Single Moms Raising Autistic Sons

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

I Need Your Help

This is a new site that I discovered called CafeMom and here is an article that the moderator wrote entitled Happy To Have A Spectrum Kid it is inspiring and encouraging and so are the replies to the article.
Griffin is seen here with my Mom goofing off and being a ham for the camera, I have noticed that lately he has been doing that more and more.

I don't know what it is but lately I have felt like I am not a good mother to Griffin. Maybe my depression is not as good as I thought it was, I thought that since moving from Anchorage that I was doing better but I guess that I was wrong. Sure, I miss Alaska and all my friends, I miss the people, the city, the magnificent scenery, I miss my privacy and my independence but I don't miss the isolation of that apartment in the freezing temperatures and darkness of winter. What to do? I am taking my medications the way I should and my parents are helping out with Griffin. I get out of the house nearly every day but at the same time I cannot seem to shake this feeling that I have that I'm not a good mother and that Griffin is better off here than he was in Anchorage because I wasn't a good mother to him then or now. Griffin has been thriving here and talking a lot, hardly having any meltdowns in fact he is acting more like an NT child more than ever. What is it that I was doing wrong in Anchorage? I talked to my friend Sue about a situation that happened here with my parents which I won't go into out of respect for them but Sue told me that I WAS A GOOD MOTHER! She told me that I was a good mother in Anchorage and that I am still a good mother. She asked me why all of a sudden that I was doubting myself when I was doing fine in Alaska. I couldn't answer her and I still have no answers. It's like a sadness that has overcome me and it only seems to be getting worse. I wish that I had a therapist here, if only I could find out about whether or not my medicaid was approved but it has been over a month and still no word. I miss my therapist in Anchorage, she was so awesome and I will never ever have someone like her ever again. My thoughts have been so dark lately and I wonder about "what if" all the time such as "what if something happens to me then how would Griffin feel, would he miss me?" things like that. I realize that I am pouring my heart out here but I just don't know what to do and I need some support from my blogger friends. I wish that I could hear someone tell me on a regular basis that I am a good mother, someone who is close to me, ya know? What a big difference that would make to just hear those words. Don't we all want to hear them? Am I just a strange one who needs reassurance and validation all the time? I am wondering if any of you have felt the way that I have. Have you ever had dark thoughts about what would happen if you were to die and if your child would even miss you or not? I think that Griffin would miss me but not really bad which breaks my heart but at the same time it would be good because it would mean that he was his usual happy camper self that I always want him to be. Now I am just rambling on and on. Is there anyone out there who has some words of wisdom? Do you think that you could help me? Please!


kyra said...

dear dear lora, i think you are A FANTASTIC MOTHER! you are now and always HAVE BEEN!!!

i think the movie, The Secret, would be a SUPER thing to watch right now. even to buy! so you can watch it every day! there is also a book. i don't know if you have an iPod or something like that? but you could download the book in audio form and listen to it, even parts of it, every day. think of it as meditation or therapy session. i think it could be a HUGE HUGE help to you right now.

let me know how i can help. shall i send you an email every day letting you know what a FANTASTIC MOTHER you are? i would be happy to!


mommyguilt said...

Hey Sunshine -

I know that you will hear this time and time again, but we wouldn't tell you if it weren't true - YOU ARE AN AWESOME MOTHER!!!.

My immediate thoughts are that you, yourself, are still dealing with the transition from Alaska to "down here". Griffin is interacting with all new people now, and for him, it's like a whole new world of discovery.

I went through my worst I'm-a-bad-mother period when I went through my divorce. I was lower than low and probably hovering in that same dark thought place that you are. My therapist was kinda sorta helpful, but a lot of it I had to do on my own. It was hard, because I had to make the conscious effort to go out and do this for myself, with the blackness always following a half-step behind me. But everytime I did this, that step got bigger and bigger.

Yeah, I still have them now, but just as with the meltdowns our babies have, we, too, learn to self-manage.

Until you hear from medicaid, I would take up Kyra's suggestion (the woman is a goddess), and start taking some Lora time. I know all about the guilt that follows taking time for yourself - hell, that's why I named my blog after it.

You left Alaska, why? So that you and Griffin would be closer to family, receive better help and supports - and guess what that makes you - A GOOD MOMMY, just like you were in Alaska.

Also, find out it, perhaps, you can work something out with your therapist in Alaska. Obviously a HUGE time difference, but even if you can exchange emails, messages, phone calls (when appropriate), until the rest goes through.

Love you tons, doll. And yes, Griffin would miss you, as would we all.


gretchen said...

Lora! I am so sorry that you are feeling low! You are so brave to talk about it. Oh my gosh- I always feel like I'm doing something wrong as a mother! Even though reading blogs is such a lifeline for me, it sometimes also makes me feel like I am "not as good" as some of my friends who do more for their kids, know more than I do about autism...

I think the reason you are feeling this way is that in Alaska you had to do it ALL! All the time! Now it is hard to adjust to having help and maybe other viewpoints.

Lora, I have noticed how encouraging you always are to all of us in your comments. I hope we can all do the same for you because you deserve it!! You are an incredible mother and the fact that you have to battle your own depression and still are such a great mom is even more amazing.

Mamaroo said...


I think that it must be a huge adjustment for you to come from being the one and only person there for Griffin to now having others around to help, even if it is just to play with and interact with him for a brief time. That is why Griffin is doing so wonderful, because it doesn't have to be all up to you anymore. And he is just growing up too. I find the same with Roo lately and I can't say that it has so much to do with what I am doing or his school as much as it has to do with the fact that he is just growing up. No one should have to do it all alone. I am sorry that you are feeling so low and I hope that you can get the help that you need where you are now. But know that you can always turn to your blogging friends to help you out in any way we can.

KAL said...

Lora, I don't "know" you as well as the others, but I can just tell that you are a TERRIFIC mommy by the caring in your posts and in your comments to me and others. It's hard for anyone to be a great parent all the time, nevermind if you're also fighting depression, so give yourself a break (and an outing to a spa? a movie? starbucks with a book?). {hugs}

Lora said...

Thank you all so very much for all your love and encouragement it means the world to me! I love you all and wish that we all lived closer together. I treasure your friendship even though it is only a blogging friendship, nevertheless it is worthwhile and precious to me. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you a million times for being there for me.

JodiTucker said...

Lora----YOU ARE A GREAT MOM!! You care passionately about what's best for Griffin and act on that, too!.....As a teacher, I have seen first hand plenty of parents who quite simply do not give a rip about their are not one of these! Please e-mail when you have the chance.

Tina and Jayce said...

Hello Sweetie,

You are a am excellent Mommy Lora, totally dedicated, loving and courageous Mama. Griffin is one lucky little boy to have such a wonderful Mama in his life. Not only are you a good Mama, you are the dearest friend who is always there for her friends no matter what! How do I know this? Well I know you Lora and I have been so privileged to watch Griffin in action at home (via webcam)(KC via web cam as well) and let me tell ya folks, Lora is a spectacular Mama. She is always sure Griffin has everything educatonal at his fingertips, he is very well cared for, loved and just that smile tells the whole story. He is a happy camper!
We love ya dearly guys!

Mom to Mr. Handsome said...

When your child smiles....that's when you know you are doing a good job. It's that simple. Sometimes it's the only clue, but it encompasses so much in the few moments that it is flashed.

A smile.
It's that simple.
It really is.


I think the change has finally hit you. Tell yourself you are alright, over and over, even when you can not feel it. Eventually you will be. I thank God everyday, in the shower, that I woke up, that I am alive. No matter the outcome, good or bad that day, I'm alive!

Mom to Mr. Handsome said...

You're an awesome mom :o)



Anonymous said...

Why do I have a feeling it is not just you battling within yourself, but perhaps getting negative feedback from those closest to you?

No matter how old we get, our parents can still influence how we see ourselves, for both good and bad. Often a small remark from a parent can scar or have a more lasting impact than the collective words of other family and friends.

Nonetheless, anyone who has read your blog or knows you at all knows that your priorities have always been Griffin, Griffin, and Griffin., often to your own detriment. You are not simply a good mother, you are an EXCELLENT mom.

Anonymous said...

You seem like an awesome mom to me! Kids LOVE to be around their grandparents-and they should be. Grandparents give attention that is different from everything else. You are the mother and the one who does it all. He would be devastated if anything ever happened to you-he is part of you. You are part of him. Just let him soak up where he is and be happy and KNOW that you made a great decision by bringing him there and all that it is doing for him. And use the time to find something for you-you will be better for him if you do. He may sense your sadness and pull away a bit and gravitate towards your family more. It is a sign that you need to take care of Lora. You have the take advantage of it. I will email you soon....I have been sick but cant wait to correspond with you. He is so darned CUTE!!!


Peggy Lou Morgan said...

Blogger is playing games with comments today. I hope you don't get a double comment.

We all question ourselves from time to time especially when we are tired or worried.

Those of us who have followed your blog and had a chance to chat on the phone occasionally know the things you have done to help Griffin thrive despite your own struggles. You are a very good mom. We all need to hear that.

Melissa H said...

OH Lora, I am so sad that I am just reading this now.

I think all moms (NT kids or otherwise) go through those feelings. Every time I discipline Conor, I am distraught with guilt that I was too hard on him or that I handled it wrongly. I'm going to guess that taking your meds every other day instead of every day has made this situation seem even more intense for you and you are swinging into a depressive state.

I am so happy to hear that PPA came through for you and that you'll be able to regulate your meds again. And, until you receive word back on Medicaid, you might want to contact a local church re: a counselor. Many churches offer services for free. Just a thought?

Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

kristi said...

I have gone thru some guilt lately. I have been impatient with my son, even yelled at him. Recently, I decided to have him tested for autism. And I feel like I have wasted time!! You are only human, and you are doing everything to help your son, that in and of itself makes you a great Mom!!! By the way, I just found your blog and I really like it!