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Chapter 3: The Truth Unveiled

"My truth holds value, and I honor it by expressing it authentically and fearlessly."

Today, I fearlessly confronted those in positions of power, speaking my truth without hesitation. I courageously shared my authentic experiences, a factual narrative in order to shed light on the realities faced during my tenure at a nonprofit organization from 2021 to 2022. The sense of liberation I experienced was truly remarkable. Although some of my concerned friends reached out to ensure my emotional well-being, I found no reason to be apprehensive or afraid. After all, I simply recounted a genuine narrative, one that could potentially empower others who have undergone similar ordeals. I also see it as a general matter of public concern.

The established social hierarchy, which I will candidly refer to as the patriarchy for the sake of this discussion, reacted strongly to the disclosure of my truth. It appears that they believe that accountability for the harm inflicted upon a few can be conveniently disregarded if it serves the greater good. To them, collateral damage seems to be an inevitable consequence, and in their pursuit of their objectives, individuals like me and others who have suffered harm are treated as inconsequential.

I refuse to be seen as inconsequential; my existence holds significance, as do the experiences of those who have been unjustly swept aside as collateral damage. Recognizing this truth, I am convinced that I have taken the right course of action. There is no reason for me to harbor any worries or concerns since I have not committed any wrongdoing.

When asked about the next steps in my strategy, I find myself embracing the notion of emergent change within systems. Rather than having a predefined set of sequential actions, what I do know is that sharing the truth has liberated my heart, creating space for me to engage with people and communities that truly value me. Seeking community is a fundamental human need that resonates deeply with me.

Nevertheless, I have reached a point where rest and rejuvenation have become paramount. My focus now rests upon self-care, nurturing my closest relationships, and allowing the system to naturally recalibrate with the newfound knowledge that has been brought to light. While I cannot alter individuals at their core, I am determined to express my authentic self and share the genuine experiences that have shaped my personal journey.

As members of a community, our stories intertwine, reflecting the emotional interconnectedness of our shared humanity. It is crucial for me to emphasize that I have no desire to cause harm to anyone. On the contrary, my profound care for the collective compels me to recognize that when I myself experience harm, I must actively engage in the healing process. Only then can I serve as a beacon of light and a source of positive influence within our community.

Even though I prioritize my own well-being and acknowledge my personal boundaries, it does not imply that I will cease my pursuit of restorative justice. I remain steadfast in my belief in these principles. However, at this moment, I recognize the importance of establishing boundaries to prioritize myself because I acknowledge my own worth and significance.

I encountered challenging feedback tonight, particularly from men who lacked understanding of my experiences and showed no concern for accountability. Their primary objective seemed to be safeguarding the patriarchy at any expense. They labeled me as judgmental, but I am aware that when one is unaccustomed to critical thinking, it can be misconstrued as judgment. These men were clearly triggered, likely questioning the audacity of a little white woman daring to speak truth to power. They questioned my legitimacy and undermined my personal agency.

It was disheartening to witness their descent into name-calling and resorting to logical fallacies in their arguments. Their complete lack of compassion and empathy for the experiences I shared was evident, as they didn't even bother to ask clarifying questions. Their intentions were far from engaging in a civil dialogue; instead, their sole objective was to intimidate me into silence. However, their efforts proved futile. The post remains unchanged because, undeniably, it embodies the truth.

As I reflect on their reactions, I can't help but wonder what they are so vehemently trying to protect. Why does the mere expression of my truth evoke such intense fear in them that they resort to immature and inappropriate behavior? It's particularly disheartening to witness this from an individual whom I once greatly respected. Their dismissive response insuating that imperfection should excuse the challenges I faced was disheartening. Their undermining and shame-based approach to communicating with me was frankly authoritative and crude. This contradictory behavior stands in stark contrast to the principles this person has publicly advocated for, adding an intriguing layer to the situation.

I do not entertain feedback from crass and uncompassionate observers that is very unhealthy. However, I must accept feedback from those that I trust and love, that is the how we grow. I trust and love myself, so I am my first feedback mechanism. What I have learned in this scenario is that we prepare for pushback. The truth hurts and we must be ready to hold that truth with compassion and clarity. The feedback I received from my dear advisor, I now call him captain, is boundary up sooner. My soul sister is reminding me that I cannot pour from an empty cup and it imperative that I take time to rest and restore.

So I will now rest and restore with the self awareness that staying true to my commitments to myself has never been my strong suit. I often find myself getting sidetracked by other projects or new ideas. To overcome this challenge, I have decided to implement a system of reminders. Since affirmations resonate deeply with me, I have set a goal for myself this year—to create a unique tool during my sabbatical. It will be a deck of affirmations that I can utilize for personal growth and motivation one each day starting today. The process of creating this deck, which I am enthusiastically naming "Autist Affirmations," promises to be an enjoyable and fulfilling endeavor.

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