Monday, 5 December 2011

That Was The Week That Was

Although it somehow turned into a fortnight.

It’s been a pretty tough couple of weeks around here. Aspergers is the kind of thing that bubbles just under the surface and I never quite know when it is going to erupt. I just know that it will. The triggers are many and varied. I’ve got to know what a lot of them are over the years and learnt to organise things, the best I can, to minimise the likelihood of a meltdown. They can still take me by surprise though.

It’s very hard to watch my lovely boy being taken over by a rage, so strong that he has no control. It hurts to have him scream and shout at me, even though I know he doesn’t really mean it. In that moment it feels like he does. I can’t always prevent my daughter from witnessing these outbursts. I know how distressing she finds it and I feel like I’m failing them both. It makes me feel helpless.

This is the worst time of year in many ways. Returning to school, for the Autumn term, after such a long summer break. It takes that much longer to get back into the routine. Just as we begin to settle in, it’s time for another week off and that sets us back again. Then it’s Bonfire Night, which is no fun when you can’t bear loud (and often unexpected) noises.

Next there is Christmas to look forward to and that brings challenges of its own. It creates an atmosphere, which can be unsettling, when it should be exciting. As the end of term approaches, classes become a little more relaxed and sometimes teachers provide a DVD, quiz or other ‘treat’. This can be an absolute nightmare for a child who struggles with any change in routine and needs the reassurance of the usual boundaries for behaviour.

I do everything I possibly can to keep things on an even keel at home, but the school day is totally out of my hands. Any unexpected thing could prove to be a catalyst. He almost always manages to hold things together while he is at school. It will all pour out, within moments of him walking through door. We are his ‘safe place’, where he can let go of it.

After a meltdown, he often feels physically unwell and always feels terrible for the upset he causes everyone. It’s heart breaking, it really is.

This post is not meant to be a pity party, but I felt like I couldn’t blog about anything else, until I had put this down in words. If you’ve got this far, thanks for reading. Normal service will be resumed shortly and I’ll be back to comment on all your blogs very soon.

20 comments:

Beverly said...

((((HUGS))))There is a family drama on American TV called Parenthood. The teen boy has Asperger's and I believe it is being so well written and is educating so many to the challenges to parents, siblings, family, friends and educators. The young man playing the part is doing an amazing job at helping us understand as much as possible his world. God bless you and your sweet boy.

Suzy said...

Sending love and hugs to you Fi. It must be an incredibly difficult thing to deal with and you must never feel you are failing as a Mother. It is very obvious from the way you talk about your family online what a great Mum you are. Hopefully it might get easier for him as he gets a bit older. All you can do is be there for him when he needs you.

Sian said...

I'm so sorry to hear you've all been having a hard old time of it! I think Suzy has said it perfectly. I second that. Actually, you're an 80's girl, so if I write "I second that devotion" you might know what I mean. I think it fits x

Alison said...

There's not much I can add to what the others have said Fiona....just that you and your family will be in my thoughts during the approach to Christmas, which is obviously one of your son's flashpoints...take care of you!
Alison xx

Helen said...

Well it can't be easy - and it does us all good to get things off our chests now and then. You sound like a brilliant Mum and you're doing the best you can in difficult circumstances - hope that things ease up for you all soon x

Jo.C said...

Hope you feel better for writing it down. You are doing a great job from what I see on the blog. We have a number of students who have asperger's at school so I have a bit of an insight but know that that is just the tip of the iceberg. Hugs from up here x

Julia said...

Fiona thank you for sharing. It made interesting reading. I only know a little about Aspergers but know how busy and different this term is so I can see how it would have a major impact. Sound like you are doing a fabulous job to me xx

Sandra said...

You are one of the strongest women I know, and that makes Sam lucky! You're in his corner. If I can help, even if it's just to be on the other end of a phone when you need to scream, just shout.

scrappyjacky said...

I completely agree with what Suzy said....and hopefully sharing your feelings really helps.

Ali said...

Aww Fi, it can be so hard with the anger outbursts.You are fantastic and so patient and kind.And he is such a sweet buy xx

Ginger said...

So sorry to hear of what is happening in your family Fiona. Big hugs to you and those around you. Take care.

lruk said...

I have been where you are and I know how horrible and how hard it is. Your son is lucky that he has this outlet and he has his safe place and he has a family that accept and support him regardless. As a mum who totally understands all you are going through can I just say it does get easier in time. My son is now 26 and living a life I never would have thought possible during those many red mist rages and the days afterwards when he needed us more than ever just to know that his world would be ok and that we would always love him regardless. I know that our situations are different but I felt it might just help you to know that things do get better and not just different. Linda

Scattychick said...

Fi we both know what a daily challenge Aspergers can be but I am sure like me you see each little step forward with even more joy. You are always there for support and wise words for me and I know you are even more so with Sam and Amelia. You know where I am if you ever need a shoulder x

Lynn said...

Just wanted to echo what everyone else has says. It is clear from your blog posts that you are a great Mum and doing all you can to support your son. Take care of yourself too!

Lisa said...

Fi, you are such a kind and caring person, i hope things are back on an even keel soon iykwim.

we are all here cheering you on and marvel all at you do too.

with much love

Lisa
xxxx

okienurse said...

It is really a tough time when you have a young one with Aspergers. My brother and a nephew have it. The brother to my nephew(also my nephew but I don't know how to word this) also is suspected of having two children with Asperger's because of behavioral issues. One is only 2 and the other is 4. It is difficult to deal with when they are young but both my brother and my nephew have learned and continue to learn how to cope in situations. My brother says that having the knowledge of how you coped before with a similar situation helps a lot. You are a great Mom from what I have read in your blog and are doing what needs to be done so don't think that you aren't! Hang in there! {hugs} Vickie

Kirsty.a said...

I have just read your blog for the first time, because you left a comment on mine. This must be heartbreaking, but I think it's probably a really 'good' sign that he can hold it together until he gets to the safety of home. that shows a lort of emotional control. My son has hemiplegia, so a physical rather than learnign disability, and he does the same - takes it out on us at home.

KraftyKaren said...

(((((Hugs))))) Fiona - I have a nephew with ADHD and Aspergers tendancies and I see how hard life is for my sister especially when people like to tutt and blame it on the parenting. I hope it gets easier for you - H is now 17 and managing to go to college, they still have their trials but things are definitely not as bad as they once where.

My sister always use to say that I should take it as a compliment when he use to let it all go when round my house, she said it was because he felt safe with me.

Karen xx

Lisa-Jane said...

I didn't realise that you had a child with Aspergers but my heart goes out to every parent who has a child with additional needs. I agree with the other comments made already, especially that he is doing well to keep things together at school. I know how the school year affects average children in terms of their tiredness and as they get used to things and then they all change. I also know how many of them find it hard to cope with the differences in the run up to Christmas. I myself also find it incredibly hard when I am out of routine, like this past week, and how terribly it affects my mood and that is without a diagnosis. I have no words of advice, just lots of love and a hope that he gets through the next couple of weeks okay xx

Julesmichelle said...

Fi the ladies on here have all said it so well.

The fact that Sam feels he can let his fears out when he gets home shows what a secure safe haven you have created. Whilst Amelia struggles with witnessing these rages, I am sure with your family closeness, she will come out of this a strong and understanding person. And as for you...you always sound like you are amazing, none of us look at our parenting skills and feel we have done it all 100% perfectly, and if anyone out there feels they are..then they are not telling the truth..however knowing we do what we feel is best and being able to reflect on what we could do differently and better next time is how we all grow as people.

Sending you so much love.

Jules xx