Why Bullying isn’t Healthy for ANYONE, a post intended for Karen Kabaki Sisto (Trigger warning for everyone else also I cussed a bit))

I know I have not posted in some time but the surgery I had and slew of failgivers and bad agency issues took my writing spoons for survival. I am just getting settled with my new carer from a new agency and this article has come out that I cannot even finish. This post like most of what I write has a trigger warning for a reason.  Here is the article by the person I am chewing out below.

Dear Karen-

I am calling you out. The initial title of this post? You better run bitch. Why? The internet is coming for you. You see you did something stupid. You wrote an article that promotes bullying. The idea that bullying is acceptable for anyone is already disproven. Children die daily because they cannot endure bullying and the pain it is caused. These are not just autistic children but children across the human spectrum, some of whom fall into the category of normal. People of all ages are bullied for skin color, eye color, hair color, weight, ability, and so many things I cannot list it all. Bullying is always arbitrary and boils down to psychological trauma that sometimes never heals. It shatters confidence.

The article, as far as I could read sounded like my mother. I deserved to be bullied because it would make me stronger. I was weak because I couldn’t take the pain. That is bullshit. I am not weak. Medically, I admit I am, but mentally I have dealt with things people should never be able to imagine coping with, and I am still alive. I have spent my life aware of death itself because of my body and more so my family. My family of monsters. I am angry this was written because there will be people who do not think before they act, and will traumatize already fragile people. Autistics get bullied all the time, this simply removes potential resources. Of course this is also from the people who created the ABA system of abuse. They call it therapy but I mean mother fucking abuse.

In the end I cannot stand by and be silent on this. Bullying caused me to cut myself. With my medical conditions this could be fatal. I thought between my parents and the other children I deserved pain. I thought that if I cut myself maybe they would stop. If I hurt just a little more I would be purified by that pain and worthy. Some of this is through the lense of absurd religion but not all of it is. I am crying as I write this because I know out there people are dying a slow death from bullying and this article will cost them dearly. I am crying because I cannot protect them if I am silent. So I am roaring.

Here are ten effects of bullying regardless of autism.

1. PTSD- Post Traumatic stress is not a choice there is no pushing through it and it can forever undermine self confidence. Avoiding triggers is the treatment, and like avoiding allergens to not die or spontaneously combust into hives and anaphalaxis this is not really effective because its impossible. Anything around at the trauma from a scent, lighting, touch, voice, words, or even clothing can become a trigger and you will not know until you find out the hard way.

2. Lowered Confidence- Confident people succeed. We do. I had to rebuild myself and am lucky I could but not everyone is able to do that with or without help.

3. Depression- This too can feed lowered confidence and can get you bullied. Don’t feel u p to anything because you hurt so much and are sad? People WILL bully you for that. Depression is hard to live with and bullying is a cause. Depression is also painful and often causes people to kill themselves.

4. Lower grades- You do notlearn when afraid, you learn less when stressed. There must be a safe place for people to go to learn. Living without one creates a priority of survival not education. You can’t focus on algebra because you are focused on not sitting wrongly, or the physical threats that bullying can entail. Sometimes people even drop out.

5. Social Isolation- Bullying makes it harder to make friends. Cliques aka human herds are social. While not every autistic is social many are, and this deprives them of the opportunity to make friends, to learn because a bully takes out your friends too. No one wants to endanger themselves for a stranger. Sometimes not for people they know. Bullies are dangerous, predators even.

6. Health issues- Bullied for weight? Well you may just end up anorexic. Bullied with physical violence? You could end up with serious physical trauma that disables you. It can also be BOTH THINGS. Bullying can even cause sexual dysfunction, increase the trauma of having puberty, and living in stress is also just bad for you. Hypertension, heart issues, bad diet, inability to sleep just to name a few.

7. Violent Retaliation- I have written about it before, but I nearly blew up my high school to kill everyone so allthe pain stopped. I also realized this was not healthy and stopped myself. Not everyone has that ability and sometimes these victims make more victims in a violence chain reaction. School shootings, the shooters are often bullied. This isn’t once or twice. Its not “Just Columbine”. Its also not always so clear cut. I became so afraid of bullies and had no safe home and ended up hurting the only friend I made before I was an adult because I didn’t have the ability to think past the fear and she touched my food. Yes I was also abused at home but a lot of bullied kids are, not just the bullies and sometimes those bullies have healthy home lives despite what the Film Industry/TV Industry tropes are.

8. Alchohol and Drug Abuse- Oddly bullies tend to be more prone to drug and alchohol abuse in some studies than their victims but compared to non bullies/bullied people both parties are much more likely to drink. Bullying is not just bad for the victim but creates bad mental hygiene for a life time.

9. Criminal Records- I can vote because my mistake of assaulting my friend came at the right age but not everyone is so lucky to get help and both violent responders to bullying and bullies still have to live with the consequences of their actions and reactions for life. I can’t forget, even with two brain injuries, the realization that I nearly killed my friend. I have to live with that feeling forever. Any time I think of her, it is there. A reformed bully joins me there but often they continue to escalate into other criminal behaviors, as bullying is another word for assault in MANY areas.

10. Missed Opportunities- Bullies and their victims both miss opportunities. Later in life the victim may be successful, needing to hire someone. The bully applies and… I would not hire them if I was in HR. This applies to non work things too. I have forgone games and social outings because an abuser/bully was there. Sometimes I tell the bully/abuser to fuck off, but I am an adult and aware of my power. I am the rare person who despite all of the crap they endured is able to do so. Its not common.

I am I think the sort of person who inspired this false and illogical article. I am strong. I am tough. I kick asses and take names. I push myself and sometimes I can’t get past the bullying. It still hurts me. That isn’t stronger. Stronger would be less of that. If I had not been bullied at school I would have had a refuge. Not having that? I tried to kill myself a few times and failed. I didn’t get found or helped, I just didn’t do it right. I am glad of that but telling me that I am stronger because of this is an insult to my intelligence, common sense, and every autist on the planet. I understand the writer wants to justify their being a bully, but I hope ANYONE with children near them runs, because this isn’t a red flag. This is a sign that reads: I am an abuser. I will hurt you. I will hurt the ones you love. I will forever scar the minds of innocents. I am also not qualified for anything. Not even McDonalds.

No one should be bullied. Autistic children are much more vulnerable, as we still cannot even be guaranteed education, access or care. We are discriminated against at all levels. I have been denied access to medications because of autism, endangering my life. I have been denied access to necessary law enforcement. Autistics are already trained to obey everyone, by ABA which the author supports. We can ill afford more of the same. It is much arder to stand up and say no. A lot of the reason Autistics struggle with these things swings back to being bullied. Bullying is abuse. Calling abuse healthy is assinine. A lot of this post was edited to remove the word fuck and many other unfriendly epithets to the originator of that piece of shit article. I am still cursing in it because frankly, that fucking piece of trash article deserves to be called exactly what it is.

Karen Kabaki Sisto M.S. CCC-SLP I hope you read this. I hope you understand that this paragraph was originally cursing and I hope you learn something. Bullying doesn’t give any perks. Putting the burden of the victim on making it about team work, autism awareness every month, claiming we learn verbal skills when we are terrified of being harmed, grow stronger, gain friends, and a better well being shows me you have NOT looked at the effects of bullying at all and are either high or stupid. Self Esteem is often low in autistic children because of bullying. Please, quit your job. This is not said lightly but quit your job. You don’t belong near vulnerable people.

I will be blogging extensively about your article and I hope you get this on your “other folder.” I also hope you read my article. As an autistic adult I am more qualified than you are to deal with autism and you have proven to be the least qualified hack  since Jenny McCarthy. For your education here is a link from me to you, about the risks associated with bullying. I didn’t consult it, because I know them by living them.

Voices Rising from Silence (PTSD Trigger Warning)

As an advocate for myself and when I can other people I run into a question a lot. “How do you do this?” This question most often comes from my fellow autistics. As someone diagnosed as an adult I find a lot of my experiences without diagnosis mirror the “medical treatments” others on spectrum who were diagnosed have. Child abuse in disguise as therapy in order to teach control reigns the autistic childhood, we learn silence. We learn stillness. We are erased with in our own bodies as much as possible. We are punished for existing. The best autistic parents even do parts of this because there is no voice that they hear, yet, from the autistic community. Our song has just begun.

The autistic culture is one of enforced shame, it is one where we deal with a lot of hate just for being. This is in part due to a lot of hate organisations like Autism Speaks, who sink their budget not into helping people but into quackery, negative ad campaigns and convincing newly minted parents of autistic children that their children are a burden. That their children will never live on their own, get married, have a “real job”, or anything that is valued as productivity. These parents are convinced that there is only pain in the life of the autist. So they create more of that pain, feeding it. I do not deny that a lot of things with autism really suck but I LOVE who I am.

How does one learn to speak? I think this how to might apply to survivors from many types of abuse. It is about regaining the voice. This process is not universal and is a general guideline to what I answer the most often when people ask me how I blog, how I advocate, and how I risk going out of my house being so far from the norm. I think I hide less and less of my abnormality. I celebrate it now, but it is an on going process and journey.  I wish there was a universal answer but here is what I worked out as far as what I do subconsciously and consciously that I can put to words.

1. When I want to be silent out of fear, I speak up and risk the consequences. This to me is the basis of self advocacy. Oppression is born in a culture of fear, so I must not obey the fear that tells me to be quiet. “If you are good and quiet nothing bad will ever happen.” If that was true I would be a far different person, because being “good and quiet” only lead to pain. It leads to secrets. Good and quiet would mean still being with my exhusband, it would mean watching my father murder my step brother with a frying pan, and it would mean condoning every act of rape, malpractice and other harms brought to me by people who tried to take advantage of my selective mutism, of my physical fragility and of my silence. Sometimes it is a small noise, other times it is a roar. Sometimes it is actually words. Sometimes a song. I am not silent. Not anymore.

2. When I am threatened, I do not revert to silence. Making noise leads to punishment. It leads to the threats that come in a variety of forms. I had a medical professional threaten and then withhold my pain medications on more than one occassion, because she did not believe I was not addicted. I suffered. I was then told if I kept speaking up to her boss about these threats and punishments she would have me black listed. I took that threat to her boss and switched doctors. I have a doctor now in the same facility. I wanted to be silent. She is no longer my doctor but treats others, thus I also am in the process of number 3.

3. Do not let the threat harm others. This is a mixed bag. The threatening person may be someone you cannot stop. This protection must never come at a cost you cannot live with. This means do not chase the axe wielding halloween monster, go for more qualified help. It means talking to someone’s boss, documenting issues. This is often what gets me to perform step 1. If the doctor was allowed to bully me with medications I needed and threaten my life that way, she would be allowed to do that to other people who may not be able to endure it, be able to adapt and if someone else spoke up without documentation I had, then I was harming that person. Thus i went to her boss in step two. As you can see these steps are not in order because they are more a mobius strip how to guide for living.

4. Document the threat. Little notes from my exhusband, recording the doctor without her knowledge as it is legal to do in my state, pictures of bruises. Those parents who send their autistic kids to school with hidden cameras and find out that not so shocking to any of us, abusers aer out there ready to harm your vulnerable chiild for being who they are.

The same process applies to why I write. I cannot put on a super hero cape, race about the world and fix it. I must slowly advocate for myself and then when I can on bigger projects.  I cannot advocate for others if I do not come first. i think back to my first few tries at blogging. I threw on a secret identity, I tried to hide who I was. Yes, there were other blogs before Textual Fury caught fire. I stumbled, I struggled with my words out of fear. Then I realized that was what i was trained to do and the rebel that lives in the core of my being took over and I wrote the first post here. As I wrote more and more the tone of my blog changed and I let out the “monster” i feared. It turned out that person is pretty darned cool and I began to push further and further out in the world as myself. I never hide anymore.

So how does someone conditioned their entire life to a culture of silence learn to speak? By doing. The posts I never share, those still happen, the poetry saved on my hard drive instead of published, facebook and talking to friends, gathering with other autistic people. Knowing what I know now those are just little things. It has to be something you want, so you have to stop hiding from the desire to write, to sing, to speak, to shout to be. The thing is? Just wanting to IS enough. When people ask me for help it makes me proud, not of me but of them. I am proud of every single person who takes on the difficult journey of learning to speak for themselves. This is not a challenge exclusive to autistic folks, though the culture of silence caused by shaming and abuse seems to be so prevalent among my people that there are no autists I know without PTSD or that they know. There are no autists without pain, suffering and a knowledge of abuse that is intimate and too close, that I know of… except perhaps those children being born right now. So we are learning to speak so that they do not face the battle of a life where our words are forced back down our throats until we choke on them. That is why I wrote this out. The how to on blogging is the same as other things. Baby steps, do what you can and try to do a little more each time. Cry, laugh, feel happy, feel good, struggle with it. Live.

I think of the others who came before me, for I was hardly the first blogger with autism out there. My brain does not want to write names but I can see faces, words piled up before me that create a beautiful sky and world. I remember the first moment I read something by autism speaks and it broke my heart and filled me with fear. Was I seen as such a monster? Did i deserve the abuse? I was a baby back then, not yet a woman and lost in a world of flying diagnosis where everything seemed to stick. Then I decided to find adults on spectrum too. Now I have loving friends who hold me close, even if it is just as text. Better as text since I can enjoy that. The diagnosis that stuck saved me so I could find out that no, those descriptions of horror are wrong. Even if I had never been able to live on my own, they are wrong. There  should be no shame in having a need. There should be no shame. So i am writing this for the people who inspired this post by speaking,by learning to speak, by asking, and by being.

The Right to Remain Silent (Trigger Warning)

I have so much going on that I have been silent, because writing hurts. Typing sends sheets of agony down my spine.  My belly is swollen and lopsided and no one knows why. I might have a brain tumor or a billion other things making my testosterone levels skyrocket. (Meaning if you think testosterone makes you a man I am more man than you, if you are indeed a dude.) I have been fighting for access to the same care a non disabled woman would have gynecologically, while being torn for a pap by the speculum because the doctor decided that I did not have the right to a less painful exam. THAT has never happened to me before medical fragility or not.I have been struggling. I have also seen every day in the news a murder, maiming, medically questionable treatment usually reserved for animals., continued institution and many other horrible things being done to autistics.  This is true of other disabilities but not to the degree that autistic children and adults have been deprived of the empathy that their victimization should have.  Here is where I should link you to a few brilliant pieces I read but I cannot handle the triggers to read the truths again.

Two nights ago before bed, due to a technical glitch I had a talk with another autistic advocate and we both acknowledged that as children we were taught to be compliant, pliable and to NEVER say no. We were taught that certain abuses, things taught to even children with good parents who are taking the advice that is being given in the form of ABA and other wretched training methods that use violence and pain as therapy, have been used to silence us. Every autistic advocate I know has PTSD from treatment, abuse, and some of that abuse was preventable if they had known that NO was an option. I am not always the most vocal advocate, especially when things are as bad as they are medically, I focus more on staying alive since that is very helpful with the whole fighting for your rights thing. So I am always relieved when I know that other advocates ARE out there. They are persistent, present and even if one of us takes a small step back for our own needs others are there to help with the event horizon of advocacy. Autistics are not seen by most people as people. We are not seen to have pain, rights, or needs. We are seen as a burden, an imposition and a chore.

This shouting anthem should be read with as much loud punk music as your brain can conjure.  It is as close to stating how I feel about all of this as I can manage. My words skim the surface like a waterbug. I want to scream. I want people to HEAR it. To feel it. Take the punch in the gut, take the flag, rise up and listen. No one knows more about autism than we, the autistics. Not the parents of autistics, even the ones who DO listen to us. No one can speak for me. No one. Now if people just listened when I do speak we’d be golden.

The Right To Remain Silent

You have the right to remain silent
That is what they say to the criminals anyway
but being born with an autistic brain
doesn’t make you a bad person
Not unless you maybe rob a bank.
So I am writing this out in the hopes
That you will hear the song behind the words
Flap your hands, look away from their eyes
Defy their toxic works.

You have the right to shout
You have the right to rock
you have the right to sing
you have the right to be
You have the right to no
You have the right to live
You have the right to no
You have the right to remain…

Don’t take their word for what you are
You have value even if they can’t see
Our words are taken through violence every day
but being born autistic doesn’t mean it has to be that way
Trained from birth to take abuse
We are people
Gonna rise and shout
Scream it
Say it
flap it
rock it
paint it
feel it
breath it
SHOUT IT OUT

All the people we see and hear
don’t seem to think we should speak and say
I am not a doll
I am not a toy
I am not a dog
I am a human
I am a human

Raised to say anything but what I really feel
Taught that my words cannot be valued
Do they rape me?
Do they break me?
Do they beat me?
It’s just therapy
Do they drug me?
Make it hard to think?
Make me want to scream?
Do they cause me pain?
It’s just therapy
Silent hands
quiet hands
eye contact
scrubbed skin
Get used to it
Cause it’s just therapy
Don’t say no
Don’t say pain
Don’t say truth
It scares them
Less than them
That’s a lie
Its the lie
Fed to us

So shout it out
tell the truth
Since when does the abuser get to say
What is right
For their victims
We’re the survivors and we’re going to stand to say

I am not a doll
I am not a toy
I am not a dog
I am human
Where’s my equal rights?
Fuck the ADA
I’ll take the social equality the hard way.
I may not stand
I may not speak
I may just breath
I may sing out
I may write out
I may say it too
I have the right to expression
I have the right to truth
I have the right to bodily autonomy
I have the right to … everything you do.

The first chorus has risen, the second chorus too
Remember that you don’t have to be silent
They threaten to cage us
They threaten to maim us
Sometimes that is where our lives begin

I am not a doll
I am not a toy
I am not a subhuman
I am not a monster
I am not a freak
I am probably a geek
I decide my identity

Say No
Scream NO
Live NO
Fight
Fight
FIght
Advocacy
Freedom
Equal rights

You have the right to not remain silent
You have the right to bodily autonomy
You have the right to medical care without fear of being

silenced.
You have the rights everyone else does
We are people
We have thoughts
We have feelings
Fuck you’re empathy excuses for infringing on our CIVIL

RIGHTS

Don’t tell me to be silent
That isn’t very civil
Don’t tell me to keep my hands still
That is an act of aggression
Don’t tell me my anger is invalid because it isn’t yours.
Who fails to see
The human in me?
You are the nightmare monster underneath the bed
The shadows in the closets in every autistic child’s fears
You are the screams without answer when we have no words
You are abuser. You are wrong.

So listen, hear this. Read it. See it. Tactile paintings were

just not enough. I am going to keep shouting because it is ME

who I love. Selfish? fuck yes! Survival! I did it.

Say No
Scream No
Shout No
Live No
Fight
Fight
Fight
Advocacy
Freedom
Equal Rights
This is LIFE

 

Well Practiced Survival and the Art of Happiness (Potential PTSD Trigger Warning)

I hit a speed bump tonight. My brain splatted as I hit the mental pavement and I am sitting here stuck. The speed bump? Happiness. I am happy so it makes me sad. I keep thinking about why that is and I suspect it has something to do with the tenets of survival. I have well practiced fear, anger, sorrow but I have almost no experience with happiness. Happy was the fleeting moment that escaped so quickly and I held on to for years. I can name my happiest moments and its a very limited number. 1. Comic book convention last June, 2. Sprite and the first time I had a flashback and she was there, 3. Gothmas with M, 4. My first time being published.

That last one I had to struggle to pull through the mists of time and survival. I was thinking too about the domestic violence cycle and how cut off people are. I grew up without friends. Even now my friendships are limited. Some of that is the autism factor, I just struggle there but a lot of it is because I trust very few people. How can I trust you? You might be out to get me. I am working on this alone but I do not want to. I never wanted to do it all alone. I never wanted to have to figure out how to beat domestic violence by myself. It should not be about clawing my way up ever. Yet it has been.

I have been trying to find a therapist for five years. Since I escaped my exhusband. I thought I might not make it. Maybe I should settle for one of the quacks who try to lure me in with promises of touching me while praying but I do not think so. I don’t think my wanting to mock this person for being what I perceive as a predator on the vulnerable with their unproven techniques and faith healing is going to be a valuable moment in time. I still survived him alone. It was not even over then. It is just over. Does that make me now really a survivor?

Yes and No. I was a survivor all along but in a way not being afraid has opened up all of these memories and painful things. Its over so now I can process. I am thinking on things from when I was five, that I never considered before. My brain is just now allowing itself to sort through nearly thirty years of stuff. Not all of it is bad. Not all of it is abuse. Not all of it matters. Yet it is there burbling around. If I think of my friends instead of them I end up with my first day in Kindergarten at the age of four, walking in and being called weird before I said a word.

I think on the isolation that goes with abuse and I want to try new things to see if its actually my way or if it is a side effect. I grew up surviving and being too out cast and bullied for friends. Am I so alone now because I just never learned how or is it because I am afraid of my own friends? I don’t know. I do not feel fear when Ithink of each individual. I feel happy. Yet I worry.

I talked a lotof this out with a couple of my friends. I have had friends for seven years now, but it still amazes me when I can say that. One suggested a support group. I looked some time ago, I believe last year, but figured maybe I should. She went to bed and I began to google. I found many local support groups. Tons for folks with cancer, tons for things I do not understand such as video games, and yet for all of the domestic violence groups listed with the local news papers, online in google, and even with the various agencies that help you get out if you are not disabled the only groups are for the ABUSERS. Oh there was one for single parents. Not a one for women. There is one for soldiers with PTSD but I am not a soldier. There is one for everyone but me. I still wrote some down and may call but I already feel that is an intrusion. I do not fit by not having a child, by being a woman, by not being with my abuser now.

I am not at a point where I can just remedy this by going “Okay we meet here, come on ladies and lets survive more.” That is not what I can do right now. I did it before for another need. When I first was disabled I helped with creating a chronic disease support group. Then retreated from it because I was not ready. I will not make that mistake again. So I am left hanging between faith healers and the disabling abusers getting help and my own independence. It cannot just be a side effect of abuse or I would not have survived being alone but I am wondering why I am supposed to do this part by myself too.

I do not want to. I want the experience of people who do not get frightened by happiness. Or people who do but can tell me what the difference between estatic, joy and elation is. My brain cannot stop pressing on the happiness to see what is wrong with it. There is no room in my head for joy. I want to change that but I am lost out at sea without a compass or the north star. There are no maps. It is just silence and placid and gentle waves. I do not know how to be gentle. I do not know how to let go of the anger. I am still angry at my abusers but it is smaller every day. They are dead. I out lived them and can focus on doing more than just clawing through every day.

I am also very tired. I do not want to spend the rest of my life fighting alone to figure out if its okay to smile all the time. My face is sore. Its not the usual sore of the jaw dislocations Its my mouth. From smiling. I keep doing so for no reason. I keep laughing more and more. This is not just a side effect of the surviving either. This happiness started growing long before my exhusband died.  The sensations when I stop thinking or just feel are not the same. It is no longer a hard sandpaper or stabbing pain. It is not a pain at all. Nor is it really emptiness. It is soft and quiet there. The passions are still burning in me but they do not scream to be heard over my sorrow. It is simply quiet, and I have never had that either.

I never expected the thing that would make me cave in on asking for help with my PTSD and other struggles would be happiness. I suspected someday I might have a challenge bigger than I could face alone. This is not even true. It is just that I know I do not have to do it by myself and I do not want to.

I am a ship at sea, no port to call home. The current pulls me, so I go to roam. I am a ship at sea, the waves a song to me. Far from even the open road. The winds rise and my ship sails on, to new lands will I go? Tomorrow I may find land ahoy but tonight I am just adrift in the sea.

The Phone

I know that it’s something other people with Autism happen to deal with. The Phone. I sit here staring at it every day. It takes me four hours to make a single phone call. Which of course comes after I plan out my calls sometimes four days in advance. The phone… it feels like an enemy despite the fact that my phone isn’t even a smart phone so it lacks the most basic sentience. Not certain if Smart phones are sentient but my carer’s Blackberry says it’s thinking all the time so I will suppose it’s a very stupid smart phone since it rarely gets past the first thought of the day.

I hate my phone. From the phone bill, which if I was willing to risk being out without a cellphone could be less, on to the talking. The talking is the worst part. Why is it people shout into the phone? I know I am quiet and hard to hear but most of the people I know literally yell into the phone. When I had roommates I started asking one of their guests to go to another room since every time she was on the phone she began to yell. The roommates got louder too but this was usually because our phone was a piece of crap landline, and even I had had to yell into it so I wrote that off.

The phone fills me with foreboding. If I could translate that feeling into a story the phone would be the killer in one of my gory little trips down violence lane. The phone did it. Not the man, woman or mutant sewer alligator. It was the act of saying “Hello?” The silence at the other end, a crackle that could be breath and then you are dead, in the dial tone of terror.

This is about how it feels to make a call. I know the phone won’t actually kill me but this supposedly innocuous device creates a whole new level of communications challenge. Even texting can be difficult for me if I am tired or if my hands won’t function. Coordination is never a guarantee. Texting is the best part of a phone however, as I know when it is my time to text.

Sometimes waiting to talk on the phone I pull up a clock, so I can watch the second hand. This helps me to feel less like it has been an eternity since the other spoke when it has been a single breath. I am always angry sounding on the phone, but this is because I am focused on hearing you, understanding you, and frankly, knowing when it’s my time to go.

I often hang up on people too early. I don’t get the phone right, which bothers me. I feel self conscious with the phone. I can’t see you. You always sound hostile to me when I can’t see you. Then the phone brings me bad news. Whenever my student loan people call it’s never what I expect. “We approved you for this deferment but the department of education says your doctor isn’t the right kind of doctor.” Yet, they can’t explain why my doctor is not qualified to sign the paper. They don’t even understand what they are saying so I hit the end button before I yell at them for being stupid. Why would you hire someone who cannot understand and explain what is wrong with the papers? I already took care of this but am I to be a mind reader? Am I to infer that they wanted an MD not an Osteopath? They don’t know the difference and I don’t either. Luckily my doctor’s office does and someone else there can and will sign the papers.

The phone. It’s stalking me now. The only useful thing about the phone for me is the alarm clock. I do have internet on my phone but that is merely a back up in case my coping mechanisms fail then I can wait patiently while I poke at the buttons and read something on wikipedia. It’s about staying calm. In that moment the phone is the worst computer ever.

I suspect the advent of the video phone will eventually occur and I wonder if that will be worse or not. What about those six am calls from idiotic office workers who don’t comprehend that I am sleeping? Will they be more awkward since I don’t wear clothing to bed? I think that’s the entire reason why videophones aren’t what we use anyway. The video phone would level the playing field by making certain EVERYONE feels as awkward as I do on the phone.

Explosions (Trigger warning)

For some reason my chest feels like it is exploding. This is a feeling related wholly to emotions, not a physical one though they feel similar. There is a tightness there, and I feel as if there is a metal coil compressing me into a corner and I must run. I have some unspeakable need, it is unspeakable because I have never actually felt this need before. I have no clue what it is. I think it may be a hug, but I don’t know. It may be the need to cry, but I don’t think so because I am doing that as I write this.

This sensation is so very strange to me. I know what brought it on, and it may just be two forms of overload in one, emotional overload which is in the realm of PTSD and then sensory overload with a bit of an overlap. You see I feel a hint of this every time I find out a child has been violated in any way, and I already dealt with this today. I wrote a submission for a survivor’s anthology of letters. This means I laid open my heart and looked at the core for the words, and that always shakes me. On top of that in the morning Nymph will be going to the vet and will not be returning. Sprite is very upset, I am very upset and I would not have managed this weekend alone. M the Carer did more than her job.

I tried watching a movie, but it made this vice worse. I am new to knowing and understanding that I am different and I find it a struggle to know that each time I do this, writing this sort of thing publically, I am challenging conceptions. I find it painful, because I don’t understand and that knowledge adds this time to that sensation. I am proud that I am able to write and pour my heart into this world, so that the love I feel can be given to others in need of that.

I also hate that my words touch others who are wounded. Why? I don’t want them to be hurting in the first place! I am rocking as i sit, I don’t rock often, but I am stimming because if I stop then I will burst more.

Maybe this is empathy for how Nymph is feeling? The crushing fluids in her body that are suffocating her, rotting her? I feel guilt too because I went out today. I went for a walk as she is giving off this horrible smell that I know is very bad. Sprite was given the chance to come with me and almost did but went and laid down with Nymph with such resignation. She is hurting too.

A part of me thinks nothing will fix this sensation but time.

A part of me loathes my visual thinking.

YOu see whenever I talk about Nymph being given release from her intractable pain, which the medications no longer are helping with and relieving her of a torture that could go on for weeks I see her laying in the vet’s office, I see them giving her the medications and I see her dying. I can see it. OVer and over again.

I also cannot stop this. When I think of just Nymph I see her first time getting on my bed by herself, as she jumped up and down. I see her dancing to music, making me laugh as she does so. I see her surprise when Sprite pounces her and rolls her over, then bathes her head to toe. That is Nymph in my head. Euthanasia gives a more horrible image and this is where the trigger warning on this post started. I see the dog I beat to death because I had to protect my sister, I see the bloodied remains of the cats and dogs my father ran down out of malicious hatred for all life, and I see myself in the middle of a pool of blood, staring at my aching hands, which always ache when I am sad, and wondering why I wasn’t allowed to go to that bright light space, but had to keep on living even though I hurt. Even though my neck was broken. I see it all at once.

It makes me queasy.

The music in my head is easier. I am trying to set up my MP3 player with music that Nymph likes for tomorrow. I am not sure what her last sounds on earth should be. She likes Heavy Metal, Gothic Metal, but mostly me singing but I think I may cry too hard for that. Do I take a sound recording of myself? I am very tempted by a few songs I know she adores but they aren’t socially acceptable for this sort of thing, and may be a bit too macabre and I don’t want to damage my own needs by giving her something that will help.

Do I include the Rob Zombie with the Celtic Woman? I don’t know.

Maybe what I need are answers. I did sleep earlier, the rain that fell forced me to do so.

Oh yeah on top of this my toilet has sprung a leak. SO my bathroom floor is wet and of course Manager Fail decided to Fail like the label given. Thankfully he’s going going, and almost gone.

I was surprised by his kindness when Ifinally got him to come and see what we needed (new seal) when I told him why he could not touch the cats. He’s a nice man but incompetent with  his job. He has cats, new borns and none of his cats are over the age of FIP’s supposed immunity. He was horrified and told me if I need anything to ask. I know better but he meant it in that very moment.

I did get my brain to stop going over the things that I have to replace, that was sending me into panic attacks.

So what do I need?

I have no freaking idea.

A Moment in Meow.

I usually start my writing by setting out the images of what I want to write in the title. Sometimes I go back and change it but not really. I can’t put a title on what just happened. A friend of mine hereto after known as the Shoe Goddess and I have been talking. If she wants her name associated with this that’s cool with me but I always want to offer that respect. She and I talked about PTSD recently, and I explained it to her because she asked. She thinks I should write a book and I have been naysaying in my head, I agreed but I haven’t set out to do it but have shied away. I know why. Before I go into the why I will say, I am going to write the book. During the week I am going to outline what I think needs to be covered, and then I will break it into chapters, the same way that I write for my blog. I am also writing a letter to survivors of rape so between the hospital, my body failing to fail the way I am used to, and the usual crap I come pre triggered.

I watched the Temple Grandin Biopic. At first I was angry at Temple, at least that’s what my brain took the feelings as. I even posted on facebook about finding the movie annoying. After about a half an hour I started to understand what had me so upset, at least another layer of it. The Nuerotypicals making the film made it so noisy that I was in pain. It wasn’t the person or the story that had me upset it was the constant noise over noises that they couldn’t hear. It was painful, and I reacted to that pain with anger. I find I have a lot in common with Miss Grandin, which startled me. It shouldn’t should it? The things in common are all autistic things. I also found myself suddenly burning with anger. I spent a good half an hour having a melt down after the credits rolled. It went like this. Credits roll, pills, go to bed stand beside it and start to scream because I can’t take it anymore and a car just went by with loud music which made Sprite run under the bed.

I tried to just go to bed but then my jaw snapped wrong and I got spit on my pillow. Which lead to more screaming. I hate spit on my pillow, partly because even my own saliva burns me. My tears burn me. My face is very red and sore because I cried. Sprite came to see what was wrong, as she always does when I am not okay and I realized what it is that calms me about her. I had a moment. I also just titled this post. The panic was still there, the pain, the sounds but I could think the instant I buried my hands in her fur and hugged her against me. She wriggled a bit because I was not wearing any clothing and missed the blanket. She dislikes the feeling of flesh. I try to respect that.

I petted her, she purred though because she was not comfortable it wasn’t a lot of purr. Then I clicked, I am stimming when I pet my cat. That’s why when I hurt I want her. When I feel the pain of being, because of all the things I think see and hear? I want her fur. Nymphs fur isn’t the right texture. Sprite is like petting a silken being, her fur is something I have never found a match for. So soft and yet it isn’t so soft it hurts. Sprite is in a word perfect, except for where she is not. She let me cry into her, her fur took the wet away so the burning hurt less.

I feel calm again, I can think again and she is bathing to get rid of the icky tears. I say they are icky, she just says wet. So, the PTSD trigger related to Temple Grandin is love. Love for me, witnessing other people who have things that I want, such as love, can set me off. I haven’t let anyone see me go off for years. I go away instead. Her mother tried. Her aunt tried. She had teachers. She had opportunity. She had education. She was seen as different but equal. I have never had that. That is part of why I am afraid to start writing. There is this moment when I get ready to write even my blog when I see every instance where my writing was destroyed. Even a few moments when I did it to myself because I thought I was bad and undeserving of writing. For me writing is painting a picture but the picture has a thousand little pictures. Each letter and word is a part of the image. When I write I don’t look at my fingers to hunt and peck out the letters but I usually close my eyes and imagine the shapes I want, the sounds, and the sensations.

I look at Sprite, and I look at Nymph who was very frightened but also came and curled up with me. I feel a bit guilty for not noticing her until after the fact though this tends to happen a lot. In the mornings she ends up lost in my blanket because I throw it off and roll thinking she isn’t there but she was tucked up against me all along and was what made the warm spot. I swear, she is warmer than Sprite to the touch and the feel. She weighs at most a pound, and when that pound is not on me completely I don’t pick it up. Then again I have a lot less feeling in my legs since the cramping started.

Medically speaking I am better. The bleeding stopped and the clots are disappearing. I don’t have to wear underwear at least for now. I am not expecting this to last for more than a day but I have blisters from the latex that no one else ever seems to react to in underwear. My skin burns constantly and I am still cramping. There is also a new and constant pain, so I know something is very wrong. This displeases me because I know I am going to have to fight for anyone to take this seriously, well anyone at this facility. I am still waiting on the appointment for the CT scan on my jaw as well. If I cannot lose myself, which does happen without my control, and do so without injury then there is a problem. I spent years mastering how to handle my freak outs. No one had guided me.

So I am jealous of Temple Grandin. It’s a white hot jealousy that is about things we were both born with. Family. I also want education but I cannot get there right now. I don’t learn things in classrooms and the set up for correspondence schooling is all wrong for me. I am going to self educate but suddenly I want a piece of paper. I want to see my name. I want to not have people react with shock when they find out I am not educated. I never liked that, some of these folks immediately presume I failed my way through the educational school brilliantly because I wanted to stun people with my mind. I think those people are a bit stupid and if any read my blog, well I think you are stupid for presuming anyone would want less opportunity just to impress people.

I don’t know if the piece of paper would let me write this book. I only think it is the excuse I am using now because my first thought each time I think on it is, how am I qualified to write about disability and PTSD? How am I qualified? I want to make it clear I know I am qualified and Dr.Not Autistic isn’t. Dr.PTSD is false but I write about it to make life harder isn’t. I know I am probably the most qualified person I know of to sit down and write about these issues, especially because I do so every single day. There are things I don’t publish but if I can write I do. I have given up many things but I will always find a way to get the fluid images into word.

I am still angry that people presume autistics don’t have imagination and that this is a symptom. This was the other thing that overwhelmed me, I connect thoughts in a way that is so similar to the visuals used that I am breathless but I imagine. I imagine constantly. I just don’t imagine like other people. It took imagination for Grandin to see what the cows see. It wasn’t a formulaic thought at all but something special. It takes imagination for me to do anything. I use my different mind to navigate the world. My memory of everything I have ever read, that comes into play when I am advocating.

So no more excuses. I am probably going to have to make Sprite wear a rain coat but even as I am dealing with this latest medical drama, I am going to start this book. A chapter a day, excluding days when I have appointments. Doctor’s appointments screw with my energy and writing does burn it off in the best of ways. There will be another post in a few minutes, I have been procrastinating about a topic as well.

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