I have read every single paper I’ve been able to find online about SIB in adults on the Spectrum. I’ve tried to apply everything they say to do and not do. I have tried to be as zen-like about this as I can possibly be.
I am feeling horribly frayed around the edges. I no longer know what it’s like to keep my cool. The more I think we’ve progressed, the harder it is to face the fact that here comes another massive meltdown that I cannot explain, followed by a wide-smile tantrum that I cannot sit through without feeling a terrible itch cover my body.
I have considered running away.
I then remember that Dada is at work, and I can’t leave the kid alone. Then I get angry because the kid is 21, and I shouldn’t still be doing this. Then I say to myself that it’s not his fault. Then I get angry with Mother Nature. Then I cry because I am obviously stupid and cannot handle this like a normal, intelligent, proper parent would.
Oh, don’t worry about me. You know I’ll start floating nicely and eventually I’ll paddle, but right now I’m just not feeling it.
I’ve caught myself muttering some pretty mean things when I’m irritated by yet another cycle of repeating the same simple instructions for the umpteenth time in a day. I don’t mean any of them, but I say them nonetheless. I cannot be the pretty, put-together, glossy poster parent of an adult with ASD. Or what people expect that to be… In truth we are all a small percentage cantankerous, monstrous crank, and we push that feeling down so we can do what we do without becoming horribly bitter. But the bile has to come up once in a while, and we might nitpick on things that have absolutely nothing to do with our children because it’s better than actually letting the cantankerous, monstrous crank loose on those we love. I, for example, would like to drop a piano on the new Daisy Duck and Minnie Mouse….and updated Dora the Explorer. And whatever the new Strawberry Shortcake and her friends are supposed to be representing…piano on them, too. And Bratz dolls. In fact, any doll that is just weird…like those vampire-like, ghoul-like Bratz-like dolls. What is THAT?
No, I don’t walk around like inebriated Elaine Stritch pointing at these toys and muttering vile insults in the toy aisle at Target…
but I’m doing it inside my head. It gets the aggressions out.
There are days when I feel like Michael Palin’s character as the end of A Fish Called Wanda approaches. I’m pretty sure I look like it, too.
Today I just feel like Bette Davis in the earlier scenes of Now, Voyager…but I think she was under her mother’s thumb more than I am under J’s. I would factor in, though, that I’ve needed a haircut for a while and haven’t had the time, and my skin could do with some kindness…
but the deer-in-the-headlights look is there.
I am not expecting to suddenly have the situation turn around so that I’m Julie Andrews spinning in circles on top of the mountain singing that the hills are alive, but I will settle gladly for a little Auntie Mame‘s misdirected optimism.
All I really wanted this morning was no hitting. I wanted to pace the day so J would be entertained, stimulated, happy, occupied with things that would keep his hand from pounding on him.
Since I can no longer have that…what do I do? I can’t call Ghostbusters. I can’t explain my plight to anyone who will understand (at least no one who I actually know, and who will empathize and say “there, there…we’ve all been there.”) I can’t yell at every telemarketer, or drop pianos on anything.
I can only hope that the end of the day will find me (US) sane and happy and whole. I can only hope that whatever dark cloud is marring J’s usually-partly cloudy disposition will pass, or rain already…all the thunder and lightning and no rain is ominous and frustrating.
So there we are on Friday: over the meltdown for today (hopefully,) hesitating about having the sitters come over tomorrow (what if he does THAT when they’re here????,) wondering what could be so overwhelming that it’s overwhelming him so much, and trying to keep it (whatever “it” is) together and failing.
I’m frayed. I’m frayed not like a new pair of jeans you paid too much money for, but the holes are strategically placed. I am frayed like a pair of beloved jeans that suddenly go soft in a spot and then softer and then your buttcheek is exposed and you realize there’s a pimple there, and you’re wearing your grungy underwear that you save for when you don’t care, but this time you’re at the grocery store and you run into people you know…and they recognize you from behind…
That’s how I’m feeling…