This blog sort of fits with my blog at www.kompletelykrista.wordpress.com called Writing and Reality because this is part of the reality that goes with my writing. One of my daughters is Autistic and that takes up a lot of my time. The more therapies, the more interaction that she gets, are all things that help her development. One of my sons also has what has been termed as delayed, so he needs less but still some help in maturing and that kind of stuff. The amount of meetings I go to during the school year is amazing. My husband works two jobs so that I can stay home and take care of her and the other two kids. For roughly six years I’ve been doing this by myself. Sometimes people try to help but when it comes to our kids, we’re very specific about who can watch them for us to get an hour out to maybe grab something to eat and that hasn’t been able to happen for a long time now.
Then there’s my mother who’s very sick. Her heart works at roughly 30% capacity, she has COPD
and a host of other problems. I’ve been helping her as much as I can and taking care of her after surgeries since I was 17 and she had a six way heart bypass surgery.
Now my grandmother has to live with my parents because she’s in her eighties and just can’t live alone anymore and my sick mother is the one who takes care of her. So I try to find as much time as I can to go there and take over for a little while to give my mom a break to rest a little.
I know for a fact that just having an Autistic child that it’s unhealthy for me to not get breaks. But they’re hard to come by when no one really understands a lot of what she does. About 90% of couples that have an Autistic child wind up getting divorced. Those are terrible odds but my husband and I have been lucky and we love each other and our kids. Then add in helping my mother and I can assure you that I am suffering from caregiver burnout. The problem with that is there is no one else. I’m exhausted, have panic attacks, pretty much live on coffee and cigarettes and occasionally have very unlike me nasty outbursts on people who don’t deserve it, like my husband. The poor man.
That is the short version of my reality. The good thing is that both my Autistic daughter and delayed son are both still developing and they’re young so there’s no telling how far they’ll go. With my son’s delay, I know he’ll eventually catch up in maturity, I can see it now. But with my daughter it’s a guessing game. She has come a long way though.
Besides being my dream, writing is what I do to escape and read. So it’s good that even if I don’t get away, I can make some popcorn, put on a movie and get a little break into a world that is my own to create. So at the end of it all, I guess I should be grateful no matter how bad I feel sometimes. My family is loving and happy, I’m pretty sure my writing isn’t bad and there’s time for everything to get better.
Krista Krueger writes dark fantasy, paranormal and horror for young adults. Her short stories have been published in several magazines and anthologies including Black Petals, Static Movement and Wicked East Press. Her first novel is in the hands of her (and my) wonderful agent, Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary. You can find Krista on her blog, on her Facebook pages here and here, and on Twitter