These past couple of weeks have been two of the worst in recent years for Hallee. There’s something going on with her, with the autism. Just when I think I’ve got that fucker beaten into submission (the autism, not my child), it throws you a curve you didn’t see coming. Hallee has gone along at a pretty steady clip for the last several years. Happy, malleable, challenging at times, but never too far to the left or the right of her norm. I was worried about puberty, having read some horror stories about how hormones really wreak havoc with kids like mine. While it did put some bumps in the road of our otherwise smooth existence, we just kept on plodding along, because overall she was happy.
I noticed about 2 weeks ago that she was acting really anxious, really easily agitated. We had just had her yearly med-check with her specialist a day or two previously and she was pronounced good to go, see you in a year, she was just as happy and healthy as ever. I gave her some space, thinking that time of the month was coming for her, and she’d be back to herself in a few days. Well, she wasn’t. She isn’t. Still. She’s teary, angry, almost aggressive at times. A simple conversation is out of the question. All of our old enemies have raised their ugly heads again, the dragons I thought were slain. The OCD pieces are back with a vengeance. Echolalia. Stimming. Hand-flapping. I can barely speak to her without her jumping all over me for pronouncing something wrong. You’re not allowed to say the “d” in the word “and” or “hand”. You can’t say any “t” sounds too loudly. Really, you can’t breath too loudly right now, either. It’s impossible to get her to answer a yes or no question without a 10 minute round of verbal gymnastics first. She’s 16. I get that. Is this hormones? Typical teen bullshit? Autistic teen bullshit? I’m at a loss.
Health-wise, she’s great. Eats well, sleeps well, no troubles there. Nothing new is going on here at home. Nothing new is going on at school. No big changes to knock her off track. I’m just floundering here, trying to figure out what’s setting her off and how long to let it go on for. She does well at school, I’ve called several times as a matter of fact, thinking that if she’s struggling this hard at home, she has to be having trouble at school, right? Wrong. She’s fine. Doing beautifully, as a matter of fact. It’s just at home. With me. It’s not even with Mark or Mad…just me. I’m frustrated. And angry.
Autism has taken so much from our lives..shattered so many hopes and dreams. It roared into my life like an F5 tornado, picked up everything I cared about and let the twisted and shattered pieces drop back down while I sat amid the rubble, dazed. The fact that it has flipped it’s bitch switch on after all of these years just to screw with my happy kid is making me very, very angry.
I just needed to vent, I suppose. It is what it is, and most days I accept this with as much grace as I can. I have never felt sorry for myself, not even once. I feel sad for her, that she has to struggle so hard just to get through a day and I feel angry, oh boy, do I feel angry. Not at Hal, obviously. I don’t know what I’m angry at. Life, Fate, God. Maybe all of the above, but make no mistake..I am angry. But I keep that under wraps so I have something to blame my road rage on.
I know that whatever this is, it won’t last. Eventually my Hal will be Hal again and this will just be another bump in the road. But in the mean time, the cost is pretty high. I’m wiped out, testy. I feel like I’m not doing enough for Mark, for Mad. I know that’s not the reality, but that’s what it feels like. I feel like I’m pushing people away, so I can focus more on Hal and what she needs. I wish I had a happy, upbeat note to end this on, but I don’t. Autism sucks, yes. But what it also does is breaks your heart and breaks you down.