I’ve been putting off writing this blog for some time now as I wasn’t sure how I was going to word this without coming across as jealous or some kind of obsessed mother.
I have walked so many miles in the woods. Just me and my dog – not knowing how to word this but thinking how important it may be to write about this because I don’t believe I am on my own. From experience, knowing that someone else is going through the same as me has helped me come to terms with this way of life.
When myself and my husband found out that I was expecting after trying for a baby for just one month I was delighted! I wanted to find out the sex of the baby as soon as possible. I already had a child, a boy from my past marriage and there was nothing more I longed for than a baby girl. I dreamed of playing with my daughter and doing all the girlie things that mother and daughter do! We booked in for an early sex scan and found out that I was expecting a baby boy. A little part of me was disappointed if I am totally honest as I wanted to have that bond just like a dad and son do and hoped it was my turn this time… I soon came round to putting this behind me and just grateful that we were expecting a healthy baby boy! We were and still are very lucky and I wouldn’t change a thing.
June 2010 came and I was holding my bundle of joy from birth. By the age of 4, he was still very much a mummy’s boy. I had the joy to raise him myself and further down the line, I took the decision to take him out of playgroup early as he wasn’t mingling with the other kids much. I felt lucky to be raising my little boy and enjoying every minute of it, up until school when the problems started for us.
When my son reached 6 years old the relationship with my husband started developing a gap that got wider and wider over the next 2 years without us really being aware. When my son was 6 years old he started to take a huge interest in technology. My husband is technology mad and works in IT. His passion for computers and technology is huge and he lives and breaths in the world of computers.
Our son from a very young age of around 2 years old never played with the normal toys in his toy box. The lights and sounds helicopter or activity elephant got pushed aside and out came my phone charger and random wires from behind the T.V. Observing him closely he would spend hours just making his own little circuits with all these wires!
Once he got to an age where he understood more he took such a keen interest in daddy’s job and the world of social media and the whole technology around it. From being a normal little boy enjoying gaming he practically became his daddy’s clone and pursued a much deeper understanding of technology. This included recording gaming videos, coding and electronics.
I will be totally honest the whole thing goes over my head and often when I ask, my son will have to try and explain to me what he means, he even explains and helps teachers at school when it comes to their computers.
I am so proud of having a husband and son that can share this passion together. I love the fact that each weekend they can talk for hours and play together and enjoy each others company. Who wouldn’t right?
But then there are times when I need my husband … not for long maybe just an hour to come and walk with me in the woods so we can have time to talk. I don’t need long, just my best friend that I married for an hour that day? We tell my son that we are going to go for a walk but then he sees this as a demand, that he must come too and then we hear the avoidance …”My legs ache today!!” or “I have not had any time with dad, you spend all my time with dad!” We explain that he can stay at home with his older brother whilst we go for just an hour. If we are having a good day he will allow this, if not there is no point in even asking and I quietly leave the house and shut the door without anyone knowing I’ve left.
When my husband walks through the door on an evening I want to offload what has happened during the day but my son will take over.
I try to talk but get interrupted. He does not understand the pecking order and will talk over me. If I mention that I was talking first and we should wait for me to finish that’s another demand and only 5 minutes after my husband walked through the door after a busy day at work we have a child that is in meltdown.
The time we had spare would then be used calming our child down after a meltdown. It’s then bedtime before I remember the conversation that I wanted to have with my husband many hours ago … we are both too exhausted to talk and now its sleep time before the next new day.
Having an Aspergers PDA child means that you can’t use a babysitter or even a grandparent to take care of the child for a break. The child is too demanding and controlling and it’s not fair to put that pressure onto others. Your child is unpredictable which means staying on high alert all of the time on the lookout for the next flashpoint. The reality is harsh … there is no one that can give you that break for you to spend some quality time together. I have to grow to accept this.
I thought I would have a child that would give us a little time to be a family … A child that would actually understand mummy’s needs and not always wish to be in control of his parents and everyone else around him. I have learned to adjust to our way of living, my relationship with my husband my son and then me.
Myself and my husband have spoken many evenings in front of the fire with a glass of wine and a box of tissues (when we have managed to get my son to bed before us) and then our son will shout down that we have not put the same amount of teddies on each side of the bed for him to get our attention again.
My husband is caring, loving and I would not change him for the world. He understands the situation we are in and totally understands how important it is to show me love in this love triangle that we are in. We both agree that we never thought that this situation in our relationship would lead to me feeling isolated on the outside, it’s something that we both don’t want but it’s a crazy triangle we can’t get out of?
When my son was younger it was easier … he seemed to be more Aspergers than the PDA profile which followed as his personality grew. We managed to get away for the night and get time together when my mother would stay over and do nana duties. Since he got older he is more aware of everyday demands and his anxiety can be triggered at any point. Just like switching a light on and off our son can go from 0-90 faster than any car in existence and from 90 to 0 at the same speed. Happy to angry outbursts, meltdowns with physical abuse and lashing out which my 60-year-old mother has experienced the brunt of. I can’t expose her to that situation again. As parents we have learned strategies to help manage his anxiety and rephrase demands or reduce them but how can you expect others to totally understand your child as a parent can?
I can’t explain the feeling that I have because it’s joyful yet sad. Joyful that my child can spend such wonderful weekends with my husband and have such a beautiful special bond that I love to see and fills my heart with joy. Yet I feel sometimes inside me a sadness that my son took my husband and best friend away and I am unsure I will ever get him back. I am unsure I would want him back because then that would mean that my son was not spending time enjoying doing things with daddy. Where is the balance?
Don’t get me wrong, we do spend time together as a family. Evenings and weekends will involve time where the three of us go out for meals and spend time together at home yet husband and wife time is minimal.
Some parents would say a child grows out of wanting a parents bond and wants to socialise with their peers? They will want to go out partying as teenagers, they will find a social network but I am not so sure. My child that has huge sensory issues and social difficulties will be a different child growing up. He will need his daddy if that is his best friend. I am lucky that I have a boy and a husband that can connect like this and I have to learn to adjust.
I don’t want this blog to become negative as I try to remain a positive character and don’t allow negativity to get in the way of our family life as much as our challenges as a family can remain high. As a family 70% of the time we spend is positive, we are blessed to be able to share wonderful vacations together, we eat out often and have amazing life experiences together. We are lucky and I only imagine how hard and difficult it must be to manage a child with severe difficulties and challenges as I know so many families have a tougher time than us.
Our family time is amazing and I am blessed to be around a family that is totally honest, focused individuals, always telling me the truth, clever and intelligent and amaze me every day. I would not change anyone. My purpose for this blog was to reach out to the mum who feels lonely and isolated at times and reassure them that they are not on their own.