Unconditional Love – Hit Me With Your Best Shot

In Act 2 of a This American Life podcast titled Unconditional Love parents Dave and Karen Royko talk about life with their son Ben who has autism. Listening to their story, it is obvious that they love Ben very much. It is also obvious that love is hard. The opening dialog between Dave and Karen:

Dave Royko

People say all kinds of things to me and my wife as parents of an autistic son, and they mean well.

Karen Royko

People would sometimes say to me, in public, or in therapy waiting rooms where there’s a lot of interaction with parents and they would say, you’re a saint. And I would just think, well, Jesus Christ. What am I supposed to do, beat the [BLEEP] out of him? What else would you do? Well, we have to take a lot of antidepressants. That helps.

Dave Royko

God bless medication. People would often say, I couldn’t do what you’re doing. I know when people would say that, I mean, it’s really a compliment. But it would sometimes though, feel like, yes, you would. Unless you’re really a [BLEEP] person and not cut out to be a parent, you would be doing the same thing. The only difference is, we have to do it. It always felt like a little whiff of this crap, like God never gives you more than you can handle.

Karen Royko

You just want to kick those people in the teeth don’t you?

Dave Royko

If that sounds harsh, here’s what it’s like for us….

The rest of the story is authentic and raw as Dave and Karen share their vulnerability with the world. Listen to the entire story or read the transcript.


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