I know that grief and mourning are usually words only associated with the loss of someone who has died but I went through a grieving process when I came to terms with having a child diagnosed with autism. In the initial months after Jesse’s diagnosis I was emotionally up and down like a yo-yo. I embraced wholeheartedly the new path we were to travel but I grieved for the mum I had planned to be. I grieved for the loss of the expectations and dreams I had for Jesse. I grieved for the loss of special milestones that parents of neuro typical children get to experience. And, as Jesse gets older I grieve for the emotional and mental connection that I imagined I would have with my son at this age.
It’s always going to be hard trying to keep a strong healthy relationship going once you introduce children into the equation. It’s a hell of a lot harder if your child is diagnosed with autism. The extra stress and strain that it puts on a couple, even those with the strongest relationships, can be their undoing.
But what if your relationship wasn’t even strong or established to start with? Imagine taking the plunge with somebody you barely know. Someone for all intents and purposes, is a complete stranger. This is what happened with my partner Kerry and I.