A letter to my neighbours.

Dear neighbours,

I sit here crying not knowing what to say as sorry never seems enough.
I don’t know what I am even apologising for, I just feel the need to explain.
To explain away the noise, the shouting, the endless nights we have kept you awake.
My silent tears fall as the chaos around me threatens to leak into your house.

I know you have heard me shouting tonight.
I know you have heard my girl shouting and screaming tonight….
….and I know it is most nights, I am apologising for them all.

Noise, shouting, screaming….that is my normal, but sometimes it gets too much, even for me.
I know you say you understand.
I hear your tv volume increase as the night progresses.
I feel your sadness, your anger perhaps, your sympathy.
I feel them all as I sit here tears spilling down my cheeks.

I try to believe you don’t mind.
I try to believe you don’t think I am a bad parent.
I try to believe that you don’t judge our actions.
I know you don’t, I know you have been nothing but caring and understanding….but there is always that niggle.
That self doubt that seems to follow me everywhere.

My girl is not easy.
Her behaviour is not easy.
Somedays I lose my temper.
When I just can’t keep calm any more, my insides are just so tense I need to shout to unravel them.
Autism is not an easy thing to manage.
I cannot understand it, and I will never see it from her point of view.
Even the bestest of best friends fall out, and tonight it was mine and Autisms turn.

I love my children more than life itself.
Please don’t ever think that I don’t.
I don’t know what it is like for you on the other side of the wall hearing the madness unfolding.
Meltdowns invite themselves over and then refuse to leave.
Uninvited guests that I can’t always turn away.
They are loud, violent, and scary……not just for me, but for all my neighbours.

I am so sorry.
For what? I don’t even know.
For Autism? For the noise? For the lack of control? For being the worst neighbours ever?
None of the above?

Maybe, as I sit here wondering why the tears keep falling, I just want you to know what it is like behind the closed doors.
Perhaps as I sit and listen to your quiet house, I just want mine to be the same.
I am unsure of what I am trying to say but sorry seems to be the only word I can think of.


Our Autism Mum.

2 thoughts on “A letter to my neighbours.

  1. Every time I hear a child screaming or a parent yelling at a child, I listen to make sure the child isn’t in danger and then I move on.
    Before Ben I admit to being more of a “tsk tsk Judgey McJudgeypants”. I thought children acting out was rotten children and horrible parenting. Ben taught me different.
    I’m sure your neighbors get frustrated at times, they’re human. They sound like lovely, caring humans though.
    You didn’t ask for this and your daughter certainly didn’t. You do the best you can. That’s all any of us can do.


  2. I’ve been there, feeling bad because my kid with autism is screaming at all hours of the night and nothing I do seems to be enough to quiet them so the whole street can hopefully find sleep. You speak the words most Autism moms have felt ❤️


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