I’m not usually into displaying my own vulnerabilities – things I tend to think of as “weaknesses” on my part. However, I said at the beginning of this project that I was going to be open and honest; the good, bad, and downright ugly, right? Well, here’s some ugly for you:
On Friday, I had a Mommy Meltdown.
Now, those of us with Spectrum kids know how horrible and awful it is when our little ones have meltdowns. I think it’s even worse when I have a meltdown. See, I’m one of those people that has a tendency to bottle things up (sometimes without even realizing it) until I’m like a pot simmering over…until that one thing on that one day causes me to lose it, only instead of just seeping out over the sides and hissing impotently on the stove burner, I turn into a kind of geyser. Everything I’ve been holding in comes boiling to the surface, and I lose it. I don’t mean I tantrum like Ethan does, at least not in the way he does. I have a grown-up tantrum. I say nasty things (no, not to Ethan, although I won’t pretend I’ve never made that mistake. We all have; let’s just lay it out there on the table so we can see it right now, shall we?). I stomp around the house ineffectively. I cry (translation: I have a very quiet yet gut-wrenching sob fest until I’m a blotchy, swollen mess). I say over and over again how I can’t do this anymore. I curse God for giving me a son that is such a challenge. I curse Him for condemning my son to this existence. I blame Ethan and rant to my poor husband, asking why Ethan can’t just “be normal.” I blame myself. I blame my husband. But mostly I blame myself.
Mostly, I just cry.
When I have these moments of weakness, it’s my husband who reels me back in and talks me down. He reminds me of how breathtakingly beautiful Ethan was as a baby, and how breathtakingly beautiful he still is – how much progress he’s made in the last few months, and how far we’ve all come in the last year. How far we have yet to go, and how I have to continue to hope. My husband is amazing. I don’t tell him that enough, and God knows there are moments when we can’t stand each other (as is true of any married couple, let alone a couple that’s been faced with the challenges we have), but I don’t know if he will ever truly realize that most of the time, he’s the only thing that keeps me firmly anchored to the ground. I love him so much. Those words seem so inadequate, but I mean them with every ounce of my being. He praises me, even when I feel I don’t deserve it. He tells me that I’m an amazing mother to our boys while he wipes my tears away. He tells me how much he admires me while he holds me and rubs my back, smooths my hair. He makes me feel, incredibly, somehow, that I’m not as horrible and awful as I think I am.
He makes me feel loved. He makes me feel worthy. He lends me strength when I have none. And even in the midst of my meltdown, my vulnerability, my complete and utter weakness…mostly, he makes me feel like I can do this another day, and that tomorrow, I’ll be just a little better than I was today.
Mostly, he just loves me.