i think i have it slightly figured out. how it feels to be handicapped. it is different than being told: you have autism. but it is a blow and one i'm having much difficulty with emotionally. i was told that my chances of ever getting use of my hand again is extremely minimal. that though i may see some improvement, have use of some parts, i should not expect to have a functional left hand.
it hit hard, right to the core center. a creative someone, how can i be crafty? a mother, how can i create a proper meal for my children? a wife, how can i iron his work shirts? me, a piece of me deformed, a piece of me taken away, yet another disaster to manage in my life with one less limb to use to do it.
it seems unfair. i keep comparing it to autism in my mind, how i felt when i was told kaeden was autistic. and then how he must have felt when he learned it about himself. how do you deal with being told your life is not what you hope it will be? that a piece of you won't work like you should? to come to terms with a different life than the one we envision?
i feel as if i have been delivered enough blows in my life. i can't quite fathom what i have done to deserve it all. i try to stay positive, but these thoughts continue to niggle at the back of my mind. why am i being punished? why is my son?
is autism a punishment? no! but it is a life sentenced to being different, and it often feels like a punishment. it feels like a waiting game that never ends. to me, as his mom. to him, well, since feelings are so difficult, i don't really know how he feels, other than those moments late at night when his body is wrapped tightly in his blankets and his head pokes out and in his calm he asks me: mama, why do i have autism? and when i try to answer honestly, it feels like a punishment to both of us, all of us.
i know that i should be grateful that i am alive. yes, i do know this. that somehow, life was nearly taken from me and for whatever reason i was spared and given the chance to live. but in return, i get to be handicapped. just a little one, just a useless hand, just some pain and new ways of doing what used to seem so simple. but it still feels like a punishment to me.
i think i finally understand my son a bit better. how he must feel being different as i see all the stares as people look at me walking encased in a sling and brace, their curiosity getting the best of them. if this is what it takes to be a better mother to my son, i'll live with it. if it makes me more understanding, so be it.
but dang, it feels like a punishment to my battered soul.