A week ago tomorrow, Jacob and I (and Gus, because they provided kid care) went to our first ever Parent Support Group. I went with a heavy heart, because somewhere in the two years since we got Gus' diagnosis, I have made that step a big one in my head - the moment I would admit that I needed support away from the real world - the world I so dearly love and want to be part of, even if that is increasingly becoming more difficult, as Gus' way of being is making him less and less popular for playmates and get-togethers.
The group was comfortable - against my expectations - a small cross-section of parents who were brave, determined, smart, desperate and above all eternally loving. We may not be able to explain and understand our children, but we love them. Simple as that.
Jacob and the only other father in the room, quickly began an aside conversation and I felt like, even if I didn't contribute anything to the group, I brought these two men together, they seemed comfortable in their whispered conversation.
I did take some comfort away from this group, mainly that I'm not alone. That I'm not failing as a mother and mostly that whatever causes Gus to be the way he is, is not within my control (I may have caused it, but no one can tell me - yet - what it is that I've done).
These mothers were varied in everything: Age, income, IQ, everything.
If you could see a group of parents affected by autism, it would give you a good sense of what makes autism so puzzling: We are so random and we have so few things consistenly in common and that's how children with autism are too. Not a one like the next one. Each with his/her own complex sets of likes/dislikes and almost no one can say anything with any authority about autism as a whole.
Other than that it is here to stay and confounding in every way.
For some reason. Where I am at right now. That's a comfort to know.
I'm going back to the next session again. Because each one of these parents seemed happy that we were there. I hope Jacob will come again, too. I know for a fact that the other Dad sure would like it.
I guess that is what support is.