Gosh another week gone and I had great plans to write about my parenting journey, blah blah blah. Instead, I sit here this evening exhausted! Mentally, physically and oh boy! emotionally. Today has been a really tough day yet at the same time it has been a contributor to my journey of learning and has also left me feeling very close to a couple of women folk in my home ed group and dare I say it, newer circle of friends.
As some folk know, I am on a journey of discovery as I learn about aspergers and how it is touching our lives as a family. Beren is due to be assessed next month but I know without a doubt that he has this neurological disorder and I have known this since he was a baby.
Beren and I haven't had an easy time of it. His arrival (I am still hesitant to call it a birth, when he was ripped from my belly that was sliced open) was traumatic for both him and me. The repercussions continue to this day and our relationship is at times difficult, without the added mix of an ASD.
So what did I do today I hear you ask (or did you say "get on with the bloody story!"). Today was day two of a workshop run by Autism Training aimed at parents and carers. Today was the day we did mini round table workshops specific to our needs. We chose three from a selection of nine. Yesterday we just listened as they talked about parents, kids, school and how they work together. Not overly relevant to a home schooler but a good chance to meet other families and network. Today was confronting to say the least. This was the chance to talk about behaviours, difficulties and such and perhaps get some answers and hints. Today I cried and inside I am still crying and trying to hold it together until my kids go to bed.
Listening to other parents tell of the yelling, hitting, screaming, lack of communication, sadness, pain, heartache and so much more and be nodding in agreement. To say out loud that your child does these things too, that your child is 'different' breaks me apart. This is not what I ordered! I want my money back. Parenting is so fucking hard at the best of times without this thrown into the mix. To be facing what you have suspected for near on eight years and admit to yourself there is a problem is hard. It has been easy to make excuses, to say he is just defiant, stubborn, naughty, wanting attention, disrespectful and so on but the time has come to pull my head out of the sand and do something. Why? I could continue as it is but that would mean reacting to him and not helping him as such. This requires proactive behaviour on my part and for that I need to accept and face what is happening.
As I said my relationship with Beren hasn't been an easy one. I never felt that mother/baby bond when he was born, in fact I don't think I really started to feel any bond until he was around six. He was difficult as a baby, toddler, pre-schooler. I was crippled with severe depression and anxiety. What a cocktail for disaster!
I was extra good at compensating and making excuses. When he was a toddler who couldn't be left in a room on his own with his baby sister for fear he would seriously injure her and we made excuses. Oh he is just jealous, he doesn't understand, he is only little. When he was three/four and would deliberately tread on, pinch or push tiny babies at playgroup I made the excuse that he was stressed over his parents separation. When he screamed, hit and yelled at home it was because he was tired/hungry/thirsty. I always had a reason because I feared the worse and feared the subsequent label.
I have severe depression and anxiety. I take medication and seek a psychologist when needed, if I didn't I wouldn't function as a production human being, let alone mother and at the very worse end of the scale I would be dead. I acknowledge that I have a mental illness and I make a point of telling people because I strongly believe that if one person knows they are not alone and feels better because I have spoken then I have done some good. Bugger this whole stigma thing! Lets save some lives!
I question why I feel so differently and have avoided for so long doing something for Beren. I guess even the best of us hate the thought of something happening to our kids. Even when our bond was the most fragile I was his carer (if not his mother) and wanted to do no harm, yet now I feel that if I don't become proactive I am doing more harm.
I don't want to cause further problems for him by responding to his needs inappropriately.
I want to help him to cope out in the big world.
I want to help him to be able to not just communicate with others but to start a conversation with someone.
I want him to be able to answer someone's question.
I want him to be able to ask for something.
I want him to make friends or at the very least be able to play with others.
I want him to realise his potential and to reach it.
I want him to be proud of himself and have self confidence and self love.
These are the things I want to give to him to enable his journey through life and to make it a little easier.
I strongly suspect his father has aspergers too. He also has depression and anxiety. He has no social life and often goes days without talking to anyone. As it is he rarely communicates with me and at a minimum with the kids when they are at his house. He doesn't seek help as he says no one can help him.
I don't want this for Beren. I want him to know that he can reach the stars if he chooses and that there will always be people there to help him if he needs it!
Read some more motherheart stories at seven cherubs
or thousand word Thursdays at Toushka