Denying What Was Right in Front of Me

I don’t really want to be writing this, because it’s not pretty. I’m somewhat ashamed of this moment, but it’s my truth.

“Why can’t you just be normal??” This is what I yelled at my sixteen month old beautiful baby boy. The look on his face is forever sketched in my memory, as it should be. I should never be allowed to forget how awfully broken I was then.

Noah had been seeking sensory input at an all time high. Spinning, head stands, making non stop noises {not babbling, big difference} And just his lack of attention nor desire to do anything purposeful, had taken a toll on me.

Up until that point, I had never seen Noah cry as hard as he did. And I remember it as if it were yesterday. But this would never happen now. I am much stronger, and smarter. But I can picture it all. The exact spot in our old house where Noah curled up and buried his little face into the carpet. And me sliding down the wall onto the kitchen floor in defeat. Both of us shaking. Both of us crying our hearts out.

We had to get out of the house. It was warm so we went for a walk. I called my best friend and told her that this wasn’t normal…none of this was okay. And she calmly told me, this isn’t the first time you’ve said this. She was right. I’ve had my suspicions Noah was autistic since he was a few months old. But there would always be so many reasons he wasn’t.

So, I would have this constant battle in my head going back and forth, he is, he isn’t. And I couldn’t do it anymore. I knew it was something, autism or what, but I knew this was real. This was going to be our lives.

I realized, the more I tried to deny what was in front of me, the harder it would be in the long run. So, we dove head first into early interventions. I began googling autism, and what it looked like at all ages. I started actually saying the word out loud.

I began talking about Noah. “Yeah, he spins, and shouts, yep that’s my goofy boy, my whole heart.” I started to own autism.

I educated myself and learned how hard Noah works and how brave he is. I want him to know how proud I am, and that I am never ashamed of him, nor do I want him to be ‘normal.’

Yes, he may be awkward growing up, and not always know the right thing to say. {still believe the words are coming} But my Noah is just plain amazing. And the more I’m okay with the autism part, the more everyone else around me will be too.

As someone very wise once said, “change your thinking, and it will change your life.”

This wasn’t easy for me to share. I felt like a monster. I still do. It haunts me to this day. I still ask Noah to forgive me.

And I hope it is very evident that my son is my whole world, and that is not a reflection of my thinking. I share this because I remember that feeling. That sinking, gut wrenching, overwhelming feeling. And you want to deny it so badly. You want to do everything in your power to make it go away. I know how that feels.

And if someone is reading this and now doesn’t feel so alone, or doesn’t feel like a monster…

Well, then, I’ve done the right thing in sharing this, because you, like me, are neither of those things.

Written by, Danielle Mager

Danielle is the proud mama to Noah, a handsome, silly, strong willed, almost three year old who also happens to be on the spectrum. Danielle blogs at story of noahism and shares their journey on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/storyofnoahism/.

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Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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