I was a verbose child, so my silencing was a little different. I was made to speak the language of Other, while the utterances of Self were stifled, especially when my articulations ran contrary to the norms and demands of Other. Kept inside a golden cage, fed and rewarded when I performed accordingly, when I sang Their song well, and run down in spirit for yearning to sing My songs. It was a tremendous effort, at a very late age, in middle age, to break free of this tyranny. Life outside the gilded prison is extremely difficult, but having a Voice is paramount to existence, and I would wish for nothing else for every other person whose voice needs to be heard, who needs to have the dignity of a Voice. Thank you, Ariane, for all you are doing for Emma. She is all that matters. Her Voice.
“Having a voice after years of being ignored saves me from treacherous loss. Years of nothing, makes the smart ideas percolate. It is a strong force within, waiting for encouragement.” ~ Emma
There are people who would like to silence my daughter and those like her. One person recently accused me of “exploiting” my daughter to “satisfy your own vanity and craving for attention” by publishing things Emma’s said she wants others to read. This particular person went on to write (as though to Emma), “Autistic people are irrelevant in your mother’s world. And parenting is more of a competitive sport to her than a domestic responsibility. That is truly disgusting.” And yet if I do not publish the things my daughter writes and says she wants others to read and understand, then I become the silencer. I cannot presume her competent, but then selectively do so, by not publishing what…
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