To be honest, the last two weeks have been hard. Nothing in particular and everything in particular has compounded and most days I feel like I am drowning.
I am exhausted.
And usually that’s okay. Working full-time and also being a mum, juggling all things, is my thing. And most of the time I do it pretty well. But I’ve been knocked for six and want to explain it a bit further.
Usually when I write here on the blog, it is up- beat. Bliss stuff, You know, triumphs, successes things that are going on in my life that are great.
Well, Mayhem is all that I have been feeling the last fortnight. Mayhem.
Let me digress.
Last week my eldest son started high school. Yes, High School. I am officially a mother of a tween. Years ago, when Ethan was diagnosed with Autism, I would sit there crying in my hands, as I couldn’t see the end of the tunnel. I could not see what my boy would be like as he grew. Those early days of extremely limited language lack of connection, meltdown upon meltdown was part of my every day existence and I just couldn’t see what the future laid ahead for us. I was young, and the responsibility that lay upon me as his Mother to try and be the best for him was HUGE. So watching him put on his new school uniform last week, chatting away about how excited he was to be starting high school was such a beautiful moment for me – and a part of me patted myself on my back to say “good job Mama, good job”.
And then Friday evening came. I sat down in front of my computer in the Kitchen (Yes, it’s finished! OMG it is beautiful and I promise to write a follow up post about how in love I am with this space) with drink in hand and a pile of paper work that has been staring at me for weeks.
I had not read the package of paperwork that came through from Ethan’s school. I had missed the list of school supplies that was meant to be purchased and sent with him on his first day. I instantly felt gutted that I had failed. Failed that I had not stayed on top of the paperwork, failed that I had sent Ethan to school on his first day with out the things that he needed. What kind of Mother doesn’t check school paperwork? Me. I felt so shit.
To make this right, the boys and I trundled off to the shops with list in hand to get everything. Thought I’d also throw in some grocery shopping ( which by the way, sits on the same level of washing clothes for me – blah). While we were going through the list of books, pencils etc. there were a group of 4 little children playing with toys in the store. These toys made noise. Noise can trigger Ethan’s Autistic reactions and can cause meltdowns. And it did. BIG TIME. He was so stressed by the noise, grabbing his head and shaking it back and forth. You cannot touch him when he goes through these moments and you need to just clearly and calmly talk him through it. Throw in his toddler brother that hadn’t slept during the day and was overtired and had commenced to scream down the shop which didn’t help the fact that I was now trying to console two children while keeping my own cool with it all.
The grocery shop was lets say “fucked”. The meltdowns continued. We then had a “scratcher”. Yes, in the middle of the supermarket I was checking hair and discovered lice! Fuck me – could this afternoon get any better? It took everything in me to get through those aisles, pile the trolley and get the fuck out of there in one piece. In that moment, I wanted to cry, leave the trolley full of food in the middle of the shop get back in the car and go home.
But we don’t have that option – we’re adults, the parents, and the ones that keep it together and get shit done.
I hadn’t seen a meltdown of this magnitude with Ethan for a long time. And it has rocked me a little. Autism is always there. Autism will always be part of our lives. It is something that even when it seems “dormant” I need to be mindful of it even when it is not on the surface.
Now throw in my grief. David Bowie and Glenn Fry’s deaths triggered my grief for my friends that died in a motorbike accident last year to come back to the surface. It is always there, I miss them terribly. Every day since that day last year, I think about them and I’m still stuck in that place of guilt, regret, extreme sadness and hopelessness about it. Little things, like songs, seeing bikes on the road, going through my Facebook feed bubbles it up right in front of me and the gut feeling of low I feel is consuming. I just miss them. Really miss them. And then I get angry with myself for getting so worked up about useless shit and mundane acts that I am getting worked up about. Because they are not here. I am here. I should be grateful to just be here.
Work, home, work home. Completely and mentally stuffed for work. So after a 9 hour day, getting home to put my “Mum”, “Wife” hat on, I just don’t want to. I don’t want to “adult” at the end of the day, I want to cradle my G&T and create a bubble that no-one can penetrate.
I am the clown in my circus and I can’t juggle at the moment.
I’m having trouble juggling it. Usually the queen of juggling is missing the balls to catch. I’m behind the eight ball and cannot see the calm that I am so yearning in sight.
I am overwhelmed. Really overwhelmed and the best way to describe it is the feeling of sitting at the bottom of a swimming pool with all that pressure of the water against you
I want to push it away so I can get back up to the top to take my breath.
So I’m seeing and feeling Mayhem right now – I’ll be okay. And I know that Bliss will come back.
It has to.
It just fucking has to.