Being an Anchor

Yesterday I wrote a post, Seeing But Unable to Believe about people who see people like my daughter and assume they are incapable of a great many things.  These are the people for whom presuming competence is not only the exact opposite of what they do, but is something they have trouble wrapping their minds around.  In the comments section of yesterday’s post, someone I adore, Chou Chou, who has been commenting on this blog for almost two years now, wrote, “…if I am walking in a confusing environment, I can hold Doc’s arm and find my way, and even lead the way. He doesn’t guide. He anchors.”  She was relating this to my thoughts about supporting my daughter while she types.   Even though my daughter can type independently, she is able to converse if supported.

He anchors.”  I thought about this idea ever since Chou Chou left it here.  The idea of anchoring is one I love.  It is exactly what I hope to provide for both my children; to be an anchor.  Solid, stable, grounded, rooted…   Being an anchor, someone who provides both physical and emotional support for another human being.  I think we all need that, I know I do.  I have a number of anchors in my life and I rely on all of them.  In the context of supporting my daughter as she types, I am reminded of something Amy Sequenzia told me once when I asked her about being supported.  She told me it was more than physical support that was needed; she needed to be able to trust the person supporting her.

Trust.  When I am with someone who I do not trust it is impossible for me to relax.  If I feel I am doubted or am on the defensive I have a much harder time getting my needs met.  If the person who says they are trying to help me, keeps ignoring my requests, continues to tell me I should need something else, I become confused.  I do not, for a second believe I am alone in my response to those who say they want to help, but who seem unable to hear me when I tell them what I actually need.

If you’ve ever spent time in a hospital or have been in a situation where you were accused of something you did not do, or have been told that what you’ve stated is not believed, you will have an idea of what I am talking about.  In a world where people are living longer, more and more of us will one day have to consider living without the independence we might prefer.  Many of us will need assistance, many of us will be forced to rely on others.  Being an anchor for those who need support is something each of us can give to another, but it is also something most of us will need at some point in our life, or if you are like me, throughout your life.

One of my anchors…


18 responses to “Being an Anchor

  1. And what a handsome anchor he is!! I love the concept of anchor, also. What a profound thought! This posting is profound! :0)

  2. Yes, we all need our anchors. I’m lucky to have you ❤

  3. Thank you, Ariane, for you sweet, kind, words ❤ I adore you, and am so happy I am able to add just a bit to all the wonderful things you share with us all. You anchor a community here. It’s it funny that the people who anchor also give us the ability to fly! Big buckets of love for all the beautiful anchors in the world ❤❤❤❤❤

  4. This is exactly what I needed to read this morning, Ariane. Thank you. ❤

  5. “The first …. use, of the sea anchor is to aid vessels in heavy weather. A boat that is not kept bow- or stern-on to heavy seas can easily be rolled by the action of breaking waves. By attaching the sea anchor to a bridle running from bow to stern, the boat can be held at any angle relative to the wind. This is useful in sailboats in conditions too windy to use the sails to maintain a heading …”

    When the weather and sea ease, (autistic) sails again provide free and independent passage.

  6. Ariane, this is an exquisite explanation – and Colin, as so often seems to be the case, you have further deepened my understanding.

  7. When raising a child with a disability you have to have anchors of strength in your life. Seeing the child’s ability and what they can teach,share and contribute to the world is a blessing. This has happened in my family.
    Ty Stingel

  8. Corbett Joan O'Toole

    Thank you for this post. One of the things I love about your work is how competence is presumed no matter the body/mind that it comes in. Many times I provide the anchor because of my abilities not my disabilities (wheelchair user). So my goddaughter’s blind mom reaches things high on a shelf for me and I am a quick guide for her while we are out walking in unfamiliar places. We can both figure out solutions to these when we are on our own, but working together provides an important anchor to each of us.

  9. I’m sure you do anchor your children 🙂 I too hate it when people ask me what i need and don’t believe me when I tell them.

  10. beautiful post, definiteliy love the idea of anchorness…just a great concept to carry around in our minds and hearts, so that we can periodically ask ourselves: what can we do to ensure that, in ways small and large, we’re helping to anchor the people in our lives. i know i was anchorless for a very long time, so it was very moving to read this post.

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