.::My Son and I and Autism::.
I don’t think of his autism/Asperger’s as a disorder or disability… I look at it as something that contributes to the awesomeness and uniqueness that is my son. Though I don’t think of it as a disorder or disability, I do think of it often… I’m often wondering what he’s thinking, how he feels, if I’m doing the right things or making the right decisions with him… It’s sometimes overwhelming. And sometimes, I do get frustrated with him, which makes me feel like the worse person/parent ever. He’s honestly the greatest part of my life, and I know I need his sweet, silly self as much as he needs me. He’s 8 years of age, and it’s been him and me his whole life, and my whole adult life (and part of my late teens). It’s almost as if I can’t remember my life before him… Sure, I have memories. But it’s like, what the fuck was I doing before this wonderful being entered my life?
But I worry about his future… Because he does have issues with social interactions, and he does talk nonstop/unknowingly dominate conversations (which some people find annoying. Fuck those guys), and he doesn’t quite understand certain social boundaries and cues… And he does have very limited and intense interests that he wants to tell you about, but he doesn’t want you to talk—just listen. All these little quirks that I find adorable, not everyone will/does. And that scares me, because he’s barely 8 and he’s already been the victim of bullying. His first brush with that was in kindergarten. He’s already encountered racism, and he’s encountered intolerance for his syndrome. I guess I’m scared because I know that at some point, I’ll no longer be able to protect him.
…And don’t get me wrong, I want him to grow and be an autonomous, productive, compassionate human being… I just don’t want him to be hurt. But I know pain is as much a part of life as joy; and joy wouldn’t even be observable without pain (would it?). As much as I know that, I worry because he loves far harder and more intensely than most others… And when he is attached to someone, that attachment lasts for what seems like forever…
I worry because, I don’t know if I’m doing this right. I don’t always know how to help him; I just go with my instincts & intuitions. I read up on autism/Asperger’s to educate myself as best I can… But I worry I’m not doing it right. And I feel ashamed when I get frustrated or tired. And I’m always super-tense/hypersensitive about making him feel the way so many people have and will about his differences, or “quirks.” Yesterday, I was trying to do school work, but he was talking nonstop, as is his way. When he finished his story, I told him that was the last story for now, because mommy needed to do her schoolwork. He said okay, but then said, "It’s because I talk too much, right, mommy?" And that hit me. It hurt me. Do I make him feel that way? Had someone told him that (they better fucking not had said SHIT)?! I told him, "No, baby. I just need to concentrate on this, and then you can tell me more of your wonderful stories."
I just feel like crying and holding him, because I have no idea what I’m doing and I feel like he deserves better than that… And it’s hard to find resources to help, and I just feel overwhelmed and helpless in this small-minded place with no one who really knows anything about this syndrome.