"I Read Your Blog"

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.

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  • I know what you mean about walking into a family party and everyone knowing more about you than you may want. I used to have another blog that all my family and friends and Roo’s school knew about. It got too weird for me and I felt like I wasn’t able to write what I really wanted anymore. So, I started new and a bit more anonymous and didn’t let on to the family and all that I was still writing. As far as they are concerned I don’t keep a blog anymore. This too feels like I am being a little dishonest to my mom and others, but I have kept it quiet this long.

    Glad that you got away for a bit and enjoyed your time with family and friends.

    Good luck with the IFSP meeting. Hope John gets what he needs.

  • Yes, I believe a person can be a “shy writer”. I feel as though I am one.

    It is funny how we write publicly and yet, seem to love our privacy. I too had two different blogs and when they started becoming read too much–I folded them.

    I like people to read my blog but often feel this unexplained “fear” that I will get “in trouble” for something I write.

    I too have had dreams of being the “author”. I still want to–I just do not know how LOL. There is so much more to it than I ever thought.

    I too have twin boys and I know it is challanging–everyday-all the time. One of the boys has Aspergers and can be quite “difficult” at times.

    Believe me—they really do just keep growing and growing! Seems nothing fits for long. And all the STUFF they have so much STUFF! Where does it all come from? Seems like we have always had to have two of everything or fights ensue.

    I blog for Therapy too–it is cheeper!
    May I put you on my link list?
    I have been visiting your blog for a few weeks now but did not want to add it with out permission.
    Thank you. 🙂

  • You are so close to home for me!

    In fact, I recently “got myself in trouble” venting about services for another family. This family is in desperate need but they are ill equipped to do for themselves. Our state has poor community resources and the school resources are minimal. Frankly someone has to step up! Anyway, some school folk were reading and not very appreciative my meddling. Oh well…

    I’ve thought about starting over with a new blog but I am only finally starting to get some faithful visitors! I’ll just tone it down and consider my possible audience includes locals!

    Perhaps it is an excuse I came up with to justify my dislike of housework but I decided that it was more important for my child to learn to talk than for us to have a spotless house. I can only do so much! And in the grand scheme of things when he is 30 I will be more proud of where he is rather than how shiny my bathtub is! And YOU can only do so much as well!

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