There comes a point, I think, in every parents life that they feel defeated. I think it happens much more often for parents of Autistic kids. For me, raising 3 boys on the spectrum is a nealry impossible feat on the very best of days. Factor in Lizze’s health issues and you have a recipe for feeling defeated.
Right now I feel completely defeated. I feel like nothing I can do will ever be enough. I am physically exhausted and emotionally drained. To me, it feels like our lives are falling apart. I can’t keep up with anything. I have laundry piled up and dishes in the sink. I literally have a stack of colllections letters and shut off notices that I can do nothing about. Every ounce of my attention is spent keeping Emmett form either hurting himself or someone else. If I’m lucky I can stop him from breaking things as well. The rest of my time is spent trying to show Gavin how to tell if the things he sees and hears are REAL or not… Try taking that “little” project on. That alone is a full time job. I also have to keep working on ASL with Emmett as we are beginning to make progress. All while making sure Elliott doesn’t slip through the cracks (which he unfortunately often does) and taking care of Lizze.
There is literally no time for anything else. I try my best to brush things off and tell myself, “priorities”. I say to myself, ” I need to focus on the immediate and everything else can wait”. The problem with that is that the “immediate” is ALWAYS there and the “everything else” NEVER sees the light of day let alone get a chance to be a priority. No one seems to get that. After awhile the “everything else’s” begin to pile up and eventually become something so overwhelming and out of control that even if I had the time, money or energy to deal with it, I couldn’t.
Having 3 Autistic children changes EVERYTHING. I KNOW this is something the world as a whole doesn’t understand. I realize that I still have responsibilities but damn, cut me a break. I bet most parents with Autistic (or other special needs) kids have more on their plates then most “typical” families. I know that everyone’s problems are relative but let’s be honest how would most people survive raising 3 Autistic kids? My guess would be not very well. I can’t tell you how often I wonder if my kids would have been better off with different parents (or at least a different me). I say that only because my kids need and DESERVE so much better then I can do. As I was driving Elliott to school today (late mind you, cause for some reason we didn’t think he had school today) I was once again questioning the “divine” part in God’s “divine plan”. People who DON’T understand or DON’t know what to say always resort to it’s God’s plan. The absolute worst is when someone says “God never gives you more then you can handle”. Those people, well intentioned as they may be, have NO IDEA what they are saying.
Today is just a really bad day for me personally. I am run down and have to many things that HAVE to happen this week and not enough time, energy or other resources to make this stuff happen. I have to get the house “picked up” even though I know it doesn’t really matter to anyone but me. Emmett is part of a Autism study being done by Case Western called “Project Bridge”. This is a major study being done my a major University and we are lucky enough to be a part of it. BUT they are coming to my house on Wednesday. I hate having people over when my house is a mess. I know they don’t care but it just makes me feel like that much more of a failure….
Today I am a sad panda…….