Recently I posted a pic with a statement on a Facebook support group for parents with kids with Autism.
“Ok, so I am getting real here, lol. I know not everyone is going to agree with me and that is ok. We all arrive to different conclusions at different times in our lives and for very different reasons. So I have teens that are almost adults on the far end of the Autism Spectrum, the severe end. Non-verbal, self stimulating, repetitive, fixated behaviours, and some self injurious ones too. We have pretty much experienced all that can be experienced in the “what to expect” book of Autism if one such book exists. There really should be one of those books BTW! Anyways, so much of my life has been the struggle of being an Autism mama and wanting to just be a normal mama. Not that there is anything wrong with being an Autism mama but sometimes I get overwhelmed with Autism and I just need to escape so I have normal mama friends and to them sometimes I am normal mama too and it’s fun. But sometimes normal mamas don’t understand so it is also great to have Autism mama friends as well. But the struggle has been how much do I bring out the Autism mama among my normal mama friends. I do it a lot to tell you the truth, trying to educate everyone about my struggles so that they can understand better. But I think somewhere along the line, I have lost myself. I would like to think that my identity is not in the struggle with Autism though much of life is exactly that, I don’t want my boys to think that the struggle is what has become me. I think I would like myself better if this statement were true of me. Again, I don’t think everyone is going to agree.”
We went to a wedding yesterday. There weren’t other parents there of kids with Autism at least not in the circle of friends we were hanging out with. We had a good time and only once did I mention the “Autism” thing when I said that we needed to take out a small loan to hire babysitters for our 9 hour wedding date day.
We then moved on to conversations about husband’s underwear, travelling, tattoos and puns about the ring bearer and “Frodo”. We had a great night and after we left the reception, we took advantage of having the sitters and went for an evening drive around the countryside. We weren’t “Autism parents” for about 9 hours and it was fun, it was refreshing and we woke up with our boys this morning back in our roles with big happy grins and recharged for the day of caring for our guys.