Tomorrow is December 1. The year is almost over. 2014 will be memorable for many reasons, not the least of which is that this is the year Earl and I get divorced. Our hearing is on Dec 16 and then we will be divorced. We are still living together for now and that is a function of circumstances. That D has certainly forced reflection on other D words. The despair you feel in going through a divorce, no matter the circumstances, is ever-present. Fortunately, we are focused on being amicable, if not for our own sanity, but for the sanity of our boys. People are constantly asking me, “how are the boys doing?”. To be truthful, I’m not sure. I have no benchmark, no sense of this, I’ve never had to deal first hand with divorce. Earl’s dad died at a young age, but his folks were still married, and my folks will be married 57 years in January. So basically my response is that I don’t really know yet, too soon to tell. I am a student of all things children related and I have been researching how to minimize the deep impact the divorce will have on the children. I have positive and negative examples all around me. The definitive thing, I’m finding is, how you and your soon to be ex-spouse relate. Model respect and good behavior. Do as I do, not as I say. Jason asks questions and I try to be as honest as appropriate. I tell him we love each other, but our family will be different. Bryan, however, asks nothing. This is alarming. Bryan knows all. He was the one standing outside the rooms when we were arguing, talking, and deciding. Bryan, like many kids with autism, is great receptively. He understands everything he hears. So how do I navigate Bryan on this unfamiliar course? How do I let him know none of this is his fault, if anything, autism bonded us, not the other way around. How do I answer the unasked questions? I have been trying to take the opportunities that present themselves. If we are alone, driving to speech, I tell him the custody arrangement. I tell him slowly and carefully. At night when he goes to bed I remind him that he is loved and precious, and in no way should he feel disregarded. It’s tough. Although he does not say much, he does say “we’re getting divorced.” It’s true, it’s not just Earl and me, it’s all of us. When he says that, it’s like taking a dagger; however, he does need to be able to say it. Bryan needs to be given the language for the situation. He certainly knows the concepts but what to say and how to express it are very challenging for him. He has not been sleeping well. Typically Bryan passes out or announces he’s going to bed, but lately he has been up “exploring his body” oy, and just feeling anxious. Puberty plus autism plus divorce equals delirium for the rest of us. I can’t think of the last good, fitful night of rest. Friday night he wouldn’t go to bed until after 11 and then was up since 3 am. He is not quiet, he is never quiet. He knows he is upsetting us, irritating us, driving us a little nuts. I feel for him; he can’t just say what he needs or wants to. At times I feel defeated, down, depressed. The “D”s of my 2014.
There is always another letter and another year. Looking for my “E” in 2015;to work on feeling empowered and energized.