Sometimes I feel so bad, so bad
Sometimes I wish that life was never ending
But all good things, they say, never last
All good things, they say, never last
And love, it isn't love until it's past
It's funny how it sneaks up on me. For the most part I just cruise along, following Kiddo's lead on where we need to be. If he's happy, then I'm happy. I felt that I have made my peace with what life handed us years ago until something comes along that rocks the boat.
The latest culprit? Prom season. Kiddo is seventeen. While he has expressed an interest in girls, (Two of which he was juggling at the same time!) , he's never done the traditional dating thing. At all. The relationships pretty consisted of occasional hand holding and sitting next to each other at school. To be honest, that's pretty much all I could handle him doing, so that in a way worked out.
But I recently started seeing my social media feed flood with prom pictures and it was the first one that really got to me. It was a young woman that had been in the same infant playgroup with him as a baby. Then a few graduation pictures. Then a few videos of seniors finding out what colleges that they had been accepted to as they opened their emails. Finally, it was teens proudly holding their newly acquired driver's licenses and posing behind the wheel of a car. It was shot after shot of his neurotypical peers doing neurotypical stuff.
And I "liking" and adding the appropriate remarks of "Congratulations!" and "Wow! They look fantastic." because I truly do enjoy seeing these moments shared. (Seriously, if you have ever thought "Oh I shouldn't put up all these pictures on my vacation.", ignore that feeling and upload 75 pictures of your trip to Cancun. I'm the kind of person that will look at every single one of them.)
I didn't even want to post about this. I didn't want to look like a whiner. Nor did I want to be accused of not accepting my son's autism because with online autism stuff, it can go south fast really quickly. I was in no mood to be told I was an abliest piece of shit and all that jazz. I swallowed it. I keep it quiet. I didn't want, God forbid, any of those parents to pity us or worse, feel sorry for us. I just needed to be in my feels, as the kids say. (Or will no longer say as I, a 47 year old woman, just used it.)
I am not even sure why it hit me so hard this year. Like I knew it was coming. I'm not in denial about his growing up. I'm chalking it up to COVID and the year that was robbed from us. I guess I would have been in a slightly more secure place had we a year of job training behind us that I could lean on. I could comfort myself with that. Seeing as we are not only missing all that time but are now relearning things, it just hit me hard.
Because sometimes it snows in April and I have to just bundle up and deal with it. You can be fine with it all for years. You can be an advocate, writer, public speaker and general loud mouth for all things autism and it can still knock you on your arse when you least expect it. It doesn't make me a bad person. It makes me human. Feelings are fluid. They can ebb and flow around your heart and in your mind.
Sometimes the best way to melt the snow is with a laugh. Me, 1992. I decided to go to prom as a disco ball.
Feel it, acknowledge it, grieve it. Then you will move on to what has been dealt to you and yours. My son does not have autism but suffers from severe mental illness. When his peers from high school all graduated from college...that was tough. I spent a few minutes (well ok maybe a little longer) grieving then tried my best to move it on. Still working on it, but I will always have hope. Thank you for being real and honest.ReplyDelete
I have been there so many times. Our boy graduated 10 days after his baby brother. Financial Aid mailers on the daily, along with the pre-approved credit cards. It sucks, and I don't like to be the "whiner" either, so I try to bury the feels as much as I can. I hope that my genuine likes and happiness for my friends' kids' accomplishments comes through.ReplyDelete
Oh honey, you can't deny your (completely understandable, totally rational) feelings. You love your son, but understandably had dreams for him before he was born. And it can be hard to see other children achieving those dreams. We all know how much your love him, and what a wonderful mother you are.ReplyDelete
In my very large extended family there are two cousins that are a year younger than my ASD son that we see all the time at family gatherings. It stung a little when they were 4 and told my son to stop following them (they wanted to play together without my son). But I was not prepared for the emotional 2x4 slam to the head when they showed up at a recent gathering - driving their own cars and holding hands with their girlfriends.ReplyDelete
Don’t get me wrong, I truly love this great family and everyone in it, and I am happy for their happiness.