We Are Not Victims

We Are Not Victims

I recently thought about this when someone said, "This must be so hard for you." Unfortunately, this is a reoccurring theme. I have lost count of how often we have heard this, accompanied by the "sad eyes." They were referring to Noah's autism when he was loud, pacing, and just being Noah. He was super happy! Perspective is needed. 

Merriam-Webster's Definition of a victim

Definition of victim

  1. 1: a living being sacrificed to a deity or in the performance of a religious rite
  2. 2: one that is acted on and usually adversely affected by a force or agent; the schools are victims of the social system: such as[=\a (1) : one that is injured, destroyed, or sacrificed under any of various conditions a victim of cancer a victim of the auto crash a murder victim (2) : one that is subjected to oppression, hardship, or mistreatment a frequent victim of political attacks b : one that is tricked or duped a con man's victim

Before you start screaming about all the hard stuff autism families go through, our son's autism isn't a piece of cake. There are hygiene concerns, limited communication, and challenging behaviors, so I get it. I am not saying that his autism can't be complex and challenging at times; it will bring you to your knees emotionally and physically. It is also not to say that I don't hope for the amelioration of his pain; I do every day. I pray that his pain is eased every darn day. I long for the days when he doesn't hit himself, meltdown when the Wi-Fi goes down, or perseverate on his schedule, and yes, I want him to fully understand the conversations I have with him about bacon and music. So, before you think I am glossing over the pain, know I am living this life, and it is not for the faint of heart, but I implore you don't place your sorrow on our family; our lift is already heavy enough. Did you hear what I said? We are living – sometimes surviving, but living. Our journey comprises compassion, failure, success, joy, pain, despair, hope, and so much more, but not pity or victimhood. Don't feel sorry for us; pick up a needle and help us mend our tatter edges. The world is already pulling at the threads that hold us together. Most families will accept genuine help and compassion, including ours, but pity is not welcomed in our house. We don't have time to be victims. We have too much to get done. The next time you think, "I feel sorry for that family," ask yourself, "How does that help them?" Believe me, we have many things to accomplish to help our sons and daughters. Instead of feeling sorry, can you: call a legislator, offer care for date night, show compassion, and send an invitation to a birthday party? How can you turn your sorrow into our collective action to change lives?

I am not a victim. I don't feel helpless to remedy or help our situation but rather empowered to improve it. Don't wish a different life upon me; I am grateful for the one I have been given to live.

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