Bottling up my emotions has never worked out well for me. I pretty much can't do it. If you know me personal, there is no such thing as a Poker Face on my mug. This tends to be a problem when I have to maintain a calm demeanour in challenging situations especially in regards to our autism life. (aka Dealing with asshats) Allow me to provide an example.
Last Thursday the kiddo came home from school scripting the same set of lines again and again. "No throw the white binders! No hitting Mrs. G. No yelling." I figured something went down during the day but he was lacking in the finer details, like who did it. Was he merely repeating what he heard staff say to the student having a crisis? Or was he just ratting himself out in his literal and honest autism way? He's been known to do both. No note in the communication book about it, so I shoot an email off to the teacher to find out the scoop. No response that night, or Friday, or all weekend until 7:30ish Sunday night. Literally minutes before I try to herd my kid off to the Land of Nod. He's finishing up watching The Polar Express and I'm checking my phone when I get her response. Why yes, it was my kid who decided to redecorate his classroom by tossing everything and yeah that was kind of really different for the kiddo because he is not like that at all at school. So yeah, I got confirmation on this radical change of behavior four days after the fact. Prefaced with she tried to email me back earlier but it didn't work, which I found so amusing as the PTG and it's multiple requests for me to join committees never seem to get lost that weekend.
I'm not going to lie. I sat there seething. I was livid. Four freaking days go by and not a peep! Not a "Hey there Your kid had a radical 180 change in his behavior and manner on school." in the notebook on Thursday or Friday. He does not do this stuff. Wouldn't you as a teacher want to follow up on that? Why did it take me even to have to make that first step? Hell hath no fury like an autism mama pissed off. At that moment, Satan himself would of been warning folks to leave me alone. But I can't go in there swinging as much as I would like too. Not yet. This is only our first tangle you see. I have to put it up on my emotion shelf for future reference. Storing it if you will. I quickly email back, CCing the piss out of that email to the husband and the caseworker and calmly, without cussing, explained how four days later doesn't do much for addressing behavior. Or trying to figure out if possibly this was the start of one of an ear infection or illness or the autism go to, does he have to poop? I need more details because my boy is on medication. This is the kind of thing I need to discuss with his doctor too. Personally, if the kid in your class is stellar and happy every freaking day to be there, wouldn't you want to nip that stuff in the bud before it became a habit? Or worry about his well being? But that's just me. To her credit, she emailed me back within minutes. I think she realized that the ball got dropped and if she wasn't careful it would soon be thrown at her head by yours truly. We figured out what needed to be done for future events should anything like that happen again. I'm glad we got to a solution that works for both of us. But you'll noticed I'm not completely without anger. I'm like Diet Livid. Same rage taste but with less a chance I'll meet her after school with a sock full of Thomas the Tank Engines.
It's just another experience to add to my shelf of anger, disappointment and frustration. There's only so many deep cleansing breaths you can take before cracking wise as a stress reliever becomes cracking skulls. This is only the beginning of October. This doesn't sit well with me for what our year will be like and I'm worried. My son is nine and that shelf is already becoming quite crowded. I might need bookcases for it soon. I'm constantly having to file and reorganize this shelf of emotions. Which ones are my high priorities? Can that group over there just chill out on a "keep warm" setting in a Crock Pot till I can get to them or will they boil over at the worst time possible? Sometimes the shelf is straining. Sometimes it's just sloppy and dusty. (Who are we kidding? It's always dusty. Mama Fry hates dusting) Sometimes I just want to take my hand and sweep all of that emotional junk off the shelf once and for all.
Ever feel like that? Or is that just me? I once had a doctor recommend I wake up an hour before the kiddo did each morning and meditate to help me center my emotions. I explained to her that my son likes to wake up most morning at 4:30am, meaning that would make me have to start waking at 3:30am. Frankly the only thing I want to meditate on at that hour is the what the insides of my eyelids look like. She quickly shut her mouth and then changed the subject.
Pardon me while I go rearrange my shelf. Have some fries while I do. :-)