Friday, September 21, 2012
I feel like I have been avoiding writing this post for a long time. Mainly because it is so personal, and because it makes me feel vulnerable.
I feel like I am failing. Not in my own goals. But as a mom.
The last year has been tough. Super tough.
I struggle, I am really trying hard to do all the right things for Peanut, be the best I can be, and help her grow and mature into a strong woman. Just lately some days are harder than others. And being alone only makes it harder for myself.
We all make choices. I know why I have made the choices I have, but it does not make things any easier for me.
I always knew Peanut was a little different. As an infant she was very sensitive to everything. Sleeping patterns were crazy and inconsistent. She liked to be held and consoled. She did not like strangers, even as a small baby being held by someone knew was a nightmare. Change was always tough.
I thought she would out grow it all. I thought that one day I would have this outgoing smiling bubbly little girl like my 2 nieces. I kept telling myself things would get better and easier. We would go somewhere new and she would cling to me, I would blame it on me working too much. Birthday parties became more stressful than fun because she did not want to interact with anyone new. Her shyness grew more intense too. New people would not even get eye contact.
The last year has become worse. She has become rigid in routines and become highly sensitive to certain sensations. I have been navigating through a world on my tip toes and egg shells I feel like. Everyday is an uphill battle. Something simple as going to bed at night requires the same 4 books, the same rocking chair, same position of my hands, same order of things... you get the idea.
Certain materials "hurt" when we put them on. Certain foods are yucky because they look dirty if they have any spices on them. We can only place 1 food on our plate at a sitting and we are limited to foods by shape, color and texture that we will even eat.
We have epic meltdowns, that can last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. Sometimes the only way to stop them is by holding her tight against my chest and playing her favorite songs. She hates to be touched by others, she needs her space everyday when she sees someone or goes somewhere. She gets over stimulated so easily, I avoid places just to avoid a meltdown.
It is not all bad. She is so smart. She loves cars. Peanut can pick out the same car I drive on the highway, same year, make and model even tell me how everything is the same except the color. She associates people by the car they drive, she gets excited to see a car she recognizes. She knows what kind of car everyone she loves drives. She loves her little cars, if you get at her level and help her line up her matchbox cars, you can connect with her on a whole new level.
She has an impeccable memory. All she has to do is hear or see something once and she can repeat it. She loves music. She can sing along with any song once she hears it a few times. She loves hearing new words and repeating them. I will never forget the day she belted out universe and felt like she had been given a million dollars.
She is different. Lately, I am trying to work through embracing this difference and accepting it. I have come to the conclusion that she will not be like other little girls I know, that she is special in her own ways. I love that about her. But it also makes me sad sometimes still. I am beginning to accept the fact that she needs therapy to over come her sensory struggles and some socialization skills. She does not know how to interact with her peers when we go to a park or somewhere with other children she looks blankly or shies away from them. It breaks my heart.
You hear about autism and listen to parents struggle. You never imagine that your child may become part of that statistic. Until the day you begin to piece it all together, you begin to talk to other people about some of the things you are going through, and it all begins to make sense. I used to think this is just what having a toddler is like. I used to think I just did not have the patience for children and maybe it was my fault. I used to be in denial and tell myself things would work themselves out with time.
I was not prepared for things to get worse with time. I was not prepared to be diving into a world of unknown for myself. I was not prepared to be doing it alone day after day, night after night.
Luckily I am prepared for an ultra marathon. Luckily I am healthier and stronger than I was when she was born 3 years ago. I know now why I went through my lifestyle change. I needed to so I would be able to get through this too. The birth of Peanut made me realize I needed to get healthy in order to be a better mom. I had no idea it was preparing me for so much more. I can run alone for 4 and a half hours, I can do this too. I feel like everything I have experienced these last 2 and a half years has just been helping to prepare me for all of it.
Labels: My Thoughts