Online counselling. Counselling to improve feelings. Love in time of autism – Ivana Straska
Love in time of autism

Love in time of autism

Love in time of autism doubts

familyIs it your son?” The sharp voice of a police officer made me shivering. My four years old son stood beside him. “Your neighbors called 911 when they found him at park. When our co-worker tried to get him he was mad and he pulled her hair.”

I was devastated. I though he was with the nanny in his room. It happened second time this month. He unnoticeable left the house. I can’t cope with my emotions. Anger and guilt filled my body. My teary eyes and a lump in my throat paralyzed me. Why Michael didn’t order the safety door? Getting the safety door is the next item on our never ending to do list. We have an autistic child.

Love in time of autism is fragile. 

Every couple experiences adjustment after they have a baby. Only a small portion of couples, like Michael and I, understand a unique dynamic of life after an autistic child is born.

Parents with a child diagnosed with autism are two times in a risk of break up comparing to couples with typical children. I am scared. I lost my hopes to have a typical child. I don‘t want to lose Michel’s love.

Love in time of autism doesn’t suspect.

We longed for a baby. Eric is a child of love. We perfectly planned everything. My pregnancy was a time of excitement and happiness. Michel was the best support since the day one.  We shared every joy when Eric met his first mile stones. Thrilled, I called Michael to work at each Eric’s success. When Eric took a first step Michael bought him a new toy.

Love in time of autism hugs.

First frustration and endless night talks started shortly after I noticed strange things about Eric. Michael tried to sooth me and pacify me. He assured it wasn’t my parental failure. Eric’s awkward behavior wasn’t my fault. I knew something was terribly wrong.

Love in time of autism is fragile.

When Eric was labeled with autism I had nervous breakdown. Overwhelming information made me crazy. I was hopeless. I was desperate. Autism seemed to me equal to death. I lost all my expectations and dreams about the bright future of my son. I was thrown in a darkness of grief. I lost my typical child. I had the child who I didn’t understand. I had the child who bite me and who didn’t want to hug me. My boy wasn’t interested in interaction with other children. I was crashed.

Love in time of autism hurts.

I was heartbroken. My son didn’t joyfully welcome his dad after his arrival from work. He was engaged in meaningless lining up the cars and busy looking at them again and again. I was depressed. I felt too apart from my son. I couldn’t connect with him. I couldn’t stand people. I cut off my friends. Michael was my only soul mate. He accepted my irrational life. He backed up my suffering. He hugged me tightly.

Love in time of autism attends.

Michael’s embrace gave me hopes. Every loss hurts and every wound heals. Depression was my form of grieving and healing. I was grieving for my loss of a typical child. Bereavement required some time to cure my aching. Michael heard misery of my despair heart.

Love in time of autism seeks.

Waves of guilt and blame replaced my grieving. I wanted to know the reasons. What triggered his disease? I wanted to find the cause. I was angry that I didn’t eat organic food during the pregnancy. I cursed governments they don’t care about pollution and chemicals in food. I was upset with our pediatrician who didn’t stress side effects of vaccinations. I was mad with my mom about her not telling me enough about my schizophrenic aunt.

Michael’s words didn’t make sense. “It doesn’t matter. Autism is a multi-factorial disease. The best specialists don’t know the cause of autism”. I was crying “Why Eric?” This question became my nightmare. Michael didn’t fight with me. He let me scream. He watched me searching and having hopes of power.

Love in time of autism perceives.

After the stage of blame I experienced an urge of fight. I wanted to cure Eric. I had to help him. Eagerly I found all possible and impossible services, successful and unsuccessful treatments and therapies. I put Eric on casein and gluten free diet. I found oxygen therapy. I reached for behavioral intervention. I talked about stem-cell-therapy. I found the meaning.

Even then Michael understood me. He was always with me.

Love in time of autism finds a purpose.

I found my inner power. I had to act to put out Eric’s loneliness. I had to bring him to the world of children. I dragged him to social groups with typical children. I organized play dates. I hoped that typical peers could awaken his abilities and he would observe them or learn from them. I was praying for incidental imitation of their behaviors.

Michael’s sound attitude was too realistic. His words hurt but they made sense. “Eric has autism. No therapy cures autism. Every therapy treats the symptoms of autism. We have to accept it.” Michael’s love became real.

Love in time of autism accepts.

Yes, Michael is right. I have to learn to live with it. My son has autism and plenty of limitations. And he sees the word unlike most of us… All three of us are lying on the bed holding our hands. Every day I take a small step to enter Eric’s world. It doesn’t matter how severe autism Eric has I am learning to accept our life.

Love in time of autism is generous.

The most important thing I have to do for him is to give him my love. My love is my biggest strength he needs. Michael teaches me to love the world as is at this moment. Michael’s love awakens my love of life. I have been learning to love life in its imperfection and sorrow. I have been finding the kind of joy that only parents of an autistic child can experience.

I don’t care that as a couple we are in a higher risk of separation. My biggest wish is to have the love of my two men forever.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *