This post originally appeared at http://www.mindretrofit.com/2012/04/30/angel-mindretrofit-to-i-wish-i-didnt-have-aspergers-autismpositivity2012-flash-blog/ and is reprinted here with permission from the author.
The driving force behind this post is here please go have a look at the many voices who shed light on Autism Positivity.
To “I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers”
My heart calls out to you my friend – I call you friend because I already feel a connection. The search words speak volumes, and had I been diagnosed years ago I may have typed the very same words myself.
Only a few years ago I was praying for my son to be healed from autism. It was a confusing, lonely, and desperate time. The tears well up in my eyes right now because the most painful part was that I had not seen the amazing beauty that was flowing through my child’s eyes. He has taught me much more about life than any philosopher, or religious figure. He played a key role in helping me accept myself.
If it was not for him I may still be condemning myself for not being “normal.” Attacking myself in droves seeking answers to “Just fix my brain!” My son’s autism has brought healing that I am fairly certain would not have happened had our eyes never been opened to autism.
I am not denying the challenges. We have them and they are great. We share in sensory issues, social issues, anxiety issues, and eating issues to mention a few. All of those things can be very difficult and hard to handle on some days, but the positives can outweigh the negatives. My son is gifted with numbers; he has an amazing engineering, and musical mind. He sees things with a unique and intriguing perspective. He loves intensely – not necessarily people. He has passion and is hilariously witty!
When I think of you “I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers” I wonder about your talents. I would love to hear about your special interests and see where they could take you. My own special interests connect to many things. I love and have a great respect for words. I see connections through science and spirituality flowing into colors and numbers, creating poetry and songs. I hear the silence of the moon that reaches down to all of us who look upon it and share in its loveliness.
I say to you that you are not alone! We share in connection with the sky. If you feel alone, seek out those of us who share in your interests. Seek out those who share the reality of our pains from past and present. Seek out those who are older and have wisdom. Seek out those who are younger and can challenge you. Do not seek to wish that you would no longer be who you are.
There are days when it can seem bleak regarding autism. It feels like no one understands. That is not true. Many of us are sharing our voices and we are sharing them for ourselves, for parents and caregivers who do not know where to turn, and for people like you. We know the feeling even if some of us have never wished our Asperger’s to go, we empathize with the struggle to live in this world surrounded while drenched in loneliness and misunderstandings. We may not have wished it away because we didn’t know what it was, but possibly we did wish to fit in and to be/feel “normal.”
Personally, discovering a name for why I feel and do the things I do has been a relief, and a blessing. The way I think gives me great insight to my children. Each day I accept more and more of myself the good and the bad – with the knowledge of my challenges I am able to move forward. With the allowance of seeking my special interests I am healing from past hurts, and the all too confusing life ride that I have been on.
The future looks bright – I believe that one-day autism will be fully accepted and acknowledged into our culture. I do not know when, but the more we know the brighter it looks. The more we understand the more we can develop resources and attitudes to help each other. Also, leading into better helps for those who have different kinds of challenges in the autism community.
The more of us who utilize the resources available and change our minds to accept ourselves the greater the chances are. I confess I have my days when I cry and wish that my brain would just stop what it is doing, but I then go and read my friends blogs who understand my pain. I read the resources that explain my brain. I write poetry or stories to spill out emotions I do not understand. It brings healing, and it reminds me that I am not alone.
I look at my son and remember not long ago he couldn’t have a conversation with his brother and sister. He now plays with them on a daily basis. He is telling jokes. It wasn’t even crossing my mind that he would tell jokes two years ago. There is hope. Many of us share in similar pains – there are ways to find help in times of desperation. If I were to be able to speak to you directly, I would say:
“You are unique and have so much to contribute through your Asperger’s mind. You have something special that needs to be shared with the world. You matter and are who you are supposed to be. Find people to help you see that, and build you up in it. You do not need many encourages, only ‘real’ ones. Find a place that accepts you and where you can learn how to gain self-awareness and self-acceptance. Do not deny who you are – embrace it. Once you embrace your challenges and your gifts your life will change. You can do it. You are not alone. You are fully capable. Look in the places of hope, not the places of doubt or self-denial. Your voice matters too. Share it! And when the down times come do not fall for the voices that tell you that none of this is true. Go after the autism acceptance community with a vengeance and determination to remember who you are. We will all be here waiting to share and embrace you! Happiness is the understanding that you are not a disease, or defective – you are a remarkable individual who can achieve great things with the right tools, resources, and encouragement. Search upon those things.”
Our positive outlook begins inward. A good thing about our autism is that in our weaknesses we see with much more clarity just how awesome our strengths are. What may be construed as a weakness can be manifested into great strengths. They may hurt deeply, feel overwhelming, cause us to be immobile at times, but if we look at them as a way to grow and challenge ourselves, I think we can find the positives.