And I realised something I hadn't thought about before.
I haven't truly enjoyed a family get together, a surprise visitor or a spontaneous outing for ..... ages. I mean, I've been in those situations and there have been moments of pleasure, or laughter, or contentment. But I am always super alert through the whole event- watching for cues that I need to intervene to support someone or make a quick exit- which is tiring and detracts from the experience because I am not fully focussed on the conversations in the room or the people there. I always leave feeling drained and tired. And sometimes wondering if it is worth the effort.
And realising this made me sad.
A little bit of the sadness was for myself, because I miss enjoying social situations.
A lot of the sadness was for my two ASD kids, because I started to imagine what their experience of life is like if their reaction to social situations has this effect on me. How much worse must it be from their perspective? I hate to think! I know a little bit of the theory of what it is like for them from talking with psychologists and adults with ASD. I don't really want to know exactly what it is like for them, honestly. I think it would be too distressing to really know. Whatever their experience is, they get to live with it for the rest of their lives. I can help them learn strategies to help them cope, with the help of the right people, but I can never make it completely better for them- it will always be coping.
I'm not sure yet what to do with this new realisation. It is making me uncomfortable. Sad. A bit angry. Mostly sad.
|......many reasons to be thankful|
Maybe naming it and telling you about it will help me to walk by it this time. Maybe acknowledging that it lurks there will help to push it into the background again, without me having to spend time fighting it.
See, I think that while it is probably true that I have real reason for this occasional grief, that I have so much more to be thankful for. And that is what I'd rather be thinking of.