I realize I have been spending the last few months (years?) whining and telling the story of our lives. It has been therapeutic and necessary for me. Writing is how I process and release. Getting responses and reinforcement, well, that’s been somewhat of a support group. But I realize we are reaching a point in our journey I need to look past myself and how I/we are handling E-man’s spectrum disorder and its effects on our family.
I have learned so much about parenting, and about myself, in the last two years. Granted, I could have happily lived the rest of my life without ever having such an intimate relationship with autism. Would that it were still just another parent’s burden that I watched from the outside. It’s as if I’ve had to put new glasses on. I see things differently now. I am much more patient. I have learned I must be calm, particularly in the middle of his storms. I have learned empathy, for you never know what another parent is dealing with when you see them for five minutes in the middle of the grocery store while their child is in full meltdown mode. I don’t think I was ever much of a judgmental person. But I have a much clearer understanding of what may be going on behind what might look like a bad parenting situation.
I am more forgiving of myself. I am not perfect. I fail, frequently. We all do. But we start each day, fresh. Some days, we start fresh each hour. I have learned to be much more flexible. I have learned what used to seem necessary very likely isn’t. I have learned it is okay to be humble, it is okay to cry openly, it is okay to admit I have no clue what I’m doing.
This journey isn’t about me now. This is his path, his life. We are not alone. How I handle it, since I choose to put our family’s life on blast, will affect other people. It’s time I stopped using this tool as just my therapy, and made something good come out of this path.