There's a meme doing the rounds with the wonderful visage of Captain Jack Sparrow. The meme reads...
The problem isn't the problem. The problem is your attitude to the problem.
And then it probably says something quirky like "Savvy?" or summat!
And yes Captain, I do savvy. I savvy exactly the point you are trying to make.
We've just come back from a fabulous week away at the Grandparents caravan. It was wonderfully chilled. The children were ecstatically happy. Lee and I got some desperately needed down time and it was indeed the closest thing to a "normal family holiday" we have had so far.
And then we came home.
No one likes coming home from holiday, least of all (apparently) my kids. Jesse was vile about being in her own home again and why wouldn't she be? Theres no sea, sand, club house, arcades, swimming pool. This place sucks and she was gonna show us just how much she hated being home. Which is a lot!
Cody wasn't much better. He embarked on a series of mini meltdowns of epic proportions. 10 minute eruptions that started at level 10 and got worse. He didn't want to be out of the house and Jesse didn't want to be in it. And throughout the day both children made the whole experience worse by trying to tear their way under our skin using their own bare hands.
I was in utter despair. My heart was made of lead. I couldn't cope with the rapid change from bliss family time to excessive grief and upset. Everything I tried to do to make the situation better was wrong. I turned to social media for support, ironically the one place that can make you feel so isolated.
All my life I've wanted close friends and it takes a day like yesterday to realise just how alone you are. I felt hated by my kids, my friends, my family, my husband and myself. I felt useless that I couldn't help my kids. That we were alone. That we hadn't been with friends enjoying ourselves. I felt forgotten about. And I grieved that my kids would never have the friends they deserved either. That they never got the help they needed today.
Its mind numbingly irrational I know and I spent the day in tears. Sobbing, body racking tears. My god I hated myself for being so emotional about how awful the day had been but problem after problem after perceived problem piled on top of me until I literally could not take anymore.
Then I thought of Captain Jack Sparrow. The problem isn't the problem. The problem is my attitude to the problem. I still let autism and all its challenges stress me out. I still regard every meltdown as a catastrophe personally aimed at my heart. I still cling to that life that I wished I had. I observe others with jealousy. I take everything on board. I wish for things to be different. The problem isn't the problem. The problem is my attitude to the problem.
Do I ever think I'll be able to separate my emotions from my problems. I doubt it. I wish I could but right now I think I'm still too raw to view things at more of a distance. I want to bring positivity into my family home but sometimes the black dog of depression lurks at my heel and I pay him too much heed.
I know that my upset yesterday was exacerbated by me. I didn't need to make everything so traumatic but I think I learnt several lessons through my sorrow. Things just are what they are. No amount of personalisation is going to change anything and its most certainly not going to help anything. If I can learn to view the problem with a different attitude then maybe I can learn to heal myself. Because I still have a lot of healing to do. There are shadows of my past cast across my present. Not everything is my fault.
Yesterday, I should have looked at the meltdowns and taken them for what they were. A reaction to coming home rather than a personal attack on me bringing them home. I should understand that I'm strong enough to cope with bad days without needing the affirmations of others. I doubt myself and I shouldn't.
But Captain Jack, until the day that this becomes a natural process for me just stick around so your pretty face can remind me.
The problem isn't the problem. The problem is your attitude to the problem. Savvy?