I was born in the Philippines. I came to America when I was six. I met my dad here and a year later my brother was born. My brother had autism and we didn't know what that was and I think coming from an immigrant family we had to struggle being an outsider already in the country and then having a situation that was outside in the health realm because the doctors didn't know what it was. He was actually misdiagnosed twice.
There were a lot of aspects in my childhood where we couldn't relate to anyone else, our neighbors or society. I think coming from that background and seeing how my parents really came together and tried to figure it out. And they held fast to family values and the fact that we needed to get my brother help. There was always an emphasis on something bigger than ourselves and something bigger than our situation. I learned in those times when you feel that your situation, no one understands it, you just keep going. I learned to think about how I affect other people or how later on my situation can be something I can grow from, instead of just focusing on the feeling in that moment, kind of feeling through it not denying it.
Now 20 years later my family is leading groups, educating about autism. Now Autism is more prevalent and a lot more people are asking the same questions that we asked and I am thankful that my parents showed me how to just push through and ask the tough questions, then later on you don't know that you could be inspiring someone else.
In my life, personally that is something I take with me whenever I go through or face a tough situation. You don't know how later on it could impact someone else or how you can change the world.
When I was little I had a stuffed bunny. And I named it Minky and it was a pink bunny. She was kind of my buddy. I had imaginary friends a lot. She was my tangible, imaginary friend that I would take with me and sleep next to me. I think I lost her in the move.
Minky inspired me to live in my own world, be an individual. I would play with her, have tea parties with her. As an artist I think that is really important to maintain and yes have a sense of reality but also own your own world and how you view things. There is a beauty in how you see the world.
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