I learned something today about resilience or about myself or both. I had a shitty weekend. I admit that I was looking forward to going back to my nice quiet office. I love my family so much, but Bryan was more than a handful this weekend. He was about 5 handfuls and my nerves are shot. I have some other issues too and the combo just pushed me into such a bundle of anxiety I truly felt like this could be a Thelma and Louise moment. But then a few interesting things happened. First thing was I got to work and got out of my own head. I focused on my tasks and somehow things got lighter, and as I accomplished a few things, I felt like maybe I could deal a little bit. I realized also that I am not the kind of person that can mope at work. I just can’t. I am better off trying to make fun of my issues than feeling sorry for myself. I guess that is my coping mechanism and although it’s sort of weird, I think it’s easier for most folks to accept. I made it through the day and was driving home and called one of my friends who is both empathetic and sympathetic. She has children with autism and we can usually laugh at things like inappropriate screaming and peeing. blah blah blah. I called her and when I said hello, she just fell apart crying. It turns out she needed me more at that moment than I needed her. I wanted to say, hey this is my crying call not yours, but of course I didn’t do that. As we talked through stuff I think we both felt better; she unloaded and I realized I am not alone with my problems, frustrations, and anxiety. So what started out as a cry for help turned into an opportunity to help someone I truly love, and that always feels good. Gee now I’m going to do some ironing. Paradise, here I come.
So just got back from dinner with my parents. A little Friday night chinese food. About halfway through the meal a woman, about mid 60s, comes over to our table-at this point i’m thinking oh no, she’s going to say something about wanting Bryan to quiet down, but no, unbelievably enough, she is stopping by to compliment us. She and her husband were sitting behind us and she said she has been working with autistic children for 30 years. ( for the record, I don’t say “autistic”, I say a person has autism-more about that later). She said she thinks Bryan is behaving so nicely and that we are doing such a good job with him. How nice is that?? It made my night. After dinner I went over to thank her again and she was again saying how she could tell right away that he was autistic (ugh) and that we were doing such a good job with him. At this point my mom was crying and I just felt so grateful that there are still people in this world who can say nice things to people just to be nice. It made up for the fact that I got a fortune cookie with no fortune!!
Oh the autistic thing. I don’t like to say that because I think it defines someone too much. Bryan has autism, he also has black hair and brown eyes, and is incredibly smart and sweet. Just my two cents.
Hello, I have wanted to create a blog for a long time. It is not because I feel I am so eloquent or so smart, but rather I thought this would be a good place to share some thoughts, get some good ideas, and find out when I’ve gone too far!! I am a 40+ Mom of two boys, Bryan who is 11 and Jason who is 8. Bryan is sweet and loving and on the autism spectrum and I’m sure many of my posts will be about him and the journey of a parent and family with a special needs child. Jason is delicious and mature beyond his years. Jason is the best brother on the planet. He gets it. He really understands autism. How is that possible?
I work full time. That is both a good and bad thing. I love working and love my job, I am an attorney, but don’t practice. I work for a company in their Procurement Dept. negotiating IT contracts. I love contracts, they have a definite beginning and end a d negotiating is invigorating. However, I am guilty all of the time. Guilty when I’m not with my boys and guilty when I’m not at work. I know I’m not alone, it’s just something I needed to say.
Autism is also a good and bad thing. It is hard and frustrating and downright debilitating to both my son and our family. Yet it has also given me some of the greatest gifts in the world; appreciation of the small things in life, like having a simple conversation with Bryan, friendships with people who share this journey and just the ability to need nothing more than just a good night’s sleep to make me truly happy. So it begins…