A mother cannot make the leap from unconditional love for her child to the attempted murder of that same child.
You cannot love your child and kill your child in the same moment. You cannot love your child one moment and kill your child the next.
To kill your child requires an absence of love.
And it is not just a void. Not just a chasm. Not just a gaping hole where the infinite love should be.
The empty is filled with all things hideous and heartbreaking.
And it is a place. A place where you have always been or at which you arrive.
I wouldn’t know how to get there if I tried. Most parents don’t.
But I watch other parents go there. Other parents who have Autistic children not unlike my own Autistic child.
There are many parents of Autistic children on this unrighteous journey. I’ve seen them traveling. Even before I realized where they might end up, I knew they were going the wrong way.
And I’ve called out to them–that they are on the wrong path, that they’ve lost their way. That they were going to an unfaithful place. That their children were in peril.
Most could not hear me over their fellow travelers who were shouting back at me. Insisting that it was me who was on the wrong path.
“Sanctimonious!” they shout, because I love my child as she is.
“Self-righteous!” because I am so certain that I am on the right path–the path of unconditional and unwavering love.
“Judgmental,” because I dare to question the perilous road they have chosen to travel, seemingly, without a thought for the harm that they expose their children to with the words they use to describe their children.
The final act of violence, that is the last leg of the journey. Most never get all the way to that unfaithful place. But the steps they take towards it leave muddy footprints fossilized on the souls of their children.
They lament that they are making this march. And they do it loudly. Publicly. They begrudge their children for the financial cost of this trip. But they insist on purchasing the provisions like behavior modification and aversive therapies which drain their bank accounts and their children’s spirits.
I hear them moan about the soccer games they will never attend, the words they will never hear, the parties they will never be invited to because they had to take their children on this trip instead of the one that they’d been dreaming about. They say that they are going to Holland instead of Italy and that they are content with that. But the bitterness burns in their eyes as they watch others board the plane to Italy. And for all they claim to fancy Holland, that’s not where they are and that’s not where they’re going. They’re going to that unfaithful place.
Some claim to be battle weary road warriors. Crusaders. Because they lack the courage and humanity to be peaceful pilgrims.
I watch them go by in droves. In their corporate sponsored caravans–all lit up blue and covered in puzzle piece logos. Their children are exhausted from hauling all of those expensive provisions for 40 hours a week.
Parents! You are well on your way to that unfaithful place. And you have chained your children to your caravans like animals. And when you travel this way, you exhaust your children and yourselves. Those chains devalue. They degrade. They dehumanize your precious child. When you proceed on this path, you create the conditions in which unrest thrives. The environments in which your children have not choice but to fight.
Parents! Please travel with us. This path is safer. Parts of the journey are tiring. But we are joyful on this passage. My child is not bound and dragged on this course. We hold hands an walk together. Often my child knows the way better than I do, so I follow her. When she stumbles, because there are indeed obstacles, I pick her up and carry her in my loving arms. And she trusts that I will do her no harm.
This is the fork in the road.
You can keep progressing to that unfaithful place.
But this path. This is the way to peace. And love. And happiness.
Abandon your caravans of blue.
You won’t need most of those costly provisions when you choose this itinerary.
The light of your love will illuminate the pathway.
You’ve been on a detour.
It can end.
And this over here, this is a little known shortcut home.