Life became a real blur for me back in 2004 when I was having to face the fact that my then 2 year old son Nathan was not developing as he should. I recall feeling certain that he would just ‘catch up’, but the gaps only seemed to grow wider and the fear of it all felt like some sort of abyss ready to swallow me up. I begged for sleep, as it was the only time I felt relief from the worry. Depression is a sneaky enemy, in that it slips in through a side door but starts taking over every room in you. I did not have the true joy of the Lord back then, so I was trying to navigate the enormity of it all within myself. I do not recommend that. I tried to find anyone to commiserate with, but even that proved to be cumbersome. My husband grew weary of all of my tears, and I was frankly mortified that he did not appear to shed even one. God kept us together during that time, because we lost each other somewhere in that same dark abyss. Our communication came to a screeching halt. My friends had plenty of words of advice and counsel for me, and I know that much of what they were saying was true, but I could not accept it at that time. I could not accept or grasp that Nathan had a wonderful and divine purpose for his life, or that my family would be stronger and better as God would use this to glorify himself through us. I could not see the hope, the joy, or the beauty of any of it back then. I was operating on fear, which will always cancel out faith. I can recall friends telling me that Nathan might not even understand that he was different or that he might not really care that he was isolating himself from us and the world. I resented such comments. I knew he was in there, and that he indeed cared. Yes, many things were said to me back then, but there was one statement that really stood out at the time. It was not profound or deep in any way, and it did not seek to pull me up out of my time of mourning. It was a simple statement of fact that seemed to sum up the vastness of what my heart could not express. It came from a stranger and I cannot even recall how it came about…but I do recall the words she said…’autism sucks.’ Yep, she said it and I actually heard myself laugh out loud. ‘AUTISM SUCKS’…I gave myself permission to repeat it out loud.
Now, I love my son with all that I am. He is a gorgeous and wonderful creation. We have been through so very much and have come so far in this journey, but even now it is ok to say it. Go for it mom..dad..brother….sister….aunt…uncle…friend…If you love and adore someone with autism it is ok to say it…Autism Sucks. There…now don’t you feel better?