Friday, November 8, 2013

MacGyver Goes To Support Group

After my discovery of the fact that actually I am stressed and not doing fantastic I have decided to take yet another step toward taking care of myself.  See, I read that parenting a child with ASD can lead to the parent having PTSD.  Like a soldier who went to Iraq, I could develop post traumatic stress disorder?  It was hard to believe, but then again, when you are constantly diffusing "bombs" in your family and on the lookout for the next possible explosion then maybe in some ways it is the same.  It does feel like life and death when you are in the middle of it.  For some parents, it really is life and death.  I feel like I have it pretty easy, but at the same time, it can be so hard.   I love my kids, so so much, but I decided it was time to try out the parent support group for parents with kids on the spectrum.

Last year I went to a parent support group at school a few times when I was feeling particularly frazzled.  It was clear quickly that while the people were lovely and kind, they just had no idea what I was going through.  There problems were real and true, but so different that it just made me feel more alone.   I stopped going and went back to husband,  prayer, and my bible study as my support.  My bible study group is amazing, they are the best listeners and so encouraging.  We laugh together, cry together, and best of all, pray together.   When we go on breaks I miss it, and when it's Thursday morning I put everything aside to be there. I also recognize that I needed more time to talk about parenting things and I really need people with children like mine who had been there, or were there currently, and maybe even some who were just beginning that I could help.  

Last night I went to my first meeting, and of course I can't give details but I will say that it felt so right.  They served me herbal tea and when I said how I felt they nodded along as if I was telling their own story.  When they did tell their stories it was so clear that I wasn't alone, and that there are beautiful amazing things about our children too, and we can celebrate those and laugh about the hard stuff and release it.  

Releasing things is the answer, to be there in the worst moments for my children, and then to release it when it's over.  Breath in the new and enjoy the moment I am in when I am in those good moments.  There are so many good moments that can go unseen if I'm still holding the anxiety of the last explosion.  If the bomb has been diffused then it's time to smile at the sunshine and breath deep.  
Notice MacGyver, he isn't holding on to that stress!

This group is going to do me lots of good.  I never felt I really needed it this much before but it's clear that the toxins were building and it's time to have a place outside my home to help me let them go.