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“How are you?”, people keep asking (and by ‘people’ I mean ‘my family’ because I don’t really talk to anyone else).  “Uh… fine”, I answer them.  Because what else can I say? Let’s see… I’m sad, angry, confused and scared. Not to mention I’m feeling more than a little bit… I don’t know what the word for it is. What’s the word for feeling like everything that is happening to you is total bullshit? That none of it is fair and why is it happening to you and your family instead of somebody else? Whatever that word is, I’m feeling it. Also completely and utterly exhausted because of all of the things. The autism, the 10-month-old kid, the part-time evening job, the lack of sleep, the back pain, being fat, etc.

Monday was yet another appointment for yet another speech evaluation for Louisa. Her speech was already evaluated by Early Intervention. But half of the evaluation for autism by the people who are evaluating her for that (honestly you guys, I have looked it up at least 30 times and for some reason I just. cannot. remember. it.) was another speech evaluation.  And… her speech is… none…basically. I don’t mean she doesn’t have words because she still has a few and sometimes she will still use them but the words she does have are essentially useless because she doesn’t have any functional language. Like, she doesn’t know any verbs – especially any helpful ones like eat or drink or NO I DO NOT WANT THAT, I WANT THIS, WHICH IS WHY I AM THROWING THE WORST TANTRUM IN THE HISTORY OF TANTRUMS. According to the evaluator her expressive and receptive language, her communication/interactive skills and her social skills are severely deficient. Which, in case you didn’t know, are all of the things that one would expect to be nonexistent in an autistic person. But she can’t diagnose! She’s just evaluating her speech! We’ll have to wait until Thursday to see the psychologist for a diagnosis! She handed me about 20 different packets about autism and/or how to help kids learn to talk and sent me on my way. And PS: Can I just say… taking my 2&1/2-year-old child to a psychologist…I don’t even know. I’m apprehensive about it? I guess?

Let’s just move on. Apparently that’s one of the things I can’t even deal with right now. There are a lot of them. I’m not sleeping. Mostly because of Simon but also because of not being able to. So I’m completely exhausted. And keep forgetting things. And dropping things. And bumping into things. Also I have a permanent eye twitch. And when Louisa has one of those gigantic endless tantrums (which in the autism world are known as meltdowns) I basically have to take deep cleansing breaths and not freak the fuck out because I so want to freak the fuck out. I’m not kidding about how bad they are. It’s almost comforting to know that there is a reason other than she’s just a jerk, you know? Like, my kid isn’t just a gigantic asshole, she’s either A – experiencing some sort of sensory something or other (I don’t even know any of this stuff yet – more reasons to panic) or B – so frustrated by her lack of communication skills that the only thing she can think of to do is shriek/cry/kick/punch/throw herself on the goddamn floor and writhe like she’s possessed. That was how I spent my Saturday. Her throwing basically an hour-long fit, on and off. Part of it was in the parking lot at Target (because brilliantly we thought that maybe getting her out of the house and walking to Target (it’s literally a two-minute walk through the back fence of our parking lot) would help.  We were so very wrong, obviously). In the midst of all of it my husband was getting a cart out of the corral and somehow managed to tear his calf muscle. I don’t know how he did it, he doesn’t know how he did it, but he did. And suddenly he can’t walk at all, I’m trying to simultaneously push Simon in his stroller and hold/comfort a SCREAMING-SO-EMBARRASSINGLY-LOUD Louisa and… it pushed me over the edge. I was that lady hissing things at her screaming child. Things like ‘stop it right now! I am so sick of this bullshit!’.  It wasn’t good. None of it is good. Have you ever read/heard/seen that quote about how God/The Universe doesn’t give you more than you can handle? Or that this is the life you were meant to have because you totes got this, dawg? Or some variation on that theme? I saw that somewhere the other day and wanted to punch someone in the throat. You guys. I can’t even handle this. The only reason people can handle things that they have to handle is BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO. Like, I don’t really have a choice. I can’t just trade in my life for a different one that’s easier. So yeah. Just so you know – don’t say that to me right now. Or probably anyone else who is having some sort of difficulties.

So. How am I? Um, not good? Terrible? Hovering right on the edge of totally losing my shit?

I need to somehow find the time/gumption to move Simon into his crib and also convince him to start taking bottles. I only have two more months of nursing, thank God. I am so sick of it I could scream. I love the kid. OH SO MUCH. He is so smiley and cute and wonderful. But I would like my body and my bed back. It’s my fault for co-sleeping and for being a rabid breastfeeder, and I’m still glad I made those decisions, but I’m done now.  Also, I maybe need some drugs. All I have to do is find a doctor, make an appointment at some convenient time (read as: never because what do I do, take my screaming toddler and highly mobile soon-to-be toddler with me?), go to that appointment, get a prescription, fill the prescription… you get the point. I sat down to call my insurance company for help finding a doctor today and Louisa started screaming and I couldn’t even deal with it. I hung up. Why does everything have to be overwhelming? This is America, can’t we just get antidepressants in a vending machine or something?

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