Sunday, January 23, 2011

Of Insomnia and Cortisol


I hate it when I can’t sleep. It actually happens in the middle of the night. I tend to fall asleep with no problems, but then wake around 2 or 3 a.m. and never get back to that dreamy world of rest and relaxation. Lucky for me that during the week there are reruns of comedies that I enjoy and of course, Star Trek Next Generation on TV.  There used to be Star Trek Voyager on too, but Spike took that off the air. (I did think of writing a protest letter but thought that was just a little too…obsessive.)For some reason however, no one puts on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I really thought that Deep Space Nine, was one of the more interesting of the Star Treks. It definitely went back to the age old sci-fi formula where there were questions of right and wrong, and a true understanding that sometimes things are resolved with a little or even a lot of gray involved. I would also love to see Babylon Five reruns as well. You see, unlike Sheldon I find it fun and quite frankly its derivative nature is what  I enjoy the most.


The reality is that I am not quite sure why I keep going over and over issues in our lives. Honestly things are getting a little better as anyone who reads this blog knows. The boys are doing well at the moment and we have several plans in place for their year to come. Hubby has started a new position and it holds out a lot of promise for him. Heck even the dogs are doing well. The Wheaten, though, is getting old, his hair is turning gray and he spends most of time lying on the couch directing house traffic. He doesn't even bother to get up to greet me when I come home from doing errands. he just lies on the couch and woofs a hello. Truthfully, there is absolutely nothing to be obsessing about at 3 in the morning, especially since at that time of the day you can’t do anything, about anything, anyway.

So here I am writing this blog and wondering if for some reason that parents of autistic child can truly suffer from PTSD. Oh not the same kind of PTSD as our wonderful combat veterans, even though they say that parents of autistic children and adolescents exhibit the same level of cortisol as recent combat vets. I wonder if everything we go through in dealing with schools, bureaucracies, money issues, behavioral issues and the loneliness comes to a head at some point and why our brains just can’t stop churning? There have been so many years of stress and trauma (In fact I would have to say that the last three years have been some of the worst we have ever experienced, since collegeman's initial diagnosis.) Just because things are looking up doesn’t mean that our inner ego can turn that off. It doesn’t mean that we can go “YIPPEE” and go run in a field of tulips. (I say tulips because they are the first flower of spring that appears in the stores sometime in February. Tulips are a symbol of a new beginning for me. Yes I know they are probably from hot houses, somewhere across the world, but I don’t care.)

So I sit here, early in the morning. Thinking about things that have long past. That have been resolved. That truly don’t mater anymore. Yes I worry about the future, but have been trying to recognize that if I prepare for all eventualities then there may be a way to deal with any issue. I also came to the conclusion that at sometime, somewhere I can no longer protect the boys and they will have to do it all themselves. I fret what will happen if collegeman doesn’t get into law school. I fret what will happen if he does. I fret, how HSB will handle college and I fret what he really will study and what will make him happy in his life. I suppose it comes from my need to control the world around the boys to make sure that everything aligned. I have yet to lean that I cannot account for every variable and that sometimes, most of the time, we need to deal with unexpected realities. We may be momma-grizzlies or warrior-mothers or what ever name you want to give yourself, but at some point we do need to let the children fend for themselves in the world at large, with all the bumps and bruises that entails. All we can hope is that we have armed them with the right amount of strength of will to be able to pull themselves up by their bootstraps if the need arises.

It is interesting that when your child is diagnosed and when you fight the fight for so many years, no one ever tells you about the insomnia and the fact that no matter what happens in the future, that past lingers on like skunk odor embedded in your best suit of clothing. The truth of the matter is that I need to learn to let go. But, of course that is easier said than done.

Until next time,
Elise