You don’t get the luxury of anger as a parent. Anger feeds chaos and disorganization and hate. I don’t get to be angry because my son, Kreed, does this or that or doesn’t do this or that. When I’m angry, it solves nothing. Angry wastes my time. It’s unproductive. It doesn’t make me happier.
It takes away joy. It takes away happiness. It sucks the life out of everything. When I rage in anger at any of my children, inevitably it makes the situation worse. Kreed doesn’t know better. Even if he does, he can’t always comprehend his consequences and his brother, who has Asperger’s, is still unable to see longterm consequences.
I want to be angry at so much. Most people don’t ever hear me talk about this. I’m patient, I’m kind, I teach. I’m that way because I don’t spend a lot of time in anger or wondering what if. As Kreed has taught me to live in the now, it lessens the anger — all I see is what is in front of us right now, and I have to deal with it.
Sure, some people can be angry that then I don’t have these super huge dreams for the future. But why? I can’t predict the future. I can’t change the past. I have my present. I can improve my situation from the past, and I can plan for the future. So I figure it’s win-win.
I could rage against life on how unfair it is to Kreed. I could rage about how I wish our life could be different — that if things had gone differently, he would be driving or dating or thinking about college. But why? It’s not our present. It’s not our life. My life is giving Kreed the happiest life possible and to always, always teach him so he will continue to interact with his environment and people in the way he wants. That’s our life together. I can’t separate my life from his to any meaningful degree because we’re connected on levels most people would never understand.
Can I go out and have fun while he enjoys his respite time? Absolutely. I can leave Kreed for various lengths of time to have a life outside of him. But life is always circular, and after those brief moments of time, everything comes back to how it is daily.
A lot of people fight in the autism world. Some fight against the diagnosis. Some fight about the language of autism. Some fight about the spectrum of autism. Some fight about blessings and curses and vaccines and therapies. At the end of the day you will not see me engage in any of this. Why? It has no bearing on my life with Kreed. It doesn’t matter anymore what started Kreed down this path, only the progression. I don’t care what celebrity has this or that because they don’t live in our life or help in any way. I don’t fight about therapy because Kreed is 17 and we know what works and what doesn’t, and I don’t care if other people do the same or not — our kids aren’t the same. I don’t have the luxury of anger in our life for our actual life so I certainly don’t have the luxury of anger for things that have zero bearing on our life. I’m too busy immersed in the life every day, 24/7 to give a care about what anyone else is doing or how they feel about some celebrity who may or may not be on the spectrum.
I don’t have the luxury of imagining a life that’s different or better. The life is how it is. Whether it’s helping Kreed succeed in communication or his brother to succeed in being independent — they’re the children that were brought into this world with the promise they would be loved unconditionally and supported to fulfill their dreams. It doesn’t matter if autism entered the picture or Asperger’s or Kreed’s thousands of medical issues. It just is. I can’t change it, but I can make things better.
Some nights I might cry. Some nights I might yell. I’m only human. Some nights I feel numbed out. Caring for Kreed is a 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week job. For life. Some days things go easy. Other days he rages without cause, and I just keep him safe. I always try to figure it out. The more I figure out and teach him, the better he is in the long run. I don’t get angry for long because time is too short and precious for that.
Then I would miss moments like these:
Other nights I write blogs like this because I have to find meaning in our life and existence when it seems there’s too much rage and poop or pee or nakedness or days and days of sameness. But it’s not about the moments that make me angry. It’s about the moments that make me happy and him happy.
And I know in the end, our life is enmeshed and for whatever reason we’re working hard to show the world Kreed and what we do to help him be successful. We’re working hard to do what people didn’t think was possible and for people to understand that our kids have no limits. The more I can help Kreed handle his emotions, learn to communicate and enjoy his time out in public, the better our life is over all — this is just fact. So I get up each day anew and strive to make it better than the day before. If I was angry yesterday, I try to find more joy in the new day.
Or I write. I write and I keep it real. I write and I get my feelings out. I write our truth. No one else’s. Just ours. Maybe other people can find commonalities. Or maybe you just love Kreed’s dimples so you read about our journey. But at the end of the day, it’s our truth. Nothing more, nothing less. I will never be pulled into these endless stories that appear in my newsfeed because it’s not part out our truth. At this point in our life, our truth is all I can handle.
And for the boys affected and struggling, I don’t have the luxury of anger because at the end of the day it solves nothing for us. And we need solutions and learning and teaching and happiness and joy. That is our truth.
Editor’s note: It is with a heavy heart we share the news that Kreed passed away on May 8, 2016. Our hearts are with his family, and we’re so grateful to help keep his memory alive on our site. He was truly one of the mighty.
This post originally appeared on Kreed’s World.