Zoom Autism Magazine Issue 1 Fall 2014 - Page 8

CLOSE UP Welcome to the Club By Jess Wilson My Dear Friend, I am so sorry for your pain. Don’t worry. No one else sees it. I promise. To the rest of the world, you’re fine. But when you’ve been there, you can’t miss it. I see it in your eyes: that awful, combustible mixture of heart-wrenching pain and abject fear. I remember the fear. I see it in the weight of that invisible cloak that you wear. I remember the coarseness of its fabric on my skin— like raw wool in the middle of the desert. You see, it was mine for a time. I know that it feels like it’s permanent, fixed. But one day down the line you will wake up and find that you’ve left it next to the bed. Eventually, you’ll hang it in the closet. You’ll visit it now and then. You’ll try it on for size. You’ll run your fingers over the fabric and remember when you lived in it, when you couldn’t take it off. But soon days will go by before you wear it again, then weeks, then months. I know you are staring down what looks to be an impossibly steep learning curve. I know it looks like an immovable moun8 Zoom Autism Through Many Lenses Jess, Luau, Brooke and Katie (Photo by Connerton Photography) tain. It is not. I know you don’t believe me, but step by step you will climb until suddenly, without warning, you will look down. You will see how far you’ve come. You’ll breathe. I promise. You might even be able to take in the view. You will doubt yourself. You won’t trust your instincts right away. You will be afraid that you don’t have the capacity to be what your baby will need you to be. Worse, you’ll think that you don’t even know what she needs you to be. You do. I