Our journey in the Autism Spectrum

I see. I know.

I saw myself today in another mother’s eyes. For a moment I could not breathe. The pain and hurt welled up in my chest and throat.   I saw tears in her eyes as she watched her daughter play; the love and joy and pride so fierce! Yet also seeing the agony of knowing just how painful it is for her precious little girl to be so close to other children, taking turns in a game no less! And at the same time exhilaration that her daughter was DOING IT!  I was overwhelmed! We watched our kids play together, my son, her daughter, along with another beautiful girl. They PLAYED! I wanted to yell out my excitement!  YES! I contained myself somehow. We were watching them behind a two-way mirror. We could see them in a play room with two ABA trainers “playing” with them but they could not see us, watching them, cheering them on silently in our hearts. We were encouraging of each other as parents. Some kind of bond, a knowing, an understanding on a completely different level was there.

I wonder what other parents would make of this scene. Parents with typical kids. Would it even look like playing to those parents. Each child needed different reminders or prompts for what was expected next in this time of “forced” socialization. The little girl sitting next to my son could barely look at anything but the floor but when prompted she looked at my son and said, “Your turn.” and my son looked back at her, if only for a second. But they LOOKED at each other! Another silent cheer from us!

I wanted to tell this other mother, “I see! I know! It is okay! It will be okay!” How can I begin to tell her that I feel the pain, the fear, the pride and the love all at once, too? For the last year I have felt so alone. I know no one personally who has a child on the autism spectrum let alone someone who lives very near us with a child the same age! I saw in her eyes what runs through my heart every day! Can others see this in my eyes too? If so, no one has admitted it to me. Is it only us parents with children on the spectrum that can see it?

For the first time  I felt  less alone when I saw myself in that other mother’s eyes. Does she see it in me too? Because I know, she knows! The raw emotion bubbles so near the surface. I could use a friend that gets it! I hope she does see because then maybe she can understand just how good she made me feel not to feel so alone.

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Comments on: "I see. I know." (9)

  1. Karen, you have no idea how thrilled we are to have met you and Grant. Finally, we’ve met people we can be slightly (okay, more than slightly) warped with! To know people who get it is more than wonderful.

    • Yea for US, Kara! New friends! And thanks for being the very first to read my blog! I hope you will still keep coming back here! Please….as you can see I am desparate for followers! LOL! I promise to work on making this blog better! 😀

  2. Karen,

    I am honored that you would include me in announcIng your blog. What I have found is that when you write from your heart, people can easily tell, and appreciate it most. Your most recent post feels that way to me. I cannot be
    that person who “gets it” , but I can and will always be a friend ready to listen. I have
    bookmarked your blog and will add it to my rss
    feed so I will know when you update. Again,
    thanks for the vote of trust.

    Deron

  3. Reading your blog makes me want to tell you that you are not a dork! Since I am your little brother, I am still not going to tell you that. However your blog moved me, and as you know, I am not easily moved. I often question my relationship with my “typical” son, and find your experiences encouraging. I can’t imagine better parents than the two of you. You two show great patients and understanding as well as working as a team to a common goal. It is inspiring to spend time with you and your family even if it isn’t as often as we would like. I know you will do well because I have seen what you have done!

  4. How is it I know the dfference between patients and patience, but some how I am able to not think twice about using the wrong word when typing? sorry.

  5. Wow! KK! I got chills… this is amazing. You are an awesome writer… really. Sorry it took so long for me to read this. I am proud of you and your dedication. Now, I just need to figure out this book thing so I can read more! Basically, what I am trying to say here is… “you go girl!” Even if I am not finding the appropriate words this afternoon! 🙂

  6. I too crave that kind of friendship. I know no one and being a bit socially awkward myself (dogs don’t have cats! :), it is a bit strange for me to just strike up a conversation with the other parents with kiddos in my son’s preschool class, even though I know that they get it too. It’s interesting the way that life changes you and changes your relationships with those who you have been very close too. A friend would be wonderful. A friend who I wouldn’t have to explain everything too would be spectacular. I often wonder what kind of ease exists in that kind of friendship. I wonder how natural it must feel to be able to coexist with someone without being on pins and needles about what will transpire next as our children “play.” Thank you for sharing!

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