Posts tagged ‘anger’
Fixing or curing C’s autism has never been on my radar screen. His health and happiness are all that’s important to me, and in helping his health, his autism has taken some hits along the way. I’ve wished away the challenges autism has made him face, although I also see the flip side of his becoming a better person for having weathered those challenges.
During a particularly difficult period a few years back, I visited a therapist who told me to get angry at the autism. I puzzled away at that for months, never coming to a resolution. How could I be angry at the autism? C is autism and autism is C just as much as he is sweet and has dimples. It’s just part of who he is, and being angry at it seems counter-intuitive to me.
However, I recently understood what it meant to be angry at autism. For once in C’s life, I found myself so angry at something that happened that I wanted it all to go away. I wanted him to be a typical kid, a kid who never would’ve been put through this. More than anything, with a fury and desire I’ve never felt before, I wanted his autism to be gone.
The feeling was gone almost as quickly as it came, but I suspect I’ll always remember where I was and what was happening when I felt it. In that moment, all I wanted was that one word that is so rightfully taboo in our world because it is such a wrong word. In that moment, I just wanted him to be normal. But then the feeling went away, and back I went to my normal, in which everything just IS.
I’ve seen autism do many things to many families, and more specifically, to many mothers. I’ve been struck by two types of mothers I’ve seen, and I can see how it can go either way.
First, the Mom who has such a grasp on her own kids and how they function. She recognizes the difference between autism behavior and kid behavior. She has the delightful ability to advocate for her children without being confrontational, and I envy her that skill. While killing the school staff with kindness, she manages to get what her kids need into their IEPs (Individual Education Plan) and probably makes the IEP team members think it was all their idea in the first place. She is calm, cool, collected, and I want to be around her in the hopes some of it will rub off.
The second Mom, (sadly, I’ve seen many more of these), breaks my heart. She is beaten down, either by difficulties with her child, frustrations with the school system or the inability to find any doctor who can help. Recently at a meeting for parents with special needs children, she spoke her piece, shaking with anger and rage, and stormed out of the room. I didn’t know whether to be relieved or to cry, and frankly, it made me feel horribly lucky and terribly sad for her at the same time.
I can see how it could go either way for many parents. We struggle so to help our children, to make sure they are getting what they need in life and school. Nothing is what we thought it would be, but we of course adore our children. We try to maintain a balance between the time we want to spend with them just playing with no agenda and the time we need to spend with them teaching them important life skills. We stay up late researching, sorting through medical bills, trying to read lab reports, and all the while trying to make sure we are taking care of everything else in our lives.
But I know which Mom I want to be.
I don’t think I’ve ever really hit anger. I’ve certainly been angry at people along the way; a teacher who walked out of the room chuckling while I was struggling to get my tantrum-ing child out of the building, a superintendent who saw no problem placing a charter high school in the special needs preschool facility, the ob-gyn who didn’t take my autoimmune issues seriously. I’ve just never been angry at the world, at God, at whatever powers gave me this challenge.
I suppose that sounds pious, but believe me, it’s not.
I guess I just don’t feel like I deserve to be angry. (File that under the “it could be so much worse” saying.) I’m almost afraid if I allow myself to get angry perhaps it will in fact get so much worse. I suppose that places me squarely into a category of people who try to fly under the radar for fear of being noticed by some all powerful being who equalizes things when they get out of balance. There’s another part of me who prays to God not to teach me any more lessons, not to send me any more character building experiences, not to give me any more challenges through which I must find the way. It’s not that I don’t need any more of those things, but frankly I’m kind of tired.