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Autism: Shame and Blame

17 Nov

It is easy to forget why I struggle, while I am sitting at home under a blanket, unable to move.

Easy to forget. Not because I am not in pain. Not because I am not constantly aware of my weaknesses. It is easy to forget because of that voice inside my head. The one that constantly tells me that I am just lazy, and that if I wanted to I could get better.

That voice that tells me this is a choice of mine, the one I have heard so often in the past.

I think people mean well. I truly believe that. They don’t understand. They want to help. Tough love – but the thing is, that isn’t what all of us need.

I have tried. I have just gone out there and have done the things I was afraid of. I kept fighting, even though I was too tired to fight. I have tried to change both my thinking and my responses.

But the thing is, I am not well, and no matter how hard I fought for it, I could not overcome on my own.

Though I come from a childhood of abuse, I do not blame my father. Though she did not see it happening, and it was allowed to continue for 11 years, I do not blame my mother.

Though we live in a broken world, I do not blame God.

Though I grew up not knowing I had Asperger’s, which might have eased my burden, I do not blame the teachers or specialists who should have known. Though I have known deep hunger, and have struggled in both school and work because I could not meet their expectations, I do not blame society.

Though my adoption failed, and my children were lost, I do not blame those involved.

Though I am filled with pain, I am not angry. Though I struggle through life, I do not seek vengence.

I believe – I have to – that everyone has done the best they could. Even if they seemed to act in spite, or to work against me, I have to believe that they were fighting against their own demons. Maybe they didn’t succeed, but I have to know they tried, as I always have.

But as I move through life, knowing how hard it is to win against the evil that is inside of the world… inside of me… and I forgive those who have hurt me, or let me down, I have to remember to count myself among them.

It is easy to forget.

To forget that my exhaustion isn’t laziness. To forget that my inability to work isn’t me feeling entitled to government hand-outs. To forget when I can’t get up that this depression and anxiety is not my choice, and is beyond my ability to overcome alone. To forget, when seeing my failures repeat in my mind, that I tried my best, and that I also need to forgive myself.

When all inside me feels broken… I have to remember it isn’t my fault.

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