Mafe Maria: Personal stories by autism parent mentor, Maria Stultz

The space that births freedom

I feel it.

The lightness.
The energy upon waking.
The flurry of creative ideas that enter my mind.
The satisfaction with myself and my present incarnation as Joaquin’s mother and primary educator.
The openness to connect with people. To show them care. To make amends. To love friends, even while they’re yelling thoughts completely opposite to mine.

I’m on top of the mountain again.
And when that happens, my first thought is, thank you.

And then,

I better take a snapshot of this view (and how I got here) to remind myself when I’m down, lost in the next maze, again.

This morning I was in the shower (my meditation cushion), realizing once more the lightness. The lightness. Which made me think of the weight.

I remembered. I saw the sequence. The pile of dirt under which I buried myself this last time. The stories I started telling myself. The way how everything I did and its outcome were tinted by the color of such stories, and so they became even more convincing. Harder to escape. And I sank, and sank, and sank in darkness.

This weekend I read the story of my previous “drawning”, three years ago. That was quite something. The weight became a heavy anchor that pulled me down to the bottom of the ocean, where I could not hear any external voice anymore. No hands offered from the surface could reach me. No expert divers. Nothing. I was completely alone with myself.

And I know how I got there. I know about the weight.

I know the path began with hopeful intentions and purpose. But the twists and turns, and the map I drew all led me to a place I didn’t expect. The walk turned rocky… difficult. It became a climb, and it was heavy, painful, eventually dark; and at some point I couldn’t keep moving. It hurt too much.

I was lost. And trapped. And blind.
And I rolled downhill, and sank all the way to the bottom of the ocean.
Unreachable. Unmoving. 

I let it be.
I stayed there.
I knew that the world would still spin without me.
He would be okay.
I dared to take the time I needed.
However long.
Nobody would get hurt.
Not even me.

And there, something happened.

A bomb exploded!
A slap from the system I was so desperate to get saved by.

The explosion shook everything and broke through my consciousness. It made me wake up. Gasp for air. Reach for the light. I had enough… Enough!

And through the cloud of particles, I saw a light. And I reached for it.

Gently, the light helped me get rid of the weight. It helped me unload the first pieces. I felt lighter. And hopeful. And I started to drop all the weight I had strapped to myself. I started to ascend… Fast!… I surfaced. I lifted above the ground. I reached the summit of the mountain I had tried to climb. It was gorgeous. Victory! I yelled to the wind: I AM HIGH! Woohoo!

In the timeline of my story I called that ascencion “Seven Months of Miracles”. Then a new chapter started. I called it “Now what do I do with my life?”.

The question could have been answered in many ways. The quest could have been painted in many colors. I got lost in the maze again.

I let it be. 
I cried.
I let them see me cry.
I did not make myself smile.
I disconnected. Isolated. Protected myself from the noise that hurt.
In that space I found something nurturing.
I let myself play with it.
Easily.
Just for me.

A new bomb exploded. A pandemic, no less.
Through the explosion I reached for a new light—It was time to see the ghosts in my mind.

And in this… crazy space to some—a gift from Heaven to me… I’m letting go of the dirt I shoved over myself. I’m taking a good look at the stories I made up. Big and small.
I feel high. Free. Light again.

Who knows… Maybe this time I get to fly.

View of my backyard
Nature is awake, headed to bloom, in the unforgettable spring of 2020.
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