Thursday, February 8, 2018

Autism Answer: Confessions And Corrections

Me and my youngest brother.

Sometimes I feel annoyed when my youngest brother calls asking if he can come over to my house. He's bored and lonely and is feeling cabin feverish. He's feeling a bit desperate and needy and wants to bring that to my house.

But then I feel annoyed with myself for being annoyed with him. I remind myself to be honored that my youngest brother calls me asking if he can come over. That he is comfortable being vulnerable with me.

Sometimes I feel the heavy weight of responsibility being his one friend in town. He has asked over and over for help making friends and I give and I give, exhaustively searching for a way to help him get it. A way for him to get friends other than just me.

But then I feel the heavy realization that I am being cruel. That my brother isn't my responsibility, he feels and worries and wants and is being responsible for himself by asking me for help. I remind myself to feel the love and joy and miracle of being his friend and living separately in the same town. And it is a miracle. He has his own apartment, that was not expected of him from anyone (except, of course, my mom who believes in making miracles and therefore has made a beautiful career of it). And I live nearby, that was never my plan. Sure, living near family always has been. But not small-town Texas, not living near only one brother. Yet, here we are and we have grown close in ways I never would have imagined because of it.

Sometimes I feel bad that my knee-jerk reactions to my youngest brother are often unkind and self-centered. I wonder if my own meanness knows no bounds, is never-ending. Just when I have discovered a prejudice or mean bit of myself and cleaned it up, I find another. But then I remind myself of the millions of other knee-jerk reactions I've faced head-on, choosing to practice a new way with purpose, and how they then turned into true authentic thoughtful automatic reactions. I think of the fun I've had tweaking, editing, discovering, and changing my beliefs, my reactions, myself.

Together my brother and I talk about the value of forever learning and creating and moving forward. The only mistake really would be to not notice what we react to and how, and to not find thoughtful ways to change with purpose.

My brother and I make an awesome team and help each other out in the most wonderful and important of ways!

I'm a grateful sister!!

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

INVITATION: I have included a great many stories of growing up with my brothers in my book, Spinning in Circles and Learning from Myself: A Collection of Stories that Slowly Grow Up. There are also stories of me as a mom, me as a daughter, and me as a younge woman trying to figure it all out; life, myself, the world, what exactly it means to be a good person. One thing all my stories have in common is a confession and correction style. I love to be almost dangerously candid about my mistakes while offering an excited idea for how I solved them. I hope you will consider reading my book and sharing your thoughts with me. You don't have to be dangerously candid, but you can be! Hugs, hugs, hugs! ~Tsara