Walking the Fine Line of Hope and Giving Up

Cooper and mama2When Cooper was little and his quirks were just starting to show I silently blamed myself. I’d tell people I didn’t but I really did. I never believed the whole autism and vaccination correlation. Cooper was different since the day he was born. Deep down I knew right away.

At that time I silently doubted everything I had done while pregnant. Maybe I ate the wrong things. For a hot minute I thought maybe I used too much bug spray or even used to much hand sanitizer. And then when we started early intervention I blamed myself for not talking to Cooper enough. For not playing enough pretend or doing enough puzzles.

I’m past that shit. It’s not my fault.

Now I am onto the next part of the journey. I blame myself for not breaking through. I can’t get to him. I constantly question the ‘what if’s’. I can see the little boy that he almost is. He’s in there…I know it. I will tell myself I need to be better. Teach more. Try harder. Not get frustrated. Stop putting movies on and sit with him and break through his shell. I want to fix him so badly that it makes me sick.

I finally read through Cooper’s Autism diagnosis. It hit me like a freaking ton of bricks. I haven’t been leveled like that for a long time.

The diagnosis report was emailed to Jamie’s phone and I read it as we were driving home from getting the boys. I wasn’t planning on any surpises so I just skimmed it. And there it was in black and white.

Visual Reception: Age equivalent 26 months
Fine Motor: Age equivalent 20 months
Rceptive Language: Age equivalent 14 months
Expressive Language: Age equivalent 4 months

I seriously couldn’t breathe. Even as I type this, and it has been a few days since I first read it, it takes my breath away. What the hell am I doing? How are we going to get through this? I read it to Jamie and he just shook his head. I told him to say something. And he said “there’s nothing to say. It’s really bad.”

Oh my God my heart hurt. It still does. Later than night I was going through some papers looking for Cooper’s IEP. I found this note that my mom wrote to him and I was saving it for his baby book. And I burst into tears. Why save it? He’ll probablly never care or even look at his baby book. Who knows if he’ll ever read.

After that I was done. Like I said, I haven’t been leveled like that for a long time. That was a few days ago and I am still digging out of this one.

When I try to describe it to people I tell them it is like I am walking a fine line between having hope and giving up. One makes me a fool and one makes me an asshole. It’s a tough line to walk.

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7 thoughts on “Walking the Fine Line of Hope and Giving Up

  1. Oh Kate, Big hugs. xx I have been reading the facebook group, ‘parenting autistic children with love and acceptance’ there are so many inspirational Autistic adults (verbal and non verbal) that post there. Maybe you will see Copper in them, like I see Piper in them. You are so right, Cooper is in there, and you WILL find a way to communicate with him. xx

  2. It’s possible to be more than one thing at once! For real. I do that all the time. People always tell me to “stay positive” but positivity has absolutely nothing to do with Jax’s diagnoses – that’s just reality. For me to say “I’m positive about a tumor in the brain of my preemie born at 23 weeks” just doesn’t ring true. Same with Cooper’s autism diagnosis, I would guess. Reality doesn’t change – we’re not being “negative” or “giving up” or any of those things when we acknowledge what’s really happening in our lives. It’s really, really hard to get the bad news – but you are doing a great job of being Cooper’s mom. Hugs to you!

  3. Hoping will never make you a fool. I totally understand how you feel. All of it. Down to my bones. I’ve felt that way too. But giving up means that he won’t stand a chance. You are right that he may never do a lot of things but you don’t know. If you don’t believe that he will then there is no change that he will. Hang in there … You guys are not alone in this and there is nothing you feel that other moms can’t relate to. But you never know what he is capable of and there’s no way to tell now.

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