Freedom..

You hurt me. Not with words, but by withholding them when I needed them most.

You hurt me when you walked away.

You took with you my dreams, my hopes and my passion.

You scarred me with the ill-chosen words you did choose to use when you allowed anger to guide you, and your eyes to be closed to compassion.

You turned your back on me when I needed someone to prop me up.

I needed to lean on you, and you let me fall and I struggle to believe that it wasn’t deliberate.

You knew I was treading water, yet you threw me no lifelines. You responded to my cries for help with anger.

Were you angry at me for being weak? Or angry at yourself for being ill equipped to deal with the onslaught of emotion that I bring to the table?

Some say that you were not ever able to deal with me emotionally, but I call bullshit. You always knew exactly what you were doing.

I know I’m pretty full on but you knew that from the very beginning.

This was always all about control, and power and winning no matter the cost. It was about arrogance and selfishness.

I want to hate you for this and for all the rest of the pain you have caused me over the years, but hate is such a strong force that I don’t want to allow it in to poison me. Because I know it will damage me irreparably.

Part of me wants to find out what I need to do to cause you the same level of hurt and pain that you’ve caused me, but I know deep down that revenge is never the answer.

Love is.
Forgiveness is.
I’ve held onto enough pain to last me a lifetime and it’s starting to make me physically ill so it’s time to let it all go.
It’s time for me to move on and allow healing to begin.

You’ve left me damaged, but not broken. Cautious but not so much that I’ll never be able to let someone in again.

You don’t deserve that much power over me.

Your neglect of our relationship, of our history and our connection hasn’t left me feeling as cold as it I would’ve expected.

It has pushed me closer to Jesus.  To the one who will never be disappointed in me.

The one who will never crush me with angry words, the one who will never abandon me.

So thank you. Thank you for teaching me that it was always foolish to expect a human to be what only God can be.

Faithful, true, honest, loving and kind.

All the things you’re not.

 

Losing dread, finding joy

Dread : to feel extreme reluctance to meet or face something.

I used to really dread the school holidays.

The thought of having the kids home every day made me want to hide under my blankets and stay there until they were over and I knew that the possibility of having a peaceful household was all but gone for the duration. Often the constant drama that continually unfolded was usually more than I could take and I would spend the days wishing for school to go back just so I could get a moment’s peace. I regularly locked myself in our walk in wardrobe with my iPod turned up loud JUST to drown the kids out. It was the only way I could cope.

But that was then.

THESE days, I understand the reason behind the tears, the tempers and the general unrest (well…MOST of the time anyway) and can usually take some measures to try to avert them before they occur. I have learned that dread is a very close cousin of fear. I no longer feel afraid and therefore no longer feel the need to sit in the corner in the foetal position rocking and chanting “It will be ok, it will be ok, it’s all going to be ok” until I finally started to believe it.

***

Today was the last day of school for my kids for this term. They are now on holidays for almost 3 weeks and this time – I couldn’t be happier.

20 days of stress-free mornings, 20 days of not having to be anywhere at a particular time and 20 days of semi sleep-ins. (Well – 6:00 am is a sleep in here 🙂 )

Many people think that children on the autistic spectrum need rock solid routine and while that’s true on some levels – my kids cope ok with only a loose routine provided that they are not rushed or expected to be something that they’re not.

The more “out” activities – the more stress. It’s a simple formula really!

I used to take planning to the tenth degree and schedule holiday activity upon activity thinking that they needed that structure to cope, but in essence – what I was really doing was over scheduling them and kind of replicating school – they very thing that they were supposed to be on holidays from! The expectations that I put on them was causing all of us so much stress that it hardly seemed worth it in the end!

They got so tired from having to be here at a certain time and there at another when all they really wanted to do was to just chill out at home with a DVD and their favourite things surrounding them.I discovered that play dates are great – but not when they turn into another “requirement”.

And now that I know all of that – I can also relax more easily. It turns out that they don’t WANT to be traipsing around parks, bowling alleys and cinemas all the time. They are completely happy to just stay at home and do their own thing. It’s easier, MUCH cheaper and allows them to actually benefit from the break by recharging their batteries and refuelling so that they can cope better with term 3.

My beautiful Mum is arriving next week and both of the boys birthdays AND mine are also coming up so we still have a LOT to do this holidays.  I’m very excited and have just started to see the light at the end of the so-I-guess-I-don’t-get-to-move-to-my-mum’s tunnel.   And that light is in Ella. She has really blossomed this year and her and three other lovely girls have joined forces and created a lovely little group.

image blurred because I won't put other people's children faces on the internet 🙂

The group is made up of two 12 years olds & two 11 year olds so it’s a great mix, they all complement each other brilliantly and are as different as they are alike. They all Skype each other EVERY afternoon after school and have already planned 2 sleepovers in the holiday period. It’s ALL they talk about and their excitement is contagious plus it’s making this mothers heart sing after the horrible bullying that my princess has had to endure in past years.

I couldn’t be happier.

And as much pain as I have been in recently as I have witnessed my dream of moving home become less and less achievable – I have found a way to rejoice in the beautiful friendships that my girl is developing and I’m relaxing into the knowledge that she is going to be A-OK as she heads to high school next year.

It’s true that God works in mysterious ways and that His ways are not our own, but I also think that sometimes I need to just pull my head out of the sand long enough to observe the sun shining all around me instead of just noticing the dark shadows that it causes instead.

Happy holidays everyone 🙂

Fi xx

What I believe…

This post may surprise a lot of people who know me personally because I like “girl power” about as much as I like lady Gaga….Bleeuughh!  

I’m not into womens meetings (my friend D calls them oestrogen meetings :D) and I’d rather gouge my eyeballs out with a fork than attend a motivational speech about influential women.

That said: I really do believe that mother’s need each other.

I believe that we all have it in us to reach out and help others no matter what our circumstances. And this is as simple as buying a cup of coffee for a friend, washing their dishes for them when you visit or just giving a hug and an encouraging word just because you can.

I believe that life is hard. It’s always going to be that way so we may as well get used to it. The difference is how you choose to view it because it’s a glass half full or empty kinda deal.

I know that personally, I often forget this and have been known to sink into deep misery. Parenting autistic kids does that to you – it’s damn hard work and often the rewards for your sacrifices are few and far between.

  Thankfully, in those times that I have bottomed out, one of my amazing friends will pray for me and throw me a rope to help pull me out of the pit. I am so grateful that God has put these people in my life. I would be lost without them.

I believe that it’s ok to not cope and fall in a blubbering heap, and that mother’s need to be more honest with each other. I truly don’t understand why society has these stupid unspoken “rules” that dictate that mothers need to appear to be on top of the world and coping beautifully with everything that they are juggling,  at all times.

Because that’s just not reality at all. Even mothers of children WITHOUT special needs find it tough at times too. No-one receives a manual when they become one.

If you’re having a rough time, you should be able to count on another mother to support and not judge you. If your current friends don’t do this – you need to find new ones. It’s that simple.

I believe that you don’t have to agree with someone or even share their beliefs to help them out because it’s not about that. It’s about putting others before yourself even when you don’t feel like it because what goes around comes around, and one day…you may need someone to do the same for you.

You may be wondering where this post is coming from and where-on-God’s-green-earth it’s headed?

Well, I’ll tell you:

If I had a dollar for every time that someone has come to me and “shared” a tidbit about another mother and/or her parenting skills I would have enough money to retire already.

Seriously, it makes me crazy.

People should mind their own business and rise above gossip.

I’ve mentioned before that I have lost friends since the “a” word moved in here but I can now see that I’m better off for it. Those people weren’t true friends anyway. They were only ever looking for what they could “get” from me and I was evidently too much hassle and they simply weren’t prepared to give what I desperately needed.

But losing them has made way for new and true friends. Friends who don’t always understand us but try their very best to. Friends who don’t judge what they don’t know and friends who are willing to give the benefit of the doubt whenever it’s needed.

Mothering is really damn tough. I know for one that NO-ONE really knows what goes on behind closed doors. For example – very few people are privy to the war zone that we live in every live long day and if outside appearances were everything, I’d be stuffed!

I’ve made no secret on this blog that things have been really tough here at times and will probably continue to be – that’s to be expected considering that autism has taken up permanent residence, but this post is not even necessarily about me.

No, this is more about the people who I meet in the autism circles that I run in and the family stories that I read as I pore over the blogs of other autism mothers all over the world. The mothers who are desperate to be heard and the mothers who have been wrongly judged and probably gossiped about.

My heart breaks for the mothers who have no family support. The mothers who have been shunned by their friends and who have no-one to turn to when the chips are down.

Those mothers who are working three jobs to afford their child’s therapies, the single mothers who have sacrificed everything so that their child gets what they deserve and the mothers who just.want.a.break!

Don’t get me wrong. I am no better than anyone else. I often hear myself saying “I’m already too busy “ or “I can’t” and the sad fact is that we are all living in a frantically paced world right now. But surely even so, mothers can still be there for each other can’t they?

We need to leave our opinions in our heads where they belong and reach out and help each other. Plain and simple.

It shouldn’t be this hard.

It really shouldn’t.

I’m just sayin’!

Anger – get behind me!

I thought it appropriate to use one of Harley's visual aids for emotions!

I know that anger is not always a healthy emotion.

But I think that it is an essential emotion nonetheless. Because without it, we are unable to properly express our innermost feelings and hurts, our fears and our pain.

We need to get angry at injustices served to our children, at societies ill-treatment of “different” individuals and the unfair expectations that are sometimes put on them. Because complacency achieves nothing. And as parents – we are supposed to be our child’s number one advocate.

But….(and here’s the kicker) – I don’t think that it’s healthy to “stay” angry. Because from my experience, doing that only causes more strife and friction and upsets everybody. And it’s also not a very good idea to make important decisions whilst you are angry either.

I’m writing very much from personal experience here too. Harley seems plagued by anger and rage at sometimes it’s justified, sometimes it’s not.

We are trying to teach him that being hot-headed won’t make the situation change and it definitely won’t make it easier , but it could possibly make it worse!

And I have had my fair share of anger worthy moments of late.

There was more than enough garbage going on in Harley’s school situation, to illicit some pretty fierce emotions in me but I had to calm down before I approached anyone about it.

I’ve felt a lot of anger towards parents of NT children which I know is NOT good. But if I was to be honest with myself – It’s probably more “jealously” than anger.

And sadness that is also manifesting as anger in me at the moment too.

This morning I walked out of the school yard after walking Harley into school and looked longingly over at the group of the other mothers of the children also in Harley’s year.

I knew that if I were to walk over and try to join in the conversation, that they would probably be polite and at least acknowledge me but I feel that this deep and wide ravine that is between ‘me’ and ‘them’ is getting deeper and larger all the time.

I really struggle internally to hear their stories of their grand plans for the weekend.

I  get sad when I listen to their accounts of their children’s after school activities/sports/dance classes when I know that if it wasn’t for all the therapies that are crammed into my kid’s weeks there MIGHT be a small chance of them also doing something like that . (and yes J, I will ring up about the cricket 😉 ) !!!!

And I feel like punching someone when they joke about how little Johnny/Susan had a tanty over their homework.

A little tanty? PLEASEEEEEEE. They wouldn’t know what to do if they got stuck in the middle of one of Harley’s rage outbursts! And over homework? We don’t have “little tantys”……we have full-blown meltdowns complete with the overacted emotional outbursts!

So, in reality….it’s ME that is driving the wedge between them and me.  *I* am the reason that this abyss has formed so I can’t really blame any of them. *I* am the one that avoids social gatherings and *I* am the one that has removed myself from them and all that they represent.

It’s not their fault that they just.don’t.get.it.

And to be completely truthful – before I had to deal with ASD personally – I really had no interest in learning about it either so I need to cut them some slack and realise that they all have issues of their own and their own mountains to climb.

It has helped me greatly in the past to read  The Other Mother by Darcy over at What We Need and Welcome to the club by Jess at A diary of a Mom.

I often go back and read them both and today was one of those days 🙂



After we have stripped away our anger, then we can finally put on love and self control.Trapped by anger Without stripping out the root cause for anger, it is like putting a coat of paint on a dirty wall. It will peel off in no time. First strip off the dirt and then you can lay the paint right on the wall, and it will stick. Afterwards, real healing can come when we affirm our purpose of living to do God's will, to exert self-control and to love one another.

Proverbs 14:29
“He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.