Almost everyone I know has been wonderful with the news of R’s Autism
In fact, I often say we meet a nicer type of people in the special needs worlds and encounter a nicer side of people in the typical world
But on a rare occasion, I get to experience a brand of sympathy that I find especially hurtful
The kind that assumes my life is all doom and gloom
“ I know you are just putting on a brave face.. I dont know how you do it” a friend told me when I told them I was okay in the early days of finding out , “I know you can’t really be okay .. its okay to mourn… you can tell me like it really is ”
Its as though the new rules, for my life as the mother of a special needs child, are to develop a gritty forbearance.
A sort of shouldering-my-burden with a make-lemonade-when-life-hands-you-lemons strength
As though I don’t have the permission to be happy and proud any more
But it’s not like that
Its not gloom and doom at all
For R is a child of endless charm.
A dream come true, as I tell him everyday
And I am a very lucky mother
(Its a lot of work but work does not preclude joy)
In the sisterhood of special needs mamas that tell our stories in our blogs, we have been talking about authenticity lately
A need to tell the whole story
Not just the good bits
Also the bad bits
Its as though we are saying – here is all the detritus, all the rotten stuff- now that you know this whole complete story of me – do you still love me?
This has made me reflect on the way I tell my story
Do I pick only the shiny, pretty bits and pieces of my story?
Do I gloss over the hard bits?
I don’t think so
I really do experience my life in the way I talk about it
But the truth is that there are many true stories about the same thing
All truths are only versions
For everybody says it like it is
Like it is to them
So I speak my truth, the complete truth and nothing but the truth
When I tell you that life is good
And I am okay
K writes about her life as the mother of a charming 5 year old at her blog Floortime Lite Mama