We had an “episode” in the car today – an epic battle of wills in which I ended up yelling and banging the steering wheel, and he ended up crying. This over a DS game left behind which I refused to turn around to get as that would have made us late for his sister’s dance class. When it was over, I angrily turned up the music so I wouldn’t have to hear him cry as I fumed. As angry thoughts flowed through my brain, I realized I have failed him yet again.
It’s my fault. I’ve done it. I’ve created a monster. He’s had such a rough transition this school year. And then when those words of “suicidal thoughts” came up, I seemed to feel a deep need to do everything I could to make everything as smooth and uncomplicated as possible. I controlled what I could control which meant doing and doing and doing for him to the point he expects me to do everything. If something goes awry, it is my fault, at least in his mind. That’s exactly what he said today that sent me hurtling over the edge.
I make his lunch every morning. I haven’t made lunches for the older two since they were in first grade. I make extra trips to the grocery store when our salami or goldfish supplies run low as those are two of the few things he will eat. I stop by the convenience store on the way home from dance classes with the Princess to get his favorite gum in an effort to keep him from chewing his nails and shirt collars I’ve left the gym and shortened training runs to take his giant, fluorescent orange shark to school when he’s forgotten it and called to ask for it. I’ve taken forgotten library books and homework to school way more then the one “free pass” I tell them they have at the beginning of the year. If I don’t, he will start to cry in front of his classmates (again). I let him crawl into our bed almost every night because it’s easier than repeatedly taking him back to bed and, honestly, we all need our sleep (not mentioning the fact I don’t get much sleep when he’s in my bed with him punching, kicking, flailing and yelling). I manage and control. I turn myself inside-out, upside down and backwards to make things smooth for him because that seems easier for me. I know – not much logic there.
Autistic doesn’t mean incapable. I know he has the ability to manage much of what I manage for him. I know it will be better for both of us in the long run if I don’t do so much to smooth his way. I’ve known this for some time. I try to remind myself when I see I’m getting caught up again. But that self-awareness has slipped the last couple of months. And I’ve failed him once again.