Somebody said something to me recently which really upset me. It was an observation that I know was not meant in any way to be hurtful, in fact the person that said it probably really believes in the statement – and it is a statement that has been said to me more than a few times in the past decade.
“Autistic children are such a blessing” “These children are blessed to have you” “God gave you these children because he knew you could cope with them and look after them”
Now those of you who know me personally will know I do not believe in God, but this wasn’t always the case. Any faith I may have had, has been stripped away years ago by what I have seen ‘God’ let happen to my children, and not to mention other events I’ve been witness to as a police officer.
So I question how having a child(ren) such as mine is a blessing. Surely a blessing would be to live a healthy life unencumbered by disability? How does God decide these things (should he actually exist)? How does God choose which child – yes a child for Gods sake – he is going to make life difficult for? Is this some kind of test, and if so whats the point of the exercise? What’d the kid do to cop that?
Sure I can cope with these kids, what choice do I have. While I love my kids, every single one of them and I do not regret having them – had the midwife said to me eleven years ago that a decade later I would still be changing my baby boys nappies, and that he would still be the baby I brought home just adult sized – I have to say that honestly I may have thought twice.
On my eldest Autistic sons 11th birthday a week ago I thought of his birth day a lot, I still have a vivid snapshot in my mind of my husband sitting in a chair in the delivery room cradling his first-born son – I can still see the look on my husbands face as he gazed into his new sons face, so full of hope and happiness. I know at the time my husband was totally lost in the moment and talked about the things he and his son would do together. Simple things like playing sport, sailing and fishing – you know, guy stuff – our son is still yet to be able to do any of these things, and probably never will.
Why are things so unfair?
I know I know, the world is unfair. But why do things have to suck? What kind of sick bastard lets terrible things happen if they had the power to change them?
So back to my well-meaning friend. I smiled nodded and said thank you, and inwardly seethed. What do you say to the parent of a child with a disability? A simple how are you doing will probably be the best thing you can ask. Without meaning to, telling me I am blessed to live the life I lead makes me question what I or my children did to deserve this?
I lost the ability to see my existence as blessed a long time ago. Sorry.
Not too sure how and if I’ll ever get back to a blessed place.