Asking For Help …. What Constitutes An Emergency?
June 15, 2011
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Now Reading: Asking For Help …. What Constitutes An Emergency?
June 15, 2011
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You know how they always say, you gotta know when to ask for help… Well what happens when you ask and nobody responds?
I wrote in a previous note about how the wife and I are selfish and like to go out alot and we rely on family to watch Kyle. You can read that note at
https://www.facebook.com/notes.php?drafts&id=163509233676885#!/note.php?note_id=216005818427226 However, when I said that we rely on family to watch Kyle, what that really means is that 85% of the time we’re relying on young family members (niece, 18 & cousin, 24) whom we would pay (and pay VERY well in my opinion). Both of them are now too busy to watch Kyle, hence this note.
The reason we went the route of paying young family is that this way the wife and I wouldn’t have to ask our brothers & sisters to watch Kyle because in the past they haven’t always stepped up as much as we’d like…
Now don’t get me wrong we have an AMAZING family. They accept Kyle. They love him, They get him.
They almost all live within a 60minute radius of us (most live in a 10 minute radius) and we see them all the time. Holidays, birthdays, summer BBQs, etc. All our brothers & sisters (both the wife’s and mine) and all our parents are completely in our lives, and we love them dearly.
They say they will always be there for us. In an emergency they will drop everything and be there for us & for Kyle.
But what constitutes an emergency to us, doesn’t always seem like an emergency to them.
When we’ve just had a typical week of dr appointments, therapy sessions, arguments with the insurance company, arguments with the school district, and Kyle meltdowns & tantrums we could use a night out. By the end of some weeks, it IS an EMERGENCY. We need to take a break from Kyle and perhaps more importantly he could use a break from us.
But when we ask our sibs to watch Kyle, we don’t drag them down into our muck. We’ll just say, “hey can you watch Kyle on Fri nite so we can do dinner & a movie” And we’ll often hear back, “sorry Johnny has a softball game and Lucy has band rehearsals…but definitely another time… And I’ll say “How about Saturday nite? Sunday?” and hear the same kinds of things..
We don’t want to be a burden on our families. But I almost feel like we’d be better off if they saw us have a complete mental breakdown or panic attack right in front of them for them to understand that any typical week for us when you are down in the trenches 24/7 can be an emergency situation.
I think because the wife and I try to plan fun things (Foo Fighters concert, broadway play, dinner & a movie) that our siblings take it as that’s just your typical parents wanting to get out for the night.
Also the few times they do watch Kyle, they see what we present to them… I think because the wife can throw on makeup and look amazing when we go out… And because we can talk & laugh with them about the week’s crazy Kyle events, they see… A happy couple ready for a night out… And they don’t see it as helping us out in an emergency….
So maybe once or twice a year, when the shit has really hit the fan and when we’ve been turned down by our sibs a few times, I’ll secretly write an email behind the wife’s back telling them all the things that are going on with us & Kyle and explain how stressed out we are, and how we really NEED them to step up. And things get better…. for a few weeks.
You would think that after several emails like that ASKING FOR HELP maybe once, without even us asking, maybe one of them would call us up and say “we’re free tonight, why don’t we watch Kyle and you guys go out”. Never happens. Even after emails like these, we still have to make the first move and throw out some possible dates.
And again the fact that we have a GREAT time when we go out & come home happy & a little tipsy and tell our sibs what a great time we had… it doesn’t feel like they helped us out in an emergency, but most times they do…
And let me take a step back and say that while I’ve written alot of things about Kyle on this page about how hard he is to handle lately. But he’s really not that bad. I got to write a separate note about him soon. He is such a sweet kid with a smile that can light up a room and warm your heart. (more on that later 🙂
So, he’s really not that bad to “baby sit” at our house. I mean most gigs watching Kyle would start at 7pm at the earliest and he’s asleep (thanks to melatonin) by 9pm and he sleeps thru the nite.
So we are really, most of the time, asking our family to watch Kyle for 2 hours, 3 tops. Feed him dinner, read him some books, let him watch tv, follow him around, take him to the potty, wipe his butt, and put him to sleep.
The rest of the nite from 9pm on, they are free to sit on my couch, watch my tv, and eat my food.
Maybe that’s part of the problem, right there. Maybe they watch Kyle for 2 hours while he’s awake and think, what’s the big deal? Why are so they stressed out?
I don’t know if that’s what they’re thinking… I’m just guessing at all of this.
All I know is that I wrote another one of those emails last night to our siblings. Said we need to get out once a week, and once again, put the ball in their court. We’ll see what happens…
Now I know there will be people who read this who have NO support and believe me, I know that we may be luckier than alot of people. But again, I’ll go back to the beginning. We are lucky (and smart) that we know when to ask for help, we are lucky to have the people in our lives who can help us… now we just need them to step up…
And if you are a FB Friend of mine and you also know me personally. I believe there are 39 of you. 🙂 Please do not report back to my wife or any of the people that I may be talking about in this note. I don’t want any of this to get back to any of them. This is just my outlet to write shit down and work things out in my head.
That is all…
Over and out…
Written byFrank Campagna
I’m a 48 year old neurotypical dad with a 14 year old son with severe, non-verbal autism & epilepsy. I created this blog to rant about autism & epilepsy while celebrating my son who I affectionately call “the king” :-).