Autism- you stole my joy right out from underneath me. What should have been a time in my life where I was watching my newborn grow and become independent, I watched regression, meltdowns, and poor eye contact instead. My heart ached as I felt deep down inside something may be “wrong” with my child, and had this incredible amount of pain and guilt that it was something I may have done. Autism- Have you ever told your child you loved them, and they say nothing? Absolute nothing, as if you didn’t say anything at all. I have. Have you ever had your child stare endlessly into an unknown realm when trying to teach them a lesson about manners, using the bathroom, or explaining why we can and can’t do certain things; like running out into the street with oncoming traffic, and they just not “get it?” I have.
Autism- you cost me my sanity. My sleep, my energy, my money, and my health, You made me question everything, ultimately leaving me anxiety-driven, and on medication with fear of what the future would or could hold for my family. I fear for my son being socially marginalized, critiqued, scolded, and possibly bullied for being “different,” everyday all because of you. I hate you Autism, with everything I have.
Autism- you made me extremely uncomfortable during events where I should have been elated to be apart of. In times where I watched other kids in my son’s class do as the teacher said, I watched my son stand off to the side, fixated on something else that had nothing to do with what was going on. My heart literally breaking into a million pieces as I “compared” who could do what. At birthday parties I excused myself from friends to follow my son into an open field to throw rocks, or had such major anxiety about going, I backed out, out of fear of not being able to “control” my son. At family gatherings I spent the majority of my time in another room, trying to calm my son down, for fear of a crowd in a small space, or from being told “no,” also making sure he didn’t get into things he was not supposed to and hurt himself.
Autism- not only did you hurt me, you hurt my family. My husband fears of never being able to attend a t-ball game for his son. Though he is strong, he breaks at the thought of our son never being given the chance to play a sport, or being the one always chosen last. He fears of conversations that may never happen regarding cars, sports, or music, the whole “male-bonding” experience. My daughter, still too young to know any of this, adores her brother. My fear is her embarrassment she may have towards her brother as she gets older, due to his outburst, and not know how to talk to me about it. Or her thinking I spend too much time with brother, and not her. The very thought of either of my children feeling left out, kills me. Autism- you took away the joy of being little for my baby girl, for she will always be her “brothers keeper,” his protector. Something I have to place upon her shoulders when I am no longer here.
Autism- I despise you. I’ve seen the havoc you create not just in my family, but other families as well. I’ve seen you rip people apart, cause them to lose their faith, and wear them down financially, emotionally, and physically.
Autism- after all that you have done to my family, I am thankful. Thankful that I get to wake up to a new adventure every day, thankful that my boy is the most sweetest, loving and caring human being, who marches to the beat of his own drum, without a care in the world of what people think of him. Thankful that with support and help from my tribe he is accepted in our circle. He is LOVED. He is THRIVING. It may not be as fast as I like, BUT the progress is there. I trust the proceeding progress. I trust the people around me, and I trust in God’s plan. Autism- you have broken me, but you do not defy me. My son is more than your label.
***Clearly emotional when writing this, but it all came from the heart. Anyone dealing with special needs knows where I am coming from. Anyone struggling knows where I am coming from. I am here for anyone needing that boost of confidence, support, or just to listen. Let’s chat soon! ❤