Autism is… Occasionally Frustrating


April 10, 2012 by Marj Hatzell

We’ve had a pretty good ride with autism up to this point. I mean, sure we have our challenges (LOTS AND LOTS OF CHALLENGES) but I’m one of these “glass half full” annoying people so I’m all SILVER LINING!  LOOK AT THE POSITIVES!

That really pisses people off.

For some reason, most people would rather pity me, feel sorry for me, give me sad looks, talk negatively. My happiness and cheery disposition make them uncomfortable. Why do happy people piss other people off? SHEESH.

And this is why I’m doing this “Autism Is…” series, so folks get the right idea. No sugar coating, just keeping it real. The nekkid truth. The good, bad and the ugly (ENOUGH WITH THE EUPHAMISMS!).

In other words, I’m telling you what it’s really like.

And sometimes I get frustrated. Well, often.

Now, people have frustrations in their lives every single day. I get frustrated my back aches and I have no sacral discs to speak of. I get frustrated I have crappy allergies and it’s spring.  BOO SPRING! I get frustrated when people talk and text while driving. I get frustrated with politics, the environment, my family…you know, everyday stuff.

But autism? Different kind of frustration.

I’m not frustrated because my kids have autism. I’m frustrated because sometimes autism presents us with challenges and throws us curve balls. Like the sleep deprivation thing ( I know, you’re sick of hearing about it. Me too!). The medical issues. The OCD/Bipolar stuff, the behavioral struggles, the non-verbal kid. That stuff.

And if I’m frustrated because I can’t figure out what my kid needs or how he feels, imagine how much frustration he feels. Imagine how Bugaboo must feel when he is feeling crappy and can’t tell me if he has a headache. Or he wants something to eat but we don’t have the right PECS for him to say, “Take me to get a milkshake in Daddy’s car and it has to be that French Fry place I like.” And his sign is limited and his sensory issues are overwhelming him and he can’t say, “I CAN’T SLEEP.”

He’s frustrated.

We’re frustrated.

It’s all a big guessing game sometimes.

To top it off, every time we feel like we are FINALLY getting someplace and FINALLY making progress, it seems as though some issue crops up. Dead parent. Me not being able to walk for two weeks. My pesky colon polyps. Daddy goes to Belgium. Bug Boy’s OCD flares up. Bugaboo’s self-injurious behaviors flare up. Things get broken and ruined.

Believe me, I have my share of angry moments. We have our share of frustration. We have more than our share of hardship and challenges to deal with.

I just choose to deal with them differently than most people.

I have made it my goal to never feel resentment towards my children. Sure, I have the right to get angry when things are broken. I have the right to worry about Bugaboo’s future (and do, often). I have the right to break down and cry when I’m SO DAMN EXHAUSTED I can’t even sleep (irony FTW!). But those feelings? They don’t help me. So I feel them, own them and then look for a solution. And since I’m a MUST FIX NOWNOWNOWNOW person, and so is The Guy I Live With, we are sometimes frustrated if there is no solution. It’s difficult to accept. Very.

But we press on. Can’t change the past, y’all. So we look toward and plan for the future as much as we can. And hope tomorrow is a better day.

7 thoughts on “Autism is… Occasionally Frustrating

  1. Anonymous says:

    I love your honesty and yes, keeping the glass half full can be a daunting task. I too enjoy the time I spend with my son and at times, his Asperger’s will take centre stage and fill the house with negativity, but we try to stay positive. If Jacob has a bad day and mom and I are stressed, after we’re all done being angry, we just put it behind us and look forward to the next day.

  2. Flannery says:

    I think it’s great that you’re positive. Not all people have that ability all of the time, but that’s what makes the world go round, different people and different feelings.

  3. kantal113 says:

    Yes to all of this. We’re frustrated with you, but we’re keepin’ on.

  4. Heather says:

    O M G am I so glad to have found this blog. (via and the cinco de mayo margarita thread) Dealing with autism, searching for a few good blogs to read that don’t bring me down further but don’t piss me off with their “do this and maybe your kid will be cured!!!” approach.

    So so glad. Hi!

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