Mamas, I need a safe place to vent. Please no flames.
I have three kids on the spectrum. XH was on the spectrum in hindsight. Didn't know it at the time. His moodiness, rigidity, and lack of proper empathy led to abusive behavior. I divorced him after 10 years after fighting desperately to save our marriage. I now have a diagnosis of Anxiety and PTSD. I did abuse recovery therapy and personal therapy but since my own children exhibit the same behaviors I am constantly "triggered" by their own ASD outbursts, especially as they reach the teen years and look and sound more like men. As one of my therapists said, "What you need to heal is time away from all those triggers, and you can't get away from it." No sh*t sherlock.
A little less than a year ago, my oldest, who was then 16, entered voluntary placement in state foster care so that he could enter a therapeutic foster home. This was based on years of violent outbursts that could not be controlled with any measure we tried at home, and we tried EVERYTHING. Inpatient treatment, day treatment, outpatient therapy, family therapy, in-home therapy, a special school, diet, and several different meds (starting at 4 yrs old) He has a complex diagnosis of Aspergers, ADHD, Mood Disorder NOS, and anxiety/depression. He is doing fairly well in foster care mainly due, I think, to having most of his home stresses removed (no other kids in the home, older couple who can focus 100% on him) and having lots of attention through specialized staff. We don't expect him to return home and are working toward independent living between 18-21. It was the hardest decision I have ever had to make but I am at a place of peace about it now. I really had no other choice.
My 11 year old (the one I have a thread on here or maybe in Allergies) also has a dx of PDD-NOS, severe anxiety, and severe sensory issues. He is much like DS1 except that he doesn't lash out quite so much at others, more inwardly. Still, he does trantrum, yell, scream and throw things. He doesn't hit me (unlike DS1) but it still triggers me horribly to have that kind of emotional chaos around me all the time.
I feel like I am just going through the motions again, just like with my marriage, just like with DS1...I am doing everything I can possibly do to help him, but in the end it wont matter. He's a little stick of a guy right now but in a few years those tantrums are going to get scary and dangerous. We warned DS1 of that too but it didn't matter. That was what really made living with him impossible. By 16 he was over 6 ft and 250lbs. DH at 6'3" and 230 couldn't budge him. When he came at me that last time and threw a chair just feet from where our baby was sitting, I knew we'd reached our limit.
I haven't done as much with DS3, we've tried a few meds (which either didn't work or he had horrible reactions to), we've done some therapy (he hates it) and I have just applied all I learned with DS1 through all the "specialists" and book recs, etc. Its hard to commit myself to jumping through all the same hoops, knowing it didn't help DS1 (or at least didn't help him enough) and it cost us everything (DS1's two inpatient stays were the primary factor in us losing our house in 2010). I could go on and on about other things we've done, and yes DS3 is on a GFCF diet right now and we are home/unschooling to eliminate the school pressure that was what we thought was the biggest trigger...but here I am, in tears again this morning because I have had to listen to my child have a gigantic fit for the past 2 hours because we don't have cereal.
And I just feel hopeless right now. Like I will never, ever, ever be able to escape these violent, irrational men. Wanting to love them, but having a hard time not feeling like they are ruining my life. I have a wonderful DH who has stood by me for 6 years raising this boys and we have 2 little NT boys together but our daily life is so stressful, no matter how hard we try. There are times I wonder if it would be better to have separate homes so YDS1 and YDS2 can have some semblance of normalcy, but that is not fair to us! Our babies deserve BOTH their parents! I have so many other stresses that I need to save energy for - my allergies are out of control, I have had a bad cough for weeks and now baby has an awful gagging cough and I am worried we might have pertussis. Cereal?!? Seriously GET OVER IT!
I feel like I just need to totally disconnect from him and just not care so that I can survive my life. Drag his kicking screaming butt to school so I can get a break. Being a passionate, committed, loving and thoughtful parent are my values, but its killing me to care anymore because no matter how many time we think we've finally reached that place of understanding, we get plowed over once again with the entrenched behaviors that just wont go away no matter what we do.