Diary of an Autistic Father: Week Six

I had a meltdown this week. 
It wasn’t a small one either. What triggered it was a small thing in retrospect, a barely perceptible noise on my car. What was really going on in my head was much larger. I was feeling frustrated after a series of events and this was just the catalyst. 

I bring this up because in theory these shouldn’t happen. I should be stronger. I’m a dad now. I need to be past this terrible weakness. Also I’m in therapy. Shouldn’t I be cured?

Herein lies the issue we face with the condition. There comes a point where you’re expected to be “past” these things. Trying to explain the impossibility of this to others never works. There’s still the expectation that you’re better.

In truth I have been greatly blessed by my therapy. My therapist has taught me a number of techniques for dealing with anxiety, particularly with Lola. In my day to day life my anxiety is greatly reduced through breathing and visualizations. I am better. 

But things still break through the wall like it or not. Financial stress, which all new fathers face, is going to weigh on me. Unexpected things still startle and anger me. Social stress will always frustrate me. These are built into my condition. 

But there is real truth that I must be stronger for my angel. Lola is doing so well. She’s 9 lbs and chugging formula like a pro. She’s healthy and active. She even got a play gym and is kicking it. My baby girl is amazing to me. 

So, no, I can’t throw these meltdowns in front of her. I have to find another outlet. Part of this requires me admitting I have tremendous rage that I have trouble with. I do struggle with this dark side of myself. I am deeply frustrated with a lot of things I shouldn’t be allowed to be frustrated with. 

Because in the end she will need my help. And that’s reason enough to keep working on this. So I can be the father she needs.

This is a long road. This week I hit a pothole. 

2 thoughts on “Diary of an Autistic Father: Week Six

  1. Austin, all of us have meltdowns to different degrees throughout our lives. This world has seen such horrific troubled times in the past few months which makes everyone ponder what life will be when our children are adults. For me, the larger the extraneous stressors are, the more I meltdown at seemingly insignicant things. No matter what conditions any of us have, we all react in our own ways, either melting down out loud or melting down inside, which is, in my perspective, the most dangerous of the two. I applaud you, once again, at your brutally honest look inside of you and your darkest moments. It takes an incredibly strong person to 1) admit his or her own faults, 2) do something positive to work through those things, and 3) open him or herself for the world to have a glimpse inside! Don’t beat yourself up. We are all human!

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