My children are my raison d’être.

As I tend to do with the good things in my life, I feel both guilty and grateful. When it comes to my children, I’m grateful to have them, but I sometimes feel guilty that they got me as a father. I also don’t want them to be the only reason I’m alive because that puts too much pressure on everyone. However, when all else fails, when I’m at my lowest points, it is my kids I keep in mind. They are, my reason for existence, my raison d’être.

As they are now grown and mostly no longer at home, we keep up through texting. Since I currently am jobless, without friends who really understand me, and caught in a three-way war between my parents and siblings, and wife. That leaves my wife and children as actual people I might be able to speak with. My wife, through no fault of her own, has a personality and background that is not conducive for discussions that can become negative. Emotions, at least understanding and showing them, are not her strong suit, so to speak. So, that leaves my children. And, I know dumping my emotions on them is not a good idea.

Still, sometimes, I mess that up. I’m sure most people do at some time, especially in moments of frustration and tiredness. Anyone, even my wife, can have a bad day. Every so often, I tell her that her bad days are better than my good ones. That could be a slight overstatement, but it’s not by much. You’d have to know her to understand. There is that darn squirrel again!

Oversharing is not uncommon in autism, and “info dumping” can happen easily, especially since autistic people frequently don’t get to share their feelings like most people. I’ve been yelled or ignored on numerous occasions when I was only trying to explain how I was feeling. So, I would rather not do that to my children, even though I make mistakes. I believe I’ve taught them to tell me if I’m upsetting them. It’s difficult because they would rather not see me upset. However, ordinarily, my quest to have them speak openly and honestly with me has helped.

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