In this little corner of my shed on the wharf, I dedicate this wall to posts about my personal experiences as a mother of two autistic sons. Christian and Brandon are the light of my life and caring for them is a challenge, but it doesn’t take from the joy of raising them.
Forever, Christian is my first published novel and it is about my eldest, Christian, who after nine long, frustrating, tear filled years, was diagnosed with autism at the age of 9.
Below is a working cover of a sequel to Forever, Christian which is slowly in the process of being written. It will be about Christian’s first years as a teenager with autism and Brandon’s first steps with the journey. I will keep you updated on it’s progress and when it’s published.
Sunshine and Rain: The contrasting life of a mother of autistic children
Being a stay at home mom with two special needs kids, is akin to leaving in a bubble that can not be burst. I have two autistic sons, ages 14 and 6. The teenager suffers from serious anxiety where his paranoia has kept him prisoner in his room. The paranoia’s muse? His six year old brother. The reasons why, will be the subject of a separate post.
While my teenage son is sequestered in his room, the six year old is wild and destructive. It’s a wonder I’m not gone deaf with his constant tantrums and meltdowns(yes, there is a difference between to two with autism)He needs constant supervision, if I’m not watching him every second, the house we are renting may crumble down around us.
My husband works two jobs, seven days a week, so I can be at home with our children. For reasons that are personal, I can not work outside the home. I have no car, truck, bike or any other contraption with wheels that will allow me to travel beyond where my two feet can take me. So, my activities with my youngest are severely limited. Since my teen’s mind keeps him locked away in the room, he can’t go anywhere with us.
I spend my days playing with one child and when he goes to bed and the other comes out, I have to play with him too. I know it’s essential for a parent to play and spend time with their children as it fosters the bond between parent and child, but when you are your child’s only playmate, it gets exhausting.
Christian, my 14 year old, has friends in school, but none of them call or come knocking at his door, asking him to come out and hang out with them.
Same story with my six year old. No children ringing our door bell and asking Brandon to come out and play.
I’ve tried making contact with the parents I managed to get phone numbers off, but they either didn’t respond or offer up empty promises of play dates in the future.
My children are bright, talented, compassionate and loving and are my gifts from God whom I love and treasure every day, but also wearing.
With my husband working all the time, I’m the primary caregiver. I’m the one taking care of every need and want. I’m their mother, counsellor and playmate. Plus many more things. I have so many hats on my head, that my neck hurts. With no friends or family near by to help or even come and visit me, I feel trapped. The only adult I have to talk to with the exception of my wonderful mother, is myself and “myself” has mostly negative thoughts and feelings. “Myself” drains the life out of me.
My happy, jovial personality has been slowly transforming me into a bitter, narcistic martyr. I hate that part of myself.
I’m stressed to the max. Being on the front lines of autistic meltdowns, which in my children, are violent and unsettling, with having very little help, plus all the reasons above have been taxing on my sanity.
Do I hate my life? Surprisingly, no. I am lucky in many ways. I have parents who work hard to help me every way they can. My family and friends are also a great support system, though they are not near.
I just wish the weight of this crushing depression would lift, so I can enjoy my life more.
I’m not alone, but it feels that way.