“Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.” - Mary Ann Radmacher
A very good friend of mine used to have that hanging on her bedroom wall. I remember countless times gazing at it, repeating it over and over in my mind and I always thought it was a kick ass quote. I wrote it down, stuck it in my wallet, and had it travel with me. Eventually, I hung it up in my cubicle and then my office desk. And when I became a SAHM, I tucked it away neatly back into my wallet.
It's been my mantra and I can't tell you how many times I've had to repeat that, to myself, just this month. It's been a very TRYING month for me. You see, where I live, school doesn't start until September 4th. And the extended schooling my ASD kiddos get, ended the first week of August. Yeah, I'll let that spin around in your mind for a bit...
The first day of their “summer vacation”, Pixie started her day with a meltdown. That sorta set the tone for the month. And I get it, I do. I understand exactly how taxing their every day life is. I get that way, too. (I suspect I'm somewhere on the spectrum, just based off of observations their therapists have told me. I remember thinking, “Oh... you mean this ISN'T what everyone else does...??” I have sensory issues...BIG TIME. But that's another blog topic all together as is why I believe me to be on the spectrum.)
It's REALLY hard keeping it together and it gets even harder when the tables have turned and you're the statue versus the bird. BTW, when I said “I can't wait until I get old enough...”, this was NOT what I had pictured. Being an adult is sooooo overrated.
It's really tough when your “day job” has your 2 “Bosses” yelling at you for every little thing. By the time my kids go back to school, my arms and legs look like someone beat the crap out of me because Pixie has a tendency to “knead” her hands, elbows, feet, knees, etc. into my own arms and legs. She seeks that soft resistance pressure. I know she doesn't do it on purpose to hurt me, but knowing that and having someone tell you that, doesn't make it hurt any less. That shit hurts! Her favorite? Grinding the balls of her feet into the top of my foot. *Crosses eyes* OUCH.
And everyone around you is demanding attention. Want, need, want, need... It's enough to make you want to scream! You get that lump in your throat that you want to just fall to pieces on the floor and ball your eyes out like your kid just did 15 minutes ago. But that inner voice says “Why bother? It won't change anything.” ...so we muster on...
I can see why many of my Autistic parents have a “Wine Night” or have a few at the end of the day. That'd be a vice I could get into if I was more of a morning person. (Soooo not, btw. Nope. Nuh uh. My cosmic joke because my youngest is up long before Jesus is ready to hand out blessings for the day.) And somehow, having anything of a hangover the following day just doesn't seem like a good use of “me time”. I know, I know... I hear y'all... “Well, then, don't drink that much.” It's a curse, folks. I have a pretty decent tolerance (thanks to my early 20's) and for me to “relax” would take a decent quantity. Enough to cause my following day a previous night's rethought.
Sooooo... what do I do? I write, or at least I used to. I mean, yeah, I have this blog...but as you can tell with the dates, it's not a regular thing with me. My passion is writing fantasy. But for me to engage in pounding out a few chapters, I need to be completely engulfed. No. Distractions. NONE. Not even someone asking me “You going to sleep, soon? You gotta be up early in the morning.” NONE. And in case y'all haven't figured it out, living in a house with 3 other adults, 3 small kids, and two dogs, “Undivided Attention” is its own fairy tale.
I have the few little puzzle games I play. One of which is with my eldest. You see, when Pixie and Lil Monkey head to bed, it's Mommy and Peanut time. I make sure I give him at least 1 hour where it's just him and me. All throughout the day, my attention has to be divided and most days, my two younger ones get a lot of it. It's tough on Peanut and I know and recognize that. So, I make sure that he has me, and to be honest, I do look forward to that time. Even if we both end up falling asleep on each other, it's always quality time.
I used to be a gamer. Yup. I'm one of those Gamer Geek/Girls. I played EQ1 (back when Kunark was released.), EQ2 a week after launch, WoW, Conan, Guild Wars, Dragon Age (sensing a theme, yet?), but I was a console player, too. I'm Generation Nintendo, baby! And my mom is what got me started on it.
That's right... My mom, “Nana”, used to play video games with my brothers and I, when we were little. (Yeah, envy. It's ok. I'd envy me, too. heh)It's also one of the precursors to how my husband and I started hanging out. He had found a chick that played video games and could keep up with him, in them.
So, I don't have vices. I don't smoke or drink and the things I loved to do, don't really have the time to. Some days, I just want to bang my head against the wall, give everyone the finger, and take a vacation from my every day life. The desire to be WRECKLESS is amazingly strong. But, I'm not. I'm responsible... *wrinkles nose* ….much to my inner child's chagrin. And lemme tell you, keeping it together is a fulltime job in of itself.
Why am I saying all of this? Not for pity. I'm hoping that shedding a small glimmer of my own vulnerability gives some of you strength to see that you're not alone. Everything you feel, the anger, the guilt, the exhaustion, the inner voice that just wants to scream at everyone... yup. I get it, I've felt it and wanted to do it, too.
And I'm also here to tell you, it's OK. YOU ARE VALIDATED. (I've learned that hearing those three little words means the WORLD, sometimes.)
Being a Special Needs parent is ridiculously hard work. It's ugly, and raw...and is not for the faint of heart or spirit. And while although some of the rewards are your kids giving you a kiss, a laugh, or a smile, sometimes the greatest reward is learning that you have at least one person that “gets it”.
I do, darlin's... I do. *Big ol' huge internet hug*
Now, if y'all excuse me. I have a game of Bejeweled Blitz to play with Peanut.
Tryin' again tomorrow,