The Truth About “I’m Sorry” and A few Other Things That Go Along With Autism.

Posted: January 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

“I’m sorry.” The words muttered by family, friends, coworkers and even the stranger at the grocery store. Words that I have already heard over and over. The “I’m sorry” is their only sympathy that we hear, that we receive. “I’m sorry” is nothing more than their “I don’t know what else to say.” meaning. Very rarely does it mean anything more than that. I have heard it over and over. And now it’s drilled into my head. Every time you tell a person about the Autism diagnosis. No matter how old your child is, whether he is 2 or 20 years of age. You have already heard the “I’m sorry” enough times to know what else will most likely come after it, but it always starts the same. Every. Single. Time. You pour your heart out to some and their first response is still “I’m sorry” as if your child has just passed away. As if you didn’t already know that the future you had for your child is completely different.
You think of new ways to respond. They say “I’m sorry” and your response starts to get that angry tickle in your throat. “For what?” or “I’m not” I have used both of those already. The thing is they don’t even know what they are actually sorry for most of the time. Honestly, what could you possibly be sorry for? Your sorry that my family has a different type of battle than yours and that this battle isn’t the “typical”, “normal” family type of battle? Your sorry because he might not ever get a job, live on his own or even talk? Lets be honest. Honesty the thing that isn’t getting you nowhere, but it is getting me somewhere. Honesty is something that you lack, especially in the most truthful of situations like this.
So lets be honest, you keep the “sorry” part. Why? Because it is only words. I have heard many times how “sorry” someone is. They then offer the “if you need anything let me know” part. But they don’t follow through. Many times these types of people who know you, who have been “friends” with you for many years or the “family” who you have been there for has used words to say how “sorry” they are, but honestly they are glad. They are glad that it isn’t them. Why does it take many of us to figure this part out?…if we ever figure it out. It takes us awhile because we still want to see that good in people. You know the good in people that we don’t see very often. Why? Because so many people judge our child. They blame us, they blame our parenting, our pregnancy, our genes. They blame television, food, video games and anything that is possible to place blame upon. And the blame is always somehow our fault. At least to a good chunk of the outside world. We get the weird and dirty looks when our child goes into a meltdown frenzy in public and yet we still want to see the good in people. We want our best friend that said, “I’m sorry” to actually be that person they claimed to be. Even that stranger that looked at you when you were trying to calm your child down and you said, “he’s autistic”. They still said, “Oh, I’m sorry” but yet gave you this look like…well sucks to be you and that it is still your know the autism part is your fault. Bringing him in public when he can’t “control” himself. Doing the wrong things with him. It is somehow your fault.
You want to know what else is the truth? The invites to things. I have gotten invited to many things, but yet I can’t go to these things a lot of times. I can’t take the Monster to a Birthday party without Mike, it’s too hard. And I can’t take him to other things that I would like to do. So I don’t go. I don’t reschedule and soon I stop getting the invite to hang out even. Which yeah, I will take some of the blame of it, but not all the blame. Why doesn’t one of these people say, “hey, I will help you out that way we can go out lunch” because they are scared and “sorry”. So when you can’t make it to one of these events they instead say, “well we will have to get together some other time” which is they are “too busy” to work with you on your schedule, in other words your childs schedule. They invite you over, even though they know your child can’t handle going to a place that isn’t “autism proof” (it’s like child proofed, but 10 times harder to get to dangerous things).
Truth and honesty right there folks.
But here is the deep down truth about all the “sorry” and invites. It sucks. It sucks because again with the honesty here, you want to go. Sometimes you don’t get invited to things that you used to because of all this. Friends stop inviting you out, family stops inviting you to the birthday parties. And that sad part is, no matter how many times you say to yourself “I don’t care”… actually do care if you are invited to these things. You do care if people never really mean the “I’m sorry, let me know if you need anything” part. You care about it all. You care enough that you get that tickle in your throat to have some sort of comeback when they say the words “I’m sorry”. As if you feel the need to defend the autism in some sort of way. You care enough to tell yourself that you don’t care. And it is because you are already tired of hearing the “I’m sorry” part, because you have already heard it over and over again and you will continue to hear it over and over again. People forget the honesty part when it comes to the truth. People forget how easy life is for them sometimes. They forget about you even, because the autism. And in our world, when we say “I’m sorry” we remember what it actually means. The true meaning of being sorry about things. Our children have made us truthful and honest. That is a good part of autism, we learn to be truthful and honest.

  1. Monica E. says:

    I can definitely relate to this. My friendships have definitely changed, and completely dried up in a lot of cases over the last few years. One of the first blog posts I ever wrote was about the invitations I don’t get anymore. It stings somedays, but I’ve also gotten to the point where I’m OK with it. I know where I stand. I have a small, close group of friends and family who I can count on. And an awesome online community where I can find support. (hugs)

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