I don't know the accuracy of the stats, but they say 80% of marriages where there is a special needs child, end in divorce. I don't know who they are but it's a common figure to be bandied about. I have to say though, it's not surprising if it is true. Marriage can be hard work anyway, add other complications and it can get impossible.
Some people claim autism is a gift, good on them. I don't share that view at all. The fact that Nate needs to move constantly and can't communicate exactly what he feels is not what I wished for, for my child. Autism is time consuming and it is draining. I'm tired. Very tired. I dream of a holiday where I don't have the kids with me. Yes, I actually do. That might make me a terrible parent but I don't care. I'm tired, I'm sad and I need a break. That isn't something I'm proud to say, but I feel better for having said it.
I miss my husband. I miss having a conversation that isn't interrupted, I miss discussing things that don't involve toileting, speech or how fucking tired we are. I miss holding hands and going places together. I miss socialising together and dazzling people with our witty banter (at least that's how I like to remember it). We can't even relax together when we are camping because one of us is chasing little people up the beach or wading into the water to rescue a near drowning adventurer. Andre gives me a weekend off here and there. I appreciate it, but it isn't what I need right now. I need time with him and no matter how much we want it, it just isn't possible.
We have discussed the merits of separation. We'd get time off from the stress and worry. We could go out on dates. Not together, but still, we'd experience some kind of romance if we were lucky. We could holiday to places that weren't autism friendly and we'd be revived and more energetic when we had the kids with us. All of this sounds so inviting that I can see why 80% decided that they are happier divorced. But we are still together because we actually like each other. I'd miss him even more than I do already, which is tonnes. Maybe I'd be feeling like this even if autism wasn't in our lives, I have nothing to compare it to.
I said when I started this blog that I'd try to be as honest as possible. I think I have been to an extent. I share the funny stuff because who wants to read the depressing stuff? Who wants to hear that we just had to clean up piss off the floor after two years of him using the toilet and that it made me cry? In my experience, nobody. The fact is, things aren't always funny. Sometimes it is devastating. I wish I could put on my happy face for my blog today, I do. But I'm not feeling it. What I'm feeling right now is anger that Nate was given autism and that his struggle with it will last longer than mine. When I am gone, he will still have it and he will still have issues he has to combat. All of us will have autism in our lives, for the rest of our lives. That thought right there, is fucking overwhelming.
Right, pass me a beer.