Our children have autism, yes. They are all different yet the same, yes. I wrote about Resentment and Jealousy Be Gone yesterday and today I am feeling fortunate yet so sad at the same time. You need to hear that it is OK sometimes. It is OK to mourn the loss of the 'normal' life you had dreamed for your child. It is OK to look at your relationships and reevaluate them. It is OK to want to scream at the top of your lungs that you HATE PEOPLE. It is OK to go in your room, lock the door and cry, cry, cry. It is all OK. You have every right to do it. You wouldn't be human if you didn't. Then you regroup and hope to move on.
Yesterday Afton's Army wrote this:
Raise your hand if you get tired of hearing "I don't know HOW you do it?" not in a very complimenting tone either. OK, so do what? Be a Mommy?? Do most people not realize what it sounds like to a lot of us special needs parents is "Boy am I glad it's you and not me living with autism!"
I had to re post. So a reader of Grape Jelly on Pizza responded with this:
And while my life can be hard, and I can't remember the last time I had a manicure or lunch with a girlfriend, I actually feel sort of superior (as awful as I KNOW that sounds) to the truly ignorant "I don't know how you do it" crowd. Without fail, they see their own child as a burden--even neuro-typical child. They take for granted all the milestones and successes, sometimes even criticizing their child because someone else's child did it earlier. If their child runs up to them with a bug in his hand, saying "LOOK! A BUG!" they freak out and yell at him. I don't, because I am so stunned that my son used his words, observed something in his environment, AND wanted to share it with me. My child especially makes me a better person. I have always been a ten-things-at-once kind of person, and he makes me stop and do ONE thing. I'm not sure I ever looked at a flower, really looked at it, before him. I never appreciated the beauty of a rock until my oldest became obsessed with them. And I never knew what it was like to see a room light up from someone's smile or to hear laughter that I was certain angels stopped to listen to until my child came along. I wish my life were easier, partly because I'm basically a lazy person, and mostly because I wish THEIR lives were easier. I have to watch them struggle with little things every day. But if they're lives have to be hard, I'm so glad I get to share it with them. Because while others don't know how *I* do it, I marvel every day at how my children manage the world. Things that are easy for others are a struggle for them, and they still manage to smile, to laugh, to enjoy the world and share their joy with others. It's a marvel. How could I not feel anything but blessed to be a part of that?
I couldn't agree more with this mom. Thank you Christal for writing how you feel.
There are so many families who have life threatening illnesses on top of an autism diagnosis; my heart goes out to them. My life is so simple compared to theirs. The only thing I can do is extend my hand and lend an ear to tell them I am here anytime if you need to talk. Compassion. Maybe that is what everyone should try to do, show more compassion. Don't tell someone how they should feel or what to think. Respect their decisions. Take a moment and reach out. You don't need to talk, just listen. Reassure them it is OK to feel the way they are feeling. You never know what is going on in their lives unless you have walked a mile in their footsteps. Let's try to come together as a community and stop the meanness and start understanding. It's in your heart. You are a good person. Reach out to others and respect their decisions. With love and understanding, they will respect yours.