When I found out that my son had autism, I was devastated. I had suspected that something was not quite right with my son but to have it confirmed was a big blow.
On the one hand, I was was relieved because now I knew why my son was facing the difficulties he was facing. On the other hand, I was terrified because now his whole future seemed to be under question. Everything that I had imagined my son would do in his life, from going to school to graduating to getting married to having kids, now seemed uncertain.
As I took my son from one therapy to another, and watched him struggle to do the simplest of things, crying in frustration, becoming overwhelmed, having meltdowns, my hopes and dreams for his future crumbled. It broke my heart to see my son suffer. I was furious that my son had to go through what he was going through. It didn’t seem fair. He was just an innocent child. He had done nothing to deserve this.
My anger soon gave way to depression. I felt heartbroken watching my son struggle to make friends, play sports, stay in school. I felt dejected. Everything we were putting our son through to “help” him seemed pointless. I missed the carefree days when I could just enjoy my son for who he was rather than constantly trying to “fix” him and make him “better”.
I soon realized that we couldn’t go on the way we were going on. We would end up getting burned out if we didn’t strike a balance. Our lives improved significantly after that decision. We continued to do the therapies that the doctor had recommended for our son, but not like our lives depended on it. We took the time to relax and enjoy ourselves, being silly, doing fun things with no other intention than to have fun.
Eventually, I came to terms with our new life and was able to embrace our new normal. There are still times when I feel angry or sad or worried or anxious, and I know I will continue to feel these emotions from time to time throughout our journey, but now there are also times when I feel content and peaceful and happy and hopeful, and those times are more frequent than before.
Originally published on Rainbow in the Clouds