I’m a 30-something woman, living in Birmingham in the UK with my husband, our two small children and little dog.
In July 2015, on my 30th birthday, I realised I have aspergers. This has been the most amazing, life-giving happening in my life. I started to think about writing down my experiences and what they mean to me, because so often when I share my diagnosis with people there is confusion and misunderstanding about what it means.
I watch the cracks between us in the world, the simmering resentments between different peoples, and I wonder about how to love across them. About how to stand in the way of political divides, racial tension, religious divides, divides of sexuality and ability and all the other divides we experience. I noticed that when people who I perceive to be “other” share their stories, I relate to them more, and it helps build a bridge between us. And I started to think that if I shared my stories too, it might give the same back out into the world.
It’s a little thing, but when I got baptised, my brother said to me something like, it was nice to hear your story, I never really understood why you believe in God. And it struck me, how little we disclose the things that really matter to us, and how little even those who are really close to us often understand of our realities. I had been going to church for 7 years, but I had never realised he would be interested to know why.
How can we love each other if we don’t see each other for who we really are?
We are at a point in human existence where many of us have unlimited, unfettered access to communicate with each other. We are also at a point where the ways we fail to understand and care for each other are becoming crashingly obvious – through climate change, racial tensions, refugees being denied access to basic resources, wars and the threats of wars, and even through social media rows with complete strangers.
This space, this place for me to write my stories about what my identity means to me, is a way of reaching out into the unknown – saying, this is me, this is who I am, these are the things that matter to me and why. I hope that by making myself vulnerable, I can add to – and encourage in some way – a conversation about what it means to be human, and how we love each other and meet human need.
So here I am. These are my stories, about my faith, my family life, my aspergers identity and all the other things that make me me.