Acute exhaustion.

Bilateral acute otitis media (a.k.a screaming nonverbal child, a.k.a. maternal tinnitus, a.k.a. sudden depression), better known as double ear infection and raging fevers.

“Poor baby, he must be in so much pain.”

He is and so am I. Physically from being headbutted, scratched, and trying to hold forty pounds of a thrashing body so he won’t hurt himself. Mentally because there’s only so much worry, hovering, catering to, screaming, crying, and whining you can take without relent before you snap.

This is one of the many parts of motherhood, and specifically mothering autistic children, that no one speaks of. The guilt over being angry that your child is sick. The shame over not being able to smile and make a joke about it for once. Because being trapped inside with a child who needs to rest who never does for long and them not being able to fully articulate what they feel or need is madness.

The usual grind of housework, consoling through meltdowns, strategizing therapies, balancing schedules, researching solutions and approaches, fighting for help… I’m worn out. Maybe I’m getting sick with his virus as well. Maybe things will be better soon. I wish I knew when that was. I can only hope things will be different soon.

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