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Feeling depressed and unable to cope

(14 Posts)
Mamaka Mon 21-Mar-16 09:21:57

There's a lot going on in my life at the moment and a lot of it revolves around the looming possibility that both dd and dh have Aspergers (or something v similar). Today I'm feeling absolutely overwhelmed and just unable to think about doing anything even getting out of bed and getting dressed. Dc have been awake since 6 and I've just let them play while I stay in bed (dh gave them breakfast) and pull covers over my head. Dd has had 2 major meltdowns/tantrums already, one of which resulted in her kicking me repeatedly until I screamed at her to get out my bed and go to her room. She did and then later came back and apologised. 15 minutes later the second one happened.
I just can't cope, I want failsafe discipline strategies, understanding people around me, a supportive husband and the ability to see that the future will be ok!
Please help. Feeling very low.

Mamaka Mon 21-Mar-16 09:31:39

I had a nightmare last night about me being in prison and trying to escape. I escaped and then felt incredibly guilty and kept looking back. I woke up with my heart pounding and feeling sick and anxious.

ChowNowBrownCow Mon 21-Mar-16 09:36:37

Im so sorry that you feel so low. In the early days I used to feel really overwhelmed to. Sometimes you just need some space, I used to go into the bathroom and lock the door just to ensure I got a few minutes to myself where I could think of my next move. Children with ASD generally are selfish and they want your attention when they want it, being in bed is not seen as a sign that you don't want them in your room and that you need some time to yourself. They really don't mean to be selfish, its just how they are wired. How old dd is makes a differance as to how you handle things. So im afraid 'discipline strategies' would not be appropriate to give. 'Understanding people around you', join local support groups - these groups will totally get where you are coming from and support you through the trials of having an sen child. 'a supportive husband' - I found that I needed to be very specific about what I needed. I needed to say 'you need to step in now', my experience has been with my husband that I often feel like the warrior mum and do everything as I understand my ds better than him, BUT your husband is probably very capable of looking after your dd, you just need to let him do it. With regard to the future, short term goals are good to make and achieve. long term future, nobody knows what that holds, but having the expectation of will it be 'ok', is realisticand it probably will be.flowers.

Mamaka Mon 21-Mar-16 09:45:20

Dd is about to turn 4, ds is 2 and much much easier to be around and cope with. In fact, one thing I've noticed is that everybody quite obviously favours him over dd, talks in front of her about how sweet natured he is and how adorable etc, how can I put a stop to this? Surely that batters dd's self esteem.
Maybe I used the wrong words when I said discipline strategies - I want coping strategies to help myself deal with her behaviour and for her to improve her behaviour.
Thanks for reassurance on all the other points Chow.

zzzzz Mon 21-Mar-16 10:01:12

I think you need to consider the "behaviour" you don't like as communication and stop seeing it as something to irradicate and instead see it as something to respond to. It's a conversation, just not a verbal one. Children with ASD don't really not communicate well non-verbally, we just don't listen very well to what they are projecting with all their might.
It might help you to keep a diary of what happens from dds point of view and then read back. Did she know it was going to be Monday today? Is it always like this or only when Daddy smells "shavey"? Did she eat last night? Do you usually wake her? Is her brother humming? Does she need a poo?

Once you see the world from her point of view and can see the triggers you can help her manage better, and she will grow up too.

ASD makes parenting infinitely more interesting. Engage with it in the same way you would if she had physical difficulties to overcome and it becomes a puzzle not a jail.

Mamaka Mon 21-Mar-16 10:45:19

I'm afraid I'm not really at the place yet where I can see getting a kicking from my little girl as communication and her difficulties as a puzzle. We are still pre diagnosis so still not 100% sure that it is AS and not shitty behaviour/parenting.
I like the idea of keeping a diary and will start that today, thanks.

zzzzz Mon 21-Mar-16 10:51:30

ALL behaviour is communication. It doesn't mean you have to accept the kicks and it isn't a reflection on you or how you are coping. It isn't related to dx, so it doesn't matter what dx (if any) she gets. I'm sorry it's so tough for you. It's highly unlikely that you are a crap parent. Crap parents don't open up on SN boards desperate for understanding and a way forward.

Mamaka Mon 21-Mar-16 11:24:56

Thanks zzzzz. Feeling v sorry for myself and wish I could snap out of it! I normally manage the best I can (alone) and today maybe it's just built up to a point where I need to rest. Still in pjs and now out of bed with my 4th cup of tea, dc playing quite nicely for now.
How do I manage the kicking and other aggressive behaviour then, whether we get DX or not?

MaterofDragons Mon 21-Mar-16 12:53:15

Mamaka not a lot to contribute other than I feel your pain. Today is a BAD day. I'm currently on a tube and so happy to be moving further away from "the shithouse" I left behind. An unpleasant hospital appointment has me smiling. My children and husband...not so much.

My poor advice is that this too shall pass.

PolterGoose Mon 21-Mar-16 14:13:53

Mamaka, zzzzz is right, she's telling you something with her behaviour and keeping a diary is the most useful thing you can do right now.

For instant strategies which will work whether she's autistic or not, read Ross Greene's 'The Explosive Child' and look at the 'PDA Resource' and the 'PDA Society' websites - I am not saying she has PDA, but those strategies, which includes reducing demands, being creative, prioritising, are probably what you need right now. They take effort and you have to stay calm, think and respond carefully to her communication - and you have to model appropriate behaviours however you feel!

Mamaka Mon 21-Mar-16 15:28:20

Thank you all. Ds, dd and I had a nap together and then I researched play therapy techniques to try at home and when she woke up I managed to make her laugh for about 15 mins and we tidied the living room together and then she told me she loved me shock I think she's only said twice before ever.
Thank you for resources Polter, I've heard of that book and will find a copy immediately.
flowers for you Mater.

zzzzz Mon 21-Mar-16 16:07:37

Sorry Mamaka I wasn't ignoring you, I had to be there.polts books are a good start. To be honest it sounds like you needed a morning in bed. Raising an atypical child is infinitely more work than you are probably giving yourself credit for. Seriously more. If you had triplets people would be falling over themselves to help. Allow yourself more rest and lower standards, if you try to keep up you will stall. It really is a marathon not a sprint.

My life improved immeasurably once I started building in time to relax/recoup. I ended up exhausted in hospital first though, so please learn from my experience and schedule pj days, and farm out housework etc if you can.

Start with the diary. I use photos on my phone and captions to record because it times/dates everything and saves writing.

PolterGoose Mon 21-Mar-16 16:13:07

Another point, however awful you feel she's behaving, still do nice and fun stuff. It's really easy to get stuck in a horrible loop of telling off and increasing stress - she's not going to be able to take control of it and stop the cycle, but you can. Keep doing good stuff, it's fine to say, even when she's been bloody awful, "right, I've had enough, let's go to the beach, what do we need?" It's not a bribe, and don't use it as a bribe, it's just a way of carrying on with day to day life.

Mamaka Mon 21-Mar-16 16:56:15

I can relate zzzz, have already ended up in hospital with exhaustion/dehydration/several bouts of mastitis when dd was smaller (she always has been impossible to comfort and I took trying to the extreme). My thyroid also collapsed under the strain!!
I videoed some of the meltdown this morning as I am fairly sure nobody believes me how bad it gets.
Thanks for the encouragement xx

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