Irem Afsin says, “My motherhood came true with autism, not through giving birth and breastfeeding, but 24/7 care. Autism belongs to Nazim, and it fell to me to be his student. ”
M. Irem Afsin and his son Nazim Ozgun Afsin.
Of course, talking to mom on Father’s Day doesn’t mean disrespecting dad দেওয়া giving her credit, which would be too little to call her mom, crediting her… The day we interviewed Irem, the day Nazim, who legally took his mother’s title at his own discretion last year, returned home from Ankara to Istanbul after completing his first year.
When did you become a mother, Erem? What was your dream?
I was exactly 30 years old when Nazim Ozgun came to me and made me a mother, not another woman. I like that there is always a difference of 30 years between us, now I am 50 years old, and he is 20 years old. My first pregnancy, my first, only and last child, Nazim Ozgun. Like every mother, I have had endless dreams about my son, most of whom have disappeared or been transformed with the introduction of autism into our lives. I wanted to make an honest child human who knows conscience, equality, freedom, rights and justice, never thinks bad. It was my biggest dream when I gave birth to her, seeing it 20 years later gives me a lot of peace. The dream came true. But anyway, Nazim Ozgun has done a lot of miracles that I never imagined, it would be unfair if I said a single word against it.
How did the existence of Nazim create Irem?
My favorite thing! My motherhood came true with autism, not by giving birth and breastfeeding, not by caring 24/7. Autism belongs to Nâzım Özgün, and it fell to me to be his student. I think motherhood is not about giving birth at all, but about giving unlimited effort for a living thing. I always say that if I meet Erem now, before my son comes into my life, I don’t want to be friends with that woman, or even sit at the same table! She was a woman who was extremely strict, instructive, never knew how to breathe and change, ambitious for a career, white Turkish bourgeoisie, ignorant of mind and conscience, world and country problems, I might even say selfish. .? I remember the years when I was a prisoner of ideals, when I couldn’t get out of business, thinking like a sturgeon dove about what I would do with my life, who I was and what I wanted to do. Nâzım Özgün and autism, which is only a part of it, made women completely different from me. Being a “mother of others” has taught me to look after the problems of others, to resist, to live in solidarity, to fight endlessly, to never give up. I discovered the Amazon woman in my heart. The opposition of my soul sometimes surprises me. The spirit of that fight comes from the stubborn little girl hiding inside me, who is determined to follow her dream and knows how to be patient, but the real source of my courage and stubborn recklessness is my son.
What is the biggest difference between mother and father?
Instinctive and selfless love without expectation. I think children’s physical and spiritual bonds with their mothers are different because we raise them inside of us. For example, being able to understand and feel without speaking; If he did something wrong, I would feel it before my son told me. For that, I have the power to turn the universe upside down. Also, never give up, a mother – exceptions don’t break the rules – I don’t think she can leave her child, she can’t. Dad can go.
Is it possible for a mother to be a father?
I think what makes a mom and dad a mom is that she can be “everything” if she’s fit. Mom, Dad, Teacher, Educator, Caretaker, Lawyer, Driver, Chef, Doctor, Warrior After 6 years, I had to be both mother and father to my child, I needed motherhood alone, but not without responsibility to anyone. Opportunity to raise my son. It is very difficult to be a single mother in Turkey, because it is difficult to be a woman in this country, but you get hard experience from those difficulties. I spent years forgetting my femininity and leaving myself. It is against our nature for a woman to learn to be a man or to be strong. So I get angry when they say “what a strong woman you are”. What is “becoming strong”, according to what, according to whom, according to what criteria? I had to be strong as a single mom, I learned to be strong. Because of this I can be both a mother and a father.
Is motherhood a role imposed by society?
Definitely. Indeed, those who do not naturally want to be parents also face this social pressure. The only authority that can determine whether a person is a “good mother” or a “good father” is, in my opinion, only his child. Social stress puts a strain on most people who don’t have it, it’s a big weight, and unfortunately getting rid of their shoulders isn’t for everyone.
Why is divorce inevitable between parents with special development children? What is your father running from?
In front of us, the father leaves the ship first. In terms of autism, mainly those boys become autistic. It is even more difficult for a father to accept that his own son is based on the principle of “otherwise”, perhaps “a man will have a son”. They are fleeing from a life of boundless responsibility and uncertainty. A few years ago, an autistic dad who was diagnosed with a new disease asked me, “Can we go to the game together?” She asked in panic. The child is only 3.5 years old, will he be able to take care of himself, will he be able to talk or communicate, will he be able to go to school, it is not clear yet, the only concern of the father is playing with his son! However, mothers view it differently, no matter what happens to the child… autism is not the worst thing that has ever happened, but the social inequality and marginalization problems caused by autism cause more serious problems. I would like to further underline that different development or autism is not something that happens to parents, but autism belongs to the child. When the mother unquestioningly stands by her child’s needs, the father asks, “Why me, why my child?” He asked. Feelings of ownership are important here. However, we cannot bring all fathers together. Many more fathers are fighting with their mothers, and I would like to say with great pleasure that I have noticed that the new generation of fathers are sharing, working in teams with their mothers and becoming more “fathers”. I have friends who are wonderful examples of fathers, whom I know from our generation and whom I love very much.
Title … What do you mean by that? How did you feel when Nazim told you that he wanted to take your title?
Names and surnames are given automatically when we are born without asking. For our women, the situation is even worse, we first take the title of our father and then the one we married, if there is, luckily, this ridiculous situation has changed a lot. I think it is more appropriate for children to carry the title of both parents from birth. The situation is a bit different in Nazım Özgün’s story: when his biological father left home, he was about 3 years old when we were newly diagnosed with autism, so he almost never lived in the same house with that person. Due to a biological father at the age of 14 after the custody case who had no financial or moral responsibility for our son’s autism or any other problem when he grew up, he decided for himself that he wanted to carry my title. However, other lawsuits were being filed between me and my biological father at the time, and I must honestly say that I did not want to deal with the title case, so I persuaded Nazim to wait until he was 18 years old. She has not seen her biological father for 4 years anyway. Although the problems that arise from our various titles in our daily lives throw us into trouble, the real reason why my young man wanted to carry my title is very emotional and psychological. When he first told me, he explained, “You gave birth to me and raised me alone. I am your child, now I want to keep your title.” That was enough for me. Of course, I am very proud of this decision, but more than that, I must say that it has satisfied my sense of efficiency. The legal process of deciding the title was also challenging, but when it was over, we both enjoyed when we were offset, now we are totally “rebellious Taifa”.
Standard mothers gave birth to their children once, how many times have you given birth to Nazim?
I don’t think physical birth matters, you know. I can say that I gave birth to my son many times for autism, for example, when I find our Gunul teacher when elementary school rejected him, or when 12 secondary schools said, “We don’t take children that way,” and when I Got a high school for my son with Turkey. Every time we face discrimination, I teach him that we must stand up and fight. It was also considered my last “birth” when she was one of 25 people with autism who won the Hastep Anthropology last year and was able to study at a university in Turkey, the moment when my motherhood reached a new level.
How many times has Nazim given birth to you? And how many times has she given birth to herself?
My youth has taught me to look at life from a very different angle, to be happy with a small detail even in the absence of everyone. He’s the best teacher of my life, so I can’t count how many times he has given birth to me, I just know how much he has changed me. Nazim Ozgun has become a curious young man with a very clear understanding, very philosophical analysis, lots of reading, listening, questioning and research. In his own words, ‘himself’; I believe you have “born” yourself many times more than I have. Of course, I am very proud of my son, who has evolved from a child who took years to fully learn to share life with people, to an adult who has “adapted” to social life, although he still has difficulties, his firm Determination, endless struggle and a long way he has come.
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