Sadness, yes it happens to me. It happens to all of us. I don’t talk about it too often because I try not to focus on it. Having a child with autism can trigger many emotions and one of them is sadness. It is real and it happens to all parents of children on the spectrum.
Sometimes, for me personally, I experience sadness when my son has challenges with a task that are so simple for a typical child. Sometimes I experience sadness in moments when he is frustrated and he cannot get the words out. Sometimes I experience sadness when I look at the world and realize that not everyone is kind and understanding and that he will experience hardships because of his autism. Sometimes I experience sadness when he’s excluded from things. Sometimes I experience sadness when I think about the dreams I had to let go of for him that I had when he was born.
I have shed many tears over all of these ‘sadnesses’ at some point or another in my life.
Autism can tug on your soul, it can drag you down to the deepest depths of the sea and the lowest valley that you don’t think you can ever climb out of. It comes with it’s unique set of rules and challenges and there is no rule book to follow. You have to make things up as you go along. It is real and it sometimes comes when you least expect it. There are times when I have looked in another parent’s eyes who face similar challenges and you know that they know what you are going through. You can sometimes see the sadness in their face for a moment.
I don’t think it’s an emotion we should be ashamed of or scared of at all. I think sadness is like any other emotion. If we never experienced sadness, we would never be able to understand what happy feels like. So to deny this emotion would not be healthy.
Lately, I have been choosing to re-frame the way that I think. I choose to acknowledge that sadness is there sometimes, but that all of the “happy” times with our son far supersede any sadness that has ever happened.
I will continue to acknowledge sadness, but I will not let it prevent me from enjoying all of the happiness that I experience each day with my son. Every time I see my son’s face, I am truly happy and I can’t stop smiling!