My daughter Jocelyn (ADD/OCD) went to the Passion 2013 conference two weeks ago. It was one of the first major trips away from home without me, for the longest period of time, and definitely the farthest away from home (we live in Canada on the border with Detroit, MI and Passion is in Atlanta, Georgia). She was traveling by car with the young adults from our church. She has not been aware of how much I accommodate and buffer for her hidden disabilities until now.
She said I could share her message from facebook: “You know, I’ve learned a lot on this trip so far…here’s my list: Take care of myself…no one else cares; my problems and my issues are my responsibility. When ignored or left behind, don’t take personal offense. Either find a way to include myself, or shrug it off and just observe. Be considerate, not clingy. Make time to do what I need to do, don’t expect others to accommodate; they usually won’t. Be observant, listen closely, and try to remember details. Think before I speak, if unsure, keep my mouth shut or if necessary, ask a “safe” person (aka Judy). Before I offer to take a shower after everyone else, check to make sure there are enough towels for everybody, myself included. Wake up early, because some people think that applying their makeup is more important than washing your face and brushing your teeth. When they make German jokes, don’t ask for clarification. Don’t feel sorry for myself. God has put me here for a reason; don’t waste this opportunity, keep my mind and heart open to what he has for me. NO PANIC ATTACKS. It freaks people out and alienates me more. Don’t try so hard to fit in, but don’t be afraid to go out of my comfort zone and socialize. Just be myself, remember to smile, and don’t be afraid to ask for names, if I make light of my short memory, people usually aren’t too offended. Keep in mind that my oddities are often only as obvious as I make them out to be. Take time out to process and to pray. Don’t get discouraged. Remember why I am here, and don’t be afraid, no matter who judges me, God doesn’t.”
I think I hear the angels singing because I know that I am praising God and full of joy. It is great to know that she is learning to take care of herself.