Reverb Day 7 – Community is whenever I’m with you?

Today’s prompt -Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

One of the most important communities that I’ve discovered is the volunteers that I work with at the animal shelter. I am so lucky to volunteer with so many passionate and FUN people. I hang out with some of the volunteers even outside of our volunteering hours. These people have become my friends. It all started when I was funemployed and needed something to do with my free time. I was seriously SO BORED. I began working with the dogs at the shelter. We’d basically just take them out and play with them – nothing special or important. But after a while, I moved up the food chain at the shelter and I’m the second in command on Saturdays. Which doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is. I like the people I’ve met. But as I’ve said before, there aren’t any boys that volunteer there. And that is lame. It’s a place of all ladies. And if one of us starts crying (like we did this weekend), we all start crying.

In 2011, I’d like to get more involved in communities for adult siblings of people with autism. I don’t know anyone that has a sibling with any sort of developmental disability. That’s not to say that I feel alone when it comes to Jamie, but I’d like to know some other people that have gone through what I have. I was going to go to a conference this year for adult siblings of people with disabilities…but the timing just didn’t work out. I find it so interesting that I don’t know any person that has a sibling with a disability. And even with the all blogs that I read – still no one. Unless someone is out there, lurking, and I don’t know about them. Please tell me. I’d like to know.
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Jamie is one of those parts of my life that I haven’t written about much. Maybe in the next year, I will write more about him. I feel like words don’t properly explain who my brother is and what he’s about.

The other thing that I am going to be involved in would be me making a community for others. I’m going to (hopefully) be the leader of a peer group for kids with siblings with disabilities. They are trying to get the kids together for the group and pick a day that works for everyone. I would love to finally be able to give back. It was hard for me growing up with Jamie. That was at a time when autism wasn’t 1 in 110. But now? It must be so much easier and so much harder on these kids all at once. I want them to know that things aren’t always going to be so hard, that their siblings love them in their own way and that most importantly, your family might be weird and crazy and strange, but they are your family. I want these kids to know that shit can be tough and hard to handle and confusing, but it’s all worth it in the end.

If only I knew that way back when.

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