Welcome back! Its been a while. I’m sorry to those who have asked and checked for updates. It has been one hell of a year. Many new challenges, some good and some bad. I hope this brings some hope to those walking through the early stages of diagnosis. Looking back on my previous posts, I am so unbelievably grateful for the way things have panned out. Reading the words I wrote once before was very difficult. Disheartening and aggressive to say the least. I am so glad to share with everyone loyal to PuzzlePieceParent that I am a new and better version of myself, and a lot went into that. I am not sure where to begin?
Since Leo’s diagnosis I have researched and cried, a lot. Leo was very self-injurious just a year ago. It seems so far away now. After his diagnosis I began researching Autism therapies. I wanted him to get the absolute best care and learning environment. The Center for Autism referred me to a therapy called Applied Behavior Analysis, widely known as ABA. I was terrified to enroll him into a clinic. He was recommended to go 40 hours per week. 40 hours?! Almost a full time job for a child less than 2 year old? I immediately thought, no thanks. As I did more and more research I became more afraid. Seeing titles “ABA IS ABUSE” and “Don’t torcher your child with ABA” I wanted nothing to do with it. I started to believe these opinions. Then I took a step back. I found an AMAZING vlog on YouTube called Fathering Autism. This man helped me in more ways than he knows, and to you I thank you. ABA therapy has evolved so much from when it first began, much like any other medical device, service, therapy, surgery, anything! Research and the ever changing field of medicine changed ABA almost completely. I cant speak for every clinic or therapist, I am not even sure how true the accusations are surrounding ABA. All I know is, it saved our lives and gave my son the best possible outcome. I will talk more about ABA in another post.
Since Leo’s diagnosis, I became a different person. I was battling with Post Partum Depression, so I thought. My then husband and I fought almost constantly. We were not on the same page. He hid behind drugs and drinking. Not only did I loose a part of my vision in life, I lost my Husband. He wasn’t the same person he once was, and this started long before Leo’s diagnosis. I went to all the appointments alone. I was with Leo through the diagnosis alone. I was so alone. Being lonely during a time like that will change a person forever. I have so many scars. I wont ever let myself get that low again. I stayed strong, for a while. Then completely broke down. My husband and I eventually separated. And now divorced. Looking back, I wish it would’ve all happened sooner. It would’ve been nice to not always be alone, especially in the hardest moments like doctors appointments and Autism screenings. Needless to say, it happened. I’m so happy it happened. I am also sorry for my actions. I hope Leo’s Dad has gotten better, let go of the drugs and becomes an amazing dad for our son. I hope he finds love and never has to feel the loneliness I went through. I only wish the best, no matter what he put me through. I also did not know then what I know now, and that is my most recent diagnosis.
Shortly after things got real sour with my then husband and I, we went to marriage counseling. For anyone in a hard spot in their relationship I highly recommend seeing a councilor with your spouse. It made things crystal clear for me. It was my closure. Not only did I get answers to my frustrations and mood swings, I learned just how self-centered and manipulative my ex was. No offense to him, I’m sorry you turned out that way and maybe I had something to do with it. Either way, explaining to the councilor how I felt during the time my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, how I felt when Leo was diagnosed with Autism, how I felt going through depression and rage. His responses made it all clear. It was worse than I thought. And I was so happy I got that closure. It took him a lot longer, and he was very bitter. I was harassed everyday for almost 6 months after I left. But that is besides the point. I moved on to bigger and better things, and put focus on Leo and his therapies. Before I stopped seeing the marriage councilor, she referred me to a psychiatrist. I did not take the referral and did not want to solve my problems at the time. I was oblivious to them. The councilor mentioned Bipolar Disorder to me, and I shrugged it off as a fake disorder that just gives doctors the ability to put a label on someone with problems everyone else has. Man was I wrong. You can read more about my Bipolar venture here.
All-in-all, this was a quick update on all the changes in my personal life. In other posts I am excited to share Leo’s progress and hopefully add an update video to YouTube soon. I know many people have been waiting so patiently. Thank you all for your support.