Sunday, May 22, 2011

I know you have a little life in you left, I know you have a lot of strength left...

I know you have a little life in you left, I know you have a lot of strength left...

I should be crying but I just can't let it show...

Make it go away....

-Kate Bush

I'd like to say that I handled the kids diagnosis well but that would be a lie. I wanted to die. Every single minute of every single day for about 6 months. I never said a word to anyone but my husband. I smiled and acted like we were okay. I was amazing at incorporating their goals into our life. I was playing the role of the perfect mother. I lived in fear of a social worker catching wind that I was devastated and would question whether I was capable of caring for four Autistics. The only reason I woke up in the morning was to care for them. They didn't ask to be born, I wanted them. I wanted them so badly that I paid over $100 a day on fertility appointments and drugs for years. I wanted a baby, NO MATTER WHAT. And here I was facing NO MATTER WHAT and I wanted to die.

At one point, I truly thought that I could win an Academy Award. The Early Intervention team constantly congratulated me on my positive attitude and I smiled and shook hands. I remember a friend that happens to have an Autistic son told me, "No matter what, always take a shower. If you look like shit, CPS will come in. Just because you're a high risk family, don't let people bully you. You know what's best for your family, only you and your husband."

I showered religiously.

I went through the motions. I became a shell, not even of myself but a shell of a human. There was nothing left to me and there is no flowery way to say it-that is some scary shit. The only things that kept me grounded were my children. I could feel their hunger in my body a minute before they cried. I knew when their tummies hurt and I could feel their teeth ache. I was that connected to them.

I remember giving birth to the girls and feeling as each soul separated from mine and I remember that moment of peace when I felt my blood hemorrhaging out of my body before I passed out. I remember my desire to hold my children...

I stood in front of the children, staring at them. It was a Friday night/Saturday morning and my husband had been at work almost 24 hours at this point. I no longer slept so it wasn't unusual that I was awake at 4:30. He was everything I wanted. They were everything I wanted. What the Fuck was wrong with me? They are my NO MATTER WHAT.

I picked up Baby and started talking.

"I want to be happy. I want you to be proud that I'm your mother. I want to work and have a career and I want to find myself again. I miss me and I think you would really like the real me. I don't think I'm doing that great of a job but I'm doing my best. I promise, I'll never leave you willingly. You're my everything. Okay?

I stared into her little eyes and giggled when she burped. A second later, she projectile vomited all over my face and hair. I began to belly laugh. Nothing like a little vomit to put things in perspective.

My first heart-to-heart with my daughter was a turning point for me. I cleaned us up and was able to fall asleep.

I'd like to say that I'm back to myself but I'm not, I'm a totally different person. I'm much more serious, I feel a hardness in my soul. I struggled alone because many people couldn't bare to feel uncomfortable and extend themselves to us.

I found new friends. I became who I wanted to be. I lost all pretenses. I will help a stranger understand this disease and know that they aren't alone. They are normal. I will hold my hand out and help them stand when they want to curl into a ball because I know.

I see everything in my life as beautiful and filled with silver linings because I know how stark things can look. I KNOW. I understand and I'll hold your hand...

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