Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Things I Hate to Hear

I check Autism message/support social network sites occansionally and I often read comments like "everything happens for a reason"and "this is what was meant to be". That kind of stuff really gets under my skin. Usually it is framed in some sort of religious context although not always. It troubles me that people can believe God just decided to start striking our kids with this devastating disorder. I DO believe in a very powerful life force that I call God but I believe what happens to us is largely due to our own actions and those of our society. I don't understand how some people can say things like "everything happens for a reason" or "this was meant to be" and still maintain that they have free will.

I know that sometimes these comments are just meant to encourage people to find the good in a situation. The belief that everything happens for a reason might lead one to search for that reason and glean something meaningful and positive. That is a good way to live but I still can't jive with some great wizard in the sky pointing his wand and saying "Autism for you!"

My son was not meant to be like this. It could be genetics, spontaneous mutation, pollution, shots, water filled with prescription drugs, or some other toxic chemical but I believe WE did this. WE, meaning my husband and I, possibly passing on some genetics defect, or WE, meaning society, poisoning our children. It is probably a WE that includes both of those things and maybe something more. Call on God for strength or comfort or peace but as the creator of Autism? No, that is all us.

Autism was not "meant to be". It just is.


Ted and Lori said...

Oh my goodness, do I hear you. I am a Christian myself but grew sick of church people when our adoption of Abe hit a two-month period of angst, where we weren't sure if he would be ours our not. I was told so many times these phrases that you hate to hear, and my theory is that it's because so many people are unwilling to shoulder the burden--it's easier to give a trite phrase than to really be present with a person who is grieving or walking through difficulty.

And I'm with you: I don't believe everything happens for a reason. I don't want to belong to a god who purposefully causes such pain. I came away from the whole ordeal feeling that God can *redeem* any situation but that he doesn't cause every situation. Anyway, I hear you.

Brenda said...

Yes, it's hard to hear some of the comments people make. Some much harder than others. But the God I believe in doesn't hand out suffering to teach a lesson. He's there holding our hands through it all. If you need your hand held otherwise, here's mine. (and thank you for the blogroll listing). xo