This post is a hard one to write. It may not be very popular. But, just like I felt I should write about how weary I was two years ago, I think I should write this because I’m probably not the only one who feels this way. I do not intend to offend anyone, just share a glimpse into my world.
A puzzle piece is the autism symbol. It’s meant to represent the conundrum that is autism.
I have my own autism puzzle piece, and it’s not my son.
Here’s my autism puzzle piece: I often feel like I don’t fit anywhere. Many times I feel like I’m the puzzle piece from a different puzzle that’s not in the toy drawer anymore. Let me explain.
Since Dr. J has Asperger’s syndrome, he’s not “neurotypical”. That means that though I do have many things in common with other moms–messy kid rooms, what to make for dinner, busy schedules, juggling finances, etc.–I also think about things they don’t. I wonder if the kids on the playground understand what my son means when he says he wants to fight–he doesn’t really want to get INTO a fight with them, he wants them to join his army. I sometimes don’t know what to say to “normal” (for lack of a better word) moms. I’m either tired or just can’t think of things to say because my brain wants to enjoy just being instead of being on high alert.
Many people understand that, especially other special needs moms.
Here’s the kicker.
I often feel like I don’t fit in with autism spectrum moms either. My son can talk. He can talk pretty well and is reading at level or ahead of his peers. So, I often feel guilty talking about things he’s doing around parents whose children barely say, “I love you”.
My son can now pour his own water out of a pitcher or get me an ice pack out of the freezer. He has learned how to unload the dishes he can put away. I hate to discuss those things around parents whose children have difficulty following one-step directions.
We have one car and I homeschool, so we are home almost every day. I am not fighting the school district for services or pushing a doctor for new therapies. I sometimes feel like a fish out of water.
I don’t say any of this to make anyone feel badly. I’m expressing what I deal with inside so that the mom on the other side of the computer screen thinks, “OH! I’m so glad I’m not the only one!”
So where do I fit?
Some days I get pretty down about this. But as I just typed “where do I fit?” I realized…
I fit where God puts me.
After all, God is the Master Designer of the puzzle of my life. For whatever reason, God has put me in the middle of these two worlds. I am thankful He reminded me I fit in His plan, and I will make that enough.