“I Sacrificed My Life For You”

**Trigger Warning** Abuse / Autism Moms

You may have noticed I have unofficially declared war on Autism Mom’s™. It’s definitely a topic that trigger high emotions and I now want to share my “why”.

I had an Autism Mom.

But there was no internet. No Mommy bloggers. And we lived in a small country town so no Mother’s Groups either.

But she still found a way to put on a show and she made damn sure she had the starring role. She played her violin to anyone who would listen, about how her life was destroyed because of her damaged child.

Because I wouldn’t listen. Because I wouldn’t do as I was told.
Because I would spin. Because I wasn’t “normal”.
She would lament how hard it was for her, to be my Mother.
She would cry that her life was over.

And I heard it all.
Just because it didn’t seem like I was listening, because I wasn’t making eye contact.
I heard every word.

The phrase that hurt the most was, “I sacrificed my life for you” which is why it is featured below.

Little Alice _Sacrifice

But then to my face, which caused me so much confusion, when we felt she did have my full attention, she’d tell me I was her princess, her special little everything. But it always felt off. I spent so many years of my life, dismissing this as abuse, because I would think “but she said she loved me.”

But that’s not love. And no child deserves that. No child should ever be made to feel like a burden, regardless of their needs.

And I am filled with horror, when I think – “What if I had been born 30 years later and she has access to the internet?”

 

Now I have children, who don’t appear to listen.
They also don’t do as they are told.

But my life isn’t hard. It is wonderful.
And there certainly is nothing wrong with them.

I had a choice to become the star of my own story of tragedy or just love my children and myself for who we are. But there really wasn’t even a choice.

So behind my snark, there is sadness.
Behind my jokes, there is a deep ache.

But I have healed enough to know that not all Mothers are the same.
I don’t assume they’re all alike. Not for a second.
I have recovered enough to now believe that that little girl was worth so much more.

But I know that pain all too well, of having a Mother who makes herself the star of a tragic story who has been burdened with a broken child – and I’m going to do all I can, to bring healing, love and truth to the world. To write a new script of what it’s really like to have an Autistic child – and close the curtain on a dark chapter and live the rest of my life in full colour.

~ The Bullshit Fairy x

 

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12 thoughts on ““I Sacrificed My Life For You”

  1. As I was bringing my daughter to The State Diagnostic and Counselling Centre in Iceland, the professionals told me that I was autistic myself. Before that time there was not anything “wrong” with my daughter. She was just like her mother. After getting my daughter´s diagnostic I blamed myself; it was totally my fault that my daughter is autistic, just like myself… Today I am ashamed for buying into all that *bullshit* My daughter has not had the opportunities I did growing up. She was always in a special class for autistic children, the focus on getting her to wash her hands after using the toilet instead of learning math and reading/writing…

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  2. Hello. I just stumbled on to your blog after following a link about the Puzzle Piece symbol. I don’t like the puzzle piece either.

    I’m so sorry you had a mom who didn’t understand. I can’t imagine how painful it must have been to be told you were a burden and that she sacrificed her life for you. That’s a horrible thing to say to any child. I have an autistic son who is almost 5 1/2 years old. He is the love of my life. I’m sure it would have been more difficult for us without Internet access and bloggers like yourself, but I hope I would never say such cruel things about my child. I feel quite the opposite, that my son has enriched my life beyond anything I thought possible. I have more patience with him and with myself. I have a love for him I never thought possible. I see the beauty in difference. Sure, if I didn’t have him I could travel more or be more social going to restaurants and movies or sporting events, but these things are empty compared to getting to be a mom. I’m blessed by God to be the mother of an sweet autistic child. I just wanted to let you know not all Autism Mom’s feel the same as yours did. I’m glad you were able to grow past the pain.

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  3. I have two with autism (21 & 20) and a NT 23… I love them and they are my heart and I have the honor and privilege to raise them, support them, teach them and back them 100% … and to be totally clear… I am not one of those moms who feel like my kids are broken, because they are NOT… they are awesome, they are amazing and they are autistic…. I believe in neurodiversity… so I have never felt like my kiddos were broken, sick or needed a cured… I for one, wanted all 3 of my children and never once have I ever felt like this…not all autism moms are like this. I have never felt like my kiddos took from me, actually, I felt like my life, my world, and myself has been blessed, enriched and so full of wonder and love because of my kiddos. I have always lived life, where I go, my kids go… if the didn’t want to be there, or couldn’t be there, then we would leave because in the end, all that matters to me, is how my kiddos feel, and what they need… I have always taken my cues from my two with autism… they have shown me exactly what they needed…. I have always told my two, you are loved, you are wanted and you are perfect just the way you are… that is our truth and I will be damned if I ever let anyone make my kiddos think different about themselves.

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  4. You, and I had similar mothers. I’m sorry you had to go through that. This is such an important topic, and I think you did a very good job addressing it in a unique way that is sure to get people talking, and further understanding.

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  5. I thought I had been spared having an “Autism Mom” because my mom didn’t know I was Autistic. Seeing your meme and reading your post helped me contextualize and understand my experiences, and see that I very much did live through this. She just lacked the name for what she wanted to change about who I am.

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  6. I am not autistic and yet I got to hear all the same things that you mention (and a bunch of other hurtful words). There was also lots of violence (all kinds of) and manipulation (the latter is still here, decades later). So maybe it’s just about having an emotionally disturbed mother and not in any way about what kind of kids we were. My mother’s ‘excuse’ for her abuse was that 1) she only wanted one child (and she had twins instead), 2) she did not expect to lose her husband and become a widow burdened with the two kids in her lat 30-ties. To be clear: I perfectly understand her point of view but I think that living with this “truth” of hers damaged me. And all throughout the years I only get to realize the extent of this damage gradually (despite that my mother has always expected that my gratitude for her “sacrifice” would grow indefinitely over the course of my life). I never confronted her about the past.
    I never had strong desire to have children of my own, and I do not have any (neither do I have a relationship; I am in my late 30-ties). I did some soul-searching recently only to realize that it never even crossed my mind that children can actually can be a “blessing” and motherhood can be a source of joy. It comes as a very fresh and foreign idea to me. I guess it might sound weird but it’s true.
    To make it even more …ridiculous, my single status and especially having no children have become ultimate evidence of my worthlessness and failure to my mother. I have disappointed her ultimately, she’s been making it very clear to me. I think it is incredibly difficult to try to overcome this “living for her” syndrome and start finding out one’s own feelings if you had such an intense dominant abusive mother. It’s basically difficult to realize own feelings if all you focused in your life was how your mother is feeling, what she is thinking, what she would think and feel about this and that and what would make her less unhappy about yourself. It’s just so exausting. 37 years of my relationship with her and occasionally it crosses my mind that the best thing I could do to please her is disappear (/die). Recently I am trying to focus on what I want instead. It’s tough though.

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  7. Your mother “didn’t sign up for an autistic child” and mine “didn’t sign up for a single mother of two”. Lots of irresponsible people have children and then make their kids pay for what they didn’t sign up for.

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  8. I don’t use the term Autism Mom, but some of the stuff you’ve written about them here really pissed me off, anyway. And like most things that piss me off, I know that means it has merit. I know it means I need to think about the message.

    So, I did.

    Thanks for kicking my metaphorical ass. You have reminded me to think more carefully before I speak, about what I say, to whom, and when. My son was recently diagnosed, and this has pushed me out of a rut I’ve been in for a while — moving from “fear based fixing” mode to “accepting as is” mode. You helped me weed out my own remaining self pity, fear, antiquated expectations…..and just general bullshit, as you so eloquently put it.

    In short, thanks for pissing me off today. 😉

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  9. I’ve been too used to my dad saying that phrase “I sacrificed my life for you” to even hurt me, it never occurred to me to be an offensive thing to say to me

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