If I had a dime for every time the hubs and I have fielded that question/accusation.....I'd be sittin' on the veranda of my castle on The Strand with the laptop on my lap and an iced tea at my side. But alas, no dimes, so I sit here in The Mt. Crumpet Compound where I've just had a fresh revelation from God Himself as to the source of The Most Annoying Phrase that has started more fights in this family than I can shake a stick at, and that is, "you don't have to be so angry!!" Usually this is hurled at us with accusing and flashing eyes when we are feeling just about anything OTHER than anger. We may be distracted, impatient at answering the same question for the 14th time in two minutes, or we may not be in the proper frame of mind to explain in detail the differences between the Catholicism and Buddhism (real question)ff, but very rarely are either of angry with either child....unless provoked.....or unless we're hounded MERCILESSLY with the ever-present phrase, "You Don't Have To Be All Angry!!!!" Just the other day the hubs and I were sitting outside and we decided that we're going to get that screened onto t-shirts after the kids leave home (hahahahaha, who am I kidding? who's EVER gonna leave us??)
But here's my honest-to-goodness God inspired revelation this morning after hearing that phrase yet AGAIN just minutes ago (it had only had a 12 hour break since we ended our evening with HIGH drama and histrionics laced with that phrase over and over and over until she finally fell over exhausted): when she asks that, our dear sweet Aspie is feeling very insecure. "Think of it", the still small voice inside me said, "she can't discern people's facial expressions, and she interprets nearly ALL tones of voices as being angry because her ears can't tell the subtle varying degrees in tonal qualities between being distracted, impatient or very upset" "that's VERY confusing and frightening for her. She WANTS to please you....She's TRYING to be a good girl but when she can't tell the differences in your voice, she panics and thinks that she's messing up and it comes out as anger, but it's really panic in her heart that she's dissapointing you in some way." That screeching sound you hear is me stopping in my tracks. For one of the first times in my child's life, I'm getting a clue as to what's going on in her heart and brain. This has the potential to be family-changing.....life changing!!
So hubs and I went into her bedroom and I laid out what the Lord had laid on my heart and what I suspected was going on in her heart. The result? Home run! At one point she stopped at asked me, "Are you sneaking in my room?" (meaning, you must be coming in my room and taking the thoughts and feelings out of my head). Hey, I'm good, but I'm not that good!! So we had a pretty nice little chat and the result is that she gets to ask that annoying little loaded question twice a day. She tried to talk me into three times a day, because 3 is a "good number", but I held fast to twice a day and I promised her that we would always, always, always tell her ahead of time if we're impatient or unhapy with her so she won't have to wonder.
Crossing my fingers and hoping this will work. Pray for us. I joke a lot and I willingly choose to look at the bright side of life, but the truth is we live on the ragged edge and often feel like we won't be a family of four for long. We need every clue we can get to help understand this nasty little puzzle people call autism.