Testing Times

It’s been a tough week. Actually, it’s been a tough few weeks which has culminated in this crazy motherf***er of a week. Yes, I virtually swore then. That probably best highlights just how overwhelmed I’m feeling right now.

My motto this week has been “just keep swimming” as Dory chants in Finding Nemo. I figure, if I can manage to keep afloat and not drown or take on too much water in the process, it will be worth it. It has to be.


The craziness is centred on the number of commitments I have this week. The normal fast pace of my life has been forced into warp speed and I literally cannot keep up. I’ve attended five appointments already, with a sixth happening later today. All for Gilbert.

I’ve hardly been at work. I haven’t been able to rest at home. I haven’t been present for the kids. Instead I’ve been stressed to the eyeballs trying to make it all work. The irony, of course, being that in trying to make the unworkable work, I’ve failed in everything.

In one of the rare days I was able to spend close to a full day at work, I attended Resilience Training. It has been enlightening. Not necessarily for me because I am resilient already – if I wasn’t I would have raised the white flag and have given up long ago.

No, the course has been enlightening in showing me how much work I still have to do with the kids, to build and develop their own resilience. The focus of this week’s session was on robust thinking and recognising the times we fall into the trap of negative thoughts and self-talk.


I found myself thinking of all the examples of how my kids focus on the negative. Nearly every example of cognitive distortion, where our mind plays tricks on us and makes us see the world in a warped way, was something I could recognise in my kids, things they would say often on a daily basis.

Interpreting and re-interpreting and re-framing and trying to find the positive in amongst the relentless negatives, its exhausting work. And I do this, continually, every single day not just for myself but for three children, two of whom rely on me to help them navigate the social world.

Any other week, I probably would not have made the connection or felt so devastated by it. But after a series of massive meltdowns, after having to identify all the ways in which Gilbert struggles socially, after being physically and emotionally spent, this realisation has hit me hard.

It’s difficult to accept just how much we still have to deal with as a family. It’s painful to acknowledge that things will always be hard. It’s depressing to know that certain skills may never be mastered. The spectre of the future that always looms large in the corners of my mind is often best left alone.

I’ve written before about how autism sucks. I’ve also been open about having my own mummy meltdowns. Most of the time I do keep swimming, I let the waves crash over me, confident that we will get back on an even keel.

But weeks like these, weeks where everything falls on top of you, they suck you down and expose the very rawness of your reality. As strong as you may be, sometimes you can never be strong enough to withstand the brute force of such a reality check.

I just need to get through today. Then I just need to take it easy over the weekend. And then next week I need to be kinder to myself and make sure I begin to re-frame my own view to eliminate so much negative from my life.

In the end reality can be hard. It can suck. But you have to cling on to the hope that it will get better.

Testing Times

These are testing times but they will not last. Of that I am certain.

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10 Responses

  1. It can be such a challenge to push through the fog. When you’re in it, it’s so thick and unrelenting. But you’re right. It will pass. Things will get easier. Just keep on keeping on as best you can until it does.
    Bec | Mumma Tells recently posted..My Postpartum {un}Self

  2. Trish says:

    This resonates with me too – we do have to cling on to the hope that it will get better. I love the quote image.
    May your cup of courage runneth over.
    Trish recently posted..The Wonder years

  3. Stephanie says:

    Sorry to hear about your week. Life is hard sometimes isn’t it. Hope your day progressed well and that you get time to be refreshed and relax!
    Stephanie recently posted..Found joy

  4. Laura-kim says:

    I think as moms, we feel things a lot more deeply than our partners and kids. So when times are tough, they hit us a lot harder!
    We have had a few periods like this and all you can do is focus on right here and now and get through that!!

    Sending strength xx
    Laura-kim recently posted..Quick update

  5. LizC says:

    Somedays (or weeks) feel like you are on an out of control roller-coaster just hoping you can hang on til the end of the ride. Unfortunately when Autism is in the mix we realise that even if we make it to the end of the ride, soon the ride will start again.
    I hope you got a chance to recharge your batteries in whatever way works for you. Wine? Catch-up t.v.? Alone time?
    Thinking of you.

  6. Zita says:

    Sorry to hear you’ve had a tough week… I think resilience is such a hard thing to teach children, but they are lucky to have such a resilient Mum looking out for them.
    Zita recently posted..to outsource..

  7. ASD can be so bloody hard.. and that’s just on us mums. I’ve had a big week with my son, who just turned 17… hard work for me at the moment and I could worry SO much about the future. BUT I REFUSE!!! Great to get it all out… and to focus on resilience, useful message for me.
    Seana – Sydney, Kids, Food + Travel recently posted..Aussie Family Holiday Friday – News + Inspiration For Your Family Holiday

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