Monday, October 13, 2008

No longer "consumed"

It's time to rename this Blog. When I first started writing it, I named it "Consumed By Autism." I have no idea why I chose to call my Blog that - maybe I just thought it sounded cool - but it closely reflected how I felt at that time. "Overwhelmed By Autism" would have been even more accurate of my state of mind up until this year. "Overwhelmed By Everything" would have nailed it, actually.

This past year I have come to the realization that all the stuff that has happened to me in my life had to happen to bring me where I am today, and that all the things that I consider the "worst" events in my life were, in fact, among the best things to happen to me. My divorce freed me. It sounds trite, but it's true.

More significantly, having a son with autism has taught me to have more patience, to see joy and beauty where it might not be immediately apparent, and to live in the moment rather than being in a constant state of panic over the future or being in a constant state of anger over what could have or should have been. When I imagine having two "typical" sons today, I know that I would still be stuck in an unhappy life, worrying about inconsequential crap, driven by having money and lots of stuff and stuck in some job or other I hate and receive no satisfaction from. You could ask me, "but what about even BEFORE that? What if you'd married someone else and had different kids? Maybe then you wouldn't have gone through any it and your life would have been easier, better."

Who knows what could have been? Why drive myself crazy even trying to go back, unravel my life, figure out where I "went wrong" and wonder what could have been done "right?" That's for the movies. I believe I needed all of it. I've noticed a lot lately people all around me who are unsatisfied. They have perfectly "normal" children, well-paying jobs with great benefits, seemingly happy marriages, cool stuff, and they still find stuff to bitch about. Without the life I've had, without having my son the way he is, I'd be one of those people. It is said that it's better to learn from other's mistakes rather than one's own, but does anyone really learn that way - REALLY, TRULY learn?

I've renamed this Blog "Autism Co-Parent." It's probably not the best title, either, but I'd like to be useful to someone and what do I have to offer? I have my experiences. My perspective. I've looked, and I haven't seen anything out there about parenting a child with autism cooperatively with an ex, so that's where I'm going to go with this Blog. I don't have all the answers, of course, but maybe, just maybe, someone COULD learn from MY mistakes.

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