Friday, February 7, 2014

Autism Parenting 101: the GUILT

The Deep Down Dirty Secret of Parenting a Child with Autism... The overwhelming and debilitating GUILT.

Its like the ghostly specter in the corner of the room, its always there. Sometimes its more present than other times, but its there it never goes away.

Was it that fast food i ate when i was pregnant?
Was it the fact that i was a #TeenMom and had no clue?
Was it the postpartum depression?
Was it the carbonated drinks i drank?

what did i do???????

Here is sit 12 years later and those questions NEVER go away. Ive heard all the doctors, ive read studies and books, and it never goes away... its always there.

There are definitely several types of guilt in Autism parenting, today im going to talk about the one that no one wants to talk about. That guilt you feel when you find yourself daydreaming about "what if??"

Let me give you a little backstory, I was a young teen mom. The thing that people seem to leave out when they talk about being a parent is that:

not every kid is ok,
not every kid will grow up to backtalk,
not every kid will be drive a car,
not every kid will walk,
not every kid will talk......

These are the types of things that is never mentioned. That is the types of things that is never brought up. These are the things i wish i would have had a grasp on when i got pregnant. Now knowing teenagers im sure i wouldn't have given it much thought, but at least i would have been warned.

I remember the day i was sitting in the geneticist office and she tells me that she doesnt think he will ever speak in full sentences, potty train, drive a car, or live by himself. She said that i need to write a will in case something happens to me leaving clear instructions what i wanted to happen to him when i died, to insure that he wouldn't be placed in a home.  He was 16 months old.

I remember that day very specifically, its not everyday you get news like this. Ive only ever felt that one other time in my life, when he was lost for 2 hours in a mall (ill write about that one later, needless to say i died a little that day). It was like being shot. Its this visceral response like all the blood rushing to my head. My hands and feet went numb first then it moved inward i couldnt feel my limbs and there was this high pitch ringing in my ears, and i was stunned just like after a car accident.

Within a few days thats when the "what if's" set in what if i hadn't done this, what if i hadn't done that, would things be different? The problem is you know this is not the case, YOU KNOW BETTER. but the thoughts creep back in, its like a veil you can pull it back but never remove it.

In a way one of the most important things ive learned over the last 12 years is managing the guilt, accepting that its always gonna be there, and learning when to push it aside at times, and try not to let it get away from you when your in your darkest place.

PHOTO CREDIT: snapcracklebop on Instagram

What do you feel the guiltiest about in regards to parenting? How do you handle it.?

Dee Dee

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