I received an email from a fellow autism parent. It was so raw I actually cried when I read it. I wanted to crawl through the computer and hug this person. It resonated with me so deeply.
This person reads my blog so I know they will see that I used their email. I just can’t stop thinking about it. I could have written this myself. I so get it friend.
I read it this morning. I actually stumbled across it in my junk mail folder. I almost missed it.
“I’m scared to death, broke, broken, exhausted … all of it. It seems like most of the autism dad’s bail. I understand how they can get to that point.
Autism has ruined everything.
Not sure why I am emailing you … I guess just to have myself counted as “in the club”.
I sure wish we could all have a miracle. How easily we could all make it through a normal life.”
I want this person to know, and every other single parent that feels this way, that it is OK to think these thoughts. And I completely understand. I used to hate myself for being sad. Or angry. I used to think if I could just do more. Be more. I could fix this. But that wasn’t the case.
And I want you to know that you are doing a great job. I know you are broke. And I know you are so scared that you can’t sleep or concentrate on anything else. And I know that you are broken.Because I am too.
But it will get better. I know it will. Just like any other parent we are going to have happy times and sad times and neither will last forever.
I promise you are going to be OK. Just keep fighting. Keep going.Even when you don’t feel like it just get up, get dressed and keep going.
AND GET HELP. Get all the help you can. It doesn’t mean you are weak. Or giving up. Or not strong enough. It means you are human. And our kids need more. More people. More advocates. More love. More hope. Take all that you can friend.
And on the dark days just remember that eventually it’s going to improve. Take it from someone who knows.
This morning was tough. Cooper isn’t sleeping again. Sigh. I woke up twice last night and then again at 4 am for the day. No crying. Just awake and ready to start the day. The exhaustion is real my friends.
I also found out that Cooper can’t ride the bus from our new house to his morning school. FML. So Jamie and I will have to drive him for the rest of the school year.
I am also really struggling with the decision to not mainstream Cooper. I firmly believe in my heart that he isn’t ready for traditional school. And he may never be. I am leaning towards sending him to an ABA school with 1 to 1 behavior therapy all day.
I’m scared that I am giving up. Or I am scared that I am making the wrong decision. I want someone to make it for me. Tell me what to do.
I’m not a teacher. I’m not a psychologist. And I most certainly don’t have a crystal ball that tells me the future. What I do know is that Cooper can’t sit in a room and learn. He can’t sit period. I feel like learning to read and write is so far behind learning how to socialize and function. I want him to succeed. I want him to be happy. And I don’t think Kindergarten is right for him.
Am I giving up? Or am I making the right decision? How do I know? And I am making this decision alone. And that is so unbelievably scary. More to come on that though. I just filled out that 20 page application today. Talk about depressing. I wrote the word ‘severe’ more than I ever thought possible.
Anyhow, so when I say that I understand that you are scared to death, broke, broken and exhausted, please know that I am here for you. Feel free to lean on me anytime.
We are in this club together.