As my daughter gets older, it gets harder to walk the line of what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour. When she was 5 or 6, a tantrum or excessive display of anger or frustration was easier to sweep under the rug and just chalk up to her age; however, disrupting the outburst may have been. But then when she was 5 or 6, we didn’t know she was on the Autism Spectrum.When she’s 12; however, explosive outbursts and stomping of feet is no longer so easier to ignore or let slide by. Unfortunately, now that we know she has Aspergers it’s not like we suddenly have deep wells of patience. We get just as much pissed off and frustrated by her behaviour as we do for the children without it.
Today, I asked her to put her shoes when I saw her outside without them. It may be sunny, but the grass is wet and freshly mowed and I don’t think she needs to run around outside without shoes and track that in. I asked nicely. I had to ask her twice. What happened afterwards was beyond my comprehension. She lost it by throwing the toys that she was holding across the yard and came stomping into the house, speaking angrily at me. I’ll admit that patience is at an all time low this week and I was quick to get angry back because I hadn’t asked her to do anything so horrible. As a result of some door slamming I finally resorted to giving her a time out until she could calm down and apologize. Eventually she did but not before we had at least 2 more go a-rounds as to why it was my fault that she’s annoyed and how annoying I am.
When she finally apologized, I told her she could go back outside but to make sure she wore her shoes. Well, that was the last straw as I was telling her something I had already said and that she was already doing. She came back inside within minutes and I could hear her punching her bed in her room over and over again saying “I’m going to punch her in the face” repeatedly. Her meant me, her mother, whose only crime was that I asked her to put her shoes on and lost my patience. Subsequent to that was “I want to murder her”.
It breaks my heart to hear my daughter talk about me like that. Like any parent I try to do what’s best for my child. I bend over backwards trying to ease her anxiety, not dismissing it as silly or ridiculous, inconveniencing myself at times to help her make it through these episodes. I drive her to her programs, I cook her meals, make her lunches, do her laundry, take her out for special treats on those difficult days. All of which, counts for nothing the moment she’s angry with me. If life like this is so hard at 12, what will it be like at 14 or 16 or even 18.
Hours later she’s over it and can’t help but repeatedly coming up to me for hugs and kisses. When I speak to her about what she said, she merely shrugs like its no big deal. She was mad. You can’t really reason with a kid on the spectrum. Their perception is their reality no matter how unreasonable it is.
She’s over it, but my heart hasn’t had a chance to recover and I feel like pushing her away every time she comes for a hug. I don’t because I love her and I don’t want her to feel that rejection from her mother in a world where so many others reject her on a regular basis.
This is one of those days where I hate Autism and all that goes with it.