It's Not My Fault
Planning your life, at the beginning, isn’t so complicated because you have grown-ups basically planning it for you, which, as you enter your teen years you start to resent, if not sooner, and that causes a rift in your relationship that at some point causes you to leave and go out on your own. This life sucks, you know you can do better.
So you do. You go to school, get a job, support yourself, which you soon learn isn’t so great, but hey, you can stay up all night long if you want, and talk on the phone all hours, and to whomever, and date anyone you want… okay, so it isn’t all bad, but it is sort of getting boring. How long can you actually work at a grocery store? You need a “real” job.
So you get one, and you go to work, and come home, and pay bills and go to bed, maybe go out with friends, maybe go out on dates, and read books, and exercise, and take the dog on a walk, and realize that you are very alone. Every night, going to bed, alone. Sure, you can have everything your way, but who cares? It’s boring. Time to settle down, time to find The One, time to start a Family.
So, you find him, you get married, and a couple years later, here comes the baby. Oh my God, what have you gotten yourself into? This tiny little thing, how can you take care of her? Where are her real parents? How are you supposed to do this? What happened to the grocery store? Your dog? Having everything how you liked it?
She grows, and she’s so much fun, you want another, and another, and now you have a houseful, but wait, why isn’t the youngest one walking yet? Why isn’t she talking? “Oh, she’s the baby, they are always slower.” But she doesn’t say anything, not even mama. Can she hear? Let’s get her hearing tested, and you do, and so far as they can tell, her ears work, but how can you really tell if someone’s ears work when they don’t even talk or communicate at all? Time for intervention. Teach her sign language. You’ve tried. She doesn’t follow. She’s almost three years old now, and no words. At least she’s walking now, running and jumping, and she’s happy, at least she’s happy. Happy in her own world…ignoring yours.
What to do now? The other two talked at this age, even read a little, but this one, nothing. More intervention. To the school. Oh, we see this, we know what this is, this is autism. No, it isn’t. She is not autistic. She’s happy. She smiles, she loves to be held. No, she doesn’t talk, she is in her own world, we know this. It is autism. Let us help her, and we’ll see. We’ll observe her, we’ll do tests, we’ll tell you, we are right, we know this. Okay, she is not talking, still wearing diapers, three years old, okay… you accept their help.
She starts to use words, first singing songs, repeating everything, like a parrot, she has parrot disease, it isn’t autism. She’s okay, she will outgrow it. One year passes. She is talking so much now, so many words, but… still repeating. How much meaning in the words? Not too much. Two percent of where it should be they say. It is autism. It is. She is autistic.
(What kind of mother has an autistic child? A bad one? ) No, no, they say, you did everything right, it isn’t your fault. But I had post partum depression, I was so sad, you tell them… it is okay, it happens to lots of women, there’s no relation. At least she’s happy. She is loving. They do not know what causes it, but it is definitely not the mother’s fault.