Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Autism vs. Neesha: fml

I've had lots of "fml" moments of late. If you don't know wtf that means, get your Google on. Chill out, it's JUST an expression. For the extreme optimists who might want to give me a long lecture about staying positive and counting my blessings, no need. I know my life is amazing. After all, I live with the extreme awesomeness that is my existence every single day.

Frustration, stress-relief art I draw
sometimes when I need to let out
the negative energy. Not sure where
it comes from, but bam! There it is.
And yes, I know I don't have cancer and my kids are healthy and I have a nice vehicle and lots of food and a great job and 48 pairs of shoes and I'm happily hitched and I don't have two heads and I've not been abducted by aliens and I'm alive and plenty people are worse off than me and rah rah rah.

You know, sometimes I just need to be in my miserable state of solitude and wallow in self pity just long enough to find my magic potion that slaps me out of it. It's part of being human, and I always find a potion! At times it's food, or sleep, chocolate ice cream, yelling at inanimate objects, extensive cursing in my mind, fruits, music, TV, writing, staring blankly out the window wondering why I can't become a bird and fly away, drawing hilarious cartoons and just random stuff on paper... it varies. 

For those who don't know yet, I have a 13-year-old son with autism. I like to write about my experiences because: #1 It's therapeutic. #2 My experiences may help or inspire someone else in a similar situation. #3 I'd rather make fun of stuff than let it kill me. #4 My life is a reality show circus of blog material, so why the hell not. I'm a writer, after all.

So my spawn screams quite a bit, but one must delve into the mindset of an autistic individual before getting angry at them for busting your eardrums because they don't mean to, plus they tend to see the world in black & white, as in "logic." Here are some recent examples of this B&W mentality.

Money = field trip, duhhh

So one Monday, his class went on a field trip. He got to go to Target to do holiday shopping, then Wendy's for lunch. Days following this event, he would cry crocodile tears while I packed his lunch every morning and order me to "PUT IT BAAAACK! PUT THE LUNCH BAG OVER THERE! NOOOO! PUT MONEY IN BACKPACK!!" And of course, I was thinking, dude, WTF is wrong with you, you gotta have a lunch or you'll starve! But then, I got it! The dork thought I was screwing up his chances of having a field trip (every day!) by packing his lunch. So he figured if mom puts money instead of a lunch, he'll get a field trip. Mean ol' mom! Ha! I explained the real deal, followed by hugs and kisses. The teacher also explained not every day is a field trip. And all was well in the world again.

The magic fountain

Last weekend I walked into my downstairs bathroom to discover the back lid of the toilet tank resting across the sink. A hand-painted wooden box I made (6 years ago) with purple flowers stuck all around it was destroyed, and all the purple flowers were floating in the toilet bowl. Four empty toilet paper rolls were on the side of the sink. A cup was floating in the tank water, and the toilet wouldn't flush. The culprit? Yes, Nabeel, who is notorious for toilet sabotage and water infatuation. He screamed his brains out when I simply asked him why he did it. The bright side - he's too OCD to mess with dirty stuff, so the toilet water was clean. He loathes filth, which is a great thing. Two days later, he told my mom he "found a fountain in the bathroom behind the toilet and water goes up and down when you flush."

When all else fails, scream your brains out

This is typical logic for Nabeel and most autistic people, from what I've seen, when they don't know how to express what they're feeling. I know I would probably do the same thing if I was unable to write or blab my thoughts. He's gotten better than past incidents, but sometimes, seemingly for no apparent reason, he sits and screams. It's not easy to ignore and gets deep into the crevaces of my brain and rattles it until I nearly lose control of my sanity. This is when prayer, loud music, text messaging, facebook, crying and stress eating (sometimes all at the same time) come in quite handy.

So, FYI, if you notice I don't blog or surface for some days and seem M.I.A., it's usually because I'm wiped out from an autism vs. Neesha battle. I'm a warrior, but even warriors have to crash now and then.

Let me end by saying, all these incidents run their course ... he screams, I ask "why me" 100 times, I shed a few tears, I ask "why me" 100 more times, I send out a few stress-induced texts to my sweet husband and angel network of loving friends who always comfort me and at the end of the episode, I love him no less, but even more because that's what mommies are programmed to do. I endure. I survive. And goodness always prevails.

As my fortune cookie once said, "no amount of darkness can put out the light of a single candle."

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