so today was a crappy day. Why don't I blog on days when stuff is good? Cos it ain't interesting, it's not newsworthy, not good reading. Right now it is 7pm on a Saturday, and both the kids are in their separate rooms, screaming "mummy, mummy"... and here I sit. I don't actually have the strength or the know-how to go into them right now and not be a bitch. Because bitch is all that's left of me. We've been having an Autistic Awareness Week here - that's just a Week when you're really Aware of how Autistic your child is.
The thing is, we need help, and I no longer know who to turn to. I yell at the kids all day, because it is the only way I can hear myself think any more. I actually have become one of those parents who doesn't know any other way to parent. It's a habit. I don't know if I can even talk in a nice voice anymore.
The thing is, I'm not even that depressed. When I'm not around the children, if they're in bed, or at kindy, I am happy, contented, creative, self-confidant, loving and kind to myself and others. Maddy IS my depression. The sound of her cry twists my stomach into knots and makes my forehead tense. And when, at about 9pm, she finally falls asleep and I peek in and see her at last calm and sweet, the anxiety and stress that my body has been wrapped in all day finally drops away, leaving a kind of hollow peace.
The thing is that Maddy goes through really lovely stages, even on a bad day, where she is sweet and generous and impulsive and loving, today I was sitting on the deck with the laptop and she galloped up to me and wrapped her bony arms round my neck, planted a kiss on my cheek and then raced off again. And I let my guard down, I let my heart warm and soften, and I gaze at her with open affection.
Because the thing is, that at the moment, the only way I can actually be a good parent, is to become emotionally detached. In my mind there is a little click, a little switch, and I look at her heart-shaped face red with anger, her screaming mouth a hole, and I turn off. Otherwise there is too much hurt, too much pain, too much confusion as to what to do. Instead, I look at her objectively, as if she were a ward, a foster child, perhaps I am her case worker. And that helps me to be a fairer, calmer parent. So I need to turn that little autopilot on.
Tonight she was lying, writhing on her bed, howling and screeching that Daddy had put her in bed, and she didn't want him she wanted Mummy. I went in and said "I'm here now, I'll tuck you in" and she screamed in my face that she wanted to get out of bed so that I could put her in bed. And you know what I did? I lifted her wholly up by her wrists(note: this is a thing we do often when either kid is being rotten; it sounds awful, and yes it really is awful but it's the only way to bodily move a 18kg child who is flailing and kicking and slapping, because it disables their arms and their weight drops down so they can't kick either... I'd be fascinated to know if this is something that just Josh and I do because we're Horrible Parents and don't have the skills to do better, or if this is a common tactic used with other children) and I plonked her down onto the ground, and then I hauled her angry little body up by the wrists again and plonked her into bed. And then I walked out and shut the door.
The thing is, we are STILL waiting for professional help, we are still waiting to hear from a paediatrician(how the heck do you spell that), and it is almost impossible to actually figure out if our referral has been seen yet. And Maddy was officially diagnosed about a year ago. THe thing is, I think she needs medication, even if its just so that we can save Lewis, Josh and I, our sanity, our marriage, our family unit.
Happy Horrible Parent day to all out there.