Insight From an Autism Mom
The following is a post from my dear friend, Karen Zappettini. She is the mother of a girl with high-functioning Autism, and a gifted writer. She has seen the inside of Autism, felt the loneliness and the whole range of emotions, and truly understands what an Autism parent goes through.
I felt that her writing deserved recognition. Please grant her your time, as you read this. Please open your heart to her words and the feeling behind them.
Mommys Mental Meltdown
We all have “those” days. We are going along, and then we stub our toe on the leg of the table,and everything we have been holding inside come’s out of our mouth like a dam that has broken !! It start’s with unlady like words, and then moves on to ” I feel useless.” Why can’t I get it right. Why doesn’t the family help.” I don’t know how much more that I can take. I can’t do it. I don’t want to do it. I am tired. “Where are all my friends” I feel so all alone…. God, this is so hard !! Then we cry..
People have said to me : “How do you do it”? Well, how do I answer that? We all do it because we have to for our child. I remember hearing count your babies fingers and toes when they are first born. If the have them, they are perfect.. Well, most of our children have all their fingers and toes . No one ever mentioned the possibility of Autism, ADHD, Sensory, etc.. we started to notice “things” gradually, and worried to ourselves..
Then, one day (usually after much fighting to get our children evaluated) we get the diagnoses.. There is a reason and a medical term for our children’s unique personality. We discover, rather quickly, that there is no easy remedy (for lack of a better word) to help our children exsisit in the Neurotypical world..
We are not perfect. We do not walk on water. Truth be told, we walk on “egg shells” constantly. Waiting for the next issue to arrive. Worried about any possible triggers. Always questioning ourselves and our response when dealing with our child.
There have been many studies that show that Mother’s of children with Special Needs, have the same type of stress levels as a soldier in combat… Now, for me personally, I think I could never be compared to our soldier’s who are in harms way, every day. For me, I could not imagine the fear they live with.. It is thought, that we live on the edge daily. Our bodies react in the same way as a Soldier in combat. We never know what is waiting for us around the corner.We are constantly trying to navigate our way through a mine field. Every step we take, must be carefully thought through so that we do not cause an expolsion. We actually show signs of PTSD. Just the fact that our bodies stress levels registers the same as those in combat, says a lot.
Have you ever watched a Roller Coaster and thought “There is no way I am riding that” We see all the loops and drops. Now, have you ever been to a Disney Park and rode “Space Mountain” ? It is in the dark. You don’t know where the next turn or drop is. You try to prepare your body for the next turn, and you brace yourself for a right turn, and it turn’s left instead.. You get tossed around quite a bit because you cannot see or prepare for what is coming next.. Well, that is us. We ride “Space Mountain” every moment. We can’t get off…
So, the next time you feel down or sad, Go ahead a cry and get mad, but; never beat yourself up. Reach out to those of us, who are on the same Roller Coaster ride. We have your back. we understand.. You are never alone xx