Stress is a funny thing. It has the nasty habit of sneaking up on you.
You think you can handle it, manage it, control it. But then, seemingly out of nowhere — BAM! — you realize all too late that you’ve gone over the edge. Words and actions that you never thought you were capable of come flooding out. Like an out-of-body experience, you watch in shock, unable to stop the onslaught before you.
Yes, I’m speaking from personal experience. Some days, I feel like nothing can stop me from cracking under the pressure of our many issues. Rages, aggression, house issues and money issues — they all build until they are just too great. Then, the smallest slight, the tiniest setback has a way of causing an unwarranted reaction. Happy people make me cry. Sad people make me cry. Come to think about it, anything and everything can reduce me to a bundle of blubbering nerves.
Then there’s the yelling. I’m ashamed to admit the ugly words that can come out of my mouth.
My excuse? I’m stressed out.
And then it came to me. How is this different from my complicated kids? I get so angry at their meltdowns and rages, I tend to forget how hard life is for them. Ask any adult with Asperger’s and they will tell you that just normal everyday dealings cause an autistic person a huge amount of anxiety. And for a kid with an anxiety disorder? The world is one, big scary place.
On any given day, they are at their breaking point. What’s worse, they are too young to process it, to understand why they feel the way they do. So as we head into the weeks ahead, I have a new empathy for their behavior and the rationale behind it. Because I’ve seen it before — in me.