Archive for May, 2019

The Other Mother

I am reposting my favorite post ever. It’s called “The Other Mother,” and it still makes me cry when I read it. Those feelings are always there, and always raw.

She watches mothers, constantly, and is fascinated by their sheer volume. She wonders if she will ever take up that much space again? She feels smaller than she used to, less a presence in the outside world, but more a presence in her own home. She feels dependent; on schedules, routines, the refrigerator, her child’s mood. She feels depended on for sheer life. She wonders what would happen if she were no longer here, and she worries about it. She knows kids can survive without mothers, but what about these kids? What about her kid? She wants to download all the information about her child from her brain to something else – just in case.

She watches mothers, on the playground, at the grocery store, and at school, wondering if they are even aware of mothers like her. What must their lives be like? She pictures their households, and pictures an easy life. Not easy as in simple, but easy as in normal. Are those mothers blissfully unaware of mothers like her? She reminds herself not to judge her insides by someone else’s outsides (she read that somewhere), but she can’t help but wonder what that normalcy must be like. Not normal in terms of her child being not normal, but normal in terms of just being a typical, average family. She gets lost sometimes in the added layers of complication of their lives; the trying to find the after-school activity that promises the largest chance of success for her child, the hope of her child finding a playmate that might become a real friend.

She watches mothers, and she reminds herself she wouldn’t change one thing about her child (he is perfect) save the chance to make things easier for him. It’s not that she doesn’t want him to learn the tough lessons, but rather that she wishes he didn’t have to learn so many of them. Where’s the equity? Why do these kids, already challenged, have to be challenged so much more? That’s what makes her cry.

She watches mothers, with a feeling she can’t quite describe building in her heart. It’s not envy, judgment, anger, self-pity or sadness. It’s distance. She feels on the fringe. She imagines that’s how her child feels most of the time, and that disturbs her most of all.

May 12, 2019 at 10:45 am Leave a comment

The Calm After the Storm

So things have settled down a bit. C is doing pretty well even though his room looks like a toxic waste dump. I just try not to look in there very often. It seems to work fairly well.

I admit, I’ve kind of given up and let go to some extent. I still make him come back downstairs and clean up the mess he leaves in the kitchen, but unless I remind him of each step multiple times, about 75% of them don’t happen. He still wants to spend his entire paycheck on Pokemon related things five minutes after said paycheck hits his bank account. I’m not sure what else we can do at this point to turn him into a fiscally responsible adult beyond our requirement that he save 50% of his money in an untouchable account. He still binges way too late at night, which is not good for his war-torn belly, but it seems to irritate me more that he’s so obliviously loud when doing so than the fact that he’s eating at 11 p.m. Yet I continue to have concerns about his health.

This is just who C is, and while I know this, I find it difficult to accept. What bugs me even more, however, is that our job as parents (in my opinion) is to prepare a child to be a functioning adult – have we done that? I’m not so sure, which is probably why I hang onto an urge to parent C. I find it a myth that parenting stops at 18 years old, but I also doubt the level of change *I* can bring about in C’s life at this point. I see stories about adult children living at home, needing their parents too much, and ultimately failing at many areas in their lives, and I make the mistake of reading the comments on those stories…bad move on my part. The little voice in my head starts asking what else I can do, what else I should do, what else I need to do.

Because ultimately, I want C to be independent (or I want him to be able to move out – it depends on the day how I word this goal). And not just independent, but safely, happily, and successfully so. Frankly, I’m not sure which of these, if any, can actually happen. And my mind goes back to him being my job and all the things he needs help with, and ugh, it’s a vicious cycle.

Then I remind myself I’ve done my best. I’ve done all the things. I’ve given it my 100% for C’s whole life. And I pat myself on the back a little bit and focus on the thing I can actually do, which is take care of myself and try to heal from the years and years of stress, drama, and pain. It is all I can really do, and probably the sooner I accept that little fact, the better off I’ll be.

May 1, 2019 at 8:22 pm 1 comment


It’s all autism, all the time.

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