In this blog, I am honest, and for the most part I am forthcoming. There are, however, exceptions. I withhold points that would identify our surroundings, or Martin’s friends, or people about whom I tell stories (unless I have their permission to divulge). I don’t discuss things like IEP meetings or school services, because I wouldn’t want to compromise our relationship with our school district or Martin’s school. Marriage and family life are off-limits except as they pertain directly to Martin’s autism and recovery.
Most importantly, I avoid writing details that I think unnecessarily violate Martin’s privacy. I expect that Martin will one day read these entries, and will know what the world knew about him during this time, and will hold me accountable for the occasions when I’ve said too much. And even if Martin never chooses to read this account of our journey, I know what appears here. Adrian knows what appears here. We have our own thoughts about what information should not be on the internet.
In Friday’s post, I mentioned having to carry Martin to the bathroom at night to prevent him from wetting the bed. I debated, with myself, whether to include that tidbit. It was relevant to the story, and mattered to our vacation: Martin wanted to sleep over at his aunt’s house with his cousins, and I found excuses not to let him, because I didn’t want him to have an accident, which might’ve caused his cousins to make fun of him. This dynamic lingered throughout our stay, as my sisters-in-law kept opining that Martin should sleep over with his cousins. Because my sisters-in-law don’t know that Martin has autism, I was hiding as many of our ongoing challenges as I could.
I’m still wondering whether I made the right choice, when I chose to include bedwetting among the vacation SNAFUs. According to the book I’m now reading about bedwetting, some 10-15% of kids Martin’s age still have trouble, so it’s not like we’re alone. In Martin’s case, there are physiological reasons that might keep him from overcoming the tendency; as I understand it, Martin’s brain stem, which coordinates basic body functions, mirrors his peripheral vision. Just as Martin shut down his overactive peripheral vision, his brain stem lost awareness of non-immediate sensations. Martin doesn’t ever “kind of” have to go to the bathroom. Either he doesn’t think he has to go, or he suddenly realizes that he has to go right now.
At this time, Martin doesn’t have a particularly developed sense of shame when it comes to what other kids might consider embarrassing. He might not even care that I mentioned bedwetting. Like I said, though, I’m not worried about Martin calling up this blog and reading it tonight. I’m worried about middle school, or high school, or college, when he’s farther on the recovery journey and I tell him about this record I’ve made.
Which brings me to the reason for this post:
Readers of the blogosphere, fellow autism parents, world at large—judge me if you want. With this blog, I try to inform, to record, to prove or disprove, maybe even to inspire, a bit. The relationship with you is reciprocal; because I’ve let you into our world, you get to judge me. If you must. I can take it.
But Future Martin is another story. Your judgment, Future Martin, I fear. This post is to tell you that I know I don’t always get this process right, and that I am trying my best.