Today I am completely losing my mind.
Some days when I get up, the drudgery of the day ahead of me makes me want to give up.
Days like today it sends me into a rage so stormy that anyone in the firing line may be torn apart. It certainly has the capacity to permanently scar children – who were the cause of this fekking shit in the first place.
I get it. The circumstances of my life have required surrender, of my work, over any chance of self-actualisation. My children’s future is the reward.
I get it. I’m not working in a coal mine, I’m not a slave, at least there is some welfare left in this state. I know I’m lucky.
BUT I’m also human. And I need answers to life questions like these:
If you wash the plastic bottles for recycling, don’t throw the lids on the kitchen floor. Why would you do that?!?
How the fek am I meant to know whether or not you gave the cat its medication every fekn morning? Sometimes you do, so if I give it everyday I’ll kill it. Sometimes you don’t, so if I leave this responsibility to you, I’ll kill it.
If you do the dishes, put some away as you go, so I can use my arms at the kitchen sink, without draining dishes falling in. Why would you leave them like that?!?
If you use up a toilet roll, DON’T throw the empty on the floor. Why would you do that?!?
Do you people understand that while I do all this trivial shit everyday, I don’t get any further ahead on any of the stuff that really needs done? Do you want this house to look like a hovel? Don’t you like things to be clean?
Don’t you say sorry to me – do something about it!
Look, I’ve had enough. I know some of you out there can do this stuff, and so I hear things like “I need some time for me” or “Why don’t you come out with us you need cheered up” or “I’ll come over for a cuppa”.
No you fekn won’t. There’s me and the three little pigs. I can’t keep up with them as it is. They don’t give a flying fuk, and if you come over to remind me to nurture myself, I’ll have even less time to try to tame the monster.
I am unhappy. I don’t like this life (no matter how grateful I should be). Eventually I’ll either end it, or pack my bags and leave them to wallow in it.
Tell me how grateful I should be? You come and do it.
The struggle against being pulled under is as hard as it ever was on day one. Harder, truth be told, now that I’m trying to stop three other humans from going under. And I’m the only one who can.
I’ve called for help. Against my will. Because it’s the right thing to do.
I’ve called for a lifesaver – any sort of floatation device. Just to help me when I’m too tired to swim anymore. In response I’ve been thrown plans to build a boat. But I’d have to stop swimming to read the plans, buy the materials, and build the fekking boat. My children would drown.
I have received advice to stop swimming. Float and enjoy the air.
But the current gets mighty strong, and it pulls us all under if I don’t keep swimming.
I did stop treading water for a while, before I had the children in tow. I went under, and when I managed to struggle back to the surface I set off in a different direction. A more promising direction. But the tide is the tide, and the current is strong everywhere.
I just get so tired.
I don’t want anybody to save me. After all, I chose to get in the water.
And I’ve had people offer to save me. Or at least swim beside me. Always they got tired quicker than me, and I had to save them too – or let them drown. Some even tried to pull me under.
From the shore occasional voices have called to me. That my swimsuit is outdated. Or I should be slimmer if I’m going to swim.
Or even congratulations and support, cos I’m doing a really good job of swimming…
The current is coming at me from all directions at the moment. Has been for a while. At some point it becomes impossible to parent lovingly when you constantly have to swim so hard.
These small humans don’t cling to me while I save them. They thrash about endlessly, in joy or panic. And they’re older now, so they now have luggage – not packed in nice floaty suitcases, but floating loose while they try to keep track of all their bits and pieces, while insisting I should. Because I’m the adult. I’m the responsible one.
And every time I get my head up, I can see endless storms brewing, bringing crashing waves – forever…
Today I decided to get out of the water.
I sat on the shore for a while – trying to decide if I really wanted to continue trying to swim. Or just walk away.
I’ve watched everything I care about float away.
I know what I should do.
But diving back in…? I’m so bloody tired. Even if I can save the little ones, they’ll still grow up with the scars of a lifetime of drowning slowly.
If I stay on the shore, evaporating in the dry air…
I feel numb. The pounding in my head from endless waves crashing down on it has gone. The waves that battered me about for years and years and years, while everybody said “Keep swimming. It’s worth it in the end”.
There is no end.
Single parents with spectrum kids – Hail and salute!
And lets face it, those of us with spectrum kids are single, sooner or later.
I’ve just got through my morning battles. Today the school run finished at 10am. The child who wouldn’t rise, the child who wouldn’t dress. The child who screamed at me and swore for half an hour that they had done their teeth, face, and hair, rather than going and doing it.
I’m still tired from yesterday – a blur of Healthcare appointments, schools, neglected friends, insufficient house maintenance. And I worked last night.
It will start again in a few more hours. When I collect them. ‘Afterschool’ starts with food phobias. The dinner arguments can go on for 5 hours. Every night. Forever. It’s a tactile thing, you see. She physically can’t swallow some textures of foods, others she can’t get past her thinking, and no two foods on her plate can touch. If I do surrender to her lack of nourishment, I have other children who float on the edges of the spectrum and need their needs met too.
Poor parenting. Lack of discipline. Failure to maintain routines (or budgets). I hear my mother’s voice in my head.
But those of us who do this full time, we’re on benefits, you see… There is no money for special diets, or extra petrol when you need to do several school runs in the morning to get everybody to where they need to go.
So, I add in a little work. To lift the budget. To lift me. I work from home of course, so I can work around the kids needs. Which requires that I at least appear somewhat presentable in my home environment. Which is a challenge with spectrum kids, to say the least.
My own counsellor, put in place to ensure I’m maintaining my own good health as backbone of this family, suggests I go to bed every night at 11. But that’s when it’s quiet you see. I can usually be assured that by 11 all will be sleeping. No-one phones. There are no clients. 11pm I cannot surrender. I need 11pm.
I have fired my counsellor. She fell asleep in my last session. She needed something to fix. And there is nothing here that can be fixed. This. Is how it is.
Goddess warm my heart. I feel like I’m freezing to death.