Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Today's Struggles

The day began with a lot of fussing, tantrums, and throwing after a difficult night.  Andrew's seizure medication will be increased tomorrow and I hope it makes a difference.  My other son, Matthew, came home from visiting with grandparents for a couple of days.  He was having a lot of difficulty with his behavior.  I had the 'priveledge' of taking both of them with me to open house at Matthew's school.  We were allowed to go early before everyone else to help with Matthew's anxiety over going back to school.  I was pleased with the impression that I received from his classroom teachers.  However, I was disappointed with the EC teacher.  I thought to myself, does she really enjoy teaching special needs children.  She made no effort to make Matthew feel comfortable with her at all.  After leaving her room, we went to his primary classroom.  He only wanted to hide behind me and would not even look at either of the teachers.  As I was holding Andrew (who was tired from no nap, a night of not much sleep, and tires easily from low muscle tone),who weighs 45lbs, Matthew proceeds to touch Andrew on the leg which sends him to a tantrum and I get whacked in the face.  Matthew proceeds to head butt me in the back while I'm trying to calm Andrew in my arms standing there in front of the teachers.  After getting through this, Matthew tells his teachers he doesn't like the classroom and that he's not ever coming back.  Then he tells them he is going to bring his handcuffs for them so he can take them to jail.  I think to myself, "Really, Matthew, do you have to always say exactly what you are thinking!"  There are some days I just want to put a sign on my back that says, "Excuse anything you might see or hear, it's just Autism!"

 After the difficult hour and a half visit at the school, the multiple tantrums, relentless behaviors, I felt I had nothing left by the time I got back home at about 4:30pm.  I kept it together for a little while longer.  I fed them supper, cleaned up the many messes that were continuously being made, dealing with more tantrums, more relentless behaviors, restraining Andrew to give him his medications and finally I couldn't take it anymore.  I had everyone in their beds by 8pm, even my 12yr old.

Andrew was in his bed screaming, but I had to get myself together.  I was sitting alone on the couch with tears coming down my face and wondered, "Can I really do this?"  I had no one to call on just to talk to and felt completely alone at the time.  I thought to myself, "I'm suppose to be stronger than this; Why am I so weak?"  Everyone tells me what a wonderful job I'm doing and I want to say, "You should see me at my low points, I'm really not doing as good of a job as it appears on the outside."  I'm very guilty of putting on a front to others.  Many ask, "How are you doing?"  I reply, "Pretty good, how about you?"  What I'm really saying is, "I don't want to burden you with my problems so it's just easier to say what most are expecting to hear."  There are a few close friends that I do reply with, "Well, some days are better than others; or We are taking it one moment at a time."  I don't want to be truthful and actually say, "Most days I'm just trying to survive, and then the other days I'm falling apart."  Even though I rely on my faith to get me through many struggles, I still reach low points and have many weaknesses.  Being a Christian doesn't mean that our struggles aren't difficult, it means we have hope.  If it wasn't for my faith, I think I would have lost it a long time ago. As I was writing this blog, Andrew experienced another seizure.  We will be increasing his medication tomorrow, please pray that it works for him so he (and his mommy) can get rest!

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