Do you mean to tell me that I have to do this parenting thing WHILE I’m going through my own adult relationship issues?
Are you freaking kidding me?
Life is hard enough. And then as a parent you get to raise a high-need autism-spectrum kid. And then life is generous enough to throw in some very-big-feeling relationship issues on top of that?
Bite me, life. For real.
Oh, and feel free to insert a major eye roll, and a deep, snotty, angry exhale, and finish up imagining my forehead meeting the table.
With all this instant on stress, I need to watch a video. NOW. This will make me happy while I take a quick break from life. Some of my faves are: Nastyass Honey Badger Baby, or Being Screamed at to “Just Do It”, or when I want to Have Some Hope and Say Yes!
That’s how it starts. My healing and moving forward process, that is.
How I Heal
In six easy steps that I actually did just today, the process–when you have “life” happening while you are also experiencing “life” with your autistic child and other children–is as follows:
- Watch mindless videos that are funny, inspirational, and familiar. Please share what you’re watching over on Facebook and maybe I’ll add them to my own list. Thank you in advance.
- Check to see if anyone close to you died. If not, move on to #3. If yes, close this page and take care of what needs to be taken care of. I’ll be here when you return for any support I can offer. <3
- Say to yourself, “I’m OK.”
- Answer these questions in your head or through journaling or phone a safe friend . . .
- What do I need to know?
- What is my next best action to take? Do not be surprised if the clear answer is to eat chocolate, drink a cup of tea, sit and stare, or take a bath. Or all four.
- Say to yourself, “I’m OK.” I know I share this advice often, but I’m a firm believer that our brains actually need to know this. They clearly run away on their own lizard-brain pathways when we feel this upset. Our brains just need to know that we’re OK and we’ll make it through this current uncomfortable human experience.
- Put in your calendar the next action step you need to take if you can’t do it right now. I will very often write “Email ________” in my calendar so I know what needs to be done and I can move on without worrying I’ll forget. It may take a few days for me to finally do it, but it will be there, and I will know what I want to do if it still feels right.
I’m truly sorry that we have all these things we have to move through, all the while being super-parents for our kids. And by “super-parent”, I mean being kind, generous adults who lead by example and model the behavior we want our children to learn; feeding our kids (I’m telling you, my bar is super-low); giving them wonderful experiences they’ll remember with love; and so many more things that are required from active parenthood . . .
But when I lose my shit, which I clearly have done, we need to have a pathway back to our frontal cortex.
We need to teach our children that even their “perfect parents,” (and how ridiculously sweet is it that they actually believe this until a certain age?) have bad days.
I think it’s our responsibility to use tools to get back to a place of sanity quickly, calmly, and with age-appropriate explanations when we are scary. We should also share a huge apology and what we’re doing to not be scary anymore.
Kids are super resilient and they will still love you, even if you feel unlovable. Let them love you and remember this truth: In this moment, you’re totally OK.
Huge love to all of us on this cray-cray journey,
There’s actually a very cool site called Scary Mommy, check it out now.
Sharing is caring! Please share my site www.livingwithadifferentbrain.com with any family you know that has a child with Asperger’s or Autism Spectrum Disorder label. Every support structure helps, and I hope to connect with and support other like-minded parents.
Share your mind-numbing lizard-brain videos with me! (Facebook is a great place or just reply to this email!)