The last week has seen the return of the crying. It's the hardest part of Janey's autism for me, and whenever it goes away, as it did for most of the early fall, I hope it will never return, but it does. Imagine a crying that starts literally when Janey wakes up, and continues off and on (during some periods, almost all on) all day long. It's very, very tough. During these times, Janey seems to talk less, and when you do get her to talk, she really has no idea what she wants or why she is sad. Believe me, we have tried. When we do the trick of starting the sentence for her "I want....", she will fill in one of about four responses---baba, Kipper, Angelina or snuggle on Mama's bed. None of those are usually what she really wants. Any of them might make her stop crying for a few minutes, but no long term. If we try "I am crying because...." and then offer choices "I am sad", "I am angry", "I feel sick", "I am bored", she will usually pick I am sad or I am angry, but I really don't think she gets the meaning of those words. Change of scenery is hit or miss. She likes the car for a little bit, but not for long. She cheers up at the idea of going to school, but cries at school a lot too, from all reports. It seems like it's just a storm that has to pass. Usually, within a week, she is better. She will be "regular" for a while, and then, after a while, the mania period hits, where she doesn't sleep, she giggles insanely all day and she is just generally hyped up.
They don't diagnose manic-depression in children any more. They don't think it really occurs in children. So okay. We won't call it that. But it's cyclical, it's severe, there seems to be nothing to be done about it. It's heartbreaking. I feel guilty every day taking her to school, knowing she will cry there. But she'll cry just as much if not probably a lot more at home. She is occupied at school, and it gives me some time to gather myself together. I still feel guilty. I feel like when she is being tough, she is all mine to handle. When she's just autistic, or just delayed, I feel okay having more people enjoy her and teach her and appreciate her, but when she's crying or angry, I feel like it should be only me (or only me and Tony) working to keep her happy. And I have to let go of that, or go insane.
To be fair, this is far from the worst crying period she has. The crying is not all day. It is truly off and on. She wakes up crying, but she had a lot of time yesterday when she wasn't crying at all, and that is what was reported from school, too. Maybe that should be a hopeful sign. Maybe, as she gets older, these crying spells will be milder. Or maybe not. Tony thinks sometimes she's sad because she is becoming aware she is different than other kids, that she can't talk like them or learn like them. I don't think she's at that level yet, but it's possible. It would be hard to say.
I hope this current crying cycle is nearing its end. Hope springs eternal, so when it's over, I'll hope it never comes back, but reality tells me it will, and dealing with cycles like this is something we need to learn to do. If there is a sunny side to all of this, Tony and I were saying how it makes us realize that regular autism is nothing, regular retardation is nothing. If she were happy, we could pretty much care less if she is showing a lot of autistic behaviors, or talking very little. That's selfish to say---of course I want those things for her, but if they aren't meant to be, they aren't meant to be, and we can handle that. But when it's those plus unhappiness, it feels sometimes like we have been chosen for some special kind of torture, as has Janey. I try to end on an upbeat note when I post, but I'll be true to myself and not falsely be upbeat here.