Autism Daddy has talked a bit about hating autism. At first, I didn't understand it. I love Autism Daddy, I love his page, I love his blog. At first, I was confused about what he was saying until this post, to which I responded...
Autism Daddy is right on again. I love Alex, I love who he is, I love him unconditionally but if I didn't have a black eye right now because he smacked me with his sippy cup, I would love that. If I didn't have a bruise on my arm because he knocked me out of my chair yesterday, I would love that. If I didn't have to clean the bathroom floor, bedroom carpet and bleach the tub today- I would love that too. You can admit you don't like the autism without saying you don't like your kid. and it's ok. Thank you, Autism Daddy for putting that into perspective for me :)
Pooping Red Guy and friends responded too, right here. and no surprise, I had something to say to that too...
Just because we don't like the autism and may admit to it online with other parents who understand our feelings because they are right there too, does not mean our children have ANY clue how we feel about it. When I started hearing AD talk about hating the autism, I was a little upset, kinda shocked that he would say such a thing because Alex's autism is part of Alex. How do you separate that? But the post you are talking about cleared it up for me, helped me understand what he was saying. I love Alex, but I don't like him painting me with poop and snot. I love Alex but I don't like freaking out because someone left the door open. I love Alex but I don't like that feeling in the pit of my stomach when I look up and cannot see him hiding behind a family member followed by my scream- ohmyGod!! WHERE IS ALEX!? I love him and there are parts of his autism I do like- his rocking is adorable. but there are some that I hate.
Alex does not know, my husband does not know, my other children do not know that I hate autism. I hate autism are three words I would NEVER speak out loud. I'm glad AD gave us a chance to admit it in "secret".
I thought I was done with it, I had spoken my piece on it and that was that. Apparently not. I just read this post from Rebel Souls.
***First off, anything I have to say here does not reflect how I feel about ANY of these people, especially Autism Daddy and Rebel Souls. I love them both dearly and I follow Rebel Souls closer than I follow most. I love that woman very much. She has a beautiful outlook on life and she makes me smile. She is not clueless, she lives both ends of the spectrum. She lives the good parts and bad parts and knowing this, I respect what she says.
But I don't think it's as clear cut as love and hate. or maybe it is just as murky as love and hate. love and hate are separated by a fine line. There's not all that much difference between them. They are both very strong emotions that you only have when you CARE. I just don't think this issue is black and white or even things we only feel for the children with autism. I can't say I hate autism but I can't say I love it either. Autism for me is a mixture of all of it. There are good parts, there are bad parts, but that's with all people. it's called being human.
- I hate fighting with my husband over kids. Does that mean I hate my husband? That all parts of marriage suck and I want a divorce?
- If I hate the fact that my 17-soon-to-be-18year old just screamed at me last night that I have never done anything for him, does that mean I hate the 17-soon-to-be-18year old? Does that mean that all parts of having a 17-soon-to-be-18year old totally suck and I don't want him anymore?
- I hate that my 16-soon-to-be-17 year old thinks now that he's almost his brother's age he can do what he wants when he wants and we shouldn't say anything about it because, well, bubby did it. Does that mean I hate my 16-soon-to-be-17 year old? That I don't love him?
- I hate that my 11-soon-to be-12 year old is getting a teenage attitude of why do I have to? Does that mean I hate my 11-soon-to be-12 year old? That I don't want him?
- I hate that my 5-soon-to-be-6 year old throws temper tantrums, doesn't listen, screams and calls names. Does that mean I don't love anything about him?
Having a child with autism isn't all that different from the rest. There are parts of it that I don't like but there are parts that I love. and that is ok. It does not mean I don't love my child. It means I am human. It means he is human. I choose to recognise that the people I love have faults. They are not perfect, they act out, they do things I don't like, some days they drive me insane but I love them.
I don't think the issue is as clear cut as the all encompassing "I hate autism", I think that phrase, giving a name to the behaviors and the struggles is as close as we can get to expressing our perfectly normal feelings. I think that the parts of autism we hate are ok. I wish he could tell me why he's upset. I wish he could get off the bus, come running in the door and say, "Mom, guess what happened at school!" Hell, I'd settle for "Mom, I love you." I wish he was potty trained, I wish he could use a spoon, I wish he could dress himself. I wish I could take him to something as simple as a family gathering without worrying for weeks ahead of time trying to figure it out. I wish I didn't need gates and locks, I wish I could relax, I wish I didn't have to be in arm's reach at all times. I wish he could grow up to live on his own, fall in love, have children. I wish I could have the chance to dance with him at his wedding. I hate that autism has taken these things away from him but I can't say "I hate autism." same as I can't say "I love autism." It is what it is and I love my boy just so. Doesn't mean I like everything he does, just means I love my son.