Tonight, I lay on the floor.

Tonight, I lay on the floor.  I had worked a normal day, a day of working from home while I also try and support my autistic son through another un-schooling day.  He doesn’t go to school.  He wants to but it just doesn’t work for him so he’s at home with me.  So tonight, I lay on the floor.

He’s having a hard time lately and I don’t know why.  It’s breaking my heart.  I feel useless.  I want to but I don’t know how.  I want to do something, anything.  I want to make him smile, make him laugh, make him not be anxious and uncomfortable in his own skin, in his own head.  I want to make it easy for him, but I can’t.  So tonight, I lay on the floor.

I’m tired, I’m tired of watching him struggle with things. I’m tired of juggling work and co-regulation.  I’m tired of late nights, early mornings, an education system that doesn’t work for my child.  I’m tired of him missing out.  Most of all I’m tired of my inability to do anything that feels like it’s good enough.  So tonight, I lay on the floor.

I watch him stim, watch him flip, roll, curl, twitch. I watch him not know where to put himself or how to manage the things going on inside. I marvel at his mind, his sense of humour, his articulate speech but I worry about his well-being.  So tonight, I lay on the floor.

Tonight, I lay on the floor because my usually funny, articulate, delightful child was not doing so well.  He was laying under my bed, non-verbal, making the sounds he makes when it’s all too much. I wanted to do something, anything, to make him feel better.  There was nothing I could do so I lay on the floor.  I lay next to him, my hand out if he needed or wanted it. I didn’t speak, I just breathed.  Slowly in, slowly out.  Trying to just quietly be there and lend him my presence. 

I lay on the floor, separated by the side of a bed and by a gulf of understanding. I lay on the floor and presented an outward facade of calm security while inside I wept at my inability to do more. 

Tonight, I lay on the floor.

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