Sunday, February 14, 2010

mrs. bennet

Do you ever have days when you are Mrs. Bennet? All laughs and cheer when agreeable people and easy situations are at hand and then ridiculously dour when things don't go your way? If I was Mrs. Bennet today then Martin was my Wickham. On the day Wickham ran off with Lydia. Like Mrs. Bennet of Wickham, I have been tempted to call Martin a demon from hell sent to ruin us.

Not because Martin is bad. He's no demon; he's an innocent child. But I sometimes feel ruined by him because I simply cannot be a good parent to him all the time. I get so mad, so frustrated, so upset that I feel as crazy as Lizzie's dotty mother. On some days, I feel that his disability - among other things - is a mirror in which I see my worst self. I see the person who yells instead of being patient, the mother who despairs instead of staying hopeful for her kid's sake. If Mrs. Bennet was clueless about her terribleness, I feel constantly in touch with mine.

I know Mrs. Bennet got over her anger with Wickham. Indeed, she fawned over her new son-in-law once he and her daughter were no longer a complete scandal. I'm not there yet. Maybe I'll get there when I experience two days together when Martin doesn't scare the daylights out of me by running into the street. Or when he can brush his teeth more than once without throwing the rinse cup across the bathroom. Or when I can get just one day where I'm off the working-mom clock.

Maybe Mrs. Bennet was so loony because her behavior exempted her from all the expectations the rest of us suffer under? Maybe she was the smart one? I'm getting my smelling salts.


  1. Wonderful, perfectly descriptive post.
    From a fellow Mrs. Bennett

  2. Good Grief! Is there really anyone that I know less like Mrs. Bennett! But, I guess that is the point. If you could only get that smelling salt mojo on!!!!!!

    --You just keep plodding on in a very non-Mrs Bennett sort of way.......

    all that stolid faithfulness is damn admirable! --Faithful love is really all that keeps any of us from falling into the abyss...

    Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
    With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.-- and all that jazz

    unimpeachable sustaining love, my dear. this is what I see in you... the stuff that nature gives..... and the stuff that only can come from an infusion of the holy spirit. ..

    not a smidge of this rather two-dimensional Austin creation.


  3. Would it help if I told you that my son looked at me the other day and asked, "Why are you always angry, Mommy?" That was enough to help me keep a lid on it, for the next few days anyway...

  4. It's easy as moms to lose sight of the fact that we are also human. At least, my friends tell me that all the time when I get self-critical. I have one child on the spectrum and one off, and yes, I struggle more with the ASD child, but truth be told, BOTH drive me up the wall with great frequency. And I'm not the mom I want to be. *hugs* to you.

  5. Oh wow, your second paragraph hit home hard. I wish I could tell you how much I relate to that. In my case, wanting so much not to be/feel like...well, let's just say, like I don't want to feel. And then having such an angry, oppositional, often cheerless child and how it drains me and pushes me to such limits. I see in myself all that I have worked so hard not to be when I find myself at my wit's end with her. There are times I wish I had a label to make things make sense, but I know how little comfort that would actually give. (I hope that doesn't come across in a bad way...I have no illusions that parents with labels for their challenging children feel any better for it). Anyway, maybe I am just a crier, but this one brought many tears.
    -hugs, Jen Sherwood

  6. Too Cool! Too True!! I definitely have my Mrs. Bennet days. The challenge of seeing and feeling that you are a good, wonderful parent, which you Are, when dealing with a little Aspie...I warmly and dourly remember the days. It sounds as if you are doing exceptionally well. Ahh, I would have been truly blessed to have a mum like you.
    On a side note...if you ever wish to read about what its like on the other side..I have a blog about being a 40 something woman with Aspergers and parenting a 17 yr old with the same.