Why do you have to hurt me? You don’t understand my life and yet the stabs you give can kill a person and a family. You don’t understand what it is like to never go out and live a normal life, having to load up your kids and prepare everything for them at every age for every simple trip.
My two autistic boys, who I have had since they were both 5 years old – you still haven’t accepted as family. Why do you hurt me? They are not invited for family photos. They have been in our lives for 13 years, yet you still do not see them as the family. Why do you hurt me?
Yes, I choose this life. I love this life, yet I have to suffer in this life with loneliness and live as an outcast from my own family. Why do you hurt me? These are defenseless children who cannot provide for themselves. You don’t come over and visit. You look at them as my job and not as the family. Why do you hurt me?
I have the best job and the hardest job ever. I care for my two autistic children who have unconditional love for me as I do them. The hardest part of my job is being treated like people treat them, as a nobody and an outcast. I have no friends. I can’t go out to dinner or family reunions with my family without using respite hours or a personal care provider for our autistic children. You have never offered to watch my children. You haven’t come over to play with them or gotten to know them. Why do you hurt me?
My children don’t know how you hurt me. They don’t understand. I do. I do understand. I am their voice and I am asking: Why do you hurt me?
Please come walk in my shoes for one month and see. Live in a house where drool is a part of our lives and bleach wipes are our friends. See the anxiety of tantrums can last up to 4 hours of yelling, hitting, kicking, screaming, and threatening my life.
When you live in our home you will find simplicity. We do not have nice furniture, pictures, or knick-knacks. The collectable oil lamps are all in a box in the basement. There is no fine china, only plastic plates and glasses. The house is clean, yet has an odor that isn’t exactly pleasant, and there’s no way to rid the house of it. Come walk in my shoes and feel my pain of not having a normal life. Feel my pain of loneliness, no nice things to display and no friends to enjoy. Then maybe, just maybe, you might quit hurting me.
Sure, I picked this life. I knew what I was doing. But my grown children come over to visit. My grown children watch my autistic children. My grown children bring their friends over to hang out with the autistic children. We are a family! They have lived in my shoes, they understand, and they love. They don’t hurt me.