Where to start?
Well we may as well start with the obvious: I am an only parent (not a single one though I am that as well. This is important and I’ll do a post about it in the future as I feel strongly about the distinction between the two) to a boisterous 3 year old boy who is the epitome of noise and dirty fun.
Fysh and I live in a gorgeous old fashioned home in Table View with our border collie (Joonbug) and our hedgehog (Mr Pricklesworth Jnr) and occasionally we share our home with a bunch of rowdy sailors and a cat or three.
Life as an only parent is trying, things are tough and yet they are beautiful at the same time. Having Fysh at such a young age was never in my life plan, actually having children at all was never in my life plan but then again we are all acutely aware of how “plans” tend to go now don’t we.
At age 22 (well over a year after the sexy little brat graced my life with his noisy love) I was diagnosed with (get ready for it) adult ADHD, manic depression, social phobia, anxiety, Aspergers and sensory sensitivity – A lot to cope with on top of trying to find myself as a person and a parent I will admit. But now (2 years later) we are coping a lot better, Fysh and I get along, perhaps not in the conventional parent/child sort of way but we are maneuvering our way through this parenting thing together.
Aspergers syndrome or AS is on the same spectrum as autism, though is not as well known or publicised.
There are certain difficulties that those with Aspergers tend to struggle with and these often lead to people seeing them as obsessive or eccentric. Life as a mum with Aspergers raising a ‘normal’ child is definitely an interesting adventure. One filled with laughter, tears and pockets full of contradictions.
There are a few of these difficulties that make having a boisterous boy full of energy and noise trying at times. Most difficulties that those on the spectrum tend to experience are due to the normal senses being that much sharper, almost as if they are on overdrive: Sight, sound, smell, and touch. For me the worst is physical touch, even though I try and avoid this in general because I have to mentally prepare myself for a hug and so on I have days where it is so extreme that I am not able to withstand people touching me at all. This tends to be a real problem as my sons comfort object has always been me and getting him to sleep without letting him hold my hand is a difficult feat even at the age of 3. Sound sensitivity to certain tonal pitches makes it difficult to have a simple conversation on a cellphone or withstand being in large crowds for extended periods though smell also plays large parts here as crowds tend to carry pungent odors with them.
There are times though that I am beyond thankful that I have Fysh to use as an ‘excuse’ for my oddities, that when he is around people are less likely to stare or point out that I am behaving “childish” whereas I see it as fun – a great example would be a recent outing to a local mall where we ran down one of the corridors playing “mommy is a monster” – he got tired and we ended up sitting on the floor ‘resting his brain’ as he refers to it. Though I am certain he loves my quirky ways now, I am sure we’ll have to reassess that love when he is 16 and I’m dragging him to the beach barefoot to crunch muscle shells.
A cocktail of medications keep me ‘happy and sane’ as friends joke, as well as regular visits to my psychiatrist. Though I am supposed to see a psychologist a few days a week as well it is simply not an option as sanity comes at a rather steep price and it is already a struggle to afford the medications, visits and raising a child on a single income. Blogging has helped tremendously in replacing the non-existent psychology visits, it’s a space where I can vent my frustrations, explore my thoughts and hopefully even raise awareness that the children with ‘special needs’ that parents blog or talk about grow up and actually integrate into society. Or at least we try to…