Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I don't want to make lemonade!

Things have been hard. 

Another alleged "friend" is no longer one because Andrew in a fit of anxiety caused by my being thirty seconds away on the blacktop after school swung his backpack at her daughter.  The backpack didn't even make contact and for this - she has had four meetings with the teacher - are you kidding me?  You were my friend.  We went to the Bronx Zoo, we went to Lego builds, we were at your house, my husband spent a weekend fixing your laptop, you were at my house, I've made you meals - we ate meals together - and for this you "defriend" me in real life.  I talked to her that afternoon several times - and I thought we had it resolved.  "I love you - you are the greatest person and I know Andrew is a good boy."  Apparently the next day she felt otherwise and will not return my calls or texts - making sure everything is alright.  I am of the mind set that you try everything you can to keep a "friend" especially in my situation but I have done all I can do and now I'm extremely hurt.  Well suck it, ex-friend.  I now pick up Andrew in the office after school so we don't have to deal with the blacktop cluster-fuck.  It is very stressful back there - and I'm enjoying sitting on a leather couch waiting for Andrew and not getting rained on and having to deal with a bunch of craziness.

Do not misunderstand me - I was distraught about Andrew's behavior.  We spoke long and hard about it.  I didn't even see the "event" but two of my friends said - he did not make contact, that he stepped up and swung his backpack her way.  He says that she stole his personality - that he use to be the good kid in kindergarten and first grade and now he's the bad one and she is the "perfect angel" - that is what her mom told me the teacher called her.  She is a sweet girl but she also is very mature for her age - meaning she is allowed to watch adult reality shows and she talks like them too - she rolls her eyes and says sarcastic things - which are cute to me - but misinterpreted by Andrew.  No matter -- what is done is done - and we move on.  I do believe that even Andrew can sense that a regular classroom is too much for him - that he never had this much anxiety and never did something wrong at school until now.

The reason I was thirty seconds away on that fateful day was because I had been stuck on the phone with the gym teacher.  We had learned over the last few months that Andrew had been bullied by another child.  Pushed down, taunted etc.  Apparently they all believed it - because this isn't the first time this child has been accused.  I told the school - Andrew had bruises all over his body - and he doesn't want anything done because this child is a "cool kid" and Andrew wants so desperately to be a cool kid.  I think that situation has been resolved. 

Andrew just isn't doing well.  He's anxious, nervous, scared all the time.  He had a massive breakdown at a friend's communion party on Sunday and we had to leave.  It killed a piece of my husband to have Andrew do this in front of that room full of people.  We took him out - we spoke to him - we went back in - same thing happened again - he went after his friend and it was a horrible scene.  We left.  I have to say - I think Andrew is remorseful about this situation.  The last two days he has been quiet - and not mouthing off - and he admitted he was wrong.  (He is never wrong - it is always the other kids or our fault that something has happened.)

One of my friends on Facebook said to me - that kids with Aspergers do have it worse in a way - they appear to be normal - they act normal and then from out of nowhere - they do something bizarre, they act out, they become aggressive, their anxiety manifests in flapping and pacing and hyperactivity.  I don't know about that I think autism is hard no matter what the situation - but I do believe she has a point.  Everyone judges Andrew because he appears normal and then does something so abnormal that it boggles our minds and hearts -- that we are bad parents and he is a brat.

We aren't and he isn't.


BevB said...

"Bad parents"? What you ARE is amazing. I can't say it enough.
I'm SO sorry for the friend who walked away from you. She has no idea what she has lost by ending your friendship.
She doesn't get it...A friend is a friend -come hell or high water. Coming through hard times together is what strengthens a relationship.

The only loss here is hers, my friend.

Michelle J said...

I wish I could give you a giant bear hug right now.

I have a 12 year-old girl who is an "Aspie", though considered high functioning, whatever that means.

I think I know exactly what you're going through, and it's heartbreaking to see it happening to another family. :(

Everybody thought Olivia's quirks, encyclopedic knowledge of birds, and photographic memory were amazing and adorable - when she was little. Now as a tweenager, her quirks seem to have lost their charms. She's randomly emotional, which can be blamed (in part) on hormones, crying and needing snuggles one minute, uncontrollably giggling at inappropriate times and sometimes, saying really hurtful things to her Dad, sister and I. Some days, we're just a mess.

So many times I have felt like I was all alone with my "flawed" child. Like people were looking on us with pity and fear. But every once in a while, instead of feeling hurt, I get pissed. Then Mama Bear comes out, and everybody had better hold onto their hats. ;)

When I interact with a kid that our modern world considers "normal", I thank God that Olivia isn't. As weird as it sounds, it really helps reassure me that she/we are focused on the right things in our lives, not the latest episode of Jersey Shore or what brand of jeans we're wearing. If jaded and overexposed is the new normal, I want no part of it!

We have a lot of bumps from day to day, but as much of a struggle as it can be at times, when it comes down to it, if I could give her a pill tomorrow that would take away her Autism, I wouldn't. She is a miracle. An acquired taste, yes, but the rough patches make the small moments of pure joy so much more incredible.

Stay strong, and don't hesitate to let Mama Bear out of her cage once in a while. ;)


yolie :) said...

I think your friend is a bad parent, she should explain to her daughter that what your little boy did was an accident. And she was no friend if that was all it took to stop talking to you.