Saturday, March 28, 2015

Autism Answer: Why I Write

"When I write I feel like I'm disappearing into more of me." ~Me
The first time I ever truly wrote something, beginning middle and end, it was a screenplay. Well... at least it wanted to be a screenplay.

I had a lot to learn about proper screenwriting before it would actually grow to be a true script. Today, I think it is.

But back then I didn't care about formatting or writing scenes that were visual rather than internal. Back then I had a story to tell and wanted only to discover it at the same time that I crafted it. 

I felt free as Derek, my lottery winning lawyer, made the choice to say goodby to his on again off again girlfriend so that he could make a new life for himself and his autistic brother. I felt free as he apologized to his deceased mom while realizing that though she would be disappointed, she would also be proud. 

I forgave myself as I followed Carrie and her small boys while they escaped Children's Protective Services. I joined them on their journey to get help from Carrie's mom. I got to know the true strength it takes to admit you need help, and that you are indeed a strong and beautiful mom when you do. 

I cried while The Cowboy molested Amber, his twelve year old daughter. I felt anger at him and fear for her. I was sad for her sister when she refused to see what was in-front of her, afraid to step up. I hated Mother, maybe most of all, for ignoring it all because she wanted pretty things. I cried as I was grateful to my own mother and sister for believing in me and stepping up for me, and I reached out to my fellow molested brothers and sisters by writing a story for them. The ones who are not believed.

I realized the real prejudiced young Jade faced as she craved acceptance from her loving adoptive parents but knew too well how they felt about lesbians. My heart ached as she hid her love from them and pretended to give it to a boy, and for the first time in my life I knew that prejudice was real and not just something for movies or "the olden days". 

I understood my main character, The Hitchhiker, as he chose to live homeless and forever on the road. Moving forward and exploring the lives of others, feeling the feelings that existed in his imagining of theirs. I understood his desire to live unencumbered by too much life of his own. 

And, with every re-write (and boy, did I have to re-write!) the tears, anger, prejudice, apologies, letting go, forgiveness, and fear remained. Rather than edit them out, I refined them. I explored them.

Never did I even consider getting rid of them because they are why I write. They are why I love stories. To feel everything strongly, without needing to manifest it in real life. To take advantage of my own life and learn about others. 

To reach out and know the world while I dive in and know myself. 

I wrote my screenplay ten years ago, and still it hasn't been made into a movie. That's okay, although I truly hope one day it will be. 

The things I write are sort of like my children. I have hopes and goals for them, I have dreams and ideas, but I try not to lose sight of the truth that they will only grow strong and independent if I let them do so in their own way and in their own time. 

I try to keep my joy in the journey and my calendar in a drawer. 

My children have ideas and dreams of their own. The things I write sort of do too. And though they are not the same, they have similarities. 

I love that. 

And one day, when I take my sons to the premier of my movie--or one of their movies!--I'll be proud of wherever we all are on our journey. And I'll look forward to where we hope to be. 

Hmmmmm....I hope they'll let me wear jeans to the premier. You see, I write also because it's the kind of job where I can forget to brush my hair, sip too much coffee, and always wear comfy, torn jeans.  

Hugs, smiles, and love!!
Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook)

Me, and my comfy torn writing jeans!