No Longer Hiding
As you have been following along with the page and blog most of you are aware that Rebecca and I have been busy getting the troops together. Pushing for better services for those on the spectrum in our community as a united front. Petitions are in place, people are signing, news/radio interviews have been had, brochures/flyers being made and we even had a booth set up at a local autism awareness event where Comedian Michael McCreary performed.
Rebecca and I met through our local Autism Intervention Center during a parent group evening. We had similar interests, our kids sounded identical, and we just hit it off. This new friendship quickly led to the blog, the page and our local facebook group. Through these means it has allowed us to help put a hold on the changes to early intervention services while our kids were in the program and now it is allowing us to push for better ongoing services, not only in our community, but, across the province.
All of it is exciting and new and that also makes it extremely terrifying. We have started these things as two, a partnership between friends, and I can not be more thankful for all her wonderful advise and how she has helped me along this journey. Rebecca is the face of our group and I thank her for taking this role because I simply can not be that person.
The Wednesday in which we had a booth set up forced me into a situation that I have not put myself in since going to University. It made a lot of my social anxieties come to the surface and I had a very hard time functioning. Unable to drown out the music that was being played, unable to separate the voices from those talking to me from the ones speaking in the background, having to remind myself to look at people while talking to them made me even more anxious then I already was. By the end of the night I was physically and emotionally drained. It was too much all going on at once and I have a feeling that I probably came off as distracted and uninterested to the few who I did speak with. That was not my intention.
I have said on numerous occasions that I completely understand my son and that is because I am exactly like him. When the Monkey was first diagnosed I could not understand why my parents didn’t see it. Why they didn’t see the delays or the meltdowns. They would keep saying you used to do that also or you never talked till you were 3.5 – 4 years old either. I have lived in a bubble for the past 8 years, deluding myself by simply avoiding all the things that cause my anxiety, avoiding those sensory triggers which used to make my life miserable, avoiding all the social situations which caused me to drop out of university. I push my son out of his comfort zone all the time because I know it will help him but I don’t take my own advise. By avoiding those situation which high school, university, and later work used to put me in I have unintentionally made it harder for me to cope when presented with these challenges.
I’ve hidden in my bubble for long enough and I think that now is the time for me to take my own emotional well being into consideration and help myself as well. I spend lots of energy helping the Monkey but I have never spent the time to look, analyse myself. On our journey into the spectrum this is the next step for me as I can not live in my bubble forever.