April 2, 2008 by Marj Hatzell
Howdy, y’all! This is a super-long post (NO WAAAY! DG Posting a long post? Who woulda thunk it?) . If y’all don’t have time to read it now, please come back later. I won’t disappoint. Promise. Pinky swear. Or maybe it will disappoint, in which case I have to tell you. Don’t tell me I suck. I don’t handle rejection well.
Chances are someone you love or someone you know has Autism. Or someone you know or love knows someone or loves someone with Autism. Or, your next-door-neighbor’s cousin’s former roommates knows someone or loves someone with Autism. Or maybe your best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who knows someone or loves someone with Autism. Or maybe you’ve just seen Rainman. Either way, it has touched you in some way, shape or form.
As you know, we’re a bit affected around Casa Del DG. Just a teensy, little bit. A wafer thin. And although I do my best to dwell on the positives and surround myself with people who believe in my little men, sometimes it downright stinks. Literally. Poo stinks. And some days (like today!) I am up to my eyeballs in it. I mean, 99 44/100% of the time I am just fine with it. This is my life, after all. This is what I’ve been given and I’m gonna make the best of it, come H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks or high water. We are happy, loved and don’t need a darn thing. But the other 56/1oo%? Yeah, it’s a little difficult.
Autism is actually a very cool thing. There, I said it. It is intriguing. It is a big freaking mystery. It is inspiring and brings out the passion in me. It makes me a better mother and wife. It makes me take a good look at myself once in a while and say, “SNAP OUT OF IT! YOU DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS SELF PITY!” It also makes me count my blessings, every single one. Without Autism, I doubt my life would be as good as it is today. You see, Autism made me stop and smell the roses. Autism taught me about unconditional love. Autism made me grow up (sorta. Ask my sister, I’m still a big baby.). Autism helps me to see the silver lining, the bright side, the glass-half-full. Autism helped me find God again.
So, I wanna be one of the Autism Mommies that doesn’t tell the whole world how difficult her life is but how awesome it is. Would y’all do me a teensy favor? Pretty please? With sugar on top? Would you just either link to this post, or tell one friend, or post something about being Autism awareness month? I’ll tell you why. See, the whole world of Autism can be political, just like Democrats versus Republicans. And don’t forget about the Independents and the Ralph Naders. We’ve got them, too. There is some hairy, controversial stuff in the Autism world right now. Lotsa angry people. Lotsa people who hate Autism. Lotsa people who want it to go away and find a cure and a cause and blame the government and blame the docs and blame Big Pharma (please don’t do this, the irony is that our bread and butter is Big Pharma!). That is their right. Lotsa people want to give their kids procedures, medicines, supplements, vitamins, special diets and such. That’s their right, too. In fact, there are folks who wanna study it, find out the EXACT CAUSE and why the numbers are rising so much and want to eradicate it. They want to be able to do prenatal testing. They wanna know the genetic link so they can trick Mother Nature.
Now, you may be saying, what’s wrong with getting rid of it? What’s wrong with making your child feel better? What’s wrong with curing them? What’s wrong with eradicating it for future generations? Well, it just so happens that I’m gonna tell you. Because I’m all generous and nice like that. See, while I don’t dispute that sometimes life sucks with Autism, I am gonna argue that no matter what life one gets, one can still find fault with it. Sometimes life just sucks. That’s human nature. So don’t blame Autism. Sometimes life doesn’t seem fair. Who ever said life was fair? I’m here to show you what is RIGHT with Autism. Wanna see? Do you? Look fast, because tomorrow these pics are coming down. You know, Internets security and all that.
(see? Told you. I took most of them down. Sorry ’bout that.)
I have no idea why anyone would want to get rid of that awesomeness right there. (No, you can’t have ’em. NOT YOURS.)
Now, see, I’m the first to acknowledge there is some grieving. There is some pain. Cry for the days you thought you would have. Go ahead, cry. It’s healthy. It’s cathartic. It keeps Kleenex in business. And then you realize you have to get over it and move on. Being sad and depressed and feeling like crap because you heard those words (“You’re child has Autism“) doesn’t help anything. I did that for about two weeks and then I realized I was being a selfish beyotch. It isn’t a death sentence. It isn’t a terminal disease. THERE IS NO SHAME IN AUTISM. Believe it or not, there is hope. Hope that your child will live up to HIS potential. Hope that she will be the best she is MEANT to be. Not what you want. Not want others want. Therapy helps. Sometimes diets help. Sometimes meds help. Heck, even I tried the volcano water (hey, didn’t hurt anything, right?). That was during my ANGER phase. I was angry. Why me? Why us? Couldn’t it be someone who really deserved it?
Why not me?
I deserve this! I couldn’t think of a better person for this job.
If you know someone who needs a friendly ear, a good cry or a big hug, let them know I am here. Also? Encourage them to click on some of the Autism Stuff on my sidebar. You can also check some stuff out here. And here. And maybe here. And you know what? I’ll tell them how it really is. How you have to read tons and do tons of research to find out what works best for YOUR family. How I do clean up tons of poo. How I have a lake in my backyard. How I long to hear his voice. How I wish the Bug Boy would just stop with the meltdowns. How I have this neurotic dog.
And how I have a totally awesome life, thanks to Autism.
See? It isn’t all bad. In fact, it’s really, really good.