I had a breakdown this morning.

My stomach still hurts from just how hard I cried.  My ribs ache.  My cheeks are sore.  My eyes are puffy and ringed red.  You know that kind of crying right?  I went into GC’s office, knelt on the floor, hung onto the back of his computer chair and CRIED like the world was ending.  The sound came up from the bottom of my belly and ripped through my chest.  It could no longer be contained.

I hit a breaking point.

I broke.

I’ve been under a lot of pressure lately.  Things I am still not writing about.  When they are concluded, maybe then I can write.  Will they ever been concluded?  Phone calls and emails and scheduling conflicts.  Meetings made and then canceled.  Reading detailed reports.  Reading books about the laws.  About the rights of my child.  Wondering.  Questioning.  Waiting.  Preparing.  Highlighting.  Scribbling notes.  Suggestions of lawyers.  My head is full.  I feel supported and alone, can you feel those things at once?

The Roc.  Oh, the Roc.  He has been so…snarky lately.  Nasty.  Talking back.  Sassing me.  Testing me.  Pushing me.  Closer and closer to the edge of my sanity.  Where is the love?  Where is the fun?  I miss the fun.  Sure, I capture the smiles and post them.  But before and after those smiles are screams and screeches.  Everything is a fight.  We’ve been struggling through our days lately and I’m so tired.  I’m just so tired.

I tried to phone my neighbor this morning to ask if we could borrow a movie.  He followed me around screeching and seething.  My attention cannot be diverted from him.  He cannot entertain himself.  I vaulted the gate and locked myself in the bathroom.  I couldn’t hear her.  She couldn’t hear me.  The Roc screamed and thrashed against the door until I paused my conversation and sent him to his room.  He did not go willingly.  He had a massive tantrum upstairs.

I got angry.  Really angry.  Sometimes I feel stuck in anger.  I cannot see through it’s thickness.  I cannot figure out how to solve these seemingly unsolvable problems.  Really? You’re going to tantrum again?  Really? And I know that his behavior is a form of communication.  I know this.  But seriously?  I am spent.

I tried to go talk with him.  He was nasty again.  I told him no pool today.  All hell broke loose.  I lost my cool.  I got in his face.  I screamed with tears rolling down my cheeks.  I swatted his leg.  My heart dropped into my stomach.  I felt myself breaking into two.  I cannot do this today.  I am not cut out for this.  I am not a good Mom.

Sobs racked through my body.  I went into GC’s room.

I hate feeling so alone.  I let go of the back of the chair and dialed GC’s work number.  No answer.  I didn’t leave a message.  Someone knocked on the door.

My neighbor to lend me the movie I requested.  The dog pushed his way outside and I couldn’t hide my hideous face.  She asked if I was okay.  I shook my hands in front of my body.  My arms wobbled.  I couldn’t speak.  She stepped inside.  I backed away.  Turned away and with my hands over my face told her I couldn’t do this anymore.  She closed the door and sat at the table.  Her eyes filled up with tears as my body heaved.

“I can’t do this.  I can’t do this.  I am not good at this.  I am not a good mom.  I can’t do this again.  I’ve ached for another child…but I can’t do this again.  I think the universe knows this and that’s why I only have one.  I am not supposed to be a mom.”

I laid my head down and sobbed.  I wouldn’t let her hug me.  I told her how I screamed at the Roc.  How I swatted his leg.  How he flinched.  (It hurts to even write this and remember the look on his face.)  I didn’t want to tell her.  I told her anyway.  The truth stings.

She told me that every mother has bad days.  Every mother does things like that.  My eyes searched her face.  She told me how she threw something at one of her children on one of her roughest days.  I was surprised.  I was grateful that she told me.  Her truth.  She doesn’t always feel like a good mom.  She doesn’t always feel cut out for the job.  Her three (typical) kids drive her up the wall too.  Parenting kids is hard.  I have a little bit of a different situation.  Yup, I do.

When she left I went up to talk to the Roc.  He had seen the street sweeper out the window and was wholly focused on whether or not it was coming back.  His tantrum and my breakdown apparently forgotten.  I apologized and hugged him to me.  He sat on my lap and rested his head on my shoulder.  Then he started to play with my hands.  We went downstairs to get some fruit and put in the movie.

I called GC and he couldn’t leave work.  I called my mom and there was no answer.  I didn’t leave a message.  I didn’t trust my voice.  I thought about my sister, I know she’s busy.  And it’s hard to dump this stuff on people over the phone.  I can only imagine how helpless they feel when I cry 1,500 miles away.  So I opened up a New Post and started to write.

It feels good to get this out of my head and onto the screen.  I’m slowly putting the pieces back together.  I haven’t broken apart like this in a long time.  I know that I’m over whelmed and spent.  I need a break.  I need to recharge.

And today that just isn’t possible.  I have to get it together and hold it together for the rest of the day.

The movie is still playing.  So for now I’m going to go bake some zucchini bread and dream about the road trip my best girl and I are in the planning stages of right now.  It’s a necessary trip for her, research for a book she’s writing, and a luxury for me, to be her sidekick and helper.  It will be my first real break from the Roc since he was born, almost 6 years ago.

5 whole days.  I just have to get through July and August.


20 thoughts on “Breakdown

  1. OHMYGOSH, friend. We are living the same life. I have been locked lately – feeling like I should’ve never been a mother; I don’t know how, I do everything wrong, I’m failing my child. I just can’t shake out of it and I just want to run, run, run. I am feeling guilty because I hate summer so much – the days just stretch in front of us and C is bored, bored, bored. And I’m too tired to be the creative Mom/teacher I need to be. And I’m feeling like it never ends.

    Okay, I know this is YOUR post, not mine, so I’ll stop monopolizing it with my feelings, but I wanted you to know you are NOT alone. I know that doesn’t help much, but I feel the exact same way.

    And I won’t even tell you what I did to C when he bit me (bruise and a perfect little teethmark ring on my leg) recently. Trust me, my reaction was far worse than yours was and it haunts me terribly. So I hear you on that one too.

    Hang in there, dear friend. You (and he) will be okay.

  2. Oh, honey – I know. I mean, I KNOW. I am utterly convinced that sometimes the only way to keep it together is to let ourselves come apart once in a while.

    Breathe. Find some space for yourself when you can. Walk. Get lost. And know, KNOW that you are NOT alone.

    Sending love and desperate wishes that I lived down the street.


  3. I’m so sorry. And I so very much get what you are going through. I’m there, myself. Tired, overwhelmed, sick to death of putting a positive spin on everything, wondering what the hell happened to our fun.

    I think it’s like Jess says. We have to fall apart–hit rock bottom–to find our way back to the surface. Sending you a hug.

  4. I feel you girl! Time for a break. I have gotten to the point many times where I need to lock myself in the bathroom (or hide behind a box in our storage room!) and sob. I want you to know that you are the best Mom for the Roc!! You are incredible! I know this is easier said than done, but take some time for yourself before your vacation and do something for you. You deserve it!!

  5. You are not—NOT—the only mom who loses it. Sometimes the dam can’t hold and you have to let it out. I’ve lived this too. I know how it feels when you feel like you’re just barely holding on with white knuckles and you’re just trying to make it through the day. I’ve freaked out on my kids before, all of them. More than I care to recount. You’re not alone. And you’re still a good mom. Hugs.

  6. So glad you have that get away to look forward to, but can you sneak away for 24 hours sooner? A hotel for one night? You need sleep, peace, quiet and time to yourself.

    Been There, Done That

  7. I agree with those who have already posted. You need to take care of yourself. Those who don’t have a child with autism don’t truly understand the daily stress of it. Those of us who do, we get it. I have been where you are….. I read a research article that said mothers of autistic children are under so much stress that there are negative health problems and a shortened lifespan. Duh! We never know when the explosion is going to happen, we constantly monitor everything we do and say as to keep the ‘even keel’ that sets the tone of the day… or minute.

    It is important that the caretakers…. that is you…. gets respite time in which to recharge, relax and have some time in which to release the stress. Is there an organization in your town that offers respite time?

    Take care of yourself…… you love him, care for him and nurture him. We all make mistakes….

    Take care!

  8. I just syumbled across your blog and I can’t help but feel sad, sad because I know just how you feel 😦 I have 2 children with Autism spectrum disorder and Life can be such a struggle and some times we just lose it.

    You are doing the best you can in a tuff situation don’t be to hard on your self you are obviously a good mum that cares for her child 🙂

    I hope you get some time to rest and re-group 🙂


  9. Oh man, hang in there. You are most definitely not a bad mom. All one has to do is scroll through page after page of pictures of your son and his ear to ear smiles to see that. On days like this one (I’ve been there too) I recall my Grammy saying “This too shall pass”.

    Glad to hear you’ve got a special break coming up. A big hug.

  10. Thanks for sharing this, for having the courage to describe what I *know* each of us has surely gone through (more than once even!). Never doubt your ability as a mother, as a GOOD mother. Life throws us curves sometimes which we just aren’t able to handle in the moment and that’s ok; the surviving and learning and feeling the rawness are what make us whole and human.

    Kim, you are not alone in the feelings, the frustration…the exhaustion. Is there any possibility you can get away for even a night to just relax and rest?

    Contact me if you want to try to get together soon?

  11. My heart aches for you. Know that you are not alone. Know that YOU have been given this challenge because YOU can do it….you are the blessing, as is C….I am sorry it is hard. Autism sucks….be tender with yourself—we have all been there and looked back with anguish at how we handled it…..One day at a time….S

  12. I am betting by now you have recovered your balance, but I want you to know I hear you. I have been there. I 100% understand. You ARE a wonderful mother, a good and kind and caring beautiful mother. It is impossible not to be overwhelmed at times, given the challenges.

    Sending much love.

  13. As I was reading I too was crying, for you, for me, for all of us. I want to pick up a phone to call you and tell you it will be ok, that even in our darkest moments that there is light. I think. I am so sorry you are hurting so bad. I am so sorry that this is so damn hard. My prayers and thoughts are with you.

  14. oh, i KNOW how those days feel. ihave had many… many moments where I have just lost it… screaming awful things in my daughters face, my vision going white, my control completely gone, veins in my neck throbbing, some force taking over me…. i have lost it many times… too many times. it feels so shameful but as my mother in law once told me “the BAD moms dont beat themselves up at the end of the day… the bad moms blame it on everyone else, rationalize it… don’t think twice about it. It’s the GOOD moms that feel horrible and think about every little move they made every day and wonder if they are a good mom.” She is right. We’re all allowed our moments and if we go back and talk to our kids about it later, even apologize if need be, it teaches them a) we’re human and fallable and b) that it’s ok to have a bad day as long as you say you’re sorry. this is an important life lesson 🙂

    hang in there, though i know this post is several days old and im just reading it now. you are NOT alone, girl!! you are not alone and i applaud your courage with the honesty of this post. We’ve all been there (or we’re big fat liars) 🙂

  15. Pingback: The Plan « The Roc Chronicles

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