Archive for February 21st, 2013

Crash!

Have you ever been surprised at your own emotion? At your own total breakdown? At your big ol cry?

Yeah, well, that was me today.

I’ve really been struggling lately with discipline, respect, obedience …. I’ve tried everything I know to do. While I can usually laugh and write a funny blog post about the latest adventures and the latest idea I have about training my children, the truth is that living it is very, very difficult sometimes. The truth is it’s hard and feels hopeless.

I decided earlier that I would call in a friend I’ve employed in the past. She has helped us with communication and technology with Chloe in the past. But while she was in our home helping with those things, she always had tons of input and great ideas on everyday life. She is the mom of two adult children with autism, and I have a lot of respect for her. I had decided I would call her in to help me with this impossible discipline situation. With the goal being to make my child likeable … to make him someone I don’t mind being around.

That’s pathetic to admit. But that’s where we are. Ever been in a place of just not enjoying your child? If not, just know it’s a painful place, a desperate place.

I picked him up from school today. He was whining and complaining before the van door was even closed. He repeated his annoying questions. He repeated his complaints. He used a terrible unkind voice. He used a whiny voice. I thought my ears, throat, and eyes would just bleed. It was terrible.

I finally pulled the van over calmly. I instructed him to get out of the van and close the door. Then I wanted him to open the door and get back in so we could just start over. We needed to start over because all he had been doing was trying to make me crazy for the last 10 minutes. While he thought this action was a bit out-there, he didn’t argue because he knew it was true.

He got out and then back in. I greeted him as if it were the first time I’d seen him since going to school this morning.

When I asked him how his day was, he replied, “Ohmygosh!” with such hatred and disgust. And I lost it.

I slammed on the brake (that’s always dramatic, isn’t it??) and turned around and said so very harshly to him through my gritted teeth so as not to just growl in frustration, “Don’t you ever say that to me again. I am so tired of that  and of that horrible disrespect! Yes ma’am??”

And then I peeled out.

Yeah, nice. I know. I lost it. I totally lost it.

On down the road a bit, he said something else. I don’t remember what. But the tears started falling. I fought it like crazy, but I was about to break down and bawl. And Mama doesn’t bawl in front of her kids. Mama doesn’t bawl in front of anyone. And it is not safe to bawl while driving.

I kept drying my eyes and fighting back the belly cry, the heart cry. I don’t experience this whole emotion thing enough to know that when you fight it as hard as I was fighting it, it makes it incredibly difficult to breathe. I tried to drive, wipe tears, keep my face from twitching into awful shapes, and trying now and then to fill my lungs with air. It was surprisingly torturous.

When I got home I asked my oldest if he would get his sister to her room for me, and I ran off to my room and closed the door. I laid on my bed and bawled. I cried the ugly cry. The cries were coming from my toes and choking the air from my lungs. I was crying quietly so my children wouldn’t know I was crying ….

You get the point, yes?

It’s ugly to admit. It’s ugly to talk about. But it’s life. And I want you to know that sometimes when we aren’t laughing about teaching the neighbors curse words or enjoying making Valentine’s, that life is just plain hard. I try my best to hide it. I do my best to pretend to the world that we are just an average everyday family. While a mama breaking down and crying is probably ordinary and normal, it’s experiences like this that really drive home to me that we’re not ordinary and normal. I happen to have a family that has some really unique needs. I happen to be part of a family that struggles and works hard to maintain order and … to just live life.

So, yes, I had a big ugly cry. I had a hard time. I broke down. And I’m feeling desperate to save my boy.

So… what’s for dinner?

…on with life! 😉

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