I woke up this morning feeling heavy after a night of restless sleep. As much as I continue on the path of positivity I also want to remain honest with myself. I dont want to deny myself the humanity of having an emotional “off-day”. At 5:15 this morning my phone began rinning with the message from the first school to call and cancel due to the iced over roads. Thats when the anxiety set in. I was set to start my job today and now with my kids home I had to scramble to find a sitter. I began texting with great success. And just as I rolled over and closed my eyes my phone rang again from school number two calling off school. At this I almost jumped for joy as I would no longer need to attend my sons IEP meeting at 8:40 this morning. I noted that this was just denying the enivitable but hey I went with it.
I switched on a news podcast and tried to rest as the men’s voices discussed the implications of the U.S. government shutdown on its government employees and its threats to our national security. It’s pretty sad that this is the type of thing that I listen to to relax. It occurs to me more and more just how calloused I have become to the realities that swirl around our world. Its not that I don’t care, it’s that I have to turn a blind eye to the things I cannot control and leave the concern to the people who can. Its just not my calling to become intertwined with politcs. I’m more of a day dreamer. I more of a turn on a song and feel it kind of a person. A lyric listener. an emotion sifter.
So with an unexpected day off for the kids i began my day getting them all bathed, fed and happy before I would have to leave for work until my phone rang and the BCBA I was supposed to start working with today said gently, “there will be no session today mom cancelled due to illness”. I danced on the other end of the phone while I remained professional over the phone. As I looked at my autistic son standing before me impatiently waiting for me to hang up and give back the phone I smiled and kissed his cheek as I hung up. I handed him the phone back and raced to grab one more load of laundry that I now had time for and sat at the kitchen table just looking out at the neighbors house across the street through the front window breathing a sigh of relief.
Still in deep contemplation from the long night I had just endured I closed my eyes and listened to the sounds of the kids moving about the house in a chaotic calm and just felt the anxieties leave my body. Its been a long six months. Its been a long battle with a bout of depression and uncertainty. Its been a long six months of trying to reintroduce myself after realizing that the path I had been on for so long was no longer the path that enhanced my life. I had a few friend come and a few friends go which is the ebb and flow of life but in the mix of it all it was unsettling and lonely.
But the quiet was needed. The loneliness, after I stopped battling it, became my refuge. I was able to sit and reflect on the last ten years of my life. Marriage, Autism, Children, Changed dreams, change in life direction. I was able to sift through it all slowly. I was able to take a nap here and there after years of running. I was able to re-evaluate what was important in life now that I am older. I was able to forgive myself for things I needed to forgive myself of and to let go of things I had been holding on to.
Today, as I admitted that I dont want to work (knowing that not working was an option) I felt relief having that out there. I don’t get much quiet time. I dont get much “who am i’ time. I hardly sleep at night as it is. I have been spending a lot of time sleeping on the couch lately because I dont want to keep my husband away with my tossing and turning. I have been reading more and more I finally feel like I am finding peace after 34 years of internal chaos.
What used to bother me just rolls over my shoulders instead of dropping anchor there. I have become pretty adept at opening a page, hitting a key that turns into a work of some sort and walking away from the laptop feeling as if i had enough interaction for one day. The other day, my husband and I went out for drinks and as we sat at the bar I sat contentedly sipping on my drink and we exchanged about three sentences the whole three hours we were out and it was probably one of the best dates I had been on in a while. Lately, it seems a drink, some good ole chill country music and being left alone seems to be all the vacation I need.
I feel like this emptying of myself is what I need to rebuild myself. I have tried to explain this to my architect black and white point a to point b type A logical husband and he just crosses his arms and tilts his head confused. I have always been the lyric person, hes more of a bass person. I’m all gray hes all black and white. My favorite shape is a circle his is a square with all its solid angles. I always thought that a square was kind of a mean shape. There has always been a disjunct between us. Im a hardcore romantic he is always logical, a problem fixer, I am a problem analyst. I examine not only the facts but the emotions surrounding the facts. Truth is Logic wins out every time but ya know, that isnt life. There is an emotional aspect to life that is ignored and in a way I think that world needs to recognize this.
It is emotion that allows us to love our children special needs or not. It is emotion that separates us from other speciese of animals. It is emotions that “make us human” dont show emotion and we are called “disordered”. But in a second breath we tell our society to “stop making decisions based on emotion”. I get it, we have to control our emotions to think of what is best in the long run but I think as a society we have taken this request way too far and in so doing we have denied ourselves one of the basic priviliges of being human. I partly credit this to the rise in depression and drug use especially among men. I wish that full time workers had more consecutive time to sit back and do just what I have been doing since November. Yes, November and I’m still not fully ready to plunge back into work. I feel like I have one last thing that I need to do before i go back and that’s a long roadtrip alone to sit on that mountain in Montana that I remember so vividly. I was sixteen then. We went to California and to Hawaii but what do i remember? That mountain. that One mountain and the way that the sunset and the sound of silence. My soul is telling me I need that trip. Its been building up the past year. I need to sleep in a field with my car windows down listening to the howling of the wolves like i did that summer. My soul is craving it. The run away. There is something in me left unsettled and I think that one thing is to bring my current self to step into the the place of my former self. and my former self is still out on that Montana mountain. Though my current circumstance prevents this from coming to fruition there is something in my soul that will not settle until I go back. Because thats me. The real me. A nomad. A day dreamer. A life liver. A free spirit. I feel like my soul is dying out here in the suburbs of Detroit with the constraints that comes with the life of Autism. Ill find my way, I always do but one day, I hope that I find my way back to that place that gave me more peace that I have ever known anywhere else.