Anyone that knows me knows that I love my sons more than anything in the world. I would give my life without a seconds hesitation if it were to save one of them. The thought that any of them could be ill, could be bullied, made fun of, or could not have an amazing life is unthinkable. But the reality for me as well as almost every parent is that along with real life comes real problems. Kids do get picked on, kids do get sick, children do have disabilities and it doesn't matter that I or any parent would give their life to spare their children these things because it's not our choice. We don't get to decide this.
What we do get to decide is how we deal with this. And let's face it, having a child with autism can be very difficult. If you are reading this and you do not have an autistic child then you may not understand the difficulty in communicating, the melt downs, the having to watch them almost 24/7, the explanations you are stuck giving to ignorant people, the financial nightmare you live with for the rest of your life, the worry about what happens when you are gone and who is going to take care of him or her. Just finding a babysitter is an issue. Sending them to school, huge issue as they need a school that allows them to grow and flourish. They need teachers who understand, are patient and dedicated. You worry about your child being singled out and tormented because they are different. You worry about how much therapy you can afford, about whether its the right approach. You have stupid conversations with friends and family over what caused it and what they think you should be doing about it.
Chances are if you have a child with autism. you have changed your way of life. If you have other kids its a balancing act so that life does not just evolve around autism. But mostly I think there are moments in time where you can give yourself a break from being a parent of a child with autism and just be. These are my selfish moments. These are the brief moments I get to escape all my thoughts. I don't have to deal with any part of it. I get to lose the financial burden, lose the what if's scenarios, not think about all the bad stuff that could be. I get to take a deep breath and relax. I let the guilt I feel about taking moment to myself subside and I tell myself its just so I can restore the energy and perseverance I need to continue.