The View from Rock Bottom

Over the last several years, I have seen a lot of loss. Often times, when a news outlet would cover my story I would hide all reasons to frown and focus on all of the wonderful things that were happening in my life instead. But pain is something we can all relate to.

What would the story that Fox 26, in Houston, covered on my life have looked like if they had known I was homeless? I had spent money I didn’t have that day to have my hair done and attempted to smile as genuinely as I could for the camera.

My goal was to inspire others with the interview and let them know I was giving a talk locally. If only they had known how anxious I was to walk into that library that day. At the time I had felt incredibly broken but I was determined to be there for anyone who did show up. I had recently lost everything I had owned; except my hope.

What would the story that The Chronicle in Boston have looked like if they had known I had just separated from my spouse days before the story? Again, I thought that what would speak to everyone was if I just smiled at the camera and acted like I was like everyone else. But today, I am sitting here and realizing that, not only am I nothing like most people, that is my whole message in my children’s books. I have overcome tremendous adversity to be where I am today. That is what people will relate to.

As a member of the LGBT community and as an individual with Autism Spectrum Disorder (formerly diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome), I want to be able to be real when I advocate and not just a smiling face that they may not understand although I’ve been told that my facial expressions are rather priceless (That’s an Autism thing). I want people to know that they are not alone. I’ve been asked if I’m famous. The answer is no. I don’t need fame. What I need is to make a difference. What I need is the ability to share my story. I can only speak for myself and no one else, but I think my message is one of unity and one that many would stand behind.

I have survived domestic violence, I have experienced rape, and I have been homeless more than once. By the grace of God, with the help of some amazing folks, and my own sheer determination to never give up, I am still here today. In school I was tormented for being different. I had food thrown at me, rocks thrown at me, and chairs pulled from underneath me. I know that so many others experience this on a daily basis and I want so badly, with all my heart, to let them know not to give up and also find a way, to encourage those who do bully others, to find peace and healing for themselves to end the cycle of pain one day.

Most of the articles about me sort of paint a different picture. But this is real. This is me; I want to help others who know this pain too and so I am speaking out now. You are never alone. Don’t give up; Don’t lose hope.


About Gretchen Venters

I am 36 years old and I live in Montana. God has set my soul on fire to serve others through writing.
This entry was posted in Autism. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The View from Rock Bottom

  1. Renee Espriu says:

    A wonderfully inspiring post Gretchen. I cannot relate to your living with Autism but on many other counts I can and being who you are and willing to speak to others about who you are is something so many others will admire and commend. Thank you for sharing.

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