Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Virtually Friends

with 24 comments

When I first started this blog, I imagined that my only readers would be my friends and family- those who were curious about Pudding and autism, but didn’t like to ask.  I wasn’t expecting to become part of a community at all, so imagine my delight at becoming part of two: the autism-mama-blogger community, and the Foreign Service blogger community.  Pretty amazing for someone feeling the isolation of being a foreign-born spouse on a domestic tour, and the isolation of being a special needs stay-at-home parent.  I joke that blogging is the alternative to therapy for those who can’t afford it, but I can’t quite bring myself to laugh.

Both of my communities have their share of hardships, and I continue to be amazed by how strongly I can feel for people I’ve never met.  I’m often at a loss to know what to do to make things better; sometimes all I can do is read a person’s story, and sometimes tell mine.  My husband’s colleagues around the world and their families are going through some extraordinarily difficult times.  They aren’t my stories to share, but later this week when they are collated into a Round-Up, I hope to link you to them.  It is hard to imagine that in the midst of such turmoil and trauma, we don’t know if we’ll get paid next month.  Oh, and on top of this, there are moves to eradicate locality pay for State Department employees overseas, but not for any other agency of the US Government.  Our family is already living paycheck to paycheck, I don’t know what will happen.

Communities are not all about suffering and hardship though.  I’ve made some incredibly supportive connections as being part of these communities.  Another unexpected thing has happened, I’ve made some friendships.  A couple of weeks ago, I got to meet the lovely Jen for coffee, who is just as great as I imagined her to be.   It is quite surreal to meet someone in real life who you have only known virtually, but I’d referred to her previously as a friend I hadn’t yet met, and now I have.  We’re going to get together again soon, this time with the kids.

In May, I’m going to meet my sister-from-another-mister friend Alysia.  Every time I read one of her beautiful posts, I’m amazed at her ability to capture my feelings in her words.  Though I’m still a few months from meeting her, we’re already friends.  We decided a few months ago that we had to meet before I skipped the country.  I’ll also get to meet Varda, another awesome Hopeful Parent writer who writes incredibly powerful posts drawn from her life.  I can’t wait to actually meet these wonderful women in person.

That is the thing about virtual friends, they can become real ones too.  Our shared experiences bring us together.  My heart goes out to all those dealing with earthquakes, evacuations, drug lords and dictators.  Just as much it goes out to those who struggle to connect with their children, who are braving up to a new diagnosis that changes their world, to those dealing with the ongoing pain of watching their loved one fail to adapt to a world that doesn’t understand them.  We’re in it together, bruised but still brave.

I might get to meet some more of you, one of these days.  Until then I’m right there with you.  We’re virtually friends already.

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Written by Spectrummy Mummy

February 28, 2011 at 7:14 am

24 Responses

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  1. YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can’t wait!!!

    akbutler

    February 28, 2011 at 7:15 am

  2. Me tooooo! Boston! May! And it comes soon after the two week school spring “vacation.” My reward for surviving that.

    Varda (SquashedMom)

    February 28, 2011 at 7:23 am

    • It is my birthday treat to go that week. I get alone time and to meet you lovely ladies0 can’t ask for more than that!

      Spectrummy Mummy

      February 28, 2011 at 10:48 am

  3. Well I also meet Jen for coffee from time to time and we met mainly through blogging, and she certainly is lovely 🙂 Like you, I never thought I’d make a new circle of friends through blogging, but it’s one of the best things that’s come out of it x

    Blue Sky

    February 28, 2011 at 7:31 am

    • oops I was referring to the other lovely Jen @ The King and Eye

      Blue Sky

      February 28, 2011 at 9:46 am

      • Well, she is awesome too. Hopefully I’ll get to meet you both if the Spectrummy Mummy tour takes us to Dublin. You never know.

        Spectrummy Mummy

        February 28, 2011 at 10:49 am

  4. I’m always amazed at how the blogging community comes together from a half a world away to rally each other with comments and encouragement. I feel much the same for my blog friends, wishing I could somehow share their load and wanting to meet in person — if only over a cup of coffee for a few hours. Our virtual friends are a blessing, without a doubt.

    Karla (Mom2Kaia)

    February 28, 2011 at 8:57 am

  5. Just two words:

    LOVE YOU!!!!!

    Laura

    February 28, 2011 at 9:18 am

  6. Arrr, that’s so nice. I love my bloggy friends. Love and hugs. xx 🙂

    Alienhippy

    February 28, 2011 at 9:33 am

  7. Thank you and can’t wait for the Little Guys to meet in person!

    Jen

    February 28, 2011 at 9:44 am

  8. It is such a pleasure to read your posts that share such hope to your readers. I agree that is is therapy of the BEST kind! It’s a journey of love. Thanks for allowing me along for the ride!

    Karen

    February 28, 2011 at 9:47 am

  9. I am grateful to have you as a friend as well. I hope we meet up someday!

    Becky

    February 28, 2011 at 11:42 am

  10. Awww, I can imagine you’re just as sweet in person as you are here!

    Lizbeth

    February 28, 2011 at 3:25 pm

  11. That is just AWESOME!
    When I met DQ and the group from autism united ( a forum here in Oz) it was the most amazing experience. We all came together like old friends!

    SO SO SO happy for you 🙂

    fiona2107

    February 28, 2011 at 7:22 pm

  12. We will make sure you get your birthday gift before you go to Boston. Grandma and Grandpa

    Oma

    February 28, 2011 at 11:50 pm


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