Tuesday, May 25, 2010
What would you choose? A couple of bruises, scratches or some other boo-boo, or someone yelling nasty words at you constantly?
I’ll take the bruises, scratches, and boo-boos, thank you very much.
In the early days of my son’s diagnosis, he became a bit of a hitter and kicker. I was typically the targeted punching bag (he rarely did this stuff to others; thank God as it was bad enough for me and my husband, so fortunately no one else was in the mix). At 11, he’s grown far better with this physical behavior. It still stirs the autism pot once and awhile, but thankfully it’s short lived and medication evens the playing field.
Last week, though, in a tantrum moment (worst we’d had in some time), I took a hit in the face, like a slap. It wasn’t too bad and when my son came out of his autism world and took a trip to my world when the anger haze lifted, he was overly apologetic and remorseful. I appreciated the apology, but I still felt worn down, beat up, and dirty.
It’s the words. My kid’s words feel like getting hit full blast with sharp-cornered bricks. They hurt worse than a slap, that’s for sure. And it’s not the typical smarting off, backtalk, or pre-adolescent crankiness. Nope, this ranks right up there with pure verbal abuse (laced with some God awful expletives). Again, I am the punching bag here as well (Dad gets some too, but I am the primary caregiver during the week, so I take more sadly). We work really hard with him on dealing with this vitriol with a variety of techniques we’ve learned from his medical and educational teams (and former family counselors, I say former because my kid refuses to get behavioral therapy and pitches a fit in their offices). Regardless of the trying everything including total honesty ( I feel hurt when you say those things, here’s why, etc.) it doesn’t work. In the meantime, I am feeling physically and mentally exhausted. Mind you, I don’t have this every day. But enough. Even if it’s just once during a period of a couple weeks or a month, it’s ENOUGH.
Some relatives took my son recently for a long outing (of course he’s an angel with them). I did not miss him. I did not think of him. And I don’t feel an ounce of guilt for saying that. And I don’t feel bad I said this in an open, public forum either.
Rant off. Thank you.
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