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A bit of self-loathing

By Monika ZalewskiPublished 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago 6 min read

I am here today thinking about my life. I am 42 years old and a single mom of an autistic 10-year-old boy. My son seems to be high functioning, but he still causes so many troubles that I cannot count on any help from family or babysitters. He might be causing those issues because he is so attached to me and hardly ever away from me. I don't know. Maybe I am a failure as a mom. Or perhaps I am there always when he needs me and never considered letting him be on his own. Yes, I am overprotective and scared that something will happen to my child. Maybe it is my fault that I made my life this way. Perhaps I should have let him adjust to being alone without me too. I do not know which path was and is correct. I would appreciate any advice and ideas.

I feel overwhelmed and like I do not have my own life. I'm here taking care of my son, but I do not get a break. I do not have friends, making me feel pathetic and stupid. I just had a chance to attend one of my friends' birthdays where you paint and have fun with cake and wine, but instead, I had to go home to be with my son. And yes, after he fell asleep, I drowned my sorrow in whiskey. The next day , seeing pictures of all the ladies having fun that night before when I was drowning myself in alcohol, I cried for a minute before making myself stop and get my shit together to start another day. I do not want my son to know that I feel sad because my life revolves around him and I have nothing else to look forward yet.

Ensuring he improves and has a better life is my number one priority. Yes, it hasn't been easy. I must somehow provide for my family while ensuring he is taken care of. Maybe things would be easier if there was a proper educational program in Michigan. We tried many schools and programs that made him fall more and more behind, making it even harder for me. He is brilliant, and because of that, he was always left to do whatever he wanted instead of being helped develop his potential. I understand teachers have it not easy, and there is a shortage of them, but because the school system didn't allow me to put my son with regular kids and aid that his insurance provided, when it was time for the first grade. Now I must homeschool. I had to quit my job and stay at home, finding any possible gigs to support us. It is horrible to live bill to bill and sometimes struggle to make it. Still, I am staying strong and hopeful.

I have two non-English speaking parents ad well, who rely on me with everything, from doctor visits to phone calls, paperwork, bills, and other problems. It seems that I have no break. I wish I did, but they also helped me when I had house cleaning jobs, and they watched my son for me. My mother was a massive part of my son's past when I worked full time. She was his primary caregiver. Now she has her health issues and cannot help me anymore. My son figured out how to play with his grandparents to get what he wants, so there is no chance they can handle him. I am the only one who has some authority over my child.

Also, did I mention that both my parents have health issues, and recently, we have had a doctor's appointment every day of the week! I do not have time to take care of myself. Yes, we all had covid in January, and all the issues started after, even though there were vaccinated with busters.

The worst thing is that my parents try to control how I live and spend the money I so hard work for. Anything new that shows up must be evaluated whether I bought it at the garage sale, salvation army, got it free from a friend, or bought it. I still will get a speech about it because I do not have a regular income and it’s not because I do not want to work. I take care of my son and them. I am 42 years old. I can be ok without them, but they cannot be ok without me. So then why do they give me such a hard time? So many times I want to run without looking back? Unluckily it's not easy with an empty pocket, four animals, and an autistic child. And I will never leave my fur babies or my child behind. We are family. And only they keep me going.

I am also a media communication student at Los Angeles Film School. After years of being just a mom, I went back to school, working very hard to get my degree and learn new skills. That's the only thing that makes me happy lately except my son and my animals. I think I also would have been lost without my sons sister Sarah, a great mood lifter and support person for me. I love her so much. She is just like my own little sister, and I am glad that have her in my life. Without her, I would have given up thousands of times. Thanks to her, I keep my head above the water, and despite my family's influence, I try to do what is good for me.

I did start my garden in a backyard. That gives me joy and helps my child learn about vegetables and fruit and eat them. I started my vlog about it. My brother saw me working hard today, and I am sure I will get a speech about it tomorrow because I spent some money on it. My Zen zone will be judged and evaluated by my family.

Why have I put up with this? Because it is family, and without me, they will not survive. Because I am not strong enough to walk away and fight for myself. I listen to what they say, but in the end, I do what I find necessary for me. A couple of years ago, I couldn't do it yet. But time helps us mature. Today I fight only worthy battles and move forward,

And yes, I do still dream of freedom and friends and outings and even a future partner who will love me and give me more children and a happy home where I won't be struggling alone but have a support system. Now, if I could only meet him while I still fight with self-hate and disappointment, If I could only be happy more and have a life again full of friends, love, and support. Then, I would have been a better human being and maybe a more cheerful parent.


About the Creator

Monika Zalewski

I am a writer, copywriter, creator, entrepreneur, and photographer. I was born and raised in Poland and spent most of my adulthood in the United States of America. I am also a mother to a 10-year-old autistic boy. Writing is my passion.

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