It’s surprising to me that I’m still stuck here, camping out on the outskirts of acceptance. I already thought I’d moved through this stage – in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. *Ever since his diagnosis in the Fall of 2007, I seem to mark my years from one Fall to the next.* We took him in for evaluations; we knew something had to explain his struggles. But it still came as a shock when they said, “he has autism”.
I just can’t believe I’m still dealing with acceptance. I’ve been through this. I’ve had the heart to heart with my husband, every year. I’ve admitted, “it’s not going away” – as much as I dreamed and hoped it would. It looks different now than it did when he was three, and that’s a major part of the struggle – never knowing what next year will bring for him and how it will affect him.
But why do I still ask myself – will it go away … someday?
The problem with still asking myself that is twofold. It delays true acceptance, which I thought I had but the opposite keeps rearing its ugly head. And it means my children, my family, are living in a holding pattern. This is so complex, it’s hard for me to even approach it via a blog. It’s just not as simple as … tell him, the knowledge will help him own it, will help him to better understand himself, and it’ll help his siblings to be more understanding. Oh sure, that’s the neat and tidy happily-ever-after ending to this situation. But I don’t have fairytale kids. I have REAL kids. What if it all blows up in my face? Older brother becomes less understanding, more condescending? What if my son with autism spirals into a state of pity? What if he thinks less of himself because now he really understands why his sister, four years younger, is doing and saying and understanding some things that are still hazy for him?
There should be an emoticon (one of those cute email smiley face emotions) for sighing. Insert Emoticon: Mom, tired from always worrying about an unknown future for her child. I used to appreciate the puzzle symbol for autism. I still do, it speaks volumes. But I also loathe it. It kills me that I have no idea how autism will affect him as he grows, how it will present in his life.
I am thankful I have God walking ahead of me, and my Owen, and the peace that comes from Him alone. But the struggle remains daily … accepting this life and the unknown that comes with it, forever.