The Guilt and the ‘What Ifs’

We’re a week since ‘A-Day’ now, and still my mind won’t switch off. I still haven’t managed to begin working my way through the bumf, although I have upgraded the temporary file to a rather pretty document box, so that’s a start. I have also started reading ‘Toast: Autism in the Early Years’ buy Alice Boardman. I find myself reading her descriptions of situations she has faced with her sons, or things she has discovered and I am nodding in understanding, crying with empathy or laughing knowingly. I get it. I actually get it. There are other people out there (some of you actually read my fledgling blog! Wow! Thank you!) who KNOW what we’re going through. We’re not alone! However, I am also finding myself wondering why. Why has our daughter got autism? And so, the guilt kicks in. What did we do wrong? Is it our genes? Was it because I didn’t eat too healthily when pregnant? Was it because she didn’t breathe (for what felt like hours but was only perhaps one minute) when she was born? Was it because I chose not to breastfeed at all? Was it because she suffered with silent reflux and had to take medication from 3 weeks old? Was it because she had the MMR? Who knows? It may be one of these, some of these, none of these. I’m not even going there with Dr. Google. I just know the kind of ‘answers’ that are out there on t’interweb and frankly, at this point in our journey, I’m not interested. Tink is Tink. Right now, although things are confusing, and scary and we have a million questions and no-one to ask, we wouldn’t have her any other way. Things are also colourful, and funny and enlightening (ah, now I think I know why fruit is a no-go area!) and fascinating and brilliant! Just today she has made me chuckle at how literally she can take things (“Tink, hold hands”… Tink holds one of her hands in the other.) and I was proud at her capacity to amaze her future nursery teacher by sitting still, in a chair for 25 minutes while we had a meeting with her, then how she calmly explored the nursery and sat with the children when their teacher asked them to (not Tink), which also surprised her new teacher! I’m sure I will always be thinking about the ‘whys’ and the ‘what ifs’ and I don’t suppose the guilt ever really goes away completely. For now, I will try not to think about it too much. And start reading the bumf…

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