I understand the reasons for having ‘special days’. Thankfully, for most there are few that touch you personally. For me, this day adds salt to fresh wounds, wounds that will be with me for a lifetime. Wounds that tear your heart apart and have the power to bring you to your knees, to make you scream. I have realised that rather than scream I can release the words slowly, with purpose, to strive for change. A hope for a better tomorrow.
My hope is an end to violence. Nothing more, nothing less. No one should suffer like those we love and have lost. I understand the numbers, the statistics that tell us we need change for women, I want that too. But I also want it for our children, for their childhoods to be just that, a childhood. One of freedom, laughter, love, play, exploration, creativity. One without fear. Fear is for us battle, not them. Not yet. Let there journey to the reality of the adult world be slow, supported, filled with love.
The solution doesn’t come for the ‘special days’. It comes from each individual. From each of us finding the courage to be vulnerable. The courage to face the bully, speak up for the vulnerable, face your fears. The fear of being judged or misunderstood.
The numbness that is grief makes me long to ‘feel’. To ‘feel’ something other than pain. I have faced my fears, let the vulnerability of speaking my truth fill me. I feel empowered. I don’t fear being judged or misunderstood, I know I will be. That doesn’t scare me. If tonight, while watching people make judgements it means they are thinking. Better we are all thinking something and questioning than thinking nothing. ‘Nothing’ doesn’t entice people into action. ‘Nothing’ allows Politicians to make decisions for us. We must find the courage to replace ‘nothing’ with each of us making a commitment to making our communities better, different, safer. If a 12 year old Autistic girl, can find the courage to face journalists to speak her truth on Autism Awareness Day, the day the United Nations gathered to discuss ‘Empowering women and girls with Autism,’ I think I owe it to her to do the same.
‘I spend my whole time trying to be me, while trying not to offend anyone for being me.’
Taye Cockman ~ Autism Awareness Day April 2018