It's been three years since my daughter was diagnosed with Autism. I would like to say that my fears have subsided, and I no longer wonder what it would be like if she didn't have Autism, but that is not the truth. While I don't give my concerns and fears power to dictate my happiness, Autism is always there. Every time I think I'm getting a grip on everything, Autism rears its ugly head. Recently, due Spring break and visiting with her grand parents for a weekend. Generally Olive visits with her grand parent's once every 4-6 weeks. This gives her a chance to visit them and to spend time with her biological father when he's around. As much as I love breaks from being a mom of two every once in a awhile, it sometimes doesn't feel like a fair trade. Don't get me wrong, she will always have time with her biological family. But because of things like inconcistancy with foods, discipline, and change of environment, we are faced with a week long meltdown fest. When she was younger this was a big issue. She'd immediately begin crying, hyper ventilating, and refused to be touched after being away for too long. It was always heart breaking knowing she was dealing with extreme discomfit and anxiety, thus causing her to become visibly overwhelmed. On top of that Olive has issues with regression as most do on the spectrum, and of course that effects her school work and her whole social demeanor towards others.
Spring break was filled with some much needed family time. I always enjoy having us all together, since Olive began kindergarten we don't do as much as we used during the day. So the break was welcomed, but ended up taking such a toll on her. I could tell she was so overwhelmed and felt like she was walking on egg shells all through out the day. She'd constantly ask when she could go back to school, but when it came time to go I just ended up having to pick her up, due to her having a hard time. The next week the same thing after just a normal weekend. She's been more resistant to change, getting easily frazzled, and being very vocal about it. She'd express her discontent with yelling and losing her temper- becoming inconsolable. While I feel equipped for this on most days, lately it's been much more long lasting. And I've noticed spouts of aggression with these meltdowns. It's hard because I know she's having a hard time and after she's apologetic. And that is more than I could really ask for. I mean, "Woe is me, my 'now verbal child' is raising her voice at me and spouting out actually words, and actually expressing how she feels to me." Yet here I am complaining? That's more than most get, which makes me feel ungrateful when I lose my patience.
To be fair I have a lot going on outside of this. Call it a late reaction, but I feel everything is hitting me at once. As I sit here I'm trying to be cautious with what I say, but there is no other way to say it. My mother attempted suicide a few months ago. We've been estranged for years, you'd think something like that would bring people closer. But no, it only added to the stress of our relationship or lack there of. I've been so worried as I watch from afar things spiral out of control, and I sit here helpless. I worry all the time. I question what I've done so bad to make the person who created me want nothing to do with me, or what makes me so not worthy of her love. I know her issues don't stem from me, but that doesn't makes dealing with it any easier. Some days are hard, and overwhelming. Luckily like grief, this journey takes many forms and comes in phases. I may always have some reservations on the matter, maybe not. But today I am allowing myself that-guilt free. Taking ownership of how you feel doesn't have to be condemning, it can be freeing at times.