I’m tired. I started my new job this week and I really like it. Unfortunately I can’t enjoy it or concentrate on it as much as I would like to right now. My mind is going in twenty directions, and we have been in the hardest period yet with Dayna. For the past few weeks she won’t go to school, screams and kicks when we try and make her. Now that I leave for work early, it just makes it worse since Deb is forced to try and fight through it alone. Its not working, Dayna is home every day. On top of that, she’s not sleeping again and keeps waking us up in the middle of the night. So basically, everything is going haywire, which is saying something for this house. Two days into my new job and I’m completely exhausted.
One of the hardest things for me dealing with a child with autism is how hard it is to concentrate on the rest of life. The past six months have been pretty brutal, the past year even worse. I made a job decision in the spring that crushed us financially, had a heart attack a few weeks back, and recently decided to make a career change that I knew was the best for my health and well being, but would hurt us even more financially, at least in the short term. And in the midst of all this, mayhem at home. It wears me down so much that sometimes I feel like I’m in a constant fog. Other times I feel like I could fly off the handle at the blink of an eye. When that happens, I fall back on a prescription to relieve stress, and I’m right back to the fog. Even when I want to be sure I’m at the top of my game and try my hardest, reality hits me square in the forehead. Take this week as an example. I was starting my new job and couldn’t wait. At 4am on Monday morning though, Dayna came into our room and said “No School!”. 20 minutes later….in she came again…”PLAY!”. This is a new one, she makes us get out of bed and press the play button on an iPad game. Why? No idea, but when you get out of bed at 4:30am, walk into a hallway with all the lights on, and then into her room with the TV loudly playing and every light on, getting back to sleep is impossible. Doesn’t matter anyway, she would come back in again before I would finally give up and go downstairs. Tuesday was exactly the same, a 4:10am wake up call by Dayna, followed by a 4:30 repeat. Toss and turn for a while, give up and get up. By 2pm today I was really feeling it, at a time when I wanted to be taking in everything I could at work. I got home around 7pm feeling worn down. Dinner was a rush of me eating while Dayna paced back and forth yelling “NO DINNER” at me. She wanted to sit down to eat herself and doesn’t like when there’s already food on the table. I gave in. I ate quickly, put the rest away, and did my best to bring some peace. In no time it was 8pm, the TVs were on, Kiley and Sean were playing and Dayna was jumping through the ceiling above. It’s 9:30pm as I write this, and Dayna is happily running back and forth behind me….occasionally slamming herself into the couch. Fun for her I can tell, she seems happy. I wish I could feel the same way, but I’m tired and I just want peace. When you have a child with autism, peace is not something you can demand. Its something you cherish.
Where was I again? Heart attack? Finances? Who cares, mentally I never have it in me at the end of the day to figure those things out anyway. At some point, I will need to. I will run out of time, none of it is going away. I look back on this blog and realize that so much of it sounds miserable. I said I would write how I feel and that is exactly how it feels lately. When you see the fun times on Facebook, it’s because when I have that chance I escape it all. I have to in order to remain sane. We are in the midst of chaos at home. It will get better, I know it will, it has to. Trust me, I look forward to the blog I write about how things have changed, how Dayna is starting to make progress, how everything is calm. I look forward to writing about the good things, they do exist. But for now its a struggle to see those things, its a struggle just to figure out what’s going to be next.
That brings me back to just trying to concentrate. We need to figure out what to do, with Dayna, health, finances and everything else in between. It’s the old ‘Chicken and the Egg’ analogy….which one comes first? Do I figure things out so I can concentrate, or do I concentrate on figuring things out.
I don’t know the answer….I guess I’ll sleep on it.