Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tell me when it is OK to come out again.

Today sucked. Actually, we've had a whole string of sucky days. Don't bother to read any further if you aren't in the mood for my whine-fest, because that's about all I can do with this. Usually I can find a positive spin for the stuff that isn't so great, but I just have no energy left to spin this.

Oliver has always been so incredibly passive. Almost to a fault. He goes along with a lot and tries over and over again when I ask him to do something that for whatever reason he just isn't getting. He isn't SO passive that he doesn't have wants and desires, thank goodness, but his way of getting what he wants, of asserting himself, is to keep at it over and over and over again until he either wears me down or is able to get it when I'm not paying attention. I mean in both cases, he hangs in there. He's persistent. He works the system.

But lately it is a different story altogether. When I tell Oliver "no" he has begun to go into a rage. He screams until I think it can't possibly go on much longer and then, well, it does. He's hitting and biting, both me and himself, and occasionally Sami. And he looks at me with such anger that I just can't fathom where it is coming from. The only things he wants to do are static: rolling playdoh into balls and then squishing them, running his fingers through the sand or sitting on the couch watching TV. When I try to engage him in any other activity he flies into a fierce rage. But it isn't just about Oliver asserting himself. There is something at work in him that I just don't understand. I mean why now? Who flipped the switch? My normally happy, smilely little boy who is game for anything has been throwing himself on the ground and angrily sobbing within minutes of waking every day. The first couple days of this had me feeling pretty angry about it. Angry at him and angry at the situation. But after 4 hours straight of this behavior today I just feel shaken and sad.

I called my neighbor who came over and gave me a hug and let me cry on her shoulder for awhile. I called my friend who called me back three times just to listen to me cry. I took Sami to the health department for his immunization and ended up sobbing in the exam room. The nurse, who had no idea what was going on, just handed me tissues and patted my hand. All I could offer her by way of explanation was: "I'm just having a really bad day."

Today I did everything I know how to do to help Oliver. I tried setting limits on his behavior. I tried giving him a role that would help him to feel competent and give him something to focus on. I tried soothing him. I tried going back to the most elementary push/pull activities. I tried getting out of the house. I tried staying in the house. Some of it worked for brief intervals. A couple of times I got him to regulate with me and even laugh a bit. But it was by far the smallest part of the day.

By tomorrow whatever this is that is going on had better be over or I'm asking for my money back. This ride sucks. I thought the bumpy part was over. I thought I had a handle on things and that I understood the game plan. But this? No way. I don't want this. It is just too fucking hard.

OK. That's it. I'm done now. Tomorrow will be better and I'll come up with a positive spin for all this in a few days. It will all become clear once the clouds lift and we see some sunlight.

'Cause tomorrow is going to be better, right?



  1. Well, that certainly sucks! If I were close enough I'd come over and let you cry on my shoulder or even take the kids for a bit so you could rest or something. Instead, all I can offer is understanding and supportive thoughts and words and prayers.

    I wish I had some magic insights or wisdom to share. Time of year? Change of seasons? Any changes in foods, meds, etc?

    Hang in there! BTW, you don't EVER have to spin for us! We're sticking around through the crappy times, too. xo

  2. Anonymous8:49 PM

    Sucks is right! I don't blame you for being angry and feeling this is too hard.

    The only suggestion I have is to give yourself and Oliver a mental health day tomorrow, take a break from the routine, and then hop back on on Friday. Maybe??? I have no idea.

    Hang in there! And hugs!

  3. This sucks :-(

    Vent all you want, girl. Autism is no picnic and it isn't what any of us signed up for. We're here for you.

  4. Yes, let's all demand a refund. Your day sucked. It was too much like mine. But someone said something to me today when I was crying on their shoulder. He sad, "Happy parents help make happy kids. What can I do to help you be happy?" I said, dirty jokes would be good. I said, let me vent, too. I will see if I can find some jokes to send you. And I promise I'm here listening.

  5. Right!

    It will get better. I say back off for a while. That is what I need to do once and a while. Go take a hike tomorrow, like the two of you like to do, and just walk. Just enjoy being next to each other again. You could both use the break. Don't put so much pressure on yourself either. What you are doing, being the mom and the teacher, is very brave, but also not easy.

    Also, I am thinking that this behavior of his is going to be followed by another big growth spurt. It always works that way. Hang in there, you know it will get better. He is doing amazing and his pushing and hitting might just be his way of telling you that he needs time to process all that he has been learning lately.

    Wish I was closer! {{{HUG}}}

  6. I just want to say that I know. It sucks and it is just too damn hard sometimes. I'm sorry you're going through this period. And while I agree with others that you don't need to spin for us, I do understand the desire to do so, I'm guilty of that as well.