NOTE: We accept submissions year round at Age of Autism. In April, we especially welcome new voices to share their autism stories. Send me your submission to KimStagliano@gmail.com with SUBMISSION in the subject for review. Write from your heart and gut and readers will respond. Thanks.
By Candice Edwards
I remember vividly a conversation I had with my friend exactly this time last year. This isn't verbatim, but its pretty darn close.
Me: I don’t know what to do. I just feel like things are falling apart, I feel like I am failing at everything *crying*
Friend: Aww hun, whats wrong?
Me: I just feel like I don’t exist, he won’t look at me, literally its like I’m invisible. He doesn’t want to be touched, anything I try to do with him he shuts me out, literally turns away from me. Sometimes he gets very violent with me and I don’t know how to handle it. I am feeling so lost because that connection we are meant to have isn't there, it was there, but its gone.
Friend: Wow…I’m lost of words, how long has this been going on?
Me: When I think about it, its been gradual since Ollie was born but 4 months was when things really changed, but its getting worse. I just feel like something else is going on, I can feel it in my gut.
Friend: He doesn’t show you any affection? He doesn’t look at you at all? and this has been going on for months?
Friend: Why didn’t you tell me sooner?
Me: Because I thought I was crazy, that this was just normal and things would get better
Friend: You need to listen to me. We all need to feel loved, acknowledged and important.You can’t stay in a relationship like that hun, you might want to think about leaving him especially before Oliver gets older. No one deserves to be treated like that, whats the point if he acts like you don’t exist? After a while it becomes abuse, you don’t serve that! Do you think its another woman?
Me: I’m not talking about Jay, I’m talking about my son!
My friends face dropped.
This conversation made me think long and hard. This relationship is completely different than all others. This life I grew inside of me was not something I could or would ever walk away from, and for that reason it was that much more intense. When marriages get tough, they can end. You don’t like your job? You can change it…but you have a child that won’t connect with you and your fighting to connect with them….what do you do? You look for help.
As a mother you want to fix everything, but its so hard to fix something you don’t understand, especially when the pediatrician is assuring you that “everything is okay! He will get there in his own time”.
I truly felt abused in my early stages of motherhood because of the lack of support and acknowledgment from my sons Doctor. Any concern was shot down with a patronizing laugh, followed by “he’s fine! its normal first time Mommy worries”. But nothing could prepare me for the agonizing pain I felt in my gut that there truly was something wrong and no one believed me. How could I help my son if no one was helping me?
Then we bring in the V word…..yes, I’m going to say it, vaccines. I never in my wildest dreams would have ever imagined that just the mention of the word ‘vaccines’ would cause everyone around me to shut me down faster than a blink of an eye. I literally felt like I was screaming for help at the top of my lungs, but no one could hear a thing. I felt invisible.
So here I am, feeling beaten, broken, like a failure of a mother and accused of post-partum depression. I couldn’t walk away, I couldn’t give up and I started searching for answers.
The next chapter provided relief of a diagnoses of autism and validation, but a new abuse arose just from speaking out about my sons story. Apparently you can post about your mothers skin cancer from too much sun or your daughters reaction to peanuts during a lunch playdate, but you can’t post about your child vaccine injury without expecting a tide of hate to come at you.
So here I am with my little boy who is just 29 months old and we have a long road ahead of us. I honestly feel like I have PTSD from everything that has happening and is happening now.
So lets circle back to that conversation with my friend. If the truth be told, my son IS unknowingly, unintentionally, innocently and through no fault of his own, abusing me. I love my son more than any words could ever express and he is the only abusive relationship I will stay in till my dying breath. I am now stronger than ever, a rock for my child to thrive and I am no longer a doormat letting people walk all over me, all thanks to this amazing community giving my family the love, support, education and listening ear we need, to live this life of autism - I owe you all so much, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Candice Edwards was born and raised in the United Kingdom, eventually making the USA her home in 2005.
In 2001, she graduated with honors from London College of Music and Media, with a B.A in Advertising and Marketing. Candice subsequently worked with several Fortune 500 companies including, Google, AOL/Yahoo and Staples.
Candice resides in Massachusetts with her fiancé Jason and are the proud parents of a 2 year old little boy called Oliver.
Their journey began when Oliver was a few months old after they witnessed their child regress after vaccination. Testing showed heavy metal toxicity, specifically aluminum. Oliver was diagnosed with Autism on Halloween in 2016.
Candice has made it her mission to be educated, and help to educate others in making informed choices when it comes to vaccination.
She owns Very Berry Good, a company that makes elderberry syrups, runs the Facebook Group PURE Parenting, was part of the team who brought VAXXED to Massachusetts and is the Co-Chairman of the Health Choice Massachusetts.