My Daily Dose of Autism

Yesterday was a great day, just like today. That is–until a total meltdown took place. Tonight’s meltdown is still continuing. I’m not sure what the exact causes of these meltdowns are, but it’s definitely brought me to my breaking point.

Last night’s meltdown took the cake. We had a great day at the the playground, I was so relieved and excited about finally finishing school, and it was time to unwind and relax for once. I had put on a video for Carter to watch while I took care of some laundry.  I called out to Carter that it was time to take a bath and he started fussing. I guess that was him telling me that he didn’t want to. He was into his video. Well, I insisted. I’m the boss and I am the one who says when bath time will be.

Carter threw a major fit. He had done this before, but today I was not prepared for it. He kicked and screamed and screamed even more when I undressed him. He threw his head back and flung his body around. This made me very angry because I was afraid he was going to hurt himself.  When I put him in the tub, you would have sworn the water was scalding hot and melting his skin off. That’s how much he was screaming.  I had to get into the tub with him to get better control of his squirming body. He did everything he could to not be in that water. He wrapped his legs around me and made it difficult for me to do anything.

It was when he looked at me in my eyes and I saw the terror in his. I remembered a video I had seen about an autistic girl who said that sometimes she feels like her body is on fire.  I wondered if Carter was feeling something that I knew nothing about. Suddenly it wasn’t about me showing him that I was the boss and making him take a bath. His eyes were trying desperately to tell me something that his screams weren’t getting through. I finally lifted him out of the tub and just held him. Things were calm for a second until he threw his head back again and nearly busted it against the door frame. This just made me angry again.

I snapped. I screamed. I spanked him. He screamed. I screamed some more. The lack of communication killed me. My patience disappeared. I grabbed his face and made him look at me and warned him that he better stop. It didn’t do any good. The yelling, the spanking, the threats. He continued his rampage and out of frustration, confusion, and sleepiness, I continued mine.

This lasted for what seemed like forever. I turned off his bedroom light and told him it was bedtime and this just made things worse. If that was possible. I finally got him to lay down in bed and I layed with him.  He fell asleep in just a few minutes. I took a deep breath of relief and just cried. He cried himself to sleep and I felt like I could do the same. I went to my room and put on a movie that I couldn’t watch. I just felt so defeated. So bad and so angry. So helpless. I was so tired of being patient. Sometimes, it’s just not easy to be a perfect mom. It’s not so easy to keep it together. I cracked. I’m flawed. I’m human. I fall apart and just pick up the pieces and move on. Conquer the next battle or get conquered. Either way, it’s tough and it takes a lot out of me. I’m not always as strong and composed as I seem. 

Tonight was a repeat of last night, but not as long.  Carter is asleep now and I think it’s my turn. It’s been a rough weekend.

4 thoughts on “My Daily Dose of Autism

  1. Gretchen says:

    I’ve been reading your blog lately, Jamie. It’s never easy to be a perfect mom, there’s no such thing. You are the perfect mom for Carter. It’s not important that you lost your patience and the battle, we all do that. What’s important is that you connected with your child when he needed you to; and by doing so you showed him that you’re really on his side no matter what. Hang in there. 🙂

    Like

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