… Not vaginal birth. Not a c-sect aftermath. Not breastfeeding pain sagas, nor competitive moms.
As much as I fear those, I also believe it will be just a phase.
But this, a phase that I've undergone, and I'm not looking forward to experience it again.
I was born as an oldest sister. I have two siblings, one is my sister Dinda (2 years younger), and my 9-years-younger brother Fadil.
From the first time my mother had conceived my brother, I know that he was like, so much expected.
Why? Maybe it roots from how my family “produce” daughters more, much more than sons. My father is the only son in his family with 4 sisters. And I don’t know why, MOST of my cousins are daughters. From 11 cousins, only 2 among us are boys. So you can tell how women rule in my father’s family :)
My brother is the 8th grandchildren in the big family, so the expectancy of having a boy maybe kinda huge. My parents who already have two daughters, also can’t lie, they may expect a son. So when he was born in 1993, everybody was happy. How lovely, finally we got a boy in our family.
I loved him too. He’s perfect. He has a fair skin just like my mom. He was a bundle of joy.
Everything went smooth, Fadil was a very cute boy. I remember how I can’t stop kissing his pink cheek. I remember how his laugh enlightens the entire family. I remember how he makes me a proud sister…
Until Fadil steps the age 4. Me, who was just 13, didn’t really pay attention how he was not really talking. I was just a teenager, how do I know when baby can talk? But all I know all he can say is just plain ‘’Aaaa…”. My mom said, maybe it was inherited from my father who, incidentally, start talking at age 4.
But then, things didn’t get better.
He didn’t stop crying when he asked for something. He couldn’t say anything. And he developed the unordinary characteristics, like loves to pay attention to spinning things, and he can’t see people straight in the eye.
Since there was no internet like nowadays, I remember it took a long time to figure out what happened. My parents brought Fadil to the doctor, and he was verdicted.. AUTISTIC.
Yes, my younger brother is an autistic.
Me, being a 13 year-old-girl-who-was-busy-being-cool-just-like-another-teenager, not really understand what autistic was. When my mother told me about that, what I heard is my brother may have a speech problem or something and it will get better. I thought, what worst that could happen? He didn’t have that down-syndrome face or so. Never crossed my mind that it’s a serious and can affect him, and the whole family.
I didn’t feel any difference at all and I was back busy being cool and all that identity crisis phase.
I started to feel a little bit different when I was in high school. At that time, my brother can say some things separately, but still couldn’t conjoin the sentence. He was also babbling a lot, getting tantrum (a uncontrollable rage) easily, and HITTING whatever near him… including me.
Yes, me and Dinda has undergone hits in the arm, kicks in the stomach, or spits… in the face. Whenever he gets angry, or can’t say what he really wants, that was all he did.
Even I have been hit by him in front of my friend who was playing at my house. I was just 17.
Humiliated, sad, angry, I often asked to God and cried, WHY ME? WHY THIS FAMILY?
As if that was not enough, I just realized that my mother and father didn’t really get along. It has been rooted from years ago and I can’t tell any details. But all I know is Fadil don’t make them truce, but they still fight like they usually do.
At that time, I feel like I have the worst teenage phase in the world. I’ve become really shy and under-confident. I even don’t have courage to bring my friends to play in my house. I always seek for reasons so they don’t step into my house. It’s better not to explain anything that hurts my feeling.
As time goes by, I can say things really get better.. Or maybe, me and my family is getting used to this situation. My mom had struggled to make him “normal” even though there was only a slight possibility. Speech therapies, home schoolings, alternative medications and so on and so on.
Me and Dinda, were not really involved in Fadil’s treatment process. I know that my parents won’t let their daughters burdened by him. What we can do is reacting certainly to what Fadil does or says. Still, not easy. We have to throw away the anger, can’t react normally like we do to normal people. We have to put on straight and poker face in front him. No emotion. No slight at all. Otherwise, he will tell and hit/spit/kick or get tantrum.
And for most of the time, between age 15 til 22, I still didn’t have courage to bring my friends to my house. Thank God I was single for all those time :)) Or was I single because I didn’t want someone to come into my life? #yeahright
After Fadil was 15 and I was 23, those “torments” slowly disappeared. Finally. It took 10 years to feel: “It’s not really that bad.” I started dating Mono when I was 23, and surprisingly, when he met my brother, I could say I really dig his reaction to Fadil. He didn’t asks so much questions, he didn’t look surprised so much, and he could really get along with Fadil’s weird questions and oddities.
Now, Fadil is 19 years old and his activities are being in school, drumming lessons, and watching his favorite band Sheila on 7 on the internet. He’s still babbling but so much more controlled. He’s not spitting, hitting, or kicking anymore. Even though sometimes I can’t to imagine what he’s going to do in the future, but I am grateful for what we have right now.
Even if everything turns out okay for now, I’m still haunted.
The journey of having a special brother makes me think about it even if before I got pregnant. So when I’m officially having a baby in my tummy, the very first thought popped right away: Will my child be just normal?
I’m afraid of having a “special” child. I’m afraid of having a different kid. I don’t want intelligent kids like in those milk advertisements. All I want is just a normal child. A normal human being.
I often asked my husband, “What if we had a different child?” And he answered, ‘’If God thinks we should have one, then it will be.”
I know that answer doesn’t guarantee anything, but I’m relieved that he’s ready for the worst.
Everybody has their own battle, but please Allah, can I not have this battle again? :’(