Today has been tough, as I write this it is the evening of Christmas Day, my son has had a three hour meltdown, including an unexpected visitor at the door causing further distress.
Both me and my eldest have autism and are greatly affected by change and over stimulated environments. As lovely as Christmas can be to celebrate a time when families get together, it can be very difficult for an autistic person because it is out of sync to their routine. Not to mention the stress of new stimuli in the environment even though I and my son enjoy presents it can still contribute to anxiety.
The whole idea of a day where it is completely different from normal, unpredictable and long can take its toll. This normally exhibits itself in a meltdown due to struggling with how to deal with emotions.
The bright lights, the busy chaoticness of the day, the length of time together are all influences that can trigger an autistic person. It is hard even as an adult after experiencing Christmas several times in my lifetime I still struggle. I think the not really knowing what I am meant to do is tough.
This year I seem to feel more sad because I witness the autistic behaviour in my eldest more. I can feel his pain and I know this is so illogical and silly but truth be told part of me hates myself for being the risker of passing down the genes on to my son. No one really likes to see their child in pain, you want them to be happy and thrive. I don’t care if I get slated by the autistic community if I could take that pain from my son away I would in an instinct. Yes there are some super qualities but I would choose happiness over stress any day of the week. I want the best for my son, I don’t want him struggling, however the autism will always be a barrier and it is something we will have to manage. That doesn’t stop me from being sad. I love my son unconditionally with autism but if I could I would get rid of it. He is struggling in a neurotypical world, I can see pain now and that it is the hardest bit, seeing my poor boy struggle, I just want to protect him and see him happy. That is all.
Cheers for reading X
I thought I would share some things that impares me because of having aspergers.
I hate vangsness with answers. I like black and white. when people give me ambiguous answers I get worried and unsure as to do socially.
I can read facial expressions to a certain degree. what I am saying is that I can do the overly obvious but misleading ones I really haven’t the foggiest. I am not too keen on abstract ideas and clear, precise information. Although, ironically I am partial to a bit of abstract art.
Tied to the above point I am continuous misinterpreting voices. particularly when it comes to pitch and I be honest at times hubby’s tone really hurts my ears. I literally shout at him or I break down in tears over nothing much, for example do you want a coffee?
I am the not the best touchy feely person. I could go without physical contact for long periods of time. As a parent at times I have to force affection. This does not mean I don’t love my child, I do love them to the moon back, I would die for them. The problem lies with the sensory aspect that interfere with the bond.
I can not handle long periods of time in peoples company. However, saying that over the years I have grown to tolerate more of people. One of the biggest challenges as a parent is dinner time and at times I have to hand over the reins to my husband as I need a break and rest. The bickering between my two boys gets so loud that it is hard for me. I hope as the boys get older I can manage it more.
Sometimes, I may appear young in my behaviour and the way I interact. I can get excited, I tic and get repetitive with words and sway for comfort. In one sense that is why I get on with my children because of my youthful behaviour, the kind of behaviour I display is laughing in unapproachable situations. The urge to respond to the situation is so high that I therefore to aid the impulse have to dig nails into my skin or bite hard my tongue until the urge goes away. In some cases results in cuts and pains in my mouth because I can’t always feel pain at the times which really doesn’t help the situation.
Another problem I have is not always choosing the right clothing for the weather conditions. So, when it is really hot I have been know to wear long sleeves, black. Alternatively, when it is cold I forget my coat or wear saddles. Which is not very practical for me. This is also a problem with being an autistic parent in choosing the right clothing for my sons. My husband has to guide me even after five years I make mistakes.
Cheers for reading X
When I was a child I did this thing called masking, aka faking it and what this means is that I learnt the behaviour of others. The problem being is that if something changes that I can mess up badly because I can’t be flexible with my thinking. That is the one of the characteristics of autism is we manage change and see things black or white especially when it comes to learn.
I think it’s really hard being an autistic girl growing up because there is so much more pressure to be sociable then a boy. That all the boys got away with not getting noticed there for less social pressure. I used to absolutely hate being a girl because of this reason and I thought boys had it a lot easier or more relaxed attitude with regards to social and communication which suited me perfectly.
Now that I’m an adult I find it a bit more easier because I have more experience and knowledge but I still frequently mess up. If I am feeling anxious or if there is too much going on in my head can’t seem to focus on the rules. There are times when stressful factors cause me more brain power than normal and it is like I regress in my behaviour. That is why it’s so hard to measure autism, as it is not something that you can say x y and z it’s constantly shifting depending on the environment and mindset of that individual.
Since being a parent I have learnt that there are so many other social rules involved when bringing up a child.
I first it’s lovely when my children where new born as there is less pressure on me to be sociable but since my child has started school last year I noticed that there’s a hell of a lot more interaction going on.
Me being an autistic parent does affects my self esteem. A lot of the time I feel inadequate, especially as my husband is very good at communicating and engaging with others. It leaves me feeling really angry and frustrated. I know comparing is the worst thing to do but it coincides with me learning of other people.
I think one of the hardest and upsetting things is when people don’t see you as an individual but some sort of invalid because you’re autistic. They don’t look past the label or they do but then they just talk down to you in a condescending way. The thing is I am aware exactly what is happening, I just I don’t have the skills to communicate and express myself as clearly as other people do.
It has really made me feel quite low at times because I feel like I can’t give my child everything that a typical parent has to offer. I suppose that is why I enjoy the school holidays more because I don’t have to worry about the social things. The only downside is that when I return I have to deal with the social side of education and what not.I feel rubbish and I have felt very very low causing me to struggle to get up in the mornings. I have also learnt to avoid situations and tend to get my husband to do them tasks because it’s too upsetting at times to have to face the discrimination against me. I think that’s one of the saddest things about being an autistic parent is the fact that you deal with a lot of rejection or misunderstanding. I like my voice isn’t heard and again that familiar Outcast feeling appears.
Cheers for reading X
My feet hurt today as a result of over using them yesterday. I know so what?! Here is the think why I am talking about my feet is the fact I am autistic you see and my feet posture is not very good. I have always had problems with standing and the way I coordinate my feet.
I am so clumsy as well when I walk, I am guaranteed to trip up even if there is nothing there. The amount of bashing my toes into stuff and cursing under my breathe is unreal. My husband affectionately finds it funny.
I also shuffle my feet, especially when I am stressed. I am constantly getting told stop shuffling your feet like I am some kind of child.
You don’t realise how hard it is to put one foot in front of the other. It can be really challenging. I never really thought about my physical problems when I was younger and now as an autistic adult I am still learning.
It is my arms I struggle with – not really knowing what to do with them when I walk, I find them painful and just frustrating. It is like I have to train my mind to swing my arms when I walk. It is so difficult as I am rubbish at doing two tasks at the same time.
One of the major problems that I struggle with as an autistic person is using my spacial awareness skills and navigating around objects and people. I am not good at forward planning especially in a busy place where I am over stimulated with the sensory information. Sometimes, I get so overwhelmed that I need to sit down and take a moment to take a break because of how mentally exhausting it is.
If I don’t think about my walking and focus on it, I really struggle with bumping into things or trip up.
We as a human are meant to learn this skill at an early age and it to be developed. Therefore not having to think about it as it is a long term in implicit memory. It is wired in the brain so you don’t have to think about it, it is second nature. Being an autistic person we miss out on this opportunity and I do wonder before language evolved how many humans died due to lack of ‘natural’ skills due to having a different way of thinking.
So, therefore if you do wonder why do us autistic people get SO tired this is a little insight, because we have to constantly work our asses of and remembering all these ‘natural’ rules that people take for granted.
Cheers for reading X
Today I slept for so long, it was what I body so needed, time to rest my brain and body. I feel like I need to have a break every now again and shut down to help me compensate for all the pain and work that I put it through.
I think during half term school holiday I am working harder to socialise and be with others for longer periods of time. Don’t get me wrong I adore my children but being autistic it is challenging to spend so long with individuals.
I feel us autistic folk need time to hibernate and re-charge our batteries more than neurotypical people. I think one of the reasons is because I am working that harder to apply social skills that may not necessarily come naturally to me.
Then there is the emotional side where I beat myself up over my shortfalls to ridiculous amount. One of the reasons because you can’t help but compare yourself to other random people, even though you don’t know through social media.
I always view my autism as a battle, something I have to get up and deal with every single day. On top of that I have to deal with the internal battle of low self-esteem and dealing myself as a parent.
Most of the time I feel like I am blagging a this whole parenting thing and I put so much energy in to trying to function like everyone else that I burn myself out, hence the breaks and shutdown.
So, that is one of the many struggles I have as an autistic parent, it is never easy but I am thankful for my blog. It is true what they say that writing things down may not cure my situation but it is a place to clear my mind of the many thoughts that are buzzing around in my head.
Cheers for reading X