This blog is going to be changing a bit. I had wanted a new direction for my art and I was finding it harder and harder to find the time for doing the art, let alone the blog posts. I was barely getting a weekly post done and although I know that it’s good to just keep painting even when it feels a bit pointless, because it eventually does lead you somewhere, I was trying to keep the blog just about art and ignoring a major development in my life. With the recent diagnosis of my daughter Poppy as being on the Autism Spectrum I can’t keep my daily life with her and my life as an artist separate anymore.
So there will be posts about art and posts about my daughter and there may be posts without images which I seem to have a weird hang-up about; I have it in my head that it is an art blog and there needs to be an image with every post. But sometimes there isn’t an image. And there are things that I need to say.
I had wanted to start working on more projects in my art; I think that now my biggest project is going to be Poppy and I have no idea what shape that will take.
It’s been a while since I posted. It’s been a stressful few months and I think I was waiting for it all to be over before I did my next post. But it isn’t going to be over, it’s just going to be different. Today we received a formal diagnosis for my daughter as being on the Autism Spectrum. I didn’t realize until today that I was more expecting that she would not be found autistic. And not because I don’t believe it, but because I don’t want to believe it. It makes a lot of sense with what we know of my daughter, and even today we had some more eureka moments while talking to the psychologist, and yet I still would rather that she was a “normal” child and it was just me who wasn’t able to cope with motherhood, children, tantrums, being a housewife, and apparently life in general. I would rather that I was diagnosed as insane or manic-depressive and that taking me out of the equation would mean that she would level out. But that’s not what has happened. There is going to be more applications, more therapists and psychologists, more tantrums, a lot more stress and a lot of learning for us as parents. I am going to have to learn to face this and talk about it instead of hiding away and waiting for it to pass. And learn how to explain how it is that my completely charming, beautiful, bright, and inquisitive daughter is almost too much for me to deal with on my own. How do I explain how a request for her to try on a shirt can turn into a terrible ordeal lasting hours that leaves me in tears when I don’t even know how that happens.
But that is the negative side of it. That is all the things I have to bottle up because anytime I try to talk to someone other than the doctors about it I am told that there is nothing to worry about, she is just fine, and it is just over-diagnosis on the part of the doctors. Until today I half-believed them; which meant it was all me. There was something wrong with me. I was insane.
So yes, half of me is relieved.
After the psychologist left and my husband was leaving for work and we were still digesting the new information, I started crying and said “I can’t believe that I have an autistic child.” To which he replied “You can’t think like that. It’s still Poppy. You don’t have an autistic child, you have a Poppy.” And he’s right.