Wednesday, March 26, 2014

This is Brilliant

By lovely synchronicity, I just ran into this video which relates so well to my last two blog posts.

It really confirms my feeling that we were right to cancel ABA, and that losing that huge stresser is probably a big part of why my son is doing so well now.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

For Their Own Good

I had another thought today about how "Frozen" relates to autism. In the film, Elsa and Anna's parents are obviously very loving and concerned about them. And yet, their love and concern leads them to psychologically abuse both daughters, with resultant trauma for each.

I don't want to point fingers at other parents. No one knows better than I do how hard it is to have so much at stake -- your children's entire future -- and yet have so very little idea of what's the best thing to do or whose advice to trust. I confess here that we stopped vaccinating for years, and if my son had died or been a carrier that caused someone else's death, it would have been all my fault. I'm very lucky not to bear that burden, but I bore the burden of fearing that my child's vaccinations had caused his autism for some time.

Thankfully, science was able to remove that particular burden from me. But it's left us hanging in a lot of other ways. The only "proven" -- and subsequently, the only covered -- therapy is ABA. My son's ABA therapy was a stress nightmare for the entire family, but it still took a long time for us to pull the plug.

Every decision I make for my son is surrounded by fear and uncertainty. Will this help him or make his life worse? Should I be sacrificing his immediate well being for the sake of his future? What is the line between "for his own good" and abuse?

Monday, March 17, 2014

I May or May Not Be Leaving on a Jet Plane

I'm tentatively planning a trip to London with my mom this year. I say tentatively, because I'm not actually sure I can do it -- leave my husband and child behind for 10 days. A few years ago, my husband and I had a week in New York, while my mom babysat. It was the most thrilling, romantic, fun, enjoyable second honeymoon possible, and yet I still cried pretty much daily over how much I missed my son.

My husband takes fairly regular business trips, which I've gotten used to, but the feeling of him being in China was a whole different animal to the feeling of him being in Vancouver or Philadelphia. I felt the distance. I know I will feel the distance even more when I'm the one on another continent.

People don't get this. I have not been able to find a single person I can talk to about it who understands or even takes my feelings seriously. "Oh, you'll be fine," everyone says.

Back when I was an adolescent, I was mocked by teachers for my attachment to my mom. A counselor I saw as a young adult obviously thought it was fucked up. I see it in my son now and think, yes, we do need to help him move away from us and find people outside his family to care about. But I don't judge or blame him for it. It's who he is.

Today I just feel like saying a big fuck you to everyone. This is who I am and there's fuck all I can do about it, even if I wanted to.