The other day, I was at my wit's end. Janey had started the day with screaming, and by noon had worked herself into a huge screaming festival. I was tired, the kind of bone-weary tired that I get on days like that. Summer was looming ahead as two months of shear hell. And suddenly, I realized what I must do. I called my friend Michelle. We'd talked via email a lot, but never over the phone. She called me back after I left a message, and BOOM---what was a horrible day turned into a red-letter day. It was WONDERFUL to talk to someone that understood, someone with an autistic daughter of her own, someone that just got the feelings and frustration and emotions of the life I'm living. I am blessed with many wonderful friends, but I don't think anyone except someone else who has lived this life can really, really understand.
And that's one thing that's wonderful about the internet. I would not know her in "regular" life. I can't imagine being a special needs parent before the internet existed. It came into wide use the same year William was born, in 1994, and from that time on, it's been there for me. And of course, the internet is not an entity on its own. It's people---people that reach out to others and to whom we can reach out, and realize we are not alone, not at all.
I have read a few great comments on this blog lately. That means a lot to me also. I write this mostly as a release---a place to go to when I need to say things that I don't have another place to say. But when I realize that it's helped others, either by telling them that others feel they way they do, or by sharing with people who would not otherwise know what life with autism was like, it's a huge boost. I want to be able to do that---to let people know they aren't alone, to tell what in my eyes is the truth about autism, the good, the bad, the terrible, the funny---not a syrupy rainbows and unicorns view, or a view that advocates a certain strict regiment, or a judgemental view, but just my personal view, which I all I really have to give.
And how is Janey lately? Well, summer is not easy. She is adjusting a little, I think, but then will come summer school and a new challenge. She has another loose tooth and it's bothering her a lot. She has had a few huge sprees of getting into things when I got lax about bungee cording the fridge. She loves the wading pool, and that is a saving grace. We'll get by, for now. With a little help from our friends.