“All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty back together again” so says the famous nursery rhyme, a verse that describes my grief, frustration at not being help to help my son build the kind of life he wants. You see, my tall, gentle voiced 23 yr old son has Autism. I’ve tried to put this post together 100 times at least, thoughts running thru my head like “how can I write this in a way that respects my adult child?” “what if my readers get turned off, isn’t this site about product review?” No, this site isn’t just about product reviews, this site is about my life, the people & things I love, my passions, my joys, my sorrows..everything.
“Your son is Autistic”.. the day the Doctor spoke those words to me, it was like the world came to an end,grief, frustration,rage, guilt & fear engulfed me.. what had I done that could have caused this? How could I help & protect this perfect cherub faced little boy? What could I do to put this little boy back together again? I vividly remember standing outside alone one night in the pouring rain, screaming my rage at the heavens .. it was a very dark, bleak, lonely place to live,coping was difficult.
Flash forward, time passes, you learn to cope with the business of daily living, you narrow your parenting focus to one little area at a time in order to avoid flinging yourself back into that pit of of despair .. other parents of 2 yr olds are thinking ahead to little league you’re fixated on speech therapists hoping to hear the word “Mama” other parents are excitedly buying cub scout uniforms, you’re thrilled that your 6 yr old managed to not slam his head into anything hard enough requiring an ER visit. Life becomes concrete, practical.. occasionally the curtain that is autism lifts for a minute, you can clearly see your child, the person he is, the person he could be.. long enough to keep you motivated, keep you trying anything, everything to put this child back together again. The pain of the initial diagnosis fades into the background of daily life concerns
Then one day, haltingly, with eyes downcast, your now adult baby says “The others, the people I know, they’re finished college.. I am so far behind” the curtain that is Autism lifts once again to show you your child… and he’s hurting & hurting badly. You fumble to find words to comfort, his leaning to you stiff shouldered for a hug tells you he’s beside himself with grief & sadness. You manage to mumble positive sounding words about how far he’s come, how hard he’s worked,while still giving him the respect of acknowledging his reality, he’s never had a job, a girlfriend, never driven a car.. .. trying your very best not to fall apart in front of him.. trying not to slip back into that abyss, that vile stew of emotions that every parent of a disabled child chokes down every single day. He relaxes, he accepts some coco & a snack. You head to the porch where you sit with your head in your hands, a sobbing shaking mess, transported back 21 yrs to that dark, hopeless place. You once again scream at the heavens but this time you know not to expect an answer.. you wipe your eyes, blow your nose, you head back inside with that damn nursery rhythm echoing thru your head. “All the king’s horses and all the king’s men” my god I would give anything to help make this young man whole again.