Although in the last few days, Serafina dumped the baking powder, had many meltdowns, got very upset about her clothes, was very sick, took off her mitts every time we had to go out, wouldn’t sit still a minute or be quiet at the girls’ Christmas dance recital, ate a part of a marker, ate a part of a Christmas ornament, played in the toilet, took off many a poopy diaper, got in the cat litter, and cried a lot and didn’t want to go to bed at all most nights this week, she managed to keep her diaper on for 3 minutes!
On her head that is!
Life is CRAZY!!! These days I feel like I am losing my mind! I felt really stressed out today because things have been so hard! She has been into everything! It makes me feel like such a bad mother when I start to have any feelings of frustration, worry or discouragement. It makes me sad to not have any time to do all that I have planned with the other girls (time for reading, advent, baking, cooking, or crafts), time for my husband or for myself. The time we do find gets interrupted every two seconds by Serafina getting into something or finding something to put into her mouth. She has to be constantly watched by someone at all times and there is never a moment to relax or breathe. Ever. She keeps us all busy all the time and no one really gets any break. The past two weeks have been especially hard because Craig is working 12-hour night shifts (7pm-7am) and sleeps all day until 3pm, so I only see him for a few hours in the evenings. The worst part is that I feel so guilty for ever asking for any help. Some days I can feel so lonely and isolated.
I have been trying to get out of the house more because I am sick of feeling so isolated and want to have friends and have my girls have more friends. I realize that I really need someone to talk to. I also want to take Serafina out more. I don’t ever want to use autism as an excuse to hide away and stay home because it is just easier. It has been hard, but I keep trying. Sunday we went to church again and she had a great time! She still gets into everything and is very busy, but we have found a church that we have tried the past 2 weekends that seems very fitting for our family. I like getting out too and just having a mini-breath at least. There are really no moments in my life that are actually relaxing, unless she is asleep and I am up early (5am) which I try to do, but which also makes me more tired for the day.
Yesterday I faced my fears and attended a mommy and me group with all three girls and it went OK too. It is hard when you know other mom’s are judging your parenting (like when Serafina tried to steal a little boy’s sippy cup, spilled her juice and continually shut the doors in the place because she needs all doors to always be closed). People don’t understand autism or special needs very well and it can be frustrating and saddening. I have realized though that this has made me a more strong and confident mother and woman. I used to be so shy and care so much what other people think. Yesterday when a mom started disciplining Serafina for closing the door to the playroom, my momma bear really wanted to come out. I never am rude of course, but I did feel like she had no right to be stern with my child. I went over and just caught the tail end of what was going on, but explained to the mom that Serafina had autism and she needs doors to be closed. Also, that she didn’t really understand her. I didn’t care if she judged her or I.
I guess sometimes I feel so different from other mom’s too. I am not one to dress up (I hardly even ever get a brush to my hair or get out of my sweat pants) or be into fashion, buying new things, the latest news or gossip (as most people seem to be). We also homeschool and live pretty simply (I cook and bake, instead of buying convenient things, we have only one vehicle which we only use when we have to). My life is so busy and I always put my girls, husband and home first before myself. I like to lead a simple life and care more about the spiritual world and about instilling good values in my girls and being a good example than having stuff and making a name for myself.
Sometimes (although I don’t like to admit it to myself), I even feel sad when I see children who are one year or less and can talk and who understand me. I didn’t realize this until my friends daughter who was one was talking right to me comprehensibly and could carry on a conversation with me and understand me when I spoke to her. I volunteered with the little ones (3 years and under) at church on Sunday too (since I love children) and it was so different to me to be able to play with these kids and have them understand me. I only really notice the difference between Serafina and other “normally” developing children when we go out and it can be a bit depressing. I never consciously think like that or would ever like to admit anything like that, but these days thoughts, feelings, and realizations of this kind are wanting to come up more and more and I guess that it is time for me to face them, to grieve, and to allow the angels, Christ, God and the Holy Spirit to heal my hurting heart. I seem to be experiencing a whole range of emotions and IT SUCKS!! There is so much stuffed away in there from my past, stresses from being a mom and just regular stresses from life (I think we all have them) that it is time to do a little cleansing, processing and releasing.
I know that this blog post isn’t exactly positive, but it is where I am at right now. I remind myself that every day may not be good, but there is some good in every day! At the end of the night I still thank God for all that we have and for giving her to us all. I LOVE MY DAUGHTER! And I LOVE MY LIFE! When my mind gets in a down place and I can’t see past the dark moment, spirit still whispers hope and inspiration to me.
I cried and cried tonight until my eyes were puffy and I feel so tired now. I needed to have a good release and not pretend to myself that I don’t feel sad, remorseful, anxious, fearful, mournful of the more simple past, bitter, jealous, confused or angry. I have always been one to run from any negative thoughts or emotions. I HATE to feel those things and would rather always dwell in my happy place, but that is not reality. Reality is both black and white, light and dark, good and bad, positive and negative. I kind of hate too when other people or blogs make everything out to be so perfect. Lately it has actually been really getting to me. My life certainly is not, but I do get trying to focus on the positive and all that there is to be grateful for. Ho hum!
Tonight the still and inspiring message that I received while crying on the couch and hearing all the negative mumbo jumbo/garbage run through my head was this:
“You are crying and are angry because life is hard. You are mad because you want everything to be perfect, but that is not why you are here. You are here to grow in love and how could you ever do that Tiffany, if everything were perfect in life? Serafina is a gift to you. Begin to see the gifts she brings. Blossom ever more in love. ❤ See the beauty amidst the imperfections.”
I typed that out after I received it because it really shook me up and made me come back to the truth, even though I cried even more after this.
I have also been inspired lately to start a new blog focused specifically on my life with Serafina and her “autism.” I know that I am being led spiritually to do this, but my excuse is always “when do I have time for that?” It seems that spirit is always leading me on to grow ever more, I just wonder how much more I can be stretched. Through it all though, I know that it is Christ who works through me. In myself I am nothing. It is his power in me that does all good. I die more to self and grow more in spirit with each day and each trial. My ego gets its ass kicked (sorry for the use of language, but it’s true) and then I learn to just let it go ever more. Why hold onto all that when it only brings pain and suffering? Just let it go. Christ always beckons me to let go. And when I finally do, I feel his peace that surpasses all understanding.
So, even though I am tired as anything and my eyes are so puffy I can hardly see to type, I know that I have to share this message tonight. I feel inspired to sit here and type away my human feelings.
I hope that this helps someone out there who needs some inspiration or encouragement or who just needs to know that it is OK to feel human, process their thoughts and feelings, and to die to self. Even though it is painful and often terrifying, it always feels so good when we face our inner darkness.
What is waiting on the other side of any fear of letting go is always worth it!