HOME AND FAMILY

This post is about home. Not my actual home in Baltimore County, but what I consider the idea of “home” to be. I consider “home” to be anywhere I, or anyone else for that matter, am surrounded by people who care about me and where I feel comfortable. I am “home” when I do stand-up comedy or a Pathfinders training. I am “home” when I am at my agency. I am “home” when I am cleaning at my “regular” job. I feel especially at home whenever I am with Allie. See? I don’t literally live at any of those places, but I feel comfortable in all those places or situations and know I can almost let my guard down. I have fun with all the people at the places I just mentioned. I am surrounded by surrogate family. Hopefully soon Allie will be more than just “surrogate” but I look at it like almost I have multiple families. My UMBC “family”; my “family” at Pathfinders; my agency is one huge “family” unit; Allie is by extension a family member. I am not directly related to any of these people, but I feel safe and comfortable with and around them.

Yes, I have a “real” family and a “real” home, but I am not a shut-in and I feel I am easygoing and I am constantly meeting people. Now do I consider everyone I meet “family”? No. People come and go all the time. My cousin left for Taiwan recently, and he is family. But I trust the people I am closest to not to judge me. My boss at Pathfinders actually refers to me as her “friend”. I know that did not just happen overnight. It took time for that to happen. BUT having said that, even though my boss and I are really close, would I call her on a Friday night and ask if she wants to go out for a beer? Most likely not. I understand there are boundaries. I do not want to jeopardize anything.

BUT I have two kinds of “family”…my “family” family (my parents, sisters, cousins, etc.) and I have my “work” family. And I know the differences between the two. One major difference is that I don’t get paid to be part of my “real” family. (Sorry, guys! Hint, hint…) But I feel loved, encouraged, and comfortable in both situations. I feel incredibly fortunate that I have people like that in my life. So to all those people who read this post…thank you!

-Tom

Author: AuTom Spectrum Blog

I have Autism and am a self-advocate and public speaker. On the side I do stand-up comedy. I live in Baltimore County and have an AMAZING girlfriend

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