It wasn’t until about two months into the conversation with my friend that I realised what she was trying to do. That she was not only trying to reassure me and help me understand the world, but that she was helping me to actually communicate.
I didn’t understand scripting or masking, I knew nothing about who I was hidden deep within apart from I wasn’t the person people said I was. She asked questions, but understood if I couldn’t answer. She guided part of the conversation, and left openings for me to join in constantly. I couldn’t see it at the time because I had heard too many negatives, it was those voices that surround my mind.
She was trying to encourage conscious responses, rather than relying on scripting to communicate. Created a safe space for me to talk and to express myself. This was a gift I will never ever forget.
That was about two years ago now. The difference is incredible. I have built a relationship with my family that wasn’t possible through scripting. My marriage was about to end, unmasking actually saved it, something I will always be grateful for.
My life wasn’t my own because my ability to express myself was severely limited. Often like trying to speak to people that only know a different language than yours. Occasionally something was understood as intended but very rarely. I have had to constantly learn since then, often things that are commonly understood but that I missed. Either because I couldn’t get close to people to learn it or because of hiding in media for so long.
All this is to say that to get the response I have from not just the community and caregivers but people in general. That feels like a hug to the heart, and I’ll admit I’m fighting happy tears as I wrote this.
Compassion is underrated if you ask me, because that gift, that changed my life. It released my thoughts, my feelings and although I consciously get hit more now, (memories, sensory impact etc) it gave me hope, and my life to me.
All our best and love
Ross Fraser and Jeni Dern
Words – Ross A Fraser
Graphic Design App – Canva