For a number of reasons, the last few weeks have been physically and emotionally exhausting. There are a million reasons for this but I’m not going to talk about everything. I just want to focus on the ones that may be the most helpful to parents out there living in the trenches on a daily.
I have so many positive things in my life and I appreciate every single one of them. There are other things going on that weigh heavy on me, cause me to feel overwhelmed, unsure, and even alone.
I’ve been talking about some of the school-related difficulties and how as a parent, I’m just trying to do the right thing. The school issues have been going on since returning from Christmas break. I’ve been incredibly overwhelmed and emotionally drained because navigating all of these things has been challenging, especially as a single parent. To be honest, trying to make major decisions about my kid’s education, their future, and their emotional wellbeing reminds me how much it sucks to be doing this alone.
The kid’s mom is as helpful as she can be from a distance and I do appreciate the help but it’s not the same as having someone with me in the trenches, helping me navigate through all the shit that needs to be overcome in order to reach the other side.
It is what it is and sometimes the right thing isn’t the easiest path to take but as a human parent, responsible for three human children, it’s par for the course. This is especially true when additional needs are added to the mix.
Anyway, after a month of trying to resolve the bullying-related issues at school, Elliott’s mom and I decided that it was best to pull him from his current school and enroll him somewhere else. Elliott had done his own research and found that the local public high school might be a really good fit for him. After I checked into it, I got the process started.
Friday marked a very big day here in The Autism Dad household.
Elliott left his high school of roughly 60 students in total and began a new journey at the main high school in our local district. There are 1,200 students in the building and it’s the first time he’s been in a mainstream environment since preschool. I was so nervous but Elliott was very confident and took on his first day like a total boss.
His mom took him for his first day because I ended up having to take Emmett to get a tooth pulled first thing Friday morning. It was an emergency appointment, so it was very last minute. We had no choice but to divide and conquer. She did a great job of getting him all set up on his first day.
After getting home from Emmett’s dentist appointment, I kept myself busy, which wasn’t too hard because I’ve got a lot of work coming in. I was worried and having a harder time than usual in the ability to focus on my work department, because I know how rough high school can be, especially for the new kid. When I saw Elliott walking out of the building after dismissal, with a big smile on his face, I immediately felt better. He had a good day and while there are many adjustments that will need to take place, he feels good about the change.
He only knows a few kids there, so making new friends is going to be important but he can totally do that. It will take some time but he likes the environment and how modern the school is compared to his old one.
This new school is neck-deep in the 21st century, which is really cool. Each student receives an iPad and all their books, homework, etc are digital and contained in the iPad. There are new doors opening up for him and I’m excited to see where some of these doors lead.
Having this go as well as it did has brought me a little peace. It’s only been one day but he’s off to a good start but I’ll take it.
Work has been getting busier and busier as the year moves forward. That’s a positive thing, brought on because I’m more confident in myself, and my name is getting out there. I have some opportunities that I’m currently weighing and I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I feel like these are amazing opportunities for growth and networking but they don’t necessarily pay the bills right now. I’m trying to make sound business decisions but doing this on my own is not without its challenges, especially when it comes to these more difficult decisions.
I’m still locked out of Facebook and it’s been almost a month. While I can personally live without Facebook, it’s a necessary evil for work. My two-factor authentication is still broken and I’m pulling every string I have to pull and calling in whatever favors I’ve been saving up, but I’ve made little progress over the last four weeks. It’s frustrating because I’ve taken a decent hit to traffic as a result of not being able to share to Facebook or connect with my followers that tend to hang out on Facebook. I’m still able to use Instagram but I fear that is on borrowed time because it’s connected to my Facebook account and if I get logged out, I won’t be able to log back in. I wish I could just walk away from social media altogether sometimes but as I said, it’s currently a necessary evil.
I’m trying to find a balance that works but my foundation isn’t as solid as I’d like, so it’s taking some time to get my footing. I do believe in myself and what I’m doing. I know I’m good at it and it’s not only helping people but it’s also opening doors to financial security, which for an autism parent, can be difficult to establish sometimes. I’m grateful for all of that but I’m also overwhelmed and exhausted.
I’m overwhelmed by the house and haven’t made much progress since finishing the living room. That’s not okay.
I had my initial appointment to get evaluated for ADHD and learned that it’s going to be a challenging, time-consuming process that won’t be done for several months at the earliest. In talking with my doctor, I learned that I’m going to need to explore many of the things I’ve worked very hard to keep buried deep in the abyss that is my mind.
We discussed my PTSD and how not dealing with it can cause some of the symptoms I’m experiencing. We only briefly dug into that but it was enough to bring me to tears. I don’t like thinking about those things and I try very hard not to but I’m going to have to find the courage to face these things from my past in order to better navigate my present. Much of this stems from my time as a medic. I don’t really have any baggage from the fire fighting side but I have lots from the emergency medical side. I was young and saw things that I just can’t unsee. The things involving kids are the hardest for me to let go of. Especially, if I wasn’t able to save them.
There are only a few people I’ve ever opened up to about these things and it’s really hard for them to relate because most people never experience these things. I miss the brotherhood from the fire department but that’s all in the past and there’s no going back.
My focus is self-improvement. I’m working hard to continue forward progress. This is something I’m going to have to go through in order to hopefully put it down and walk away from it. Life isn’t supposed to be easy and it can be downright messy at times. I always try to remember that what is now is not necessarily what will be later. I know that’s not easy to see but for me, it’s important because it helps me to remain focused on forward progress. Sometimes I get wrapped up in worrying too much about where I am right now because I wish I was farther along. I fail to see that where I am right now is just a stop on my journey and is often progress, in and of itself.
I don’t know. I feel like my head can be a messy place to live in sometimes and I have no idea if this will make sense to anyone other than me. At the very least, it felt good to write again. This is what I’ve been up to recently, so now you’re all caught up.
Empathising with your not being able to concentrate on work while you’re anxious about the boys. So glad to know that the first day went well and that you had good support in that.
PTSD is a tough one. Sometimes I stay busy and can keep it down, but in the night it sometimes stops me from sleeping (related to loss of family members),so I just don’t know how you cope with that when you have the boys to care for. One thing I know: you’re amazing. Keep up
the great work.