Unexpected Blessings from a New Identity
The joy of being perfectly imperfect
Welcome, and thank you for taking time with us.
We are a family of four; Mum, Dad, lad and lass. Mum, me. Dad, IT.
Son, 9 autistic, loving, curious, energetic and budding video game maker. Daughter, 7, strong, sweet, earthy and determined to be a singing vet.
It Began with Him
At 3 years old in 2013, our son was diagnosed as autistic. It was horrible shock and process. All I knew were the stereo types, and I thought his life could have no light or success. I was so scared for his future. In my research, I also diagnosed myself as autistic and couldn’t bear that his life challenges were going to be like mine.
We were struggling with daily battles of rigidity, aggression, poor sleep, gut issues and sensory dysregulation. We were exhausted, confused, dismayed and he was not a happy boy.
I was also relieved though, because parenting him had always felt harder than how it looked for others. So it wasn’t just me, this was tough for a reason. A really big one, we were both autistic and had no idea of how to understand, support or embrace ourselves. It was a relief to finally have a way to approach and understand him.
We had to find practitioners who supported our family’s values and goals and offered our lad motivational fun learning. I had to muddle through as we went on.
During the shock, grief and acceptance, I continued to reflect on myself. I saw many of my challenges in him, and identified with many of his diagnostic traits. These insights were welcomed, as I saw my history in a whole new light. I could now be kinder to myself and helpful for him and my daughter; as she was diagnosed in 2017 aged 5.
This felt like an odd identity to try on at 41, but it settled around and in me well. More about me.
For first few years of early intervention were full steam ahead, and we have all come a long way. They have grown into happy, resilient, fun, loving, brave and wonderful people. I adore them and their courage and love of life inspires me.
Their therapies have enabled their challenges to be supported by their strengths. They are developing in their own unique and beautiful way. Our main challenge now is getting them through mainstream school. A new frontier of advocacy needed. Advocating for them has bought out new strengths in me, as I will not accept a system that does not understand or accommodate for them.
I have trained and worked as as a registered psychiatric nurse and community nurse, and naturopath. I was so thankful that these skills helped me find, manage and coordinate the practitioners and therapies that we wanted and needed.
On my journey, I have found that mindfulness has transformed my lived experience. I hated myself and autism, and I felt like a helpless and hopeless failure. I used to be scathing in how I spoke to myself and would avoid and distance from my own company. Anything to not hear my inner criticisms.
Then I found mindfulness. I had dabbled in meditation for years, but this enable me to kindly observe my moments. I found a new inner compassion and kindness, that released me from the grind of self loathing.
Leaning into my past and present challenges seemed to erase them, and being loving to the painful and dark feelings melted them away. I was for the first time free of 40 years of failure and self recrimination. Each day I can start again fresh, and my kind and encouraging mind would sooth my new hurts and allow them to not stick.
Being very sensitive and not socially savvy, everyday I am still scared, anxious and get hurt. I am still confused by people and find the world very sensooyarily overwhelming, but I am gentle and forgiving. If I stuff up, it stings, but I can now say ‘well, they weren’t very kind,’ or ‘you were sincere and true to yourself,’ thats the best you can do.
Now I know I cant please everyone, so just please the people to count most. I felt more calm, content and capable than ever before.
I haven’t changed, but my perceptions of me have. I can relax knowing I am doing my best everyday, and that I am an amazing parent and emerging autistic advocate.
Then I stepped even further into my soul work. As the kids got older, I had more time to privilege my divine self. I embrace solitude, stillness and silence. I faced my fears, and knew they were the door to great strength and wisdom.
I trained as an intuitive guide, and heard the voice of the divine with such glorious clarity. I have been shown so much, by being still and allowing what was most needed to come through.
I began seeing greater sacredness if this time on earth, and knew neurodiversity was one beautiful path for a sensitive seeker.
I saw myself as a mystic misfit. Not fitting into the world, but belonging to the eternal. A beautiful inner and outer place to reside.
I have been blessed and honoured to be asked to speak and contribute to research as an autistic person. It is wonderful that autistic adults are now consulted and invited to speak their truth, and to guide best practice policies and guidelines.
I am also wanting to create mindfulness and soul resources that I wish I had had as an autistic person and parent of autistic children. I have experienced how this has transformed our family, and provided us with the skills to self determine our values, gaols and worth.
Mindfulness and intuition have a wonderful blend of ancient wisdom and evidenced based credibility, and can be used by anyone at any time for instant and long term calm and whole person wellbeing.
May your travel your moments with a kind and presence that enables you to live true to you and yours.
Come meet me and the great people in our positive community for Autism Mindful Wellbeing.
Light and blessings.
Gabrielle and family. xo.