Do you remember?

309385_1726401698592_1794918177_1085421_7087173_n

Do you remember?

Before the big bloggers, the sponsors, the adverts and the competitive edge of Pinterest perfectionism there was a community of friendly bloggers. It was a place where we found connection with others who were walking a similar path to our own. It was a place we could find friendship with people who had similar interests, and it was a place where there weren’t any trolls. Sitting down to write a post was as easy as writing an email to a friend.

I miss those days. I miss those bloggers.

Yesterday I was reminded of just how much I loved the blogosphere when a friend/author and fellow blogger posted me this link of a list from 2012.

21 Exceptionally Valuable Asperger’s Sites

I’m on that list, I’m number 7. 🙂
When seeing the list I actually cried and struggled to process. A lot of my Autism blogger friends no longer write and who I was, how I wrote back in 2012 holds a special place in my heart that I miss deeply. I also felt that I have let slip away a special interest and the joy of writing because of worrying too much about what other people think of me.

I got a message from a lady I met last week, her message was just what I needed to read. The message said, ” Thank you Lisa, I’ve learnt so much about myself from you xXx” (This was from a lady who suspects she has Aspergers.)

It made me think a lot, it made me ponder to why I had stopped writing and it made me feel deeply for other females undiagnosed in their 40’s who are still trying to find a way to fit. Then I went to find one of my most helpful posts that I read a lot when I struggle to remember why I feel so alien and why I constantly get so hurt.

I’m not ashamed of my Aspie traits.
Knowing I have Aspergers answers all the questions that have bogged my life. It’s just that it’s a lot easier to pretend to be NT and hide my feelings so no one else can hurt me. I can’t help but feel that hiding isn’t the answer and that I can push past the fear if I press into my faith.

****************************************************************

This is who I am…

(Post from 2012)

SPD,EFD,OCD & all that jazz!

I paced around my house this morning, talking to myself. Motivating myself to actually sit at my pc and write. I know when I need to write because I can find a thousand other creative things to do with my hands but my mind keeps speaking and looping on the words.

Writing for me is part of my process, a part of my healing from past hurts. It is also a way for me to move forward. Writing is my deliverer from

EFD (Executive Function Disorder)

SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder)

OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

All these “disorders” but still I keep going!

I have found my own way, it takes me longer and I might seem to get stuck at times or repeat myself, but I will get there eventually. What my brain cannot execute in the neurotypical way, my reflective reviews, journaling, ANT’s charts and blogging will help me sort through the fluff and confusion. I find the backbone, the root and the will.

Writing helps me to find my confidence in a world where I am constantly trying to learn an ever changing language. Favoured items are static they are easy to comprehend and automatically will gain trust and care. Animals can be studied and act in a predictable way most of the time with a need for self care. People are constantly changing they are unpredictable and fascinating. Change can cause me major insecurity, anxiety and even paranoia when I am not focused on helping myself but allowing myself to just drift along.

Sharing is like my accountability, it’s like me opening up a covenant I make with myself. In my openness and honesty I can no-longer keep making excuses and finding ways out.

A way out of what?

Honestly…I’m still coming to terms with not being able to fit!

That’s right, I’m still coming to terms with not being able to fit! It is so much easier to take my stroppy teenage view and think that people are just plan nasty. But I don’t believe they are, I know that there are a lot of lovely people in this world. Growing up undiagnosed without any early intervention has caused me deep scars. I will not let my past define who I am today, or who I am growing into tomorrow.

I document me because my process might help another

I went to see a psychologist a few weeks ago and the main thing I took away from this meeting was how deeply I hurt from always feeling socially isolated. Growing up always being the onlooker that would have loved to have had just one true friend. To have always been seeking deep and loyal friendship but never understood why I got left out. I now have to fight the mental scar of never really feeling that I am acceptable.

I have wonderful online friendships

They are with the most beautiful and loving people and I am so very grateful for each and every one of them. However in my everyday life I have surface level acquaintanceships where I can never really be myself. I still wear the mask.

I know how to look like I fit

I can look like I fit that well no-one even notices how much I am struggling. I found my own way of hiding in the mass, I’m the quiet observer that speaks when spoken to. I have lots of personas I can use for different environments. They are all so very well rehearsed within the loops and replays predicted in my mind. When in unfamiliar circumstances I pass as shy with a touch of eccentric, but that is not who I truly am. Truth being told being part of the social norm means I am forever treading water, swimming against the current, feeling out of my depth and it is so mentally draining and such bloody hard work.

My shutdowns have become a place of comfort

Within a shutdown I can block out everything, everyone and every thought. I know in this place that I can also block out me as I take a step away.

Over the years I have learned to switch off me so that I can focus on others and show the empathy, sympathy that I have been told I don’t understand. I have learned to take on another’s pain and carry it inside as to not be uncaring. SPD makes sure I feel it too. I didn’t realise that for most people it doesn’t physically hurt when they cry. I didn’t cry for many years when I shut out and shutdown to people. I can understand feelings, I have my understanding of empathy and I feel pain for others within me. I have always understood and I have always felt but I had to learn to show and express in the appropriate way. I have learned to show social kindness to others by being unkind to me.

I can forget to switch me back on

I then lose myself in the maze of life and the passion of people puzzles. My brain loves puzzles, my brain loves finding answers, my heart wants to love and feel loved. People are not puzzles and trying to help is not always what is needed. This is not logical in my mind but I learned to not speak and just to show a certain facial expression I learned from watching my Mom.

I get so busy pleasing others, being who I think they want me to be, that I simply forget to be me. I need to remember to find grounding. I need to remember to return to self. I need to remember that I am worth knowing. I need to remember that I am a unique and loving individual. I need to remember to find my safe place. My Mom was my safe place and without her I can feel very lost. I can find comfort and safety within my faith most of the time. I can also find my safe place when I find me again within my special interests.

What stops me?

I’m still coming to terms with being a dyslexic aspergic geek!

So this is my next step

I need to let the geek out, I need to let me be me.

Face to face female friendships are so socially confusing for me. My geeky intensity and passion for interest is avoided by most NT women. I totally get this and that’s why I don’t let me out very often. When I do I have a wonderful time just being myself.

Let’s face fact though, Aspie women are good at hiding, we are excellent actresses. We learn how to fit or not be seen. When we do get real and some polite person chats and makes us feel accepted, we get excited and forget to hold back a little, we think we have found a friend and can’t wait to see them again. Then we are avoided and the pain we feel from rejection brings back every foul memory from every negative loop we have.

We don’t do the chit chat well. We tend to be too honest and open. We take the conversation to a level that stimulates our own mind without realising we make others uncomfortable. I mean who really wants to get deep and intense about …(insert your own special interests here)… writing, poetry, art, spirituality, ASD’s, animals, fishes, quotes, images, blogging, fantasy and trees.

I find companionship within the blogosphere and I LOVE it

One thing I don’t have is face to face communication with like minded friends.

For any future friends this is who I am.

  • I need to feel accepted and loved for just being me.
  • I need friends who understand I can’t always maintain eye contact but it doesn’t mean I’m not interested.
  • I sometimes need to be intense, it’s how my mind stays focused.
  • I will drift off into daydreams and tangent thoughts but it doesn’t mean I’m not listening.
  • I sometimes just need to be quiet and I need you to be quiet with me while I think.
  • Just because I stop talking doesn’t mean I have finished expressing.
  • I want to be a good friend, I will think of your needs more than my own at times which can make me somewhat annoying.
  • I can get very insecure and feel my ways have hurt you, I fear rejection so I over compensate by being too open and over loving.
  • I am honest and I care deeply
  • I look for what is good in a person but I can be rather naive and gullible.
  • I can be very silly and giggley at times, in these times I may seem insensitive to your needs so I need you to tell me if you need me to be sensible.
  • I won’t just pick up on your feelings by looking at your face.
  • I need to be able to trust, without trust I can’t function within friendship.

I know that God will help me find a way forward. I’m just sharing as I process.

Love and hugs. xx 🙂

Who else is going to share?

Has anyone noticed that I’m not really blogging much these days? I want to, I really do, but every time I open up a fresh document to start typing I feel a bit lost. I don’t know why this has happened, it just has. I have been feeling like this for a few months, I have been finding inspiration in my old posts. I’ve reposted old posts and added a few new poems but nothing I feel I will look back on and say, “Oh yes that was a turning point for me!”

Writing helps me

I will keep pushing through knowing that this will soon pass. I have been having no problems at all with writing in my prayer journal and reflective journal. Also I have shared many deep thoughts and inspirations privately with my closest friends. Its just blogging I’m struggling with. I seem to have lost the effort.

I thought maybe it was because I felt hurt

I have been struggling to comment on blogs because of fear. I have been blogging four year this year and other bloggers have not always been kind. Some have taken me wrong; they don’t know me or see my heart. I stopped commenting a while back and only comment on my friends blogs where I feel safe. Where I know they will protect me if I get taken wrongly or if I get bullied or verbally attacked.

I thought maybe it was time to call it a day and make my blog private. I even thought at one point of deactivating my blog; thank goodness I didn’t as all 667 posts I have shared would now no longer exist.

My not knowing loop is a big black hole

Some time ago my lovely friend Fi, from Wonderfully Wired wrote a post called “The Spinning Question Mark.” In this post was a beautiful conversation that she had with one of her little boys. Both of her sons are on the spectrum and reading about them helps me to remember. They are so very like me in their aspieness, especially *Harley!

In Fiona’s post *Harley speaks to his Mum about seeing in pictures. To me this is my normal; it was only four years ago that I realised that my way of thinking is different. He talks about his spinning question mark when he doesn’t understand something.

Here is small piece from Fi’s post.

So I thought I’d take it further.

“Harley, what do you see if I say the word ‘Volkswagen’? Do you see that same car again?”

“No”. He said. “I see an empty box with a big question mark over it spinning around and around because I don’t know what a Volkswagen is”.

Wow. I knew I was onto something so I dug deeper and asked him: “Do you see a spinning question mark a lot?”

He nodded. “Yes, every time someone says a word that I’ve never heard before. It is what I see when I don’t understand what the other person is talking about. I hate it when I see that question mark. I feel stupid and that’s why I sometimes get angry”

My thoughts that I shared.

My spinning question mark is a hole, a black hole like in space. And yep, when people all talk fast or over each other the pictures make no sense. Talking with one person at a time is so much easier. When in a group of people I can’t really listen and will zone out, daydream on a tangent thought triggered by an image.

I just thought everyone thought like this. It makes so much sense now I know they don’t. No wonder other women can chat like they do. It really fuzzes my head being in a group of women all talking at the same time, way too many pictures bumping into one another…hehe

I cope by either being the quiet onlooker, the one that looks shy and listens. You know me better than anyone Fi; you know I am not shy or quiet. Or, I can cope by being the loud one that doesn’t listen at all, the one with loads of ideas who is a bit bossy. This depends on my confidence level and who the people are.

The pictures are so strong they can stop me from eating. I tried to explain this to Mr Locoman the other day. I cooked a soup and couldn’t enjoy it without my soup spoon. It just didn’t seem to taste at all. I told him that all I could think of is my soup spoon because I am at home and when I am at home eating soup I need to eat it with my soup spoon. I did try a different spoon but the size was wrong and all I kept seeing was my spoon with the pretty engraved roses on it. As a kid I would have refused to eat. As an adult I try to fix things, I try to fix me. So many of my past experiences can be explained by understanding myself and how I tick. Understanding why I am different and why people have treated me the way they have.

I have hope that things will change

I believe that it is when NT parents and adult aspies combine their journeys that we will bring true awareness of Autism. I only know my spectrummy ways but having a friend like Fi (who is NT) helps me to understand the way others think. Also me helping her to see it through my aspie eyes has helped her to understand her boys, she told me so and that has got to be helpful…right?

So, why do I keep sharing?

I share because:

  • I have a head full of thoughts that might just help someone.
  • I have a life time of history on the spectrum.
  • I love all people even when they show very little love in return.
  • I hate the thought of any child going through school unnoticed.
  • I hate the thought of any child sitting thinking of space because of all the black holes in a day. Then being told they are stupid, ignorant, thick or a nuisance.
  • I hurt inside knowing that there are kids whose parents want them fixed.
  • I believe that maybe my life has a purpose and me sharing is a good thing.
  • I know that through fighting my fears I grow and I want to grow and learn.
  • I want people to understand that Autism doesn’t mean lacking empathy.
  • I have traits that are unnoticeable but every day I struggle, writing it out helps me.
  • In writing I have found connections, I no longer feel alone.
  • I have a need to communicate; most people are not interested in what I have to say.
  • I can’t always talk; sometimes I go for days without talking at all even though I want to. I share to release a build up of stored away expression.
  • I need an outlet and writing is very freeing for me.
  • Also…One day I won’t be around to tell my kids about this journey.

I share because it’s the right thing to do even when the fear of being me to the world keeps me awake at night. Even when I know there is a possibility of waking up and finding comments on my blog that are full of hate and manipulation. Even when I know that something I share might not be what someone close to me wants to read.

This is my journey and I will jolly well write about it.

I’m sick of hiding behind a mask, I’m sick of walking on egg shells. I will keep writing and I will probably get it wrong a few more times yet but I will not be sitting in a corner with my coat pulled over my head. That was me at school. I am not a child anymore, I have found my words and I will use my words. People need to know and little aspies can’t speak it out for themselves. I remember and I can write about it, it’s up to others if they want to read. Who else is going to help? Textbooks given to teachers and a few lectures is NOT enough in my opinion. I have lived it and my life is not worthless, it is worth sharing.

Who else is going to share?

perfectlove

Trying to write again

1012232_4448425467485_238298099_nTrying to write again

by Alienhippy

From the depth of my emotion and the mess within my mind

I know that words will come as I write my way to find

A comfort deep inside me and a voice which often calls

Ignoring it is pointless, how I’m made cries out for rules

~

Trigger words and images that cause my mind to bend

Trying to filter through the crap and not hide from my friends

I want to be the way I was and share my poetry

But times have changed, I’m feeling lost, I’m struggling to see

~

Where I fit and if I’m needed, so I grasp this safety rope

Begging God to help me find a way to not lose hope

To accept the place I’m given and the distance that we share

And pray to love with deeper love because in love I bear

~

This pain of never feeling in the same room, time or space

Wanting, waiting, praying for acceptance, face to face

Hoping that one day being me, I will embrace

But for now I ponder on, knowing God will show me grace

~

I’m not like many others I care deeper than most do

I cannot switch off thought nor heart I have to pray them through

I have to take myself, my pain, my love, sin, fear and loss

Being still and listening and learning from The Cross

Sensory, empathy, fight and flight

Hunting Happiness Project

Hunting Happiness Project

Sensory, empathy, fight and flight

As I was buttering my toast this morning I felt a gentle breeze blow across my arm. The kitchen window was open; there was the smell of damp grass mingled in the cool breeze. This combination of coolness, scent and light touch instantly took me into a visual replay from when I was about 10 years old.

This memory was a happy memory of a camping holiday. I was quite happy being back there with Mom, Dad and my brother. I was lying on the top bunk in our little touring caravan. Dad was making toast outside and passing it to Mom so she could butter it just the way I liked it, while it was still piping hot.

(I wouldn’t eat toast if it wasn’t buttered correctly; I didn’t like the texture…hehe)

Now usually the smell of toast takes me back to my Nan’s kitchen. So I pondered on the differences that the emotional and visual response had through my sensory system. My visuals are as clear as a film; it’s as if I step back in time. Sometimes though, if it’s a negative experience, I have no visuals, I have blank spots and just emotional reactions that I cannot place or understand. It was this that made me stop and think as I know I can misplace feelings especially fear.

What I asked myself…

Could it be that such a subtle change can cause me such a different response?

Does this happen throughout my days without me noticing?

Is this another thing that affect my emotional and mental state?

What does this mean to me personally?

I also thought about how I can be perfectly happy some days and then for no reason I can understand suddenly become so anxious and insecure I can barely function.

I then processed deeper

Those who know a bit about the Autism Spectrum will have heard of the fight or flight response. Fear is what makes all people either run and hide or fight for what they believe in. Those of us with sensory processing disorder (SPD) can’t always understand the feelings or emotional reaction we get from fear. We can also misplace fear with other stimulus. I have been told that I seem aloof; this is how I am perceived in a group of people. I am not an unfriendly person, those who know me know I love being with others. I just struggle to process when there is too much going on. This makes me shy away so I can feel safe.

My mind is puzzling all this out for my own benefit at the moment.

I know from past experience that the only way I have been able to not let the actions of others or the ways of this world affect me, was to isolate myself and switch off to caring about people. It was a sad a lonely place that I don’t ever want to return to. But in not caring about people I also stopped caring what people thought of me, why I wasn’t part of things and why I was always left out. When I didn’t care, nothing seemed to matter.

Through allowing myself to care, to feel, to switch on my heart means I experience empathy at a whole new level. But it also means I am not alone and I have found deep friendship. Allowing myself to be in the shoes of another and feeling the pain they carry means I feel it too. I have found prayer helps me most of the time. However on my not so good days I am unable to release this pain through prayer because I am looping too much in my mind. These days I have to retreat and not add anymore confusion to filter through.

I know that I am an extremely sensitive person. I can’t always process the overload of emotional and sensory input. I choose to not hide anymore, I choose to ask questions and seek answers. I choose to find others who are like me so I no longer feel alone in the world. Through the internet I have met many people who are like me, spiritual, sensitive, loving people who courageously choose to keep giving.

I wrote a post back in 2010 called Toys and Empathy.

It talks about how as a small child I watched some film footage of starving children in a third world country. The emotional and physical pain I carried from this visual was so intense it pushed me to giving all my toys to charity in the hope I would save a child’s life.

In that post I also said this…

I think that the lack of empathy thing is just a shut down mechanism of self protection because emotion is so intense…

I just know that when I gave my toys away it was because I cared deeply for children I would never meet, and I was willing to go without my faithful friends so they would live. I don’t believe that I lack empathy and I don’t believe other Aspies do either. But this is just my understanding.

I read a post recently that is a new theory written by a professional. It backs up some of what I am saying here. Aspies do not lack empathy; we switch off because we feel too much.

Quote from the post…

A groundbreaking study suggests people with autism-spectrum disorders such as Asperger’s do not lack empathy—rather they feel others’ emotions too intensely to cope.

Link to that post… A Radical New Autism Theory

I am still processing all this information.

Once I pull my thoughts together and find a way of helping myself through this I will share more. I can see that as a small child I seemed to know myself so much better. It is trying to fit into what’s considered the social norm that has chipped away at everything I once was. But it has also given me who I am today.

Thank you for reading. Love and hugs. xx 🙂

The Aspie Coach

The Aspie Coach

7 packs of hardwood

This week I was met with a dilemma. To do what is seen as right and expected of me or to do what my inner voice was calling me to do. For a reasonably intelligent woman I can be remarkably stupid at times. This is how the story goes.

For the last seven weeks I have dragged my butt to an ASD parenting group. Our psychologist said she was reluctant about sending me but maybe, just maybe there might be some therapies that I can implement in some way. She had also said that my positive outlook and the information I had shared with her was extremely refreshing. She even asked me to think about re-writing a booklet that she has to give to teens that have just been diagnosed with Aspergers. I felt very honoured and also humbled by this lovely lady and her heart to find the best way forward for my little *CAL.

*CAL is going to a social development group that is helping her, so I thought that this might be something that would be helpful for me. I will try anything as I believe there are lessons everywhere when we are open to learning. I also thought that I might make a few friends with people walking a similar path, sharing a similar journey.

The first two weeks at the ASD parenting group I kept quiet, I did what every female Aspie does. I sussed them out. I only spoke when I needed to and I made myself fit just enough to pass as NT. By the time we are in our mid twenties most Aspie girls have figured this out. We learn to act and wear a mask, we learn to look social and connected eventhough we still feel lost, alone and incredibly vulnerable.

The third week things changed, I had already spoken with the therapist and the psychologist that are running this course. I had spoken to them because the social activities were not great for me and I was having to escape to the loo to desensitize. The third week I told the class, I let them all know… “I’m not just here as a parent to ASD, I am Autistic. I live the life of a person on the spectrum. I am an adult with Aspergers.”

Things didn’t change much, I still had to listen to the negative stories and hold my tongue each time the words cure, fix, change came about. Also the… Why can’t she/he just…? When will she/he stop…? I am so fed-up of Autism, why did it…?

See this is where I feel that I fail.

I have so much empathy, patience, compassion and love for parents who are truly struggling to find the best ways to help their babies. But when I have to listen week in and week out to how someone like me should not have been born. Or if there was a home I could go and live in and come out at weekends. Why is it so hard for me to just sit still? Why can’t I just be who everyone else wants me to be? Or WHY can’t I just dry myself with a bath towel like a normal person? Why can’t I just enjoy going shopping and stop with all the whining?

I know that these things are not aimed at me, but it’s so hard to not feel that they are. I haven’t been quiet, I have voiced the whys in the kindest and most respectful way I could. Maybe some of them heard, I hope so. There is always a maybe and there is always hope.

This week as I drove to my group all the way there I prayed.

Please God help me be loving, help me be kind, help me be patient. Father, I really don’t want to go I would so much rather be home doing my DIY. But maybe there is a reason why I am there and maybe this week I will understand this reason. Please shield me and help me to be strong. Protect me from absorbing the negative words and help me to keep knowing that my Mom loved me unconditionally, she didn’t feel that way about me. Help me to have the heart to see past the words and feel the pain that these parents carry. Give me the words to bring comfort to them and give me the wisdom to know when not to speak.

I parked up on the road about a 3 minute walk from the building.

I took a deep breath and looked at the clock. I was already late and I didn’t know what room I needed to go to. Panic rose up inside of me. Then I spotted about ten feet away from my car a pile of wood. I needed a nice piece of wood for some new coat hooks for *AJ’s bedroom. “No Lisa, you are trying to de-clutter not collect more.” 

This is how my brain will puzzle

I get out of my car, put my folder and coffee on the roof while I put on my coat and grab my handbag. From this angle I could see that there were also packs of wood standing up the lamppost.

Could it be that someone had thrown out brand new packs of hardwood flooring?

Yes, they have!

I looked through the packs, there were seven packs of hardwood flooring. All of them sealed and new, enough to re-floor my reception area. I freeze and go off into my own world of thoughts.

What should I do? Is this God telling me to go home and do my DIY like I prayed about? But I am already late and I have to go to this group it might help me, I might learn something. But I really hate going to this group, it is so draining for me. I always switch off after the first two hours because I emotionally shutdown. But maybe it will be different this week, maybe someone might be friendly and actually interested in hearing about what it’s like to be over sensitive to sensory experiences. Maybe they might want to know about what it is like to see all the details and miss the bigger picture. Maybe? But look at this wood, it’s so pretty and it’s all here ready to be collected by the council and taken to the dump. I don’t know what to do? I feel confused now, what should I do?

I look back at my car and again at the time and then once more at the wood.

Ok, you drove all this way to go to this ASD parenting class, do what you are meant to do. If it is still here when you get back then put it in the car and take it home. You are running late it will take at least fifteen more minutes to get this into the car. Do you really want to walk in and have everyone look at you because you are late and disturbing the group?

The class was horrible.

I switched off after the first hour and sent fb messages to my friends so I could stay positive. When I got back to my car the wood was gone. I looked it up at my local DIY store £45 per pack. £315 worth of high quality flooring that I walked away from because I can’t break the stupid rules.

My lesson…What I learned

I am more than Autism, I’m an encyclopaedia of my own Aspie traits. I don’t need lessons on how to parent my Aspie kids, I love them more than life itself I will always find what is best for them. What I do need is… I need to be accepted and respected for who I am and so does every person on the spectrum. We might be odd and quirky, we might be a little different but to us we are fine just the way we are. It’s when we are expected to fit into a world that tells us we are wrong that the problems start. I said to my friend the other day, “If I was a shepherd and I spent my days out in a field talking to and looking after my sheep, I wouldn’t have to try to fit I’d fit just fine. It’s people pressure and the push to conform into a mould that is not mine that causes me pain.”

Next time God leaves me a pile of wood; I’ll listen with my heart and not loop in my head.

I’m sick of always doing what is expected of me and missing out on what is actually beneficial for me. I would have been so much happier fitting a new floor instead of looking at the floor sitting with a group of people who want people like me fixed. It’s time for me to shine and I can only do that if I am being me to the full.

I’m not giving up (To This Day)

I’m not really feeling much like writing lately, but I haven’t forgotten about my blogs. I have a few ideas of what I want to write about but to be honest, every time I sit down at my pc to write I feel like I can’t be bothered. I am writing constantly for myself and sharing with my closest friends and family all that I am able to express. I haven’t gone into isolation, I just feel I am growing in a new direction.

Autism is not all that I am

Aspergers does not define me. I am me and not ready to give up being me. I have just gotten to a point where the online autism community is showing a side to it that I do not like. I miss the early days when I first started blogging. Blogging was fresh and people were loving, I love finding new bloggers who have that excitement about them, but I really struggle when I come across a blog that is so obviously putting down others. We are all on this complex journey, we all have a story to tell. Some of us are Autie/Aspie self advocates and some of us are advocating for someone we love who is on the spectrum. Then there are those (like myself) who do both. It’s hard to be in the middle of two camps and not know where to pitch my tent. If writing helps a person to not feel alone then why do some people feel a need to be so vile.

When I first started blogging there was less competing, bickering and nastiness. We were just about sharing and connecting, not being constantly right at the expense of another. I have watched wonderful writers come and go, friends I have made through writing that have now disappeared. Gone back to a safe place where they won’t keep getting hurt, the bullying is so subtle but it is there. What happened to, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

I’m reminding of school again

That’s right, this online world of my blog, the very place where I should feel I can be me. Somewhere I used to be able to express my life, my history and experiences as an adult with Aspergers. It has now become yet another playground of fear. But like I said, I’m not about to give up I’m going to keep praying and finding a way for me to keep sharing.

Love and hugs all. xxx

A lovely friend of mine shared this video on her facebook

I thought that this poem speaks louder than any words I can find.

Who else is going to share?

Hello my lovely Bloggy friends,

Has anyone noticed that I’m not really blogging much these days? I want to, I really do, but every time I open up a fresh document to start typing I feel a bit lost. I don’t know why this has happened, it just has. I have been feeling like this for a few months, I have been finding inspiration in my old posts. I’ve reposted old posts and added a few new poems but nothing I feel I will look back on and say, “Oh yes that was a turning point for me!”

Writing helps me

I will keep pushing through knowing that this will soon pass. I have been having no problems at all with writing in my prayer journal and reflective journal. Also I have shared many deep thoughts and inspirations privately with my closest friends. Its just blogging I’m struggling with. I seem to have lost the effort.

I thought maybe it was because I felt hurt

I have been struggling to comment on blogs because of fear. I have been blogging three year this year and other bloggers have not always been kind. Some have taken me wrong; they don’t know me or see my heart. I stopped commenting a while back and only comment on my friends blogs where I feel safe. Where I know they will protect me if I get taken wrongly or if I get bullied or verbally attacked.

I thought maybe it was time to call it a day and make my blog private. I even thought at one point of deactivating my blog; thank goodness I didn’t as all 653 posts I have shared would now no longer exist.

My not knowing loop is a big black hole

A few days ago my lovely friend Fi, from Wonderfully Wired, wrote a post called The Spinning Question Mark. In this post was a beautiful conversation that she had with one of her little boys. Both of her sons are on the spectrum and reading about them helps me to remember. They are so very like me in their aspieness, especially *Harley!

In THIS post *Harley speaks to his Mum about seeing in pictures. To me this is my normal; it was only three years ago that I realised that my way of thinking is different. He talks about his spinning question mark when he doesn’t understand something.

Here is small piece from Fi’s post but please go and read it, it’s one not to miss.

So I thought I’d take it further.

“Harley, what do you see if I say the word ‘Volkswagen’? Do you see that same car again?”

“No”. He said. “I see an empty box with a big question mark over it spinning around and around because I don’t know what a Volkswagen is”.

Wow. I knew I was onto something so I dug deeper and asked him: “Do you see a spinning question mark a lot?”

He nodded. “Yes, every time someone says a word that I’ve never heard before. It is what I see when I don’t understand what the other person is talking about. I hate it when I see that question mark. I feel stupid and that’s why I sometimes get angry”

Comments I left for my lovely friend Fi

My spinning question mark is a hole, a black hole like in space. And yep, when people all talk fast or over each other the pictures make no sense. Talking with one person at a time is so much easier. When in a group of people I can’t really listen and will zone out, daydream on a tangent thought triggered by an image.

I just thought everyone thought like this. It makes so much sense now I know they don’t. No wonder other women can chat like they do. It really fuzzes my head being in a group of women all talking at the same time, way too many pictures bumping into one another…hehe

I cope by either being the quiet onlooker, the one that looks shy and listens. You know me better than anyone Fi; you know I am not shy or quiet. Or, I can cope by being the loud one that doesn’t listen at all, the one with loads of ideas who is a bit bossy. This depends on my confidence level and who the people are.

The pictures are so strong they can stop me from eating. I tried to explain this to Mr Locoman the other day. I cooked a soup and couldn’t enjoy it without my soup spoon. It just didn’t seem to taste at all. I told him that all I could think of is my soup spoon because I am at home and when I am at home eating soup I need to eat it with my soup spoon. I did try a different spoon but the size was wrong and all I kept seeing was my spoon with the pretty engraved roses on it. As a kid I would have refused to eat. As an adult I try to fix things, I try to fix me. So many of my past experiences can be explained by understanding myself and how I tick. Understanding why I am different and why people have treated me the way they have.

I have hope that things will change

I believe that it is when NT parents and adult aspies combine their journeys that we will bring true awareness of Autism. I only know my spectrummy ways but having a friend like Fi (who is NT) helps me to understand the way others think. Also me helping her to see it through my aspie eyes has helped her to understand her boys, she told me so and that has got to be helpful…right?

So, why do I keep sharing?

I share because:

  • I have a head full of thoughts that might just help someone.
  • I have a life time of history on the spectrum.
  • I love all people even when they show very little love in return.
  • I hate the thought of any child going through school unnoticed.
  • I hate the thought of any child sitting thinking of space because of all the black holes in a day. Then being told they are stupid, ignorant, thick or a nuisance.
  • I hurt inside knowing that there are kids whose parents want them fixed.
  • I believe that maybe my life has a purpose and me sharing is a good thing.
  • I know that through fighting my fears I grow and I want to grow and learn.
  • I want people to understand that Autism doesn’t mean lacking empathy.
  • I have traits that are unnoticeable but every day I struggle, writing it out helps me.
  • In writing I have found connections, I no longer feel alone.
  • I have a need to communicate; most people are not interested in what I have to say.
  • I can’t always talk; sometimes I go for days without talking at all even though I want to. I share to release a build up of stored away expression.
  • I need an outlet and writing is very freeing for me.
  • Also…One day I won’t be around to tell my kids about this journey.

I share because it’s the right thing to do even when the fear of being me to the world keeps me awake at night. Even when I know there is a possibility of waking up and finding comments on my blog that are full of hate and manipulation. Even when I know that something I share might not be what someone close to me wants to read.

This is my journey and I will jolly well write about it.

I’m sick of hiding behind a mask, I’m sick of walking on egg shells. I will keep writing and I will probably get it wrong a few more times yet but I will not be sitting in a corner with my coat pulled over my head. That was me at school. I am not a child anymore, I have found my words and I will use my words. People need to know and little aspies can’t speak it out for themselves. I remember and I can write about it, it’s up to others if they want to read. Who else is going to help? Textbooks given to teachers and a few lectures is NOT enough in my opinion. I have lived it and my life is not worthless, it is worth sharing.

Who else is going to share?

perfectlove