I have a large family. Some of us are closer than others. I have friends I consider to be family. On the flip side of that, the family I am VERY close with, I consider my closest friends. Take my Mom and two sisters, Abbey and Caroline, for example. Obviously they are family members but they are also my biggest supporters and allies. They support me through all I do, and I’m not entirely sure that’s just family obligation.

Now, on the other side of this, I consider some of my best friends as surrogate family. Take Allie, my girlfriend of 9 years for example. She and I are closer than I could ever have imagined. She is my soul mate and love of my life. I can be “me” around her. There are some members of my own family I am not 100% comfortable with seeing me like that. Again, like my Mom, Abbey and Caroline, Allie is a huge ally and the one I want by my side through all my trials and successes.

My boss at work, Pathfinders, and all involved there are like a second family to me. I know this sounds like a workaholic logic, but I am one of those people who essentially live to work. We all work our butts off for the same cause and outcome. I know that is the point of a business in general, but in this case, it is something I am passionate about.

Thanks to all involved—my work, family, and Allie,—I have had some incredible opportunities. My life and role have been nothing short of amazing! And I know I sure as Hell could never have reached this status without everyone helping me out and supporting me along the way.

One other “family” I feel obligated to thank is the Itineris community. Like PFA, we all work towards the same basic goal: Raising awareness for Autism. I have been with Itineris since June of 2012. My time there had led to my employment and, by default, the greatest moments of my life!

I have had the opportunities of speaking at a National Autism conference, attend the unveiling of the Autistic Muppet on Sesame Street named Julia, meet the creators and puppeteer behind Julia, and instruct medical staff around the state of Maryland on how to safely interact with Autistic patients. So yeah, I’ve had a Hell of a life!

My greatest moments in life, in one way or another, have involved at least one of the afore mentioned. I have multiple people to thank and I simply cannot do it all in one post. So to everyone involved, thank you for my life!

So for me, it’s a little tricky to discern between friends and “real” family. In my opinion, family are people who care most about you. And I have plenty of people who fall into that category. What is your definition of friends and/or family? Let me know and thanks for reading!


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

One thought on “FAMILY VS FRIENDS”

  1. I love you too hon! You are my soulmate! I am very close with my immediate family on both sides of my family. I consider my synagogue family. I am so close with the Rabbinical staff and my religious school staff.


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