Relieving the drama of being a sibling of autism

The glass pane was smashed.
One of Nigel’s pictures got knocked off the wall.
This was the beginning of my drama.
Couldn’t stop myself from bursting into tears.
I felt as broken as the fragments of glass lying on the stair carpet.
I just did. Any breakage, large or small (and this really was small), brought back memories of Nigel’s fits.
I lost count of the furniture and appliances that had been damaged over the years.
He sees my tears.
‘What have I done wrong now?’ was his immediate response.
‘Nothing. I’m upset. It’s nothing to do with you’.
Oh, but it was.
So started the sibling dynamic.

It was my drama, but it was in danger of becoming his.
A lifetime of hijacking other people’s dramas and making them his own.
So often my own emotional needs had been cast aside as he became the centre of attention.
Because he felt bad, he believed it was his fault.
On this occasion however, it was different.
I have learnt that a treatment is the best course of action.
Hours spent unpicking and addressing the many layers of anxieties, through intense conversation, were not necessary.
Lying on the couch was all he needed to do.
I could work with his body and release the emotions that way.
Easier for him, easier for me.
It was a huge relief.

(Please note that treatments do not just help the autistic child or adult but also the, sometimes unnoticed, stress that those around are subject to.)