On this morning, I was stuck on the word “warrior” and just couldn’t get past these emotions of feeling like a fake. Then out of the bathtub comes this tiny voice…. (you see, as a ASD mom, bathing, teeth brushing/ flossing, feeding etc and caring for your child might be a long or even lifetime journey). So my son, Zane, as I was shampooing his hair, must have sensed something. We have a strange telepathic connection. Call me crazy (you wouldn’t be the first), but he knew what I was thinking. He asks me in this tiny voice about when he was 4 years old. Now he doesn’t remember much about these beginning journey years either. Possibly from just being young, possibly from being on the Spectrum, and possibly from the seizure medication that causes short term memory loss. Every now and then we talk about things he may or may not remember. And sometimes he brings up things that I don’t think that he remembered at all and suddenly comes up out of the blue.
But he took me by surprise and brought up his first mainstream school. Just basic questions on why he wasn’t there anymore, etc. What did he do wrong that he had to leave. How come they didn’t like him there. All of which broke me. But I pulled up my big girl pants, took out tiny box, cut off the duct tape, and opened the lid…
Inside were the memories, the stories, the battles, the secrets, the lies, the truths, and a million thoughts on what DID happen?
As I was telling him the “good” version, the calm version, the G rated version of our time spent there and that basically he needed more and I brought him to a school that could provide etc. A lightbulb went off in my head. I want each and every one of you as a mom, a dad, a parent, a caregiver, no matter special needs or not to remember this. We all start somewhere. And it isn’t until we are challenged and pushed down can we rise a little stronger, a little wiser.
I didn’t start as the “WARRIOR” I am today. I was a completely different person then. I wasn’t as strong or passionate as I am now.
I started as a scared mother.
I started as a broken woman.
I was frightened and intimidated and reluctant and embarrassed. I think as parents we all find our voice eventually. But in the beginning it is hard. In the beginning, others can see our insecurities and prey on them. And we let them do it to us maybe willingly and maybe unknowingly. It really doesn’t matter. Because for some reason shame and embarrassment are part of the diagnosis. It shouldn’t be.