"Friendship From The View Of A Woman With Autism" by Jenny Ford – Guest Post for Friendships: Struggles, Humor, Triumphs and Angels Series

by Jenny Ford

This is about my view on friendships. Very hard to define friendship. There is no one right definition. Some say your only there friend after they get to know you a while, while others say your there friend right away.

Friendships are difficult for me and always have been. I tend to only get along with those older then me. Not sure why its just the way it is.

I remember my very first friend. His name was Thomas. He was the only friend I ever had in public school. I met him in grade 4. We just clicked right away. I wasn’t able to talk much but he seemed to know what I was thinking or feeling without me having to say it. Whatever game I wanted to play we played. He sat next to me in class and he sat next to me on the bus on the way to school and on the way home. Well soon the year ended. I never saw or heard of him again till this day.

I used to be mad. How dare he leave me and abandon me like he did! I felt abandoned. I felt alone. I was alone. I had no other friends. No one understood me or even wanted to. No one else even made the effort to get to know me… Well that’s another post about bullying that I’ll do some other time… Onto more about my friendships.

We’ll skip ahead in time to where I’m 13 and living at my Nana’s house with my Mom,sister and brother after my parents divorced. Well there was a teen dance across the road. So I joined that but no one there ever danced. I love dancing ask anyone I know so this was just really odd and weird to me. Why would you go to a dance and not dance? This makes no sense to me at all. None of the teenagers talked to me or tried to get along with me. So I talked to the lady who served the drinks. I forget her name but she was really nice to me and we were friends. At least in my view we were friends. She tried to help me be friends with the other teenagers but they wanted nothing to do with me….

Skipping ahead again to around now and I am 23 and have lived in California seven years. I made lots of close friends at my Church and this is how it happened. I joined a Celebrate Recovery last year. Celebrate Recovery is a Christ centered recovery group for any hurt, habit or hang-up. There like a second family. They welcome me with open arms and accept me for who I am and don’t try to change me. To me that is friendship. Acceptance. Period. We are there to support one another we are not there to fix each other. Confidentiality and anonymity are basic requirements what is shared there stays there and will not be talked of outside of there.

When I first got there I was shy and didn’t hug anyone. I didn’t wanna get near anyone. They accepted this though. They didn’t make fun of me or bully me they just accepted me. They accepted everyone else too. Not once have I seen them not accept someone. The leaders go in front of everyone and say theeir names and what they struggle with and do it without fear. That takes guts to do. It really does. To even go into the doors of a Celebrate Recovery takes guts. Cause its admitting you have a problem and need help.

I made a lot of friends there and I will now just say a thank you. I will only post there first names and I will not post what they struggle with…. Thank you:

Linda,Marianne,Tom,Travis,Heather,Rick,Theresa,Jeff,Sylvia,Patricia,Kathy,Dan,Katherine,Joy,Justin,Michelle,Laura,Ed,Carolann,Barbara,Vanessa,Lisa,Joey,Tommy,Mustache guy that is fun and hangs out with Tommy,Mark,Barbara2 who is married to Mark,Reese,One that I call Jason but his name isn’t Jason and I always forget what his name is. I also wanna thank some Church friends Wayne,Pastor Casey,Dawn,Julie,Pastor Brian,Pastor Jesse,Pastor Pete.

I thank you all for accepting me and not judging me. I thank you for welcoming me and making me feel like apart of your family. You are all very special. You mean the world to me. And I dunno what I would do without you. Thank you for being the very best friends I ever had. I love you all.

They are all the example of what friendship is.

Friendship is acceptance. Friendship is kinship. A true friend makes you feel like family. A true friend does not judge or hurt you in anyway shape or form. A true friend is someone you can feel free to tell anything to. A true friend welcomes you and never puts you down. A true friend is always there for you no matter what. True friends stick together and support one another and true friends don’t try to fix one another. True friends don’t try to control one another. True friends are not bitter against each other. Friendship is open and understanding. A true friend tries to pick you up when you are down. When your outside looking in then friends open the door and let you in. When your lost and in dire need then friends are there at lightning speed. Friends will always defend you and help you out. Friends share your sorrows and your happiness. True friends are always willing to listen and give advice if they can. Friends pray for you and pray with you…. That is the definition of true friendship.

Jenny Ford of The World of Mismatched Socks has been kind enough to share a glimpse into her world, through doors unlocked. Her words can give inspiration and perspective to every parent of a child with needs, and hope that we can help our children find their voice in the way she’s found hers and in other ways. In the end, the belief that our children’s voices can be heard is what we can hold.

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What are you thoughts?

3 Responses to "Friendship From The View Of A Woman With Autism" by Jenny Ford – Guest Post for Friendships: Struggles, Humor, Triumphs and Angels Series

  1. Gina says:

    Jenny~ You’re right on about what true friendship is. I can imagine the difficulty you must have had before meeting these people that you have…I’m so glad you found them, and they you. Thanks for sharing and writing in this series!

  2. Trish says:

    What a wonderful description of what true friendship is. It’s so easy to accept something that is less than this to avoid being lonely, but this is a great reminder to hold out for the real thing!

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