Afterwards I sit with thoughts swirling around my head.
In pain from injuries she doesn’t remember inflicting.
Crying from the insults she doesn’t remember shouting.
Exhausted from keeping her safe through a meltdown she doesn’t remember having.
Alone with thoughts of anger, confusion, upset, heartbreak.
Alone with feelings of guilt, regret, and a longing so deep, to scoop her up in my arms and hold her so tight.
To rock her and tell her over and over, that it will all be ok.
Thoughts of anger, resentment, the hurt from her violence and her words has caused.
Pushed and pulled by emotions of sorrow, of helplessness….of failure.
I sit there feeling cross.
Mad at her for doing the things she did when she lost control.
Angry at myself for feeling this way when I know she was not the driving force.
I feel so many things, I just want to take this away for her, but there is nothing I can do.
I can’t even give her a cuddle and tell her that it is over now.
I can’t stroke her head as she calms and drifts off to sleep.
I can only sit here and go over and over it, reliving every minute, trying to find out what went wrong…..
…..knowing that it might not be even over yet.
I want to reconnect with her.
I want to remind her that I still love and care for her.
I have to look past the behaviour, look past the meltdown, and reflect on how our day may have triggered it.
I have to remember not to judge her, remember that she was not in control.
It is not easy.
As much as I love my girl, and understand Autism as much as I can, this stage is the most difficult.
It is so hard not to feel like the meltdown was directly personally at me.
That it wasn’t bred out of hatred.
I know it wasn’t of course, deep down I know.
Meltdowns are physically and mentally exhausting for the whole family.
The aftermath is one of worst parts.
The one where you look back and blame yourself.
The one where your emotions cloud your vision and Autism gets blurred in the fog.
Then I cry.
Cry for my girl.
Cry for the fustration she keeps locked up inside.
Cry because there is nothing I can do to stop it happening.
Cry because I know that soon, it will all happen again.