saw Disney's Frozen last week. It's late enough in the season of films that you've probably already seen it; if not, then you should go. The film broke through the tough outer shell in my heart and hit me hard. Only really poignant things do that.

There's a lot in Frozen that made me sit back in my seat and cry. A lot of things that mirror my own life... and I felt the message kindle sparks of hope that usually lay dormant beneath the thick, cold blanket of realism that keeps me safe.

When I was young, I lived in my own world, and the world was beautiful. Magical. Perfect in every way. I remember believing that I had the perfect childhood when I was 11, and also remember feeling the quiet prompting to enjoy what I had... because it wouldn't last forever.

My world shattered with my teenage years, when depression hit me and turned the world black and made me want to sit in my room and cry... but never tell anyone else. I suddenly had a dire need for friends and people who could understand me, but I had no one... partly because I didn't understand myself, and partly because something in my heart, or my mind, or both, had created an impenetrable wall that left me totally and completely isolated and alone.

So when Elsa sat on her floor, surrounded by ice, crying at her bedroom door, year after year after year, that was me.

Anna's passionately romantic and optimistic worldview reminded me of myself... in the moments when I let myself believe. In my heart of hearts, I still believe in romance, happy endings, and that everyone who is willing to do the right things will find true love.

And yet, it's not enough to just believe. In my case, believing, even opening my heart to believe that life can be awesome and amazing, doesn't give me a superpower to counteract the issues I face. There are real, almost tangible walls that still exist in my relationships when I try as hard as I can. And at the end of the day, my relationships with my family feel stressed, my relationships with friends tenuous and stressful... and God is the only One who really seems to understand me.

If only it was that easy.

As I walked out of the theater, I went to my first therapy session with a new counselor. My goal in therapy? To feel loved in my relationships with others. I can deal with not picking up on social norms or sarcasm or having a somewhat skewed sense or reality because my reality is different.

But this is my dream. Is it possible? Will it ever happen? Can people with autism see improvements in feeling/affect enough to cause significant personal/interpersonal change? Part of me is going through the motions because I feel I should, cold and immune to feeling or hurt. Not believing it will happen, or not. Just doing the right thing because I know it's the right thing to do.But part of me is alive and waiting, on the other side of the door, still believing that for the first time in forever life could become the way I remembered, and always believed, it to be.

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