Marriage, autism and doubts

As I sat in the plush chair in a salon in Bombay a few days ago, I nearly started crying. No, the heat of the blow dryer wasn’t too much, neither did the searing hot iron burn my scalp.

I was getting my hair done to attend a wedding function that night…and an idle mind can lead to many things. This post might surprise many, including my mother, who probably has no idea I think this way [Edit: I just showed my Mom the post before hitting publish and she surprised me telling me she knew I thought this way]. Writing is cathartic though, and here I am, to share my experience with others who may be in the same boat.

I’m, annoyingly enough, at that age where people are asking about when I’m getting married (in desi years, I believe I’m near the end of my shelf life hahaha). Luckily, my parents aren’t too fussed about me tying the knot any time soon, so my Mom has been deflecting all attempts from well-meaning relatives to get me to see a boy. “No, she’s too busy with her career, not now,” my Mom says (I LOVE YOU MOM, YOU KNOW THAT?).

Anyway, as much as deflections are being made…I do think about the future. Who wouldn’t? Sure, I’d like to get married someday, with someone whom I love and who loves me (therefore putting a spanner into a traditional “arranged marriage” concept for me). But there is a condition to it: he has to love and accept my brother too.

I’ve gone through enough recently and seen others go through the same…a situation where one is rejected (as a potential wife/daughter-in-law) due to the existence of a child with special needs in the family. So now I’ve kind of brainwashed myself to believe that, in general, most people are narrow-minded and as a result of this, it’s highly unlikely I will ever find a man whom I can love and who will accept my brother, not just as a part of the family, but as someone whom I will be taking care of eventually. I think it’s a defense mechanism I’m employing, to avoid being hurt again.

Apart from this, another thought entered my head as the stylist tonged my hair and curled my ends: what if I do find a man like this and end up getting married? Can you imagine the logistics?

My brother is not a high-functioning autistic. He cannot speak, he only babbles. We still have to give him a shower and clean him once he uses the toilet. While he has progressed a lot through the years, he is still in need of 24/7 vigilance. Anyway, weddings are noisy and long affairs…how on earth is he going to attend ceremonies like the sangeet for example (an event where people basically dance, eat and drink in celebration)? Will he be able to handle the noise? What about the people? The crowds? If he’s even able to attend, what about my Mom? Can she really enjoy herself? What about looking after my brother? Will she be able to participate in the festivities?

All these thoughts kept repeating for each of the traditional ceremonies I’d expect to have if I was getting married. Before you say: don’t have these ceremonies, let me tell you, I’m a bit traditional at heart. If I ever get married (note my defense mechanism of “if” – it’s never “when”), I want the whole shebang. It doesn’t have to be necessarily big in terms of number of people there, but big in terms of absolute fun.

I’m so paranoid, innit? If…if…if.

At this point…I open my eyes, see my hair falling down over perfect curls on my shoulder, blink my eyes to dry the tears away… and move on. I allowed myself my 10 minutes of wallowing, now I was done and ready to enjoy the night with full-blown enthusiasm (I did, in 3.8-inch postbox red heels at that). As the song goes…the future’s not ours to see.


13 thoughts on “Marriage, autism and doubts

  1. awww Dee. *big hug* Just believe that it will happen. Maybe mumbo jumbo but the law of attraction does work in strange ways 🙂

  2. U will find the Mr Right!! I have!! All my love and hugs to u.. Ur an inspiration and U will get the best..Keep ur eyes open!! :DMiracles do happen..thats the gift of life! 😀 xxxx

  3. Devina Divecha, I love you.This post truly touched my heart. And I do believe that Karan and you will find your Mr Right. Who knows, Karan might start liking him more, and then you’ll be fighting over whose brother he is in the first place ;)Que sera sera.

  4. Your brother is one very luck man Dee, to have such an amazing sister. People today are extremely selfish and self centered, its all about ‘us’, hence the demise of most relationships (with parents/ siblings/ partners/ pets). You’re an extraordinary girl, to firstly write this blog to raise awareness amongst people with autistic family members, to support, love and protect your brother and to put him and his requirements at the forefront of everything you do. The man you’re going to meet (read the immediate urgency here :)) will be left with no choice but to embrace you as a whole, with everything and everyone you come with – because you have the capacity to nurture and this is extremely important.So well i hope you flicked those curls and had a blast because well as you know, in your wedding, being the bride, you;re going to have to keep those curls intact :)x

  5. Marina – Hehe you can dance to Hawa Hawaii if you get such news from me :PDina – not holding my breath for it but thanks :)Mishti – Awwww I love you too! *hugs* Haha I’d LOVE to find a man whom Karan loves more than me…would be absolutely awesome. Siddhi – first time someone’s called him a man 😉 But at 16 (today), I guess he is 🙂 Thanks for the compliment…I’m not too extraordinary though! Just feel it’s important to share and raise awareness, as you said. Curls were flicked, and a blast was had…aye aye cap’n.

  6. Coping with special needs in a family will separate the men from the boys. The boys who can’t accept and love your brother will never be man enough for you. You are so better off without them.There are lots of great men out there. Take your time.Hey, your shoes sound fab! XXX

  7. Hey Jean, thanks for your kind words. It’s something I need to keep telling myself to get through tough situations.And yeah those shoes were brilliant! 🙂

  8. Hey Jean, thanks for your kind words. It’s something I need to keep telling myself to get through tough situations.And yeah those shoes were brilliant! 🙂

  9. Wow. It’s as if this I wrote all this. Having a 16-year old non-verbal autistic brother, I have lost count of the number of times I have thought about the things mentioned in this post. Luckily, there is a tacit understanding between me and my parents about this issue and we never talk about my marriage either (I’m 23). I am also almost sure that I probably would not want children of my own either so that I can always focus more on my brother. I sometimes like to believe that I *may* find a guy who will accept all this, and will understand that my brother will always be my first priority. You know, after spending too much time thinking about this issue, I have realised that I sort of don’t really care about it anymore. It’s the whole “que sera sera” thing that some other commentator has also mentioned. Maybe there are such guys out there, maybe not. All we need to do perhaps is simply celebrate every little step of improvement that happens in the lives of our brothers. 🙂

  10. Hey Nav … thanks for connecting by commenting here. So glad to speak to someone else who gets it completely. I only know one more girl in the same situation as I am in, so this is nice in a way.If you ever feel like it, drop me an email at contact(at)devinadivecha(dot)com? Will be nice to chat I think 🙂

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