That’s what I call the things associated with our autism.. path? journey? story? What’s the latest PC term? I know it’s cheesy, but in my head it’s like varying sizes of waves, coming and going. Back and forth I go with the research, my confidence, my denial, and my attempt at apathy. I have gone so far up and down the emotional totem pole it’s disconcerting even to me, but I’m fairly sure it’s not a whole lot different for anyone else.

Depending on when you talked to me, either Jack would totally ‘grow out’ of his diagnosis or I’m pondering a future where he won’t be able to live independently. (I doubt that is true, but my doubts and my denial often hang out together. Regardless, it’s not something we need to think about for many years.) My initial research was so steeped in need for control I clung to the toxic theory and knew if I just tried the right order of supplements and diet, he’d be cured. After two years I know that health makes a huge difference, but Jack’s autism is not curable. He is autistic and regardless of how much it effects his life, it is not something that is questionable anymore, regardless of what that moron Dr. Prozac casually tosses around.

And I only mention this today (after a chipper post this morning) because sometimes a small wave of reality hits me when I least expect it. Jack doesn’t seem to interact well with the kids in the gym daycare, and the young guy who’s often working in there made a pointed note today to tell me kids in that room were supposed to be at least 2 and potty trained. I’m guessing someone has caught sight of the pull-ups Jack wears. And it’s a scenario like that, which really is pretty minor (I don’t give a shit what some teenager thinks he can judge me about), that catches me off guard and unprepared. A small wave, but one nonetheless.

I was discussing this ebb and flow recently with another autie mom, and I started feeling guilty about the fact that I totally dropped the ball this summer. I’ve swung so far from the micromanaging view of ‘curing’ him that I’ve taken the neurodiverse school-of-thought to the point of pretending there’s nothing different about Jack at all. And that’s just not true, nor is it fair to Jack. I should have gotten him in a structured playgroup or something, because he has noticeably regressed in some areas. I should have probably not tried to push swim lessons on him when I *knew* beforehand it would be an unhappy experience for him. Mostly I should have spent the money on speech therapy; I’m not trained to help him with that (even if he would let me).

And I know I’ve been extremely sensitive thinking people are assuming things are either better or worse than I describe. (Just thinking of it in those terms invalidates the idea that this really could be reality.) Jon’s mom refuses to admit something’s different, and my mom has hinted that I should prepare for Jack not going to college or getting married. My wonderful friends attempt to boost my morale by telling me how their kids do things ‘just like Jack’, when really that serves to make me feel more isolated. My blogs and themes throughout the months swing wildly between pretending there’s nothing to see here, everything’s fine, and feeling like I am barely keeping the poor kid afloat. And that wears me out, aside from not being very productive.

So. Although I realize this is out of left field, it’s really not, and unfortunately (coincidentally, fatefully, thankfully) is tantamount to our autism lives. I’m sure if I really thought hard I’d probably admit writing this makes me have to be accountable, because I’ve aknowledged slacking off, y’know? And I know I can throw a pity party like few can, but I also want to say all this so that I admit I need to be more honest when I feel things, so that my emotions don’t go nutso when I keep them in. I have a right to what I’m feeling, and I don’t think I’ll be able to really really be the best for Jack until I stop worrying how it looks.

So I’ll just stop caring what anyone thinks. Real soon. 😉

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