Saturday, January 19, 2013

Raised by lions....

 ~"The clouds crack and growl like some great cat on the prowl
crying out I am, I am over and over again."~Ray Lamontagne

    The best thing that I ever heard stated about autism was from the doctor who diagnosed Oscar.  He said "If you have met one autistic person, you have met one autistic person." To me, this is just about the most important thing to remember-especially if you spend any time on-line. There are no experts-only opinions based on experience.  Experience that is personal to each individual.  Experience that deserves respect. We can not argue someones personal truth. It is certainly not our place to dissect or even disagree with it. It is what it is. Right?..RIGHT?? If only it were that easy.

 It's strange..  Especially when you see so many truths change over time. I'm not talking about personal growth-I'm talking total 180 degree change based on- who knows? ....One day, you will read an eloquent post from a popular blogger-maybe it's about the difficulty they had being raised by...I don't know... lions. Suddenly, it is like a flood gate has been opened. Instead of listening to and respecting that persons experience-it becomes a theme. A veritable lion free for all. "I was raised by lions too!" "I was raised by THREE lions!""I was raised by three lions AND an elephant!"..and finally.."I don't know if any of you know this or not-but, I AM a lion."And I think "Hey! I've known you for years! You never mentioned this-why now?"  Before you know it-the eloquent post that started it all..that lovely personal truth- is distorted...lost. Replaced by so many kings of the jungle....and really, who is going to question the king?  Certainly not me!  I was raised by Catholics. You know..all of this weirdness kind of reminds me of a room-mate I once had. Whenever she was dating someone outside of her ethnicity-she always claimed  "In a past life, I swear I was black or Irish..." or whatever she wasn't in this life. As if stating this gave her a sort of justification or approval- that she felt she somehow needed. Because-her personal truth wasn't enough. That's sad.

  Being that it is almost that time of year again- my inbox and Facebook wall are starting to become flooded with all things "awareness." Platitudes and posts...puzzle pieces and light bulbs. So much so that I'm really looking forward to May-when all of this winds down.  (*sigh* and it's only January..) That is a personal truth. Because, I don't think that I can become any more "aware" than I already am. Really-my awareness meter is overflowing. Nor do I need  platitudes about how wonderful my kids are..i.e. "As the wind swept through my hair and I looked down upon my sleeping son..a tear cascaded down my cheek..he has autism and I love him..." Wind in my hair?! For the first time in fourteen years I am actually remembering to brush my hair daily-and if a tear should be rolling down my cheek as I look upon my sleeping child-it is because they are asleep! ( I guess you could say that I have an attitude about platitudes..) Another personal truth? My kids are wonderful individuals with their own personalities, likes and dislikes. Most of them are on the spectrum. That doesn't make me more knowledgeable about autism.  I am not on the spectrum-that doesn't make me less knowledgeable. My children all continue to develop and grow. The kids on the spectrum have outgrown some of the criteria that put them there.  They are however still on the spectrum.  For me-my children being who they are with all they have done or have yet to do-is more than ample truth. They are who they are-and that is enough.  In fact it is just fine.


Kim Wombles said...

Yup. Love it.

I think that in general we want to fit in, to find our people, our place, and that distortion happens unintentionally and unknowingly. We've seen that before...and royally pissed someone off when we were blunt and pointed that out. But really, when their stories start to run together, as they were over at AoA, it's kinda hard not to notice and poke it. umm, point it out, not poke it.

Pretty gray kitty boys. They are gorgeous.

Michelle said...

I always love reading your posts. They resonate with me. I feel myself nodding and smiling as I read your words and thoughts.

This week, I have been reminded that maybe being a mom to kids with various special needs has allowed me to be more aware of individuality. And how we never really know what it is like to walk in someone else's shoes... unless we get to know them without letting our preconceived notions blocking our view.

Or maybe it's just me?

I am learning to be thankful that my perceptions are expanding.


Looking for Blue Sky said...

To misquote: the more I learn about special needs, the less I know! As my children grow, I'm finding that many certainties are constantly being challenged.

And no I'm not exactly thrilled about all the awareness and I don't like the fluffy bunny image of autism either! Though I may be guilty of posting the odd one on my work page....

kathleen said...

Thanks Kim-yes...what you said..

Michelle-what a lovely wonderful compliment-thanks, you kind of made my day :))Yeah-I think that we all struggle with preconceived notions..

@Bluesky-yes-absolutely..I often find myself saying "oh if only I knew then what I know now!" know-I will think the same exact thing in another year or two! Sigh...I really can't stand the "wind in my hair-tears down my cheek kind of things.."