Psst....you. Yeah, you. The one I'm pointing at... You wanna know a secret? Well, you know I wrote sometime ago about namby bamby positivity? Yeh? Well guess what? I'm...errr...feeling...err..a bit, well, positive..yeh, alright, I know! So don't go telling anyone though, right? Cus it's a secret!
I've got this reputation to up hold. This bad ass negativity. This kick you in the shins, spit down your shirt type a raw emotional honesty. You know...I write about being a shit mom, and my marriage maybe on the rocks and my kids beat the crap out of me! I ain't happy...you hear me?! Don't go telling people I'm positive and shizzle!
But since I've told you guys I'll let you know..I think autism and me..I think we maybe OK for a bit!
I'm stepping back from the fight for a bit. I'm moving on. I'm calling a truce. I'm forging out a path for myself and I have to acknowledge autism's part in all this.
For many years in my life I drifted. I travelled. I job hopped. I was unsettled. I played at things..."this time next year we'll be millionaires lee!" and never really knew what I wanted to do. Then I got married and I settled on a job. A compromise. Then my kids came along and I became ill and I couldn't do that job anymore. Who the hell was I then? I tried out ideas, I set up ventures but none of it ever felt right. It was all based loosely on a past life that didn't fit with who I was becoming. It didn't sit right with the direction my life was taking.
Had I just become a mom and not a "special needs mom" life may have continued as before. "As you were Donna" but that lifestyle wasn't for me now. I'd changed. Priorities changed. Life couldn't go on like that.
Then I met autism. He took up residence with my kids. I boxed with him, we sparred. I lost. Next round I won and before we both knew it a new found respect was growing. Living with children with autism began to shape who I was. Began to inform my life. Began to direct my future. I found a need to act. To advocate, to campaign, to challenge, to inform and educate and to support. I found a passion for my life that wasn't there before. A purpose.
"OK autism, you live here too but we play by the kids rules. You do right by my kids, you don't hurt them and we can be friends"
In return autism showed me a path to follow. A future. It set me on a course for life. I can't remove autism from my kids but I can fist bump it and work things out. Autism has given my life meaning. It's my reason for being. I grasp it, understand it to a point, I use it to create a focus that wasn't there. Working around autism support will be my career.
So with a grudging handshake we can live with each other. Eyeballing each other occasionally. Wishing it would bog off of course but i can work with it instead of against it. Together we can build two confident, imaginative and oh so unique children. And in return for my understanding autism will guide me accordingly.
I never thought my life would be alongside autism but you know what, I have more of a meaningful life now than I ever did and for that I thank autism.