Under the Surface

Today she didn’t see my son as I do.  When she scolded him, when she looked at me with that face.  My child was making her day difficult. I smiled and hugged him and took him home…crying. 

I know being angry at her doesn’t help.

Two girls on the playground stare with incredulous looks as my son makes weird sounds to himself. A boy talks to my son roughly because he doesn’t sense he should move out of the way. 

I know being angry at them doesn’t help.

My son doesn’t hear me. He doesn’t understand he just hurt me. He doesn’t see past his sensory needs at real danger. He can’t tell me why he’s sad, mad, or deliriously happy. Guessing is exhausting.

I know being angry at his autism doesn’t help. 

But the anger is there…Under the surface.
        …at no one. 
            …at everyone. 
                 …at autism. 

                      …at myself for feeling this way.

I do my best to be a good mom. And for a long time, even with autism, I succeeded. His needs were met. I loved him. He was happy.    

I did good. 
      I felt good.   
            But having a child with autism is different than a baby with autism.

                 I can’t make it all better.

The world has seeped into our safe little nest. I feel vulnerable. I feel judged and inadequate. I feel on the outside of society. No crime was committed but we are serving our sentence.

People only want to hear the success story at the end, but there is no success without struggle; right now I’m struggling. That is not the same as giving up.

We knew we were headed down a new road. The path less travelled. We accepted that. But the course changes suddenly and drastically often. And this particular section of road is under construction. I have to slow down…

I really am not an angry person. It’s just moments. A few spots on the big beautiful picture of my life on canvas. I claim it all because I’m human. I’m honest about the pain as much as the love. I love my son. Profoundly. I’m proud to be his mom and I’m nothing but grateful to be a part of this family I’ve been given. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a difficult road.

I’m not perfect.
     I’m not Super.
           I have a lot to learn. 
                I’m just doing my best.

One day people will know and understand autism. My son will have his place in this world without me standing guard. I will reach a point when I feel nothing but peaceful, but right now I just smile and nod and hold on tight to the steering wheel… 

Because I know being angry doesn’t help…but sometimes it’s just there.

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Suzy Higley

Suzy Higley

Wife to my childhood sweetheart. Stay-at-home mom of 3 awesome boys, ages 14, 12, and 5. My youngest is non-verbal and has Autism. Currently starting a community with other Autism Moms called Better Together. More social learning opportunities for our kids on the spectrum are needed...and because I couldn't find them, I'm creating them. I also draw and paint on both paper and walls...and furniture. And speaking of furniture, I have a chronic furniture rearranging condition that I'm seeking help for. Not really...it's my favorite.

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  • Steve Meddaugh

    As always this was beautifully written. I love how in touch with your emotions you are and how well you are able to express them in words. You are an extraordinary mom with a good head on your shoulders and it’s obvious from your posts that you have a better handle on all this than it probably feels like you do. Hang in there and thank you for sharing with us.

  • Suzy Garza Higley

    Thank you so much!