Archive | August 2013

An Open Letter to "One Pissed Off Mother"

  Dear Pissed, 

   I pondered your letter for some time and decided that it is not something I wish to publish on my blog. It’s plastered all over the internet and in my opinion, you have more than milked your 15 minutes of fame. It’s our turn now.

   I am sorry.  

   I am sorry that you feel the need to punish a mother who does her very best to house, clothe, feed and nurture her autistic child.  I am sorry that you cannot understand the difference between noise pollution and the happy wails of excitement from a child who cannot communicate his feelings any other way. Having said that, I am really not surprised that you would rather hear a crying baby or incessant barking, as sadists such as yourself tend to relish in others’ pain.


   I am sorry for your lack of compassion towards another human being.  It is obvious that it has never occurred to you to ask if this child’s mother needed help of any kind.  If you had taken one minute out of your precious life and put off a mani/pedi, you would have had the opportunity to educate yourself on just what needs this special child requires on a daily basis.  You would have been witness to a strong-willed mother who is physically unable to take her child to the park because of her own debilitating illness.  You would have also come to realize that special treatment for special needs comes with a price. 


   Respite is costly and if you are lucky enough to get on a waiting list for subsidized or free care, it could be months before something is available.  You could argue that at the very least, she has friends who could help. I would argue that friends are a luxury that special needs parents would love to have but sadly, ignorant people like you keep perpetuating the stereotype that we are lowlife trash who should rid ourselves of our problem child(ren) and join the rest of the “normal” world.  


   Is it lonely up there on your high horse?  Clearly you have no compassion for the human race unless they meet your fantastical expectations of reality. You liken a ‘different’ child to that of an animal; if they are broken, put them out of their misery.  I could say that you have at least a modicum of compassion for animals. However, there is no reason to expect you to care for either as your indifference to an animal’s suffering (ie: barking incessantly), and a baby’s cry seem to please you. 


    I am sorry that your children have to live with your small-mindedness and grow up knowing that their mother, in her pursuit of perfection, clearly missed the mark. It pains me to know that what they have learned thus far is bigotry, cowardliness and conditional love.  You should be ashamed of yourself but I know that in your perfect little world, shame is not something you have learned or taught. 


   I am not angry with you. In fact, I thank you for speaking up because in doing so, you have inadvertently educated the world on autism and other special needs.  You have opened the eyes of your community and brought them closer together.  Your disgusting and hateful efforts have done more for this child and his mother than she could ever have done on her own.  Your despicable behaviour has spread awareness of special needs and how important proper care is for struggling families.


   I am not angry with you. I pity you and I mourn the fact that you will never see the world through the eyes of an autistic or other special needs child.  You will never know the simple joy in their eyes as they accomplish something they have worked on for months or longer, the day they actually make eye contact and you know, without a doubt, that they love you unconditionally, without them saying a word. 

   You will never envy your child for waking up every morning with a clean slate; that no matter what bigots like you have done to them the day before, it is all forgiven. It’s a brand new day with brand new opportunities for loving life.

   I choose this opportunity to learn from my own autistic child…

I forgive you.  


   This forgiveness is not about you. It is about me.  It’s my turn to be selfish and let go of the negativity because if people like you actually get the upper hand, you win.  Hate consumes and takes you only so far before you get lost in its bleakness.  You see, it takes true courage to fight for what you believe in and fight for your children.  We have plenty and it will take us so much further than your small mind can comprehend.

   You have lost this battle and though the war is just beginning, I have no doubt that you and your like-minded family of twits will lose.   

   Lastly, I am sorry that as long as the hatred consumes you, you will never be privilege to the strong, brave and beautiful families of whom you despise so much without ever having met them. 


Pity…

25 Years to Life

   

   Today is my 25th Wedding Anniversary.  How the hell did we get this far? What’s the secret? 

   Our marriage; our life together has been one hell of a roller coaster ride and yet we made it 25 years. I can distinctly remember whispers during our reception that we wouldn’t last a year. People were literally taking bets! To those non believers I say, “NA NA NA BOO BOO, STICK YOUR HEAD IN DOO DOO!” hehe

 {The epic (short and sweet) story of how we met is here for those of you who wish to gain perspective.}

   There is a little story on the internet of a short interview with an elderly couple, asking them what their secret to a long lasting marriage was. Their answer was that they never fell out of love with each other at the same time.  While it’s a sweet sentiment, I’m not sure that this rings true for us.  There have been moments in our marriage where we couldn’t stand to look at one another and honestly, I can count on one hand the amount of times that has happened.  However, even during those knock down, drag em out fights, I still managed to love him. I may not have liked him very much at those times but love…always. No matter what.

   Over the years, Charles has had many opportunities to leave. It would have been so easy for him to just say, “Fuck it!” and walk out on me and the boys. And you know what? I wouldn’t have blamed him.  When Jacob came along, life was a struggle every day.  He was a very needy baby, never slept and demanded our attention all the time.  When Cayden came along unexpectedly, I thought we would never survive as a couple.   We had three kids under the age of 3, all in diapers and all with the usual demands that come with being babies.  Jacob was like having triplets all by himself. 

   We moved a lot. It was difficult to make friends and once people saw what Jacob was like, they tended to stay away.  It put a tremendous strain on our marriage.  I wanted to be a perfect mom and put high expectations on myself.  It was Charles who brought me back down to earth and loved me for who I was. He helped me through a major depression and health problems and he stepped up to take care of Andrew and Cayden while I stayed with Jacob in the hospital. I in turn, took care of him when he had to have neck surgery and was laid up with a broken ankle.

   We’ve stuck with each other through thick and thin. Through two job losses, both of us working part time and going back to school, more moves than I care to count, three very challenging boys, Andrew being diagnosed with Asperger’s and Jacob being diagnosed Autistic and Bipolar.  We’ve struggled through many challenges but we’ve struggled together.

   I can’t even say what made me fall in love with him, exactly.  I can say it was love at first sight and that would be the easy way out but it really was.  He was good looking, kind, funny and generous.  To this day, he still makes me laugh and about once every 5 years or so, I’ll make him laugh.

   Alright, I admit it, we are a cliche. It really was love at first sight but I continue to love this man with all of my heart and soul and that love grows every day. He loves me back and he doesn’t just say it, he shows it. Every day.

   So what’s our secret, really?  Communication, A sense of Humour and Trust. With enough communication, you develop your own sense of humour and build trust in your relationship. Communication is the key to all things happy!