1 part Aspergers 3 parts Asshole

There are times, when as a mother, you feel like such a failure that the emotions threaten to choke you into immobility. We all go through issues with children. Some people face illness or mental issues that change the plans you had for your child’s life or limits the range of possibilities they’ll have for their future. We adapt, we struggle and we eventually learn a new normal as we move forward.

When you are dealing with a child with cognitive issues, which include behavioural  responses, then you end up in such a struggle for balance in your life that it makes it impossible at times, to see clearly past what you are going through. Today I am feeling the pressure and lack of control that comes with the collapse of a bad day.

A bad day is any day that involves asking my son to do something he does not want to do. It’s asking him to get off his computer and participate in life or to do an assigned task he is more than capable of. I can not control or manage him any longer and his father is useless at it. His father is confrontational with him, which simply does not work. My son becomes verbally abusive and combative and directs the conflict towards me, even when I am not involved.

I am so tired of this battle. It’s never ending. And it is impossibly hard some days to remember that I have responsibilities to myself that I have to take care of as well. I feel like I’ve failed on multiple levels today simply because I lost my temper and that loss of control is never beneficial at any time, but especially when you are confronted with multiple melt downs in the house already.

This is not the life I thought I’d have. Not the responsibilities I thought would be mine. It’s hard to see other young adults working towards a future; going to school, getting jobs, taking on adult responsibilities and then being faced with my son who will never accomplish any of those things. His limitations aside, his oppositional defiance and refusal to work when he can, has made it impossible to try and assist him without resentment.

Nothing works and nothing matters and yet I can’t just cut him lose as you would with another child who was acting the same way. I can’t find a balance and all solutions fail, some worse than others. I am just so sick of setbacks and disappointment. It piles up on top of me so thickly that the weight of it becomes impossible to manage at times.

Part of me thinks I should at least be grateful for not having the major issues that accompanies the chronically ill or incapacitated, but in many respects it’s harder, as I would have access to more services or at the very least, understanding.

Instead, I have to suck it up; every single bad day that comes my way with a child who is an adult man who tantrum’s like an over tired 4 year old child when he doesn’t get his way and who scares me with the potential for his violence. I just hate days like this when it all feels like one massive failure.

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15 Responses to 1 part Aspergers 3 parts Asshole

  1. Dawn D says:

    Big hugs.
    I guess you have tried talking to him when he is in a good day, telling him that you have boundaries and that you don’t expect anything from him you wouldn’t expect from anyone else, yourself included. That is respect and participating in the house’s tasks?
    I am sure it must be horribly hard. Especially if your spouse doesn’t work in the right way and antagonises your son rather than tries to find a way to work with his limitations. I am sure he has his reasons for acting that way (feelings of failure in not having a ‘normal’ offspring can lead to negating of facts). But it does not mean you should put up with it.
    Did you talk with your spouse, about the fact you are afraid of your son when he gets violent and that antagonising him only makes him more violent?
    I’m just writing what comes to mind. I’m sure you have tried a lot of this already. I just feel sad for you and want to tell you that even though I don’t know what it feels like personally, I wish there was something I could do to help other than sending more hugs.
    XO

  2. Ned's Blog says:

    As a full-time stepdad to a 15-year-old son with Asperger’s, I read this post from start to finish nodding my head in understanding. You and I have talked before about the ups and downs of parenting a child with this kind of disorder, and how easy it is to feel defeated at times — or that you’ve somehow failed as a parent even though you know there are bigger factors at work than the typical parental challenges of teaching right from wrong. Some days it’s like going into battle; sometimes your battle plan works, and sometimes you crawl back to your fox hole and check to make sure you still have all your parts. I count myself blessed that my wife and I work as a team and, together, have created a united front that has been effective in helping our son gain the perspect he needs to recognize when he is crossing a line or escalating. It’s taken years, and I can’t imagine doing it alone. My wife was once married to a man who approached the situation the same as your husband, confrontational with guns blazing. While our son knows I am capable of restraining him, it has been several years since it’s been necessary because we have learned to communicate — a residual of trust.

    It makes me sad that you must face this by yourself — sad for both you and your son, who needs a strong male example who demonstrates support for you and the value of a clear head.

    Rest assured, you’re not alone in my thoughts, as well as my hope for you both. You’re an extraordinary woman who deserves more than you are receiving from the men in your life.

    • Dawn D says:

      May I say I LOVE this comment? I don’t have any experience with Asperger’s, but I have some with autism. Completely different, but challenging as well. I can only imagine how hard it is to take care of it alone… because my best friend has been dealing with her autistic child by herself most of her life.
      I agree that it is even more important for these children to see a united front. Keep your head up rougedmount, tomorrow will be a better day. And Ned said it WAY better than I ever could. :-/

    • rougedmount says:

      some days the struggle is well over my head. today was one of the ones that just leave its mark on your soul. i failed everyone today, including myself and just wish i could abdicate the responsibilities some days..like, all the days.. you really have no idea how profound your support is, to your wife. i know you ‘know’ but having someone help you and being able to trust someone to have your back and to stand in front of you when necessary, is the most profound sense of peace and security. men like you, who have chosen to parent when they did not ‘need’ to. men who provide a stable example to kids and teach by example how their mother should be treated…are absolutely priceless. i’m glad i know you have impacted them as you have.

      • Ned's Blog says:

        I must tell you that you are far from a failure, RM, because you endure. The fact that you take on the role you do, and take it so hard when you reach your limit, is a testimony to the depth of how much you care. That is a rare quality in today’s “me first” mentality. I truly wish you had the support you deserve and need, from someone who would put “you” first.

        I hope today is a better day — and that you know the only “failure” in this equation is the failure from others to acknowledge how special you are.

        Remember that 😉

      • rougedmount says:

        thank you for that..truly

  3. overhis2knees says:

    I understand. I have a son (who lives with his bio dad in another state) who is on the spectrum, too. His dad coddles him too much, but since I’m not his bio mom, I was told in no uncertain terms that my parenting was irrelevant. It breaks my heart that he will never live independently or experience joy in a way that most of us take for granted. ((Hugs))

  4. I am in exactly the same boat. I hear you, and my heart goes out to you in this paradoxical situation. It drives my need for ‘me’ time in my life. Common thread in similar blogs. I stand with you on this issue. LB

    • rougedmount says:

      i had to cut back on a lot of the ‘me’ time this past year and it was a disaster on ‘my’ end, though it did benefit the kids and household. the biggest issue, inability to keep giving…i just can’t anymore. i don’t have any reserves.

    • rougedmount says:

      i’d like to follow your blog but when i click onto your name it takes me to the gravatar and there’s no link back to your web site…sad as it is..i have no idea how to look for a blog using someones blog name…can you send me a link so I can try that way?

  5. I hope today is better.
    Happy New Year! XO!

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