In the beginning of my son’s autism diagnosis I felt the need to apologize all of the time. I apologized for my son’s behaviors and the way they impacted other people. I apologized for the nosiness of our life. The chaos that follows us everywhere we go. I apologized for the abrupt way we exited events and social gatherings. I apologized for the adult conversations that I could not focus on. For the time I no longer had for the important relationships in my life. I apologized for being so consumed by autism.
I apologized for a lot of things. Things that I could see and feel happening all around me. Things that I wanted so desperately to wrap my arms around and control. But the truth is that most of the things I apologized for were things not within my control.
I thought that I needed to apologize. I thought apologizing was a way of acknowledging my awareness of the way our life was different from other people. I thought that people needed me to apologize for our noise and chaos. I thought that being different, and having a child who was different, was something that I needed to be sorry for.