My Life-changing Second Awakening of Truth

Second Awakening

By Rochelle Johnson

The air around me is suddenly crisp and clear and real and natural. I can taste it anew. Taste it in a way I don’t think I ever have before. Every drop of morning dew and a blade of grass, each little squawk of birdsong, is fresh and new and more real than it has ever been.

I’ve undergone an awakening. An awakening of sorts that is so incredibly momentous that it is so almost impossible to put it into words. And yet, there is a word for it, there is even a word for the time of life I am in, there is even a sentence to describe it.

But it is oh so much more than that.

It is a second awakening.

It is a moment of truth that is so full of momentous importance that it is difficult to convey to you.

Have you ever had that experience of waking in the morning and feeling as though everything has changed, everything is different?

Twice I have had this immense experience of awakening to something of myself that is so potent, so true, so important that it changes everything.

Yes, everything.

Everything, the way I understood myself and my place in the world, my relation to others, my understanding of how I fit, how I think, how I am meant to be.

My first awakening was autism.

My first awakening was getting the diagnosis of being autistic. That awakening did indeed change so much for me to celebrate. So many things became clear about myself: my actions, feelings, thoughts, relationships…the list could go on.

Suddenly, I wasn’t wrong and strange and crazy or a misfit. I was just an autistic person. Of course, sitting in the clinician’s room and hearing diagnosis was not the moment of awakening. No, that was more like dread and bad news.

That moment of diagnosis and the following months were times of grief, a sense of loss, brokenness and guilt. Guilt, because I felt I gave autism to my kids.

But then the awakening. Clarity! Acceptance! Celebration!

My second awakening of truth.

I’ve had another awakening even more momentous. I have awoken to the truth that I am in fact a woman. Yes, the air is clear, the wind blows truly through me and all is right in the world as I accept myself to be who I always have been. It’s certainly been a journey to get to this point.

So many years of trying and failing to be a man.

So much effort in trying to be one of the boys.

So many times feeling so disconnected to being of the male gender.

Each day I feel myself blossoming just a little more, as I discover the truth and reality of myself.

Now I understand why I always wanted to play with the girls. Why I would rather associate with the girls. Why I had an inexplicable sense of disorientation when forced to be separate from other females. How it is that I felt unfairly excluded in the face of female-only activities and venues. Now I understand why I always felt an affinity with feminism. How I could never quite comprehend the sexism of patriarchy and the undercurrent of seething disgust at the subjugation of women that bubbled along within me.

Yes, it all makes so much sense now.

And so, yes, this is, my first post here, as Rochelle, my true name. Whilst all those other posts, were me, they were not the twice awakened me. Those posts that were written, not as the true me, but the me that was pretending to be a male me.

Welcome to your future, Rochelle!

It’s bright, it’s clear, and yet it has messiness, and a steep learning curve. There will, I am sure, be lots of mistakes, false starts, blunders, and falls. Just as a young girl wobbles her way through puberty to womanhood, so too do I.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks, I appreciate you sticking with it.

Join me on this journey, won’t you? It will be honest, authentic, and full of discovery, acceptance, challenges, and celebrations. Yes, I am sure it’s going to be a grand day out!


Richard Johnson, Penfriend Project

Rochelle Proud Autistic Living

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About Jodi Murphy

I am the founder of Geek Club Books, autism storytelling through mobile apps for awareness, acceptance and understanding. My mission is to use the art of storytelling and technology to entertain and educate for the social good. I am a 'positive' autism advocate, mother of an awesome adult on the autism spectrum, lifestyle journalist, and marketing specialist.

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