Do you have a New Year's Resolution? Anything you want to change in your life? Have you set a goal for yourself? My resolution is to stop being so hard on myself, admit when it hurts, and accept that sometimes, choosing grief is ok. I am going to try to be more authentic and real. So, tonight I am sharing those real, authentic, raw emotions.
Autism changed me. Sure, I tend to focus on the good, and emphasize the joy; sometimes, there is no getting around it. The truth is autism is hard.
Autism is hard,,,,
when your baby is 3 and still unable to communicate his needs.
when he is 10 and still isn't reading functionally
when he is 19 and no where near ready for independent living
When that diagnosis came, I felt like it was something I could fix. And then, I couldn't. Now, I try to be realistic about my expectations and plan with reason. That doesn't make it easy, or hurt any less to watch his brother, peers, and cousins meet milestones he will never achieve.
Autism is hard....
on your marriage
on your friendships
on your "typical" kids
There have been many casualties of autism in my life. Certainly autism played a part in the unraveling of my marriage. Family dinners? Are you kidding, there were times he wouldn't even eat, let alone sit at the table. Coloring Easter eggs? My younger son maybe got the chance to do it twice, same goes for carving pumpkins. When you have a child with autism, many, many things are forgotten. Many times we "don't sweat the small stuff." Then there is the guilt and grief that fuels the parenting. The balancing act, keeping my typical kid grounded while trying to compensate for all that he has lost; for being the big-little brother; for life being often dictated by the autism.
Autism is hard...
to explain to others who do not live it
There are times I feel the judgement of others; like when we are checking out at the grocery and the clerk or people behind us in line star quizzically. Or when I give in and just let him watch that YouTube video for the 100th time because I have no energy or patience left. Or when he gets inappropriately loud and anxious in public (or anywhere). As hard as I try, I cannot truly paint an accurate image for what daily life is like. The struggle is very real.
This is the raw, unedited, authentic version. Are there blessings? Absolutely. Do I wallow? I certainly hope that's not the way most people would describe me. I see the good, I embrace the small victories. I am ever so grateful for the village of support that I have, the hard days are hard, but I know I am not alone.