This has been quite a week.
I'm worn out.
Bruised and sore.
My body is weak and tired.
My brain is buzzing.
My heart is heavy.
This week has brought to mind reminders of where we were two years ago.
The daily frustrations.
The battles over simple tasks.
The dread at the thought of getting out of bed and facing another day.
The exhaustion that hits you way before it hits the kids.
The meltdowns. Oh, the meltdowns.
Two years ago, there was so much we didn't know. We were just starting down this road, with more questions than answers.
But we've been doing so well lately. Munchkin had been doing so well.
We had reached a place where we understood and anticipated his every need, his every move.
We were getting so good at preventing and heading off those meltdowns! We were going weeks at a time without a major one--days even without a minor one.
Life had settled into a groove for us. Life had become manageable. Life was actually fun again.
But this week. Oh, this week. What happened this week?
The meltdowns are daily and often.
The bedtimes are tough and leave me mad and hurt and frustrated.
The aggression is leaving all of us with bruises on our bodies and our souls.
The inappropriate behaviors. The unacceptable words. We're dealing with all our old demons, with some new ones thrown in for good measure.
And we're trying so hard! But it's stressful.
It's exhausting. Bone weary, body weary, soul weary.
It's lonely. No one really gets it. No one knows how we struggle at home, because we try so hard to hold it together in public. All of us--me, my husband, Squirrel, Munchkin too.
It's so unfair. To us as parents.
To Squirrel, who is so kind and compassionate even as her brother is being so hurtful and mean.
And to Munchkin, who does not mean to be this way. He doesn't intend to hurt us. He doesn't fully understand that what he does and says leaves scars that are hard to heal.
And he doesn't know how much my heart breaks to see him struggle and meltdown and fight so hard about little day-to-day things.
And it's not his fault. It's not anyone's fault. It just IS.
Maybe it's the holidays. Maybe it's the changing seasons. Maybe it's his diet, or a growth spurt, or any of a million other mysteries that autism brings.
Maybe I got too cocky, thinking we had this autism deal all figured out.
Maybe this is just how our life is going to be from now on. A roller coaster of ups and downs, twists and turns.
Maybe you could just pray for us.
But I'm not giving up.
This is not a life that lets you give up. Each day brings something else to fight for, to strive for, to reach for.
So when you think of me, please pray for strength for me. Pray for my daughter who tries so hard to understand all of this. Pray for my husband who deals with it more than me right now, playing the role of stay-at-home dad while I work. And pray for Munchkin, that whatever is going on with him will calm back down so we can get on with the process of loving life again.