Dad Guilt [Autism + Nala 3/30]

After Obi got diagnosed with ASD, I felt guilty about being sad. There are so many wonderful people with Autism and so many people dealing with “worse” issues. How could I feel sad? Plus, so many people, in the name of encouraging me, shared that I should celebrate the uniqueness of my son. “There are so many special people with Autism in the world” and “Have you heard of this person with Autism?” were phrases that added to my guilt.

I will love my son no matter what. I’m proud of my son no matter what. I’m not grieving my son. I’m grieving the loss of certain expectations, dreams and the relationship I used to have with my son.

I understand people are trying to encourage me, and I appreciate that. The thing is, I’ve needed time to be sad without feeling guilty. It’s not only outside forces adding to guilt, it’s my inner voice. It’s me telling myself I’m a bad person. Bad because I’m jealous of other kids. Bad because there might have been something I did to cause this. Bad because I have no clue how to fix it.

In all, I’m thankful to serve a God who turns my mourning into dancing.