I expected some of these but no all.
My Aunty launched straight into complaints as soon as they were asked if the family has a negative attitude toward me. I expected to be criticised for; not being able to support a loved one through a life-threatening illness or perhaps my child not being schooled. No doubt we're supposed to 'suck it up' even though mainstream education nearly killed the both of us and destroyed our whole livelihood.
But the rest was a surprise – such as "I go through phases".
I wonder if being a person who goes through phases (like it's a bad thing?) means I am flippant, that I flip flop around from one interest to another! Sure I’ve tried many, many things. I failed my medical degree (thank goodness!) and then went onto managing, at a young age, a large company where I assisted the start up of the Affirmative Action Program for women while promoted in another growing business who wanted me to manage a new store overseas. But I left both of these career opportunities to be by the beach. Of course! LOL
Yeah, I was very workaholic.
But then again I didn’t know I had a brain that had super focuses. Where I get a lot of joy and satisfaction through working and mastering what I love. Anyway, I stopped drinking and fell into nannying, which I loved and met terrific humans especially the last family I worked with who inspired me to find out my life’s work. That was 20 years ago. It was the big turning point which can be read in my book.
Which I haven’t finished yet! Another phase! LOL.
I went onto study and teach in a creative field before developing and delivering a fun and highly liberating and successful program for young diverse and autistic women. Just before launching and rolling it out across the country my child’s diverse needs (trauma from school) became a priority when attending school drove them to suicidal thoughts. I stopped working and focussed on saving and restoring my child back to life, health and happiness.
Which to my surprise saved my life too and I’ve never been so happy!
But perhaps endeavouring to do something with real purpose and meaning or placing my child’s wellbeing first is out of the question for some people. Or they could be talking about the fact I thought I was an alcoholic for over two decades (other family members can’t drink safely – also very sensitive to chemicals), another phase? I now know I'm autistic, and I used alcohol, and amongst many other things, as a poor way of regulate my body and mind.
But can you hear I’ve gone through so many phases!
Then I was criticised for isolating! Ha! What, is isolation terrible? Perhaps to those who are energised through socialising, but not for humans like my child and I, it is enjoyable but so, so exhausting. Solitude is seen as isolation, a negative, because we respect our bodies needs and no longer hang out with judgmental or demanding humans.
We listen to and look after ourselves instead.
Solitude allows our bodies and minds to regulate and turn our time and attention to our projects which energises and makes us feel whole and complete when doing them. And the funny thing is I’m the only one who did all the visiting and when I stopped visiting (due to my child’s individual needs and trauma) – I'm accused of being the one who is isolating!
Oh, and apparently I’m spoiling my child. I practice peaceful and compassionate parenting over a fearful and dominating approach with my child who has diverse needs. And on and on and on the list goes. How many messages am I receiving that the way we choose to be and live is wrong? According to some of my family the choices we make are wrong. That I am not a stable human. That I can’t be believed. That my child doesn't have autism. That I don't have autism. It's just a "phase". I'm making all of this up! The problems my child has are caused by me? Nice. Where is the support, love, compassion, care and non-judgmental inquiry?
They have no idea of the suffering my child, and I have endured.
And they've never asked about how tricky our lives are from day to day. Even if they did actually know about our lived experience still perhaps they would not be able to be compassionate. These humans may be devoid of empathy and it would be a waste of my time to try to get them to understand when they aren't seeking to understand.
Remember, it's "JUST A PHASE" I’m going through!
The beautiful thing about all of this, my gut knew they were judging us. My child knew it too! I’m so glad I didn’t go and see my Uncle last week. I listened to my gut and stopped myself from doing what I have always done. I listened to and looked myself first.
All I hear is intolerance of our diversity.
If we don’t do what some of my family does, we're seen as wrong. Rather than seeing us all as individuals, where we all live differently and do differently. We may not understand one another, but we don’t have to. Some people love socialising, and others don’t. Some people enjoy working at one job their whole life and others don’t. Some people believe there’s only one way to learn and others don’t. Some think dominating and making their children comply is the only way to raise children and others don’t. Some believe being a neurotypical is the ultimate way to be and others don't.
We are autistics living autistically, according to our needs.
We no longer work toward being cruel to ourselves. For us to try to be a neurotypical is a form of cruelty. We are not neurotypicals. We are not anyone else. We are who we are. Obviously being who are we upsets people – people who aren’t even in our lives. We now have a long list of humans against what and how we do things. No wonder people don’t want to be autistic because we are judged and rejected for our neurology.
Especially when we start to KNOW, DIRECT and MASTER OUR OWN LIVES!
If some of my family refuse to believe my child or I are autistic, it informs us it’s not okay to have difficulties or challenges. We will stay away from humans who reject and judge us for our challenges and difficulties. We will isolate from unkind humans. You bet! What on earth do they have that we’d have any desire to be around them when they reject who we are and demand that we comply with their expectations of us? Absolutely nothing!
It would be intolerable if we treated them the way they treat us!
"And without exception, these parents feel at fault, blamed and judged. The attitude of professionals, on the whole, does nothing to dispel these feelings. Often, they have been involved with one professional after another who has told them ‘your child isn’t autistic, he just needs firm boundaries’ or ‘she’s just manipulating you and you’re letting her, you’re colluding with her’.”
We prefer to surround ourselves with humans who celebrate and respect our differences. Who don’t have a need to control, dominate, intimidate, manipulate or govern us? Who are secure and at ease with themselves enough that they don’t desire us to comply with their wants and needs.
We’d prefer to thrive amongst humans who are brilliant at accepting us.
They understand if they aren’t in the arena getting their arse kicked it means they don’t know much and because of that they desire to understand. It’s okay to have diverse needs [disabilities], difficulties or challenges and I must protect myself and my child from discrimination.
Life's tricky enough without this tricky stuff.
Some family members may discriminate our differences, our disabilities and we can't stop that as much as they can't stop us from shining. Imagine that, stopping my child or I from doing what we want to do!
Good luck with that! Ha!
“Can’t help won’t” — Pathological Demand Avoidance syndrome