A Child’s Cry in an Adult Body

by Elouise


Don’t try to correct me
Just listen
Don’t tell me ‘the facts’
Just listen
Don’t interrogate, remind or debate me
Just listen
Without judgment
Without interrupting
Without that look on your face
That’s already made up its mind about me

Listen to me
Get inside my skin
My heart
My feelings
My words that struggle to find a way—
Any way to help you hear me
Feel with me
Speak with me
and for me
Not against me

I wonder
Is it time to write a new song?

What didn’t work then
probably isn’t working now
because it’s all worn out.

I don’t have forever.

* * *

When I woke up today, this plea was on my mind. I’d been thinking about The Gift of Time, and the reality that I won’t have that gift forever. Not in this lifetime.

My communication patterns have changed over the years, thankfully for the better. Even so, this child’s plea still kicks in when I’m talking about things that matter, and my conversation partner doesn’t agree with me.

It doesn’t take long to get my back up and escalate my distress to new heights. Whatever I hoped to gain from an empathetic listener probably isn’t going to happen. Not now.

So I’m thinking I need to rewrite the script. Not just the script that comes out of my mouth, but the script running in my head. Instead of a broken record, I want a new song. A different approach–especially when it feels like a high-stakes conversation.

I don’t know what the new song will be. I do, however, know what I’m after. I want to be heard and accepted as I am. It almost (!) doesn’t matter whether I’m right or wrong.

One more thing. Ironically, I think this new song or approach will turn out to be simple. So simple I’ll wonder why I never thought of it before!

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 13 July 2015
Image from autismteachingstrategies.com