autism

FINALE

RingAnd…done.

Short and sweet.  In and out.  The worst year of my life finally comes to a close — one week(ish) after my fourteenth anniversary.

I don’t know if I really have anything profound to say, or even meaningful, except that I am officially unmarried (not divorced as we opted for dissolution).

I am not going to insult my ex-wife or vent my rage and sorrow over this messy affair any longer.  There will be no parties or celebratory exclamations or anything of that nature.  Just me, a bottle of Booker’s, some fond memories and, most importantly, the promise of tomorrow.

My ex-wife may have done things to hurt me, and she may not be apologetic for what she’s done (nor do I expect her to be), but I enjoyed being married.  Yes, even to her.  In spite of all that’s happened, all that’s been said and done, I believe her to be a good person at heart and a dedicated mother.

And let’s be honest, I made mistakes, too.

There was a time when I loved her deeply, even if the feeling wasn’t mutual in the end.  A part of me will always love her, I think.  I did not make the choice to marry her lightly or without due consideration as some have assumed.  We were together for a number of years prior to tying the knot.  We didn’t make hasty decisions.

We thought it’s what we wanted.

We thought it would last.

We had hoped, anyway.

That said, there were some good years (I think) and we still have children together, including one with special needs.  They’re all that matter at this point.  And that’s the real tragedy here, that two people couldn’t (or wouldn’t, to be more accurate) work passed their differences and prevent yet another family from being torn apart.

I don’t know what else to say…except c’est la vie.

There’s nowhere to go from here but up.

At least, that’s what they tell me.

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SECRETS

My little girl knows a secret.

She knows how many licks it takes to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop.

We’ve watched in silent wonder as she meticulously, deliberately, unerringly mines each lollipop to the chocolate treasure hidden within, stripping away layer after layer of the hardened, confectionery shell with a determination not often seen in nature apart from that of a grizzly sow defending her cubs.

She does not bite.  She does not chew.  She does not graze a single tooth.

My little girl knows a secret.

She knows how many licks it takes to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop.

And she’s not telling.

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RAGE AGAINST THE SPECTRUM

Oh, look, I have a fucking brain tumor.  It must be a gift from God!

You probably wouldn’t being saying that were it to actually happen.   Right?   Of course you wouldn’t.   That’s just stupid.  Then why are so many parents of children on the autism spectrum praising the condition in such a way?

These people do not speak for me.  I am at war with autism, and I may never defeat this terrible enemy, but I will never stop fighting.  I’m not gonna wrap myself up in it as though it were a warm blanket.  I’ll accept it because I have to — cautiously like a blanket poisoned with Small Pox.  But I’ll never make peace with it.  And to those of you that disagree, I’ve got one word for you:   Denial.

Denial.   Denial.   Denial.

How many times must I say it before it finally sticks?  Do whatever you can in order to make your child’s life a fulfilling and productive one.  Do everything in your power to make them understand that you love them, for it is a far better thing we do by offering endless compassion, understanding, patience, resources and opportunity than it is to mask our pain with lies.  What’s that word again?  Oh yeah…

Denial.

It is not a crime to hate a disease or an injury or a condition that takes your child away from you.  That does not make it impossible to love the child.  Stop deluding yourself into thinking that we must heap praise upon the spectrum.  It is not a divine gift.

Instead, rage against the spectrum.  Use that rage to heighten awareness, to aid in the discovery of an actual cause or causes, and to better develop treatment and therapy that will improve our children’s lives.  Turn that rage into action.  Go out of your way for your child.  Love them unconditionally.  Rage against the spectrum.  Hate it like you hate cancer.

Pretending that autism is something beautiful is the worst fucking joke I’ve ever heard.

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