I catch a fist flying towards me just in time to miss the headbutt that’s aimed squarely at my chin.
I take deep breaths to keep from screaming out while I calmly put pressure on his head, hoping it will be enough input to keep him from throwing his head again.
I’m His Safe Place.
I wonder to myself if it’s going to be five minutes, fifteen minutes, or several hours.
I think about how many hours there are until my husband gets off work.
I think about the homeschool lessons I’m not available for and the fact that I need to nurse the baby and a million other things while I dodge punches and kicks.
Four Powerful Words to Remember When Your Autistic Child Targets You
(Image description: Mom holds and hugs her son. Teal and coral text reads: “4 Powerful Words to Remember When Your Autistic Child Targets You” on a white background. White Autistic Mama infinity logo in top left corner.)
Autism meltdowns are no joke, friends.
They can be scary, painful, and overwhelming. Even more so for the autistic person who is experiencing the meltdown.
Sometimes as parents we feel like they’re our fault.
Sometimes we feel like we walk on eggshells waiting for the next one to begin.
Sometimes we feel like we’re just done.
We just need to remember these four powerful words.
I’m His Safe Place.
My son has recently become more aggressive.
I’ve hesitated to share it on the blog, and I’m still nervous to hit publish.
I have simply decided that it is extremely important for other mothers to know that they are not alone, and this is not your fault.
See, my son is aggressive towards me, primarily.
He doesn’t hit Chris. He doesn’t hit his biological dad. Until very recently he didn’t hit his siblings.
9 times out of 10, A-Man’s aggression is targeted at me.
(Related: How to tell a sensory meltdown from a tantrum)
I’m His Safe Place.
Sometimes it really gets to me that my son targets me with such rage.
Why doesn’t he hit anyone else? What did I do to him?
Many times I’ve said “he hates me” through tears after a difficult meltdown.
“He just hates me”.
He doesn’t target me because he hates me.
He doesn’t have meltdowns coming home to my house because I’m a terrible mother.
He does it because I’m his safe place.
I’m not saying that Chris isn’t safe, or that my ex-husband isn’t safe. But I’m A-Man’s safe place.
I’m the person who is always there. I am the person who kisses boo-boos, who tucks him in, and who gets his cereal.
I’m the one he knows will love him at his worst, so he gives me his worst.
He gives me the headbutts, the punches, the kicks and the bites.
He gives me the screaming, the flailing, the crying, and the frustration.
He saves it for me. He does his best to keep it together for strangers, for his dads, and everyone else, but with me, he can stop working so hard.
And you know what? I think I can take it.
(Related: The vital steps to take after a meltdown that you’re probably not doing)
Because I’m His Safe Place.
I will take the punches, the screaming, and the headbutts. Because I also get the smiles, the stims, and the joy.
I will take the frustration, the crying, and the kicks. Because I also get the songs, the laughter, and the silliness.
I will be his safe place because he is my safe place.
I will be his safe place because he needs me to be.
I will be his safe place because he is my son, and I am his mom.
I’m his safe place.
If you’ve been looking for a group where you can work towards understanding, accepting, and embracing your child’s (or your own!) autism with other parents and self-advocates on the same journey as you, you’ve found your place.
I don’t promise to know all the answers (or even half of them) but I do promise to be there to support you in your journey, whichever side of the divide you’re on.
Together we can celebrate successes, support each other on hard days, and step closer towards truly embracing autism each and every day.
Click the image below and tell me a bit more about yourself to join the Embracing Autism group to finally feel like you fit in an autism support group!
You can also watch my live about why autistic children tend to behave for everyone else and then fall apart with one person (often their mom) here!
If you loved this post, you might also enjoy…
5 Calming Strategies for Autism Meltdowns
When the Doctor Said His Autism Was Just My Parenting