When you meet me I will look you in the eye. Because you have proven yourself safe. Trustworthy. Respectful of diversity.
When you meet me ( and you will….I have no doubt about that) you will wonder about the number of bracelets and necklaces I wear. You might think I am part of the Traveller Community. ( Formerly known as "Gypsy.") There are at least three bracelets on each wrist. Two cross necklaces and one more necklace around my neck. Wedding rings. Anniversary ring. They "weigh" me down. I "fiddle" with them when I am a bit anxious. Stimming preferences happen naturally. When I write a long letter, or story, I will play with the pen. Twirling and twisting.
When going to meetings, seminars, church, or counseling sessions ( my part time job) I always have a water bottle, notebook, pen, spare pen, spare pen for the spare pen, scissors and tape. Gum, or breath mints, small inspirational books that fit into my purse, and hand sanitizer. These are not stims. But they are "transition" items that help ne stay focused and available to do my job. Just like we let litle Auties in the schools have transition objects to hold onto . When they are changing classes or standing in line to go to lunch or recess, or whatever. The transition object gives them something treasured to hold on to. It helps give them resilience. They eventually learn to look within themselves for resilience. So do we adults.
Someone asked me a question this week about enpathy in Autistics. They thought we did not have empathy . I told them that was a commonly accepted myth. That actually, we are more sensitive to hurt and deep feelings. We feel too much sometimes. So much so that we shut down to protect ourselves. She seemed quite receptive to that notion..
So when you meet me, and you will, this Grandma, this Mamacita, this Abuela, will be so happy to greet you in real life for the very first time. With a hug, if you are a hugger (I am) and no doubt with grateful tears in my eyes. In gratitude for having found this place. And for you all being so transparent.