I just wanna go home…

Some time ago, a young friend of mine wrote an article for a Florida newspaper. She wrote about a grocery shopping trip with her brother. At one point, he started screaming, which drew stares from all in the immediate vicinity. She had been in the same situation many times before and didn’t feel like explaining it all again, so she simply pointed to the button he wears that says he has autism.

Families have to eat. That’s just a fact of life. My friend will continue shopping for groceries. Sometimes, her brother will be with her, and this will happen again. All too often, though, families with children who have hidden disabilities won’t go to church because they experience the same thing there. It’s stressful, parents worry that others view them as bad parents, and they feel that no one likes their children. They already experience the stress of the grocery store and other things they have to do. They don’t want to add another stressful activity if they don’t have to. I know many families in this situation. I’ve also been THAT kid, and even as an adult, I’ve had many of my fellow Christians tell me how different I am.

I recently listened to my favorite song ever for probably the millionth time (I’ve listened to it 14 times today alone), and a part of the song really touched me in a way that it hadn’t before. I’d like to ask a favor of my Christian friends. I’d like you to read these words, and the next time you see me or someone else being a little different, try to imagine that person saying this to you…

I hope you stare just long enough to see
The heart that’s beating here inside of me
Beyond all of the things you may think you know
I’m just a kid trying to make it home, that’s it
No more, no less

– “No More, No Less” by MercyMe



Filed under Hidden Disabilities

3 responses to “I just wanna go home…

  1. Kristen

    Great post!! This song exemplifies who you are and I’m extremely proud of you. You are the most “real” person I know. You don’t hide anything and I admire that. You don’t try to be something your not, unless society has forced you to and even then your heart will always come through. Thank you for teaching me that being real is the best thing to be. We don’t have to hide behind the masks and we don’t have to be who society thinks we need to be. We just need to love one another, for who they are.

  2. I certainly appreciate how different you are. I don’t think it’d be better if you were more like everyone else. It’s different people who make the differences in this world, not the same old sheep who pander to the “norms” in this world.

  3. Kristin

    I do know, too well, the feeling of a parent with the screaming kid, having a tantrum in the mall. It’s not the same as being this kid, but as you are helpless, you suffer so much for your child! In the beginning, it was hard, I was SOOO afraid to go, knowing my son would be stressed, that he might tantrum. Even before leaving the house I was drained in cold sweat, and my stress didn’t help my son – generating more stress for him …. Then I learned to ignore those staring people, I took my time to create the “bubble” (a calm and calming space) around my stressed child and me to stop the tantrum from coming, that helped a lot. And those who still stared, thinking – sometimes aloud – that “this kid could need a little discipline” (!!), well, I looked them straight in the eyes and said, smiling, “he’s an autist”. Those judging people do NOT cope well when they realize they just stared at a kid with disability, that this is NOT well educated, that they did NOT behave well. They generally turn all red, turn away and flee … My great luck is to have the greatest son ever, and I’m sooooo proud to say that he didn’t tantrum for 9 month now!!! And he’s only 7 3/4!! He feels it coming, tells me, and we isolate to calm down. Sometimes he can do it all by himself. I’m soooo proud!! Sometimes it’s even me with the stress-generated-crisis, and it’s HIM who gets me down before I loose it.

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