Secret Stims

This is a response post to this blog here: http://juststimming.wordpress.com/2011/10/05/quiet-hands/

 

I have to say I have written about my own abuse until you conform. I was diagnosed as an adult yet I know quiet hands. I think of all the ways I learned to stim in secret. There it is in the fabrics I clothe myself in, the softness of my cat, the texture of my keyboard. I paid ten dollars more for the right texture on the keys I type on. My hairbrush has to be a specific style so I can brush my hair without insanity creeping up my arm from the pain. The sights and sounds, all ways I stim. No one notices a woman smoothing her pants leg, or adjusting the way her blouse fits. So its safe.

I used to think this was a horrible secret, and I used to fight with myself to try to hold back for as long as I could. For me there is also aural stimming. Its not just the flap of hands until I catch myself. I usually make fists to hold back the stim when excited. I need sound and music sometimes just to be euphoric but also to think and process what others are saying.

More ways I stim in secret? The texture of my food. This has become more important as I age. I like creamy things. Soft things. Crunchy is nice too but my skin tears too easily so the rough texture after is a problem. Its all around me. My hair is too long so I keep having to pull it away because it sends the wrong brain signals and is too heavy for my head. I must pet the cats around me, to feel their texture and softness. In the dark without opening my eyes, the slight brush of fur tells me which cat is which. The weight tells me where. I pet them until I dream oruntil my wrists ache and I want to beg the world to stop so that I can endure a bit longer.

My cats know this. I can just tell them both I cannot touch them and they usually wait patiently. Sprite sleeps with two inches between us, her head on my pillow unless I have been really bad about being able to touch her. SOmetimes she wakes me up by wrapping her paws around my arm and tucking herself against me in a soft warm hug. Sometimes I take that pain just for her.

Every time I fight myself to let the stimulation in, I think of my parents. I think of one of the few times my mother got it right without the ambiguity of a follow up disaster. I wrote about it before, the occupational therapist who knew better. Better meaning no skin, horrible pain and a memory that is just a scream. I fight now to not let things ever get so bad that every thought is a scream but I sit here wondering why language must be turned into a homogenous thing. Stimming is language. I do not think about what it means when people talk via movement if they are autistic because its the same language. If they aren’t then I try to either watch them move or their face or try to pick out which tone they are using.

Why am I so aware of the torture children face daily that no one stops? Bullying pervades the schools because teachers can be bullies. I was one but I still see it. Its the little things that crush individuality all in the name of mediocrity. Uniforms, hair cuts, assigned seating. Sometimes the outcome is good but if there is no way to safely ask, because diagnosed or not children like I was learn its not safe before school and learning even begins, the outcome is tragic. Schooling isn’t about the grades but learning. Grades don’t reflect anything but obedience, spitting out knowledge on demand and attendance. Knowledge and Wisdom are not taught together either. Were they ever? I doubt it but I would like to think someday they will be.

I wear velvet pants, silky shirts, soft squishy fabric that feels like it is made out of wound up coils. I touch. I feel. I exist. I am there. Quiet hands… empty mind. I fade away until I am alone and myself returns again. Touch. Feel. Exist.

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2 Comments

  1. Great to see you write again Kat. Sending you loads of love and spoons, as always.

  2. “My cats know this. I can just tell them both I cannot touch them and they usually wait patiently.”

    Cats understand that you can show affection simply by being near someone, while seeming outwardly to be completely ignoring them. You see this a lot in intercat interactions – when they go and curl up to sleep about a foot apart from each other, it’s a clear sign that they like and trust each other.


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