Monday, May 21, 2012

A Little Distance Would Be Swell

Of all the challenges that come with raising a child with social, emotional, and behavioral problems, the one that is most challenging for me is the...how to say it? The relentless need of my child.

I want to be sympathetic and understanding, but I chafe against his constant presence, his need to be near me, his persistent fear that we might be separated by something as large as death or as small as a closed door.

It's the same reason that my children's toddler years were very difficult for me: I am a person who likes her space, physical and emotional. My son Carter is nine, almost 10, and living with him can feel like a constant invasion.

Here's the dirty secret under all this: it makes me angry. Sometimes, I am so unbearably mad that I end up yelling at him and then I am nearly swallowed up by my shame.

I know that he doesn't want to do the things he does. I know that he tries. I understand that all his infuriating behaviors are symptoms, not decisions he's making to drive me nuts.

Funny how thoughts don't necessarily control feelings, though I wish they did.

I'm looking for a message in here, or at least a point, but I can't find one. I'm tired. I'm frustrated. I feel too crowded to think. Sometimes, I'm not philosophical at all about my son. Sometimes, being his mom is just hard.


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Adrienne Jones lives in Albuquerque, NM. She writes the memoir blog No Points for Style

5 comments:

  1. Sending much love your way.

    I bet he knows that you try, and that you don't want to get upset. We're more like our kiddos than we realize. We do things we don't mean to, and struggle with trying to pick up the pieces when we do.

    Remember there's no such thing as a perfect parent. We all have those 'if only I could take that back' moments. Just apologize and try again. Be as kind with yourself as you are with him.

    And if it makes you feel any better, I haven't peed alone in almost 8 years :) Totally feel your pain on that one!

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  3. I was reading this and felt as if I had written it. Thank you for letting me know I am not alone. My daughter has not been formally diagnosed but they are leaning towards CP and possibly autism. She is very delayed in all areas and cannot be left alone for long. She has difficulty eating because she stuffs her food. She constantly puts her fingers in her mouth which has now escalated to biting herself. She is not independent with much and I get frustrated easily. Doctors say we are doing all we can but I feel like my best is just failing her. There are nights I put her to bed and ask myself why I was so mean. I treat everyday like a fresh start and try to be better than the day before, if Im not, I know there will be a fresh start and I try not to be so hard on myself. Thank you for writing.

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