Friday, November 6, 2015

Meltdown Hangover

After an epic two and half hour meltdown last night of screaming, hitting, throwing things by the Kiddo I find myself wondering what about this is a gift when it comes to autism. 

Please tell me.  It's the morning after and I am still emotionally and physically hungover from it.   I always used to describe morning sickness while pregnant as the hangover you had no fun earning.  This too, feels like one.  Likewise, no fun was had earning it either.  

There's that fine line with the kiddo when a tantrum (a defined want) crosses over to meltdown mode and we crossed it last night.  Many times over.  Of course, it was at it's peak just when my husband was walking in the door after a long day of work.  Props to him for not turning around and walking right back out.  Babe, I will not blame you if that's what you do next time.  Just go get a hotel room for the night.  That's what I would do.  

And no amount of going over "What went wrong?" will wipe this feeling away.  It just has to run it's course and yeah, that blows.  This was one of those moments of the Kiddo indulging in one of his hobbies, making himself miserable.  You see once he goes down that road, he likes to relive and hash out EVERY WRONG THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO HIM.  It's peaches, I say.  Just a barrel of fun.  It's during this listing of the Greatest Hits of Meltdowns Past that he is both calmed by the listing of them but also recharging for the next screaming session.  

I find myself looking at the clock a lot during these.  Sometimes when he gets started I tell myself "OK, this will be over in an hour.  It will be.  You can handle this."  I have to schedule my feelings to an appropriate time to process them cause I sure can't do it when a garbage can is being kicked over or he's grabbing and yanking my arms.  How is it that I blinked and he went from being a baby to a moody tween but during the meltdown, time just stands freaking still? 

I went to bed last night feeling like I had just down twenty rounds with a boxer.  This morning I woke up just feeling heavy.  There's just no other words to describe it.  He's off school today and I have a whole lot of hours ahead of us to fill. He's as cheerful as can be and it's so hard for me to fully enjoy it.  I just want to scream at him "Why? We work so hard for you? What more can we do? Why is everything we do for you still wrong? It must be because this stuff still happens!" 

But I don't because obviously.

Here I am wondering where is the gift in all this?  I know he has them. I've seen them. I've shared them with you.  I'm listing them in my head but still I am struggling.  When anxiety and the inability to fully communicate with others leaves you crippled with meltdowns, where's the gift in that?  

Oh well, better start the day with him.  I know of no other way to start seeing the gifts of him than just moving forward.  I think we'll hit the diner so he can get some fries and Mama can get some coffee.  That's always helped the fun hangovers.  Maybe it will for the meltdown ones too. 


  1. Meltdown Hangover...very well put. During my boy's meltdowns I use to be in full adrenalin mode, some sort of super-human. But after my boy's meltdowns...crash and burn exhaustion, sprinkled with the constant hyper-vigilance we all know. The boy would hit a point and then be like nothing had happened, like that friend who walks into the group of wrecked party goers and is asking if anybody wants to go for a run. 😠
    Well done, Mama.

  2. You sharing this moment with others is the gift. I know it still doesn't sound like one and you would probably prefer a different gift, yet here we are. I hope your day is beautiful and you are able to clear your head of yesterday's meltdown.

  3. I think your ability to pull this out there and to express yourself so eloquently is a gift to people who have been and are where you are. I think you're amazing!

  4. I feel you, Mama. God knows I can relate. You are not alone. I look forward to your posts because it means we are not alone in these struggles, as much as it feels like we are. Keep on keeping on. It's all we can do.

  5. I totally get the 'we work so hard for you' part. After a meltdown I give up. Then after a few days I get back on the autism trail and keep riding. Time. A few good days. He'll do something to make you laugh. You'll be back, don't worry.

  6. Had one of these nights last night. Love your blog. Glad to know I'm not alone. :)

  7. Had one of these nights last night. Love your blog. Glad to know I'm not alone. :)

  8. *Tears, because I'm right there with you today

  9. *Tears, because I'm right there with you today

  10. Wow you hit it right on the nose that is exactly how I feel after a meltdown with my son.