Philippine Daily Inquirer

Should she leave her autistic child for work abroad?

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DEAR EMILY,

I’ve had this foreign boyfriend since 2003 who would come over to the Philippine­s three times a year. I got pregnant during one of his visits. We both welcomed our son and he was very happy with him. When the boy was two years old, I noticed something not normal about him. I had him tested and he was diagnosed autistic by the doctor. My boyfriend was very disappoint­ed and said he can’t live with it. What happened next is probably common to many affairs. My boyfriend’s calls became less, and when we talked, he would always change the topic about our child. My letters have gone unanswered and I haven’t heard from him since February this year. It seems he also won’t keep his promise of supporting me financiall­y when I became pregnant. From our last conversati­on, he kept saying that having an autistic child is unacceptab­le to him. I have a part-time job, but that is not enough to support me and my special child. I want to break up this relationsh­ip but Iwant it to come from him. I want to work abroad to support us, but there’s no one I can leave my child with. I love my child verymuch—whatever he is.

CATHY

Did your compassion­ate boyfriend think that you and the Almighty colluded to bring into this world this special child—just to make him very unhappy? Why is he acting like a complete moron? Are you solely responsibl­e for the fate of your son? Granting that he wants nothing to do with him, why will he even deny financial support, when the birth of that child was a 50-50 collaborat­ion!

If this foreign boyfriend continues being foreign in deed and thought, better start looking at possible options—and your working abroad is definitely not one of them! How can you leave this special-needs child to people who may not even know the spelling or meaning of autistic? Can you honestly entrust your child to someone who is 100 percent like you and not be cruel or indifferen­t to him? Autistic children need infinite patience, bottomless understand­ing and beyondbeli­ef care.

There are many kinds of work, depending on your qualificat­ions, that can keep body and soul together— without selling your body or soul. Don’t be too picky if they’re too humble or menial for the moment. A little opening in thewindow is better than a bolted door. What’s important is to be independen­t and not be a mendicant. Nothing is more humiliatin­g than begging formercy from someone pretending to be deaf.

If this heartless bottom-dweller continues his way, shred his phone number and forget ever meeting him. Focus on the needs of this special child and be the best mother you can ever be.

Didn’t Christ promise, “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousn­ess, for they shall be satisfied?” Need better upliftment than that?

E-mail emarcelo@inquirer.com.ph, Subject: Lifestyle

 ??  ?? A PIRATE of the Caribbean and his not-sofrighten­ed hostage, a PowWow delegate, at Pointe Orlando’smedia brunch
A PIRATE of the Caribbean and his not-sofrighten­ed hostage, a PowWow delegate, at Pointe Orlando’smedia brunch
 ?? Emily A. Marcelo ??
Emily A. Marcelo

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