In our family, we struggle.
We struggle to get moving in the morning after disrupted sleep. We struggle to remain calm when we are nearing shutdown and we struggle to regain our balance when it’s been tipped. We struggle to remember that some of us have needs that may not make a lot of sense to others, but are nonetheless important to honour.
We struggle to remember that each of us has the right to eat what we want, when we want, to bathe as frequently as we choose and to brush our teeth when it suits us.
We struggle with the sometimes tug-of-war between meeting conflicting needs around touch, personal space, visual ‘clutter’ and noise levels. We struggle with the expectations of others who don’t or won’t understand us.
But we don’t struggle with being autistic. That’s just fine. We love the autistic traits buried deep within each of our DNA. We love that one of us is constantly in motion and needs to be to finish a thought, another drills down deep into a topic and can’t let go and the other thinks about Transformers 24/7.
Sometimes the adults in our family worry about the impact of our struggles on the children. Sometimes we try to hide our fears and worries and hurts. But with children who are hyper empaths, hiding your struggles only confuses them. They feel the truth regardless of what you are pretending or saying.
We needn’t have worried though. Our littlest family member knows that we struggle. He says that we have a nice family because we always help him. And he says that although our family is always struggling, he helps us too.
In 2016, here’s to nice families who struggle but who always help each other.