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When I give, I give myself.

Sep 11, 2023

Walt Whitman said "When I give, I give myself".

Both a blessing and a curse, this is something I am forever navigating and managing. I'm someone that loves to give, because it makes me feel good to see others doing well, and because I will *never* forget where I have come from, it's always been important to me to pay it forward.

On the flip side is a history of grief, loss and trauma associated with not knowing when to quit, staying in relationships too long, always giving the benefit of the doubt and giving chances, even when I sense someone is not trustworthy.

And here's the thing: I know it may not change.

I don't see my vulnerability as a weakness, but as a strength; which effectively means that I'm not looking to learn how to change who I am, but to practice trusting myself better.

It also isn't my position to take responsibility for those that intentionally take advantage or harm at the expense of getting ahead.

I see the 'signs' sooner now, I trust what I perceive in the energy of others and I don't waste my time naming all the good parts in others to help them see it themselves when all they're looking for is to be parented, saved, or loved in a one sided connection.

I have compassion for that experience, but I'm not here for it.

It's a privilege to teach our children to unmask and to live in alignment with their authentic autistic identity.

And, it's masking that keeps many autistic people alive and safe.

Masking is a tool I choose to use where and when I like, and to keep me safe when I know I'm in danger.

Our children need us to show them how to stay safe in a world that will often be confusing, overwhelming, ableist, contradictory and riddled with behaviourism.

Self advocacy is so important, and so is preparing our autistic children for relationships with others.

Autistic people have the right to be both proud of who we are, and safe in a world we deserve to be a part of.

- KF x


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