Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Parenting PTSD

Parenting Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  I swear to God.  This a thing. You cannot convince me otherwise.

AND I am not just saying this is one of those "Only Autism parents get this.".  I'm betting those Neurotypical parents get this too. We can't claim everything.  (Come on, you know if I don't say this one of them is bound to get their knickers in a twist over it. Oh shit. They're probably reading this too.  Just kidding NT parents.  Mama Fry is just being shady!) 

But "BECAUSE AUTISM", I can only speak about the parenting experiences I know.  Case in point. Every time one of you lovely and good looking readers send me an email or leave a comment telling me your story, so many times I go from "Gurl, I feel you!" to "HOLY CRAP!!! That's us!".  I am thrown right back into that place of worry, fear, and anxiety.  Even if the topic in question is something way in the past.  I have literally felt my chest tighten, my breathing quicken, and my head starts to sweat. (Which is annoying as feck because I have enough going on, let's ruin my hair on top of it. I'm from New Jersey for Christ's sake. You know how important hair volume is here?)

If you have been reading this blog for a while now, you know we have been in the mists of a loooooooong ass back and forth with New Jersey's Perform Care, a group that's suppose to help out kids like mine.  So far our experience has been that they neither perform nor really care. Honest to God,  I have never seen so much bureaucratic paperwork nonsense.  Countless meetings about what they are allegedly doing for my son without actually doing anything.  A lovely caseworker comes by once a month to tell me everything I already know but gosh darn it, he's got to get my signature on his chart that he saw me.  It took SEVEN months to get a therapist in here but finally we got one.  What did she bring with her?  A lot of early intervention memories that come flooding back.  Here we are again, therapists in my house.  Herding the dogs into a bedroom.  Trying to keep one area of my house clean so that it doesn't look like a dumpster on fire. A Kiddo that's delighted for the first few moments that they are here only to turn on the cranky side after twenty minutes because it's not fun anymore, it's work.   He knew she was on the schedule of things happening today and in his mind it was checked off as "done" the moment she walked into my house.  Hearing him whining and asking when she will leave every five seconds, makes me feel like a failure.  I wince every time I hear him complain and think "Oh Jeez Kiddo. Come on. DO you have to be that rude to company?" Of course, I know she's not company and it's not the first time she's probably heard complaints like that from a client but I can't help how I feel based on experiences I have had.

I feel bad too because it's his house. It's his safe spot.  It should be the one place on earth where he feels the most comfortable and happy and he's not.  Therefor, I feel just as stressed out as he is feeling and it sucks! I did not miss this shit. There's something to be said to going out to a therapist office.  You can kind of leave all that crap and junk at the door once you leave to go home.  Plus, I have to wear a bra and real pants while she is here.  That's a drag.  In my own house. That ain't right.

This week his school will be going to a local minor league baseball team game.  Should be fun right? Or it could be seen as returning to the scene of the crime.  Kiddo had a pretty EPIC meltdown at that place when he was a lot younger with us.  Bad enough for us never to return to the ballpark again. You have no idea how glad I am that I don't have to be on this trip with him.  I gladly hand this outing over to his teacher.  It's also on Wednesday, as in "WTF Wednesdays", as in the day that Kiddo hates more than any other day in the week BECAUSE AUTISM. Even though I'm a lucky bastard who doesn't have to go on this field trip, I know I will be wound tighter than a clock the whole day till he comes home.

Because autism, parenting PTSD flashbacks happen.  A lot. Sometimes they hit hard, sometimes you ca shake it off.  Either way, staying stuck in them doesn't help you and your kid.

If there was a soundtrack trigger to Parenting PTSD, it's anything from the Disney Pixar genre. 


  1. so much this! the worry of repeat performances, the stress of the "unstructured" summer, the every day ... thank you

    1. My doctor thought I was having asthma attacks until he finally talked to me for a while about my life. Then we discovered it was anxiety causing a lovely heart arrhythmia ...

  2. Dentist visits have left me w PTSD. The gagging, holding his breath, turning blue, restraints - just to have teeth cleaned. I hate dentists.

  3. It's about time you were "the lucky bastard" we dont get to be that too often. Enjoy the day in slack pants Momma Fry.

  4. Honestly, I'd wear my jammies pants, whatever t-shirt I had on and didn't put my dentures in. I'm an "I don't care" kinda mom when it comes to my looks.

  5. It would be wonderful if we could just, "Let it Go"! Of course, we can't. That's life with Autism. I enjoyed this post and your sense of humor describing parenting traumas specific to autism.

  6. We go to the therapist & my little guy spends most of the time saying "It' time to go now". The therapist & I feel we're good if he lasts 20 minutes.

  7. We are going on our first real Vacation in years in July, I am sure you know the anxiety I have had since I booked it 2 months ago. Due to PTSD we have never attempted a real vacation after well lets just say an incident....I am so nervous about it, "will it be too noisy, will it be too busy, will it be...?" Oh gawd I need to stop...

  8. People think I'm exaggerating when I say this. Like, Oh, She's just being colorful with her words...Um, Nope. Come spend a few hours with my 5 year old who has autism, LOVES water and will not stay out of the toilets, sinks, bathtubs and showers!!! We are currently moving and, since we have NO FAMILY HELP, every 1-2 minutes I have to ask/yell (OK, SCREAM) where's Nathan? It's exhausting. I feel like I live in constant panic mode. Damn. Will somebody tell me this is a phase? Or do I need to start drinking?

  9. It is indeed a nice blogpost and your way of presenting is excellent as well. I have got a autism boy of 21 years old. He has got tremendous improvement which we could not think when he was diagnosed with ASD & ADHD at the age of 4. I am also writing a blog sharing 21 years experience of living with autism. The Parents of the autistic children may visit my site at...

  10. Oh my glad (totally wrong) that I'm not the only one. My son's symptoms began with off the wall bursts of anger 3 years ago. He is much better controlled now but every time his voice takes that certain pitch , my heart races and I really want to run and hide.

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