Monday, October 13, 2008
My son is a beautiful, smart, loving boy, you wouldn't know it by looking at him, but he has Autism. When A was diagnosed, I felt completely lost, I didn't want to deal with the fact that my baby, was not "normal", I sunk myself into denial and went about raising our family as I had before the diagnosis was made. Life was so busy then, we had moved to our new home in Kansas a few months before, I worked full time, V an enormous work load as he geared up for his deployment and I had 2 other children who had very busy schedules as well. My way of coping with things has always been denial, it's easier for me to pretend that the big elephant in the corner just blends in with the wall paper rather than get up close to it and deal with it.
A and I have been struggling this last year, there are things even my closest friends don't know because I fear they won't understand. When people who have no idea what I am dealing with tell me it's normal that my almost 9 year old son chews his shirts until there are holes in the collar, I have thrown away 9 shirts in the last week. Or that it's normal that the first time my son looked me directly in the eyes to "talk" to me was in July when his soul was completely crushed after being kicked out of summer camp. Or that A is an outsider with his peer group, partly of his own volition and partly because I think A makes other children understandably nervous with some of his "radical" behavior, but all of this is "normal" behavior to friends of mine who make me feel small when I feel like I just need to vent, they make me feel like I'm full of it that I'm making a mountain out of a mole hill. I guess if A had a tumor growing out of the side of his face, then people would understand my feelings, but because A's "deformity" is not visible by the naked eye, then people assume I have a spoiled child that needs more discipline (spanking A does not work his pain receptors barely work) IT MAKES ME WANT TO SCREAM!!!!!! I am all alone in this, fighting for my child, and I just want someone to HEAR me! Honestly listen without judgement's without prejudice without one upping me with a story about your own child! I am lost here and I need someone to be here with me through this! I need someone who will understand.
I've just finished Reading Mother Warrior's by Jenny McCarthy and it's amazing! One story in particular was so close to A's story that while sitting on the plane trip from Washington DC to Chicago I had tears streaming down my face. It's an amazingly touching collection of stories of Parent's recovering their children's autism and facing down the critics with amazing strength, they give me hope!
**The Picture above is of A and his best friend, his Dad, on the day he left for his Deployment**