Friday, May 15, 2009

No Duh

Now, come on, people, clearly (undeniably, indubitably, and OBVIOUSLY) a year later, I KNOW the rooster has AUTISM. He has it, I name it, I say it every day in copious contexts. I write about it. I have a freakin' BRACELET about it, if you want to get down to brass tacks. It's pretty matter of fact: Rooster? Has autism. Not the end of the world, just the facts.

So, this is a real question for you: Why, when someone else states it, as a matter of course (in contexts like, "Yes, that is fairly common in children with autism..."), WHY does it still throw me? No, not rhetorical, because I can't quite seem to GET it, and I just know that you do, and that you can say it to me, and it won't hurt the way this thing I'm telling you hurts, smarts, stings. Help me make some sense...

I'm saying to you that on a regular basis a therapist or doc or whoever will be talking about my child and simply toss in that he has autism and so this or that thing is common and my BRAIN kind of tailspins, and my heart kind of spasms, and, well, I don't know why I get mental hives or whatever, but it's shocking to me that I experience this emotional response, when, in fact, I'm well aware that he HAS AUTISM. You know? Like, I thought I did the whole nine yards, up to an including acceptance, but maybe not so much?

And there is this: my son has always had stick straight hair. Blonde. My hair could best be described as a mess of curly. Auburn. Before his diagnosis, I remember I'd joke with people, "Who can believe that I have a blonde child with straight hair who doesn't talk much?" We all got a good laugh at that one, at the unruliness of my sproingy reddish hair (rather similar to my husband's but exponentially BIGGER), and the randomness of genetics. Well, one day a couple of months ago, the boy woke up, wandered into our room, and left us speechless. My husband finally remarked, "Where did those CURLS come from?" Everyone we see seems to want to know the same thing lately. Why did the Rooster's hair wake up four and a three quarters years old with the curls I had once expected to be a given? And why, ever since those still-blonde curlicues appeared, have I halfway expected him to suddenly talk to me in fluid prose, eye to eye, heart to heart, nary a script or a meltdown to be seen for miles? That's just dumb.

Have I just gone crazy? Am I in the most pathetic state of denial you ever did see?

Do you ever feel the same?
And how exactly can I get over myself? I'm bugging me.


pixiemama said...

Oh, darlin. I think we all go through this to some extent. It happens to me all the time. The worst for me was watching "Autism the Musical" and seeing so much Foster in each of those kids. It knocked the wind out of me, left me sobbing. And J had no idea what to say ... The second worst was when we went to a neurologist to get a second opinion about Foster's fairly extreme hypotonia and when I told the doctor that what we really wanted was to be sure that we were doing everything we could to help Foster as much as possible and she said that his diagnosis is simply "autism." Really? What did I think she was going to say, for pete's sake?

Have a great time today. Truly.


redheadmomma said...

Great questions!

All I wanted to say is that I got the news of Noah's dx in August 2003. I went into action mode, and fumbled around for a while and finally started to really grieve in my blog, started November 2005. It's a long process. You're way ahead of where I was; you're blogging & really venting & feeling, whereas I was just doing crazy behavior with my friends and not knowing why I was doing it.

I think we all have some deep, lingering hope that something will happen and they'll snap out of it.
It also might be the neutrality that it's talked about with that professional. It's just kind of laid out with no emotion attached to it. Cold.

Just throwing thoughts out to you. SUCH a great blog post. XO R

PBear said...

Well, for the hair - my dad was white blond as a toddler - then it turned BLACK. Charcoal, not just very very very dark brown, like mine is. So strange things have been known to happen. :-)

For the other - I think that we all have this happen. It's all very well for US to think (and even say) things about our kids - whether they be problems such as a crooked nose, or too many freckles, or too many pounds - or OCD, or ASD, or any of a host of other things. But when someone ELSE says them, no matter who it is - beloved parent, friend, teacher, doctor - it just raises that protective defensiveness in us. That can't be MY child you are talking about (even as you are cleaning up after the tantrum in question.)

Betty and Boo's Mommy said...

This happens to me, still, five years after getting the autism diagnosis. I read something one time about this (and I'm not remembering where, exactly ... sorry). I think it has to do with mind-heart connection, the logical and the emotional. You know the Rooster has autism, yet the heart wishes and hopes otherwise. I look at Boo and on the days he amazes me or I remember what it was like in those "black hole days" of early diagnosis, it's almost as if I forget, for a moment, that he has autism. And then, as you wrote, I will hear the words, see a report, come across something from that time. And the wounds re-open all over again.

Does this make any sense at all? Hope so. If anything, know that I (and I suspect many others) truly do understand.

kristi said...

I SO get this post. My heart hurts sometimes too like when some lady told my sister she KNEW something was wrong with TC when I brought him into her store.
It sort of made me mad too because he just sat on the floor playing with his car...typical little boy behavior!