I can try to put a positive spin on it, but actually I’m not okay. I’m not happy that this is how I was made: I just accept it. I see some goodness in it. Some positive traits. But no, it’s not a condition I would seek. I haven’t come to terms with it; I just tried my best to ignore it for the two decades since diagnosis.

The past decade, we’ve been busy raising a family. I feel this has suddenly hit me hard because our children have become teenagers. That reminds me of some of the most difficult parts of my own life. But it’s worse than that. They’re starting to develop that autonomy which makes them the harshest critics of others, and I just feel that after two decades mostly fleeing judgemental environments, I’m all of a sudden back where I started.

Distraction is a good coping mechanism. My career developed over the past decade, keeping me busy. Before that, we had a longwinded and emotionally-draining adoption assessment, over two years long from start to end. A sibling-pair, very close in age, was placed with us eventually. We’ve dedicated everything to those little souls, compensating for their own infant tragedies.

I have the loving support of a wonderful soulmate, who is so much more accepting of divine decree than I am, forever content with whatever test is thrown our way. I say alhamdululah for such a blessing, and I mean that with all my heart and soul. She sees in me what I still cannot see in myself.

So I have been blessed in many ways, despite everything. Without this condition, perhaps we would never have known these children with whom we have shared our lives. Without all of those experiences in my youth, perhaps I would not be grateful for what I have. Yes, I can see goodness in what was decreed for me. But that doesn’t mean I’m okay.

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