I used to not know a place to fit in, and didn’t think I would ever find it. I spent much of my time wandering around just trying to find my place in this crazy world that I just couldn’t seem to fit into. My world made sense to me, but not to anyone else. I tried to make family and friends understand, but we just couldn’t see into each other’s window. I so longed to scrape the frost away so I could get a clear view. The window represents the barrier between me and the world that communicates so well. The frost makes it difficult for me to see, but I work hard to scratch the frost using facilitated communication to see more clearly.
I would like first for you to enter my odd little world. It’s a somewhat lonely place, where I do my own thing. I prefer being alone because others don’t understand my unusual behavior. I make odd noises to keep myself occupied. I usually sing random songs that I love. I laugh at things I think are funny even if they happened years ago, and at inappropriate times sometimes. I like everything in place, where I want it to be and carefully think out where things should go and why they go there. I never understand why people get upset when I put things away, and they can’t find them when it’s so logical to me. I spend great amounts of time trying to make their lives better. They put things away so goofey.
My parents have always tried to keep me busy and active in their world, but my world is relaxed and free of going places, other than my room with my stuff that I organize my way. Don’t get me wrong, I love that they want me to see cool places, but at times its disturbing. Maybe more to others than to me, I like my noises and singing. Why don’t they? I think it can be embarrassing for my family, but they keep loving me and dragging me along. I love going to visit my brothers and sister, but in my world home is most comfortable. They should really just come home more often.
In December of 2010, I started scratching the frost from the window, and started seeing more clearly what the real world felt like. I felt like a kid in a candy store. For the first time in my life I felt myself being a part of the real world. It was like I had been born. You see I learned how to communicate with family, friends, my therapist, and even the priest at church. I call it the best Christmas gift ever.
The new year began great. I still don’t understand much about the normal people’s thoughts, but that gap is closing as I get more familiar with it. Facilitated Communication has helped me see through the window, and understand what I need to do to open it and crawl inside. I finally can see it.
As I begin to open and crawl through the window, I am finding many challenges and perhaps even roadblocks that are keeping me from my dream. School was a serious bump in the road. The high school I attended refused to hear my voice, and wouldn’t acknowledge facilitated communication. I felt my dream of entering through the window was being crushed. I am still angry at them, but my parents have helped find a school that does believe and is excited to have me. My family will have to move, but it will be a blessing to be able to get a diploma and prepare for college. My only regret is that I couldn’t help children in my community start scraping the frost from their windows and see the opportunities that the inside has to offer. I’m sorry for them, and it breaks my heart. I pray that someday all people will have a voice.
My purpose you see, is to share with others through teaching at the college level, that what you see may not truly be all you can get. Looks may be deceiving. And you certainly can’t judge a book by its cover. I want all teachers and educators to see, hear, and believe so that all kids can have a place and a voice in this world of ours. When two hands come together, the warmth of their voice allows both a vision of hope.
copyright 2011 John Smyth
June 2, 2011