I remembered this post today and thought I would share it again. I wrote it over a year ago but it means a lot to me. I know that some of my readers may remember it, I also know that I have many new blog followers that will not know this part of my childhood. It’s not something that I talk about a lot but I do believe it played a big part in shaping my thoughts and feeling as a teen.
The photo is of me and my cousin Louise.
I’m the one doing the kissing.
Louise is exactly three months younger than me. My Mom and her Mom were best friends and our Dad’s are identical twins, both our Dads have High Functioning Autism.
Thoughts through old photos
When I was growing up I very often caught my Mom upstairs looking through a box of old photos. There were SO many of me and Louise together as babies, toddlers. So many of my Mom and her best friend together laughing.
My Uncle and Louise’s Mom *JK had a very messy break-up and Louise stayed with her Mom. It was so hard on my Uncle, with his lack of understanding, that my Nan and Grandad never talked about Louise again. I have never heard my uncle mention her once, it’s like she never existed.
I know most families have things they never talk about
BUT…As a child I really needed to talk about this and I wasn’t allowed to. Only when I was with my Mom and when we were alone upstairs in her bedroom.
I suppose knowing there was a girl out there that was probably just like me always kept me wondering. Every time I met someone called Louise I wondered if she might be my cousin. I remember being sat in a History lesson once and thinking, I wonder what Louise likes? I wonder if she can read good? I wonder if she has many friends? I wonder if she can draw? I wonder if she would like me? I wonder how tall she is? I didn’t like History much, the teacher was boring…hehehe
When I was about 14 my Mom found out where *JK was living.
My Mom REALLY wanted to see *JK, she told me that she only ever had one best friend and she missed her, but she couldn’t go against the wishes of the family. She said to me, “I can’t keep secrets from the people I love.”
I REALLY thought that I would finally get to meet this cousin who I was so curious about. A message was sent to my Mom from a friend of a friend. This person said that Louise was not AT ALL like her younger siblings. She had brown hair and brown eyes and apparently was a lot like my younger brother, in many ways.
My Mom spoke with the family about what she wanted to do.
There was such upset going on in my Nan’s kitchen that Saturday night. It was decided and my Mom, as always, went along with what everyone else wanted. This is where I fail to understand the behaviour of my Dad’s family.
Yes, my Dad, uncle and my Nan, whom I loved dearly, all show/showed Autistic behaviour. But I can’t understand why they couldn’t see my Mom’s loneliness. She had lost her Mom and her Dad before she was even 30 years old. She was isolated on the other side of our City away from the rest of her family. She had three very demanding children who she gave everything for. She never went out because my Dad never socialised and didn’t like her to either. The only places she ever went were shopping and to Church, even then she got moaned at if she took too long.
I guess what I’m getting at is what is Autistic and what is selfish?
I really struggle to understand this, my Mom did her best to teach us how to put others before ourselves. I’m not always great at it, but I understand it. I saw her example. I have to think quite a lot about how to do this, it doesn’t come naturally for me with my Aspie wiring. I naturally think everyone thinks like me. I have to step out of this and really think it through. Praying it through is actually a lot easier than thinking it through. I’m more relaxed and I believe God helps me understand far quicker this way.
I’m not good with shallow relationships at all,
I find them WAY TOO confusing. Those I am close to know who they are because I have regular contact with them. I get to know them because I love them, I think about their needs and pray for them every day.
I am very like my Dad in his Autistic ways but I chose to follow my Mom’s loving example of giving in whatever way I can. I don’t mean to sound harsh towards my Dad’s family. My Nan was one of my very favourite people, she totally loved me and she always accepted me. She was very misunderstood and I know she only ever did what she thought best for her family. This is why I still struggle to understand all this.
I still think about Louise regularly
I wonder if we would be friends as well as cousins? I wonder about her kids and what kind of Mom she is? I wonder if she knows about me? I wonder if she has Aspie ways? I wonder if her kids have ASD too?
What I do understand about all this!
I do believe that God in His loving wisdom used this upset in our family to help me to seek true friendship. I have looked all my life for those who are like me, or would accept me. As a child I thought that maybe Louise might help fill the gap. I know and I understand now, that no matter how hard I look, it will only ever be Jesus that can help me to feel whole. I believe that God used this in my life to keep me seeking, and as I write this post I understand that it is His will, His heart, His loving arms that I need to be always seeking.
Love and hugs everyone.