February 2, 2022

Can you be the calm in the storm, when someone you love is having a big reaction to a seemingly small trigger? Can your emotions be an anchor for them to flail around, until they’re finally able to collapse into your peace?

If not, that’s okay. They have the right to express their feelings, but you also have the right to feel safe. If their storm is stronger than your calm, then time apart protects you both.

The same is true from within the storm. Any reaction is a form of communication – but you may find yourself among people who don’t speak the language of big reactions, or don’t know how to handle them.

It’s okay, in that situation, to step away. It may take longer to calm yourself without help, but it’s necessary if the available helpers tend to misunderstand you when you’re upset.

Accepting an “overreaction” as valid, in yourself or in others, does not mean throwing away boundaries.

P.S. I write from my personal experience as an autistic. What I share is not a substitute for advice from an autistic medical professional. Also, some of my opinions have changed since I first wrote them.