I seek not sympathy, nor cry for help. I share merely for the sake of sharing, in the hope of fostering a deeper understanding of AUTISM. Autism defines me and has sculpted my life since my son was born almost 18 years ago. Autism is a bitch! Up until recently, I felt sure that I had been chosen to raise my special son; but now, feeling depleted and almost hopeless, it often feels like we (he and I) have been punished. We discuss and fear reincarnation, for fear of ever returning.
Raising my beautiful, special son has been an all-encompassing experience, into which I have invested every fiber of my being, in terms of adoring love, complete acceptance, and limitless efforts to give him the skills to live the most independent and richest life possible. He and I are as close as breathing. We feel each other on a deeply intuitive level, understand each other completely, and can actually very often complete each other’s thoughts and sentences. He is my life’s work through caring, nursing, educating, teaching, exposing, healing, advocating, and in being his best friend – someone he can truly depend on, for as long as I breathe. I am his compass.
Now at age 56, with my body showing signs of wear and tear, and my energy-depleting, I understand completely that there is nothing more to my life than getting my son to be at the highest level he can be, and when the time is right, into the safest and best assisted living home I can find for him, so that when I leave this Earth, I can at least know he is in safe hands. Every morning, my prayer is for him to meet a mate similar to himself, and to be able to enjoy a happy life.
As the years go by, in spite of seeing him through eyes filled with love and admiration, I find my hopes and dreams altered. I’m still trying to figure out how to absorb this pain of trying to come to terms with a reality that there is no escaping from.
In as much as his desire for a girlfriend or driving a car are denied him, being granted the pleasure of seeing my son live life wholly and fully, getting married, blessing me with a grandchild, is denied me.
Days are fraught with challenges both big and small, but I know that for him I have to stay strong. I have to get up each day, put a smile on my face, and be the mom he needs me to be, regardless of how crushed or sad I may feel inside.
Nights are spent alone in the dark, restlessly wide-eyed, trying to extinguish a thousand concerns, a thousand times over, whilst trying to comfort myself.
I remind myself that there are others with bigger challenges, and I continue to celebrate every accomplishment and rejoice in the moments of hope and happiness, but this is not a life worth living.
I gave my son life, and watching him suffer is devastating to me. I would take it all on for him, if only I could.
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