On my way home from work on Friday I had the windows down and the volume turned way up. I was singing along with a song (linked below) that I know very well, but for the 1st time, I felt the lyrics in my bones.
Then, my good friend posted this on facebook:
“The highest level of confidence is when you’re not afraid of revealing your insecurities.”
I’m naturally pretty private and I grew up in a family that would rather brush problems under the rug and pretend that everyone didn’t know what was really going on than talk about them, or worse, share them openly with others. We pretended that we were perfect and that we were good examples to follow.
Here’s my truth … I’m flawed. Seriously messed up in a lot of ways. I have made a ton of mistakes on many different levels. Because of Jay and his Autism and to a lesser extent, Ace and his ADHD, I have had to make the choice about the kind of parent I’m going to be. Would I keep silent – sticking to what is comfortable – pretend like everything is fine, when sometimes it’s not? Would I try to make my children as “normal” as possible and hope that people didn’t see that they are different? Would I hide out at home? Decline invitations?
That just wouldn’t do. That wouldn’t help me and it damn sure wouldn’t help my children. All I care about is making the world as accessible and as welcoming for my children as possible. To do that, I have been forced to face my own insecurities and fears. I have been forced to open the doors and the window shades on my life so that outsiders can see my children for who they really are instead of some statistic or symptom.
We (in the autism community) like to talk about awareness and acceptance and understanding. We like to see buildings (and finger nails) lit up blue and we (not me) have puzzle piece ribbon magnets on our cars. We say “autism is one word, but there is no one autism” We also like to emphasize that “if you know one person with autism, you know one person with autism”
It’s true. Autism is not a one size fits all disorder. But how will anyone who doesn’t live with it everyday ever get to know all the different autisms if we don’t share it with them?
The good – Because there is so much good – at least for me.
The bad – Because there’s plenty of that to go around.
The evenings when you get home from work and sit in your car for 15 minutes before going inside because you need that time to just breathe in and out.
The afternoons when you’re trying to type a blog post and you grin widely because your son – who the experts say can’t “pretend” – walks into the living room holding a banana to his ear and has a conversation into it.
I share it all here on my blog but I wasn’t sharing my blog with the people who I should. I was only sharing it with the people who I felt comfortable with already. I can’t do that anymore. I’m calling myself out on my own bullshit.
I need everyone to know the truth about this life. I need them to know the truth about my children. That is the best way I know to help break down the walls of ignorance that are between my sweet boys and the world in which they live.
You’ve got the words to change a nation but you’re biting your tongue
You’ve spent a life time stuck in silence afraid you’ll say something wrong
If no-one ever hears it how we gonna learn your song?
So come on ,come on Come on, come on
You’ve got a heart as loud as lions So why let your voice be tamed?
Baby we’re a little different there’s no need to be ashamed
You’ve got the light to fight the shadows so stop hiding it away
Come on come on
I wanna sing, I wanna shout I wanna scream till the words dry out so put it in all of the papers, I’m not afraid they can read all about it read all about it oh
At night we’re waking up the neighbours while we sing away the blues
Making sure that we remember yeah cause we all matter too
If the truth has been forbidden then we’re breaking all the rules
So come on, come on come on, come on,
Lets get the tv and the radio to play our tune again
Its ’bout time we got some airplay of our version of events
There’s no need to be afraid I will sing with you my friend
Come on, come on
Yeah we’re all wonderful, wonderful people so when did we all get so fearful?
Now we’re finally finding our voices so take a chance, come help me sing this