‘A mole is an undercover law-enforcement agent who joins an organization in order to collect incriminating evidence about its operations and so bring its members to justice.’
There is a Mole in my house. Is Nothing Sacred? I am being personally prosecuted by my people for my every move, phrase, and action. Just about anything about me or the entire family is up for public knowledge. Oh, the trials and tribulations of lacking a filter. My superpower, ‘grinning and bearing,’ has come in very handy. My husband, son and daughter say exactly what they are thinking, most of the time. They are, without a doubt, the most honest people I know, bless their hearts. Honesty is a lovely quality if you have a filter. With such ease and innocence, they will call me out on just about anything, regardless of where we are or who is within ear’s reach.
With a family who, ‘says it like it is,’ you can be left questioning your character. To those who are not familiar with this classic autism trait, having no filter can easily be mistaken for rudeness, being disrespectful, or abrupt. To those familiar, we understand it is a neurological lagging skill. Their brains simply do not filter and process information the same way we do. They lack control of their thoughts, therefore, spilling them out immediately, and as a matter of fact. I can filter my thoughts, decide if I want to release them, and figure out a way to soften the blow. Some may see their lack of filter as a weakness, but I believe life would be so much easier if we released half the shit we have bottled up. For all the times we have thought, ‘I wish I had of said….,’ but didn’t.
One of the reasons I fell in love with my husband was his sense of humour. However, I must admit, sometimes I internally question the honesty behind his humour. I mean, he looks like he is kidding, but is he really?
I remember overhearing my child tell one of her friends that I, her mom thought her friend’s dad was an ass. It is true, I cannot deny it, he is an ass, but seriously? Since, we have been working extremely hard at explaining in detail, what to keep to ourselves.
My daughter has an extremely heightened sense of smell. This is not necessarily a great skill to have. Trust me, it has interfered with a lot of, ’feel good,’ moments. The quality of one’s breath or body odor is acknowledged by her verbally whether it is welcome or not. Friends, it is important to know, she still wants to be your friend, but you stink, that’s all.
One of my all-time favorite scenarios (because it happened to my husband and not to me), was when my husband took the kids to parent teacher night. Waiting outside the classroom for my daughters turn, there was an undeniable smell. Knowing it is not appropriate to announce one’s disgust out loud, my husband and son kept their thoughts to themselves. Out in the hall were other parents and students waiting their turn. My daughter, annoyed and disgusted by the stench, and unable to contain it, kept repeating, loudly, ‘what is that stink?’ Eventually, and proudly she figured it out. In her outside voice she happily announced to everyone all while pointing to her classmate’s mom, ‘it’s so and so’s mom.’ From what I heard, my husband slid slowly down his seat, dumbfounded and embarrassed. My husband was left to deflate the situation and get her onto a different topic (which is not an easy task). I want you to know, we have tried our best to teach manners and explain the difference between appropriate and inappropriate, but evidently, we haven’t always been successful.
As a little boy, my son would express his opinion of other children to their parents with no hesitation. He would call them out, like the idiots they were being in his mind, bluntly, and with no apologies. An extreme rule follower, he became the child police, the mall cop so to speak, and told on kids to their parents. He would ask me, ‘why can’t they control their kids.’ The rope or metal barriers at checkout became the perfect place for him to report actions like climbing on them, pulling on them, and sitting on them. How dare they, this was dangerous. Again, I would grin and bear it.
Whenever I try to secretly tell my husband something at an event or an outing, he will say very loudly, ‘What!?… I can’t hear you; I don’t understand what you are saying?’ He has yet to recognize that I am trying to tell him something on the down-low. Thus, I often look like an idiot and people know I was whispering something.
On a recent Zoom call with my extended family, my husband quietly escaped out of the room before going live. Family members asked my daughter, ‘Where’s your dad?’ She responded with, ‘Oh he didn’t want to join the call.’ Yes, truth, but he wasn’t feeling great, which she failed to mention. Undoubtedly, they were insulted by her response.
Once, at a dentist’s visit when my daughter was around 5, the dentist was looking and prying her mouth open. With annoyance and fear my daughter pushed him away and questioned his credentials. This was not taken well. I softly, shyly giggled, oh she just wants to ensure you know what you are doing and that you are qualified to do so. I am positive by his reaction that he was insulted by a 5-year-old.
A lot of individuals on the spectrum can spot another on the spectrum a mile away (as the saying goes, ‘it takes one to know one’). My daughter and I were spending an outing with one of my friends and her daughter when she looked up at my friend and said, ‘yeah, I’m pretty sure your daughter is autistic.’ As my friend politely laughed and brushed my daughter off, I was left thinking ‘she was probably right.’
Does the schoolteacher need to know my child was late because I was going number two? Does the dance teacher need to hear how lazy I am and that I am probably napping… again? Does the friend’s mom need to know I prefer to go commando, and that my boobs sag? Do we really need to discuss the details of my tattoos with my mom when she is anti-tattoo?
In a house where the whole truth is the name of the game, I just grin and bear it. I could go on and on with no filter stories and why I believe there is a mole in my house. Nothing shocks me anymore, I take very little personally, I am ready, bring it on.