Monday, May 11, 2020

What I've Learned

Here in California, we have been under some pretty restrictive lockdown because of Covid-19.  Unless of course, you count that you can go to any big box store or home improvement store, and have just about anything delivered to your house.  But thats it, you're at your house for 2 months, with your family.  I love my family don't get me wrong, my kids are my world, but I like them to go to school - no, I LOVE them to go to school.  I like me to go to work.  I LOVE my husband to go to work.  That's all been taken away, and frankly it sucks monkey balls. It sucks for me, it sucks for my kids, it sucks for my husband.  If you're still loving quarantine life, then I need your secret.

But in the midst of this I have learned new things, and some of my old tried and true convictions remain unscathed.

Exercise ALWAYS makes my mind feel happy.
(Why do I put it off?)

Cooking for 4 people 3meals a day everyday is exhausting.
(we get take out for Taco Tuesdays, or I'd have died by now)

My husband talks more than any other human being on the planet.
( he has the gift of gab, and uses it - relentlessly)

My son J tells some really funny jokes.
(tells me at least 4 a day)

My son F is a sweet happy soul.
(this lockdown is real hard on him, but he's handling it incredibly well)

My dogs love us being here all the time.
(many walks, and lots of cuddles)
I still hate laundry.

Faith and Fear can not live together in the same house. (this is fact)
(if I didn't have Faith in God that all will be okay, I can't imagine)

Trying new things is good.
(new foods, new exercises, new books, new recipes, new crafts)

Learning new things is good.
(Knitting, baking, cooking, and yoga)

I didn't go to teacher school for a reason.
(I have zero patience)

Living cautiously, without fear is making this nightmare tolerable.

A Roomba was the best investment I ever made.
(2 dogs, 2 kids - crumbs ALWAYS)

I will never buy this New Normal BS.
(I will go back to the Real Normal as soon as I won't get arrested for it)

Thinking critically and independently is the best thing you'll ever do for you and your family.
(Question everything and research what hits you in the gut)

I wrote cards and mailed them, and it was refreshingly nostalgic.

If I didn't have a motorcycle to ride, I don't know how this would have turned out.
I miss my friends, and I miss my REAL NORMAL life, I'm going back to you, and you should too.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Sane!

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Safer At Home except for the PTSD

I’ll be honest, I have not handled or am not handling this “Safer at Home” Bullshit ordered by our government, well at all for a variety of reasons.  First one being, I HATE people any people telling me what to do. Didn’t like it when my parents did it, my teachers, I tolerated bosses because of the money.  But I really hate self-righteous sanctimonious politicians who look like they’re enjoying our plight, financial crisis, losing businesses, and literally on house arrest for doing nothing.  But I digress.

Today I felt like I was hit in the stomach with a bat.  It hit me, why I’m really struggling through this.  In the 55 days we’ve been in quarantine, we passed a milestone, it was 11 years ago one of my kids was diagnosed with Autism.  I don’t celebrate that day, I acknowledge it, and try not to cry.  

I am feeling like this quarantine are the early dark days of Autism.  The days when I didn’t know what was happening, what was going on, how to cope, and I was a literal prisoner in my house with a newborn and 40 hours a week of ABA therapy for my son.  I couldn’t leave the house, and in those days the husband worked until 10 at night.  It was lonely, it was sad, it was scary, people were telling me what and how to do things, and I just hated those days. My sons behavior was so unpredictable, I rarely went out,  I cognitively lost my son, I lost a motherhood that I had always dreamed of.  Those were hard days.  They were so hard. 
The days were long, they were lonely, and I didn’t know anyone in my boat.  I buckled down and worked hard, and did everything within my power to help my son and eventually my 2nd son was diagnosed. It was isolating, depressing, and soul crushing.  Because as friends with typical kids grew and developed, and I saw the deficits in my kids, it was hard, and they distanced or you distanced.  My kids wanting to watch the same movie or section of a movie over and over and their “friends” had out  moved on to new things, they’d distance or I’d distance, and I was mostly alone navigating through a labyrinth of unknown. 

I think when my kids were 6 and 4, I found my groove, I got my jam on with other like minded moms, and they helped me up out of the dark, where I saw a light, I saw the progress in my kids, they taught me, they helped me, they loved me until I could learn to love this life I was dealt.  Even in my hard days or their hard days, I had a place to turn. I learned more about autism, I learned about never giving up, and I learned about how important it was to always be learning. I love my people, our friends, our baseball league, our dance classes, our webinars, our coffee talks. I love The Autism Community in Action and what it’s done for my family and my son.

So what snapped in me in this “Safer At Home” nightmare is the fact that I miss my people. I need my people.  I know many feel the same, so I see you!   We worked so hard to provide our kids with as full of a life as possible, what most people with neuro typical children take for granted, and they have come so far, and we are locked up. LOCKED UP, can’t go any of the places that they enjoy or love, and it’s killing all of us, if you know autism, you know what I’m saying. 

So to you special needs parents that are feeling that PTSD of being  back in those early days of isolation and the darkest days of our lives.  I feel you, I see you, and I am praying for you.