There’s nothing I’ve experienced like autism to infinitely change the way I think about everything in any direction possible. Politics, Religion, Love, and Family are just a few subjects on which my perspectives have changed. But nothing shapes the way we love and live like our experiences in families. And nothing affects families more than something like autism.
Families have forged together since In The Beginning. Each member’s perspectives swirl into a recipe for defining family. We pour our passions and fears to flavor.
Today I lost my equilibrium and yelled at my eldest child. He woke up and reported in his deep, booming monotone he didn’t think it was a bad day or a good day; it just needed to be organized. I took that as a cue for him needing his schedule in order to reduce anxiety. I told him to bring his clipboard. I helped him make a schedule for his morning. When he saw it was finished, he started to lash out using an old script of his. “I don’t want to eat now I want to have a relaxing day I don’t need workers stop telling me what to do…” He wound up and pitched a fit. Instead of using a cool-mom Kung Fu side-step, I took the emotional hit and struck back with my own tired script.
Sustaining and nourishing the family are jobs that require getting out of my own way. When I can do that, I sometimes get a glimmer of what the children see. The sense of time passing is different from mine. They seem to experience moments as loosely strung, at perilous angles on diaphanous chains. Their perceptions morph and crystallize into one-of-a-kind hanging gems, sometimes beautiful, and sometimes terrifyingly raw.
I keep trying to glance through this trinity of soul-clutched kaleidoscopes; I become pliable and shape-shift through their moments. I am a translator.
Somehow I think if I can keep looking to understand, I will figure out how to break down the barriers in them and then also in me. The strongholds of autism are social, communication, and restricted behavior. My own strongholds are far less well-defined and not as pervasive, but perhaps more insidious.
To struggle in a world that cannot understand you fully and you cannot fully understand is maddeningly frustrating! Even with the glimpses I’ve been given, I will never know what that feels like. My desire for my children’s healing now races with a new desire for my family to be made whole.
I ask Forgiveness. I forgive.