“Being a parent of a child with autism is an experience that lends itself to reflective, explicit, and frequent narrative making” (Birmingham, 2010, p. 228)
To begin my journey, my journey in life and my journey of the mother of an autistic child, I had to examine my inner landscape–like some octopus, with each arm grasping an identity, a purpose, and, in some cases, a job or task. And I would not be an octopus that would lose grip of one or more thing, but I see myself grasping things with each of my eight arms, with that powerful suction, each thing as individually and separately important, whether it is about autism or not. So, I begin, with Who am I? My own “labels,” my own story…
I am a straight monogamous, white, middle aged NT wife; mother to an autistic boy; a nerd who loves Batman, cats, and gardening; a student who still doesn’t like her major; a daughter; an aunt; a sister; but NOT a housewife but most definitely a woman; a worrier; a pessimist; plain, ordinary but passionate; coping with bad hearing and mysterious illnesses; moderately liberal; a seeker, finder, keeper, but never a loser; profane and mouthy, I always have something to say; loyal, passionate, stubborn, I am shy but not reticent. I am Rachael, and I am Jimmy’s mom.
Birmingham, C. (2010). Romance and irony, personal and academic: How mothers of children with autism defend goodness and express hope. Narrative Inquiry, 20(2), 225-245.