“I am very poorly today and very stupid and hate everybody and everything.” – Charles Darwin
My day usually starts with a gentle wake from my husband at 8:30 a.m. with a cup of coffee. I relax for 20 minutes while I wake and drink my coffee, saying my hello’s and love you’s to my children.
Today my day started with my littlest child screaming bloody murder because no one had gotten up before him to crack his door. This caused me to quite literally leap out of my bed and race into his room to make sure he hadn’t gotten injured, at 7:05 a.m.
Wide awake, I let my husband sleep in and went to make coffee. I totally bombed that to put it lightly. I don’t exactly know what I did wrong, and at the moment I am not interested in finding out. I do know that whatever happened, happened all over my counters while I tried to take over a morning routine I was not prepared for.
Of course at this point I lost my temper, unplugged the coffee maker and shoved it into the sink to let the leak come to an end. I admitted defeat and asked my oldest child to please wake Dad to figure out this contraption. Before I moved it from the sink to the trash.
I felt awful. My husband never sleeps in, I wanted to give him a nice morning with coffee and sleep. Instead he got near tears, frustrated me with no coffee. I started to feel like a disappointment, a failure. I thought, ‘something as simple as ruining some coffee should not make an adult cry.’
Maybe a normal adult. I forget sometimes, I’m not average or normal. No, ruining the coffee wouldn’t make most adults cry. I’m not most adults. My routine was thrown out the window, I need to learn that it’s okay for me to feel upset about this.
Once I accept that I am upset over my routine interruption, my day starts falling into place. Husband got up and fixed my coffee nightmare. I took a moment to breathe and accept my angst.
Once I processed my feelings towards my routine interruption, I began to feel guilty. Guilt about not letting my husband sleep in, not being normal enough to make a cup of coffee. Guilt for getting upset over something normal people might laugh about. Guilt for being a burden.
All unnecessary, unfounded, and irrational. My husband married me for life. He married me before we know about me being autistic, but not before he saw the traits. He did not have a title or name for what he saw me go through. He just accepted me as I am and was, and had no need for explanation.
He loves me for me, with all my extra challenges and blessings. I didn’t need to ask for forgiveness, he isn’t angry with me for waking up first. I didn’t need to feel guilty about waking him early, (he almost missed an appointment) he would rather help me tired, than be rested and have me crying. He expresses all this without words every day by supporting me without complaint, expectation, judgement or resentment.
Autism sometimes feels like your own brain fighting against you. You have this ambition to do something, but this great shadow feeding you fear and frustration about anything new or different. That shadow ruined my morning, because I didn’t recognize it. I see it now, and for the rest of today I will watch myself, to see if that shadow is coloring my day.
I have a neurological difference that makes change hard for me, even the smallest things used to ruin my day. Now that I know what is happening, I am determined to understand my own needs and cater to them before I have a meltdown.
Accepting my shortcomings is the first step to overcoming them. The second is accepting support when my differences present obstacles. The third step for me is going to be letting my husband know how deeply appreciated he is. My final step today will be to make it through the day, and I will with the right support.