In the online communities I am a part of, there has been an increase in the conversations happening related to growing up in the church as an autist. For my entire adulthood, I have been actively processing the experiences I had in the church growing up, the experiences I now attribute to my autism, and my sense of self - but always separately. It's only recently, at least partially because of the community of other adult autists who have been on the same journey, that I have started to consider the intricate overlap between all of these experiences and parts of me in a way that actually makes much more sense.
Whitney Storey Blog
Humans are natural story tellers. We have long histories of using stories as a way to explain the unexplainable, to teach and guide our children, and to give our lives a sense of direction and purpose. We have stories about ourselves - like, I'm a good person, I love music, I'm a natural with animals, I'm bad at math... One story I have about myself is I am a good mother. But what if I told you that stories like that, even the positive ones, can get us into trouble?
As I'm writing this, we have just come out of another Mother's Day and I am thinking ahead to the next few holidays and what my family will be doing. Holidays, and family get-togethers in general, can really cause a lot of anxiety in me and in many of the folks I talk to (in and out of the therapy room). There is just so much pressure - so many shoulds, have tos, musts, and can'ts. When it comes to these rules, as I call them, who is in charge?