I was trying to explain to my mother the ins and outs of Asperger's and in addition to showing her a copy of the therapist's report, I also printed up 14 pages worth of articles and resources.
Of course, she keeps doing that thing. The one where she compares Max to some kid some friend of her's has known and saying "So, he's not really autistic. I mean, he won't have to live with you for the rest of his life, right?" What in the bloody hell goes through that woman's head, I'll never know. She kept using the phrase "high frequency autism". She also looked me dead in the face when I quoted a May 6th, 2002 article in TIME Magazine about Asperger's and said "So who else has it???". Imagine if you will that this was with a "Huh, huh, prove it? How many of the rest of you and/or your kids are fucked up" kind of demeanor. All because it said " There are differences between Asperger's and high-functioning autism. Among other things, Asperger's appears to be even more strongly genetic than classic autism"
Christ on a fucking cracker. Basically, she did her usual song and dance. Tried to reason it out to how since Max can use the bathroom without assistance, he's just fine. Whatever. Tried to be all defensive in how *she* already provides a quiet place for him to do homework and she's already got it all on the ball. The real winner was her stating that since the vent hood on the stove drives her batty, too, she must have Asperger's.
And, finally, in a moment that I think has been waiting in the wings most of the day, I snapped. My level head and silver lining went right down the tubes. I'd been keeping my chin up all day and saying "Well, now that I know, I can help him and we'll be okay and he won't have so many teachers insisting he's just stubborn, etc."
I looked right at that stupid-ass bitch of a mother I have and said.....
"You just don't fucking get it, do you? You don't have a shred of maternal instinct anywhere in that ice cold fucking pit you call a heart. That is my son! ....
Most parents spend their lives wanting only for their children to be happy and healthy and well-adjusted. Now as much as I'm glad that I have a path and something to lead me in the right direction, there is a part of me right now that is wondering just exactly how I managed to fuck this up. What could I have done differently that may have prevented this? Was it because I smoked? Was it because I had done acid (no, not while I was pregnant)?? Was it because I let him get a broken collarbone during delivery? Because I let him get hit with a very sudden failure to thrive at 4 months old and hesitated on taking him to the hospital? What about that broken leg at 18 months old?? Vaccinations? Was I too stressed out while I was pregnant? ...
A million things are going through my head right now about what I may have done that contributed to this. And all you can do is try to think of a way to one-up your friends or downgrade MY FUCKING FEARS! Now, if you will excuse me, I'm going to go beat myself up for a few hours before I finally "get over it" and move into the acceptance phase."
You know what she said as I left? She said "Oh, don't do that. It won't help." I swear to God there wasn't a shred of sympathy in her voice. Just a very, very clear case of someone who's never felt anything but fear of not having my father there to keep her in a nice house.
So, here I am. I'm happy and sad and angry and curious and excited all at the same time. There is a part of me that is looking forward to learning all about how to help my son. There's another part that's dreading the fact that this means I actually have to be diligent for the next, oh, 12 years or so. Then there's the guilty part. The scared part (I mean, if I don't teach him now, he could become a complete and total sociopath with no sense of empathy whatsoever). Then there's the part of me that just wants to scoop him up in my arms and keep him there forever. Because I know, without a doubt, that is one place that he never feels scared or alone or different or anything but safe. That's why he can't stand to be away from me. And knowing that, my friends, is what keeps me getting up in the mornings.
I have three very beautiful children. Each of them is exceptional, even if it's only to me and Nathan. All of them are loved. And right now, the one thing that's giving me a bit of peace is that all three of them know that when it feels like the world is against them, there is a shelter in the storm. Her name is Mommy...and she rocks.