Susan's Blog

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Sliding Down

The downward slide begins.

A terrible day. I lacerate myself with stupid actions. Why am I so self-destructive? Goodbye to the boys, they go back to school. My heart is so heavy. I miss them, and I should be happy. I just want to lay down and cry. Max — another passage. Another milestone. Max is my trailblazer, even though he is the second-born. Walking to high school, trying to be brave. His voice seems different, his laugh seems different. Nat’s life, on the other hand, continues in a loop of sameness, of Disney sing-alongs and behavioral charts, ice cream when he gets home. How do I measure his progress, when there is regression right alongside? Ben, a straight brown arrow shot into third grade. Same teacher, but a new friend already.

The sky was dark when I woke up, though it was nearly six. I drank coffee that was too sweet, laced with false sugar. Lead in my stomach. I look ahead and struggle to find what’s good. I continue to waver. Moth to flame. Do I have the strength to do the right thing? What is the right thing? What my tautly-wired head tells me or what my red, bloody, fat heart tells me? Both are simply organs within the same flawed body.


I’ve been battling the same concern you have with Nat with Alena. How do you mark progress when you watch the regressions in other areas? A friend gave me valuable advice. Rejoice in the progress, because it encourages more and boosts your own moods. But take note of the regressions and make a plan to work on them. Much as it’s not a peace-filled message, it does help me recognize when my own thoughts muddy her successes.
I keep marvelling at your strength with your boys. I have just the one little monkey and there are days that is overwhelming.
Despite how you may feel, you’re doing a wonderful job!

— added by Jen on Thursday, September 7, 2006 at 12:15 pm

Here’s what I see: an amazing mom incredibly dedicated to her children, who wrote a terrific book on her family’s very personal struggle with autism that I’m sure has inspired many of her blog readers (including myself). Life occasionally sucks and that’s okay. I’m willing to bet that as far as your kids are concerned, you hang the moon and stars — especially Nat. It is hard to watch the most precious things in your life leave, even if it’s just for the hours they’re away at school. Enjoy the darkness that is today — I’ve always thought there is strength to be gained there. And then look at tomorrow.

— added by KAL on Thursday, September 7, 2006 at 1:34 pm

i like these thoughts. thanks.

— added by Susan Senator on Thursday, September 7, 2006 at 1:42 pm

It is a mixture of feelings for me as well. I have started this week off with a nasty cold from hell and the constant worry of when the boys are gonna come down with it. The baby has started and I am sure Chance is at school not feeling the best. His new teacher will have no clue as to what normal behavior(for him) is compared to back-to-school illness. I am sure he is sitting there hand-flapping. I hope he is pulling his pants up before he leaves the bathroom. I wish I didn’t know shame either. He woke up around 11 last night screaming about wanting water and saying something about metal bars…and then returned to bed. So many unanswered questions..where does a mom take comfort?

— added by mrs. gilb on Thursday, September 7, 2006 at 1:42 pm

I have had 3 weeks to get used to our oldest starting high school. They lost the first day of school. Long story….
She was smart enough to be in the office. They finally decided to look there.
13 years ago, I would have never thought she would be attending high school, let alone functioning as well as she does. She has amazed us tremendously.
Yes, she still has her regressions, but honestly I don’t even notice them anymore.
She still has an aide and still requires constant supervision, but she is doing it.
Now I get to sit back and watch the other’s grow as well.

— added by Mom26children on Thursday, September 7, 2006 at 6:12 pm

hang in there, susan. you are such a passsionate woman, a fantastic mom, a whole-hearted human, a great writer–you will move through this! i am rooting for you! and, of course, all three of your amazing boys!

— added by kyra on Thursday, September 7, 2006 at 8:45 pm

Stay the course. Failure is never an option. You’ve proven this many, many times before. Let the positive outway the negative. Refocus and realize how far you’ve all come. I feel (as do many others) your times of dispair. Trust me, I know where you sit especially after being called to pick up my child and after an hour conference with both Principals only on the second day of kindergarten!!! Yet, we pull ourselves up by our boot straps and march on. I have to believe it will all be worth it in the end. There is a greater purpose.

— added by Anonymous on Friday, September 8, 2006 at 10:02 am

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