Thursday, August 26, 2010

everything happens for a reason.

When people don’t know what to say they often lean on common refrains that are meant to provide comfort. Comfort to whom? Who knows? Maybe it’s meant to make you feel better.  Maybe it’s meant to make them feel better. The two I hear a lot when it comes to having a child with Autism are “everything happens for a reason” and “god will never give you more than you can handle”. Huh. I’m not sure what I think about that. What does that even mean?

everything happens for a reason

I don’t buy into this. I think I can swallow “everything happens for a reason and sometimes that reason is total bullshit”. Yeah, that’s more like it. Because really, there is no reason for one person to win the lotto versus me (although I never buy a ticket, so that might have something to do with it). There is no reason for me to have a child with Autism instead of another person. I am thankful that Max is my son, and I am doing the best I can to make sure he is thriving and happy and safe, just like any mom would do. The end.  And I doubt that god is parsing through each of our lives figuring out what should happen to us with specific logical reasoning in mind. I think it’s much more random than that. So onto the next one.

god will never give you more than you can handle

Really? I just can’t picture god trying to figure out how much one person can handle over another one. I think you get dealt some cards, you make the most of your hand, sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don’t. When something crappy happens, you have a choice to make. You can either rise to the occasion or jump out the basement window. Those are your choices. You don’t get a do over and you don’t get to say “really god? You think I can handle this? Because I really don’t think I can – I think you got this one wrong buddy”.

To be fair, it is completely okay if while trying to comfort me or make me feel better you tell me “everything happens for a reason” and/or “god will never give you more than you can handle”. I won’t bite your head off. Though if you were to say “man, this is super shitty” and “I am here for you” I’d probably believe you more. That’s what I said to my mother-in-law Lorraine yesterday. Because if there is a reason why a 58-year-old woman gets inoperable lung cancer I’d like to hear it - and - if there is a god that thinks she can handle it, I’d like to meet her/(him).


  1. that is super shitty. and i'm here for you! i know we've never actually done hang-time, but we co-bitch via email. if you ever need to spew, drop me a line!

    (and if you ever wanna hang, that's well and okay, too!)


  2. I would love to hang...that would be a lot of fun! :-) and thanks - it IS super shitty and I'm glad you are here for me.

  3. Caroline1:44 p.m.

    K - That is indeed a shitty hand for anyone to be dealt. Been through it with a different cancer, with Llew. Happy to talk with you privately any time about things of that nature.

    As for the "comforting" words, I don't get that either, but I do get that what people really mean is that they hope for the best for you, IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, but that they don't know how to say that, or what, exactly, to wish for on your behalf. And, in a way, they mean, "I feel your pain, and I'm trying to tell you I love you and believe in you" Sure would be easier if they just did say that, but that's just not how she rolls.

    Of course, you and your extended family WILL find ways to cope with what's to come, and I hope that life is merciful on the details of that. Oncology nurses can be your best friends in the time to come, and they have a world of experience in the deal here. I'm hoping on my lucky penny that you get great help, and that you pull together and make the most you can out of this shitty hand. XOXO <3

  4. thanks Caroline {hug}

  5. I think we hate hearing them because they are just used to death on us autism families. I HATE CLICHES...

    Having said that, I do believe God has the time and ability to determine every single little thing.

    And you know what I think you are a pretty awesome person and even if sometimes feel you are barely scraping by with bleeding knuckles and shit in the air, you are still making it through. Now is that an ideal situation or fair? NO.

    Is it fair that a gorgeous sweet thing like Max and our super smart Khaled have autism that take everything away from them that they could have done with their awesome selves had they NOT had autism...NO its not fair.

    Sometimes I wish the well-wishers would just say "That sucks, thats not fair, I am sorry it is like this for you, it must be hard, but I have no idea how hard because I am not going through what you're going through, but if there is anything I can do to help you, please let me know".

    ANd then it would be nice if they read the 3 books I shoved in their direction and listened attentively to my autism lectures and poo training with disco lights story.

    Thats it.

  6. I would love to listen to your autism lectures and poo training and disco lights story.

    especially the disco lights story.

  7. How very, very unfair! You already have your hands full, and now this. When I read this I wracked my brain trying to think of something I could say or do that would help and came up empty. So if you think of anything I can do, it's yours.

  8. Both those lines irritate the hell out of me, but I do think people have the best intentions when they say them.

    Fuck cancer. The end.

  9. thanks Liz! can I borrow your epc for monday?

    JS - indeed!

  10. Sometimes even words don't work. That's when I resort to hugs. Oh, and fuck cancer too. I recently lost my nephew after a two-year battle with a brain tumour and the only thing that comforted me was a hug and a "it's shitty." Good intentions or not, somethings are better left unsaid.

  11. found you via It Ain't Meat Babe. I have a daughter who had a stroke - she's now 9. Love when people say "she seem so normal" or "she's too pretty to have had a stroke". whuh??? and god and I have talked...i call a bullshit too.
    glad to have found you! M

  12. @Scribe - I think hugs are where it's at. That way you don't say the wrong thing and you still get your message across.

    @michelle.belle - glad you have found me too! I think I need a t-shirt with "I call bullshit" on it. I just ordered "I'm a quitter!" and "I don't care okay" from ... but "I call bullshit" wins.

  13. Anonymous10:31 a.m.

    Facts of life - very bad things happen to very good people, crime pays excceedingly well (I do not recommned such but it is a truth), and only those living the same life actually CARE.