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Thursday, 13 January 2011

"How Long Does Sorry Really Last?

Is it tattooed upon your heart?"***

Or does it expire once it has entered your ears?

Elton John once sang about "sorry", he claimed that it was the "hardest word", but I beg to differ.

"Sorry" is incredibly easy to say. We say it all the time, and often quite needlessly. It has crept in the English language as an alternative for "pardon", what is wrong with "pardon"? Although a quick delve into "Collins English Dictionary" informs me that "pardon vb (tr)  1 to excuse or forgive (a person) for (an offence, mistake, etc): to pardon someone: to pardon a fault" so do we say "pardon" in forgiveness for the person we didn't quite hear? "Oh, I forgive you for mumbling into your beard, please repeat your self". Actually, "sorry I didn't quite catch that as you were mumbling into your beard, please repeat yourself" fits much more comfortably than "pardon".

Sorry,I think I am beginning to digress....

Begging your pardon, I will return to the word in hand....:"sorry".

It is an apology, a form of condolence and a word suggesting pity.

It is the apology I am interested in.

Daisy doesn't get "sorry". She says it, but I think she has no real idea what it means any more than I understand Quantum Physics. I know the words, but they have no real meaning to me, on the face of it, they are incomprehensible.

Daisy is the same. She will apologise, but 9 times out of 10 she will have to prompted and reminded that what she did was wrong and an apology is necessary. The word is meaningless to her.

When she has a violent and abusive "melt-down", she has absolutely NO idea what has happened and what she has done. If she sees the bruises and scratches, she will ask me how I hurt myself. It's as if she has some kind of mental shutdown or blackout. I no longer expect remorse or regret, they are emotions that are currently alien to her. Emotions can't be learnt, you can learn how to deal with them but you can't acquire them through study or from a book.

I don't even know if I want her to apologise. Is it right to even expect an apology for an act that is committed under the fog of fear and rage and anxiety? She is autistic, I think it comes with the territory. She doesn't operate out of spite, she doesn't understand that either she is just near-terminally frustrated. She doesn't possess the bit that controls, well, self-control. Her emotions are completely uncontrollable. Maybe we can learn together how to corral them into something a little less explosive and a lot less painful, but with a child who is approximately half her true emotional age, it is a struggle! I am currently dealing with a child with an emotional age of 4 and a bit. It's challenging, to say the least. Especially when you know that Daisy is very, very smart and it is easy to forget her emotional age when she is advanced in so many other areas of her development.

But I think "sorry" has become a sticking plaster...a bit of a cop-out. It's almost a non-word. Like "nice" before it, it's in grave danger of becoming a nonentity. it is losing it's meaning. 
For me to say "sorry" I have to have the associated feelings, at least the feelings I personally associate with the word "sorry". I know when I have made a mistake, that I need to apologise, with feeling. I have to feel and the recipient of my apology has to feel it too. I have to apologise and then explain why! Otherwise it's just words. Empty words that mean nothing, and you know you simply just know that you are going to hear "sorry" again for the same set of reasons. With added hurt. If you are truly sorry then why would you go off and do the same thing again? Because you don't care enough about the person you are hurting. Where is the remorse? The regret? How can you do something that you know is going to hurt someone innocent? Because you can simply apply the band aid marked "sorry" and expect everything to just sail on as normal. Because you are selfish and think only of things from your perspective and not anyone that is going to get hurt in the process. But to me, it means nothing if the feelings behind it are not genuine.

Maybe Daisy and me are on the opposite ends of our own spectrum. She doesn't understand the sentiment of "sorry" and I am a sentimental apologist of Olympic standard!

So, to answer the original question.....for me, sorry lasts forever. MY sorries last forever. If I make a mistake and need to apologise then I do, and I am a wreck until I get the "sorry" said and out into the open. If I make the same mistake again, then I am distraught until I can apologise. That is not to say that I beg forgiveness, for I don't. For me, the apology is enough, I have said it and felt it, it fits within the confines of the Golden Rule (it happened; it passed; move on) and that is that.

if anyone ever wants to drive me crazy? Make it so I can't apologise....I'll be a drooling wreck in days!

***More pilfering, this time from Heaton/Rotheray of The Beautiful South with "How Long's A Tear take To Dry?"

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Get Out Of My Pigeon Hole!

Every person on this planet has, at sometime in their life, been poked into a pigeon hole.
You're a single parent?
Pigeon holed as (depending on your age) "loose" with the added stigma of "scrounger" if you happen to have to scrape a living on state benefits.

You have blonde hair?
You're stupid then, and we can mock you.

You have red hair?
You are clearly some kind of weird retard and we can mock you and be so grateful that we aren't "ginger". (I hate, loathe and detest the word "ginger", by the way!)

My children would *never* behave like that. Why don't you give her a smack?
You are entirely to blame for your child's behaviour, go beat her.

All of the above apply to both Daisy and I.
Along with many, many others.

But it is the last one that has provoked this entry.

How lucky you are not to have "badly-behaved" children. Are they so well-behaved because they live in fear of being beaten? 
Well, I say, LOUD AND PROUD, that I am the lucky one! For I have Daisy. You do not!

If my child was physically disabled you would look at me in a different light. If you looked at me at all, it would probably be with pity tinged with relief. "There but for the Grace of God..." But you look at me with scorn instead, but you know what?? I believe that my Daisy IS physically disabled. Her autism is debilitating. It prevents her doing just as many things in life that a flight of stairs prevents and impedes the progress of a wheelchair user. It renders her physically incapable of doing all sorts of things that other children take for granted. It creates the most excruciating anxiety that mentally cripples her and physically scares her and causes her to engage in "fight or flight". Restrained she will "fight", unrestrained she will run. In exactly the way that a prey animal runs from a predator.

But you look at me, and HAVE to categorize me and Daisy. I am a rubbish mom and she is a brat. Well, good folks....take a second, closer look. I am a mom trying to keep my daughter from debilitating anxiety and she is trying to work with me by focusing on me. It isn't easy and it isn't always successful but if I was that rubbish, why am I constantly reassuring and verbally connecting with Daisy? See? Not only do you see things wrong, but you don't listen either.

I don't regard myself as a bad parent. 

I regard myself as a mommy, dealing with a challenging child. A bright, funny, crazy Daisy.

So don't try and poke me into a hole that I neither fit nor belong in.

And I will try not to categorize you as ignorant.....

Sunday, 9 January 2011

School's Out!

Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess.

She lived with her mom and their cat, and every day the princess had to go to school.

At the school was a nasty evil dragon who picked on the princess and made her feel very very sad.

The princess' mom tried to fight the dragon with the armour of reasonable discussion, the sword of understanding and the shield of Autistic Spectrum Disorder. 

The dragon repeatedly failed to listen or understand and so, because dragons are a protected species and therefore you can't kill them, the princess and her mom left the kingdom and lived happily ever after.

Until we met the Behavioural Specialist.

Most definitely NOT a dragon. Or anything evil or nasty. She's very very nice. 


She has convinced Daisy that school is where she should be. It's all she talks about. I'm convinced she's on some kind of commission rating as she sells it so well!

Daisy is one of those people who wants to fulfil your expectation of them. She is desperate to please...particularly people that she feels are in authority...and tries to say the right things, effectively she says what they want to hear. Then when she can't do it, they question her and make her feel bad about it. Even though she tried her best. So her very fragile self-esteem takes another bashing and I get to pick up the bits. It's not that she is incapable, far from it. She has no real concept of limitations, so in the right hands she could fly. She could do anything, so long as it involves her being the authority figure. Authority figures SET the limits, but if she was in charge? Hell, she could run the world!

But, school and Daisy don't mix.

I don't want to put her through the trauma, but she's now pecking my head over it as the BS has filled her head with schemes and dreams and seems oblivious to Daisy's needs.

One of my Amazing People read a previous blog about Daisy's particular needs and has said that what we need from ANY school is simply not do-able. 

We need a statement, we need full-time 1:1 help and we need it in place before Daisy even arrives at school. This is never going to happen....statementing is hard when the child is in school but when Home Educated? Very nearly but not quite impossible. 1:1 help? full time? Dream. On!

So.....tomorrow I am going to re-double my efforts in making my voice heard. I don't know what the Hell I am meant to do.....chair and megaphone, perhaps??

*********Many many thanks to the team at HitGrab for allowing me to plunder their MouseHunt artwork. 
Mousehunt? It's a game on Facebook.....go play it! You'll love me and it forever!

Friday, 7 January 2011


I am in the doldrums.
Maybe I should call the "black dog" Doldrums?

Anyway, whatever, I am in the doldrums.

It's been a really really rubbish week. I'm not going to lie, it has not been pretty, but as I sit here at the end of a horrible week - well, 5 days anyway - I can look back over my shoulder, past the "dog" and sift through the debris. There seems to be an awful lot of it.....
It always starts the same way, I wake up and there's no "dog" in the room. Daisy and me do what we want to do, on Monday it was "Super Mario" on the Wii. We aren't very good because we both collapse into fits of giggles, but we have "the most fun ever", as Daisy puts it! 
Then, that evening after a day of Wii and dancing round my bedroom to "The Beautiful South" it all changes.

One phone call and it all changes.
The "dog" bounds into the room tail wagging and tongue lolling and "whoomph"....down I go.

All because of a damn phone call. 
What makes it worse, is that the reason for the "dog" isn't even MY fault. The person I was on the phone to took a call on a different phone and took it out on me. THEY get a rubbish phone call, and I get to bear the brunt. Enter "Doldrums" stage left.

I know, I know....I shouldn't allow that person to take control of my feelings and emotions, but it's easier said than done, isn't it?

Then the real dog gets into trouble. She's an old dog and a bit lame, but her back leg went dead. Complete paralysis. It was horrible to watch and we tried to help her, but she's an independent hound and doesn't see what's good for her! It seemed to go on for hours and I had the phone number of the vet pre-dialled but happily, this time, it wore off. 
Daisy was....I don't even know what word to use....distraught. Devastated. Terrified that the dog was going to die. Desperate to talk to dog's owner as if somehow that would make it all OK. Bombarding me with questions as to what the vet will do and what will we do with the dog's dead body.  She wouldn't go to sleep as she was so scared of waking up to a dead dog, and when she did finally sleep, she was so restless and ill at was horrible.

Depressed for 2 days, my daughter roamed the house with no smiles or laughs, just heartsore sighs and tears. Her gorgeous green eyes were pools of sadness and fear. All because of someone else's dog and their reluctance to take responsibility for anything.

Her real name isn't Daisy. I chose that alias for her as she would be a daisy if she were a flower. Tenacious, resilient, petite, beautiful with the happy smiley face that makes everybody feel just a little brighter when they see it.

Except when the situation is beyond my control.
I tried so hard to lighten the mood, even though I was on the floor myself. We always prop each other up, except that this time we were both in the same horrible place at the same time.

The back-lash from the phone call continues on unabated, and the week has got worse culminating in money going missing from my bank account, so I have to cancel my card and wait for the bank to find my missing money. 

BUT.....I am DAMNED if i am going to let someone else upset my daughter any more. I "liked" a FaceBook page which had the title "Hurt me 'cause i can take it, but hurt my child and I will bury you so deep in the woods they will never find you". Well, rest assured I won't be murdering anyone soon, but the sentiment works just fine. I will do all I can to prevent Daisy having a "black dog" of her own, and if that means there have to be changes around the place, then so beit.

This is probably my most disjointed and rambling blog to date, but I type as I think and my thoughts are all over the place.
Thanks for sticking with me thus far, you'll be pleased and relieved to learn that it's over now!