Fear of doing or saying the wrong thing. how much harm does censoring your feelings really do? I do it all the time. I’m asked ‘how are you’ I quickly answer yeah I’m fine and move onto talking about my son.
When the only person you can voice your whole feelings to is the voice in your head what does that say?
In a world where we blog in my community about our children to raise awareness of their disability. Every word is put under the microscope.
We live in a society that thankfully encourages us to speak our minds. For the sake of our mental health. Yet sometimes if someone does, there is another someone there pointing a very large finger and shouting at us for saying the wrong thing.
For not being considerate enough of the feelings of others.
How my feelings make someone else feel becomes my problem. My fault.
I blog about my son and my family and my sons autism. I am a very positive person mostly and my blog, I know reflects how much I love and adore him. He was born with autism and we’ve had diagnosis just over three years. I have learnt about understanding (him and the many others in their respective boats)
I have learnt acceptance – of who he is, and how best to care for him given the complexity of his needs.
I have learnt patience to a level I don’t mind saying comes only from loving and raising a child with additional needs.
And I have learnt tolerance. Tolerance of ignorance, perceived or true.
I have learned to be in the moment and to value the little things.
I learnt all of these things because my little boy has autism. I had to, to give him the best me. It’s said (too often) ‘I don’t know how you do it?’ Do what? Love and care for my son to the best of my ability? Yes you do. Or you should anyway.
Think about it. Think about your children and tell me, What would you do for them?
The answer is everything. You’d lift that car, you’d carry them for miles to safety. You’d move heaven and earth for them. We aren’t so different, you and I. The only difference that has popped up a lot in our community recently is…You are allowed to call out your child for being a little…insert word of choice here…….you can tell them off, moan to your friends and put it down to ‘a phase’ I can’t do that. It would be deemed cruel by those that sit on top of the moral high ground.
My son has autism, it sits by his side. It is his shadow. It does not, however, define him. His personality does that. He is a little boy who has been wrapped in cotton wool, by me and treated differently on many occasions also by me to keep him safe. I didn’t do that through prejudice. I did that because with a label comes fear. With fear for your child comes parental instinct.
But he in his truest essence still a little boy.
What I haven’t learnt yet which many others in my situation seem to have in spades is courage. Courage to say out loud he was a little…for pouring that juice on the table on purpose.
Autism didn’t make him do it. He was naughty. But I can’t say that. For fear of being accused as somehow belittling my sons condition.
I can’t say out loud that I’m really bored of the whole attempt to get him to go to sleep. Every single night. I am tired. He can stay awake all night (that is because of autism) but I can’t stay awake all night and it stresses me out. I can’t say that in my head I want to scream sometimes that we can’t have a simple family outing all four of us. I can’t for fear of the judgement squad.
Heaven forbid I were to ever say any of that out loud.
I shouldn’t be shamed for voicing a split second thought, which is gone before we know it before we go back to the infinitely more important task of caring for our children.
But I do feel these things. I am clear when I write that how he feels, how he is treated and feels is my top priority. He is never made to feel sorry for things beyond his control.
That is where all good parents are the same. Whoever the child, diagnosis or not. They come first. No question.
Let me just get this last thing straight, before someone throws something at me.
Parenting a child with additional needs is hard.
Most of us wouldn’t change our children either. I wouldn’t.
My son, and his autism. They live side by side. One without the other wouldn’t be the child I adore, fight and advocate for. But let’s not be afraid to remember, behind every great child is a parent who kicks ass every day to make the world a better more understanding place. And most of them don’t shout about it either.