Oh hello, blog. You’re still here? I don’t know why I stopped writing. Maybe because blogs are so blasé these days? I mean, who the hell blogs anymore, like, forrealz. Or maybe because I got a little shy about sharing personal things? I mean, my family reads this blog (well, some of them anyway) and do I really want them to know all of these things? I’m not much of a talker. I don’t know why. I guess I just don’t know how. I don’t know how to cry. I don’t know how to ask for help. I don’t know how to explain why telling people things is too hard for me, it just is. I don’t even talk to my husband, poor dude. I probably need therapy but who can afford that and who has the time? But anyway. I stopped writing. Today I felt like it, for the first time in ages.
Life is really hard right now. Like, really hard. I know, whose life isn’t hard, like always, right? But really. It has almost been a year since we moved to Utah which is hard to believe. Sometimes it seems like we have been here forever and that Vegas is just a bad memory and sometimes I can’t even remember where the time went or what I did with it. But when anniversaries of things come up I often reflect about what has been happening during that time. So obviously there’s autism. That has basically become the theme of my (our) life (lives) around here. It’s hard to describe what it’s like to parent a child with autism. Some days I am so hopeful and positive about things but most days… I’m not. My daughter is three years old; she doesn’t talk, she has never called me Mama/Mommy/anything at all, she is not even remotely on her way to being potty trained, she doesn’t deal well with transitions (meaning that if we move from one activity to another too quickly she has a meltdown), she doesn’t sleep well (that is as mildly as I can put it, y’all – last night she woke up at 2 in the morning and was up until almost 5), she would rather spin around in circles than play with toys… and it makes me sad. The 24th of July is a holiday in Utah (Pioneer Day – it’s a Mormon thing). We decided to take the kids to a small celebration in our local suburb/community thing. There was a parade, lots of food trucks, bouncy houses, etc, etc, et al. And Louisa hated it. Every minute of it. She screamed. She cried. She threw fits. So finally we gave up and left, obviously. Which, whatever, fine – I’m no expert on “regular” kids but I would venture a guess that most three-year-olds have rotten days, even without the added benefit of autism. But still. It was hard. And then as we were walking down the street back to our car I witnessed a conversation between a mom and her daughter who was probably close to the same as mine. The little girl was saying “I don’t like you right now!!” in an angry voice with a cute little scowl on her face and the mom, trying to be calm and use it as a teaching moment, responded “You aren’t being very nice right now”. That’s about all I heard but I thought to myself that I would pay money to be having that conversation with Louisa. If she turned to me and said “FUCK OFF, MAMA” I would probably throw a party. And I’m not joking, not one little bit. I hear people complaining about how their kids never stop talking, never stop asking WHY WHY WHY, never stop never stop and I die a little on the inside. If and when that day ever comes, I will listen to my baby talk for hours on end. Then there are those moments when she is such a sweetheart. She will randomly decide she wants a hug and just walk up to get one. Her laugh is the best thing I have ever heard. She loves to be tickled. She loves to read books. I love her more than I can put into words.
And then there’s Simon. He will be 16 months old in a couple of days and the only word he says is ball. And so of course, what goes on in my head is panic panic panic, omg, is this really happening again? this is really happening again, holy crap I have two kids with autism. And it might be happening again. I might have two kids with autism. And there’s nothing I can do about it. I can call Early Intervention (I will), I can get him tested (I will), blah blah. At least I’ll know sooner this time. But other than that all I can do is love them both. Hug them both. Try to understand that they both love me even though they’re not very good at showing it. Try to learn how to help them. Cry a lot. Which I do, at least once a day.
Which brings me to my next point. Depression. That bitch. I’ve been wrestling with it hard since Christmas time. I hate mental illness. I hate having it. I hate talking about it. I hate being defined by it but there you go. I can’t control it. I’ve tried. I’ve tried to pretend that I’m fine, that I’ll be fine, that I can handle everything, that depression is a cop-out, but guess what. I can’t. It isn’t. It’s real and it sucks. Without my medication I am a miserable ball of anxiety and anger and I’m no good to anyone. So fuck wrestling. Fuck fighting. I give. Better living through chemistry, right?
Louisa starts full-time preschool at a special school for autistic kids in four weeks. I am so nervous I could throw up. We are so fortunate to be here instead of Las Vegas and for her to have gotten into the school so quickly and I have heard wonderful things about the place. So of course I’m excited for her to go. And I would be lieing if I said I wasn’t looking forward to her being out of the house for a while. Taking care of two kids is hard. They FIGHT with each other. They SCREAM and RUN and make messes and then they FIGHT with each other some more because… they have nothing else to do? It’s a sibling code and right of passage? I don’t bloody know. They’re 3 and 1, I thought I had a little more time before it started but nope. And she needs this. She needs to be in preschool. She is ready to be in preschool. Especially this one. I knew it the minute I walked in the door but you guys. She’s my baby. And I have to send her out into the world. How in the hell am I supposed to do that?