Confessions of an #Autism Dad: I’m emotionally struggling tonight

I’ve been trying to write all day and I just can string my thoughts together in a way that makes sense outside of my own head. In the spirit of Autism Awareness month and in an attempt to help you better understand what at least this Autism Dad is struggling with, here’s what I’m feeling tonight.

I’m exhausted.

I’m overwhelmed.

I’m beyond stressed out.

I’m totally emotionally drained.

I’m completely physically drained.

I’m finding myself in a dark place tonight.

I’m feeling seriously demoralized and beaten down.

I’m broken hearted for reasons that are too many to explain.

I’m conflicted because I know tomorrow’s a new day but it seems far away.

I’m doing the best I can but I can’t fix the many things in our lives that need fixed.

I’m struggling the most with feeling like I’ve failed my family and that’s eating me alive.

Being an Autism parent is a trial in many things. It may seem like our kids with Autism would be the most difficult of these trials but that’s not always true. Sometimes the most difficult part of being an Autism parent is facing, as well as dealing with our own demons, our own emotions and our own limitations.

I know that when I wake up, it will be a new day and a fresh start but that doesn’t make any of this easier for me to cope with at the moment.

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Becky Rogers Wiren

Sorry you are hitting the wall Rob. I know if I am nearing the end of the day and start feeling really depressed, I know I can hold on til tomorrow as my feelings may simply be due to exhaustion. Much, much harder to wake up and struggle at the beginning of the day. I imagine that having to detox from the Paxil plus the ever-present lack of sleep you get are making your down feelings much worse.

Jimmy Rock

Glad you read the article. Seemed to hit on a lot of the things you’ve been experiencing yourself. As for Dutch’s comment, I get where he’s coming from. I think he reads your blog, to a large extent, to be “entertained,” and he finds your posts about being overwhelmed to be boring. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Could your blog be more focused, with every single post having a larger meaning and having greater interest to an even larger audience? Sure, but that’s not you, that’s not your life, and that’s not this blog. Sometimes you just need to vent, and if this blog serves that purpose for you, then great, and if there’s people out there that like to say “I feel that way too” when you’re venting, then good for all of you.

I get what Dutch is saying though, and if you look at what he’s saying not as a critique of your post, but merely as a suggestion, just take it for what it’s worth, and move on. I think some posts of yours do exactly what he was suggesting, but that just wasn’t what this post was about.

I hope you find yourself in a better place soon.

Mel’s words

There are no words to fix how you’re feeling, but I think it’s great you can use this forum to get the thoughts off your chest a bit. I hope you can get a break soon and take care of yourself to feel better. Take care.

Dutch

It might be helpful (for not only the readers, but for you) if instead of repeatedly writing how overwhelmed you are, that you started writing about what you are doing to get over some of the things that are overwhelming.
Not what you plan to do, but what you ARE doing. I know I find it helpful to see what I have done instead of looking at everything I need to do.

Becky Rogers Wiren

Dutch, it is actually useful for Rob to just state his feelings. Because then people can relate to what Rob is going through. I know I’ve had dark times and knowing I’m not alone can help. Now, if my reading of psychology is correct, men tend to be the ones who instantly want to formulate a PLAN to fix a problem or problems. Whereas women tend to want to vent to relieve their stress and have others listen with empathy.

Now, Rob isn’t a woman but as a woman I’ve had dark times and knowing I’m not alone can help. So Rob’s post is helpful. And Rob does talk about strategies of dealing with his and his family’s issues, just not necessarily while venting. Finally, this is his blog so I figure he gets to say anything he wants the way he wants. But I wanted you to know that Rob’s venting isn’t useless to other people.

Dutch

I guess I will let the two of you get back to posting to each other then

I offered a suggestion that is literally proven to help. I forgot that was frowned upon here.

kimmy gebhardt

Hi Rob. I’m sorry you’re not doing well these days. I have to say that I get where Dutch is coming from. You want to help educate the masses about life with autism/autistic kids and about living with depression and you have a forum to do that. I don’t have autistic children but I have learned a thing or two from this blog, whether it was from you or someone who commented. While I might not be your target audience, I AM a taxpayer and a voter, so educating people like me and Dutch can only work to your advantage when it comes to voting in lawmakers who might be ‘on your side’, so to speak. Maybe I’ve missed the mark, but can educating more people ever be a bad thing?

kimmy gebhardt

I mentioned taxpayer because as someone who pays taxes, I am literally financing the life of your family and others like you. Because of that, I feel like you have such an opportunity to educate people like me (and Dutch) who might be ignorant of what those tax dollars are going towards. So many people (myself included) can judge or look down upon those who appear to be able-bodied yet are on welfare. I don’t know Dutch’s situation; he may be working 4 jobs to make ends meet or he may be living in the attic with Chuck Cunningham, but he does at times offer helpful advice. You like to call yourself a fixer, maybe he is too and he is offering that advice from a good place. I have offered advice on many occasions and for me, it comes from a place of “maybe he hasn’t thought of this” or “can’t hurt to try”. It’s just who I am. Maybe it’s who Dutch is too. I guess I’m not willing to write him off as overly critical just yet.

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