Monday, May 21, 2018

Autism by proxy.

Today I had my annual mammogram. A month later that I was suppose to because once again, even my boobs get to feel the effects of autism, anxiety, and meltdowns.

I was a good girl and made my appointment as usual. I don't mess around with missing the lady bits doctor.  I could lose a limb and I would simply stick it back on with duct tape under the excuse "Well the Kiddo has OT later and my husband can't take off of work to take him."  Killer cramps and hormones, I keep those bitches in check. Plus, it was a trip the gyno that first made me face the reality of my own mental health needs.  You can read about that here.

But what happened? Kiddo left his mark on me. Literally. Several in fact.  Three days before I was scheduled to go Kiddo had a horrible meltdown. There was no talking him off the ledge. No redirection I could give. It was one of those where I just knew "Well, this is what we're doing for the next hour or so." I was alone with him, so I got the brunt of it.  My arms especially.  Scratched and bruised so badly.  He kept grabbing my arms with a force so strong. Eventually I wound up locking myself in the bathroom to get away from him because he was hurting me. I found myself calling my husband at his job and asked him to come home, which luckily he was able to do.  In the time it took him to come home, we had a brand new hole on one of our walls and the Kiddo broke the door to the bathroom trying to kick it down to get to me.

What I did not know till much later that night as I was getting ready for bed was the number of marks he left on me.  Some of which were clearly hand marks. You could see where his fingers gripped me.  I was a walking bruise. It wasn't till the next day when I got my phone call reminder about my annual mammogram coming up when I realized "Oh Shit, someone is going to see all this!"

I could easily hide the damage with shirts but during a medical exam where you aren't weren't anything above the waist, yeah, that wasn't happening.  How the heck could I explain it?  It wasn't just one or two marks. It was a crap ton. It was the kind of bruising where you might ask a person "Where you in an accident?" or worse "Who did this to you?"

Now please tell me, how the Hell am I suppose to tell someone it was my child? Especially someone in the medical community. Let's also remember, Kiddo is my height. He's got man hands now.  So these marks weren't small. I either tell them my kid did this and have to deal with all those questions and a possible phone call to child protective services.  Or I say nothing and have them assume I was assaulted or maybe something terrible like my partner or spouse had beat me. 

I found no other choice that I could make other than to call up and pretend to be sick and reschedule. I purposely made it a month from original.  Plenty of time for my arms to heal but also hoping that I don't wind up having more added to them.

We got lucky. He hasn't had a meltdown since that day.  My arms healed. I was able to go and get the tatas tested.  No weird questions or looks. Just the usual chit chat with the tech about nothing special while we both pretend she's not shoving my boobs between to two cinder blocks.

It's one of those things where it just feels so surreal. I'm all about advocating for my Kiddo and autism but there are some things, where do I even start?  How do you explain in a sentence or two that your child injured you and that's a totally normal thing for it to happen in your world?  I'm not looking for sympathy about it. I just want to be able to share what happens in our lives because I'm really, really, fecking sick of not talking about certain things.  People want the shiny rainbows of autism but it's not always something cute in a sound bite that you can share on social media and feel like you did something because you shared it.

I'm never going to be one of those people that tape their kid's meltdowns and puts it on the Internet under the guise of "awareness" but I'm sure as shit not going to keep quiet about them.  Guess what? When he has a meltdown, we all do.  One of my pals who's an autistic adult once told me "You get to be autistic by proxy." You know what? He's absolutely right. Here I am with injuries that I got during a meltdown that I don't even know how to begin explaining to someone outside of this world.  Geez Kiddo, if you feel this cut off from the world with not being able to express yourself, it's no wonder how mixed up that makes you feel all the time.

So yeah, don't tell me my world isn't ruled by Autism because in my many years of experience this is just one more example of how it is.

Life with the Kiddo. Get on board or get left behind. 


  1. First off... ((BIG HUGS)) Secondly, I have two of em coming up on 11 & 8 years old... the younger one was & still at times is, the physical one... Try explaining how your 1yo blacked your eye & scratched at you so violently as to leave scars on your face! Here it 7 years later and Dad finally recognized "because Autism" only a week ago! Anyway, I wanna thank you, with all my heart, for sharing like you do! So many times, I read your blog entries or your FB posts & truly just take a breath that is a little bit deeper & calmer than it was only minutes earlier. Sometimes, all I need is a shared moment to breathe & realize- We got this! :) ♥

  2. My little man is 9. He doesn't have autism. His special needs come from the horrible abuse he suffered as a child in foster care being moved too often and hurt too much. RAD is a lot like ASD in some ways. The horrible meltdowns, the lack of social skills, the inability to form positive attachments. A few weeks ago my 48 pound boy came after me. I was left with bruises and missing hair. Afterwards he was so remorseful but it happened twice more before we could get his meds changed and get him calmed down. I love this child so much! I refuse to give up on him as so many others have. It's one day at a time, teaching, reassuring and loving through the pain. Hopefully someday it'll be better.

    1. Thank you for caring so much and providing him with love and safety in his forever home I wish you all better days ahead.

    2. I adopted a 14 year old with RAD. I feel your pain.

  3. Hugs to You! My precious 12 yr old has severe autism and meltdowns. My husband, other kiddos and I have lots of scars. Yet we love him so much! There is no “win” in this kind of autism.....

  4. I came across your Facebook page awhile ago by accident and I read it all the time since. I have a 20 year old son with Autism. He has been prone to violent outbursts like these most of his life. There is no way to explain to people so they can understand about the bruises. I know the ER docs didn't when my 6 year old broke my nose by slamming his head back into my face. Neither did the dentist a month later when it became clear that I would have to have several teeth extracted due to damage from the same incident. And still we keep going. Day after day. and our hearts still break each time.

    Hugs to you and thank you for being strong enough to put your life out there so that some of us don't feel quite so alone.

  5. We have been very lucky about the outbursts hurting us directly as kiddo has gotten older and much stronger. However, we have broken cupboards, room and cabinet doors falling off hinges, holes in doors, etc accumulated over past 18 years in our house from our almost 25 year old ASD kiddo. This is definitely a not pretty part of autism. I totally agree with your comment that autism affects all of us. It most certainly does. Thank you for what you do. You help so many of us feel not so alone in this messy life.

  6. Thank you for your blogs and facebook page. As a single parent of a 14 yr old autistic son there are moments when I think I must be the only one to go through this and wonder if there is more I can do to. But then I read one of your blogs and realize that my normal is so much like your normal and your other reader's normal that I can breathe again. Because in those moments the fear, and anxiety and the irrational shame and blame go away. Thank you for sharing your abnormal normal. Its so good to know I'm not the only one....

  7. I hear you, I've been there, sending you strength!

  8. Hugs �� for you Mamma Fry. Thank you so much for sharing your life or I could say Autism life. I’m so glad not to be alone in this Autism World. I was alone for many years. My son is 20 now and no one understood anything about Autism way back when he was first dx at age 3 except for the awesome doctors and specialist at our Children’s Hospital and the Amazing school he went to. But we could rarely do “normal” outings. I can relate to this so much I’m just in tears. I can’t imagine how it must be for my son to look at the world from his eyes and mind. It must be pretty scary and very overwhelming at times. Heck the other night we had some thunderstorms move thru and my son couldn’t eat dinner because it causes him so much anxiety. Prayers and prayers no more meltdowns for a while. Love ❤️ you Mamma Fry. You are the best.

  9. I have worn long sleeves in hot weather to hide the bruises and swollen bite marks so many times.... hugs.❤