Red-Angry Blue-Sad

We are so honored to have an amazing blogger as our guest blogger this week! She’s an amazing mom… Who openly discusses her life. My hope is that after you read her blog… You come away with the same emotions/thoughts  that I did.. we need more mental health help!!! People need to stop talking and start doing.. this is not a political issue, this is a human issue! Please check out her other blogs here http://thoughtswithn.blogspot.com/

Also, We have her books for sale on our website https://teamawesomism.com/

 

I remember the day that I saw a piece of work completed by my oldest son. He was 6 at the time. His class was learning about emotions, and had them associated with colors. The piece of paper asked them to identify the 2 emotions they most commonly feel, and draw it in the associated color. His was Red – Angry, and Blue- Sad.

 

I remember the tears that sprung to my eyes. The feeling of failure I felt. My little boy was always angry at this point.

 

I had always struggled with him, since the beginning, but now it was at a new high. The Police were now involved, as he had begun threatening his baby sister.

 

Oh, and I was 6 months pregnant. I had high blood pressure, so I was supposed to be relaxing.

 

There, in front of me lay the evidence of the state of my sons mental health. He was so angry, and so sad. He didn`t know what to say, or how to say it, so his anger dragged on, day after day.

 

This was such a hard time for all of us. I have scars on me from his intense temper, and I am pretty sure my daughter is emotionally scarred.

 

Despite struggling for so many years, and trying to get him help, I had failed. The counsellor agreed that this paper was slightly alarming for a little boy, and sent off the papers for a Psychiatric Assessment.

 

We waited.

 

We waited.

 

Months and months went by. While my son struggled.

 

So many days I just wanted to run away and disappear. I questioned my capabilities of being a mother. I questioned how I was going to raise another boy. I have never in my life felt so lost as what I did at this time.

 

To be honest, I am not even sure how we all made it through. Maybe it is just the power of love. I one day told my son very clearly, I know you are angry, and I will be here whenever you are ready to talk, but there is not anything you can do to me to make me stop loving you, or to make me give up on you. You are my son.

 

We got the call for the assessment a year after the referral was placed. A YEAR. A family in a crisis situation, and such a sad and confused little boy.

 

We declined the assessment at this point, because he had already been through three and he was tired of doing it. No one saw what we saw. His intense temper. His neediness for everything to be a very specific way. His amazing abilities with numbers, and recognizing patterns. No one saw it. They always just told us, he is a very bright boy.

 

I decided, rather than trying to change him, I was going to accept him. Accept him exactly how he is.

 

He is almost 8 now. I can`t believe so much time has passed since my feelings of hopelessness. He is in Grade 2 and an intense math whiz. He still struggles with his temper, but he is far less violent.

 

Now he talks to me. He tells me what is wrong. Then we can figure out how to fix it.

 

You may not always be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I sure didn`t when I was locked in my room, trying to protect the baby in my belly, and my 1 year old daughter. I could not see any light in my life what so ever. I wanted to run away.

 

The light is there. It will shine.

 

Love

N 💜

Peyton’s Inspirational Sign

The other day Peyton got this Inspire sign: he really loves it.  I was looking at it and realized the words on it, really described Peyton! He’s such an amazing and inspiring young man. I especially love the second part of the description… (2) “To awaken a particular feeling in somebody”.

He inspires, awakens etc… love, strength, patience, goals, effort, enthusiasm etc…. The best part of it is, he doesn’t even realize how much he inspires others.

I’ve said this many times in my blogs, how sweet he is. He really has a sweet heart and genuinely cares about others. He worries about others with such a pure and open heart. He doesn’t enter a “relationship” with preconceived ideas, thoughts or views. He takes everyone at face value.

I envy that about him, I wish I had that kind of trust and positive vulnerability … meaning he allows people to show him who they are, without deciding who they are. This isn’t to say he likes everyone… rather that he gives you the opportunity to be his friend. He’s optimistic that you are who you present yourself as . When he cares, he cares with a full and open heart.

It goes without saying that Peyton is the inspiration behind AwesomismMom…but even deeper than that … He’s the inspiration for “Team Awesomism Turning Autism into Awesomism” I’ve told him for years.. he has Awesomism not Autism. He’s the special one.. the rest of us in the family are “the same”  While we all know we are all individuals, Peyton is extremely special to us in so many positive ways.

I love watching Peyton when he’s in situations he feels comfortable in, like his Prom. He’s so happy, calm and engaged. He enjoys companionship, especially with others who take the time to connect with him.

He’s getting better about feeling comfortable in all settings. I’ve watched him go from a  shy, insecure, scared kid to someone who actually wants to go outside his “comfort zone”

The last 8 months have been a roller coaster… I’ve had some serious health issues. In the past Peyton would have stressed nonstop. Instead he faced the  situation at hand and dealt with it! We are so proud of him.

I’ve been stressing about our new project… “Team Awesomism Turning Autism into Awesomism” I sat down with him the other day with a LONG to do list. I asked him to look at it and tell me what he thought he could help me with, because I was feeling overwhelmed. He looked at me and said “ If we want to do this project, then we have to do this whole list, right?”

Remember (2): to awaken a particular feeling in somebody?

Peyton woke my feelings of strength, goals, determination, perseverance, drive……..I realized if Peyton doesn’t see obstacles then why should I? I’ve been so busy feeling overwhelmed and stressed about everything I HAVE to do for this project…. I forgot my own rule.. walk then run.

Peyton is right we have to get it ALL done, so instead of just having an overwhelming “To Do” list I need to have a To Do list … set by priorities.

Thank you Peyton… for once again being my inspiration….. You are a wonderful example of “Turning Autism into Awesomism” 💙

Watch for my next blog…. about our new and awesome project!! I think you will really be inspired. In the meantime here is Peyton’s twitter @PeytonAwesomism his Instagram PeytonsYearofAwesomism and his Flipboard ( which is his favorite) 😎 http://Check out my Flipboard magazine, Peyton’s Year Of Awesomism http://flip.it/KbJKTd

 

 

Que Sera Sera

Mark and I recently got rid of direct TV and got xfinity… one of main reasons I wanted to switch to xfinity is their classic TV channels. I love Classic TV shows. There are only a few things that make me happier than laying in bed relaxing and watching classic TV shows and movies. Last Sunday we had it installed, I was super excited! I couldn’t wait to watch METV & Antenna TV. I had it all planned how I was going to watch Hazel, My Three Sons, Donna Reed, Andy Griffith and more! As we explored the channels Mark came across one I hadn’t heard of, Decades TV. We looked at the guide and saw all the awesome classic shows! I was beside myself happy! I am going to have 3 channels I exclaimed! Last weekend they were having a Mary Tyler Moore  marathon. Then I saw an ad for what this weekends marathon was…. DORIS DAY!! I was beyond happy. I have always loved Doris Day. She is beautiful, classy, feminine but strong. She had her own identity and kept to it. In my opinion that is true strength! She to me is the definition what a strong woman truly is. I loved how she dressed, I even “mimicked” her style. Her love of animals showed me her passion to help others. The thought of 24 hours straight of Doris Day show  had me ecstatic. I was in the same room as her once, but didn’t have the ability to meet her. I’m still sad about that. 

There are so many things that come to mind when you think about Doris Day, but one of the most popular is the song Que Sera Sera! It’s the theme song of her show, as well as in the Hitchcock movie.. “Man who knew too much”.I love that song… The lyrics are very fitting to my life these days. When I was younger I had so many ideas where and how my life was headed. Even after I had my older three kids, I still had a “plan”. Once I had Peyton that changed. My plans were no longer important. What became important to me was Peyton and how I was and am going to do whatever I can to make his life the best it can be. I learned that plans aren’t what Peyton needs.. he needs flexibility, goals, love, Understanding and support. Each day can be a different challenge, and how we deal with those challenges also is important. While it’s true Peyton needs a certain amount of consistency and stability, he also needs me to stress less and stay calm. Mark always tells me stressing over what I can’t control does no one any good, least of all Peyton. I know he’s right and I’m working on it. I love Peyton with every fiber of my being and just want what’s best for him. I know in my head that a calm and destressed me is much better for him, than a worrier.

As I lay in my bed, this overcast Sunday, watching Doris Day and writing this blog… I’m making a promise to myself that the next time I get so stressed, I’m going to sing to myself “Que Sera Sera” because even though it’s just a song.. there is so much truth in “what will be, will be” thank you  Doris Day for once again showing me what a strong woman is!

He did it himself

We are honored to have a guest blogger this week. Jon Rubin, He is a husband, 4th grade teacher and a dad of 3. Jon’s son Sawyer is autistic, his blog will inspire you and touch your heart. Please follow him on twitter @autismdad603  as well as his website https://autismdadinthe603.com/

💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙

7:25 in the morning is a target. If letter A through Z goes remotely smooth than bullseye. If not, than the household can crumble like a game of Jenga.
This is the Autism that scares me. The unpredictability that can start off our day with an increased heart rate. Whether it be the non verbal looks I get from my wife, Kellie who looks at me from a distance as I watch Sawyer bang his hand on the ground because he can’t get his shoe on. Or the clock that just turned 7:10 and Sawyer hasn’t gotten dressed yet. Every second counts.
I’ll admit. I’m selfish here. I was up at a little bit before 4am. I have made it to the gym. I have already taken the dog out. I have already showered. If you’re noticing the trend of l’s here, than you are onto something.
The bulk of Sawyer getting ready falls on my wife. I tend to walk in as everyone is waking up. When everything seems calm, it is because I’m arriving at intermission.
I missed out on the screams at 6:30 when Sawyer wanted to find his own clothes. I wasn’t around to watch the refusal to put his pants on right side out. I also didn’t see the battle to help tie his shoes.
I only see the Sawyer at 6:50 who is eating his eggs at the kitchen table who is perfectly content.
Now this is what my wife and I have agreed to and what works for our family. However, it doesn’t make things easier. It doesn’t erase the target of 7:25.
Autism can mean a lot of things. In the morning I tend to think of it as a timeline. A timeline that if one doesn’t follow it the way Sawyer interrupts it than you may be in for a lot of hiccups.
The goal still exists regardless of the morning though. When the clock hits 7:20, we all know that for all of us to make it to our destinations on time is for Sawyer to be ready.
It doesn’t matter that we realize that the driveway is a sheet of ice at 7:23. It doesn’t matter the suggestions that we walk him out at 7:24. Sawyer wants to do this himself.
So we watch him fall on the ice. We watch him get back up. He will look back at us when his bus arrives. Target reached. In the waves that crashed inside the house, he made it himself. He did It himself. That’s Autism. That’s Sawyer.

Find your Inner strength

I have been asked many times, how I dealt with being a single parent of four, especially since one is autistic and one has Marfans. My response is pretty much the same every time…I didn’t have a Choice. I love my kids with all my heart, and want what is best for them. To me, I honestly felt like it was what it was and no crying, whining etc… Was ever going to change it. This doesn’t mean I didn’t have really rough patches, I did. I also knew it was on my shoulders to be my kid’s parent. Life is made up of a series of events both positive and negative and how we deal with them and learn from them is what will determine what our future will be. I’ve seen too many people who love the “drama” in their life, in fact some even invite it. They don’t really want solutions, they want bandages . I know at times I have been guilty of not facing an issue head on at the start, and then having to deal with more in the end to fix the issue. When I do this I get really frustrated with myself. I know for a fact I am harder on my self than anyone else could ever be. I can be a terrible procrastinator , that is by far one of my worst traits. It is something I need to work on. The funny thing is I either procrastinate or go like a hundred miles an hour to get things done. I know I tend to put things off when I am super stressed, it’s like I can’t add one more thing to my plate.

I do see some of these traits in Peyton, and I am trying to work with him to handle his stresses, which aren’t always easy for him. Peyton has a very sweet nature and it really hurts me to see him stressed and hurting. Simple tasks sometimes can be overwhelming for him. It’s very frustrating for him, especially when he’s done the task before without issue. He knows he can do it, but it’s like his brain tells him no. My heart breaks when I see him cry out of frustration. I try very hard as his mom to encourage him and be a cheerleader, and  at the same time that I guide him through his stressful situation. Peyton and I talk about his “inner strength” and how he needs to try to stay calm and overcome life’s issues. Life isn’t easy for most of us, we all have obstacles we face. Difference is many of us have solutions that can solve the issues, and then we can move on. Peyton faces obstacles everyday and yet he next to never complains. So forgive me if I lose my patience with those who invite and enjoy the drama. If Peyton can deal with everything life throws at him by digging into his “inner strength” so can most of us!