Here I am transcribing 4 pages of stress texts about relationships, friendships and FEAR. We've talked a lot about EVERYTHING, and Jake fully admits that the driving force behind all of his behaviors is fear. Fear of the future, fear of growing up, fear of abandonment, fear of being forced to have friends and fear of losing control of himself. Below are snippets of his texts, that he literally woke up to write, hours after he went to bed. The fears stir up so many emotions that will keep him awake.
Some of what you will read is as sad as it is insightful. We are social creatures. Jake wants this to be remembered by teachers, schools, parents and extra curricular coaches, who want to emphasize "learning to be friends." There's a time, and it's necessary, but when the time is right and the young individuals are available for growth. Right now, in puberty, we are not available for such challenges. We are literally treading water until the storm subsides. --Jenn
I cannot understand relationships. I just cannot learn it. It's too hard. I learned it in middle school but for me now, my behaviors are bigger and different. I just get wild and completely unsafe and want to hurt myself. My body gets loud and disruptive and uncalm and uncaring and completely out of control. If I'm forced to be a friend and I'm not ready it can be dangerous. My body is going through so much changes right now and adding confusing people and scary.
Relationships I'm just not ready for that at all and it is very arduous (his new favorite word) and when I have to learn hard things now I just want to die and/or be dangerous. Then if I get feedback from that it can get very dangerous.
Relationships are very hard for me and that triggers me to act in an unsafe manner and get dangerous because saying have "her" as a friend is super hard and for me my brain works very fast and respecting boundaries is hard.
I have so many intrusive thoughts but the scariest thoughts are about girls, being forced to be friends. I will have friends when I'm ready and it might be when I am older.
I hope this helps my friends around the world and helps parents and teachers understand kids in puberty and all the changes. -- Jake
**Jake...you are an amazing young man. Thank you for changing the world one day at a time. I am honored to know you and call you my friend." Assistant Chief of Police Betsy Davis, Montgomery County Maryland Police Department
**Jake is a great kid who will be famous and rule the world one day. Good for us, to get on the Jake bandwagon early! Jake is motivational and represents both the struggles and accomplishments of a person with Autism.”
Ofc. Laurie Reyes, MCPD I/DD, Autism, and Dementia/Alzheimer's Special Division
**That kid is an amazing young man and I wish we could bottle his spirit and spread it around this country. Wow!"
Retired First Sgt. Chris McClellan, North Carolina Highway Patrol