I feel like I'm alone.
I have three kids. I have a husband. I have a caring extended family. I have real life friends and I have friends who live inside my computer. But there are days when I feel like I am sinking and I am all alone.
Way back when I started to suspect that Jack, my middle child, was autistic, I had to walk that road alone. My husband was slow to come around. I had friends and teachers tell me to my face that I was wrong, and, in a couple of memorable examples, crazy for thinking that. I had friends who thought they were making me feel better by dismissing my concerns. "Jack? No, Jack couldn't possibly be autistic."
It was lonely.
Now Jack has a diagnosis and a special education team. My husband, family, and friends all agree that Jack has autism. My friends, online and off, cheer us on when something good happens, and prop us up when something bad happens. But still, sometimes I feel like I am sinking and I am all alone.
It can be lonely.
I spend so much of my life reading and learning about autism. I try to figure out what will work for Jack and what will not. I spend hours every afternoon working, cajoling, and pleading with Jack to get him to do his homework. I drive him 45 minutes each way to a half-hour therapy session each week. I research therapies and brainstorm ways of doing things. I hunt down providers and doctors whom I trust and can afford. I take the brunt of my other kids' frustrations with being witness to or passengers on this same ride. My husband, although intuitively good with all my kids, has never read a parenting book or an autism book. Sometimes I feel like I'm sinking and I am all alone.
It is lonely.
I am so grateful for my support system. I can't imagine what my life would be like without it. And even though parenting an autistic child is hard, I wouldn't change it—or him—for anything. But during the dark times when I don't know what to do and when I don't feel like anyone with the power and ability to make a positive change for Jack is willing to do so, none of it seems to matter.
That's when I feel like I am sinking and I am all alone.
Stimey blogs at Stimeyland (and is usually waaaaayyy cheerier than she is today).
Friday, January 15, 2010
Sometimes It's Lonely
I feel like I'm alone.