Sunday, February 19, 2012

Worn Out

You never know just when it is going to happen. The moment when enough is enough, the moment when the meltdown occurs. Sometimes you can predict it, sometimes you can strategically try to avoid it, but sometimes it just creeps up on you and bites you in the butt. Katie was looking so forward to our mini-vacation, our weekend away. I packed so many snacks, I planned for every possible bump in the road. But you can't plan an antidote for exhaustion.

I am sure that many parents of toddlers can relate. I am sure that all parents, if they think back hard enough, can remember the feeling of helplessness. Unfortunately, Katie never outgrew the "meltdown" phase of life. I don't know if it is Autism playing it's funny little games, or her medication, or both. When she is tired and worn out, there is no turning back, no amount of reasoning or pleading or bargaining or bribing that will stop her from the tears and fits that she will have. I tried to make a deal with her tonight. "If you just stop crying until we get back, you can call grandma". Sometimes she just needs to have a plan or something to distract her for the moment. So she calmed down to call grandma. That lasted until she got off the phone, then the tears started back up.

The thing is, I know it is all our fault. We run with her all day, wake her up so early for our plans, drag her here and there, interrupting her routine. It's no wonder that she is a crying mess. I can't get mad at her or frustrated with her for something we did, but it is soooooo hard to! I have to take a deep breathe and just take it step by step until she is finally tucked into bed and I can breathe again. Once she is safe, and comfortable, and calm, that is when I can finally relax.

Sometimes I try to put myself in her shoes. Obviously there is no way I can actually figure out what she is thinking or how she is feeling, but it helps to consider what she has to deal with. Exhaustion, overstimulation, her brain going a mile a minute......I don't know how I would handle it. It gives me a headache just to think about how overworked her brain must be. I guess sometimes our Adventures in Autism are a little too much to handle, and we all get worn out.

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