This evening wasn’t so good. I lost my temper with my son. I was trying to explain something fairly important to him and instead of hearing the message, he focused on one minor point and kept trying to justify his case. He kept going on and on and wouldn’t stop. He wouldn’t accept the larger point I was making because of his obsession with telling me every tiny detail of the situation he was describing. After half an hour of trying to get him to stop and listen to what I was trying to say I lost my temper and yelled from frustration and of course, because he’s autistic, he hadn’t read my facial expression or tone of voice or body language so he never saw it coming and my anger scared him. He cried. I felt guilty. We had a discussion on how parents are not perfect and sometimes lose their temper. I apologised for shouting, we cuddled and now he’s playing on his Wii in his bedroom and all is well, but I feel hollow inside.
I know his inability to refocus when he’s obsessing is part of his autism. I know his inability to respect boundaries and stop talking when asked to is probably also part of his autism. I know that all parents get frustrated and shout at times. But I made my son cry and I hate that.
We have an amazing relationship, full of love and laughter and understanding but still there is that gulf between us that communication cannot always bridge. He doesn’t think neurotypically, he doesn’t understand the world as the average person does and he doesn’t process information the same. Although I can reach out and try to see the world through his eyes, try to explain the world to him, occasionally we will fail to connect. He will do what he wants to do, fail to see the consequences of his actions, forget what he’s been told to do, go into a daydream and lose track of time or all the other many ways he is difficult to parent at times. I will keep trying to teach him and explain why he needs to focus and listen but sometimes I will lose my temper and I will shout at him and when I do I will feel rotten inside. It’s inevitable, it’s to be expected but these bumps in the road will always make me feel sad and inadequate and guilty. I guess that’s inevitable and to be expected too but that’s no consolation. Roll on tomorrow.
Public domain photograph by PDPics at Pixabay.com