Hmmm, where do I begin?
Today...did not go as planned. The kids were invited to a birthday party at a local glow-bowling place. The last time we were there was for B's birthday in the fall, and though we've had issues in the past, K did awesome. So, I assumed today would go just as well.
And then the universe laughed at my assumption, and dumped a whole pile of steaming crap on the day.
First, K had to wait to bowl, since her name was the last one on the screen. This triggered the descent. Then she thought she was the worst bowler ever. Then her fingers got pinched between two balls. Then she got a few gutter balls, even with the bumpers. Then the pizza didn't look right.
There was screaming, crying, throwing of bowling shoes and glow necklaces. There was kicking of arcade games. There was trying to run away from the bowling alley, itself (which is next to a divided state highway, with no lack of cars).
She thought because the other kids were having fun and laughing, they were laughing at her.
She thought that because she always causes problems (not being a good enough bowler was the "problem"), I hated her.
She thought the bowling alley wanted her to lose.
She wanted to just run away forever.
Spiral, spiral, spiral.
And one very helpless mama.
My husband was out mountain biking, and sans phone, so I made a frantic call to my mom. B was having so much fun, and I didn't want to force him to leave. I needed a huge favor. I needed her to come get K.
Thankfully she did.
The worst part is, even in the midst of the meltdown, K so badly wanted to stay. She couldn't calm down, but she also didn't want to leave. She wanted to enjoy being there, but her brain just wasn't having it. I knew she would be better off going with Grammy.
When I picked her up later, she was still upset over leaving the party. She missed the cake (an ice cream cake, so I couldn't even bring a piece home). Sure, she got McDonald's, ice cream, and saw a movie, but she missed birthday cake. The other "fun" stuff didn't matter.
Perseveration, we know thee well.
I debated writing this post. K's personal life should be sacred. Should I share how hard today was? But the thing is, I've been talking a lot about acceptance, and I feel that sometimes any message of acceptance can come across as loving everything autism brings to the table. It's a slippery slope. I want K to love herself. I don't want her to hate life because she is autistic. I want her to focus on her gifts, and understand what a wonderful person she is, and not feel broken because of her neurology.
But days like today? They suck. Hard. I couldn't do anything to help my girl. My anxious, crying, stimmy, crawling out of her own skin, thinking the world hates her, girl.
And, you see, I don't accept that. I want to do everything in my power to change those feelings. To make her happy. She'll always be autistic, but I won't sit back and watch my child be in that much emotional pain, saying I have to accept it, if I am to accept her.
I don't want to change K just because she's autistic, and I want her to love herself as much as I do. But these bad days? These horrible days when my child tries to run away, and thinks she's an awful person because she isn't a top bowler?
I don't want anyone to mistakenly think I love or accept that.