Lately, it has become more and more apparent to me that I’m being mean and unfair towards myself pretty much all the time. I seem to be stuck in a never-ending cycle that I’m having trouble getting out of. You see, I feel guilty almost all the time. It can be that I don’t feel like I’m a good enough a mother, it can be that I don’t feel like I’m a good enough a wife, or that I’m not efficient enough in my studies, or that the house is always a mess, or, or, or… I always feel like I have to be doing something and when I do, I always feel like it’s done at the expense of something else I should or could be doing. It’s a vicious circuit that leads nowhere. It’s a fight with my unconsciousness that I can’t win!
When asked “which do you want first, the good news or the bad news?” I always choose the bad news first. I guess I always want to get the worst part over with and then start focusing on the positives. Which is why I’ll start this post with the negatives of marriage, namely the divorce rates. When searching the internet for statistics I found that the general divorce rate in the US is approximately 50%. While these are striking numbers, I’m sure they’re not far from the statistics in most western countries. For years, rumors of even higher divorce rates of parents of autistic children have circulated where numbers as high as 80% have been frequently mentioned. Not an encouraging thought and I could not help but wonder: is this really true?
In my last post I was still riding high after celebrating for the first time the World Autism Awareness Day (April 2) but that was just a short break from the not so cheerful days leading up to it and then taking over again. You see, my husband and I have both been sick for the past few weeks, nothing serious, just a persistent nasty little virus that has kept us feeling miserable for way too long. As you all know, when you are feeling sick, you are not exactly a burst of energy and as a parent, use up what little energy you have to make sure your children are okay. Well, when both parents are sick at the same time – especially during Easter vacation in the preschools – it is a recipe for disaster!
We have been struggling with V’s sleeping patterns for almost two years now. And he is only 2 years and 8 months old! As an infant, we did not notice anything different, he basically did what every infant does; he slept, ate, pooped, slept, ate, pooped, slept, ate… you get the picture! When he was about 9 months old we started teaching him to fall asleep alone. We used the same “super nanny” methods we had used on JA but they did not seem to work. He just jumped up and down in his crib – sometimes for hours – without falling asleep. We did not know what to do but as long as he was happily playing in his crib and eventually fell asleep on his own, we were not too concerned. The problems started for real when he turned two and became too big for his crib.
Before I go into details in this post I feel it is important to emphasize that I am no expert on the matters of autism but merely a mother whose son has been diagnosed and is likely to get a diagnosis for the other one too. Hence, my writings are but accounts of that experience and how it affects the family. One important aspect of that is how all this affected my husband and I in different ways.