That night I decided to sleep at Jim's house, hoping he could offer some relief. My fast-beating heart and I walked in the door and he gave me a big kiss, the kind of kiss that says "everything's gonna be okay, baby." We went into the kitchen and I sat my butt up on the kitchen counter. We talked for a little bit and then he asked, "So, what did your therapist say?"

I stopped for a moment to giggle in my head. Growing up in the Midwest, I used to think only crazy people saw therapists and even though I've been in Hollywood for fourteen years, having a therapist still makes me laugh. I replied nonchalantly, "She said that I feel guilty for Evan's autism."

Jim stopped what he was doing and slowly looked at me. He stared at me and in that moment I felt naked. I looked into his eyes and saw for the first time that I had built these thick walls of defense around my heart. I knew love was capable of a lot, but I had no idea that the man standing in front of me would be the one to put the first crack in those walls. He softly said with the sweetest eyes, "You do feel guilty for Evan's autism."

He slowly walked over to me and held me. I know it might be confusing that any mom could feel guilty for her child's autism, but some do. Some moms feel that it must have been something in them that caused their perfect babies to be born with weak immune systems. Some moms worry that they didn't scream loudly enough when they had concerns about the vaccinations.
Excerpt from Mother Warriors by Jenny McCarthy © 2008.
Published with permission from Dutton, A member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Next Story