Not the Most Pleasant Post

I wrote an “inspirational” Instagram post yesterday after Truman had a day of roaring success at school, following 6 previous nightmare days wherein he struggled to acclimate to first grade. Yay us! Victory was ours. Faith overcomes all things.

And then today, Truman reverted back to panic mode over the prospect of returning to school. He feels it’s too long and there are too many factors out of his control, such as when he gets to have a snack. He fought me at every juncture this morning. I swallowed the bilious panic rising from my gut when I thought of engaging in this impossible, negative battle day after day, all year long.

I had to forcibly remove him from the car. We were late. He kept taking off his shoes to impede our progress. When he saw the other students already in the classroom, he melted down. At this point, the Assistant Principal sidled over and let me know there was going to be a lock down drill in a few minutes, and if I wanted to take T on a little drive and return after, he was down with that. Lock downs (even practice ones) are one of my son’s fears. Which I get.

So we left and got fries. We came back post-drill and had the same lovely fight scene featuring me dragging/cajoling/carrying Truman into school.

Not that anybody asked for a play by play of the fresh morning hell I’ve been encountering since school commenced. So why am I writing about it? I don’t know. Because it’s on my mind, I guess.

I drove to Costco after leaving him at school and had nothing good to say about anything. Just swears. That’s all my lips were capable of uttering for a good hour. I called Jeff and he and possibly a couple people on the bulk grain aisle got a bit of an earful.

Anxiety and autism? I am so over them. Special needs parenting? It seems like a cruel joke invented to make every single aspect of life so especially difficult. Having children? Sorry, folks of neurotypical offspring. I am utterly jaded. If anyone asked my opinion right now on whether they should have kids, I don’t know that I could honestly recommend it to them.

So that’s my stormy frame of mind.

I came home, unloaded the Costco groceries, ate the Costa Vida salad I treated myself to since the day was a clustercuss, and spent an hour cleaning the neglected and uber dirty kitchen. While I cleaned, I listened to the next General Conference talk in my queue, which was “He That Shall Endure to the End, the Same Shall Be Saved” by Claudio D. Zivic. Do you ever find that the thing that you happen to stumble on naturally on an ugly day is the exact right thing? And the exact right thing at the exact right time? Because that’s what happened here.

This talk, while mainly directed at people who are at odds with the Church and evaluating whether or not to continue in the Gospel, was kind of a conduit of reassurance and hope that I was grasping for.

There’s a lot of good stuff in this talk, and I basically let the tears and the stress flow from me as I listened. I’m feeling rather inadequate once again on the parenting front. I’m feeling my weakness and my desperation for change. The words, “The Lord will make ‘weak things become strong'” gave me a hand to grasp and pull myself from my pit of misery.

Zivik also said this: “Life is difficult for each of us. We all have a time of trials, a time of happiness, a time for making decisions, a time for overcoming obstacles, and a time for taking advantage of opportunities.”

I needed to hear that life isn’t a perpetual misery cycle, though it sometimes feels that way. It’s punctuated by periods of great difficulty and moderate difficulty, but also has stretches of relative peace. There will always be variation, which is good, because it gives me hope when I am in the trough of a wild sea.

I hung some toddler pictures of Jack and happy hunting pictures of my dad on the bulletin board as the talk ended and I felt that my Heavenly Parents were calming me with a promise that the awful days and the extended periods of awful days a) serve a purpose in changing me into a better person and b) won’t last. There will be respite.

Then I drank a Diet Coke and graded student essays. And the bitterness ran out of me.

Today’s not so bad, I’ve determined. It’s looking up.

  14 comments for “Not the Most Pleasant Post

  1. Blue
    August 29, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    I just wanna hug ya and thank you for being exactly as you are.

  2. Megan E Conley
    August 29, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    My sister i’ve never met in real life…I’ve been discovering lately that sometimes the best brightest work I can do is simply find a way to let the bitterness drain out of me. It’s been comforting and dampening to realize that sometimes that’s not a starting point for me, it’s THE point. I’m always working to make peace with that. And working to recognize it for the moment of grace it is. And working to be okay with that as enough. (When I get more I revel. But I don’t always get more.) I love you.

  3. Ann Cannon
    August 29, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    What Blue said. It is such a privilege to know you. And Blue. And each one of you who meets for your Thing. What strength. Wow.

  4. Layne E Flake
    August 29, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    I appreciate you’re honesty.

  5. Chris
    August 29, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    Once again…our trials are so so different, but you said exactly what I needed to hear.

  6. Kelly Eggertsen
    August 29, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    Your family picture is beautiful!

  7. Larrie
    August 29, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    Oh man, I was so frustrated with getting my son to put his shoes on this morning after I’d asked a few times. I have no clue how it would be to go through your morning. At all.

  8. Ashley
    August 30, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Sighhh, just know you are not the only mother facing the endless battle of trying to bring function to dysfunction in the lives of her people! Have you read ‘The Caregiver’ given by Elder Eyring? His words always bring me comfort, strength and restores hope in my mind and heart. As do yours. However, yours also make me laugh only because I can relate on sooooo many levels. Hang in there you haven’t been brought this far just to be abandoned. Something, someway, somehow will work itself out!

  9. Amber
    August 30, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    I am happy to say that I can agree with everything you wrote. Especially that awesome quote. months ago….I couldn’t have agreed with this because I was convinced my life was a big fat cosmic joke. Feeling so jipped comparing everyone else’s not special needs life. In fact I had a big sob session/prayer asking why I didn’t get joy in my family? I thought if I did my very best plus even better than my best, I would get joy in my family? Well there was no joy. Until later that night Jase said momma for the first time. He says it all the time now and is his only word. ?I am his only word. ? That is joyous. Now life has shifted gears and it feels so easy. The other kids are doing so so well. I catch myself looking for the sky to fall…but I feel in my bones now is a new time. Me and my family are really going to enjoy this new stage. That quote was exactly what I needed to hear today.
    Thanks for all your posts…I love reading.

  10. Barb
    August 30, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    I feel you so hard right now. Charlie physically fought me every single day for a year going to kindergarten. And ran away from school several times. They used to have lockdown drills at school specifically to find him when he’d run away and hide in the the school. Then magically on the third day of first grade, he was able to hop out of the car and say, “Bye, Mom!” and go wait in line with his class. It wasn’t actually magic. It was lots of hard work and not giving up and having faith that it would get better. Thanks for sharing the not so rosy parts. Because we all have them and they stink.

  11. Meghan
    August 31, 2018 at 11:48 am

    Your writing is such a life preserver to me! I have lived through YEARS of autism plus anxiety plus school refusal. We have been through it in public, private, homeschool and are now back to public. And the last three weeks have been a miracle of no issues whatsoever. Yet. I’m basically waiting for the shiz to hit the fan all over again. This life is hard. You are not alone, and I’m so grateful for your words that perfectly capture my own feelings. Thank you.

  12. Sarah
    September 2, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    As a special ed teacher I’ve been on the other side of the hard drop offs. I have so much respect for the moms and dads who go through the behind the scenes getting their kids to school. Keep going. You got this.

  13. Jenny
    September 4, 2018 at 9:55 am

    I so completely feel your pain, and I’m so sorry you’re going through this. My daughter is 11 (almost 12) and has always been the kid at school drop-off who has to be pried off the parent’s leg. As recently as last year, I had to leave her, weeping, in the school office. And today, after an hour and a half of trying to get her to school, my husband and I finally gave up and left her at home. For the second time since school started two weeks ago. I feel so helpless and broken.

  14. Jennie
    September 5, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    All the swears on your behalf. But also you always remind me in your own clustercuss of beautiful truths. Such as, variation, and needed subtle guidance toward a remainder that misery cycles and even just blah cycles do in fact end or change. Hurrah for Diet Coke. xo

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