Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Anxiety with a side of worry.

"Want help?" says the Kiddo walking out of the bathroom.

A half an hour away till "melatonin time" and my son's face is twisted up in concern.  While we have daytime toileting down pretty well, there are still bumps in the road but those are getting fewer.  So, I'm a tad alarmed to hear this request.

"What's up buddy?" I ask and then I look into the bathroom and see it.  A rapidly rising, soon to overflow onto the floor poop filled toilet.  SHIT!  Literally.

Me: "OH Noooooo!" and I push past him to quickly turn off the water, which of course will not turn off because whoever turned back on the last time this happened did it with some Hulk like grip.

CRAP! Pun intended because if I don't start plunging the Hell out of this toilet it's going to be all over my floor and my feet. Nononononononononononononono!

And because he sees my reaction to his epic poop that has clogged the toilet for the 739394 time, his anxiety spikes.  He thinks he did something wrong.  Then he starts with the endless loop of scripting, which seems to just fuel more of the bonfire of his worry.

"Want help?  No potty.  No train? Want train!"

"Want train?" is his go to lately.  My husband and him have a new little routine of going to the local vintage train ride on the weekends.  Since this is a highly prized activity and little motivates him, we make him "work" for it.  It's a good way to keep behaviors in check.  When you have something that works, you use it.

This backfires in times like this because he catches my anxiety about an over following toilet.  Which, as he repeats his script louder and louder is only pour gasoline on my own.  Trying to stop the shit show and his impending meltdown. Sonofabitch man. We were in the bedtime zone. We were in the zone!

This is my life. Trying to stop of flow of toilet water filled with crap from spilling onto my feet or the Kiddo screeching like he's being stabbed to death with a rusty butter knife.

Of course, I snap because that's always helpful.  "ENOUGH!" He seems startled and I immediately feel like scum.

I return to the Battle of the toilet and manage to get the monster clog to flush down.  I managed to avoid an epic mess but we are both on the verge of an epic meltdown. I'm washing my hands and softly speaking to him.  Apologizing and reassuring him he did the right thing by getting my attention.  He won't lose the train ride.  I was wrong for yelling too.

I don't want to say that snapping worked but this time, it kind of did.  Or at least it startled him enough to actually stop scripting for thirty seconds. I'm not recommending this as a "go to" method.  Mainly because I felt like a big old jerk after the fact.

Bedtime was extra long time that night.  Extra kisses.  Extra songs to sing.  Extra fuss with the forty two stuffed animals getting in the bed with him.  He seemed to have forgotten pretty quickly that Mama Fry lost her ever loving shit while dealing with his shit.

I haven't forgotten and I probably won't.  I'm not going to beat myself up over it and you know why?  My reaction was human.  Fries, after a decade into this autism stuff, I still screw it up.  Frankly, Kiddo has to deal with the Mama he got just as much as I have deal with the Kiddo I got.  We're both learning.  We both have to cut each other slack.  We both move on. I can't teach him how to move forward without doing it myself.

This anxiety thing. It's a freaking beast and unlike my Kiddo, it's so easy to feed.


  1. "Frankly, Kiddo has to deal with the Mama he got just as much as I have deal with the Kiddo I got. We're both learning. We both have to cut each other slack. We both move on. I can't teach him how to move forward without doing it myself." Wow, I love this! You are human and your son is human and honestly it isn't easy. Thanks so much for continuing to share your story!!

  2. I've noticed that myself at times, actually - that there are occasions that snapping seems to knock them sufficiently out of the scripting loop to help for the moment. But.. yeah, in the long run, it does seem to do a lot more harm than good with their own internal wiring, and how their interpretation works with their stress level.

    But don't beat yourself up. We're all human, deep down, even under all the armor we end up having to wear as autism parents.

  3. Thank you. I almost cried reading this, as I've been there, done that, got the T-shirt , and starting to wear it out (and he's only 7). I always feel like I'm the only one, and I feel absolutely horrible when it happens. So again, thank you, for sharing this, and showing people like me that I'm not the only one to snap every once in a while, and the guilty feeling is oh so real.

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