I don’t know where I would be today if it weren’t for my Mum. I was diagnosed back in the mid 1980’s as high functioning Autistic, when next to nothing was known about the condition. My Parents, upon being given the news, were also told that I should be put into an institution because it would be the best thing for me, as I wouldn’t be good for anything else. My Mother was told my condition was all her fault. That if she had given me more attention and love, I wouldn’t be the way I was. Refrigerator Mother. I’m sure a lot of Mothers were called that in the ignorant years of diagnosis. My Mother, horrified by being told that she should institutionalize her first born child, told the doctor where to jam his opinion. Most politely im sure. Mum did the best she could for and by me over the years, with the knowledge and the tools she had. It wasn’t easy seeing as though she was told she couldn’t even tell me about my Autism. Apparently my mind wouldn’t be able to comprehend the information and it would break. It wasn’t until Tony Attwoods diagnosis that I found out about it. He told my parents to tell me. Im wish that I had known a lot sooner than I had. That the school wasn’t told to not put any pressure on me because I was too fragile. And that they took that info to the extreme by not trying to help me at all. By leaving me alone, and to my own devices to the point where I had no idea what I was at school for. And because of that, I was in no way prepared for the transition from the Steiner School I was going to, to the regular school we attended after our move to the gold coast. It was such a shock to my system. There was 4-5 times the students at the new school. And I was being made to work on things I didn’t know how to work on as I had not been taught how to work on them. Needless to say I didn’t last long there. The whole situation was made all the worse by the constant bullying I was enduring. Both physical and mental.
Maybe more on that another time, because I digress.
There are probably a lot of things that Mum could have done differently. But she did the best she could with everything she had, while dealing with her own problems, another child that was Neurotypical and the regular things that go with Neurotypical teenage girlhood that she wasn’t dealing with, with me. There are a lot of things I wish I was able to do. But I am grateful for all the work that Mum put into helping me. Because of her upbringing, old fashioned now by far with todays standards of how kids should be raised and be, I was rigorously taught proper etiquette and manners, what was right and wrong. How to treat people. Because of her im more adept at being in social situations then I would be other wise. Some of the stuff she taught me didn’t kick in till I was well into adulthood, because I didn’t understand it until then. She taught me how to keep a house, how to be clean, what was appropriate and what was not. She taught me how to live on a predominantly Neurotypical planet. There are blessing and curses that go with that as with most things. I have these “rules” in my head of people are supposed to be with each other. But i’m constantly seeing around me, people that don’t follow those rules. In raising my Aspergian Son, I follow those same rules. I teach him the same things that my mother taught me. The only difference is, I also teach him that there are a lot of people out there that don’t follow those rules. It can get so mind bogglingly frustrating to see people break those rules where ever I go. Praying for the change in that.
Yes I am so grateful that I was blessed with the mother I have. We have butted heads on numerous occasions, said things to hurt each other, fought and bickered too. But we are still mother and daughter and always will be. Mum is still helping me today with things I have trouble with that only she can help me with. Im sure I must drive her mad at times. Or maybe most of the time 😛 But I can always depend on her.
Thanks for everything you have done for me Mum.