An Autistic Daughter’s Message to Her Mother

Dear Mom,

I wish you knew me. You know me the most and still don't know me at the same time, for you refuse to acknowledge my Autism, my very brain, without which my existence is null and void.

You care about what other people may think if they come to know that your daughter is disabled. You fear how will your daughter access a job if she (reveals she) is disabled. You care about it much more than your daughter's wants and likings, more than your daughter's thinking.

But I understand that it's not your fault, mom. You have spent years and years fighting against other people for your daughter, teaching things to your daughter, loving your daughter in spite of how weird she seems to you.

I understand the insecurities of a parent that arise from the common perception of a disability, and the mistreatment of disabled people in the society. 

And so, I still love you, just not as much as I did earlier. Today, you and I have an option. Either we can ignore and stay silent about my disability, or we can come together and fight against those who exclude and oppress me. Either we can be in denial or we can take active measures to ensure that no children ever have to go through the bullying, the neglect and all the horrible things that happened to me in my childhood.

In a world which teaches your daughter to never be her true self, which one would you choose?

Your daughter,

The writer wishes to remain anonymous. You can follow her on Instagram @neurodivergent_indian

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