Thursday, August 20, 2009

Still Waiting For My Soundtrack

Saw the following preview at the movies the other night...

Have you heard about Adam? An Asperger love story.

It looks darling and I'm excited to see it. Partly because I like Hugh Dancy and I'm always up for a good chick flick and the soundtrack sounds appealing.

And partly, because (admittedly, this sounds silly) maybe seeing an actor pretending to have Aspergers will help me understand the boy I love who really does.

Still, I have mixed feelings. While I'm excited that the movie might bring understanding and attention to an issue that hits close to home, I also am afraid that it might diminish my family's reality. Like, people will see it and think "Oh, yeah, I saw Adam and now I know all about Asperger Syndrome." Kinda the way I think I know about life in a convent because I saw The Sound of Music. Or understand Yeshiva boys because I watched Yentl.

I mean, we live with Asperger Syndrome on a daily basis and there isn't always an upbeat soundtrack playing in the background, y'know? No cool New York loft apartment. No kooky-but-loveable sidekick cracking one liners. There are plenty of good times, true. But mostly just a lot of frazzled days filled with moments too discouraging and repetitive to make it on the big screen--prescription medications to be swallowed, visits with social workers, a little yellow school bus pulling into the driveway.

The reality is that my life is really really really good. But it's really hard too. And not the kind of hard that can be all wrapped neatly up in 96 minutes with popcorn and Milk Duds.

But, I guess, nobody's life is.

So that's why we go to the movies...

16 comments:

Chandler & Dani said...

I liked your post. The movie looks very cute, but its definitely true that people watch movies and think that they learn everything there is to know about different situations, when in reality, you're right - there is no soundtrack. I really liked the way you put that. :-)

Robin said...

I am sure this movie will romanticize the situation just like Sean Penn did in the movie Sam. But it also opens people up to see people with Aspergers as someone you can love. Someone who is smart. Someone who has lots to offer and someone who is truly beautiful.

Christie said...

Movies are never like real life. In real life, men don't realize suddenly they love you and go racing to the airport to stop you before you take that job in Tanzania or wherever, after you deciding to take it when you were told about a situation that turned out to be nothing but a huge misunderstanding involving the man you love who didn't realize he loved you.

You know, like every romantic comedy ever made.

Real life IS hard. I think that movie will be an interesting watch. Also interesting will be the dialogue that comes up as a result of it.

martha corinna said...

Tell me about it.

My experience has been (thus far) that most people don't understand what an autism spectrum disorder is. Even if it's romanticized a bit, a little more exposure to the uniqueness of their perspective is welcomed (I suppose I should wait until the movie is seen). But really, I could use help in helping others understand that my child isn't just uptight and rigid, she processes the world around her differently. I could also use a refresher course in this as well and perhaps a little romanticism.

Linsey said...

Inevitably there will be the Aspergers expert contingent that results from this movie. And you will kindly help them realize that real life is different from the movies in your house, just as it is in theirs. But, Robin is right, there will also be those who finally will see those with Aspergers as people who need and deserve a lot of love. People who can contribute and who can change lives.

Travelin'Oma said...

We never know what it's like walking in someone else's shoes. And people are usually so absorbed with their own problems they can't take enough time to learn about ours. (Anyway, nobody seems as interested in mine as they are in theirs.)

It's frustrating. But I think movies and books can make us aware of things that are outside our experience, and at least give us talking points.

I've never had an Asperger's child, or a paraplegic husband, or a stroke, or an Alzheimer's parent or a child die, or any number of problems people live with every day. How can we learn to empathize when we don't understand?

It's also hard for people to explain their own circumstances to someone else without sounding like they're whining. Either you complain a lot, and maybe get some sympathy, or you don't complain— but then you don't get credit for having a hard life. It's a cunundrum.

I want everyone to realize I have a really hard life and think I'm wonderful because I never complain about it. And when they make a movie about me I want everyone to rave about how well I handled all my hardships and give me a special Oscar.

diane said...

I think I have the first song for my soundtrack... I feel dizzy.

I know what you mean, kind of. My life looks good on a blog but then I can't drive to the grocery store. Sometimes, like today, it just stinks.

Tomorrow I get to go to a matinee. My friend is picking me up. i could use the escape.

Lauren in GA said...

This post was so well put, Gabi. I can see why you would have concerns with someone thinking they know all about Asperger Syndrome from seeing the movie.

I remember seeing movies like, "The Other Sister" and seeing that loveable lead character with mental retardation and feeling like her mother and sisters were not helpful or understanding to her...and then struggling because life with my own sister was difficult on many different levels and I would often become frustrated with her...

This was well put...a stirring soundtrack in the backgroud would have helped when I was so frustrated and in the proverbial trenches of the day in and day out of feeling helpless and confused.

Jenibelle said...

I get this post.

It would be so nice if life really could be wrapped up in a neat little package with snappy lines, breathtaking visuals and a happy ending.

The world needs Jakes' and Rachel's and Jaxon's and the myriads of other kids with special needs. They give us dimension, breathtaking moments and ultimately, if we hang on tightly and securely, a happy ending.

And I really hope there's milk duds and DP.

Amanda D said...

I haven't heard of the movie but it looks good. I'd like to see it. I do understand your worries though. And I'm sure you'll come across people who will behave the way you think, but my bet is that for the most part they wont.

Cathy said...

Just from the trailer, which looks like a good movie, you can tell they will not dwell much on the "real" situation! I feel your thoughts, my good friend and neighbor's daughter has Aspergers, I was her "babysitter" and dealt with her parttime. She was diagnosed late, it was initially hard to get her parents to realize there was "something different". She is doing better, but I have watched the tears and frustration of her parents and tried to be there for them and offer relief.

kara jayne said...

Gab...I am completely in tears. I have two nephew's with Asperger's and it's heart wrenching. They know they are different and that people think they are dumb, rude, insensitive, etc. They are anything but! My nephews love unconditionally, think about things I've never thought of, and want to make people happy more than any other people I know. They just don't relate the way 'NORMAL' people do.

I totally 'get' what your saying about it not being real, but I'd love the world to have ANY understanding they can have. My sister is a saint and lives with it every day. I honestly can't imagine. You are my hero. Thanks for doing this post.

marta said...

gabi, you always know just the right words. and yes, i completely understand who you are, because i have a german name too.

calibosmom said...

Travelin' Oma should write a column. I don't know how you mom's do it. It's hard enough when your kids don't have extra needs. I do want to see this movie-it looks excellent. This is exactly the reason I do not like cheesy romantic comedy's-it's not anything close to real life. I like movies that reflect reality or are so over the top it can't possible happen. I do make exceptions for Ms Austen. I'll be interested to hear your review of Adam.

the wrath of khandrea said...

i love you.

Bree said...

Amen, sista'. I have a special boy, too. No diagnosis, though, but he's 3 and doesn't walk, talk, do anything for himself. At times, it's almost too much to bear. Put my son in a wheelchair?!!! Yikes. I never imagined life like this. I really enjoy your posts and the way you share your joys and woes. Thanks so super much! Take a peak at my lil' guy - a guaranteed smile:

therobertscelebrate.blogspot.com

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...