Autism; they’re not the only ones in the quick-sand
My daughter has autism. My daughter has autism. My daughter has autism. My daughter is BRILLIANT, beautiful beyond words, has a heart of pure GOLD and she has AUTISM with a capital “A”.
There are no doubt legions of acquaintances and family members who would argue with me on that point simply BECAUSE she is brilliant, beautiful and has a heart of gold. But none the less she fits an overwhelmingly majority of the key characteristics to a tee. This is VERY hard for me to “admit” in writing, as if I’m betraying my daughter at the very core of who she is. But it’s not a character flaw is it? No, no, no, no, no. I tell myself this a thousand times a day (as if to reassure myself) in hopes that reminding myself will serve ME in someway to be a better mom FOR her.
What I fight against almost every minute of the day is the nagging thought that she’s “fine” and that I’ve somehow put all this upon her, over time by NOT being there for her in her darkest hours of her infancy and her toddler hood. And I don’t mean physically. I mean that because of my own spiritual and emotional brokenness I wasn’t here for her CORE. That because I was so lost in my own garbage that I wasn’t able to pull her out of the slow moving whirlpool of not being able to reference, not knowing where she was at in time and space, and the inability to “read”people and situations. There’s a HUGE part of me that knows that this line of thinking is no doubt helping me stay stuck and that the mud will only grow thicker and murkier and yet in the middle of another meltdown, in the middle of another episode of her word-smithing every word that comes from my mouth, in the middle of her interpreting everything SO literally and the utter exhaustion that comes from it all, I DO wonder.
So what if she’s NEVER been able to establish or maintain eye contact (which I now know to be just “window dressing” on the house of dynamic emotion sharing relationships), so what if she was born in complete sensory crisis, was there something in the fabric of her formative early months that I could have “done”. All those paralyzing questions prevent me from living in the here and now. And the here and now is where she needs me.