And then I thought of my clients in similar positions and worried that the idea had been replanted, worried about copy cat killings and escape into suicide. So I reached out to them. Each and all were devastated and personalizing the event. I put humor and hope plans and support into their worlds and heard them shift back into hero mom gear. We would live another day.
And then I had time to ponder.
Why had I never killed my son? Certainly I had fantasized about it. Craved it in fact. Was it because I could identify with his ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) behaviors given that -- at the time -- I had my own? No. That, in fact, made it more likely. After all I was often overwhelmed by the needs of the teachers, social workers, neighbors, and security guards at every shopping turn. I was severely depressed most of my life and suicidal whenever there was a moment to relax. So why didn't I kill my son?
Probably because there were too many of them, sons that is. And I never wanted to "stop" all of them at once.
So, lets be clear. Though I often dreamed of smacking my son with a frying pan it was never to kill him so much as it was to get him to go to sleep, so that I could. I spent almost four years wherein the most rest I got in any twenty-four hour period was a twenty minute nap while laying on top of at least one son to keep him from escaping.
I also dreamed of dropping that same son off in the woods and letting him fend for himself for a day or two, because I was tired of stopping his incessant need to eat leaves and trees, dirt and rocks, gasoline and deodorant, while professionals threatened me with supervision orders and custody hearings.
I just wanted safety from the powers that be, rest, and a world that trusted me to be a good mom, so that I could stop wishing for death and be a good mom.
So did I want to kill my kids? Never! But I often wanted to stop the story and get out of the hell I was living. Murder/suicide would have worked except there was always someone having a good time in my house.
And as the saying goes, "if you can't lick em join em." So the happiness spread, even without sleep, money, helpers, extended family or friends.
So yes, I identify with this mom and I also don't.
But, having adopted six children with four on the spectrum (three no longer are), raised eight and co-parented four grandchildren (two of those were on the spectrum and no longer are) I think I might have the answer on how to stop all of this.
Step One: No drugs
Step Two: Don't focus on teaching them things they don't want to know, focus on enjoying them and then teach what you can.
Step Three: Eat as well as you can but don't stress over the details.
Step Five: Choose therapists and helpers that have succeeded with their own kids and whose kids are not still struggling. Clarification: Succeeded doesn't mean their kids no longer have a disability.
Step Six: If your "expert" has never been a parent, listen and learn but recognize their naivete.
Step Seven: Buy (or borrow) land to run free on.
Step Eight: Keep life full of variety, travel a lot, and go everywhere together.
Step Nine: Treat the world as your school ground and don't worry if you bug people. If you are doing step eight you will probably never see them again.
Step Ten: This is the most important one, and maybe the hardest pill to swallow. The world is misinformed and unable to help you, so stop looking. It's wearing you out and dashing your hopes. Help yourself, every step of the way.
Being the boss is another reason why I never killed my kids. Every time I took control of the situation things got better. Every time I reached for support things turned into commiseration and confusion.
Help yourself first. Then, and only then, will you know how to find the right people at the right time.
At this point in my life I adore all my children even when they don't adore me, I pull away and focus on other things. At this point in my life I find them all fun and I love every minute with my most disable son. At this moment in my life I use no services and reach for no help. Phew!
Neurofeedback made the difference in my children and in what they could learn and do. It also made understanding others and staying energized easier for me. But choosing to go it alone (while still availing myself of the knowledge of others) is what has made my life and my business stay relevant to the true needs of the moms I meet, and not get contaminated by the insistence of others that we teach what the children do not need to know at the expense of what they need to feel: acceptance and love.
So what would stop the killings? A world familiar with the truth of autism because it is exposed to the children of the spectrum and shown how to love their difference.
So take your loved ones out often and let the chips fall where they may.
Oh, and one more thing. Don't rewrite history. It is not failure when a therapy stops working. That just means it is time to move on. It is only failure when you keep using something even after it has stopped working.
Variety is golden.
Lynette Louise aka THE BRAIN BROAD is doubly board certified in Neurofeedback and has an MS. She is studying for her PhD in Clinical Psychology with a specialty in Psychophysiology at Saybrook University
Global mental health expert Lynette (more...)