Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Camel's Back Totally Broke

Let me preface this post by saying that if you haven't already noticed, I write about all of it - the good, the bad, and the ugly.  

I'm an equal opportunity blogger.

I don't do everything right, I make a lot of mistakes, and I'm human.  It's harder to write about the hard stuff, but for me it's just as important.  So read on with this in mind.

Sometimes the smallest things can make me feel overwhelmed.

I'm sure I'm not the only mom who feels this way.

And I'm sure it's the end of the school year stress, or thinking of summer spread out before us with many days that I feel responsible to fill in some meaningful way, but for some reason I'm extra sensitive these days to all the "extras" that are required of us autism moms.

Let's talk about finals.  TJ's exams were cumulative - material that the class has covered since the beginning of the school year - for the first time.

I have always said "we don't know what we don't know until we suddenly know it".  And for someone who tries to plan everything so there are no surprises for her boy, this is a lot to handle.

Long story short, TJ had an anxiety attack preparing for his finals, so we quickly learned that 2 big exams on the same day are not the way to go.  We also have learned that for some classes he gets so easily mixed up, that maybe a verbal test is the way to go...or half verbal, half written.  We are still working on this one.

Anyway, a couple of days ago I logged in to the school system to find that TJ already has a schedule set for next year.  That's great, I thought.  But this morning I learned that not only has it been set up for a while, but all the students were told that there is a particular window during which time all schedule changes need to be made.  And that window was now closed.

I already know that if TJ is told something, the message will not get delivered to me.  Someone else has to tell me.  And in this case it was a dear friend who worked in the school as a para-educator.  We were at breakfast with a group of us, all good friends.

So when I heard this scheduling news, I started to cry.  I totally lost it.  And at the time I didn't fully understand why.  But now with a little distance, it's clearer to me.

Number one, I'm exhausted.  I studied with TJ for his finals harder than I ever studied for my own finals.  And I worried more too.

Number two, it was one more thing I didn't know.  One more thing I have to work double time for to get the same result for TJ as his typical peers.  One more thing that made me feel that much more isolated and alone, and one more thing that has me wishing that things could be easier.

I know it's a small thing, but it set off a big reaction.

(I've got some other stuff going on, which I'm sure plays into everything.  I'm not this emotional basket case walking around every day, don't panic.)

So I went home, sent the emails I had to send, made the calls I had to make, set the plans I had to set, and learned the things I had to learn.  And the school was wonderful, as I knew they would be.  They do everything they can to make it easier for us.

So yes, sometimes it sucks.  And yes, sometimes I get overwhelmed at something small.  And yes, sometimes my reactions are bigger than they should be.

But it is what it is.  My family and I are all learning as we go, and doing the very best that we can.

So to my dear breakfast girls, I'm sorry I acted the way I did and I'm sorry I ran out.  I hope someone enjoyed my omelet, though, I ordered a good one.  I know you've all got my back no matter what, and I couldn't have chosen more amazing ladies to have a meltdown in front of.  I love you guys.

And to my boy, even though it's hard sometimes, I will always do my best for you.  Even if it sometimes takes me a little while to figure out what that looks like.

And to the creator of tissues, I'm forever grateful.  As I'm sure you are for me, because clearly I am keeping you in a successful business.

Anyway, forward we go, until the next thing comes up that I don't yet know that I don't know.

Tissues in hand, just in case.

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