A week ago today, it was national son’s day. My mother posted to Facebook a post saying how proud she was of me. At that moment in time, I was feeling really down on myself about the things I have put her through and how could she be proud of me? Her being optimistic and a part of her life makes me realize how much more I need to value her for our relationship.
Without a doubt, I have put her through the mill of issues, but also when I was having those issues decades ago, she was also fighting to make sure that I got the adequate care that I needed, even when those that were paying for the services had plans to ship me away because of how I presented myself, keeping me more away from the family that wanted me back in their lives.
For most of my life, I was self-centered and only thought my needs were being met. My mother often put aside her life to make sure that I was taken care of and free from harm. She was the advocate for me even when those that were appointed to advocate for me were not. She took the bull by the horns, many times tactfully asking the tough questions and making sure that I was treated equally and had the same opportunities to make sure I had the things I needed.
As the COVID pandemic wasn’t kind to many autistics, we were too a casualty where she continued to advocate when I was having issues with my first apartment and when I had to leave it. She knew after experiencing my independence that I needed to get back on my feet because she saw me flourish even though I was having some issues, she never gave up.
Being back in a good spot of independence again, I now see how much I am of help to her as she has now retired after several years of providing for our family along with being a mother. Yet, she still does what is necessary to include me in her plans when she feels that I need to be included in tasks that others take for granted like shopping, getting out in the community and so forth. She takes me to my appointments including my weekly psychotherapy sessions because she knows that they are beneficial for me to be well and is needed because of being autistic.
I know that because I live on my own she doesn’t have to do all the things she does for me. She could leave me to fend for myself to do all the things I need to do in order to stay independent. I know for a fact that it is out of her love and her seeing how much I have grown over the years from that spoiled little brat (even though I can be that way currently at times) to the mature adult that I am. She may not understand all the parts that make me who I am but she is learning to accept them slowly as things start to get to some state of normalcy in our lives after being on a rollercoaster for the past two years.
It too has taken me a lot of work to not act childish and realize that I can too have my own life and not have to be clinged to her all the time. Last week, there was a day that I was scheduled to go to the day program and I decided to take the day off on my own to catch up on sleep from not sleeping well the day before. I felt that I needed her permission to do so, but she reminded me that I am an adult and that it is my choice to do so. I am glad I did it because in fact I needed that sleep and I felt better as a result of it. She also asked if I wanted to go with her grocery shopping so I could get the things I needed. I am glad that we had that opportunity to do that.
As we begin the fall season and come upon the many things we do together and as a family, I know I have to be appreciative of the times I have to share with not only my mother, but my father as well because there may come a time in my life where that may no longer exist, but I must know that my mother is my best friend, my confidant, and many other roles to me that makes me a part of who I am.