I Don’t Regret You

“Mom?”

“Yes?”

“I was wondering . . . if I have kids, will they be autistic?”

“Well, both your dad and I are Neurodivergent . . . and being autistic is a part of that for our family.  So, yes. It is highly likely that if you have children, they will be autistic.”

Long pause

“I don’t think I will have kids.  My life is really hard, and I don’t want to bring people into this world if their life is going to be this hard.”

“I think that is a very deep thought, Honey.  Your life has been really hard and lonely. Can I speak to that, though?”

“Sure.”

“I don’t regret you.  I really like who you are.  You are my first, and I had no idea what I was doing.  So, you didn’t get the support you needed when you were your brother’s age.  I didn’t know you, nor I for that matter, were Neurodivergent. It wasn’t until you started kindergarten that I noticed you were not fitting into the established structure.  

Looking back, it makes sense that I would have missed that you were different because I am the same kind of different. I worked really hard to not squash who and how you are when you were little for reasons that were not connected to my current “pro-neurodiversity” stance.  I think I experienced life as a child in a setting where I was just trying to survive emotionally and mentally around constant verbal and emotional shrapnel.

For the majority of my adult life, I attributed my challenges exclusively to that.  I could have grown into a very abusive person, but I wonder if my neurological differences didn’t preserve my heart somehow.  Sure, I’m riddled with anxiety and my brain feels like a junk drawer, but I’m a good Mom.

I am a kind and honest person. I am creative.  I have something unique to put into this world. And, my dear daughter, I do believe my ceiling is your floor. I see a brilliance in you that your struggles have helped to forge.  Life is really hard, but we do hard things every day.

You don’t have to feel like you must have children.  Your life’s purpose might be served better if you don’t.  However, I want to encourage you to know that you bringing more people into this world that are like you, isn’t something you need to be afraid of.  It isn’t a regretful thing to do. I wanted you for years before I got to hold you.”

Author: jenbluhm

Jen Bluhm is Waltzing On Waves out of Minneapolis. She is a performing & recording artist, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, Award-nominated film composer, & Neurodiverse Neurodiversity/Mental Health advocate. This is her first foray into writing for a blog. It will be awkward . . .

2 thoughts

  1. I have two children and my son is on the waiting list to be assessed, but my daughter is NT like her mum. They were born before I was assessed. It does concern me that my son might end up with the struggles that I had and have, but my wife always reminds me that it was hard for me because I was u diagnosed and my parents and sister are NTs. Therefore, we have the knowledge and the support systems to put in place for him at this early stage. If you have a desire to have children someday, then I urge you to embrace it because kids are amazing and they teach you so much about life and they become a focus of your energy. I read an article recently that stated that autistic people should not have children because we are unable to self sacrifice. That is a disgusting lie. My autism makes it difficult for me to find employment, so I have been responsible for caring for my children and they are thriving.

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