It's been an up-and-down, back-and-forth battle.
There are days that have been better. There are days that have been worse. There are days that I wouldn't wish upon anyone. There are days that I scream up to the heavens and say, "Why him? Why this little boy? Listen to his screams! Why must he suffer so?"
There have been days when I felt like someone needed to take the blame for this. Those are the days I struggled. Those are the days that I felt angry at God. Like a parent protecting her child from a bully, I have felt the need to ask God, "Why are You doing this to my son? He's a good boy! Leave him alone!"
I felt awful about this, as if we autism mamas need anything else to feel awful about. I really wrestled with it. Was I a fraud? Was I walking through life, making everyone think that I was okay, when really I was mad? Was I wrong for feeling mad? Was I wrong for feeling mad at God?
It was tea with someone from my church that helped me feel a bit better about it. I confessed to her that I had been feeling angry at God for the struggles my son endures. I told her that it had actually made me question my faith. If I am to follow the teachings of my Catholic faith, I have to believe that God is all-knowing. He knew that my boy would have these struggles. Even if my boy is created perfect in His eyes - and I do believe my son is perfect - then how was I to reconcile the fact that my boy has struggled more in his nearly 4 years of living than most people do in a lifetime? Why is it that my boy has had to trade play dates and the everyday magic of early childhood for therapy and doctors visits all so that he could make any inkling of progress? Why would an all-knowing, all-powerful God use a child in such a way?
It pisses me off, and I said so. This lady, in her infinite patience and wisdom, shared this bit of insight with me. I have a relationship with God. It's not one-sided where I'm to follow blindly and love unconditionally, lest I feel the wrath. Rather, our dealings with God are not unlike those with our neighbors, friends, co-workers, and spouses. There are times when we are at the height of our joy and we rejoice with God. There are times in which we disagree with the path He seems to place before us or our loved ones, and we get angry. In the same way that my entire relationship with my husband isn't dictated by being angry - by getting in one fight - nor is my relationship with God or my faith.
You know what? It wasn't even that realization that helped. It was sharing with someone that I was vulnerable. That in spite of my rosy disposition most days, there are times that I'm pissed about the way my son has to struggle. I'm not pissed for me, I'm pissed for him, just as if a bully was picking on my kid.
It was also hearing someone say that those emotions were okay that helped lift a weight off my shoulders. You see, being an autism blogger doesn't come without its hazards. I am frequently balancing the need to be optimistic with my own need to scream on the days when screaming seems to be the only thing my heart wants to do. Yet I hear from others within our community that to share all of those negative thoughts is destructive both to the community and to our children.
The point is that keeping it inside will only hurt you. It will only hurt your children. It will eat away at you. Get it out. Release it and let it go. You will feel better and you will parent better.
And know this - your emotions are always okay, just as long as you don't let them rule your life.