I’m sure we all have days or even weeks where we feel resentful. What are we really resentful about though? To whom is it directed?
I am going through a period where I would say I feel resentful and it’s really not a very nice emotion although perhaps it’s not as bad as envy. It’s hard to define what causes it and to whom it is directed.
On a really bad day, it’s almost a ‘why me?’ ‘why are all of my children autistic?’. But who am I resentful of in this case? Am I angry with the Universe or God or whoever I feel played a part in this? Am I resentful of other families with their perceived ‘perfect’ children? No, not those, we don’t know how happy they really are behind closed doors or what their futures will hold or indeeed what their lives are really like. Do we ever know what anyone else’s life really feels like?
On a medium bad day, I may be resentful of families who only have one child with autism and are maybe also having a bad time but seem to feel very sorry for themselves and I want to say ‘but you only have one, I have all four’ and I feel resentful that they may have other children without autism but they are still feeling hard done by.
On a day like today, I am just vaguely resentful. I am absolutely worn out and worn down, nothing new after nearly 18 years but I don’t resent my boys at all. I love them for ever and will do everything I can for them which means not really having anything left for myself. I am not trying to sound saintly in any way, I have always known that the pay back will come and it has. I devoted myself to ABA for all four, fighting tribunals for them, getting everything they needed and providing a happy, stimulating family for them to grow up in and now I am reaping the rewards of children who have a place in life and a real love of life and everything it has to offer them.
But…I am resentful that I still don’t have time for me in all this. My needs and wants seem to come last, today’s resentment was unfairly pitched against their father for being able to have a little bit of life of his own. He works long hours full time, someone has to work, I cannot. He needs a break and is still well enough to want to go out , I have had adrenal fatigue for so many years that even if I have time off, mostly I want to read and sleep. So, my resentment was at him for taking up a new hobby that will mean he is out for another evening a week while I am stuck at home, as always. I could get a babysitter and join him but by the evenings, I cannot concentrate.
I am resentful of those who have family support when we just have each other to rely on.
But I am grateful too for so many things and people and on days like today I need to turn it around. I have friends who are there for me in spirit if not with time, I have a second family of ex tutors and carers who mean so much to me and the boys and who I love dearly. I have a husband and father for my boys who shows us all unconditional love and is much less resentful than I am about our situation (maybe he would be too if he had to manage the boys’ lives 24/7 like I do).
Battling for the boys takes its toll and at the moment I need to take a deep breath and take on the world again for them and trust that I will manage it all.
Being resentful is of no use but I am human and some days I can’t fight it so I will just sit with it until it fades away as it always does.