Wednesday, September 25, 2013

ABCs of Autism - J

J is for Joanne but this is not really my blog, plus I hate to go on and on about myself, so I'll refrain, ha!  It's not true that I hate to go on about myself, I love to talk about myself.  I remember one time when Anthony was a baby, my only baby, so maybe he was less than a year, Mike and I were watching the Departed.  We used to watch a lot of movies and tv in the basement, so we couldn't hear anyone who was maybe crying or grousing.  So anyway, we were watching The Departed and Vera Farmiglia is in it, and she has really pretty blue eyes.  I told Mike that and I said, I used to have blue eyes and Mike looked at me like I was crazy because of course I still did.  Then it occurred to me that I sort of felt like I must have brown eyes now, because I had been looking into Anthony's brown eyes for so many months.  That is crazy, right? That's motherhood, for me anyway, and for Anthony too.  I spent so much time with him, and his eyes were blue and then turned brown and I guess somewhere along the line, I thought my eyes must have turned brown too.  I really felt different, I guess.  Anyway.

J is for jealousy, for our purposes.  I am jealous all the time, of everyone, who I think has a better and by better I mean easier life.  I try and fight it because a) it's just not good for me and also b) it's not good for my kids and family and it's not an actual representation of my true feelings about my life - I love these kids and Mike and my family, I just don't always LIKE it so much.  Also, c) everyone is full of it and just because someone says how great their life is and how many times they might say LIFE IS GOOD on Facebook, it doesn't mean it's true.  It doesn't.  People say all kinds of things about their life, and they say them for all kinds of reasons.  I try not to get annoyed with people if they are being what I think is braggy about their FABULOUS life because maybe they are just trying to be happy and who am I to be mad at someone about that.

But I think it's really normal, when you get an autism diagnosis, to be jealous of other normal families, whether or not they are really normal in reality.  Would I pick this hard life if I had a choice?  I guess not, I mean, it's not my dream to worry about toilet training for EIGHT YEARS of Anthony's life, I don't like to worry about him, I don't like not knowing from month to month what is going to happen to us.  But I think if I really think about it, no one else knows what their futures hold either.  I saw a lady on the news today who lost her son to this certain kind of brain cancer, he was sick for 18 months and now he's gone and I think man, I bet she didn't think her life with him was going to go like that.  None of us know what will happen - once we have kids, our lives are not our own anymore, nor are our hearts.  I don't know who said it's like your heart is walking around outside your body, but it's true.  For us, maybe we are just more aware of it than people who have typical kids.  So even though I might get jealous of small, teensy things that other people have or don't have, I wouldn't trade my life, my kids, any of it, not for the world.  Maybe people are jealous of ME, I figure.  I mean, I think that would be really dumb, but I suppose anything is possible.

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