I have always forgotten my role, if I ever understood what it was to begin with. And that is borne out in my dream last night.

I had this strange dream (aren’t they all a bit strange?) and while doing my yoga exercises first thing this morning, it came back to me. 

I was an adult in this dream. For some reason my first husband, father of my children, was also in it. 

I Never Got The Memo:

It was like this alter universe. Everyone in this dream had a role, and everyone did what they were supposed to do. Like in a play. 

Except I didn’t understand my role. Nor did I know what I was supposed to say. So I just stood there, while this whole dream-in-action went on around me. 

In this particular dream, if you did not come up with the words, or do whatever it was you were supposed to be doing in conjunction with the others, you were punished. Made to pay a fee. 

You did not pass Go and collect $200. Instead you had to dole out money every time you missed your “cue.”

What a strange feeling, I thought, in my dream state. Everyone else is walking about, doing things with seeming purpose, and I am just standing there, befuddled.

Why Was I Always Uncertain?

Why do they know what to do and I don’t?

I remember looking at everyone around me, peering into faces, to see if I could figure out what was going on. But everyone was busy in their roles and no one met my eyes. 

I have lived this dream for 58 years. So I guess it isn’t so strange after all. 

I grew up sitting in class rooms where every other child seemed to be on task. Except me. No one knew what autism was then.

I sat and watched them, hoping the “directions” would come to me. That a teacher would tell me precisely what I needed to do. In words I could understand.

Because kids like me did not get it. There should have been a different text book, in my language. Except there wasn’t.

Knowing Your Path In Life:

Just as in the dream, you are held to a standard in life. You are expected to walk with the masses. You are expected to know what your path is. 

Maybe there was a life script written for everyone but me. And people like me. Maybe it was rolled up and placed within the blanket of every little bundle of joy that left the hospital. And mine somehow got lost.

Or that’s how I felt until I understood my feelings of failure. 

There was no script. Mine didn’t get lost. And I’ve been punished time and again (not on purpose of course) for missing the cues. For not knowing what was supposed to come next. For not saying the right words. 

“Lost in translation” has taken on a whole new meaning for me.

People With Autism:

“They are often physically awkward and socially tactless.

They seem to be perfectionists but often live in chaos.

They know more about some obscure or highly technical subject than seems possible — and go on and on about it.

They may seem to lack empathy, and are often accused of being stubborn, selfish, or even mean.

They can also be extremely loyal, sometimes painfully honest, highly disciplined and productive in their chosen field, and expert at whatever they decide to be expert at.

They are the Aspies, adults with Asperger’s Syndrome.”      (Source)


So even in my dreams, I am different.  I stand out in the crowd. 

But now, when I wake up, I finally know why.


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  1. Thank you for putting into words something that I was experiencing but never thought about trying to explain. It’s just the undercurrent or background of my life.

  2. I always find it interesting when people use the word "normal". Is there really a universal normal? Every person has their own "normal". Learning how to function with your own normal and be happy in the world is what is important. When you talk about your dream, I think you are reflecting on coming to terms with your normal. You are making adjustments on living with your new understanding of who you are. That definitely takes time. The money seems to reflect your financial difficulties. You are a very brave woman, Brenda. xo Laura

  3. This post reminds me of something that happened to my daughter. She has ADD and had a teacher in high school who obviously didn't understand ANYTHING about ADD. We went round and round and she even said to me once… well, your daughter just doesn't pay attention… I have to tell her over and over again what to do for an assignment. Seriously? I told her YOU are a teacher and it is your job to tell her as many times as she needs it explained (I could be mistaken about that but I said it anyway!). If she is asking then she doesn't understand… and having trouble paying attention is one of the things that someone with ADD struggles with! Jeez, I couldn't believe her.


  4. Wow, you can put into words, what so many of us feel! I dream a lot too….and often wonder what the one recurring dream … over and over and over again…. might mean.

  5. I am from an education background…and I once read the following: "Everyone has abilities and disabilities."
    The lady who wrote the article said that she was a horrible speller. She knew that. So…her assistant has to double check everything she wrote…because she cannot spell.While that is an overly simplistic example perhaps, it speaks to the issue that everyone has disabilities and special abilities. You are a very good communicator…and that gives you a very special talent out there in the world. You can speak for those who have similar abilities and disabilities.

    Try to concentrate on the positive…and tell the negative to leave you alone. 🙂 I know this does not solve all problems, but sometimes you just have to tell the negative to go away, at least for a while. Sheila

  6. You are a voice for those that can't find the words. That was a quote from my sister. She asks what's new with you every afternoon. You have helped me understand her. I thank you for that.

    1. Oh, I am so touched that you shared this with me! You're so very welcome. Tell her I will always try to find the words to make sure she's understood.

  7. I find dreams so incredibly interesting. I often wonder what could have made me even think about that or I haven't thought of that person in a million years. If my brain weren't already falling apart I would love to study dreams.

  8. Hj Brenda, don't know if you have heard about it, but there's a blog that I think you might take comfort from. It's called '' Living with Grayson and Parker' Please give it a try Blessings

    1. Thanks so much for giving me this link! I rushed right over, but slowly read her latest post. It was heartfelt and beautiful. I shall be keeping up with her story.

  9. Brenda,
    I can only imagine the frustrations that you have dealt with your entire life. But you are now unlocking the mystery as to why life presented itself in the way that it did-which often times left you wondering, perplexed, hurt, agonizing, isolated and fearful. You are embarking on a courageous journey and you will empower yourself with knowledge and the resources that are available. You are a bright and beautiful woman and although there have been many detour's in your life, you have navigated through them and will continue to shine and grow. I believe in you.

  10. you've endured and overcome so much. just go forward YOUR WAY and be happy..

    ps- they discontinued the color paint you used but I got something close..

  11. very well done. Its a sad fact that we live in a discriminatory society and those who are family are the most judgmental and hurtful of all. This is proof that the cruelty of family and loved ones that we trusted affects our well being our entire life. Your suffering from PTSS as am I from hate and cruelty. My heart goes out to you.

  12. Brenda, what you may lack in one area, you MORE THAN EXCELL in other areas! I've not been 'diagnosed' as such, but am quite aware of 'holes' in my personality. Had 3 children, but NOT A CLUE how to relate to them! Am amazed at my daughter's ability to relate to HER children…where did she get that? I've often thought that I have NO COMMON SENSE. and would give anything to have it! But…there are other areas that I DO have abilities in. My spouse must have some form of Autism…and I have had NO PATIENCE with his problem…drove me up the wall! He DOESN'T hear what is said…but something totally foreign! His mind jumps to some planet, and answers some question that wasn't asked. He CANNOT just answer a yes or no question, but is COMPELLED to give you the history of whatever he wants to wind up saying. YIKES! Finally, after 55 years, I just had to take a break, and moved in with my 95 year old mother! So sad. Two broken people who just keep on breaking whatever is around them! But what you share is a ray of hope…of sunshine…of unusual understandings. Thank you for being so transparent. It helps a lot.

  13. I feel bad that you lived your childhood like that. But you did persevere, you had a successful career and you are an excellent writer. I think you were processing the information in some sort of way or you wouldn't be as intelligent as you are now.

    When I read this description of people with Asperger's, I am buoyed by the endless possibilities that may await you if you dare. I know you are probably still grappling with the diagnosis but once you've reached a plateau I hope you go on to grow and thrive in the knowledge that you can and will make it in this world.

    Jane x

  14. So well written, Brenda. We often don't know what others are struggling with and we should not judge others for what we don't understand. I think you are being a huge help to other people by being so honest and open about autism.

  15. I think it's a very positive thing that you had a dream strong enough to remember in your waking hours! 🙂 Dreams like that are something that you can work with …you and your inner self who is communicating with you via the dream. Most dreams are lost or based on a movie we just watched or something weird that we ate….or sometimes based on the fact that the cat is laying on your back kneading it, lol….you know what I mean. Yours sounds like a very powerful one.

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