There’s the pain of seeing your children seemingly unable to behave differently, when that behaviour is intolerable and you see no escape. Anxiety-driven, suffering, struggling to cope behaviours. Then there is the pain of not being believed about what they are going through and when you finally are, instead, being blamed for it. Because those same children who release it all at home, where they know they are loved, will sit inert and compliant at school where they are afraid and overwhelmed. The pain of looking through documents about your family and seeing lie, after lie, after lie, written about you, and misrepresentations and denials about your children.
Refrigerator mother is here alive and kicking, it never went anywhere. It’s just got replacement labels now. ‘Emotional harm’, ‘fabricated illness’. Struggling PDA children blame too. Mum is the most obvious target, because mum is the one they spend most time around and they know mum loves them, no matter what they say or do. They are in such anxiety and their need for absolute control so great, that they lash out. So when you’re getting it in the neck from all angles, what else is there, but pain?
You try to do what everyone wants, you try to explain to professionals what your children’s needs are, but they don’t want to hear it. They don’t understand the autistic spectrum and expect autistic children to do everything typical children do, and to do it in the same way. So you have to be anxious or exaggerating, or fabricating when those things are difficult and your children don’t know how to speak up for themselves. You’re not advocating for your children, you’re speaking for them and you’re lying. You must have mental ill-health and be projecting that onto your children. It’s all you. You asked for resources and you are a pain in the ass.
You try to be as flexible as possible with your PDA children, to reduce demands on them, you don’t ask for anything. (Not even appreciation or gratitude). But you certainly didn’t ask for blame. Yet you get it by the shovel full. Along with knives being brandished at you, punches rained on you, your possessions broken and endless verbal abuse. Anything they find hard, it’s you that suffers for it. They refuse solutions and all offers of help with self-managing their anxiety. It’s easier just to release it onto mum. Learning self-help techniques is a demand you see, an expectation.
Day-by-day, the abyss yawns wider. You lose your identity more and more until you are just ‘mum’, a fixture, a possession. A disrespected possession. Like a battered old shoe that gets kicked out of the way. You aren’t depressed. You are just stuck in a hell-hole that you can’t really call life. It’s an existence. Barely. It’s amazing how you in fact aren’t depressed. Many are. It must be the numbness that you immerse yourself in, to get through. It’ll come out one day. Like a torrent.
Scream it off the top of a mountain. Like ‘the men who stare at goats‘. It’s the only way. ‘The woman who screams off mountains’. Until then, I’ll be screaming inside the walls of my mind.