Dear Autism Community and anyone else reading…
As my brain continues to process the way that society sees me and people with the same diagnosis right now because of misleading headlines in the news, I am thinking of ways that while we all are greatly saddened by those who lost their lives, those in the Autism community like me, can become stronger because of the misinformation that so quickly spiraled out of control.
How? I think of the song Defying Gravity from Broadway’s Wicked at the moment. It’s my favorite song of all time. If you haven’t heard it, I would encourage you to look it up. It really speaks to how someone can rise above being misunderstood and find their own voice despite facing serious adversity.
That song changed my life because it inspired me to stop looking for reassurance from everyone around me to stand on solid ground. I found that if I just look within – I would find a self confidence I never thought I would ever find, a level of perseverance that I never knew I was capable of, and that no matter what anyone labels you as, it doesn’t matter. People label and judge what they cannot understand.
You see, I had this epiphany.
I suddenly realized that no matter what someone might misjudge me as…God knows my hearts at its core and knowing that and the fact that flimsy ignorance can never win the race – Adversity is just another emotional obstacle course that I will make it through makes me feel like… well metaphorically speaking of course…like I could fly.
I want to send a message to every autistic out there that may be reading this and feeling scared of the names we’ve been called this week, scared of speaking up…You are not alone. We are a community and no level of adversity, hate, or political agenda can tear us down.
As long as we stand strong and show those who spread hate with a response of respectful defense and a strong kindness, how long can these stigmas hold?
There should be no need to hide. God knows we are not these monsters or even “wicked” at all…You know that and we can teach the world that with kindness and respect.
There was a moment in the last few days where I sat very still and seriously considered deleting my twitter account and blog. It was then that I turned on this song and I smiled because I realized that I don’t need to be afraid. I just need to trust God and keep trying to advocate.
Why would I choose to hide when I have no reason to? When the reason I would feel fearful has no scientific basis? Why would I choose to hide when I know who we truly are.
You are amazing. Keep on shining!