xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' Yeah. Good Times.: "I wish he was normal"

Sunday, July 15, 2012

"I wish he was normal"

I got a message on Facebook the other day; somebody was thanking me for my honesty. She said that she had spent some time with an NT kid and the thought had crossed her mind about how cool it would be to have a "normal" kid. And then she felt guilty for feeling that way about her own child. And then, she says, she thought about what I would say... and she felt better.

Okay, first of all? Wow. The fact that I could have that much impact on somebody whom I've never met blows my fucking mind. Seriously, blogging? Because... wow. And it made me think about what I'm doing here, as a bloggerish-type person, and what kind of responsibility I might have to my readers, most of whom I don't even know. I have people thank me all the time, for "saying what they can't," for saying what they feel but feel guilty about expressing, and I'd like to take this opportunity to say some more stuff that people might be thinking but are afraid to say.....

Sometimes I look at Child 1 and I think "I wish he was normal."

Yep, that's right, I just wrote that.

I love that boy; more than my own life. He is beautiful and wonderful and smart and perfect just as he is, and I love him so fucking much. I spend a lot of my time fighting for and defending his rights as an autistic person but sometimes? I wish he was "normal." Because his life would be easier if he wasn't autistic. Because my life would be easier if he wasn't autistic. Because there's a lot of hardship and pain headed our way, in addition to the hardship and pain that has passed by us already, and everybody's life would be easier, in general, without hardship and pain.

I just wrote that down for the world to see, because this is the truth; this is what I think sometimes. And it doesn't mean I don't love him or accept him, it just means that this is what I think sometimes. And there's nothing wrong with that, because the thoughts that go through my head are nothing more than that: thoughts. What's important is what I do with those thoughts: how I act, how I treat him, how I treat the world... how I treat myself.

See, the thing is, you can't fault yourself for your own feelings. Whoever you are, whatever your circumstances, the truth is that you feel what you feel. Feelings are normal, they pass through your head and throughout the course of the day you may have a billion of them. That's what human beings do, you can't stop feeling things any more than you can stop being a human being. What's not okay is anybody who tells you that you're not okay for having feelings. So I'm here to say that, whoever you are, if you occasionally look at your kid, or yourself, and think "I wish s/he was normal," that's okay. It's okay to think that. It doesn't mean you don't love your kid or yourself, it just means that's what you think at the moment.

And to anybody who would tell me that I'm part of the problem, or I'm helping to keep autistic people marginalized, or I'm personally offending you by saying this? First of all, this isn't about you, this is about me. You don't get to tell me that my feelings are wrong any more than I get to tell you that your opinion is wrong. Because they're both right. They are what they are. And the sooner that we can all learn to accept each other for how we feel and who we are, the sooner we can make this world a better place for you, and for my kid. And that's what I'm trying to do here.

So, thank you to the person who wrote to me on Facebook. You have impacted me more than you can ever know, and I hope that I can continue to make you feel better about things; to help make you feel normal. I'll keep trying to, anyway.