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My Dream Day turned Nightmare...and i feel Guilty for feeling as i do.

(19 Posts)
TheRealMrsF Fri 03-Jun-05 23:47:03

Yesterday arranged to go to a softplay centre with a mum from a parenting group i go to....she has a 17yr old AS...a 14yr old profound disabled (cannot talk-sit up-feed himself-has pacemaker-and has Autism...but he has a wicked smile!!!!)and a 2yr old likely ASD-no speech full stop yet.

So idea was we would feel cofy together as we are in similar boats...tho ofcourse i cannot tell you how in awe i am of her and the 14yr old- in that it's a life i cannot imagine..hope that makes sense)

She ofcourse says she knows no different.

When we got to the playcentre i was horrified at how people stared and pointed at him. I was outraged when children actually poked him and kicked him when she laid him on the bouncy castle stuff.

So i asked the manager if we could use the 'baby room' which was empty...stair gate etc...and lots of play-gym type stuff for him to look and touch.

so we went in there...away from the rest of the world...and i was gobsmacked when after 30 mins (when we were all in there eating our lunches...costing over £70 for all 8 of us!) a staffmember reminded us that the room was for under 12 month babies. I told her we had permission.... and asked what we were to do- leave the 14 yr old in there + his mum as she has to feed him- whilst i alone took all the others outside to eat our lunches...

then we decided to leave.... so we went to the local park.

then instead of her going home she came back to our house.

and this is where MY GUILTY feelings kick in.

I struggled all day with being 'out of my usual routine' and found after 3 hours of being 'social' that i needed to retreat into my home- ALONE .

I identify with many AS traits.... so see this 'strain' as just like my boys fel too.

It all began to 'rock me' when she arrived 30mins earlier than i had arranged...and she did not leave the house till 9pm...meaning we were 'together' for 10.5 hours.

I felt hemmed in- claustrophobic etc.

Then i felt gulity as i feel that my needs are nothing when you consider her 14yr old.

then there where the kitchen cupboards that here daughetr completely emptied over my floor...and that sounds petty...but i have OCD traits too...and i am obsessive about symetry and order...so i had a panic attack right infront of her over this.

for me- i am so routine bound that to simply make a cup of tea for anyone other than 'the usual' proved stressfull- then at 6 whhen she clearly was not going home- i realised i had to organise tea for all 8 of us....again this does not come naturally to me- i have to plan and prepare all afternoon...and ofcourse this was interuppted.

then when they did go- i just collapsed in tears- my DH was out till 10pm....so i was still alone when i discovered felt tip pen scribbled all over our 3 seater sofa (delivered feb).And 'only' chocolate over all the furniture.

i am writing this aware that you may all hate me for being so petty.... but hopefully some of you may have ASD/OCD kids/partners etc who need total order and symetry and may see why i feel so down now.

I know i have to explain to her that though i enjoyed her companny that this was far too much for me to deal with- and that when we arranged the day we only arrangfed the playcentre visit- so that's what i 'built into my plans' so i kind of 'shelved' my usual routines etc...and was able to cravethe 'solitude' that ui expected to get after say 3pm.... so when all that i 'planned' was 'WRONG' i flipped.

finally- the 2 yr old who drew over the chairs is likely ASD...and i feel treeible for feeling so cross about my sofa etc...feel just as bloody crap as i see all my family who moan about my boys...but i just keep looking at the scribbles all obver that sofa...and feel even more guilty- as i know she did not maliciously do it.

I feel so selfish for feeling so crap- but also feel that yeaterday clearly reinforced why i am, best just having you lot as friends. I really cannot cope with real life friends. So i just feel so isolated now.

TheRealMrsF Fri 03-Jun-05 23:50:06

meant to add that if i'd known they were coming home i would have 'prepared' by having things like pens out of reach- as i always did with all mine till thet=y were at least 4....and i would have got plenty of toys downstairs etc.

It's just that none of this 'spontaneous socialising' comes naturally to me.

hunkermunker Fri 03-Jun-05 23:53:19

I'm really sorry your day went so wrong, hun - I've started this post several times and it's all come out muddled.

Just wanted you to know I was sad your day had turned out to be unhappy. Don't feel guilty - just because there were reasons for the crummy things happening doesn't make it easier to deal with the crummy things iyswim xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

TheRealMrsF Fri 03-Jun-05 23:59:20

thanks...i can go to bed now feeling less stressed- i just had to post this- long as usual...but i feel so awful.

jenkins88 Sat 04-Jun-05 00:01:50

Mrs F, I don't think you should feel guilty about anything. There's no way I could take 10 hours of a friends company, especially if I wasn't expecting it. I can't imagine anyone not being pi**ed off about their sofa being drawn over either.

From the way you describe yourself I think I must be asd too, cos I'd have been climbing the walls by the time they went home.

It's really depressing to hear about the way your friends DS was treated at the soft play area. How can people be so cruel as to point at him. Makes me so mad.

hunkermunker Sat 04-Jun-05 00:02:14

Please don't fret - the fact you feel bad is as much your fault as the reason you feel bad - ie you can't help how you are and they can't help how they are.

Sleep tight, sweetheart xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

InternationalGirl Sat 04-Jun-05 00:02:29

Awww MrsF - sounds like it was a rough day yesterday. I know we have to keep pens out of the way of our 5 yr old w. autism. She loves drawing - we have the most detailed pictures of roosters and rabbits all over the walls, and a lampshade and even on the bed sheets. Aaaargh!

Hope tomorrow is better and you get some peace and quiet (at least with your own little family) in your own home.

coppertop Sat 04-Jun-05 00:03:33

MrsF. I know it's easy to say but try not to feel guilty. Dh is very similar with his need for routines and 'sameness'. (Even now he's starting to get an annoyed look because I'm usually upstairs by now and therefore disrupting his routine. )

He sees the house as a sanctuary from the outside world IYSWIM. He is pleased to see visitors but, like you, he likes to know in advance that they are coming - even if it's his own mother (who he gets on really well with). He paces up and down like a caged animal when his routine is disturbed too much or if he feels in any way 'trapped'.

I think anyone would've felt upset about their new furniture being scribbled on, never mind someone who has a need for things to be 'just so' IYKWIM. Try not to beat yourself up about it too much.

The play centre staff sound pretty useless. I'd be tempted to write and complain but I suspect you've already got too much going on atm. (That's usually when you disappear from MN for a while )

penpal Sat 04-Jun-05 01:37:31

Don't feel bad. Any child under 3 and half (earlier or later) will need 'tempting' things moved out of reach. Even in unexpected curcumstances ( ie partner doing visit usually has not a clue to the 'instant/too quick' dangers!).

In the long run, I do avoid the unknown. If someone invites me inside their house and I know they are not geared up for 2+ year olds - I do not go. Too stressful.

My childrens' happiness comes first so I try not to put them in stressful situations where they may be told off for simply being so young.........
God, just read this back, sounds pompous.
I definitely am not. I just need a really good holiday that costs nothing, or as near as....

Copper Sat 04-Jun-05 06:48:57

Mrs F
I have been reading your posts for years now, with nothing but respect and admiration for you - and I certainly don't feel any less after reading this.

The day was just too much. That doesn't make you a bad person. From the sound of it, it went on far too long, was full of the kind of things that upset you, and you felt you had to be hospitable when want you actually needed was time to compose yourself and put yourself back on track. You put your friend's needs first, at cost to yourself. That was good on the day, and for an emergency, but not for seeing each other on a regular basis.

Maybe next time you need (before the day takes place) to set an end time that everyone knows.

What you don't need is to torment yourself by how much more saintly you could have been. You are a human being doing a fantastic job in difficult circumstances. You had natural reactions to a difficult situation - everyone does. Bits of the day were good, and your friend obviously sees you as a friend - even if she doesn't understand your needs.

And I know what you mean about Mumsnet: no one ever got felt tip on the sofa from Mumsnet. And you can always step back for a bit without worrying about upsetting anyone.

Take care of yourself (as well as of everyone else)

Blossomhill Sat 04-Jun-05 07:48:23

Mrs F - Please don't beat yourself up about what happened. I think any person would feel the way you do. I know that if someone stayed with us until 9pm I'd be tearing my hair out. I think it's a long time to stay at someones to be totally honest.
I am very like you in the way that I don't like spontanuity and personally I have a 3 hour rule usually. What I mean by that is if someone does come round I often plan for the morning or afternoon and make that clear to the other person.
Please don't beat yourself up over this. You are a really good person and we all love you on mumsnet
As for the soft play area, outrageous. It's just another example of how discriminative this world is

saadia Sat 04-Jun-05 08:45:54

Just wanted to say that I agree with everyone else's posts - it would have done my head in as well to spend that long with unexpected guests. I also need my own space to be myself.

I think we all totally sympathise with your reaction to the sofa scribbling, that would annoy me too - you don't sound petty at all.

And I too was appalled by the playcentre experience - people can be so hideous.

I hope you're feeling better now.

TheRealMrsF Sat 04-Jun-05 10:27:18

Thanks to all of you- COPPER- u made me feel much better- CT i KNOW you understand! And BH..that 3 hour rule is just like me...any more and i feel panicky.

thankyou all....if i wasn't being physically heave-hoed off this chair by Alex i would respond to each and everyone!!!

TheRealMrsF Sat 04-Jun-05 10:31:32

The other thing i wanted to add is that though in some places in my home there is order and symetry...in ohers (the majority) there is chaos and disorder...for the past 3 years i have graduallyspiralled out of control- and as many of you know i am cocconed in 'odd socks'.... so in some ways the chaos that occured THAT day was not alot different to some of my 'normal' days...but the difference this time is that i felt totally swaped and out of control...ALL of a sudden and totally unnexpectedly.

that reminds me of my AS boys...they can cope with changes and chaos...as long as well prepared and that they have a clear idea of when they can 'retreat' to their own thing.

dinosaur Sat 04-Jun-05 10:36:54

MrsF I totally totally understand. Of course life must be pretty difficult for her and of course your home must have seemed like a safe refuge after the rigours of trying to cope with the indoor play centre.

However it is still (to my mind) a little bit out of order to stay so late at another person's house when you have not specifically been invited to stay for dinner - not many mums whether nt or on the spectrum can suddently rustle up dinner for eight people with no advance warning!

Please don't feel guilty - please please please. It sounds to me like you coped admirably with a difficult day.

I don't think I am particularly autie, myself, but I don't think I would have handled it half as well as you did.

My DH needs order and symmetry and he would have been driven completely potty by something like this.

Davros Sat 04-Jun-05 11:48:10

MrsF, please don't feel bad. Treat it as a learning curve. The fact that you have understood what went wrong and why is wonderful imo. What can you do to explain to your friend? I think you should read your first post again and pick out some bits you feel comfortable saying to her and just say let's try again some time (not too soon!) but I do need to have things within certain boundaries. You can even use the old classic "its me, not you"!!

mumeeee Sat 04-Jun-05 12:28:16

MrsF, sorry you had a bad day yesterday. Don't feel guily it is very hard to have friends around for that many hours.

macwoozy Sat 04-Jun-05 13:17:05

Mrs F, I really hope you are feeling alot happier today. There is no way I could have entertained a friend for that long, even with family I'm desperate for them to leave after several hours. You coped far better than I could ever have done.

Jimjams Sat 04-Jun-05 15:27:53

MrsF- being around autism is very difficult! I find being around ds1 very difficult a lot of the time (and I would kill to protect him- but his behaviour is still often difficult to be around).

You don't need to feel crap. Being crap would have been thinking the child hadn't been parented properly, or that they all just needed a good slap. Being pissed off because someone drew on your sofa is normal!

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