Addressing the Elephant.

After a week of ” socialising” I’m a wreck… so why in the hell did I do it?

Spent time with life-long friend… away together  sharing accomodation.

Me I’m a recluse so not used to speaking… so it all poured out, interests, autism and associated conditions … felt so much of a ” kill joy”… so many dietary and mobility issues.

Instead of just feeling like I’d ruined another’s holiday I spoke out about my self blame and I guess my fear at losing a friend may have surfaced. Crunch!

My home isolation and her inability for self time at her home…. Crunched.  Acknowledging it to each -other, acknowledging each other, smoothed out the sharpness of Crunch.

Articulating, acknowledging the elephant allowed us to caress it to ask it to sit with us, to ” be” with us as we listened to its silent witnessing we realised that we were at home being at times not at home with each other.  Being real! More so than ever before.

Three spoon drained days… ended  well with a wave from the long distance bus.

OK! That may seem, as it was for me , exhausting but there was no time to recover. It was one of those ” it never rains but it pours” situations.

Another long time friend from the city had commitments in nearby towns. A great opportunity time and location -wise to ” catch up” so I’d invited her to stay the nights in between.

Don’t know about you but when I’m a wreck I become a blithering mess… but before that stage, whilst I still have some sense of lucidity I launched into common interests … sounds fine … excitedly speaking at the pace of a bullet….

Aware of it but not knowing how to get out of my self woven spider web… i ground down to gibberish… to admitting my brain had ceased up… not  even able to answer  simple questions like ” would you like some watermelon?”

Witnessing my web weaving at a frenetic pace I became self reflective… to announce my ” intensity” my inability to  “stop”… to do those social etiquette things..to take appropriately timed turns…..

Confessing that nowadays I’m not able to communicate with speech to most people… only those with whom I share common interests… I pegged out on the imaginary clothesline my autism… frailties and self perceived strengths.

In each scenario I revealed the elephant in the room.. and through sharing my awareness of my autism and how it impacted  upon my friend/s and myself…

Autism lost its label status/quality and my autistic traits pegged out without shame, manifested in the reality of  “being”…

What now?  Rest … Rest… and much more… seclusion….and what of the next encounters with these friends?

It will be easier to openly self monitor both my energy levels and my dominance of speak time… I won’t need to fumble in a hidden panic hopefully I’ll openly care for self and in doing so care for my friends.

 

 

 

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Authentic Presence!

What in the hell does that mean in this crazy plastic society?

EIGHTY YEARS

Grey -haired-ladies

Grace the white weatherboards:

inconspicuously

triumphing  eighty years

in unassuming suburbs

of yesterday’s Melbourne.

 

A no-nonesense-down-to-earth

warmth of times bygone and now

with a dignity unknown

to those of more prestigious

past and present.

 

It is the homeliness,

the relaxed conversation

fast disappearing  from pit-stop houses

lining deserted streets

in the rambling scrambling

flurry of heart-attack -pace.

 

A strong -aged beauty

anchors mann-abandoned homes;

to nurse a dying son or requiem

prematurely the broken candle,

warm with memories that gently

caress lives drained by death.

 

Time’s wisdom graces

the white weatherboards

supporting waiting generations;

progressively unlinked  to those of their age,

communicating an epoch that fades

into  a solitary  past life.

 

Grey -haired-ladies!

Will you grace our lives

with relaxed conversation, soothing

the aches of our pit-stop-lives,

anchoring us with earthy humanity

before we decay in deserted streets?

                            

Removing the Door

p1030341Perspectives on the Freeze Response as I experienced it when violated Trigger Response…abuse/violation. This piece refers to a rape situation many years ago…so difficult to write that word… rape.

There will be no description of the physical assault, I do not wish to relive that experience but to witness it for what it was to me and my response.

This all happened as a result of my naivety, my trusting nature  when offered a safe place to sleep  for the night in a city where all accomodation was filled by displaced people. Displaced  a few years before by an earthquake.

I was woken by a man I’d never seen and knew instinctively that there was no possibility of ” flight or fight”. I guess I detached myself, my inner and emotional self from the scene.  What happened was inevitable. Emotionally I froze, cut myself off from engaging in any way with what was happening and that included ” fear”. Fear happens when confronted with the unknown and not dealing with the reality of the ‘now”. That “now’ was happening and with no where to run  and no one to alert there was no point in fighting.  That could result in further affliction.

May be things that happened in my childhood  spoke to me  and I  recognised  my powerlessness.  Things that related to various forms of abuse by people who were supposed to be trusted. Trusted by the family.

Once that part of the ordeal was over I matter of factly prepared myself to leave that premisses.  I walked into the hallway with backpack on, heard a bath running, no towel seen just a doily type thing and then the man sharpening a huge knife, not a kitchen knife, and silly me wondered why he would be doing this early in the morning. Was he preparing his breakfast?

It was only much later that I realised the enormity of his plans.

He saw me quietly standing there still in a frozen emotional state. I was calm and ready to leave. He put away his knife and backed his car into the porch , opened the door, told me to get in and lie low on the back seat. Some kilometres later he stopped his car, told me to get out and then drove off.

I cannot remember how I managed to get anywhere from there that part is still unclear. Somehow I was safe.

My  autistic naivety may have  led me into this dangerous situation but my autistic freeze response saved my life. I’m sure that the man expected some dramatic scene that I did not give him and this may have calmed him,  he may have known  by then that I’d not be calling out ” rape” or reporting him to the authorities.

It was  quite sometime later that I  made awful sense of that bath and knife.

My freezing had saved me but also saved him from committing a further crime.

When Do We Get to Be Autistic?

Not easy feeling brave enough to speak.

Erin Human

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Image is a yellow/blue watercolored background with the text: I have been congratulated for “overcoming autism” : a well meaning gesture that means nothing at all. For a time I thought this was applause for having the ability to pass, but I have learned that it’s code for “we expect you to act normal now and anything that you can’t do we will consider a personal failing.” – eisforerin.com

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I’m seeing a new therapist and I’ve told her how much I like to write; last week I told her that I haven’t blogged in a while because I haven’t had the time, but this morning I told her that I’ve realized I am not writing because I don’t know what to say.

She told me that it’s important to keep doing this so that I have a voice.

So I’m going to try to say some things.

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Screaming under water!

What happens when you scream underwater?

Screaming underwater is what I do when trying to surface in a new reality.

I try to find the appropriate pathways but they are not necessarily the same as those I intuitively follow…………so inside my mind I scream.

I feel that I’m drowning and no one knows… just now at this moment the words of a song come to my mind… I never understood what these words meant…. Drowning not waving.   Now I “get it”.

It is the position we feel inside when we try to communicate and our efforts aren’t seen . Is this why some autistic children cease to speak or never speak? What is unseen, unspoken and unheard is the exhausting efforts autistics make to adapt, fit in and accomodate non-autistics only to be judged as being inflexible, un cooperative and much more…. how can we turn the light on and reveal our undercurrents, our whirlpools and our building waves that carry not only us but others too to undiscovered shores?

The difficulty is finding the correct pathways, not alluding to mental pathways but cultural pathways… people have different emphases on things and some people’s minds race ahead of where they are at to where they want to go and drop off a cliff. Other people slip and slide around those pathways and then find the track has been ripped out from under their feet just as they were beginning to get that grip.

Does the latter happen when parents speak and assume their children understand not only the words but also the grammar, syntax and significance of what is being communicated without tuning in to the child, the novice in  acquiring  language a ” common” language? Does the child miss the chance to commence walking on that path to wait for another opportunity… but what if  as he/she goes to plant a foot on that path as it disappears and is replaced by something else?

It  requires much patience  on behalf of parent/teacher and also student/child  etc  to progress to this common ground.   Perseverance! and a sense of authentic presence.

Not a half hearted attempt of flinging a few words and hoping they will land somewhere. The teacher becomes the student of the pupil in an attempt to know where interests lie, to get to know that person is a commitment when that person is autistic.

This blog is part of my tuition, the part where I’ll be learning to use ” tags’, but it is more than that it offers me a conscious insight as to what my mind is doing and also where my mind was racing ahead or slipping sideways . It is helping me to clarify intricacies of learning language as it were  ” from scratch” as Tech lingo is so different from my native or other acquired languages I’ve mastered and in doing my hope is get closer to knowing my Godson… who does not speak in words.

Jumping into the unknown ill-equipped is a gamble I have to take. Will I make it or remain screaming  under   water?

Accepting Personal Responsibility as an Autistic.

What means have I to Advocate for Autism awareness and acceptance ?

Isolated in many ways from other people and moreover from other autistics I decided to learn to blog. Not an easy endeavour for me .

It is early days and I’ve much to learn before I am able to communicate my ideas and feelings adequately. In some way I feel that I’ve slid sideways into another version of infancy … learning the rudiments  and symbols of terminology… all so foreign to me and I need to take it slowly and reinforce each step many times through repetition before I can actually use this mode of communicating effectively.

Whilst many may relate to all this terminology, for me it is as foreign as if I were trying to learn to write in a different language  having to master a different alphabet.

Autistically allegorical ! Yes!  This process is and will afford me the opportunity to consciously observe my mind working  at learning to communicate. Hopefully it will help me understand not only my autism but also how other autistics may experience  difficulties in communicating and give an insight as to how to overcome them.