All I want to do today is make progress on the things in my life. I want to get the house caught up, but I’m running into a problem. I’m so completely exhausted, I don’t have the energy or the motivation to do much of anything.
Being an Autism parent is a rewarding challenge. The rewards are fantastic, and the challenges are completely exhausting.
The exhaustion is on both a physical and emotional level. It impacts every single aspect of my life. To people on the outside, it may appear that I’m lazy, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m not lazy; I’m mentally and physically depleted.
It’s easy to assume otherwise. I’ve been on the receiving end of those assumptions many times, as have countless other Autism parents.
For me, it’s the extreme levels of constant, unending stress. Throw in a ten-pound bag of chronic sleep deprivation, and you get a huge, heaping helping of exhaustion. This isn’t the type of exhaustion that I can recover from easily either.
It takes its toll, and I’m left struggling to accomplish even the simplest of daily tasks.
The more I push myself to be everything my family needs me to be, the deeper I dig myself into a hole that I can’t climb out of.
This applies to any parent, but it takes a different toll on an Autism parent. The level of parenting that needs to be done requires an immense amount of time and energy. As a parent, my every instinct is to give all I have to my family, even at my expense. That’s what parents are supposed to do, right?
The problem with that logic is that I only have so much to give and the needs of a child with Autism, isn’t all that different from a black hole. Trying to meet the needs of my three kids with Autism, literally sucks the life out of me. Like a black hole, the gravity of their needs keeps me from always recognizing that I’m physically and emotionally bankrupting myself.
I know that sounds harsh, but I love my kids. I’m only trying to put into words what I experience as an Autism parent. It’s not something that can easily be put into words. Sometimes it’s better to simply be blunt, to convey the reality of the situation.
I wish that the world could better understand what this is like, because there are so many Autism parents out there, doing this each and every day. Imagine if the world understood and could lend a hand.
Autism may not touch your life today, but odds are it will at some point.
Other’s isn’t something we can just ignore, and it will go away. Autism is a lifelong human condition, and while some people will do okay, other people with Autism will profoundly struggle throughout life.
On the same token, parents of kids with Autism, may someday have an empty house, because their child has gained independence and flown the nest. Other Autism parents like myself, will never have an empty house because we will be raising and caring for our child with Autism for the rest of our natural lives.
That’s pretty heavy, but it’s completely honest.
I hope anyone out there struggling with any of these things, can read this and know they aren’t alone. There’s a lot of us out here. By connecting with each other, we can gain strength and inspiration from each others experiences, while gaining knowledge and insight from our differences.