I hate autism.
I hate the way it makes me feel like I’m failing as a parent.
I hate the way it makes me feel like I have no idea what to do in any given moment or from one moment to the next.
I hate the way it strips away all semblance of calm and replaces it with chaos.
I hate having to watch my kid disengage from the world, from the people and circumstances immediately around her, because they threaten her, intimidate her, challenge her, or confuse her.
I hate the way it steals her away from me sometimes because she disengages with me.
I hate that I don’t really know or understand how she processes the world around her and so I can’t help her when she needs it most.
I hate the way it requires more, so much more, so incredibly often, and so I feel like little more than a shadow of myself.
I hate the way it makes my girl hate to be held or touched in the moment when she’s upset and I feel so far from her and cannot truly comfort her.
I hate the way it struts about as if it owns our world and I hate that I sometimes give it that opportunity.
Because I love my girl.
And I love that my husband gets it and speaks hope and truth in whispers and gestures and by squeezing my hand or rubbing my back in the difficult moments.
And I love that my youngest is learning empathy and compassion in the face of these challenges and reaches out to her big sister when she is hurting or angry.
And I love that God is bigger than autism and my frustrations with it, and that He catches my tears in His hand and that same hand holds the future He has created for me and for my amazing girl and for our family.
And I love and savor the moments when my kiddo seeks me out and wraps her arms around me just because.
And I love that this girl can remind me of wonder and beauty and joy and delight and unconditional love all in a single moment.
I hate autism, deeply and passionately because of how deeply and passionately I love my girl who has it.