Saturday, February 10, 2007

The movie is still on my mind

I am still struggling with that Autism Every Day movie.

I was talking through some of my feelings with a great friend, and she reminded me that this is a movie for people have no awareness of autism, but most importantly a movie to get funding. I understand this, but I don't like it. She reminded me that this is to appeal for support, which I get. I just wish it would appeal for more understanding rather than pity, I guess.

I think the core pieces of the movie that bothered me were more about parenting rather than the message of the movie. Specifically, I can't get the "bridge lady" out my head (to the point where it wakes me up, which is why I am typing this at 6am). The "bridge lady" is the mom who spoke of her near plummet off a bridge with her daughter who has autism. She stated the only thing that kept her from driving off the bridge was her other daughter who didn't have disabilities.

This ate through me...I've been in that despair before, years ago. Not specifically over Bubba, just over life at that time overall. I remember the nastiness and deep pressure in my chest that called to me to just "get out." I am not doubting this woman's despair. The thing that really shocked me was that she discussed this agony and desire to kill herself and her child with her child in the room. You can tell me the child has autism, the child doesn't understand, the child doesn't feel, the child doesn't get it. Don't. I'll smack you. Thankfully, the little girl had briefly moved out of close proximity...

The other item that floats around in my head at night is the woman who is standing on the stairway holding the hand of her son who has autism. She cries about heartbreak and how much pain he is in, how much of life he is missing. Yes, he standing right next to her. He doesn't appear to be in pain, though I can't assume. Regardless, I still have issues with the mom basing the value of this little boys life based on what she thinks his life should be like. The thing is, that softness in his eyes, the gentleness of his soul just pours out, and he reminds me so much of Moosie.

And, a little bit over the top, but where are the men in this movie? There is a dad in the background, but he doesn't get to express his feelings. (By the way, Hubby, who isn't nearly as intense and extreme as I am about fell out of his chair when "bridge lady" told her story.)

And finally, the mom who says her child will never get married. I remember when Bubba was a few months old and I had researched a few too many hours (days, weeks) on agenesis of the corpus collosum. I remember crying as I mourned, among other things, that Bubba may never get married, never have children, yada yada. And then eventually I realized, who am I to decide this? I can't predict that. I can't control that.

I can't control autism. You can't control autism. I can't control my children. (Well, that one's obvious!) But I can guide, support, teach, shape, but most importantly love my children.

I am still struggling with how I feel about that Autism Every Day movie.

I am still struggling with how I feel about autism.

I am still stuggling with if I even have the right to have a strong opinion on this movie.

I am still stuggling with if I even have the right to have a strong opinion on autism.

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