within the autos, I

saturday 7 may 2011

In whatever writing I have done online since 2008 concerning my own particular experience on the autism spectrum, I have remained largely on the surface of the thing. I’ve said I don’t smile much compared to most people, and this creates in others an immediate negative: the failure to smile is a negative thing. I’ve said I rock back and forth in anxiety, and this again sets up an instant negative response: rocking back and forth is childish, and weird. If you’re that anxious, have a couple beers, or run around the block, or do anything that we consider normal anxiety relief. I don’t like looking at the human face, for the most part. I do it, but it jangles the nerves. In most cases I don’t find the human face interesting, but rather a shifty, dangerous thing. And these are all important signifiers of a supra-normal (as I choose to call it) neurobiology, but they do not approach what it feels like to need desperately to live in the αυτος, the self. And I feel very strongly that those of us who are on the spectrum and are prone to write, should make every effort to describe as accurrately as we can the experience of being autistic, in the hopes of engendering some real understanding in the minds of neurotypical people.

But I have very little confidence in my own ability to do this effectively. I feel as though there must be other autisitcs who can fulfill this assignment much, much better than I could. And yet for months I’ve been nudging myself to try, and no doubt to produce an inadequate result, and having tried, will discover that no one is interested anyway.

Knowing all that, I still feel obligated to try. Autism is slightly different in each person who has it, so my autism isn’t exactly like anyone else’s. I can only make the best report, the best description I can. No doubt I won’t even get other autistics to come here and read it, much less any neurotypicals. This foreknowledge of futility makes the task even harder to get started on.

I try.                                     

I’m a little kid, three years old. On my bedroom floor coloring. For me the absorption in the picture and the colors I am putting on it are, for the moment, the entire universe. I am totally focussed on and interested in the colors and how they are going to go. Nothing else matters. Enter one of my parents through the door, talking about it’s time for supper or time to go out shopping. Yes, sometimes the parents come to the door bitching about something, but it doesn’t even have to be bitching to totally set me off. Some autistics act out when they are set off, others don’t. I mostly don’t. I get up and leave my colors and my pictures. I get up and leave the universe. But there are internal reactions to this interference from the outside. I am angry that I’ve been taken away from the sheer absorption of color by human voices, and therefore there is yet another reinforcement for my child’s Asperger’s mind that human voices are irriating things. They take me from absorption, they take me from beauty, they tear apart a sphere of bliss I was busy in, and wasn’t ready to leave yet.

Or, still three years old, I am just sitting somewhere, living my newly-devised life in my head. A parallel world I have learned to make for myself, where everything is safe. I make up people for my alternate life, adults and children, and I make up situations. And in every situation, I make the people behave in a way that I understand, that I don’t find confusing, and in that life where I understand, I am safe. I make up sad events and funny ones and all kinds of things to happen in this world I understand. I’m enjoying myself there, I’m energized by this world I understand. And then, again, comes a human voice. And though I usually show no signs, inside me it feels like a tearing, a great ripping, as if pieces of me were being rent from each other when I have to obey the human voices and leave my inner world where all is clear to me. In my teenage years, when I came upon T.S. Eliot’s poem with the line: till human voices wake us, and we drown, I found a line that runs through my head so very many times when a human voice tears me out of my world of the autos, where I am at home, into the sea of society that irritates and hurts and confuses me, and I drown.

There are physical reactions to this tearing, as well as emotional ones. Along with the anger and resentment can come a lurching stomach; or pins and needles in the skin; or a sudden, brief, all-over shudder; or pain inside the ears. Pounding heart, brief chest pain. And so on. Physical responses to being torn from one’s inner world.

Added to the distresses occasioned by Asperger’s, I had a whole other set that were brought about by my serious physical illness in childhood. More human voices piercing into my inner world with do’ s and don’ts and drugs and the words: she’s going to die. All of this resentment of the medical voices fused with the resentment of the ordinary voices that tore me out of my world, so that by the age of three I already regarded smiling as highly suspect and tricky; human voices as scratchy, grating and determined to snatch me from beauty and safety and pleasurable absorption. By the age of three, the human species was already mistrusted, dismissed as mostly unbeautiful and mostly unpeaceful, and impossible to decipher. Why didn’t they understand the way color can completely mesmerize you? Why didn’t they know that I had to stare at the lines of sunlight coming through the window because it was so beautiful that sunlightcould do this, and why weren’t the others completely engaged by those lines too? Why were they too dense to be fascinated by these things?

Most children can get very absorbed in play, but I could get intensely absorbed in almost anything. In watching my parents scream at each other, for example:  the redness in the face, the fire in the eyes, the tension in the muscles, the increasing volume of the voices. This made me nervous, of course, but it also fascinated me from a purely physical point of view to see that the skin and voice and eyes of the angry human could produce all these strange changes.

In light of the anomalous immune system that created so much severe illness, and the autistic neurobiology, and the non-average high IQ, what chance did I ever have to be average, or to be of any interest or value at all to average people? What chance did I have to be other than at some level a crashing weirdo, and more often than not, a burden to the average? I look back over many, many years, and still believe my chances of being anything like average and likable and acceptable and lovable were already, by the age of three, slim and none. No one knew I had Asperger’s, except me (and I certainly didn’t know what it was called, or that other people had it too), and even if they had, in the years that I happened to be growing up, not much of anyone would have tried to understand or accomodate it.

Has it been this way for scores of Aspie children, especially those of my generation?

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read…   Neverending solitaire

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thanx

thursday 7 january 2010 by: mishi

Posted on: 01-07-2010 @ 12:20 pm

 

                                            

Turners Falls…   Thanks, Peter and Amarok, for answering. I don’t know how to do personal messages on most websites that I use, because I truly am a tecno-failure. So I do this instead; a public thank you on the blog.~~~~~~~~~  website  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

and now 2010

wednesday 6 january 2010…..

by: mishi…. Posted on: 01-06-2010 @ 12:42 pm….

Greenfield….

Have to admit I’m really annoyed today with my WrongPlanet blogging experience. I expected something different, and better, than what I get blogging among non-autistics. Maybe that was yet another stupid expectation, like expecting NT’s to apologize when they’ve been rotten.

I started this journal in 2008, and now it’s 2010. I sometimes ask questions: I have a lot of trouble smiling; do any of you have that? And most often I get zilch for response. And I’ve asked before: isn’t there anybody over 40 on this website? No response. And lots of other questions too. I thought we were here at least partly to learn about our Asperger’s, to support each other.

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Comment By: amarok: …Greetings, I am over 40 and also educated. I signed up here some time ago but have been so busy that I haven’t really explored. Your post was kind of at the top of the list in the blog section. Take care, Amarok 

Comment By: peterd:…  Yes, way past 40 and educated past the point of no return. But you knew that…

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(g.veronese mask at www.toscano.com)

all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2008-2011 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

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good riddance 2009

Wednesday 30 December 2009…. 

 by: mishi                                                      

Posted on: 12-30-2009

(originally on wrongplanet.net)

 

turners fails

So the end of another year… the first full year without my own life and my animals and a home of my own. In 2008 I had all those things for a whole two and a half months.

The end of another year of not fitting, of finding most of what neurotypicals say either silly or totally lacking in any logical thought. Another year of being told by every Tom, Dick and Mary — whether they know me or not — to SMILE. The end of another year of oddness, of finding solid ground to stand on only in what little is left of my own world. I’ve had nearly 57 years like that. This is just the end of one more.                                                                             

 

read…    Braon…    Sehnen

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2008-2012 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Thursday 24 September 2009by: mishiPosted on: 09-24-2009 @ 10:46 am

 

 

Turners FallsNow I’m listening to an audio edition of Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. I’ve listened to this book once before, back in my own life. Though it’s a novel about a boy with Asperger’s, rather than a true story, I like it very much. Maybe you know it. I have many things in common with the character Christopher, though I kept inside all my life most of the impulses that he acts out. But I wanted to act them out; I wanted to a whole lot.Listening to the radio shows I listened to in my own life with my animals is too much, I can’t do it. Listening to books hurts less, so that’s what I hear. I can just hang around the rented room in silence.

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Back to Nobody, Nowhere

Saturday 19 September 2009

by: mishi

Posted on: 09-19-2009 @ 10:55 am                                                                                         

 

 

Greenfield

Well, Peter Black Forest has vanished. So it isn’t just the NT’s who disappear. Aspies do it too.

In point of fact, I found a lot in common with Donna Williams when I read her book, and she has a more severe autism. Maybe I’m somewhere between Asperger’s and Donna. Donna acted out as a child and I did not, but I wanted to. And also certain other things she experienced are very similar to things of mine. Especially shutting people completely out when some event or word or behavior had engendered too much fear and insecurity. This is something I still do, and have always done. I cannot move around the feeling of failure and defeat with a person.

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(wall plaque at www.whatonearthcatalog.com)

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Look Me in the Eye

Friday 11 September 2009

by: mishi  

(after a digression for animals, returning to the copying of wrongplanet posts)

Posted on: 09-11-2009 @ 11:01 am

 

 

Greenfield

It’s 18 months today since my life was taken. Sometimes…, well, nevermind.

I’m nearly finished with John Robison’s book, and still feel a lack of detail concerning his Asperger’s. Next I’m going to read his brother’s book, Running With Scissors, to see if I get a little more info there.

I wonder now and then what would have happened in my life if I’d never taken my parallel life in my head away from myself. It served as a buffer between me and the NT world, and when I made myself stop it at the age of 42, the NT world began to frighten me more and more with every passing year. If I’d kept that life in my head, would I not have grown increasingly more scared? And when people smell fear, they go for you. At least, that’s been MY experience.

 

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(dora maar menorah at www.signals.com)

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Current Conditions… in my time and my space

Page Fifty-six

Friday 4 September 2009/PeterBF             by: mishi                          Posted on: 09-04-2009 @ 12:21 pm

 

 

Current conditions aren’t easy to describe. Everything is on the 5 on-line journals, four of which I’m still busy updating. When I wrote them last year I was drowning in stress, anxiety, and anger, and I left out important details and observations that ought to be there.Current condition 1. is that 18 months ago I lost my home and everyone I love, due to this screwing by the Department of Mental Health, and at 55 was turned into a homeless, familyless bum by the people who were supposed to help me. I lost my own life and my own world. The grief goes on.

Current condition 2. is that shortly after the above disaster, I met the man who told me I was being protected by feds from people who wanted to kill me, and that it was related both to a mafia-connected tenant who had lived in my building, and a long-dead grandfather who had belonged to this same organization and been murdered by them. So, there are still many questions about this that Matthew has never responded to. He and the ones I call his boys are still here. I believe him to be an agent, but others believe him to be a liar, which is certainly within the realm of possibility, but I don’t buy it. I saw and heard too many things in my time with Matthew that convince me. In any case, I’m not delusional. If Matthew’s a liar, then I’m dumb. If he’s for real, then I got my information from HIM, not from my TV or voices in my head. People say “don’t think about it, even if it may be true.” But they tell me not to think about losing my whole world too. I’m not made that way. I already had PTSD before all of these things happened, and the new traumas of the last 18 months are the worst ever. I wonder if the people who say such things to me could truly do it themselves: not think about losing everyone they love in one day, not think about being made homeless by “helpers” at the age of 55, not think about agents on the street and other people who want to kill you, they want to kill you and they don’t even know you. Not to think about a grandfather you never knew the truth about until a year ago. These are huge, devastating things to me, and I can’t just pretend to myself that they are not.I’ve blabbed enough for one day. I was sick all night with a very nasty attack from my immune system and I didn’t go to the hospital to get the right medication. I’m better now than I was four or five hours ago, but still sick and tired enough to be angry and disgusted. No, I don’t have AIDS. I have the opposite, an immune system that works overtime and attacks me in a great variety of ways. I was born that way.

 

 

           

 

 

 

Comment By: peterd(Posted on 09-09-2009 @ 08:20 am)
Comment: Current conditions are never easy to describe – unless you’re someone not immersed in the reality of them. Sometimes I think that the only reason I’m still here is the hope of proving the bastards wrong. Sometimes I’m happier than that – until I’m proved wrong again. Last Sunday – Father’s day. I roasted a duck for my father and one of my sons. The only reason I have a life and a background against which to do such a thing is my partner, and life’s fairly cruel to her too. My dad – who, in my humble opinion is an aspie, but who hasn’t and is unlikely to ever have a background against which asperger’s could ever show up as anything more than an unsettling shadow – remarked that he’d thought of himself all his life as having a visual intelligence rather than a verbal one, and that he’d always had enormous difficulty remembering people’s names. My son – the aspie one – and I felt for him, but didn’t say much. Yes, we were born that way, but that’s not enough, is it?~~~~~~~~~~~~  website  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 (clip art photo)

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Naming things oneself

Page Fifty-five

Tuesday 1 September 2009/Naming

by: mishi  Posted on: 09-01-2009 @ 03:03 pm

 

 

Greenfield So I’m reading Robison’s Look Me In the Eye, and thus far I’ disappointed. There are far more details about life events than there are about how the Asperger’s affected him on a daily basis. That’s what I look for in these books, a lot of meat about the autistic symptoms themselves. Anyway, it’s the first book in which I’ve come across anything about naming. Robison says he liked to name people for himself, but he did it out loud.

I didn’t. All my life I’ve had names for various people, but they were secrets that I used only in my head or on my journals. And I name places, even if they already have their own names, I give them ones I like better. I even name plants and trees, when I don’t know their actual names. Anyway, I thought this naming thing was just an eccentricity of mine, but now I read about someone else with Asperger’s doing something similar.

 

 

Sorry the weeks have been rough, Peter D. Yesterday was an unusually bad day for me, and I haven’t reovered from it yet. If anyone has any interest, I wrote about it today on soulcast.com/sehnen. Maybe I name you Peter of the Black Forest, said forest being the troll-laden hierarchy you struggle in.

Peter D had left a comment, but once again malicious software has taken over. WrongPlanet pages, where this was originally written, have some kind of prgrammed format that got copied right along with my text. So when I reprint the pages here on WordPress, I have that nasty format I’m stuck with. For months it’s been working relatively well, the transfer, but for the last several weeks something in the WordPress program is going nuts when I try to edit the Wrongplanet format. Won’t let me scroll much, eats text all away if I do one lousy backspace, etc. Anyway, I had given Peter the nickname Black Forest Peter, and he’d replied that he’d once actually lived in a neighborhood called Black Forest when he was young and new in his career. He said he walked on air in those days, while “trolls” were “sniggering” all around him.

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(weird guys at www.toscano.com)

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Aspie Salmon

Page Fifty-three

Thursday 27 August 2009/PeterD

by: mishi     Posted on: 08-27-2009 @ 11:56 am

 

Well, this post, originally written in August 2009 on Wrongplanet, was just eaten by malicious software. It was addressed to someone on that website called Peter D, who had previously written to me about all neurotypicals marching in lockstep and doing their best to shun or belittle or otherwise bully us Aspies because we do not march to their step. And he’d left a very intelligent and honest comment on this post too about some of his struggles with NT’s at his job, which the software has also just eaten. He was about my age, and from Australia.

I had answered him in the eaten post to the effect that I’d also been swimming upstream all my life against the vast neurotypical tide of pressure to conform and be just like them. And that, like his, my success rate had always been very low. It’s too bad his very excellent and very human comment is now evaporated.

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