As a shy writer, one who stopped writing for even the hope of mass consumption back in the late eighties, I felt something akin to panic upon walking into a room full of people, each who greeted me with “oh! I read your blog.” There is something unsettling about meeting your public – all who are friends of your father and stepmother – and have them know more about you than you’ll ever know about them. Of course, they probably would even without my blog to lay bare my every last thought, but still. I think I imagined that only members of my fellow autism-mom community read me, plus a few close friends (and obviously, members of my family).
It makes me feel even more shy.
But not really: is there such a thing as a shy writer? I mean you might be shy in person (as I am until you get to know me), but that usually disappears on the page once you’re off and running. I wrote in college because I found it was something I liked and could do reasonably well. I had dreams of writing for a living, of writing The Great Book. To be 22 again and imagine that’s possible.
Yes, I suppose it’s still possible — in another life. But I digress.
My stepmother celebrated her 60th birthday this weekend. My brother and I left our families at home and trekked north for the party. I weighed the strangers, the noise, the disruption of our routine against bringing them — and so they stayed home with their daddy. It was odd, though, not to have a child tugging on each hand, it was unusual not to wear sweatpants. It was great to talk to other adults — in person! It was terrific to feel true warmth from and for the woman who survived my teen years. It was so nice to feel unencumbered, even for just 24 hours.
What valuable “me” space. Now that John’s early morning episodes are becoming more rare, I’m the one waking at all hours to worry and pace.
We’re have an IFSP meeting this week because we asked our EI team for more services. A preliminary talk about this indicated that they would have both boys leave the classroom they attend 4.5 hours a week in order to provide John with more in-home ABA. That there is some arbitrary “cap” on the total number of hours they can provide each child in the entire county. It seems contrary to the IDEA, at least as I understand it. Not every child needs the same level of intervention, right? What if we need more and we’re denied?
Well, needless to say, this is what’s keeping me up nights. Oh, and my filthy house. The dirty floors, the accumulated dust on shelves, the bathroom tile turning black… it’s all conspiring to bring me to my knees. And you thought the autism diagnosis would do that. No, I’m handling that okay, it’s all this other stuff. The dishes in the sink, the piles of dirty laundry. It’s the tick-tock of the clock and my office phone ringing. It’s getting Sam dressed and seeing with dismay that his jeans are waders. When did he get so tall? There are not enough hours in my day. I can’t get the space, the time, the psychic room to breathe… except for here, in my Blog O’Therapy.
Which I thank you for reading.