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Autism: Dreams of Home

09 Nov

Last night I dreamed that I was moving back to my hometown. I have dreams about that a lot! I guess it has to do with my regret for moving so far away from home, and my constant longing to see my mother. It isn’t that I don’t like the place that I now live. If it weren’t for family, there would be no comparison.

I love the town I have lived in for the past sixteen years. It is beautiful – lakes, mountains, hills, trees… no comparison. Where I am from has a lake as well, but that lake is surrounded by factories, where this one is surrounded by nature. My hometown is crowded, and busy, and dirty. Where I now live only has about 20,000 people, and is nowhere near a big city.

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Here I have my church – the only one I have ever called my own. I have been attending that church for sixteen years, and just about everyone that I know goes there. Here I met my husband, raised my son, learned to drive… Here I had my first job, owned my first house, grew my first garden… Here I grew in faith, and here I learned of my Autism.

Yet so many nights I dream of moving ‘home.’ For years and years I have dreamed of moving back, and in all of those dreams, despite the large size of the city, I am almost always wandering along the same street, on the same city block. There, where I spent most of my highschool years. There where I lived when my son was born. There where my grandmother had moved the last time I had visited her before she died.

I walk along the street, searching for my new home. It has to be there. It cannot be anywhere else. One road, one block, within a huge city – and that is where I need to be. I spent seven years of my life on or near that part of the city. Seven years that encompassed the time from the beginning of highschool until just after my son’s second birthday. I guess those years meant a lot to me, for it is always where I return.

Last night, as I was walking along that road in my dreams, I met with a couple from my church. They were there, on the parking lot of a plaza on the corner, as part of their vacation. When I said, “Hello,” they asked me what I was doing there. “This is where I am from,” I told them. “I am looking for a place to live.” Then I continued on my way.

Often in these dreams, I have ended up in the city impulsively. I suddenly found myself on an airplane, flying ‘home’ despite the fact that I had to work the next day, or had someone to meet. I am there thinking, “I am not supposed to be here,” and it causes me to panic. Still I am there to find a place to live, and find that place I must.

Always I have it in my mind that once I have found a place to live, I will go to visit with my mom. Sometimes I get that far in the dream, and hop on a bus, and go for those visits (with my mom, and my brother, and my niece and nephews) but mostly I just know that is what I am going to do.

In these dreams, my husband doesn’t come with me. He usually doesn’t even know I have gone. It isn’t that I intended to leave him behind, just… suddenly I was on a plane going home. There was no time to think of him. So while I am searching for a home, and noting that I will visit with my mom after, my anxiety grows. Sometime I will have to call my husband, and let him know that I am almost the full width of the country away from him, and I wonder… will he come to live here, too?

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