This past week, this past 5 days, really, have been insane. Insane in that at least six huge happenings have hit me, ranging from very good to very bad. I hate being vague here, but most of them are outside of the scope of this blog, or not my story to tell, or not something I can share for whatever reason, but it's been all over the map, starting with Janey reading and including hugely unexpected family news, unsettling health news, a great surprise present, others besides Janey needing my help and moral support and more. It hasn't been a week I'd like to repeat, partly because I like slow and steady. I don't like surprises or unexpected news, even good news. I am left tonight feeling a "what next?" feeling, and I hope the answer is "nothing next".
And in writing this, I might have a partial answer to a the WHY of one of the tough parts of the week. Janey has started being very aggressive at school, lashing out in physical, unacceptable ways. It's horrifying to me. It's literally nightmare-inducing, lots of nightmares night after night. It's possible she is reacting to all the turmoil that I would have liked to think I kept hidden. Nothing that has happened has resulted in outward scenes at home or a change in her routine, but I have been distracted, overwhelmed---and Janey always know more than I think she knows. Perhaps she's reacting to that.
Or perhaps not. Talking it over with Janey's wonderful teacher, we both were frustrated by the lack of a pattern to Janey's outbursts. Looking at things from a behaviorist point of view, you want to think that if you can understand the reason why, you can avoid that situation, or work on that situation. But Janey sometimes truly seems to do things out of the blue. She can be seemingly as calm as can be, when suddenly, WHAM---she's lashing out. It's scary to see. It happens at different times of the day, aimed at different people----kids her age, younger, older, adults---it doesn't seem to have a pattern. It seems to come from within.
I hope, like so many of Janey's moods and stages, this one passes soon. I hope it isn't replaced with a crying all day stage, or a screaming all day stage, or a lethargic, progress-erasing stage. I hope a lot of things. It's one of those nights when I can't keep up the positive attitude I try so hard to keep up. Autism is tough, folks. It might not be in vogue right now to admit that, and there are days when it's not as tough as others. There are days when it's almost the dream you want---an alternative kind of normal, a different but still great trip to Holland. But today isn't one of those days. Today it's a scary, unpredictable and tough ride.