Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Paper Cuts (at Hopeful Parents)

with 6 comments

This essay was originally posted at Hopeful Parents.


Hopeful Parents

Some say the child’s diagnosis is like a stab to the parent’s heart.  A shock, a blow that stops the heart from pumping, the world from turning, life from living.

I’m not sure it was entirely like that for me.  If it was, the wound wasn’t mortal.  Rather it was closer to the cut of a surgeon’s knife.  I anticipated the diagnosis, and knew it was necessary, prepared for it.  It was the recovery that took a long time.

I’d wanted to stop the bleeding quickly, put a Band-Aid on it, and heal.  But you can’t rush grief, it takes its own time.  I needed the stitches that came with experience.  I needed the tender care of those who had gone before me, applying balm to the wound.  First I felt numb, then I was sore, but it got better every day.

I healed up.  I dutifully worked through all the stages.  I wasn’t in Denial for long, though you could say I’d been in denial all along.  I was Angry for quite some time.  I Bargained better than the canniest of salesmen.  There was the Depression.  Short-lived, but miserable depression, anemia from the blood loss.  And then Acceptance.  Text book.  Glorious, wonderful, acceptance.  All the while I’d known that our baby was no different, no diagnosis would change my feelings.  But I’d changed, my life was changed irrevocably.  I’d formed a scar.  That needed Acceptance.

Only the thing they never tell you about grief, is that it comes around again.  Not so bad.  Not bleeding so profusely.  More like little paper cuts.

The sting reminds you of the bigger pain, as though you were ever likely to forget. I’m cut when my daughter refuses to hug her father, and only my cuddles will do.  I smarted when she spurned my parent’s attentions when they came to visit.  The nick when my younger child surpasses her development, or an overseas school refuses to include her.

Just little griefs; they sting, but they aren’t fatal.  Paper cuts.

I can dress my own wounds, and even when I can’t, they heal up on their own.  Give her time, she’ll get there.  Bandage.  She has come so far.  Ointment.  She is amazing in her own way.  Balm.  The paper that cuts me is a masterpiece still being written.  Salve.

Acceptance isn’t just getting through Grief.  It is learning that I’ll go through many griefs, and just as many acceptances.  No use in denying it.  Acknowledging that I’ll smart through every one of those paper cuts.  It is okay to be angry about it.  I can even try to bargain that one day my skin will be thicker, eventually dulled to the pain.  I can get depressed about it, but sooner or later I’ll accept that they will come as part of parenting.

Love hurts.  Sometimes a lot, more often a little.  If I can recover from a stab wound, I can get through these too.  Love heals too.

After all, nobody ever bled to death from a paper cut.

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Written by Spectrummy Mummy

March 19, 2011 at 6:21 am

6 Responses

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  1. That was a beautiful post. The weaving of the diagnosis with healing a wound is very true. I, personally, had no idea what autism was when we received the diagnosis although it had been a word that made the back of my head often enough. I don’t know the stage I am in. I believe I visit all five stages but denial still rears it’s head at times. Love is hard and beautiful. Your writing is so elegant and flows without hesitation. Thanks for sharing.

    solodialogue

    March 20, 2011 at 12:38 am

  2. Loved this piece!

    Jen

    March 21, 2011 at 11:54 am

  3. I’ve linked to your post on Hopeful Parents and wanted to let you know. http://webtexans.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/growing-pains/ I don’t have a spectrum child, but I can relate when watching my child/ren struggle. I am hoping that I can lead a few more people to your amazing blog, if they happen to stumble across mine.

    Nomads By Nature

    April 21, 2011 at 2:53 am

  4. […] paper cuts and autism – If you mean figuratively… […]

  5. […] about gross motor skills.  Cubby surpassed his big sister several months ago.  It stings, like paper cuts always do. what is an anticipated problem for a pumpkin patch field trip What kind of […]

  6. […] By March, Cubby was chatting up a storm, and we celebrate his birthday.  Pudding went swimming with Miss Arizona.  We had a Yes Day, which is the perfect relief from all those Paper Cuts. […]


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