At school I was bright. A’s came easy. I didn’t have to work hard. I didn’t study. I don’t actually think this was a good thing. In my formative years I learned I could get by without trying. Imagine if I had tried. I know I was young but habits start then. At high school I wanted to be a journalist. I really really wanted to be a journalist. I never was one. Now, I want to be a writer.
I have no qualifications apart from what life has thrown at me. I think I’ve dealt with my fair share of challenges and also amazing experiences.
I have spent my whole life living under a dark shadow of self doubt and over thinking. Even now, after losing 36kg and everyday getting out of bed at 4am for five months; I question whether I can do this. I’m serious. I’m not fishing for compliments. This, I’m sure is something many feel too. I actually feel like a fraud.
And brain has woken up. I’m flooded with ideas. I think I partly understand how my ADHD son feels. I am overwhelmed with good, bad and crap ideas. Some are so far left off centre they’re navigating the earth like a satellite. It’s actually driving me crazy. Seriously! I can’t focus. I write notes in no order. I commit to things and forget even though I militantly put everything in my diary.
I need to find one maybe two ideas and divert all my energy to them. Choosing is the hard part. I can safely say helping my son with his after school business is idea numero uno. I know this takes up a lot of my time. When I think of my son’s life post graduation with a glut of experience from running his own business then I feel very relieved that he will flourish. Why relieved? Because he, being autistic, will always have to be better, try harder and overcome many more challenges than a neurotypical person. Also, this is our legacy to our daughter. To know that when we leave this earth, she has an independent brother. A brother she won’t feel obliged to support. Even though hand on my heart, I know she would do anything for him. She has lost a part of her childhood because of choices we, her parents made. She’s paid the piper and deserves an adult life where she is Ally, not identified as the sister of an autistic brother. Where she doesn’t have to deal with kids at her school involving her in issues that are not hers.
The second idea will be for me. Primarily, some way of finally, after, sixteen years of being a carer to doing something I love on a professional level and getting paid for it. I’m starting to put myself out there. Touching base with contacts. Creating a LinkedIn profile. Feeling my way. It would be nice to add to the household budget. To prop up my poverty stricken super fund. To finally have some peace in knowing we will retire comfortably. We too have paid the piper.
At the end of the day, like all parents, want to be able to say, we helped our kids.
Years ago, my son packed his backpack, put on a hat and declared he wanted a new family and was leaving. He sat at the end of our driveway. We watched him vigilantly but discreetly. His sister went and sat with him. She wasn’t leaving with him. She wasn’t convincing him to stay, she just sat with him. They were there for awhile. Then I guess they got bored and came inside. Our daughter has always propped us up. To give her a liberated adult life, I must examine my own goals, overcome self doubt and find a way to earn a living.