Sunday, December 18, 2011

Th Ghosts of Christmas Past

 I admit it. I am not a fan of this holiday. While some families are tucked in their beds with visions of sugarplums, I am trying to figure out a way to lesson the sheer volume of meltdown occurring in my house. Sammy has his issues and the holidays just exacerbate that now add into that a baby who is having her first Christmas, 2 teens and a 4 year old with sensory sensitivities.

 I don't want to miss a minute of Grace's wonderment  with the lights and sounds, but instead I end up often trading that for a hold on Sammy. I don't want her to grow up thinking chaos is a way of life. I don't want her to look back on her childhood and be sad.
 I don't want Nate to feel lost in the shuffle between a girl baby  and a brother with "issues" he cannot even come close to comprehending. After all how to do you explain autism to a four year old? Why the hell should I have to? Why should he even have to carry any of this. I sit here as Nate becomes overwhelmed with the noise and stress level. Sammy thinks it's hysterical and then begins the "crazy laugh" Nate gets even more upset.
The older boys handle it well but poor AJ gets crap so often. Sammy can trip over his own feet stumble and fall, get up and punch AJ. Because somewhere in his head he thinks it's his fault. Everything becomes AJ's fault in Sammy's head, sometimes when AJ isn't .even.home.

Today is Dan's family Christmas. We have gone over behavior and expectations. We have done a social story. We have talked about it and role played. Still, while  he may hold it together while we are there I can almost place bets on how far from the party we get before Sammy looses his crap.
 I try not to focus on Christmas past before we understood what the issue was. Christmas past when I was told I needed to "get my kid" because he was touching everything and making other family members uncomfortable. Where I got looks and stares that threw me for a loop. When Sammy punched me in the face in front of a group of people. When  I was treated like I didn't exist and neither did he. I still hurt from those things, they don't go away. Yet, every year I put a happy face on suck it up. I try to make this time happy.

I'm tired and I am worn out. There is still this small glimmer inside of me that hopes for a great day tomorrow. I don't get to be hopeful often. I protect myself from that like the plague. I want him to show excitement. I want him to play with toys. I want him to be happy and for others to see the ray of sunshine inside that boy who lights up my life. I need him to engage, be present,show up. I know he may for a second or two here and there. He may be socially appropriate some of the time. Truth is he will most likely be running laps around the house or swinging on the swings.  He may not be present at all. It hurts to know that in the back of my mind, but I still... remain hopeful. Like a child on Christmas even who wants something nearly impossible I hope and I pray but in my heart of hearts I know I wont have the Christmas I want, so I just need to WANT the Christmas I have.

It just always ends in tears.. for both of us.