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thewanderingmonster to “I Wish I Didn’t Have Aspergers” #AutismPositivity2012

April 30, 2012

Howdy.

I’m Kit, and I’m autistic. Diagnosis isn’t important – how can a mental health professional know you better than you know yourself? – but because the university psychology department needed more autistic folks to run experiments on, they threw me at a student who was training to be able to officially diagnose people.

She told me what I already knew.

Now, this is a piece for the AutismPositivity flash blog, and I admit I’m not that positive. But I wanted to try to write something, partly because I know there’s gonna be folks posting these who have no idea what you’re going through. They’re going to be saying they never wished they were neurotypical, and maybe that’s even true. None of us know what you’re going through, because none of us really know who you are.

So, what do we know?

We know you have Aspergers. There is no clear consensus on the mental difference between Aspergers and Autism. It really depends on what people expect from you and whether you’re having a good day. Aspergers is supposedly “higher functioning”, but the concept of functioning levels is bunk. At the moment, I’m pretty high functioning – I’ve showered, made my own breakfast, and I’m now writing what I hope is a coherent blog post. (The fact I got up after noon is irrelevant, I hope.) But yesterday I was lain on the sofa, forcing myself into the cushions, scratching them to distract myself from the feelings of terror rattling inside my head. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t speak – I couldn’t get myself onto puzzle pirates (my current favourite computer-based distraction) to calm me down.

You can’t call that high functioning.

We also know that you ain’t having it so great right now. We’ve no idea what the problem is, so we can’t give any specific hints to help, though people keep telling me I could do with earplugs. I can’t promise that things will get better – I couldn’t promise that to the queers, either – but I can tell you, we are in the same boat. Some of us, below the water line.

What words can I say that I hope you want to hear?

We’re all here for you. You’ve been online, and I hope you get the chance to regularly. Get yourself onto twitter, tumblr or a blog site. No matter how little you can phrase, how few of your experiences you dare speak aloud, pass them on. Use a pseudonym if you’re worried that your mum will find your rant about the difference between what she expects from you and what you can do. Post whatever you like. Everything you post will be about autism, because autism pervades your life. Reach out to us.

And we, the autistic people of the internet, will reach back. We will listen, read and watch, as the world becomes too much for you, once again. We will comfort, distract and share our knowledge. We have to support one another, as so often no-one else will.

We too have bad days, difficult families, unusual interests. We fall apart, argue, get trapped. And I personally wouldn’t be able to go on if it weren’t for the people I’ve found online. Sometimes I’m finding it so hard I can’t go on at all, but I tell them, and they say “We want to keep listening to you”.

No matter how hard it is, you’re not alone. Talk to us. We’re here.

Everything I write

March 25, 2012

As my blog has appeared on a list of blogs written by non-binaries that’s going round tumblr, I worry that I’ll have disappointed some people, as I’ve mostly written about disability recently. But I have come to a realisation.

All my posts are about being nonbinary.

All my posts are about being trans.

All my posts are about being autistic.

All my posts are about being depressed.

All my posts are about being unemployed.

And all my posts are about being white.

And all my posts are about having a loving home.

And all my posts are about being middle class.

All my posts are by me, and they are all about all of me, no matter how it seems. Because intersectionality means that everything in my life affects how I am treated and how I see the world.

You read a post on depression, but how differently would I have written it if I were not autistic, trans, middle class?

You See Me?

March 19, 2012

This poem was written in response to all the media nonsense of “Disabled person occasionally does something”. Yes, we do. You don’t notice the rest.

You See Me

You see me
Wandering around the supermarket.

You don’t see me
Glued to the spot, unable to decide which way to go.

You see me
Bouncing down the steps of the doctors.

You don’t see me
Frozen to the sofa, not daring to move.

You see me
Taking photographs in a museum.

You don’t see me
Cowering in the corner because of the noise.

You see me
Enjoying evening classes.

You don’t see me
Terrified of the traffic on the way home.

I know I have a lot fewer problems in the outside world than some disabled people, but I can’t speak for anyone else so I’ve kept to my own experiences. If anyone would like to add a verse or two based on how their life runs, that would be good.

Beginnings

March 5, 2012

There are plenty of times to have new beginnings.

I had a new beginning when I went to volunteer at the book place. I had responsibility, and a monotonous task to do – my favourite kind. But I began on haliperodol, and that began to make me seriously drowsy, I was worried about standing up for a long time. And another volunteer found a way to trigger my tourettes, didn’t realise that something was wrong even though I shouted so loud every time.

I had a new beginning when I went back to university. But the tablets were making me hibernate, and I wasn’t used to feeling so alone. I managed to feed myself a little, but the fear of the impending work overwhelmed me, and the night of my second Thursday I found myself sat of the floor of the kitchen, a knife in my hand, wondering about the best way to cut off my toe.

So I began on the mental health ward, a female-only ward. I felt invisible, yet obviously out of place. I tried to hibernate, but they made me join in with their activities. I avoided the makeup sessions, but had to sew, even though I was scared I’d hurt myself with the needle. They reduced my haliperodol dose, and put me on antidepressants too. Finally I felt confident enough to stand and walk without my legs giving way. I enjoyed the art sessions, and was so pleased to not have to think about my future.

Is going home a new beginning? Is my parents’ house home? I don’t know. I’m alone during the daytime, but have access to the internet. I wish I could talk to people in person, but twitter will have to do. I have a mental health nurse who visits once a week, and I wish I could talk to him about the things that matter, but after he put inverted commas around the word boyfriend, I don’t feel I can speak to him on trans issues. Which is a shame, as now I’m feeling less depressed, I am wondering more about my gender.

There are plenty of times to have new beginnings.

In my religion, there are 8 main festivals. Each one is appropriate as a time to begin things. But I forget when my festivals are, and only notice when other people point them out.

In my parents’ religion, a lot of people begin or end things at this time of year – Lent.

The new year is a time for new beginnings.

Birthdays, too.

I can find a reason to begin things anytime. I just don’t know what I need to begin.

Recreational Mathematics 1

February 16, 2012

A mate of mine, Jim Grime, posted this on twitter.

Been asked if there is a six digit number abcdef such that a+b+c+d+e+f = y, ab+cd+ef=10y and abc+def=100y. Any solutions?

Well, I’ve been missing having my recreational mathematics head on, and I thought that there couldn’t be many solutions, so I gave it a whack.

a+b+c+d+e+f = y (A)

ab+cd+ef = 10y means 10(a+c+e) + b+d+f = 10y (B)

abc+def = 100y means 100(a+d) + 10(b+e) + c+f = 100y (C)

Substituting A into B gives

10(a+b+c+d+e+f) = 10(a+c+e) + b+d+f

Cancelling the a, c, e gives

10(b+d+f) = b+d+f

Because we’re working with digits, which are whole and non-negative, this means that b, d, f = 0

Now substitute A into C

100(a+b+c+d+e+f) = 100(a+d) + 10(b+e) + c+f

Remove the digits that we know = 0

100(a+c+e) = 100a + 10e + c

Cancel the a

100c + 100e = c + 10e

The only non-negative solutions to this are c, e = 0

The a has cancelled out of everything, so can be any digit, so all solutions are of the form a00000.

Sometimes (People Tell Me)

February 8, 2012

A poem, from when I was at lowest of the low. Suicidal references.

Sometimes
People tell me that I’m safe.

Sometimes
I can’t be safe in the same room as me.

Sometimes
People ask me what my future plans are and i just burst into tears.

Sometimes
I don’t expect to see my next birthday.

Sometimes
People tell me the future will be better.

Sometimes
The present is too hard for me to wait.

Sometimes
People tell me suicide won’t bring relief

Sometimes
My pain is worse than non-existence

Sometimes
People ask me what’s wrong.

Sometimes
I tell them.

Sometimes
People listen.

Sometimes.

I make things

February 3, 2012

Except I don’t make things. Let me explain.
I am a creative person. When I was little, I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. I have plenty of ideas, but have great trouble translating them into reality. This is partly due to my perfectionism – the item I create will never be as good as the idea in my mind.
Currently, my ideas are all in clay. I have nowhere to create these ideas. Currently, I can believe that clay will finally be the medium in which I can accurately express my thoughts. It won’t be the case, just as it wasn’t for jewelry, for sewing, for painting, for drawing, for felt tips, for writing, for music, for origami, for card-making.
I always want what I can’t do, because once I have it, I realise that I’m not so good at it after all.

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