You probably know it, you’ve been there. The first wake up call was around 5am, the Pickle wandered in to announce his day had started, but this was one of the mornings he went back to his bedroom. Thank goodness I thought, I can sleep again. At 7am, the meltdown began.
I’m not too sure exactly how it started, I think he knocked over his marble run. And then we couldn’t get it right. Then nothing was right, and it felt like nothing would ever be right again as the screams of a crazed banshee ran out through our house whilst two bleary eyed, tired parents tried to fix the situation; knowing full well that we could never fix the situation.
So the screaming did stop after half an hour (which feels like an eternity at that time on a Sunday morning), but after some careful negociation, like poking an explosive that might blow to pieces if you touch the wrong wire, Pickle calmed down and now has my space in the big bed, and is happily playing on his ipad with Daddy P next to him. Daddy P is trying hard to sleep through the noise of Minecraft and Baby Bigmouth opening kinder eggs; and I’ve decided that at 7:37am on a Sunday Morning, with a strong coffee by my side, I am going to get up and write my first blog post for almost 2 years!
I started this little blog with the best of intentions. I wanted to share my journey, maybe make some friends and even help someone who felt alone to know that although this is at times is the most isolating place in the world to be; you are never alone. Honestly, I set out with all these wonderful intentions, but I wasn’t expecting that awful dark cloud that hit me after diagnosis.
In hindsight, of course now looking back, it was a bit of a risky move! I was about to come crashing down in a big way, and I got the whole damn ugly thing in writing! I had originally planned to remain mysterious and anonymous, to become famous without being famous. but of course I had ended up over sharing, telling a few people, and before I knew it, I had Nanny P calling me up 30 seconds after I’d hit ‘publish’ to have a run down on everything that I had written about my darkest feelings. And suddenly I was not only depressed, but feeling totally claustrophobic and worried about hurting the people I love with my words. So I stopped; and I carried out the rest of my journey privately. That was definitely that was the right thing to do. I want this blog to be nice to read! I want it to be totally honest, but not coming from that place of anger.
But rest assured newly diagnosed autism mums, that horrible, flat feeling is totally normal. And it feels like you’ve had a death sentence put on to you. You love your child, but you hate the autism. And sometimes the lines get blurred and you don’t know which is which anymore. YOU ARE NORMAL! And it does get better!
It’s like having a tool box, and you start off with nothing in it apart from love and good intentions (and coffee). But as the days go on, you get new tools. New coping strategies. New visuals. New people working with your child who ‘get it’ (and if you feel they don’t get it, get a new person!). There are also others around you. You may not have met them yet, but they’re there. Living in their houses, having 7am meltdowns. And if you get the word out and discover them, you will suddenly find you have a whole Battalion and an army of friends in your tool box! It’s a slow process, but hey we’re built to cope with the slow and steady race! Our child has taught us that.
Hold on tight newly diagnosed autism mum, you WILL get there.