I last wrote a forgiveness post on May 15, 2011. I started it with the first definition of forgive in the 2004 version of The Merriam-Webster Dictionary is: to give up resentment of.
The few who actually read my blog regularly know that I have been working at becoming more like Immaculee Ilibagiza, the Rwandan genocide survivor who inspired me to forgive others. I have been reading Forgive for Good by Frederic Luskin from the Stanford Forgiveness Project to help me along my journey.
This is where I rant. A few short months ago I started a blog expecting that everyone related to the autism community would embrace my cause of educating others about girls on the autism spectrum and how being misunderstood causes harm. I mailed my novel to family members thinking they would read it and understand. I also gave copies of my novel to people at two local schools including counselors at my daughter’s now former school.
I wish I could tell you that everyone has been supportive and they are all helping me to promote my little novel written to teach tolerance and acceptance of differences to help decrease bullying in our schools. Unfortunately, this would be a lie.
Maybe I expect too much from people. My daughter is now at a virtual school because she did not receive adequate support. Some family members have failed to comment at all after having my novel for months.
I am really working on forgiving those who let us down. I believe forgiveness is the best option to avoid being consumed with anger at a world that let down not just me, but also let down my beautiful, talented, smart daughter. I do not want to become “one of them.” You know the ones I mean; the seemly, heartless bullies.
I left off my last forgiveness post promising to tell you more about Forgive for Good and how I am doing with this. Obviously, I am still working on forgiving. Part III of Dr. Luskin’s book covers eight chapters. I am only going to cover the first two steps today.
Part III: Step I
The first step is to change the grievance story, so we are no longer the victims and to let go of resentment.
I now realize that my daughter’s former school is an unhealthy environment for her, and I am grateful she is no longer there. I am also letting go of relationships that are harmful while continuing to work to educate those who are willing to listen. Others are still welcome to reach out, but I will not be begging for understanding. I am at peace with my decision.
I have wonderful supportive friends and some members of our family are supportive while others are trying to be supportive. My daughter is gaining self-esteem through the support she is receiving from the autism community. She is happy and her closest friends are supportive too. She is telling her story and I am very proud of her. Her story changed course, but it is still full of promise.
Changing the grievance story is step I. Step II is to look for beauty, joy, and love in your life. You can start with baby steps. My project gratitude posts are my way of doing this. You might do it another way. Dr. Luskin calls this changing your channel and he gives an excellent analogy of TV channel surfing to illustrate how to do this so we are not stuck on the anger/ victim channel.
Today I am grateful for my daughter’s happiness and for those who are supporting her as she tells her story. I hope some of you also will support her meager college fund by encouraging others to read the story she inspired.
The video is of my first book signing for Delightfully Different at the local Barnes and Noble. Thanks Ipo for arranging this and coming in on your day off for me. You can view the short video above to see it.
I got to meet new people including someone who works at the DOE here who will be taking my book into the public schools when school returns. I was also pleasantly surprised to see an old friend from my daughter’s preschool days who happens to be an elementary school teacher. She too purchased the book. I met other wonderful people as well, and all of you helped to restore my faith in the goodness of people. I know others want real change in our schools and society too.
Mahalo to my friends who came to my book signing despite the fact that they all already had signed copies of my book. Not only did they come, but they bought more copies for friends. One couple came even though they had a big graduation party planned the next day for their youngest daughter. I love my friends!
I attended the graduation party for a wonderful young woman, our close friends’ daughter and sister to our former house and dog sitter the next day. While the second event in two days involved sitting longer, I survived with my extra, store brought, first brace along with the doctor prescribed back brace. I iced my back and used heat and Advil a little more often the following two days as a result. Still, I am grateful that I could participate in both events.
June 29, 2011 brought more good news. I have an endorsement from the man so many of us admire, Dr. Tony Attwood, clinical psychologist and author of several books on Asperger’s including The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome. I gave him a copy of Delightfully Different a while back after attending one of his delightful and informative conferences. He agreed to read it and offer his comments for publication.
Here is what he said, “There are many facts within fiction. This captivating story provides invaluable insights into the childhood of a girl who has Asperger’s syndrome. Fiction allows the author to explore different perspectives and add poignancy to the experiences of sensory sensitivity and being bullied and teased of someone who has Asperger’s syndrome. The title Delightfully Different describes Asperger’s syndrome but also the qualities of this novel.”
Thank you Tony! I think I owe you more Kona coffee!
Needless to say, I will be contacting iUniverse tomorrow to see about redoing my book cover so I can add his wonderful comments.
Then, I also got a quick responses from my wonderful blogging friends regarding a request that I will not post, but they all know who they are. I love my very supportive blogging community of friends. I really do not know how I survived before I had all of you. We may only know each other virtually, but we do know each other and for that I am truly grateful.
No, I have not disappeared off the face of the earth or stopped blogging! Instead, I injured my back a couple of weeks ago. I, like many in the medical profession, suffer from hardheadedness. Therefore, I self treated for a week and a half before finally going to the doctor.
This week an MRI confirmed that I have a compression fracture of L1 of my lumbar spine. Therefore, I am now wearing this contraption otherwise known as a CASH (cruciform anterior spinal hyper-extension) brace to avoid further injury. I am grateful that I did not cause myself to have nerve damage during the time I avoided going to the doctor. I am grateful that I had the foresight to use my walking poles, an over-the-counter lumbar brace made by Futuro, ice and rest at least. I am also grateful that both of my children have been home to help. My injury happened after my son’s school ended.
I am grateful for wonderful friends and family who have also offered to help run errands. I am also grateful for my in-laws who have been sending food over so I have not had to cook. In addition, I am grateful that I have a couple of more weeks to heal before a book signing I have scheduled at the local Barnes and Noble.
My back still hurts when I sit for long so I will be gradually increasing my blogging as I improve. Please bear with me and realize I am still reading your blogs, but I have trouble typing for long on my i-phone so that is why I am not commenting. I plan to start gradually walking with my walking poles and brace next week so hopefully with this and with doing therapeutic back exercises I will be okay to sit for the hour needed for the book signing.
I also have a request. My brother had complications from his surgery and his pathology report indicated his cancer is in multiple locations although thankfully the MRI done prior to his surgery did not show it was in any other organs. Please add him to your pray list if you are so inclined as he will need to undergo radiation therapy once he heals from his surgery.