Kieran and me

After the reasonable success of my last blog about Kieran I want to talk about my relationship with Kieran and how we basically live together.

Kieran and mines relationship is far from ideal.

It is a relationship full of love, anger, compassion, frustration, hope and strain.

Having my own issues regards my mental health is bad enough but adding Kieran’s autism makes things worse. Kieran does not understand why I can lose my temper and get angry so easily and quickly. This coming from a man who was described in the Army as “notoriously patient”

My issues are complex and so are Kieran’s. He is not stupid by any stretch of the imagination. He’s a smart, funny and intelligent boy when he applies himself. He makes insightful observations of life and people. Unfortunately he doesn’t think it but says it out loud.

There have been so many incidents where he has said something about someone and I’ve wanted to vanish in to thin air because of it. One incident was when we were walking to school past a transgender person when Kieran pointed and shouted “Look! A man-woman”

You have to make allowances for Kieran and children like him. My family and friends do it all the time. Unfortunately other people who don’t know Kieran and autism, understand Kieran and autism or have the most basic elements of compassion towards children like Kieran and autism. You know the type- the type that sees Kieran flapping his arms, hear him talking a little too loudly or have the misfortune to witness him having an autistic meltdown, give you that look and “tut”. The type who freely offer unsolicited, unwanted and unwelcome child rearing advice with out a clue as to what is actually happening. The ones you smile at, grit your teeth and you think-

“you can fuck off.”

Kieran’s many traits deeply frustrate me and it’s that feeling of frustration and helplessness that angers me. Kieran will do something daft and I snap at him. Sometimes it will be at something where he has put himself or someone else at risk. Most of the time it because I’ve had to repeat myself endlessly to do something like put his shoes and coat on as we have to go somewhere. Other times it’s because he damaged or destroyed something then it’s frustrated anger. Sarah is constantly reminding me to breath and calm down. Easier said then done.

I am ashamed to say I get very cross with Kieran at times and he genuinely gets scared. In fact he runs and hides. It’s not his fault. I don’t know if it’s the toxic combination of my bipolar and medication grating with his autism. However I put it to a much simpler explanation-

I’m a man, a flawed human.

A friend asked how I cope with this frustration- it’s again really simple, I remove myself from the situation and catch my breathe.

The one person, no wait two people I haven’t mentioned in all this is my wife Sarah and our youngest son Brendan. Both are witnesses to mine and Kieran’s fire and ice situation. Sarah has to mediate between Kieran and I. As for Brendan, he asks questions of me and accepts Kieran’s behaviour as situation normal.

Don’t get me wrong I love Kieran with all my heart, soul and being but I am so frustrated by him too.

Well I’ve said enough. Please feel free to ask questions of me and Sarah by messaging us.

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About martinupfold

Hi I am Martin Upfold and I am a father, husband, army veteran, student of photography and citizen journalist. Dealing with bipolar and depression, tackling it head on. I am sustained by my lovely wife Sarah and we have two beautiful sons Brendan, our youngest and Kieran, our eldest who has Aspergers Syndrome which is on the Autistic Spectrum. What I do to cope with my situation is to do photography and occasionally blog about it. How I got in to photography is that it was a way of dealing with my depression and bipolar by challenging it head on. It is very easy to let my mental health issues take control and rule and ruin my life. Photography gives me a reason to get out of the house and deal with the world in a creative and constructive way.
This entry was posted in Asperger, Aspergers, Aspergers, Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, Autistic Spectrum, Bipolar, Bipolar disorder, Mental health, mental health issues, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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