Recovering from Autism

I have never known an agony like this. I remember walking my child downstairs early one morning, and placing her in front of her favorite toys, trying hard not to pay to much attention to what would eventually become inescapable. The truth that my once typical child was now living in someone else’s world. A world which she did not recognize.

No amount of desperation that played itself in the form of our once everyday activities was enough to bring her back to the world we once knew together. A time when I was her and she were me. A love shared by no other. To have my child taken from me that day played over and over in my mind.

I made excuses for her inability to react as she once did to friends and family members. Too afraid to believe the inevitable truth that lay behind what I would have to accept eventually. I felt paranoid and fearful of the questions they asked, and asked each other when I was gone. I tried hard not to expose her and myself to their questions, and my questions about what had happened to my precious child. I made excuses to family or friends who wanted to visit, prepared with reasons why we couldn’t get together in the joys of what had eventually been robbed from me. My child was gone, and I was desperate. I made excuses hoping, praying that one day she would return to me as she was before.

I became angry and detached from the world I once knew. I resented what had happened to me, and somehow blamed her for what was lacking in a world I had perfectly crafted and imagined. Our bond was broken and I knew it would never return. The agony stayed with me in breath and being. The loss became me, and bore me.

It was my husband’s constant mental battering that something was very wrong with our child that woke me up from the fog that day. The evidence was a brutal awakening from a long anesthetized existence. I had to face what my life was realistically and practically, and the realization was transforming. That was when my real journey began.

I remember crying night and day for almost a week, releasing a pressure that almost left me deflated and lifeless. The pretense and aftershock was gone, and in its place the emptiness was replaced with hopeful inquisition. A need, and desire to do whatever I had to do to help my child recover from this world that had taken her. Our life’s one true mission was to bring her back to us. I stopped mourning the child I had been expecting to have and embraced the child we did have. Both my husband and I were ready to do what we had to do to save her.

My story with God started that day as a stranger. I was never really exposed to him as I should have been as a child. No relationship established, no relationship missed. He was extinct in a world I had created for myself and my family. He only existed when there were weddings, and funerals, to pay respect in momentary madness, but never involved in the journey that had taken me this far in my life.

With the pain that unfolded I realized how selfish I had been, how ungrateful and expectant I had become. There was real desire emerging to fulfill my relationship with God, and be grateful for what I had been given. Not how robbed I had been that my child had been taken from me, but what I had taken for granted in the past and had lost.

We educated ourselves absorbing books by the dozen, conventional and holistic appointments, as many as our schedule would allow, until we came up with some hopeful resolve. We changed her diet, and dramatically maximized her therapy schedule to keep her engaged at every opportunity. She was pushed to the limit as much as our financial and mental capability would allow.

My husband left us for one year to work overseas for a contractor to make enough money to keep her in full time therapy. The sacrifice was immense, and all encompassing. The fear I lived with hoping my husband wouldn’t be taken by explosives, to the fear my child would be 18 and never know her name took its toll on me at times.

This pain was restored early by glimpses of hope I saw in my child when she made great steps forward. and continued to soar into recovery. My child is four now and well on her way to starting regular kindergarten next year. The pain and suffering was worth everyday to be able to rejoice in what we have, and what we have found and realized.

I remember lying next to my child at night when she fell asleep, feeling my warm breath on her skin, being grateful for the smiles and love she had given me since we had met. Praying for forgiveness to God for taking her love and life for granted in the past, and praying, for a miracle every night for my child’s body to be restored. I can say now that I believe in the power of prayer. I believe God has walked with us throughout our journey. Protected my husband and restored my child and our life. My relationship with him is one I live with through my family in thanks and gratitude.

This spiritual story was written by M Giyton.

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