Wednesday 9 May 2018

Being Me - My Authentic Self

I've recently received a message that this blog should not exist because I am not being my authentic self through my writing. To add insult to injury, the messenger went on further to say that I am not qualified to be giving advice to anyone.

Ah, excuse me? I beg to differ.

If you examine the term "authentic self" there are two sides of ourselves that we present to others. There is our own personal truth and our social mask.

Our personal truth is what we really say, think and feel about ourselves when no one is watching or when we are around our closest family and friends. When we are our authentic selves, we are showing our personal truth to the world.

Our social mask is what we show to everyone else. We might put our best foot forward. We may put all the positive points forward and hide the negative points out of sight. Our social mask is making ourselves appear to be perfect. When we put on our social mask, our authentic self is hidden from sight.

And therein lies the flaw in the email that was sent to me.

What you see and read in this blog is me. What you read is my personal truth. It is my families personal truth.

In 2016 when I started my blog and social media pages, I set out to share our families Autism journey because I was struggling to find support. I needed to clear my mind of all that we as a family - O, L, my husband and myself - were experiencing on this journey.

Through my blog I wanted to share the good, the bad, the highs and the lows and everything in between about our Autism journey. Writing is like therapy for me.

Through my writing I do not hide anything. There have been many a time that I have felt like I have failed my children as I haven't been able to get them the support that they need. There have been times that I have been so overwhelmed by our life that I want to disappear but I haven't because my children need me.

I don't have a spotless house as that isn't the most important thing in our life. My husband and my children more important. If you come to see the house, you've come to the wrong place.

I don't hide my flaws nor do I make any apologies for my flaws. We all have them and if you believe that you are completely flawless then I call your bluff. No one is flawless.

Our life is far from perfect but we get by. In our house there is an abundance of love and support of each other and that is all that matters.

No matter what journey we are on, as a family or as an individual, we all need to know that life is not perfect. We all need to know that everyone has highs and lows. We need to know that is no such thing as a perfect life. There are elements in life that are perfect, but there are also elements that are not so perfect. They go hand in hand.

By showing this side of our life, I am showing you my authentic self.

Since starting this blog, I have had parents, carers and families from all walks of life, express their joy at finding my blog. They are realising that there is support out there. They are realising that other families are experiencing the highs and lows that they are experiencing.

I have received messages from families, teachers, carers and individuals asking for advice on various facets of Autism. In the majority of cases I have been able to give advice. In some cases I have been able to point them in the direction of someone more qualified. In all cases, they have been very thankful that I have been a listening ear to them.

I feel qualified to give advice because I have over 20 years experience in working with children both ASD, other special needs and NT children. I've participated in many courses and workshops on Autism, positive behaviour supports and many other topics not only for the benefit of my own children but to also better my knowledge. The more I know, the better equipped I am to assist my own children.

I have two children who have both been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I have two children whose Autism is vastly different from each other. In my house, I can see that Autism is in fact a spectrum!

In my blog, I keep it real. I give advice that is easy to understand and easy to implement.

What you read is my authentic self.

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I would love to hear your thoughts on my blog. I do read all the comments that are posted. Thanks so much for stopping by. Jen xx