Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fearing the Future

*Editor's note: Please allow me the opportunity to have some word vomit due to anxiety.

Morgan will be nine this weekend. I'm kind of shocked by that.

Most of me is surprised that this much time has flown by so quickly and there is a big part of me who is scared that the rest of the time will do the same. I'm not ready for him to grow up and yet, I don't want to keep him a child. I want to push him to grow, learn, accomplish, and "be."

My brain is swirling - joyfully with what the future will hold and terrified of what it won't.

Every time I think of an experience that I think he should have and has not and might never, I check myself because I know that projecting this way is wrong.  It carries the potential to harm us both. But I still do it at times because I'm apparently a glutton for punishing myself and my son in my own brain in my most anxious hours.

My son's future was never mine to force onto him or autism's to steal. It is not predetermined by anything but Fate. You can help Fate along, but you cannot force it. Believing that has been my road to autism acceptance and me fully embracing my son as an autistic person to be understood, not someone to be fixed.

I feel as if the future is full of the things which we, as parents of children with special needs, aren't allowed to broach in our thoughts. Because once we do, it's as if we've tossed gasoline onto a pyre of fear and anxiety.

He's halfway to being a legal adult, being of voting age, and being old enough to sign up to fight for his country- though he would likely be disqualified due to his autism diagnosis. That's where my mind takes me when I think of 18 and beyond.

Will he be ready?

 Will I have him ready?

I think of things I did at certain ages and wonder if Morgan will do them, too.

Will he date? Have a job? Will he go to prom? College? Live on his own? Get married?

No... I can't think that far ahead. I just cannot. I try not to think too far ahead into the future because that's too shaky of ground, too unstable of an area, and I am too type-A to look forward to something of which I don't know the outcome. I am confident in my son's abilities overall, but lack confidence in that I know what regression can take away. What he can do today, he might not do two weeks from now.

So, I concentrate on the here and now. Morgan is a wonderful boy who has worked his tail off in the last nine years to be where he is now. Who is loving, empathetic, and someone worth knowing. Who is everything I would want in a son.

I lie. I don't always concentrate on the here and now. The future scares the hell out of me.

Is the world going to be ready for him? Is he going to be ready for the world? Am I teaching him the life skills that he will need in order to be a man in society who can "function?" What the hell is functioning anyway- is this something I'm doing? Highly doubtful.

The next nine years will be crammed full of things. Wonderful and horrible. Highs and lows. More positive than negative if the past nine years are any indication.

Morgan will continue to defy any expectations I'm foolish enough to foist onto him, I hope. The future is a scary place, but we will continue to make safe havens for Morgan because we love him that much. The world doesn't come with a safety net. But we, as parents, can hopefully continue to provide one for our son- our love and support.


  1. Oof. I know this complicated dance. I prefer to stick my fingers in my ears and sing "lalalalalala, I can't hear yooooooou!"

  2. He's our Morgan and he will be what he will will Bay. Love them and hold them while you can. One day they will be grown and fly, like you did. Maybe not like you expected, but fly they will....Love you all...

  3. I try not to think about the future too much. It makes my stomach try to eat itself.

  4. Hi, I just found your blog and look forward to reading more. You're writing is beautiful!