I Used To Be Fun, I Swear

SavageI’m going to be 40 this year.  I try to say this every day to prepare myself for the inevitable milestone that I’m barreling towards like a runaway train with no hope of stopping. Soon I will be aged out of George Clooney’s dating bracket.  I’ve been so completely buried under autism for the past 10 years that an entire decade has gone by and I’ve lost a little of my youthful self in the process.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those people that dreads getting older and goes all Real Housewives of Beverly Hills with the Botox and Forever 21 outfits.  I’m in such a better and more confident space than I was in my 20s or 30s.  I totally embrace that aspect.   I’m just realizing that I’m not as much fun as I used to be–and it sucks.

As a teenager, I would also tease my father that he was one of those Grumpy Old Men, yelling at the TV about the cost of potatoes and taking naps in the middle of the afternoon.  My sisters and I would watch MTV when he wasn’t around because he couldn’t stand our music and constantly used the phrase “back in my day.”  I thought how old and out of touch he was.  When I’m his age, I’m gonna be cool and hip and be the most fun mom ever.  My kids and their friends will be amazed at what a fun person I am.

Fast forward 25 years and that’s all I think about is taking a nap in the middle of the afternoon and yelling at the TV about the cost of potatoes.  I can’t stand MTV, and teenagers and their music annoy the crap out of me.  Instead of “get a haircut”–it’s “pull your pants up!”  I have some teenagers on my FB friends list.  I can’t even understand what they post on their statuses.  I want to slap them silly when I hear them use the term “swag” over and over again, especially with a hashtag in front of it.

Instead of this:   jlo


I’ve become this :


Having to be responsible 24 hours a day, seven days a week has literally sucked all the fun out of my personality.  I can’t let my guard down and throw some drinks back on a weekend with some friends.  I have to give medications and be prepared if there are any medical emergencies.  If my son needs me, I have to have all my wits about me and not be in the ER with my breath smelling of tequila in my new Forever 21 outfit.

But I used to be fun.  I used to have a more adventuresome spirit.  I used to laugh more.  Now I feel that guilt creep up on me if I get too happy or enjoy something too much.  I’ve been stuck in responsibility mode so long that I don’t know how to be anything else.  I don’t like being around myself most days.  Autism has been a game changer in a lot of ways in my life.  I wonder if I’ll ever be able to take that spontaneous trip to the beach with my husband, kick my shoes off in the sand and down a bottle of wine without a care in the world–and just be me.  A soon-to-be-40-year-old girl can dream, can’t she?


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17 Responses to I Used To Be Fun, I Swear

  1. april says:

    Its proved there is no such thing as vaccine
    Induced autism

    • ProfessorTMR says:

      Oh, yeah, April? Proved by whom? When? With what sort of evidence? Or did you think your flat statement is enough for someone to take your word for it –specially the “someones” at this website who have been researching the topic for years? For myself, it’s been fifteen years now. And we “someones” tend to read ALL the scientific evidence, not just that which is pre-selected by vaccine manufacturers and their partners, the CDC, as fit for public consumption (because it doesn’t hurt their bottom line). Come back when you have an argument to make and we’ll discuss it. 😉

  2. nhokkanen says:

    Letting your guard down — that pretty much sums it up. We’re afraid that if we dare to have fun, we’ll pay a price. Another price, that is…. For years I was carefree, a joker, and facetious to the point of annoyance. Then came vaccine-induced autism. When you are betrayed by people claiming to protect your family, nothing and no one are above suspicion.

  3. Peripety says:

    Turning 40 is not so bad, and I do try to have more often than just AutismOne 🙂

  4. jan houston says:

    I went to Disney World with my middle child. It was a field trip. I never would have pulled the money together to go “just the two of us.” I haven’t pulled money together to get my hair cut in the past year, much less new underwear in the past three years. I haven’t left KJ for any real length of time unless my husband was available to keep him.
    Well, I had fun. I only talked about autism 3 times. I only looked at a few children and wondered about them. I didn’t panic when my middle child disappeared from my line of site for more than three seconds. And we didn’t ride the train. At all.
    It was fun. Something I haven’t done in over 10 years.
    I think I need to do “fun” again. Real soon.

  5. On Planet Aubrie-8 says:

    I haven’t hit the big 4 0 yet but getting close. (37) I feel the same way most days. When Aubrie was diagnosed I was a working Mom less that a year after I was laid-off. I have been a SAHM ever since. I enjoy the time I get to spend with her but I have know clue who I am anymore. I have worked ever since I was 16 (including the entire time I was in college full time). I think back to my 20 something self and I have have no clue who she was but I know that she was awesome and fun! People talk about the grief process that comes with the diagnosis (loosing the child you thought you had) No one every talk about the losing of yourself to the world of Autism. I feel like that fun young woman has turned into the “Crazy Autism Mom” that can’t go out in public without warning that new mommy with the tiny bundle in her arms about the dangers of vaccines & autism… I hear the words pouring out of my mouth & see the scared/crazy looks I get from the mommies and I just can’t stop… I justify my outbursts to total strangers in my head by thinking “if I can save even one baby from Aubrie’s fate it is worth it” Thanks for letting me know that I am not the only one that feels like the autism succubus has taken all the fun out of me!

  6. Stephanie says:

    I can so relate Savage. I think we all can. We get buried deep, deep underneath it all.

  7. Penny Roach says:

    I agree with Jenny. Your 40’s will be a nice combination of the blind optimism and the reality checks and you will be able to relax. I’m in my late 40’s now (how did THAT happen?) and call it a mid-life crisis or 2nd childhood, I’m totally enjoying who I am now.

    Have a HAPPY birthday!!

    Penny at Green Moms and Kids

  8. Kelly says:

    Apparently, all of us autism moms are turning 40. I just turned forty and blogged about it. It certainly was not until my daughter started to recover that I could smile and relax a little again. She is not fully recovered but we are working on it! And yes….we just booked a spontaneous trip to the closest beach so that I can sink my feet in the sand. It is good for the soul. Even if it is only 60 degrees here and our 3 kids are coming with us. lol.

  9. Maryann says:

    Totally funny because I just had this crisis this morning after having a rare night out with some new friends. I realized just how boring I am and that I have nothing interesting about me. They have cool careers and cool activities outside of work – one coaches women in pageants. I don’t even know what I like anymore. Sad, huh?

  10. LOL Feeling you, mama!
    For my 36th birthday I relaxed a little and enjoyed a few rum and cokes… Then my Autie son accidentally smashed a window with his wrist and nicked an artery. Thankfully my friend who was there drove, as he hadn’t hit the rum yet. I was sitting there in the ER trying not to be so giggly… but I did let out a “Well, it’s ain’t a “Jenny Birthday” until someone lands in the ER!”
    I was so sure that CPS would be at my door the next day that when we got home I scrubbed every inch of the apt and made it look all Martha Stewart-y 😉
    Getting too old for this sh*t.
    I had my autie child when I was 21, my 20’s was full on energy driven, clueless optimism. The 30’s have been a lesson in reality. I think my 40’s are going to be a nice combination of the two.

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