This post is part of Project: Inception, written ~8 years ago. It has been untouched from its original, pseudonymous, form. It is also part of the larger “farewell” tour and countdown as I turn-off this blog and head to the metaverse where I will live out the rest of my wonderful days. I hope to see you there!
Well, it happened: I shared my diagnosis with my parents. Specifically I shared it with my father who then shared it with my mother later that evening. It was a small exchange amidst a much larger conversation but it had to be mentioned and it did. My life did not come crumbling down nor did it awaken some new renaissance of perspective or a new reality – I simply added 2 more people who I know and trust to the list of people who now know that I am autistic.
My father’s response was spot on: I’m glad that you know more about yourself and that it’s contributing positively to your health. A classic answer from my father and one that both is 100% supportive and also 100% unsatisfactory on many levels. We didn’t discuss specifics or how it “made sense” over the years – it was an exchange of information and in this case facts – no need to dispute or challenge or inquirer more than necessary just as you don’t have to spend more time answering the question of the color of the sky or what you call the force that moves object earth-bound at 9.8m/s. It is what it is and he’ll be fine with it.
My mother, on the other hand, I have not yet spoken with but I know there will be more questions to answer for she’s just like that. She wants to know more than just the details – she wants to put the pieces together so she can have a better picture of the whole. It’s how she processes the world and more importantly it’s how she relates to others as best as I can understand it. She’ll be as supportive as my father but in a different way most likely offering up practical advice that she feels is appropriate for someone who she raised and knows a lot about.
I know that I did not make a mistake with this one and I feel great that I made the decision to share it with them despite the many voices in the autistic community who have been diagnosed as adults who shared that I shouldn’t attempt it and just leave it be. I’m not one to leave things be especially if they are so darn important to me – it’s like an itch that needs to be scratched (and in my case I scratch until they bleed). The long term outcome will most likely not change from the more immediate one – they accept me as their son regardless of discovery.
And I believe that’s the way it should be. I wish more people had this attitude and perspective. Accept what you do not fully understand and just love the person for who they are, warts and all. My father ended the phone call with just those words:
I love you just as much as I did before this call – that will never change.