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miracles and madness(6 Posts)
I have been going through a rough time for the past few years. I've been married to DH for almost 7 years and we've been together for 10. We have one DC who has ASD (he is 4yr's old atm). Having a child with ASD is exhausting and financially draining; but early intervention is an absolute necessity and our DS is the most amazing person we have ever met. My sisters, husband and I are in absolute awe of him. He makes our world turn and we cannot talk about how much we love him enough.
I have a convoluted life and it's a little bit important for me to try to explain; I'm from my fathers first marriage and was raised by my stepmother from the age of 5. I have 2 younger half sisters and 1 younger half brother. I was never the favorite child and was often overlooked; for years at a time I wasn't allowed to eat meals with the family and was only invited to sit at the table after I was marred. At one point, an aunt felt that she could make an example of me with some humiliating and painful 'punishments' and even though I told my father, he looked the other way; I was a 'bastard' child in the eyes of his side of the family and no matter what I said, it would never be believed. My childhood was incredibly difficult at times, but as I got older I just became more independent and was able to not let these details affect me too much. My younger half sisters have always treated me like a real sister and we are incredibly close. They are often oblivious to the treatment I went through because I am 7 and 8 years older than them (respectively).
When my son was around 8 months, I knew he wasn't developing typically. At this time the older of the two half sisters decided to move to London to be closer to me and help me and DH with our DS. We were ever soo grateful and were more than happy for her to move in. As the years went by and our DS was dx'ed; my other sister felt that she should come in to help as well. I never felt like I could ever ask anyone to really provide me with this amount of support; in my wildest dreams I would never feel comfortable to even ask my father or stepmother for help. I didn't realize that the love my sisters have for me was genuine. The support they provide for me is humbling and I know I am blessed. It's really nice to feel like a full family unit and even nicer to have a full house. My DH also loves the girls and everyone does get along. My sisters love my DH, and everyone does dote on DS.
Since the girls have moved in, I have made sure to see to their every comfort, and they too have been good to give my husband+ds space and all the support they can. When we've run out of money they have helped by buying groceries, when DS has needed any new therapy and we can't see to it, my sisters make sure to it without hesitating and I've never asked them to do anything financially. Everyone in our house is generous with their time and money. Generally, everyone is also very understanding towards each other.
However, the one thing everyone in this house is allowed to do is get 'upset'. They can have a cry if they are sad, a whinge if annoyed, a moan if they are begrudged anything--from PMS (pmt) to boy troubles to sadness revolving around ASD. Everyone gets to, included my DH. Heaven forbid I get teary, a cramp or even sick and everyone gets upset with me for being sad/sick/crying. I often feel that because everyone supports me soo much that I'm not entitled to the feelings of sadness that I do have.
Last Friday (Good Friday) my DH awoke earlier than usual and checked on the finances; as usual we aren't as liquid as he would like to be and was upset--he got to throw a 'strop' about it and made our bedroom environment quite anxious and tense. I tried to be upbeat and remind him that actually we never have much at any one time anyway and that he could just be happy that we had a long weekend! He remained upset and sulked for most of the morning. His mood really drained me and I tried to cheer him up with a massage. He complained about it and I stopped and at that moment our son started to speak--so the family ran into our room to share with us the amazing moment. We were thrilled and happy and a lot of stress was relieved. We'd never been happier. I have never been happier.
However this week, although his progress is still amazing, we do have other troubles. A constant trouble for my youngest sister is dating, she is a stunning girl who can't seem to find a worthwhile relationship; because of this she is often cranky after a bad date or just another let down...
Every time someone in the house is sad, mad, upset, annoyed, sick, tired--I have to fix it....and at the same time I am never allowed to feel any of these feelings. DH tells me to stop badgering him if I'm asking him to keep positive; everyone tells me to stop whining if I have the slightest problem/opinion of everything. I just don't understand how to handle all of this. I am incredibly thankful, grateful for their help, love, support--but I really can't fix everything and I can't not be upset when something upsets me.
I dont shout, I don't moan and complain all the time...but I also don't get a chance to talk about what upsets me. Even if I do--everyone just walks away from me.
No real advice, I have a dd with sn (not asd)
Are you on facebook? There's a lot of really good online suport groups where you can rant/vent/cry & share anazing moments.
Also are you claiming dla? Most definatly sounds like you should be entiled & probably carers allowence too. (Don't be ashamed to claim, having a child with sn does cost a lot more) xxx
You sound as though you're a very strong independent person and an amazing parent.
You're the backbone of the household and I think they're forgetting that you have feelings too. It happens a lot as the mum of the house. There was a thread about that not long ago on here!
You need to let go sometimes too and once youve cried or stopped it will become easier to do it again ;) you may find you have more support once they realise you need it.
You sound amazingly strong and resilient. I'm sorry you had the childhood you did. it explains why you are in the situation you are in now.
I was was abused as a child too. As a coping mechanism I became very sensitive to others feelings and moods, and if I felt trouble brewing I would try to placate/diffuse/distract in order to avoid being hurt.
It sounds like you have taken this position too and you have carried it into your adult relationships.
So, someone else shows emotion, and you make it your job to soothe them.
It's not your job to do this. I know it sounds harsh, but as adults your dh and sisters are responsible for managing their own emotions. They have not had the opportunity to learn how to do it as you have always been there to do it for them. Expressing emotion in front of each other is fine, but making the room tense and uncomfortable the way your dh did signals time to give him some space to calm down on his own, not give him a massage.
My dh is the same. He cannot resolve strong emotions himself, so he throws them at others to resolve I.e, gets grumpy, shouts, has panic attacks. In the past I would step in and talk him back down to earth but I realised it was an unbalanced and unhealthy way of going on.
We are both in individual counselling and I am learning to alter my behaviour, as is dh. It's really really difficult but well worth the effort.
Could you sit your family down a and explain how you feel? If you told them that you felt that they were unwilling to allow you your own emotion how do you think they would take it?
Also, try to resist the impulse to 'fix' everyone. Sometimes the best thing is to offer a hug or a kind word and walk away. Allow them time to sort themselves out.
I hope this all makes sense, my post seems really long and jumbled so I'm sorry if it comes across as nonsense!
Completely agree with pixiefrog. You ARE allowed your full range of emotions, so express them.
I would talk to people when not upset and explain that there's going to be a change.
I would then be that change.
Expect some weirdness while it all goes through.
If you don't, you are then facilitating.
I get that it is a learned thing, but the time seems to have come to change it.
Good luck xx
thanks girls! I feel quite confident about being able to express myself.
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