Polly's pages (aka 'Donna Williams')

Ever the arty Autie

Simply Being – When Acceptance is The Strongest Medicine


The Rescue by Donna Williams I was asked, if I was a religious person would I pray for someone’s autistic child that this child would become ‘reachable’.

Yet I knew this child was already reachable just in a different cognitive, sensory, emotional world to this parent. Can people so different not connect? I think they can. We don’t have to be the same to connect. Parallels exist between very different realities. We each know struggle, we each know passion, we each have our own version of solace. What world is this that we have been convinced that only those the same can possibly have anything in common? I am no separatist. I’m neither a ‘curist’ nor a ‘culturalist’. I’m an anthropologist, I believe in building bridges even when those different to me would misunderstand, judge, impose a foreign, even harming world on me, still I know ‘I am me, you are you’, they are just being what they are JUST AS I am being who I am. I don’t expect them to be ‘like me’ because I have stopped hating myself or expecting myself to be replicas of them (I still have moments of madness though when this strikes yet again). Yet, like many of them, I want to be all I can potentially be, but it will be based on the map I’ve been born with.

In a world dominated by westernised media driven thinking, where care and guilt are progressively ever at the ready and being left to struggle at all is considered ‘bad parenting’, we fear the reactions of strangers, even when we are alone, still the potential to be judged has been programmed and programmed and programmed into us till we lose the balanced voice of our own truth and logic. Here, the hardest thing to find it the need to survive and to be left wanting enough to understand want and the actions that flow from it when you cannot control others and your survival comes down to you. The greatest inspiration is that you cannot control others and they are happy, busy, getting on with their own thing regardless, only then do you stop defending and start noticing them as human beings in their own right, seizing life whilst you sit defending your weaknesses. When others let go and play and be, suddenly you are no longer a condition, you are just a person. If you have never experienced yourself as a person who is it you are meant to care about enough to try for? Our first instinct is not dependency but surivival. If we are offered only the opportunity to depend, how do we find the classroom of survival which will, unlike dependency, guide us through life, our own life.

So I wrote:

I follow no church, just my heart and empathy. In this sense I do not pray but hope and wish. I hope and wish for people to find how to be silly and to laugh and learn to be, each in their own right without waiting for permission or fixating on whether or not the other person has yet found the want or ability to join them. Because then you become the model of all it is to seize life. You can’t control or force another person to do this but by enjoying your own “joie de vivre” you can inspire someone to wish they had it and ultimately that leads them to the greatest gift of all… the desire to chase life.

Donna Williams *)