A couple months ago, for the 100th post on this blog, I wanted to give a shout-out to the blog writers on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum who had helped me so much, especially during those earlier times when I was seeking loads of information. By doing what they do, writing what they write, and being who they are, their spirits and their words hugged me firmly-but-gently, like a warm, soft security blanket, giving me not only the information I was seeking, but also hope, security, and self-confidence.
It has happened again.
I joined several Asperger’s/autism-related Facebook groups in April-May of this year, and joined Twitter a few months later, in July. Throughout this same time period, I’ve also interacted with other blog-writers in a more personal way, whether on my blog or theirs.
Much like coming across those uplifting blog posts, meeting these uplifting kindred spirits–the people themselves–has been an incredible game-changer, and in an extremely positive way. Sort of like a “Warm, Soft Security Blanket 2.0”.
And thus, my 200th post is dedicated to all of you. In it, I won’t name any specific names, out of respect for privacy; but you know who you are. In fact, if you’re wondering, “could she actually be talking about me?”, the answer is probably “yes“. 🙂
Dear Fellow Neurosiblings,
Thank you for being incredible. Never in my life have I seen such brilliance, such talent. You’re artistic. You’re eloquent. You’re scientific. You’re amazing. You view the world through a beautiful lens, and you see what others cannot see. You say what others do not say. You think how others do not think. You do what others do not do.
Thank you for being kind. Never have I met any collective group of people so compassionate and sensitive (in a good way). Never have I met anyone so unquestionably accepting and free of judgment. Thank you for letting me be myself around you, the Real Me; providing me with a safe space to open myself up to you and reveal my deepest inner thoughts to you, and you accept and embrace them for what they are.
Thank you for reaching out to me, accepting me into your fold, and loving me for who I truly am. Thank you for giving me the benefit of the doubt, asking me to clarify, without jumping on me. Thank you for speaking up if you disagree with something, and taking the time to educate me about it, and accepting my corrections, without holding anything lingering against me.
Thank you for being a safe, comforting, understanding, and compassionate place to fall when I’m having a hard day. Thank you for being right there with me to celebrate the bright skies in my life, too. Thank you for sharing my significant moments with me. Thank you for holding my hand the entire time.
Thank you for walking a path with me. Thank you for chiming in with your (similar OR alternate) ideas and perspectives. Thank you for sharing your links and resources with me. Thank you for supporting me, interacting with me, following me, talking with me, messaging me.
Thank you for offering me advice when I’m stuck in a conundrum or dilemma. Thank you for sharing your expertise, your insight, your “take on things”. Thank you for your valuable opinions and viewpoints. Thank you for opening my eyes and introducing me to a whole new world.
Thank you for sharing peoples’ writings, including my own, for the signal boosts you provide. Thank you for taking valuable, irreplaceable time to read through the material you see come across your feed (or a group “wall”).
Thank you for being a true friend, someone I can confide in, someone who not only won’t shun me, but will probably nod in agreement.
Thank you for being so patient with me, even when my brain thinks I’ve already replied to your message (when really I haven’t), and my response gets delayed. Thank you for your gentle, friendly reminders. Thank you for sticking with me and being so understanding.
Thank you for being so patient with me, even when I misunderstand or misread something. Thank you for clarifying and explaining. Thank you for giving me the benefit of that doubt, too.
For those of you who write, thank you for writing. For those of you who like, thank you for liking. For those of you who retweet and/or reblog, thank you for retweeting and/or reblogging. For those of you who comment, thank you for commenting. For those of you who message, thank you for messaging.
Thank you for providing insights, informational tidbits, backstories, and more, into the underworld (not meant in a negative way) or behind-the-scenes events/issues. These backstories and tidbits catch me up, helping me cover lost time in great strides instead of doggy-paddles.
Thank you for swarming in a neat army of defense whenever anyone in our Sibling-hood is attacked by trolls. Thank you for coming to my own defense during the times it has happened to me. Thank you for standing up, stepping up, and standing beside, any one of us to whom that happens. Your support is immeasurable and invaluable.
Thank you for coming together to participate and have fun, in social media campaigns and other projects/endeavors. Thank you for coming together in unity and harmony, sharing of yourself and having a blast. Your spirit sings to me.
Thank you for acknowledging me, that I exist, and sending me the message that I matter, that I’m important to someone.
Thank you for doing that not just for me, but for others, too.
I have never before felt like a part of something so special. I have never before felt so accepted, like I actually belong. I’ve never felt so kindred and so understood. You know many of my flaws, and yet, you embrace me anyway. You may not agree with everything I say, but you agree to disagree and at the end of the day, we’re all still good friends. We’re all different people, with different abilities in different areas, and even though we may not have everything in common, that only adds to the fun and the learning and the awareness–and with awareness, in our community, acceptance seems to follow automatically.
What a beautiful community, inside and out. Does it make sense that I can be both so proud and yet so humbled at the same time, to be a part of it? Does it make sense that I beam and burst with love and solidarity just by reading words and seeing pictures on computer or mobile screens? Does it make sense that I can come to love so deeply people whose names (and up until today, faces) I didn’t even know?
It’s true. Every last word of it.
If you could read my mind, you’d see just how genuinely and strongly (in a good way) and intensely I mean every word that I have written. If you could see electromagnetic energy waves, you would see and feel the rainbow spectrum of emotions, especially love, that emanate from me. If you were any other way, I would say that you have no idea how honored I am to be a member of this community, to have such neat and uncommon things in common with you….but you are the way you are, and thus, you probably do understand. You get it. I know you do. We’re cut from similar cloth. We may run different “apps” and have different “desktops”, but we ultimately run the same “brain operating system/OS”. (Which means we do have cognitive empathy!–among each other!)
Therefore, you know. You know what I mean. I’ve learned that for the first time, I don’t need to worry. I don’t need to mask; in fact, I can drop the mask. I don’t need to act. I don’t need a persona. Sure, I use avatars for profile pictures and whatnot. But you know who’s inside. And the reciprocal is true; I know who’s inside, who’s behind your avatar. And as the cliche goes, “it’s what’s inside that counts”….
…except that when the “average” person says that, there’s an underlying patronization behind it. It’s mild, but it’s there; they don’t really mean it, not too literally. But we’re different. We tend to mean it, to the fullest of its meaning. It’s not cliche for us; it’s a code by which we operate. We would stand for nothing less. And that’s part of the beauty of the community.
That’s what I’m so honored to be a part of. That’s why my trust issues, my social awkwardness, my introversion, my anxiety, my masking, my acting, my constant self-checking …. seem to dissipate–if not dissolve altogether–when interacting with all of you. I finally feel more connected than I’ve ever felt.
I’m going to be 40 next year. And I feel this way for the Very. First. Time.
That’s the magnitude of the miracle, the significance of the Sibling-hood. That’s the effect it has on me.
I’m sensitive to the good stuff, too. There are times when it fills me to the mountain peak with joy.
I could go on and on forever and still not feel like I’ve said enough. But spoken/written language is so limiting that there aren’t enough words. There isn’t enough of a variety in the vocabulary to truly express everything. I’d have to telepathically “upload” it to you, so that you could feel the full spectrum, all dimensions, of what I’m feeling.
But you’re smart. You’re imaginative. You get it. So I’ll let your imagination take you from here. And wherever it takes you, no matter how exquisite, just multiply it by a few more factors. 🙂 ❤
Love always (!),
~The Silent Wave (and her cats)
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(Image Credit: Owen Waters)