The Autism Meltdown
You know how you feel when your toddler throws a tantrum" That unmotherly combination of anger, frustration, revenge, acquiescience, intolerance and a strong desire to swill down the bottle of Listerene?
Now imagine it when your toddler is 13. And you live in a house w/out AC so your windows are open. And your house is really close to the neighbors whom you've barely met. So now you can add in "embarrassed."
Add those emotions together and you have a heaping helping of G-U-I-L-T.
Then it's over - mercifully I am usually able to get it under control without losing my temper. Not always. Sometimes I snap like Joe Theismann's (thanks BT) thighbone and become psycho Mom. I scream. I hold little arms down by sides and wrap bodies in ultra squeezes. I turn my face into a twisted mask of anger and fear. I want to instill fear. Anything to make the screaming STOP. It never works.
I grab the book that's always in her hands. It's a book of emotions. Funny, huh? I open the page to angry and ask, "Are you angry?" I flip to sad, "Are you sad?" I wish for a page that reads, "Are you a crazy child put on this earth to torment me forever?"
Finally she quiets. I hit the right note. I find, "silly" or "excited" the page she perseverates on all day and all night. She grins. Tears fall from her eyes. She catches her breath. I remember to breathe.