Autism Does NOT Cause Divorce!

A few months ago, I ran a series called called #AutismMyth Busting Fridays. It was about all the myths around autistic people. They don’t have…empathy, humor, etc.

This one is addressed directly to #AutismParents. It cuts to the very core of my personal message.

So before I begin let my lay out my ‘qualifications’ for what I am about to say…

  • I am the #ProudMom of a #HappilyAutistic and #ProudlyPDA #LittleHuman…
  • A full nights sleep is a rarity in this #HomeCrazzyHome…
  • PanKwake has hit, kicked, and bitten me during meltdowns…
  • She has even gone for knives (not with intent to harm but as comfort)…
  • As a result I have been investigated by Social Services…
  • We have had police called to one very public meltdown…
  • I have on several occasions had no other choices but to restrain her for health & safety reasons…
  • PanKwake has ‘eloped’ (stupid name for running away)…
  • I lived for five years as a single mother on benefits…
  • PanKwake’s father and I have been separated for almost seven years…
  • I have been diagnosed with both depression and anxiety…
  • Some of my adult offspring do not speak to me because of my choices regarding PanKwake…
  • …And I am sure there are others that I am forgetting.

So yeah, my path has not been easy. And hell yeah, I have earned the right to say…

Autism Does NOT Cause Divorce!

You know what causes divorce?

Marrying the WRONG Person!

Parenting an #autistic #LittleHuman might shows flaws in a relationship. BUT it does not create them. They were there all along. And honestly, it could have been (and mostly likely was) any number of things that creates stress in a relationship…

  • Finances…
  • Sex…
  • Jobs…
  • Family…
  • Friends…
  • Health…
  • ??? (Insert your own…)

So why does this myth persist without substantiation that divorce is more common among #AutismParents?

Because some people…way too many of them…are always looking for someone or something else to blame rather than accepting responsibility for their own *f*ing lives, choices, and mistakes.

Don’t get me wrong…I am not and never claim to be perfect. I spent five years alone or in shallow relationships with the wrong men. Because I bought the lie that NO MAN COULD HANDLE OUR LIVES… Yes, I am ashamed to admit…because of #autism.

But here me now…even then…I never blamed my child. I did not waste my time or energy resenting either PanKwake or autism. And I did not blame autism for the failure of my marriage to her father. We had problems well before the Big A word came into the picture. I accepted responsibility for my bad choices in men.

Then one day when I was not looking for anything more than a good friend to go to the movies, museums, and for walks with…someone to have an adult conversation with…this amazing man came into our lives.

At the time, I insisted MY life. I naively told him that my #LittleHuman was not his responsibility. How I expected that one to work is beyond me?

From the beginning, I threw this man in the deep end…expecting him to RUN!

After a couple of hours in a coffee shop, walking about London, and visiting a market, I took him back to my teeny, tiny, dingy flat. I opened the front door to PanKwake chasing her big sister Precious around with a can of FAKE POO!

I thought…well, he seemed a really nice guy. I expected him to make some excuse and leave in ten or fifteen minutes.

He missed the last train of the day. And I did something that in the whole five years I had been separated from PanKwake’s father I had never once done…I invited him to stay with us. (Get your mind out of the gutter…I made it clear that was not happening.)

He went home the next day. And I was shocked he came back the following weekend. Since that time, we have been apart less than two weeks in almost two years now.

20160509_212800_resizedI remember the exact moment I realized I loved this man. He had been ‘living with’ us (not officially at this point) for three weeks or more. We were lying in my bed…most clothed (gesh…your minds!). PanKwake had been playing in her Pink Palace bedroom. She was dressing her GI Joe dolls in Barbie formal wear! She kept running back and forth showing them to HIM.

You see when I told him that I was not looking for a father for my #autistic child…I forgot to ask PanKwake! She was looking for a Daddy. And she found a damned amazing one. (Oh, the cat adopted him as her human too. And he was allergic to them.)

A couple of weeks later, we did a trial run of this move to Swansea. I stepped into his then home and my mouth dropped open…I felt like Cinderella! The thing is that trial runs…that sort of instability…major change…it is hard on anyone. But #autistic #LittleHumans (to be fair…MOST #LittleHumans do) to handle that sort of thing.

It was MELTDOWN time!

The night before we went back to London. And I am talking…run for the kitchen knives meltdown too. In this big, fancy, historical house. It took an hour to calm her. He was there. He followed my instructions. And when it was over, I collapsed into his arms crying.

The next day…the carpet men were supposed to come and take measurements. They were late. He said that he would stay behind and come down the next day. But in my mind, I thought…I’ll get a text saying he cannot handle this. And that will be that.

But even though I knew I loved this man…I did NOT blame either PanKwake or #autism. Life ain’t easy…for any of us. I accept that. I always have. And I refuse to be beaten…by anything. Well, not for long.

He got the last train that night. I ran into his arms. And I knew that my beloved Cookie Monster was the RIGHT man.

We made that move. But, of course, those types of changes are hard. Period. Full stop. I won’t even say that PanKwake’s spate of meltdowns over the next few weeks were worse than a ‘normal’ child’s behaviors might have been in a similar situation. I will say that she melted down the night that his parents were visiting and he got a honorary doctorate. And again when his friends were over for his birthday party.

And every single time, those meltdowns ended with his arms about me.

The toughest though came when the next door neighbor…a professional nurse…melted down on our front door step calling him all kinds of nasty things. You see the house was a perfect storm. PanKwake like many #autistics is also dyspraxic. While she is very strong and has an athletic build, she struggles with coordination.

And that house was four flights of stairs straight up to Pink Paradise. And with her unusual body clock… To make matters worse, the construction of those row houses meant that the supporting beams of that house went straight into the walls of the neighbor’s. Actually amplifying the sound of her ‘pounding’ up and down stairs at night.

I shall never forget his words to me over breakfast…

I knew that a few sleepless nights was the price of loving you. And I accepted that. She did not get that choice. We’ll move.

And for PanKwake and me…he bought #HomeCrazzyHome.

8c91dae8ae368ca7f5f01098eb6c7bfef1b4b9cf

The walls are eighteen inches of solid rock. The stairs are in the center of the house…nowhere near the neighbors on either side. And despite all the work…it is the perfect family home. And a refuge and fortress…a safe space. Not just for us…or PanKwake…but for our #neurodivergent and #HomeEd friends. We regularly have parties with a dozen or more #LittleHumans running wild and free.

IMG_20160914_220435Cookie Monster was the RIGHT man for me. The Daddy that PanKwake was seeking (My friend SistahSarah points out that sometimes he understands her better than I do). And even the cat.

When you are with the RIGHT person, you solve challenges…you face them…TOGETHER…and it makes you stronger. It is that simple.

So, NO! Your child’s autism did not cause your divorce. You did. Reach deep, grow a set, and accept responsibility for YOUR own mistakes.

AUTISM DOES NOT CAUSE DIVORCE!

A few pics of the real #HomeCrazzyHome with waterfights at dawn…comb overs…and beard decoration…

He and we…live, laugh, and love through it all. And that, folks, is how we became #HappilyAutistic!

 

 

Published by Tara Cox

Writer of Literary Erotica Real-life, hot sex, deep meaning... In my day job, I am homemaker, home educator, urban farmer, and homesteader at our @HomeCrazzyHome.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: