Monday, September 24, 2012


I admit, I was a bit of a freak when my husband and I were dating. I remember one time we went out to a place to shoot a few games of pool, and have a few beers. When we left, we walked to our car, which was in a dark corner of the parking lot. We were young and in love, and a little buzzed, and I was wearing a short skirt. To our knowledge, no one saw him lean me up against the car, pull my skirt up, and test out my birth control method.

It’s not like there was a slow, steady decline in our sex life once we had our son. In truth, it came to a screeching halt, as we adjusted to the demands of parenthood.

Okay. As I adjusted.

Now I’m not going to say that women have it harder than men. But what I will say is this: women make it their responsibility to be aware of every minute detail of their child’s needs, from when it’s time to graduate to nipples for bottles that have larger openings, to which brand of diaper is better for large amounts of pee, versus which ones hold explosive diarrhea (because there doesn’t seem to be one diaper that can do both), to when it’s time to clip the nails of little fingers and toes.

But beyond that, our baby was needy. And he didn’t nap well. And as he grew, he still required an inordinate amount of attention.

Soon, the diagnosis came. Our son was on the spectrum.

The daily demands exploded and soon included: therapy appointments, IEP meetings, autism and behavior research, specialized toys and devices to meet sensory needs, medications, and diet. There was a lack of play dates and opportunities for both myself and my son to socialize, and there was constant, frenetic and, sometimes, aggressive attention and behavior to navigate.

After enough time had passed, I got to a point where I stopped missing sex. It became one more thing on my never ending to-do list, and kept getting bumped down by other, more important, things. We didn’t have babysitters lining up, so we, individually and as a couple, become less important.

There was no “we” anymore. There was no “him” or “I” or “us”, there was only autism and its demands.

But you can’t live in that place forever. As I watch my son grow, and realize that someday he will be grown and out of the house, either independently or with support, I know that there will be nothing left but a gaping hole and a person I don’t recognize anymore.

I’ve made a decision to reclaim some of what I’ve let slip away, to carve out some time for us in the evening, when and if we get this child to sleep for the night. We might not be the same people we were that night long ago, shooting pool and laughing, living, like there was only this moment. We’re heavier and more tired, worn down. But “we”, “us” is still in there.

That short skirt doesn’t fit anymore. And there’s no sitter to relieve us so we can go out and shoot pool. But I have to believe the freak in me can be creative with what we’ve got.

I can’t let autism’s demands break “us” apart. It will not define my family anymore.

So please, no phone calls or text messages after 9pm. “We’” will be busy.

Look at this couple.
I bet they're FREAKS.
I know nothing about the site it came from.
I just like the picture.