Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Autism Answer: Pretty Ugly Things

She wouldn't quit drinking, and so her children were born with disabilities. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome for all, and a few other challenges for some. When they were itty bitty babes it seemed easier to add beer to their bottles than to find a true way to get nourishment in their bellies. Indeed, she wanted nourishment for herself but was backwards about what that meant.

She wanted him. Him, who hurt her and hurt others. Him, who went to jail for some of his crimes and came out with the intention of hurting her more. He bought her drinks and hurt the babes, and spent the money meant to save them. When the social worker came to collect the children, he took her hostage and refused to give them up. He wanted people to see him as important and feed his soul, but he wasn't willing to do it himself.

So the itty bitty babes, who were from far away in miles and culture, became my brothers.

My mom, and a couple of the itty bitty babes!

My mom pleaded with social workers and teachers to see them as able. For years they tried to dampen her love while she insisted on giving hope wings. In our home there was so much love it almost hid the hurt and fear and challenges. Almost.

My step-dad couldn't hack it. He molested me, tried to kill himself, and was kicked out of our lives by mom. The professionals couldn't hack it. They refused to see the possibilities and progress, even as my brothers proved the progress over and over and over. Our neighbors couldn't hack it. They petitioned and complained and hated our beautiful mother for being willing to allow a little crazy in order to insist on a lot of hard work and forward motion.

There were some pretty ugly things. Life offers a whole lot of pretty ugly things.

And they are pretty ugly things. They are. When you step back and look at the piece of art that is life; when you're willing to shift things around and splash colors here and there, it's pretty. When you're willing to take control and become the artist, the pretty ugly things make the overall effect pleasing and rich.

Without the pretty ugly things I've shared here, I wouldn't have my brothers. My brothers who I love, and who've helped me grow into an awesome, thoughtful, and kind mom. I may not have learned about the realities of sex abuse, which I've taken advantage of to help so many teens. I wouldn't have grown up in the perfect storm of love and controversy that forever changed the terrain while always offering new views, and new growth. Without the neighbors chasing us away with petitions and ugly stares, my family may not have moved often, traveling the world and solidifying a bond that says with volume: Home is where your family is. Family is where you're encouraged to grow and be yourself.

I would, though, if given an opportunity, erase all of these ugly things from the world. 

Because even though we have been able to grow pretty things from them, they are unnecessarily ugly. 

And I'm confident that if given a pallet of only different types of pretty, never-ending shades and shapes that grow only from the beautiful, we would create such art out of life that it would bring forth gorgeous tears from a grateful Universe.

But for now, until that day, I'll continue to make pretty the ugly things. And I'll believe that my hard work is adding to the vastly colorful and intense tools we'll dip our brushes in, and borrow ideas from, when painting and sculpting only pretty.

For now,
life offers some pretty ugly things. 

Hugs, smiles, and love!!

Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook) 

There are pretty ugly things in our story. Always, we highlight the pretty!