#Autism Dad Confessions: I feel so much stress and pressure that I’m physically ill

Part of my job is to help the world at large better understand what goes into being an Autism parent.  A large component of that, unfortunately, is stress related. 

This post is all about the things that have me so stressed out at this point that I’m physically ill. 

Some of you will be able to relate while others may not but what matters most to me is getting the information out there. If these things go without mention, how will anyone gain a deeper insight into all that parents like myself have to go through. 

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It goes without saying that Autism is a major source of stress in my life. There are times that I hate Autism because of how difficult it makes the lives of my children and yet there are other times when I’m in awe of it. 
What I think people tend to sorta lose sight of is that parents like myself have to also deal with all the same issues as everyone else, on top of all that Autism, fragile health and serious mental health issues that make our lives so difficult. 

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One of the things that has me so stressed out is money. I’m currently in a situation where we temporarily lost our food benefits (due to a paperwork error) and my paycheck is going to be three weeks late. This has put us in a temporary but very difficult situation. 

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  1. Alyssa Rogers Williams

    Wow. I haven’t been back here in weeks and weeks (months) and while I feel sympathy my empathy isn’t quite at the same level. You’ve been on this same hamster wheel for years when I used to read the blog regularly until you experienced a breakthrough on your own with self determination . You’ve another mouth to feed again too now and as I have some disabled pals they’ve told me there are oodles of stay at home sources of income both you and Lizze qualify for. As for the things like leaves what a fun group chore that could be. For all of you, fresh air exercise and job done.

    You both don’t work so something like online editing (you’ve got a vast.body of work ) is completely feasible . Almost every major publishing house needs readers and editors. You would not be tied to a schedule, just a deadline. I’ve donated a small amount before to keep the site up when things for you were dire but just as you were on the cusp of true freedom and good things were headed your way you decided to turn backwards and return to the old stresses on top of your everyday ones.

    My husband and I rooted so hard for you. You had earned self esteem, were positive and upbeat about the unknown and exciting future. Returning to the despair and hardship just seems counterintuitive to all that truly happened. It’s your life/your choices but what happens to us is a direct result of our personal choices. I hope things pick up, but a paperwork error should not unduly delay payment. Appeal directly to department head and show proof the delay will result in essential services cut off and you have special needs children. Appeal to local media, do everything you can proactively do.

    I feel sorry and bad for you guys but how many years have you lived like this? Make a pro-active action list.

    There are also many ways to save money grocery wise. To eat healthily is expensive , I know, I buy all organic. But some restaurants have kids eat free.nights and churches welcome many visitors to weekly free dinners. (I availed myself of that in college a few times). Just once here or there wouldn’t hurt or actually join a large congregation that actively helps their poorer parishioners by providing food and lots of peripheral help. I’m not religious but I’d swallow a bit of religion to directly help my family.

    Good luck, to utilize the oft used GOT line, “Winter is coming” and while I live in a temperate zone year round your heating bills will escalate. I hope you can figure something out but ESPECIALLY if you aren’t getting money due to you because of a paperwork error, hell should be raised immediately. Best wishes.

      1. Braden,

        Please don’t feel obligated to read about and or root for us. This is just the way life is for us and so many other families out there raising kids with special needs. I do however, appreciate your feedback and wish you nothing but the best.

    1. When you read and see depressing posts, what you’re reading is the reality of being an Autism parent. While it can be very depressing, there are so many people who can relate.

      I’m not asking anyone to root for me or my family. My mission isn’t to garner sympathy but instead to make people aware of what families like mine go through.

      As for eating healthy, perhaps that’s more affordable where you live but here, it’s much more expensive. There’s way more to eating healthy than buying organic. That’s why we are seeking help from a nutritionist. It’s also worth noting that when sensory issues are in play, it’s hard enough to get the kids to eat period, let alone healthy and just trying is often very expensive and frankly, wasteful.

      The paperwork glitch you referred to was addressed the same day we became aware of it. Unfortunately, nothing with the government moves quickly and there’s nothing we can do because it’s out of our hands at this point.

      I’m very positive about the future because I know that things will be getting better, especially financially.

      I disagree that there’s been a return to despair in the sense that Lizze came home and now everything is negative.

      Correlation doesn’t always mean causation.

      My personal struggle is with Gavin. Throughout his young life, he will go through periods where he does really well but then things get worse for him. Behaviorally, he’s still doing amazing and I can’t really think of a single problem we’ve had in that area. Lizze and Gavin have a much, much better relationship now.

      Unfortunately, Gavin has also been experiencing changes in his health and that’s weighing very heavy on me. We don’t know what’s going on with his platelets and that’s scary.

      Even before Lizze moved home, he was slipping into a psychosis, which is historically something that happens every year. This time however, there were complications with his medications and we’ve been unable to really get this psychotic break back in check.

      Am I depressed? Of course I am. Am I negative at times? You betcha… Is this tied to Lizze moving home? Not at all. I suffer from depression and I’ve been very open about this. Depression or not, watching your child deteriorate before your eyes is something that is just bigger than I am. I’m not strong enough to go through this and be upbeat all the time because the truth is, I’ve begged God to let me take his place.

      I’m angry, heartbroken and exhausted but there are very good reasons for this.

      You don’t have to root for me but I do ask that you reserve judgment until you’ve walked in my shoes and experienced what I’m experiencing.

      I have nothing but respect for you and I thank you for your prior support. I’m sorry that my life choices have seemingly turned you away but I will do what’s best for my family and putting our family back together was what was best.

      I wish you and your family well.

      1. Alyssa Rogers Williams

        Thank you. It’s your life and I don’t wish anything but good things for you guys, and with Gavin’s situation more dire it seems than ever (I am truly sorry to read that) it just seems maybe, since your fam is reunited that now there’s two of you , maybe divide and conquer, reallly looking outside the box for short term solutions to the irritating problems (groceries, utilities) whilst obviously focusing on the major issues the most (Gavin’s health)

        Even what may seem like sharp criticism may have nuggets of truth. Peace to you all.

      1. Sophie,

        If it were that simple, it would have been done a long time ago. Lizze’s health has been a major issue for many years. She’s both unable to work and unable to watch the kids for more than a brief period of time. Gavin requires 24/7 care and that’s way more than she’s able to do. For that matter, it’s more than I can do sometimes.

        Chronic illness is something that some families have to contend with. While emotionally Lizze is much better, physically she’s very limited.

        I really appreciate your concern and I know it comes from a good place… ☺

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