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War On All Fronts

Tired can be so understated. Even the word overwhelm.

When you are an autism of two children, who also happen to be coloured, Muslim, victims of domestic abuse, then words just fail to describe how much damage control is needed. And how does one train themselves to do this effectively? Is there some training to help lead such a life? The loneliness really sets. No one there to actually hold you, encourage you, explicitly say they believe your actions are right, that you can rest a while and they will take over. No one to take the tiring burden for a time just so that you can recharge.

It’s constant.

I have been remembering the film In Pursuit of Happyness a lot lately. I am not homeless, thank God, but I live in house neglected and in desperate need of repairs. The trauma, systematic racism, all there. But I have three lives to show up for, not one. We are three with autistic difficulties. We are actively being unsupported. Yet I have to show up for the business. Day shift, then home and kids shift then night shift. Just to pave the future.

What keeps me going?

Future pacing. One day, we will not be defined by our colour or autism. We will have calm spacious house with help. My own executive functions are self limiting. I wont have to do the all the house chores-I can use that time to recharge. I will have a voice, an impact because I will have grown out out my shell and made myself heard.

Struggling and fighting in silence, in nuclear capacities doesn’t help anyone. Systematic change is needed and will only when the system is challenged. This can only happen with strategic thinking, network, use of the power of social media, and a successful business behind you.

Regardless of the tears, these cries are part battle cry, part anger which motivates the fight. Sometimes its despair in a private moment.

I am forced to a fight a battle I did not chose. Yet I am all in without the option of defeat.

In Memory Of

I wanted to write about two topics on my mind, but I have lost one of them. It will come to me soon enough.

Right now I am trying to look inward and like a detective, try to understand what is going on.

After a freak fall down stairs, my {kind of former} father in law suffered a fatal head injury. We all knew that his health was deteriorating, with the onset of dementia and recent heart attack. The details are sketchy for me because its all second hand information through my kids, of course.

When my marriage ended, it was only the relationship with my husband that terminated. Since then I have been sincerely wishing to speak to, communicate with and even see my second family. After all, I was 18 when I left home to join theirs. What I lacked here I gained there- a father who was proud of me, a brother who I could connect to on an intellectual level, a sister who was diplomatic, but also genuine and happen to parent similarly to me, and then another older sister who treated me like a daughter and unconditionally took care of me. These personalities never ever seen me as an outsider, as someone who didn’t know their culture and language. That was irrelevant and they made me feel part of their family instantly. Unlike the one who actually brought me there and his mother.

So when the split happened, as well as grieving a heartbreak, dealing with trauma of domestic abuse, both mine and my kids, my sorrow extended to the loss of an extended family who I had come to see as my own. I would argue that my marriage wasn’t a failure because I married a Pashtun. I loath stereotypes and prejudice arrogance. This couldn’t be true because I felt at home with majority of the people there.

They called Dad Kuka {kuka-a}, the Pashtun word, me included. The grandkids called him Oba. It was a status of respect as head of the household. One would think that in a conservative culture such as think the patriarch would be more dominating, involved and overshadowing. But not here.

When I arrived to this new, alien household, I was often confused to see how he was treated by wife and sons. Like a spare part fed and watered then put to a side while they discuss pertinent family politics. Family politics was beyond me too, which later came back to bite. It was like his presence as an inconvenience, simultaneously tokenistic. The real ring leader, or brain behind familial decision making was matriarch. One would be forgiven to be optimistic at this prospect, however this could have been great had she not been misogynist and sexist, with the excuse of culture ingrained as a free pass to raise a narcissist. Thankfully, only one though. The rest didn’t get the opportunity.

Anyway, Kuka was very very fixed in his routine for food, tea, going out, cleaning and clothes. Everything was fixed and should be in order. He had a love for order, looking decent, and having each day look the same. He wasn’t involved in diplomatic decision making unless the tokenistic male head of household voice was required for the gain of the rest. One time I cooked his green tea on the hob for too long and he was so angry at me that he made me taste it. It was super bitter, but having just been introduced to the dry leaf tea under year or so ago, I was unaware of the taste. He taught me that lesson surely, never to be repeated. Looking back I don’t think he would have done that had he not seen me as one of his own. There was formality between us but then there wasn’t. I wasn’t allowed to share personal thoughts with him, but he got to know my personality through my actions, reactions, housekeeping, uni results and then parenting. He seen me as an achiever, as someone who clicked on to his likes and routines and upheld his values of education, progression and all things in order!

It was only when I was going through my son’s autism assessment and made it my area of deep focus and obsession that I started connecting the dots. When I began to understand that autistic people are hugely different from one another, even in the same family, that I began analysing, comparing and contrasting the members of this family. Every time tea or dinner was ready before being, I was met with delight and appreciation. It wasn’t that hard for me to gain these brownie points to be honest because he was literally like clockwork. I enjoyed taking time out and listening to stories, insights and points of interest while some others around us scoffed mockingly. I had a need to for tidy and clean areas so I was constantly cleaning and scrubbing when I visited. More easy brownie points. And that’s how my relationship with Kuka developed. He not only valued what I had to say, but also what I wanted. He encouraged my further education, proud of my career and my children’s development, all the while his son would put me down and down play any of my strengths claiming credit. He even disliked his brother holding me in worth and respect.

You will have guessed by now, Kuka was autistic, like me, like my boys.

Losing him knowing this has added to my grief. Because we had a different connection on an autistic level, where he didn’t have to communicate with me on a personal level to understand me, value and even admonish his son for me. He was an ally for me but one that I called upon very late on in the tormenting relationship. Had I exposed his son’s truth years earlier, maybe our outcome would be different. He promised me that his son will no longer study for yet another degree and will commit to work to provide for his family. It hurt me more that he broke his father’s promise than going behind my back to continue his selfish pursuits.

Fourteen months after losing my original father figure, I lost my second. Neither of whom I had blood ties, but the bond of security, pride, protection and unconditional selfless support.

The big gap missing a father just got bigger.

The Impact of Intersectionality

Kimberlé Crenshaw’s work and insight into intersectionality impacted the world over.

Yet, we still see a lack of authentic understanding that creates barriers for those with marginalised intersectional characteristics.

There are many similarities between overt and covert racism and ableism- societal structures that prevent those of us who are ethnic minorities and disabled from living a fulfilling and meaningful life. I will explore the intersectionality of autism and race and the impact on mental health.

Firstly, medical and academic research is heavily Eurocentric. Therefore professionals will have innate biases, even internalised unconscious beliefs that may not be aware of. This leads to a flaw in treatment, but before that, a hurdle in accessing medical support.

Hidden disabilities like autism are still profoundly misunderstood and target of stereotypes, just like cultures and faiths. In the attempt to become a multicultural society, we lack the critique to question power imbalances and biases. When communication barriers are not addressed for both populations, then who so can we expect the compound barrier to be acknowledged? How autism presents in People of Colour differs from the typical white boy stereotype which leads to schools and health practitioners undermining our experiences and even dismissing our struggles. How do we communicate something that isn’t even tangible to professionals? Let’s not forget the angry or difficult  Black woman label that we get stuck with when we try to be affirmative or challenge perceptions. The consequences are more often than not at the detriment of the service user rather than an improvement for the service provider.

The result of decades of racism is generational racial trauma. This can and will manifest into a lack of confidence to seek help and stand up for one’s rights. Autistics already find identifying and asking for help very difficult, add that to the racial inferiority complex ingrained in one’s mindset, then how do we prosper, or even access care? Recently migrated communities have it worst because of the rise in populist culture in the UK where right-wing narratives have been given too much oxygen. Imagine how many autistic asylum seekers and refugees we need to support and don’t.

That takes me to my next point. The impact of incidents – ones that all of the population are at risk of- is far greater for autistics than neurotypicals. The way we perceive the world which such intensity, coupled with rejection sensitivity hurts our mental health. But then add the layer of race to that. It is known that People of Colour suffer more from multiple deprivations-  abuse, employment, education and medical care barriers. This number is even more disproportionate for Autistics of Colour.- and I don’t even mention gender, gender identity or sexual orientation in this! Depression and anxiety are common results for victims of racial abuse, discrimination and isolation, yet our care providers are unarmed with the empathy and understanding required to provide effective healing support.

Lastly, turning towards the various communities made up of rich cultures and diversity. It’s a sad truth that disability and mental health are still a point of stigma. Identifying hidden disabilities is extremely difficult due to ignorance and arrogance as well as fear of reputation. It is almost like colonisation has left such an inferiority complex in us that we much appear perfect to have value. However, no human can be perfect and we all need to be truthful to ourselves, support our communities and improve our understanding if we want to progress in life. Attributing autism as  bad fortune, ‘evil eye’, black magic, something that will be grown out of, or bad parenting will keep the world from benefitting from amazing Autistic humans who have already contributed to the evolution of civilisation

Life happens to us all, but the outcomes are dependent on one’s characteristics, privilege, and socioeconomic background. Employers, educators, health professionals and government policy all need to account for the disadvantage we, ethnic minority Autistics face, by changing how they operate.

This Is Me

I have always described myself as complicated and difficult to handle.

I found this blog post saved in drafts since August 2021. Maybe I had more to share, but was just too exhausted.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Our self discovery journey is a very complicated one.

As the Messenger of Allah ﷺ has told us to live in this world like a traveller. Nothing is stationary- our relationships, our situations, our loved ones, and even ourselves.

For those who actively seek self improvement and direction the journey is is even more appreciated.

In the past year, the trauma of being brown, Muslim, female, and an autistic single parent continued. Time and again I was faced with darkness and despair. Is it really that complicated? Why is it so common? A toxic and deadly combination of of sexism, racism and ableism led to more generational trauma being passed on and the unfortunate familiarity of the past returned in front of me.

What most people don’t understand is that experiencing the myriad of abuse directly and indirectly is felt with much more impact by an autist. Another neurotypical woman may well suffer from PTSD and depression from domestic abuse, racism, ableism of another disability, but the neurodivergent woman… ironically isn’t permitted to lift the veil of tsunami of emotions and pain in fear of being labelled deemed out of control, lying, or drama queen. Autistic women are only more prone to abuse, the impact is more damaging and deep.

Which public health service is to give us our justice?

April 2022

In the past months I have continued my journey of painful growth which has been overall beneficial. Turns out I am not the only benefitting from my quest for understanding, but others, both known and unknown to me as well. The feedback is crucial to me because of rejection sensitive dysphoria. I am my own worst critic and mostly feel I have nothing valuable to add to the discussion around neurodiversity.

Since beginning this blog post in August, I got confirmation that I have ADHD as well! It’s really not surprising since between 30 – 80% of autistic population also have ADHD. It explains a lot more to me about my behaviours and brain than what the autism diagnosis did.

I have also since August delivered training on understanding Autism though my intersectional lens. I learned a lot from my co-trainer and ended the course with a more respect from our South Asian audience than I began with.

Turns out being neurodivergent is actually pretty ausome! (yes the spelling is intentional!)

I will be back with more reflection and lessons as I continue this journey called life.

Try Harder

The more I think about it, the more I am feeling pretty pissed off. In fact, I feel it in my gut! Sick with annoyance and helplessness.

You know when you just replay your day when you are trying to sleep? Well the penny just dropped at how awful it was for my psychiatrist to compare how HE managed his work load in his clinic to how I should be managing my work at home, showing me how to prioritise, and telling me everyone can find focus hard, especially working from home.

Good for him. Even I could prioritise my classes because I had a timetable that was pre-set, rigid and a whole day of routine planned around work & kids. He gave me atomoxetine which makes me sleepy and have headaches. So he said either lower dose over the next few weeks or “suck it up” and take psychotherapy seriously.

Where is the NHS booklet on ADHD I gave you? Erm what booklet? Oh is it my memory failing me or yours?

Not even an apology when he realised he had never mentioned to me before!

The reason he gave me medication to begin with was because I would have moaned for them so he just gave them. No ADHD diagnostic assessment that my mental health nurse told me about. Just Ritalin to prove me wrong that I don’t have ADHD because I complained to my GP about his colleague dismissing my request to be assessed for it after he diagnosed my ‘mild autism’. This doctor was trying to be careful with his words about my ADHD … because I took offence to the language used in my ASC diagnostic report from his colleague – so he drew me a pretty sketched linear graph showing the negative relationship between ADHD severity and age.

Thank you for highlighting that my frontal lobe has matured in my 36 years. But I still struggle and telling me to try harder isn’t going to help!

Apparently it’s my fault I can’t sleep because I don’t ‘allow’ myself these choices. It’s my fault that I don’t stick to the home timetable I have made myself. My fault I can’t focus or prioritise.

Well clearly these meds didn’t help you- stimulants – so nothing much I can do.

And this is him knowing the incredible complex domestic situation going on in the background. This is the same doctor who, in 2016, sent me away after talking at me for 20 minutes with beta blockers and advice to ditch the abusive husband to help my mental health (I was suicidal then).

A few months ago, he casually asks about self harm and suicidal thoughts. I told him straight out that the Ritalin was making think even more of self harm and before that in our first meeting I told him I do have suicidal thoughts. His response, well parental suicidal won’t have a good impact on the children, will it? He says to a suicide witness. 🤦🏽‍♀️

Privilege, Much?

Now why would I feel this is an episode of whyte male ableist middle class privilege?

  1. Knowing I have an autism diagnosis, and ADHD, the concept of executive dysfunction didn’t cross his brain! It’s a double whammy! Someone please show him this.
  2. Again more of him talking and assuming/telling me off rather than asking me questions 🙄 “When you are working from home, stick to your schedule and don’t, for example, go put the washing machine on.” There is lot to unpack in that one statement, pertaining to complete lack of understanding of female pressures, esp. brown females who are head of a household.
  3. The same doctor casually told me to end the abusive marriage and my problems will be solved. I had the referral to him due to extreme trauma and suspecting autism (2016). Had he any sort of cultural awareness, he would know how damaging and condescending that ‘diagnosis’ was.
  4.  I did talk about pressures even from my mum of my housekeeping, the role of being mum and the
  5. only adult in the house without structure or accountability and how I just get jammed with decision paralysis. Just write your list down, stick to your schedule…He mentioned some technique where you prioritise what’s on top of your paper file… haha he is assuming I have a neat pile! And what about electronic docs, files, work? How can I arrange that in a priority pile?!
  6. Clearly he has no clue of the interaction of ADHD behaviours with female hormones. Of course i have learned strategies, masking and have a grown my frontal lobe. But oestrogen levels also have an impact, regardless of age through menstrual cycle and then pre-menopause and menopause. Dr Amen explains it well here.

This is 2021, in the Western liberal and educated world. What will it take for an autistic woman to get real help! I finished writing feeling more angry than when I started but I needed to write it out. 😭😭🤬

Nobody Believes Me

Being heard is a fundamental aspect of keeping healthy. Mentally as well as physically.

Imagine, you had a gapping wound and the doctor said it’s only your perspective, everything is looking fine to us. How would we as a community react to that?

Yet, so many of autistics, women, people of colour, and God forbid you are all three like me, are left with the trauma and devastating consequences of not being believed.

Gaslighting of the privileged, be it gender, race, position, abled/ allist, has become so common that those with the best intent leave people like us feeling helpless. Why do we need to reassure our self that our perceptions aren’t flawed and they don’t need to revaluate theirs’?

I haven’t written on my blog for some time now and the reason is precisely this. The consequence of schools not taking me seriously about my autistic boys, or the police about the coercive control. And the damage caused by the trusted imam who, after one meeting and phone call with him, dismissed my 16 years of experience of his narcissism.

It doesn’t hurt me that bullies bully. That is a fact of life. What I cannot digest is the lack of care and seriously to their own responsibilities of those with position of power and influence.

For years I told the primary that oldest has additional needs, not being qualified or knowledge to ascertain what they actually were didn’t make a difference because when I did dive in found my own answers, I still didn’t get far for support. And now that history is repeating itself with the youngest at the same primary, I am left with renewed wound, but this time the trajectory already laid out in front.

This episode of Red Table Talk really surfaced a lot of experiences that have led to me always needing to evidence my statements. If you need to prove”, as Dr Raman states, for every little belief or thought, “then you have been gaslighted.”

And that explained my endless emails, documents and questions for reassurance that my perception isn’t flawed. Imagine that being your permanent state of mind. And still I AM NOT BELIEVED.

Many autistics have the need to know every detail, cross referenced multiple times and checked again, on subjects that matter to them. The possibility of rejection is devastating, more so for those like me and my teen who also have rejection sensitive dysphoria which makes us extremely susceptible to gaslighting and easy narcissist victims.

How do we move forward?

The pain of living the consequences of neglect of authorities will never be erased. The approach I have taken is to be well connected with people who do believe me to cater not just for need for constant reassurance, but also to build my army to support me in my battles. This is an unfortunate but vital aspect of social capital that disadvantaged people ironically lack.

I am not believed by authority when I need help, however, that will not dampen by determination. And for that I thank Allah for making me autistic. I am not alone.

A Joined Up Approach?

I am shear knackered at explaining down various phone calls that we need help.

You hear of stories of runaways, suicide, domestic abuse, child abuse, sectioned, physical assault, and what not.

Did you ever care to think how long the story has been going for? What made the escalation happen? Where were the authorities with their ‘duty of care’ and the laws that are meant to protect the vulnerable?

I have suffered the whole rigmarole this week, left the waiting of various call backs.

Then I think to myself, no wonder those with disabilities or differences are left behind,

Those privileged not be coloured, disabled, and / or female, actually can just get on with achieving their goals. The ‘other’ group should be able to as well, in theory, except before they get round to completing that training, they must first:


Email school about lack of provision and understanding of autistic teen.

Email school about racist incident with the said teen.

Deal with his anxiety attacks about going to school, working with Microsoft Teams, losing previously saved work.

Find the right social work department who can assess our teen’s needs

Request statement of need from CAMHS, again, 10 weeks after initial request… for tribunal for DLA. DWP supposed thing that the teen does not have any extra needs compared another 13 year old. Try telling him that when he can’t tolerate his own siblings in the same room and then made to sit in a class of 30 and lunch hall of 200. Or when he can’t read his own handwriting because he can’t hold a pencil correctly. Or he has another pair of ripped joggers because he can’t stop falling over or tumbling, or ‘accidently’ poking his clothes. Maybe ask me how I feel trying to set up my business after being kept up all night with his ridiculously poor sleep.

Why is a joined up approach so difficult? Why is it so hard to believe and acknowledge another person’s difficulty by parking one’s own prejudice. I get it that we see the world through our own limited lens but why not just believe the frustrated mother down the line saying that the teen isnt coping?

How are we supposed to get on with achieving in life if the able-bodies, privileged-coloured don’t effect systems productively to allow for barriers to exist?

The shear exhaustion of dealing with their barriers is what hinders our progression. Not our lack of abilities. Did anyone ever think what toll it takes on a person’s mental health and time when subjected to any form of discrimination and abuse? Its a kick in face that takes time to get over and heal by which time the privileged counterpart cab get on with life.

What would also help, is not having the added difficulties induced naturally by our bodies. Men don’t have to deal with that on top the emotions of a banged up parent. Even better would be do things naturally and actually have two parents deal with the children, abled and disabled.

This is not a hot aired rant. This is a reflection of how society discriminates, how only the affected actually fight to make a difference, otherwise if its not broken (for you) why fix it?

If you can relate to what I wrote here, please share and leave a comment.

See the source image
Scotland’s Wellbeing Wheel for Children

Are we Getting It Right For Every Child?

She’s a Suicide Bomber

07/08/2020

I have never had it that direct before.

Usually it’s a comment loud enough for me to hear, but not for witnesses – “AllahuAkbar”.

This time, I had witnesses. Not ones I would have chosen.

The younger two kids were sat at in the car in sweltering heat, desperate for ice cream. I found a store and took a turn looking for parking. The window rolled down, passing three females. Two teens and their mother.

“That’s an asylum seeker”, female one

“She’s a suicide bomber”, added female two.

My son turned towards her, confused. I questioned my hearing as I have been become accustomed to when ever something like this happens. But this time these two reinforced my short term memory. I made a snap decision to pull but there was so space. So I made a impromptu stop at the side, on the kerb and jumped out, looking back.

“OI, WATCH WHAT YOU SAY! WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE TALKING TO?!”

That’s all that could come out. They were too far away as they made a hurried escape down to the main road. A lady walking by, a worker from the store, stopped in her tracks and my face must have given away what happened. That was the first time I have received explicit, unconditioned validation from a white person. A cyclist coming in the opposite direction also stopped. And acknowledged the wrong. The power of supporting a victim of abuse is underestimated and actually not used enough.

A wave of emotions swept me, crashing in my face, catching my breath. So many tjoughts all at once.

Hold on, I am more educated than you, my existence benefits more people than you. I teach the likes of you. I have a position of respect and authority unlike you. I am better than you in every respect as a citizen of this country. I WAS BORN IN THIS VERY TOWN. I GREW UP HERE. THIS TOWN WAS MINE BEFORE YOURS!

Then

F is watching. Is this going to be her perception of high school? Being abused for her headscarf?

The next day I processed A’s feelings about the matter.

“What did you think and feel when this happened?”, I questioned.

“I was confused. Like, how can you be a suicide bomber is you are still alive? How can we attach a bomb to our car? They would have been dead too then. How can we be able to make a bomb? Why did she say that? What’s an asylum seeker?”

He goes to ask Siri. Siri promptly gives him information.

“That’s not us.”

See the source image
https://www.mend.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/islamophobia_in_the_press_composite.jpg

My Faith Isn’t Weak

Too much uncertainty affects everyone.

I hear that. Especially in lockdown, everyone got a taste of being disabled. But not many actually acknowledged this.

Introverts and anxious folks know what I mean. These are just part and parcel for most autistics. Obviously I cannot comment on behalf of others, but from the people I have known and read from, I can firmly use Set Theory to describe as follows:

All autistics suffer anxiety but not all anxious people are autistic.

I don’t know why this is hard to understand.

I am writing right now as I sit on my bed feeling despair. A very important religious festival just came and went that did help ground me somewhat. A realisation came to me as I had a short burst of emotion.

My faith is not weak. My brain is just made differently.

Anxious and depressed Muslims are normally told that their mental health issues are caused by lack of firm belief in the plan of Allah. I have firm belief. For example, I know just as dawn happens every day, that if I give in charity, I will get more in return. I have never been disappointed so I use this as a strategy to invest when I know income is insecure. Works a treat. See? Belief in the ghaib, the Unseen.

So how come I have this anxiety? It’s not because I am not confident that a result will come. It’s because I don’t know what it will be, when I will get it, what it will look like. I can accept those outcomes when they come. Like, will I get work as a supply teacher? Will I get more terrorist type comments when I wear a face covering? Will I have SWAT images going on in my head if I wear a visor? Which school? How long? Fixed term? Finances? Business? Caring? Moving? Selling up? Separation agreement? Financial settlement? U’s diagnosis? DLA tribunal? Wee one’s SLT referral?

I don’t have new clothes for work. I have the same wardrobe with very few additions from the past few years. Will I go back with the same? But I hate shopping! Kids still haven’t been kitted out for school!

I will leave by sharing a piece of writing I spontaneously conjured up few weeks back on a mental health Zoom for autistic women :

With the wind blowing, even the mighty trees bow to their Creator. Who are we to stand rigid? In our superior intellect, we still shrivel with the smallest of change out with our control. The grace of nature in it’s ability to adapt and accept what’s not in our control, should humble our ego. How can we not take change in our stride? How does the world continue to revolve, when mine has been turned upside down?

Tangled Emotions

29/07/20

Yesterday I managed to flush out the stuck feelings. Even if that meant picking a hallow argument about unmet motherly needs with oldest.

I still don’t feel much lighter. Maybe it’s pms, as the sister picked up on. And the snapping doesn’t help. Everything just tangled together. I am back to being unable to communicate with neurotypical adolescent daughter because her snarky voice is painful. The tone, pitch, the backchat. It’s the same theme I complained about to all three. Lack of respect. How are they to find respect when their father done such a good job of portraying me as the weak, mentally incapable and unstable parent, with whom their life will be a failure?

I seen how his ploy was working so well. I am the emotional mess and he is the calm. I just shut myself out from all three and let it out. For the past week those images returned in my head.

Get a knjfe to the arm.

That’s exactly what he wants. But it’s a release. No one sees how even while not living with us, he seeks control. His mind games mess with the kids. Oldest had to have a non-human contact day last Friday because he was so exhausted. He laster told me that he had a cry that made him feel lighter. I told him I was proud that he recognised his emotions and let himself cry it all.

Interestingly, the boys were not in a hurry to go back for another week. It took them a week to recover from the last one.

I have regressed to my poor focus and motivation, becoming addicted to Bubble Shooter, finding it relaxing. Actually playing that helped me listen to business coaching last night. Pen and paper to hand and playing the game then stopping to take notes. It reminded me of narrowing teachers expectations on autistic pupils.

After the blow of emotions, today, both of were trying to make sense of what happened. I managed to explain that I also have needs of wanting to feel respected and valued and my children weren’t showing this at all. This actually enlighten oldest son.

“Oh, I thought needs were one way in parent-child relationship. The parents tends to the child’s needs.”

Then he went to realise, “that what a spouse is for.”

A big shrug from me followed.

“Well I don’t have one. He didn’t exactly fulfil that need either.”

and then I pointed out, which may have been provoked because of a recent (painfully long) phone call with my father, who I would call estranged, and just very strange.

“I don’t fair well on the male relationship front. No father, no brother, no husband. Just two sons. But the difference is that I raised you two, I have some control on your influences, values and behaviour. I want to shape you to be caring, empathic, self reflecting and able to keep good relationships.”

What’s hurt me so much is the thought of going to court to settle child contact. I have had enough waiting. Some may appreciate that autistics hate waiting . It’s torture. I have been good waiting out for negotiation but not that I have move forward, just to hurt me, he wants to argue in court. It’s the waiting to get a settlement done that’s hard to swallow. The stress of not being able to demonstrate that I am their best option, the fear of not being believed. Not many believe me. I refer to those with power to do something. They never believe me. Whereas he can so easily push my buttons, set off the reactions and say “told you so, she is incapable of being a good mother.”

I leave with one fact, as that’s all I use to reassure myself.
The social worker pointed out that in May, during lockdown, the oldest was doing well and we didn’t require their support.

“Oh that’s because he didn’t visit his father and I helped him with understanding the online learning systems (well I was his PA writing out his diary of to do and he calmed down hugely.

…oh, school and his father caused the meltdowns. I am the one constant that doesn’t harm him!”