So all of you out there in the blogosphere are getting to be privy to a letter I’m writing my daughter, for someday. When she has come to terms with who she is and where she is going, no matter what it is. I think all of us parents on the spectrum want that someday, and just in case I forget all the things I want to say… I want to get them down now.
My Dear Dear Daughter,
Someday when you are ready to take on the world, I want to be there to watch you. I want to see you set your eyes on a goal and reach high to become whatever it is you set forth to be. I love you. Right now, as you struggle to come to terms with who you are and overcoming all the little obstacles in your life, you are learning a valuable lesson of life.
Life, my dear, is not fair. You have been challenged to rise up and above your own inner self to be more than the world dare to dream you can be. You aren’t alone in this challenge though. There are individuals that have come before you that did miraculous and wonderful things despite society around them. There are individuals after you that will see you as a role model.
You have risen to these challenges in front of you every day. Learning how to address sensory overloads. Learning how to communicate with others. Learning when you need to take a “time out”. Learning your limits, and pushing them to expand them. You’ve looked your fears head on and told them they WILL NOT run your life.
You made a conscious effort to say to your autism, it is my life. Once you realized YOU have the power to let it control you or you control it, your life changed. You challenged yourself to be more than the sum of your diagnosis. You shut down from time to time, but you raise the bar for yourself every time you plug back in and restart. That’s ok. I think a reboot for all of us is necessary. Some of us need longer to reboot than others.
Someday, your dreams of today will be tomorrow’s realities. You may change your dreams, but never change who you are. Not for anyone. As long as you are happy, dad, Christian and I will ALWAYS be proud of you. We will love you no matter what. All we ask is that you stay true to yourself.
You fight for the underdogs now. You cheer on the ones who need someone to be their cheerleader. You love the unloved. You care for the uncared for. You fight for those like you who are misunderstood. You embrace and befriend the ones like you who don’t know who to turn to or how to make friends. Because once upon a time, that was you.
Someday, you will look back on your childhood and see how you were the underdog. You will see how you needed someone to cheer you on when you struggled to understand your world. You felt unlovable. You felt you weren’t worthy of anyone’s love. You felt alone and scared and misunderstood. You struggled to find people to be your friend. You were so lonely.
Then the world clicked. It didn’t make sense, but there was a light. A light that told us how to change as a family. A light that helped us help you see your world and explain it as best as we could. Slowly, you were able to communicate and learn coping tools. You learned that we loved you very much and wanted you more than the world would ever know. We explained your world around you the best we could.
Did that make your life easier? No. It meant you didn’t face it alone. And as you were finding your voice, we found you. Someday, you will realize that in finding your voice, you helped others find theirs.
So I will leave you with this, someday realize that you were loved. We cheered you on. We watched you grow and if you are reading this, we will watch you fly. You will soar and do whatever you set your mind to, as long as you remind yourself of how far you’ve already come. Nothing can hold you back, but yourself.
~Mom, Dad and Christian~