On the side line 

Hey readers,

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Twin Mummy and Daddy
Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs

Half term tiredness

Hey readers,

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Parenting is hard at times

Hey readers,

Today I just want to curl up in a ball and hide away from the world. I have had a really difficult day looking after a really energetic child. It didn’t help that when walking into town my son decided all he wanted to do was just scream most of the way and chanting that he wants daddy. It is unbelievably exhausting especially as I am so sensitive to hearing because of my autism.

Then in the afternoon I just constantly had to deal with this mental  battle in my head that if I am not entertaining my child 24/7 then somehow I am a rubbish parent. It is a constant battle that occurs in my own head and the sad thing is, is that it is all made by me. No one has told me that I am rubbish, it is just me putting so much pressure on myself, probably some guilt around being autistic and having shortfalls that other parents don’t have to deal with. However, today my anxiety is so high that I am left with a killer headache because I am so tense from my self-inflicted anxiety. I have already had a panic attack and sometimes when so bad I am fearful social services will come and take my child of me simply because I had the TV on to much or I am a bit rubbish at communicating.  It sounds silly writing this down but at the time them fears are real and frightening.

Why is it so hard to find a middle ground, I suppose this is always my problem never really reaching that right balance of moderation. I have always been extreme because that is just simply the way my brain is wired. I am all or nothing, so naturally it would seem down into my parenting. I think because a lot of things is down to not communicating and no ‘rules’ as such I find it difficulty to manage. All the things that I am good at are structure based and have a step-to-step system, it is what I excel at. I am not good at ambiguous. I never have and I don’t think I will ever have the skills no matter how many times I try. SO, basically I need to accept me for who  I am and instead of putting me down, embrace them skills and use them to my advantage,. I think this is one of the biggest learning curves for me as an autistic parent to master.

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But I will say truefully with having such energetic child who will not sit still or does not want to engage in anything longer then five minutes is tough. Especially, when at times where I am by myself and feel like constantly breaking down with fear of how am I going to get past the next three hours?
I hope this stage gets easier and that I can relax and enjoy parenting a bit more and less of a pain in the arse chore that I have to get through.

I feel awful for writing this but this is the truth, this is how I feel at times. Don’t get me wrong other times parenting feels like a breeze especially when there is another parent to help out. But currently with my 3 years old child you it is solid work and really has an ability to have a knack at pushing my buttons.

Cheers for reading X

Outsider

Hey readers,

Sometimes, I struggle to accept that I will always be the outsider on the outskirts looking in. At times it feels really lonely, like I am some kind of alien that does not really fit in anywhere or with anyone.

Even in my own home when I mess up, I feel isolated. It hurts to know that I will always mess up because I don’t have the skills. Whether at home not getting my words right, or in a shop and knocking things over because I am clumsy and have poor co-ordination. There is not a week where I don’r I feel total acceptance with myself and who I am.

Maybe, it is because when I was younger being autistic I was not allowed to express my difficulties and therefore not heard. I felt I could not be open, therefore bottled it all up and masked this person that was not me but thrust upon by others to be that way.

It is horrible when you are left to feeling a fraught. I don’t want anyone to like me but it would of been nice if someone did not judge me and just listen without criticism. Sometimes, all you need is someone to sit and listen without casting judgement. It may only be a small gesture but it makes all the difference to be open and free to express myself.

There are times when my husband gets so frustrated, he wants answers and I can’t always provide or know what I am ‘meant to say. I don’t have the words that I can express myself clearly like he can. It is such a struggle to live in an NT world where you are meant to know your mind and as I am an adult now even more so.

At times I am a child, I am not going to lie about that fact, I  need simple things like quite time and a blanket to help get me through the  rough ride of life.

There are times feel like I just want to shutdown and stop the noise going on in my head.  But being a parent it just feels like I am constantly on a conveyor belt wanting to get off.  I am continuously having to adapt and change because my children are developing over a fast period of time.

In childhood it is made up of different stages, each time I have to learn something, I then have to go on and alter the way I am as an autistic parent to suit that situation .

This comes with mighty dips in mood because it is new and therefore it is all learnt and manually wired into to my brain, as nothing is natural for an autistic parent.

It is so hard to deal with the changes that come with raising a child. I am not sad emotionally like some mothers when seeing there child grown up

 'oh my I am so heartbroken my baby is a toddler now'

but dealing with the mechanical side. For instance, making sure I speak a certain way that is suitable for the child’s age at that time or another example is learning to find the balance of supporting and allowing the child to be independent. As we all no with autism greyness is somewhat a struggle.

So, you see being an outsider is constant whether it be learning new information, communicating or working on personal relationships. It is non-stop work mentally for me and maybe that is why I get warn out so fast.

Cheers for reading

This time of year

Hey readers,

This time of year when it is the build up to Christmas I struggle with. The whole time feels intensified and crazy that it gets to me and though it does not affect me straight away, I can guarantee without a shadow of a dealt I will have a meltdown during the festive period.

I have autism and for me one of my struggles is socialising and sadly it appears a social rule is to meet all the people you know in a short period to spend some quality time with.

My problem is I can do social but really have difficulties with long periods with people, not getting a break and dealing with people who I may only see once or twice of year. I need my time on my own to calm down.

It can be hard because other people might not understand my disability and may interpretate my behaviour as being cold and not welcoming.  They don’t understand I need time to myself and breaks because it is so mentally challenging trying to mask and put on this friendly person when really at times I just want to tell everyone to fuck off with the rubbish. All these random social rules with all the niceties, when most of the time people don’t really bother. But because it is Christmas it is about family and we have to adapt these weird rules during Christmas. There so much social  pressure and I struggle to mask my trueness for long periods of time.

I have to hold my tongue  and monitor the things I say, because I am an adult and not many people expect autistic adults, especially female to behaviour childlike. God forbid you’re an autistic woman with children, I should know better and it is outrageous to even think about behaving oddly. They presume if we behave childish then we definitely made the wrong decision to have children and probably wondering why aren’t social knocking on the door.

Why do I do this, get involved in this social situations? Well to be perfectly honest wit you I am so desperate to fit in that I put the pressure on myself and other times I am wanting to keep my hubby sweet.

But after all the hype, all the energy into communicating, new environments, new dynamics and the pretense that I have to deal with I am left feeling exhausted. My bones will ache for days after, I will cry a shed load and my mind will basically collapse as it has used all my stored up resources to mimic neurotically people.

So yeah I am miserable cow, but do I have the right to be? who’s needs get priority, how much can I be accepted before being called childish.

Then after all the palava I am left feeling deflated and depressed. Wondering what the point is and why autism is such a bitch. It causes a rift between me and  my hubby. Ok he knows some bits about autism but he also has his own agenda and it is not always easy for him to see my point without probably thinking I am being selfish or there is so much for him to deal with that he needs a break.

Cheers for reading.

Spectrum Sunday

Losing my tiny little mind

Hey readers,

Warning frank and honest post!

I feel like shit, I an autisitic and I am looking after a 4 and 2 year old. My youngest went to nursery earlier and I took the eldest out to teach him to fly a kite. Being autistic is tough and being an autisitic parent is double tough. Constantly feeling like you are winging it and crippled with the guilt of having set backs that some parents don’t have. Worried how fucked up my children will be, never thinking that maybe they might be really understanding others. Because the media gives the impression all the time that parents with disabilities are bad for their development. I an negative, My glass is mostly half empty. I suffer from depression and anxiety. Both conditions interact with my thoughts and most of the time I feel dread of how I am going to manage mentally through out the day. Doubting whether I am doing right or wrong. Spending not enough time or spending too time thay they are clingy and not independent to play by themselves. It’s exhausting trying to get a balance right. I am trying to better myself to accommodate my faults. Paranoid at every stage because I worry about Autism and how that influences me as a mother. The only one good n
thing is I have successfully done was today teaching my son to fly a kite. I’m so proud of myself. OK it is not a lot but for me that is amazing achievement, especially as I did it all by myself. On the flip side I’m exhausted from my DS1 constant questions and attention seeking that I am pooped all afternoon. I have hardly been present and zoned out frequently. Now I feel really down and worry about being such a crap mum. Isn’t it frustrating being an autisitic mum you having to work with unconstructed grey areas that are constabtly shifting.

Anyhow don’t really know what the point of this post is other then if you are a autisitic parent questioning or doubting themselves then your not along with the battle!

Cheer for reading X

Sons, Sand & Sauvignon