As similar as our kids have the similar look of autism, we all have the same look of being open to dealing with the unexpected and embracing what is here, now. A look that hangs onto hope, but contains a great amount of sadness. I felt blessed to have those people in that room with me to share their stories and lives with me. I needed to feel that after the past week. It was like a big emotional hug.
I feel right now like I am wearing trifocals. Part of my eyes are trying to focus on the bigger picture, trying to manage everyone. Being case manager to the autism. Part of my eyes are focusing on the here and now…the pieces of food being hurled at me across the room, the fists jabbing at me, the middle school homework needing to be managed, the toddler’s shrieks of joy of learning new words. Also, the focusing on the unmanageable…the inability to control this and being overwhelmed by the day to day. My brain has gone into freeze mode. I have become numb to the hitting of me, but cannot tolerate O hitting E. That just doesn’t seem fair. The tantrums don’t seem to be ending. The seem to be escalating. Don’t know when is coming and when one is going.
There was a great quote on the wall at the Ally meeting tonight: ‘Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow”.’ I am pretty sure that resonated with everyone in the room, and most people on this journey called parenting. Different paths, same journey.
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Loved your article, especially the part about feeling like you are wearing trifocals. So true! Lindsey Petersen