November 14, 2016

My Tired Soul

Posted in Life's Little Moments, My Take on Autism tagged , , , at 11:11 am by autismmommytherapist


Today, my very soul is tired.

It’s 9:43 on the first day of NJEA (or winter break appetizer as I like to call it), and already I’m exhausted and simply heartbroken as I watch Justin suffer. I should preface this with the OCD we’d battled off and on for the past year-and-a-half had subsided greatly over the past three months with a medication change, and for a time life was much easier chez McCafferty. Justin was back to his happy self, and after three months of improvement with no setbacks brought us a more harmonious household, I let down my guard and actually started to think that things might go back to our “normal.”

It’s my fault. I got cocky with my “hope thing.” Shame on me.

Things were pretty good until around Halloween, when my son’s obsession with moving, hiding, and trying to defy gravity with the way he attempts to angle objects kicked back in. Jeff and I made a thousand excuses as to why this day was just an anomaly (“he’s hungry/tired/hormonal/it’s a full moon/it’s an election year), but after a few days we had to acknowledge the OCD was back, and began damage control.

Fortunately Justin’s neuroped responds to emails (which is why I’ll drive an hour-and-a-half to see him) and we quickly came up with a plan which required of course ten thousand phone calls (only a slight exaggeration) and my own perseveration that I’d forget one part of the plan. We managed to accomplish adding a dose at school (which initially had made him exhausted and spacey, so fingers were crossed this time that since he’s acclimated to the drug it would be different), and then, as always with med changes, we sat back and waited.

Not very patiently I might add.

In case you’re thinking OCD might not really be all that bad compared to autism, we actually find that this is the more challenging in some ways of Justin’s two diagnoses. When not immersed in the disorder Justin is one happy guy, excited to watch movies and play on our computer while home. He’s thrilled to leave the house even for a short errand, and one of his biggest demands is for kisses and hugs throughout the day. Frankly, when in this mode, he is completely delightful.

When his OCD has reared its ugly head, nothing in our house remains sacred. This morning I had a ten minute battle with him about why he couldn’t turn a five foot lamp upside down and place it in the middle of our kitchen. For some reason our lazy boy chair had to be upside too or things wouldn’t be right with our world, and half of our kitchen drainer has disappeared.

It was about two hours before I could even take a potty break. When he’s like this, his care is the same as watching a toddler. The problem is, this toddler is ninety pounds and almost as tall as I am and not the least bit happy when I interfere.

In the midst of all this chaos while I’m ignoring my other son and the twelve loads of laundry I should be folding I still try to summon my happy place, reminding myself of how much we’ve conquered over the years, that the med did work for a while and maybe he just needs more, and when I’m really desperate, that it’s only seventy-two hours before he returns to school and seven until I can reasonably have a glass of wine.

Yup, today I went there.

Of course all the time I’m trying to dwell in “happy land” that pernicious voice of doom is also expressing its needs, badgering me with “more meds might not help/ this may not just be a puberty thing/ when you’re dead no one will put up with this in a group home,” which of course propels me to the fridge (it being before 5:00) to my chocolate stash.

Really, Justin needs to work through this so I don’t gain twenty pounds. I have my priorities.

The truth is, today I’m tired, my people. As fifty nears I find I’m sloughing off that youthful enthusiasm I had about conquering new hurdles (it’s a teacher thing, I couldn’t help myself), and honestly, I just want this crap to stop. I want the objects in my house to remain where they are. I want to be able to help Zach figure out the crazy way they do math these days and not be rescuing said objects from certain gravitational doom. I want to be able to find my car keys. I’d like to solve the mystery of my missing drainer.

Hell, I’d give someone a million bucks just to tell me why the damn drainer.

And as I head over to rescue our desk lamp from being thrown behind our couch, I know all I can do is wait.


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  1. Joyce Vai said,

    Many many hugs coming your way Kim!! If its any consolation, I’ve had many days like that myself & I know there are many more ahead. I applaud your efforts but also know all too well that even days like these are needed to balance out everything in the end. I’m glad I’m not the only one losing marbles over keys & the piles of laundry that have been screamin my name for weeks, hehe. We can only do so much for our kiddos. Hang in there Mama 🙂 Youre doing a fantastic job despite everything goin the way it is!! Now chant with me, this too shall pass 🙂 🙂 *Hugs*

    • My Grandma used to say that and it’s so true! It is a consolation, and your words help so much. Thank you and hang in there yourself!

  2. autismumblog said,

    Hang in there mama. It’s like I was reading about my own day to day life. Sometimes it helps to be reminded, you are not going through this alone. You post has done that for me, thank you.

  3. misifusa said,

    Sending you strength and patience while you and your family endure these changes and may the meds help Justin to feel better (and perhaps show you where the drainer is!) Big healing hugs to you xo

  4. Kimberlee, I am not going to insult you by saying that I understand the cross which you bear. Because the challenges I face are quite foreign to yours. Yet you are not a voice crying in the wilderness. You are heard, admired and being prayed for.

  5. Kim, my heart goes out to you! I can’t begin to imagine what that must be like to deal with these kinds of OCD issues on top of what you are already dealing with. Two weeks before I see you. I can’t WAIT!!

  6. In an effort not to drink wine last night, I ate half of a twelve-serving store bought pastry. NEVER had these kinds of compulsions until parenthood.
    Um…does that help?
    Thanks and love,
    Full Spectrum Mama

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