January 10, 2010

The Long Journey to Autism Acceptance

It has been over a year since I began this blog, and the journey has been one of great learning for me.

Like most parents raising a child or children on the spectrum, I found myself going through various stages. I felt myself going through motions that seemed so foreign to me because I didn’t want anyone to look at me and think, “Oh my! There goes ANOTHER mom not doing EVERYTHING to rid her life of autism!”.

I’ve re-read my blog. And what I saw, in my earlier posts, was that it was actually me who was looking to be accepted by others by doing things that didn’t seem like the right choices for me and my son. Nor was I thinking about the impact my words would have on my son when he would be old enough to read my blog AND understand what I’ve written.

He may not comprehend that the blog has been a journal of sorts… a journal of my emotions, my thoughts, my many opinions, and even sadly my own judgments of others.

What he would see is a person going about life, talking the talk, but not fully walking the walk. He would have questions… oh, so many questions, and I would be the only person he would turn to for answers. After all, these are my words.

I actually thought if I wasn’t doing everything-in-my-power-to-recover-my-son-from-the-clutches-of-this-despicable-disease-that-had-supposedly-sucked-his-soul-from-his-precious-body-God-knows-when, that I must be failing him.

There were many times when I was angry at myself; I was frustrated for allowing these feelings to surface.

But more so, I was horrified that I allowed myself to be influenced by what others were doing and saying, and not following my own instincts. I wasn’t listening to my own inner guidance, and I damn sure wasn’t listening to my son.

I am thankful for the transitions I’ve taken these past 14 months, but I am most grateful for the people who helped me get to this point.

I am particularly grateful to Andrew, my ex-husband… he was a supportive and encouraging man. It’s because of him that I even wrote then published my book… which eventually led me to starting this blog.

The lessons I’ve learned from the people who have come in and out of my life have all been profound. Even during those times when I was kicking and screaming and not wanting to hear a word that was being said.

I am also grateful for the challenges that have presented themselves… although, it took me a while to figure it out, but I am actually wicked jazzed God gave me these linebacker shoulders. They’ve given me the power to burden many painful moments and tackle several obstacles.

Living with autism hasn’t always been a dream come true. Hell, living with myself every day hasn’t been a real peach either! But I know this to be true with EVERY fiber of my being… having “autism” in my life has been an absolute joy.

One thing’s for sure… they don’t call it growing for nothing. Life is about the journey and not just the destination.

I’ve never known love the way I do now… love of self and love for others!

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