I find it not exactly easy to express my feelings to
others. I usually keep it in. Take all in, soak like
a sponge and then... Then there is that one drop
too many and I EXPLODE. Like a volcano - all my
frustration is blurted out in both languages with
accompaniment of doors and pots, sometimes even
stomping my size 2 feet (not much noise there so
I don't do it too often). It lasts roughly 5 minutes and
I'm back to my normal, laid back self.
The point is, I know exactly what I'm doing, why and
what upset me. I am aware that I choose to be so.
The different story is with my little girl. Being autistic,
she not only has the difficulty expressing her feelings.
She is very affectionate towards the close people to her,
but those who she doesn't know - well, she lacks empathy.
I remember an incident in a park. We were walking past
a little crowd gathered around an elderly woman who
collapsed. We found out someone already called 991, so
there was nothing more to do. What struck me, Cirwen
looked at this woman she talked to everyday about her dog,
and says: "Oh, she's dead." and kept walking. Just like this.
No emotion, no empathy in her little voice (6 years old at
I froze inside. Am I bringing up a cold hearted tiny person?
Is she pretending to be sympathetic towards us because
she was told that's how she should feel?
We had a chat later at home. She couldn't really explain
what she felt there, in the park. In her logic, the woman
was very old (which really meant older than me), so may
be it was her time to go. She didn't feel sad, because it
was just a lady from a park, whom she barely knew, and
she had no place in Cirwen's immediate life. She was not
bonded or used to this person, therefore, there was no
emotional attachment. She didn't feel sad, because the
lady had a "long life already". It was just pure logic. Not
inhuman - just reasoning of a six year old who took three
years to be able to sit on her grandmother's lap. That's
how difficult it is for her to bond with people. What
follows, that's how difficult it is to let herself to get
emotionally involved even with the family members.
No, she isn't a cold hearted beast. She is eleven now and more
opened to everyone. She can brave an "I love you" and adores
her little brother. Yet, she refuses to talk about the "bad
days" at school, she is very easily offended by other kids. These
are the sad feelings she is afraid to express. She knows now
she is different than her friends, yet sometimes, despite my
reassurance that different is good, beneficial, she wants to fit
in. Just a little bit.
And then there is the mysterious "I'm sad... I just don't feel
myself today" . I haven't discovered yet, what it is. I have
to wait till she finds another words to describe what she feels.
Till then a hug must suffice, my love and kiss on the hair.
There is a very affectionate, warm and loving person in my
Cirwen. At the moment however, she is still in the mist of
confusing actions of people she knows, disorienting feelings,
looking and testing for what can be harmful or safe.
One day, I know, she will find her path to come out of
the mist and bloom.