Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Space to be Himself

Well, I'm in the midst of business conferences and such, and haven't really had much time to blog. Even now I should be doing something else, but had this epiphany on the subway and thought I'd share. Good thing too, because I was treated to a heartwarming comment on this post (My First Hug).

Anyways, I was thinking about how I just needed to hold myself up a little longer and make it back to my room. Slap on my happy face so no one will think nothing is wrong with me. Inside I'm pretty upset about things going on in life but none of my business associates care about that.

As I exited the subway toward my hotel, I got angry at having to pretend to be someone else all the time. Pretend to be someone else on the job, pretend to be someone else at church, pretend to be someone else at home (well, actually, I've just recently started doing that b/c I realized that I don't treat my wonderful husband very well and ought to start being as nice to him as I am to the people I work with).

Then I chided myself for putting on a pity party, since NTs have to do the same thing. They're putting up a front all the time- to get your business, to get your acquaintance, have a decent working relationship, etc. They do it easier than we do. And they (usually) don't have that hard-wired sense of honesty-to-a-fault that makes it hard for (some of) us to be "polite." But they're still being "fake" much of the time.

Then it hit me.

My poor little boy- from sunup to sundown is being told who to be, how to act, what to say, etc. Unlike his mom, he can't go home and retreat into his private space because right now (temporarily) he doesn't even have his own room. He can't retreat into his home office to decompress. I don't suppose it ever occured to me that he even NEEDED space and time to decompress and be himself. I thought that came with a job, bills, and responsibilities :-) No wonder he's so angry and frustrated and never at peace. Not saying a little downtime would solve all his behavioural problems, but if it helps me I can't help but wonder if it will help him.

I'm going to discuss this with my husband and look at what changes we can make in this area. In the meantime, feel free to let me know what you think.


Janet said...

Our three sons all share one bedroom. It gets a bit hectic in there and our oldest is the most covetous of time and space of his own. I have difficulty always being "on" and require a lot of alone time as well so we have our day set up so that all the boys (and their mother) can work in diffferent areas at the same time. All of the boys have their own bookshelves above their beds where they can keep the things precious to them. Beds are private and making noise in the bedroom is discouraged (because all three have to use it for sanctuary). I think what really saves us is that we live on an acre and a half in the country (kind of) and they can spread out and establish their own "forts" and play areas. None of us have tact, in fact, very polite, tactful people tend to confuse us very much. I am much more comfortable with people who say what they are thinking. We are all very likely to tell the rest of our family, "I love you but my brain is tired now and needs quiet. Please leave me alone."

Fleecy said...

It sounds like you had a good insight, at least that would be my guess... I know I sure needed my space even when I was a small kid. I catch myself wanting to say "not quite as much as now"... but then I think about it, and I'm not sure that's true at all, I retreated to my room or a bathroom or whatever else might have suited the purpose often when I was younger.

I have too many thoughts on your post to put them all here, in my own individual concepts of politeness I got this idea that I shouldn't post horribly long chunks of my own thoughts as comments. Anyway, hope you and your son both have less stress/better coping with stress soon. That's something pretty much anybody would benefit from.

SavedAspie said...

Fleecy, I don't mind if you do a lot of commenting on my posts. If you're concerned about it seeming too long, just break each thought up into it's own comment.

Thanks for commenting!

Fleecy said...

Oh, ok. I will try to remember that. Thanks for telling me. (Although I'm not too good at separating thoughts... so I can't give much guarantee on that front)

Kelley said...

I'm new here. I found you through your guest post at "A Room of Mama's Own." I have a son with PDD, and being his mom is truly on of the hardest and most rewarding things I've ever done.

My son is the oldest of 4, and he shares a room with his 2 younger brothers. It is a challenge, especially since he definitely needs his own quiet time and space. When we were in a tiny apartment, he had a very hard time with the constant level of noise, but is really doing better now that we are in a house and he can get away from all the ruckus. I know I feel better when I can.

SavedAspie said...

Thanks Kelley for your comment, and thanks for visiting my blog!