3 Unspoken Truths about Caring for a Kid in Burnout

autism burnout mental health Apr 15, 2023

Caring for a child through burnout put me into burnout as well.

I sweated through my clothes at night. I could not control my racing thoughts or my mental blankness. I felt stuck and trapped, and I thought it would be this way forever. Caring for my son through his burnout put me into burnout as well, compounded by the reality that I had PTSD from parenting and needed intensive therapy to heal.

Sometimes I was truly frightened for my safety and the safety of those I love.

Aggression in children can be terrifying, for everyone. We had real risks to safety, which lead to real trauma. It's hard to put into words what it is like when your child scares you, when you no longer feel safe around them, when you do not feel safe in your own home. The love remains overwhelmingly deep and real, but the pain is interwoven.

Parents are always blamed, so I had to learn to believe in myself again.

Parents are always blamed. Always. The things that professionals said only worsened the negative self-talk reverberating in my brain: "If I was doing this right, my son wouldn't be in burnout in the first place. If I was a good mom, we wouldn't be here." I learned to set aside striving to be good, and instead to choose to be compassionate and brave.


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