I’ve just finished a total of 4 hours interviewing Kate, an autistic woman that I went to college with!! We were roommates for one year. I did not know she was autistic back then, and I was not nice to her back then. In my defense, I was 18 and sheltered. But there is no excuse for unkindness.
Life changes us, right? Things happen. I had my first child and I had to relearn everything I knew about people, about myself. I find, however, that I am still making assumptions and acting on these assumptions about autism. Faulty assumptions. Even my ambivalence about Nat’s stims or his quiet. Kate is showing me that there is value in everyone. It is up to us to discover it.
There is so much room and need for more growth on my part. When I’m having a good day, I can work towards this with my writing. I am trying to make myself a better person than I used to be. I write stuff down so that I can know it better. Maybe some of you learn from it, too. But my first goal is to help Nat and me live better lives.
And so this former college roommate of mine comes along and gives me this gift. She does not seem to hold it against me, the way I was closed to her and not helpful. Even though so many in her life have been this way, she goes on with a sense of humor and deep insight and keeps trying. It is just beyond wonderful that she can now talk about her experiences and we can reconnect in a positive way.
She is helping me with the book, and with becoming a better person. Kate gives me hope that people can continue to grow and evolve (I am referring to Nat, me, and Kate herself). If there’s love and kindness, so much is possible.