TRIGGER WARNING: Autistic meltdowns and hurting hearts.
We are still recovering from a level orange fit on Wednesday.
I wouldn’t call it a meltdown because he was responding to me, but he was still out of control. Manic. Painfully aggressive.
And it makes me think a lot about all of this autism awareness.
Because there are many beautiful things about My Boy.
No more or less beautiful, I believe, than any other mother sees in a beloved child.
But the hardest part for me about having this blog is finding the balance.
How much do we idolize the beauty?
Deny the painful?
When mothers speak about being overwhelmed or traumatized or sick over their children, they are so often attacked.
As if their emotions and experiences are invalid.
As if they should always and ever be relishing that their child is autistic.
Here’s a truth for you: You cannot tell another person what to feel when they experience emotional pain.
We shout from the rooftops everyday to accept our children and embrace their differences and respect their feelings.
And mothers who are doing that very thing are unable to discuss THEIR differences or THEIR feelings and be treated with respect.
It’s a double standard.
It needs to stop.
You don’t know what I should or should not feel.
You don’t know what I should or should not think.
I should be able to voice my fears.
I should be able to voice my sadness.
I should be able to be just as respected as my child.
I watch my child thrash.
And bang his head until he has bruises and scratches.
I listen to him scream.
I see his tears and his gut wrenching and heartbreaking meltdowns.
I battle with the gray area between tantrums and meltdowns and struggle with where the lines cross of what he knows and what he can control.
I advocate for him.
I cry for him.
Do I love him unconditionally? Absolutely!
But to say that I am not allowed to wish he had been given an easier life would, in my opinion, render me cold and heartless.
He is a child. And he suffers.
Whatever gifts he has do not lessen the pain that he feels.
Whatever brilliance is in him does not lessen his anxiety.
There is nothing that I can do to give him a pain free childhood.
Do not tell me not to wish I could.
Tell me that these moments that rip apart my heart and soul can be healed by the beauty of the quiet times.
Tell me that the miracle he is can soothe the anger in my core that he must suffer.
Tell me that I am strong enough to wish and hope and pray for the happy times and that all that energy will get me through the bad ones.
Tell me that the things we do have, communication and affection and love, will make up for the things we don’t, peace and confidence and easy days.
Tell me that it’s okay to not embrace the pain.
But to keep embracing him.
Tell me that I may not always feel the way I feel today. About Autism. About myself. About our journey.
Guide us if you can.
Tell me that even if you don’t understand,
You’ll accept me anyway.
You’ll accept him anyway.
You’ll accept us.
Because he and I?
We are a package deal.
Screenshots of a poorly shot video taken while trying to keep My Boy calm enough to get him somewhere safe.
And no, it isn’t fun. And yes, it’s important.