Looking for Answers
Two years ago, at the age of 33, Kelly Gordon was diagnosed with Autism. At the time she was also struggling through a profound tragedy. Her father had been diagnosed with cancer, and passed away just 10 weeks after they received the diagnosis. It was a challenging and painful time for many reasons and she decided to start therapy. This began her journey towards discovering her Autism and it answered a lot of questions surrounding her very difficult childhood.
Kelly had always known she processed things differently than her friends. She carried around a notebook to catalogue the nuances of confusing social interactions. She wanted to know why she felt like she was constantly walking around eggshells with her mother. And she wanted to cope with her grief.
Finding Her Footing
Getting her Autism diagnosis was relieved. Finally, her otherness had a name, a face, a shape. The label didn’t magically solve her problems but it helped her start to work through them. Around this time, Kelly’s mother went to live in an inpatient therapeutic facility and was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. When her father was first diagnosed with cancer, he told Kelly that her mother wouldn’t be able to cope with the loss and that Kelly would need help in managing her. At the time, Kelly dismissed it but her father was 100% correct. As it turned out, he had been the buffer between Kelly and her ill mother all these years. With him gone, things were impossible
Black and White Vs. Shades of Grey
Kelly has always seen things as black and white. She now knows this is a symptom of Autism but it’s been a struggle her entire life to understand why others can't just take a “truth” as such.
Her mother, for example, completely lacks the ability to see anything as black and white. They always butted heads and for a long time, Kelly looked at their relationship like this: Kelly saw the world in black-and-white, while her mother lived in shades of gray. She chalked the entire, broken relationship up to this one fact. But therapy helped her realize that it was more than that. She realized that her mother was abusive. Her mother had tried to control Kelly her entire life because she felt so out of control of herself.
An Unexpected Super Power
Because Kelly had spent her entire life navigating landmines with her mother, Kelly learned to read people's moods and energy very quickly. She can sense a mood change instantly and, as such, she's become a bit of an expert with emotional awareness. This is extremely different from what most Austic people experience. Emotional awareness is typically a challenge for them. But for Kelly, it was the only way she knew to survive and she learned to use it to her advantage and even teaches classes on how emotional awareness can lead to better sales!
Working With What You’ve Got
As a businesswoman, Kelly works with businesses to help develop systems and strategies for online marketing and web development. Her work is deeply interpersonal, but she also helps implement black-and-white systems that give businesses results. Kelly likes the balance. Her work helps her find success in a world that isn’t in sync with her. She’s great at developing systems that help her navigate the chaos of life. Every morning, she makes a list of her goals as well as her problems. She separates them into two columns: things she can change and things she can’t. She doesn’t think about the “things she can’t change” column, because the “things she can change” is always longer. There’s always so much to do, and with her routine, Kelly’s usually in a great place to start.
Learn More About Kelly
Kelly Gordon is the founder and CEO of Dapper Codes, a marketing solutions company that gives businesses the tools to thrive in our digital landscape. You can reach her through her Digital Agency Empire Builders Facebook Group.