Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Stress With A Capital S
Single parenting in general is hard. When you mix autism into the combination, it is very difficult. There is rarely any peace or relaxation when it is just me and the boys. Trenton is on the go 24/7 and has to be watched like a hawk. He can't communicate his needs. He has maldaptive behaviors and very challenging behavior daily, sensory challenges, needs bathroom help both on the toilet and in the bath, flight risk & eloper, no sense of danger, no common sense, doesn't play with toys, often has sleep challenges, and the list goes on and on.
In our house we do not know what down time is because there is none! There is no quiet time! It doesn't happen in our autism house. IT. DOESN"T. HAPPEN.
I can't get groceries with Trenton. I can't simply run a quick errand with him. I can't take him to my doctor appointments. I can't take him to his brothers events. I can't take him over to someone's house. Everything we do from going through a drive thru to a simple trip into McDonalds takes a lot of planning and mental preparation.
Brushing his teeth is not possible yet at the age of 7 1/2. Simply getting a haircut is not an easy task and often leaves him in a meltdown. Everything takes full preparation and very strategic planning......even the simplest of things.
What happens when "life" happens and you have stress from other factors in life. What happens when a family member gets really sick? What happens when you suffer the loss of a loved one? If you think back to when you were a kid and your parents suffered the loss of a loved one.....I am sure the majority of you did what I did and had common sense to behave and to be good because your parents were grieving. That doesn't happen here and will never happen for me!
I've been rather stressed since the passing of my Uncle Bob. My uncle and aunt have been wonderful to me and I have many wonderful great memories with them from childhood all the way to just a few months ago. I can't grieve like a normal niece should be able to. I can't pick up and immediately drive back home to be with my family. Instead, it has been non-stop planning of what to do with my kids during his visitation and funeral. What should be a time of grief is nothing but more stress.
Tonight it was all hitting me what the next two days will entail. I just wanted a nice, quiet evening to mentally prepare myself. Quite?!?!? HA! It just doesn't happen!!! It especially doesn't happen when you are single and the only adult in the house.
To add to the stress my Grandfather fell and is in a nursing home too. I have yet to be able to see and visit him. I start a job next week and unfortunately had to quit a few therapies for Trenton. I am drowned in guilt for that. What does a single parent do?!?!? I need food on the table for my babies and he needs therapy. But what do you do when it is only you? Sometimes in life, you are not able to make a decision for yourself. You are often left with no choice!
All of this is stressful enough for a typical family. We are not a typical family......so you can only imagine the stress that all of this adds to autism families. It is not just my family....it is autism families in general!