I just got off the phone with The Youngest. He was whining and I just wanted to slap him upside the head for it, too. He probably has a bit of ADD but has a genius IQ so perhaps we (and his teachers) didn’t think it mattered when he was a child, comparatively speaking. He’s an *absent-minded professor-type* and called because he forgot (again) something he needed at his office at the community college where he is an adjunct. Did he expect me to find it and drive it over or email the information or???????? No, he did not. He wanted me to tell him how to not be so absent minded in the future….whine, whine, whine! I put on my best educator/behaviorist hat and proceeded to tell him what to do (well, he asked LOL!!!!!!) and he did not like it. Sigh. I would have cared, I really would have, but I couldn’t this time. I am running on empty.
This has been a crazy week for me, work-wise, with the upcoming weekend just as nutzie featuring several social obligations for Hubby and me as well. I had a big community arts summit meeting Thursday morning and baked blueberry muffins under duress because MY OVEN DIED ON GOOD FRIDAY WITH GUESTS COMING FOR EASTER DINNER. Ahem, where was I? Oh yes, now I remember, the top oven of my double oven died two days before I had to feed 15 people on Easter Sunday. Hubby and I went out on Easter Monday, bought a new one and it was to be delivered this week. In the meantime, I used the grill in a snow-shower and in a rainstorm and made lots and lots of soup. Could the oven have been delivered Monday or Tuesday or even Wednesday? Oh no, they called as I was leaving for my Thursday morning event (after baking those damn muffins I agreed to bake the night before and burning my arm because the damn thing was on it’s last legs) wanting to come over THEN. Nope, I told them, and they promised to deliver the oven as their last stop of the day. Okay with me (it shouldn’t have been…it was finally installed at 8 pm. SIGH!). But I wept all the way to my morning meeting. I am running on empty.
I am weepy, I am crabby, I am impatient. I swear this is not my usual MO. But this is what happens when the minutia of life and other people depending on me to solve THEIR problems and dealing whatever Autism-Crap is happening with Kiddo and not getting enough sleep or self-care. I am the Fixer. I am the Chief Case Manager for Kiddo. I am the Equipment Supervisor of this Household and when something breaks, needing to be repaired or replaced, I am the one who compensates until whatever is fixed or delivered, no matter what is happening in my professional life or my life-life. And I have to figure out how whatever is happening can have the least impact on Kiddo for the least amount of Autism-Crap. I am running on empty.
I need sleep. I need a mental vacation. Hell, I could use a REAL vacation but I shouldn’t be greedy, should I? If I had enough reserve of strength from some where deep inside to draw from, to reach into when the piddly crap of my life takes over, I would be fine. Every time I have been able to store up what I think is plenty of reserve and need to tap it, it seems to not ever be enough. I am always close to empty.
I am never completely rested. I am never truly at My Zen Place (what I jokingly call it when I feel cool, calm and collected) any more. Coffee and chocolate are not helping me get through the night (or day) anymore. Is it because my other kids are back home? Maybe. Maybe it is because I didn’t feel I had to solve their problems when they had their apartments in grad school and now I do. My bad, I suppose. It’s hard to break a 30+ year habit of always stepping into the breach. And 14 year old ovens break at the most inconvenient times, too. But I am the one who feels I have to do it all, solve it all and manage it all. Old habits are hard to break. So I am running on empty.
I have often told young parents having a child with autism is like running a marathon, not a sprint. I’ve been running one for over 36 years and I am beat. Always running on empty.
Every month is Autism Awareness Month at our house!