Sunday, August 14, 2011

eSpecially Parents August Edition: Meg's Story

If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. --Maya Angelou

Who says it better than Maya Angelou?  I mean reallly, geesh, she is awesome.

This post is about change.  It's funny, because I have always been a huge fan of change.  You know, mixing things up, trying something new, meeting new people, travelling to new places, etc.  All these things, every single one of them is like a living nightmare for my Autistic son.  So nowadays change is something we plan, not something that happens to us. 

Changes in relationships are unpredictable and therefore a dangerous area for our family.  Since we live so far from my family, their support is by necessity, verbal (phone calls), so from a practical point of view it has made little difference.  As for friends, we have recently moved to a new area of the country and are in the initial stages of friendship with lots of lovely people who know all about our challenges, which makes things so much easier for us. 

I would have to say that the lack of reaction from family members when we shared our son's diagnosis was really the most shocking thing for us.  I don't know that any of my family members or my husband's family members actually understand what our son's Autism means to us, the way we live, the amount of stress and planning involved in even the smallest change.  I would have appreciated some recognition of the change to our lives.  I suppose they thought that making a big deal of it wouldn't help things, and they are probably right. 

I'm not sure what I'm trying to say.  I certainly haven't had the experience of losing the support of friends or family members due to my son's diagnosis because we had no support network to begin with.  It sometimes seems like we are our own floating island.  When the seas are calm, life can be really fantastic.  When the seas are rough, we hold tight to each other and wait it out.  We are our own support system and it works for us because it has to.  We don't have a choice.  We have little family nearby and we have lovely, but new friendships.  We can't change our situation, but we can endeavour to keep a positive attitude and appreciate one another.

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