I shared a poster from Autism Women’s Network. April is proclaimed “Autism Awareness Month” – but really, as Autism Women’s Network and other Autistic-friendly organizations relay – what we need is more than awareness – we need acceptance and understanding.
The below HAS been the rhetoric about autistics for as long as I can remember. To me it makes working toward my dreams doubly as important:
“We CAN’T do what “real people” do.
We WON’T be what we dream of being.
We will NEVER accomplish anything that can be considered valuable.”…
For so many years I saw accomplishments as something that escaped me. But finally I realized that the primary reason for that was that I was expending my efforts toward making a living – in an area that to me never represented any sense of accomplishment. Now that I have turned my energies to doing things that resonate with me – toward sharing love and hope, a sense of wonderment and joy toward the world – I am much happier. Love, hope, joy and wonderment are a VERY real part of me, and sharing those things has meaning that I had never before found in my life.
However, I must admit that despite that change, and despite all my growth over the past couple years, I still find those things that I just seem incapable of understanding. And it is those that continue to hurt me. I know my heart is full of love. I know that I care about what I do. But I also know I often feel incompetent in explaining my feelings and emotions to others, and often feel that how I come across is not at all how I wish to.
People are so much a part of what makes my heart come alive. I have forever had dreams about being much more a part of the human existence. I have dreamed of being able to walk into a room and light it up, because everyone feels the love that is in my heart. I have dreamed to have the people I care about see me, and feel warm and happy because they feel the love my heart feels for them. I love sharing love – really sharing it – knowing that realization that my love is a force of positivity in the lives of those I care for. And as much as I have those dreams, and as much as I have tried to work toward them, I feel so much that the knowledge and understanding of how to accomplish those things eludes me. And I find that so hard to bear.
But giving up is NOT an option. There are so many other autistics, and others in this world who are different, yet who like me just want to love. And I understand that the changes that we need to see are not easy changes. It is not easy, has not been easy, for me to change – and even less easy to hope for the understanding of others – to wish that there could be some help in my goal, to see the faces of others come to the realization that even though my words might not be the right ones, and even though I might trip over chairs, be clumsy and awkward, look awkward, not have the right facial expressions to go with what is in my heart – not always know the right things to do or to say – that despite all of that, that the heart inside me, and so many others, just wants to share love and hope to make the world a better place for all of us.
With that realization, I can only hope that not only can I learn – but that somehow within that framework can be me – all of who I am, autistic and everything. Yet convey somehow that “even” an autistic person – who still feels awkward and clumsy – can offer SO much, can love so deeply, can be loyal, dedicated and caring and bring light to the lives of the people around me.