Twisted Grief


I wanted to write more about how it is exhausting to fight but then something happened that I had to write about… And then I realized it actually is really related…

It is homecoming weekend. On my regular Facebook account my newsfeed is full of pictures posted by proud parents. The one that stings is of my sons best friend. I guess they have mostly “grown apart”. Although I know they still play online and they still talk. He has always been super nice to my son but he has moved on to other things, including girls. My son has no interest. And I know he has a strong dislike about the idea of homecoming. He tried regular high school. I still remember he told me they made him vote for homecoming king. Said he had to. Why?? But I was proud of him – he didn’t melt down, he said he voted for everyone. Smart.

But to see his friend, a year younger, all dressed up, hanging out with friends…. He seems very happy and I am so happy for him. But then there is a part of me that grieves. Is my son missing something? I want him happy! My son seems happy and tells me he is happy. He no longer takes anti depression meds. Never makes any comments about hating his life. He is happy.

And then I remember how I felt in high school. I heard everyone talk of homecoming & prom. I felt I had to go. So I did. I hated it. I felt so incredibly awkward. I remember being miserable and couldn’t wait for it to end. And then we went and got wasted. Yeah, that’s not what I want for my son.

But as a parent I look at an NT kid and it brings out these feelings of grief. As an aspie myself I know those activities do not bring happiness. Being forced, or feeling forced to do them is what brings the despair, not “missing” them. I had to go to my husbands work party. He said he was happy with me being there. I would have been happier to stay home and read. I would not have felt like I “missing it” if I stayed home. I stayed home last year & my husband kept asking “are you sure”. Yes I am sure, go! He just wants me happy & doesn’t always understand what makes me happy is not always the same as him.

I have learned that I like doing direct sales parties. It is like a party with a purpose, I can have fun but I know what my role is. With my friends I feel good & comfortable for the most part. But I know them and I want to hang out. We have fun 🙂 At another party I don’t always know what my role is. I don’t like asking people “what they do for a living?” What if they got laid off recently. “Have any kids?” Been trying for ten years and can’t. I just become anxious. So then I just kinda stand there or sit there. And then people come up to me because they want me to feel welcome. That is very sweet but if I don’t really have anything in common with them I don’t really feel comfortable either. I just want to be home reading a book.

So no, my son is not “missing” going to homecoming. But if you are an NT parent you would not come to that same conclusion. I get that. But I can see how that different thinking leads to a lot of fighting in the autism community. The NT parent wants child happy. They don’t understand what truly makes child happy. Some autistics have done things because felt they were supposed to. NT parents think – see it is possible and then continue to push their child. Some autistics come forward and say “no!!! You are not making them happy” NT parent says “you don’t know what you are talking about”.

NT parent is just focused on wanting child happy and “successful”. They can’t ever fully understand that what makes an autistic happy is completely different from what makes an NT happy. They only feel the grief. They can’t process what I can process – because they don’t feel that way. I can’t understand why they thought homecoming was so great but I can see the joy in the pictures & feel it in their comments. And so I get their feelings. If I posted a pic of me huddled in bed reading a book what emotion does that bring for them? Loneliness. I feel far more alone at the party.

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Comments

  1. I just wanted to say thank you for your blog. I just found in now in a moment of desperation searching for something that I’m not entirely sure of. I am a mother of an Aspie girl. 9 this November. I was a single mother for the first 5 years; I met my husband in person the day before my daughter’s 5th birthday. As I have learned more about AS I have come to think that I might also have AS. Though I seem to be a social butterfly around people it is normally because they are friends or I’m having a manic high. I’d much rather be curled up in bed with a good book then get all dressed up and go to a party full of people that I don’t know.
    Well, enough of that. I just wanted you to know that I will happily be following your blog and probably find you on FB as well. I have my own blog and would love to “reblog” your awesomeness there if you don’t mind. 🙂

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