Who Gets It?
What’s it worth to have another person “get it”? What’s it worth to finally be heard after decades of being lonely in a NeuroDivergent relationship? What’s it worth to reclaim your sanity from conversations that go nowhere? What’s it worth to be seen, heard and affirmed?
The answer is that it is worth plenty to join a group of like-minded people to learn that there is relief. By helping each other, in a similar situation, we come to know and share lots.
- That you are not alone.
- That others want to help.
- That there are answers, if only you know where to look.
- That it feels wonderful to help those new to the NeuroDivergent journey to clarity.
- That you can heal and reclaim your sanity.
I started this membership group, “Asperger Syndrome,” Partners & Family of Adults with ASD, back in 2009, right after publishing my first book, “Going Over the Edge?” Even after publishing this book, I wasn’t sure anyone would really understand my life — the life of a psychologist who had lived with an ASD mother, married an ASD man, and adopted an ASD child. But I hoped I would find you, and I did.
Over time our little once a month lunch group, grew to national and international proportions. We have members from every continent, and almost every country. It’s stunning when you think about it. Regardless of nationality, native language, age or gender, we have grown from a small group of interested people, to a community who “Gets it.”
Julie Gets It.
I was talking with Julie, our Ambassador and new Membership Manager, the other day. It was a Zoom call of course, since I live In Oregon (USA) and she lives in New Zealand. We were laughing about how we first me, and how we have grown over the years.
“I was on a vacation with my family in Egypt, when I decided I just had to attend one of your teleconferences, Dr. Kathy.” Julie recounted her trepidation on that first call.
I said, “I had no idea that you were on holiday and that you took time to listen in to one of my calls.”
“I had to. I had to know that I was sane. I was worried that you wouldn’t understand what I lived with. I was so worried that I didn’t want to give my name.” Julie admitted.
We both laughed. “Yes,” I said. “Many of our members are so afraid that no one understands or that they will hurt their families, so they keep silent or even disguise who they are at first. Eventually, though they come to love our little community and open up completely.”
Julie has grown from that first timid phone call, to become a regular at events and eventually tapped to be our Ambassador. This is an important role, since the Ambassador helps “newbies” find their footing in our community. Julie knows what it’s like to be new and uncertain if you will be accepted. Of course, with her warm spirit “newbies” don’t feel new for very long.
In fact, because of Julie’s talents she has been promoted to Membership Manager. With Daniela leaving this position at the end of the year, it seemed a natural fit for Julie to expand her role as Ambassador to include Membership Management. After all who better to answer your questions about our community than Julie, someone who “Get’s it,” — gets what you live with day and day out.
Where’s my rocket ship taking me?
A few years ago, I had a premonition that appears to be coming true. I dreamt that I was remodeling a long-forgotten rocket ship in my basement. It was a rocket ship that was specifically meant for me, but until I retrofitted my ship, it wasn’t ever going to lift off. I think it is ready now, with the addition of Ambassador Julie, and my first ever online recorded course, “Asperger Syndrome”& Relationships.
Even as I write this blog, I am drafting yet another course, Conversational “Aspergian.” This second course will take an even deeper dive into what I know about NeuroDivergent relationships. It is once again designed for the NeuroTypical and the NeuroDiverse, so that we use the 7-Step Interface Protocol to resolve the problems when ASD and NT worlds collide.
These courses are an opportunity to augment what I offer in my books. The courses are a place to learn skills for sure — but also a way to share with others in the community. I’ll soon set up a convenient online meeting room for those taking the courses. This is where the real healing takes place, isn’t it? In conversation with others, we come to know who we are and where our rocket ship is taking us next.
I am looking forward to meeting more of you. Thank you for being part of an amazing, healing and loving journey.