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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Autism and Lieing

I can. I'm simply not good at it. I tried it twice a child (Guess where I learned it.), and failed miserably. I'm just not that good at mimicking nt behaviors. Best to leave deception to those better talented in that area, I think. Yes, I just said that they lie, and they're good at it. They say it too, then do it again, and get in more trouble, forget what they said, pay for it dearly, suffer, and do it yet again. It's sad to watch.  It's not logical to make up something I'd have to try to remember later to cover for it. I'm far too lazy to keep up with that kind of back tracking.  It goes against my personal beliefs as well.
     A big reason I don't lie is that I have no need to impress others in order to fit in socially, as it's sticky superficial stuff, and it's my understanding seeing it this way is an Autistic trait. I can keep my mouth closed rather than point out a truth, but I have a revulsion to lieing and being lied to. Once I find out a person lies, be it for convenience, to look good, or whatever,  I no longer trust anything they say, and see them as someone who is merely making mouth noises, not unlike my humming stim.
    This is another one of those instances where spiritual leaders and common sense promoters from all walks are followed by lots of people (those that like to follow people, and try to figure that out if you're Autistic. sheesh!), and are encouraged to be, in this case, honest. People strive for this all of their lives and work so very hard for it. Some spend years in therapy trying to "get real."
     Connect it with Autism, and it's a problem. Again, that is a social thing. Even honesty is perceived as a problem when connected with Autism. Call honesty a matter of human growth, common sense or common compassion, and there is no questioning it. Give those same traits to someone with Autism, and it needs medicating, therapy or some kind of fixing.
     I swear it makes me not wonder why the world has tried to get rid of so many compassionate honest people. I could cry. I don't need hope for autism. I need hope for the rest. Some people lie so much. I think that one day without lieing for many could change the world for the better tremendously. Try to get some to go first, and I won't envy your struggle. More will follow than will lead, so simply begin. Then you get the ones that say, "Well, everyone else does it."
   No, not me. I'm not that tough, surely someone else could survive it, and they just might find themselves liking themselves and other people more. I do, even the liars. I watch what they go through, and my heart breaks. Someone has to care, might as well start here.
   Ready? I believe in humanity's ability to get real, but I get impatient with them sometimes. I think they are scared out of their minds most of the time, and I think they resist love up to their deaths sometimes. I think they don't accept themselves, and that's why they can't accept others. I also think that I got  here at the wrong time or maybe I'm in the wrong place, because some days the clamour of a world trying to get ahead, trying to know it all before all is known, hiding behind social chit chat and what's fashionable, and crowd following are enough to make me want to hide and not try again.
    They are worth it, though. I know to the depths of my being they are. I'm not gone yet, and at least one person out there is going to hear that there is nothing about you that needs hiding, covering up, lieing about. You are beautiful, and being you is the greatest gift you have for yourself and others.
   And they will hear it, if it takes all of the tenderness I've got, a cat of nine tails or the last painting I do. Dammit, people. Give yourselves a break. Be real. You are far more worth it than you may imagine, and far more important than what you imagine others want to hear. There are truths, ideas and creativity in you that I need to learn and grow from.
   Here's your freedom: Be you, and run with it. The world desperately needs you as you are.
tina jones

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hugs and Kisses: Choreography of Romance for Me in Autism

  I highly recommend listening to or reading the NPR article below, Titled,
"Learning to Love and be Loved with Autism" 

The article features Jack Robison and Kirsten Lindsmith, doing an excellent job of talking about many aspects of relationships between two people with Asperger's.

This is my response:
    I am smiling at this because much is familiar to me, being a person with Asperger's and an individual with various experiences. As is mentioned early in the talk for Robison, kisses were a matter of two people smashing their mouths together and getting a wet face. Hardly a lovely idea to him, I feel the same way about hugs.
      Realizing that other's need this activity, I've developed a choreography that works for me. (I'm so tempted to say, "Don't try this at home," but it's up to your discretion, and how you feel at any given moment.
       Usually one person puts their arms around me (for whatever reason), and they compress me until they are, (for whatever reason) done. I'm held still and smashed. This is honest, but now funny, because so many have hugged me, "for my own good" Clearly, it has been for theirs, but they don't love that being pointed out, and I can bend on things, if I think it benefits someone I care for.
   I can get used to hugs from particular people, but it takes me months to a year to figure out how they move, how much smashing is required for them, where they put their arms, and following, where mine go. It's totally choreographed, but once I get hold, I'm good with it.
    I hear, "Stop analyzing it, and just enjoy." a lot. Well, "enjoy" isn't going to happen soon, rather after I get the hang of it. I couldn't enjoy singing a song for the first time, having never heard it before either. I need to learn the rhythm, the notes, and a meaning would be nice, but it's not necessary. I don't have to understand everything. After, I can sing it and enjoy.
     Disengaging is a tough one. I've figured out that for most people, if I wait for them to loosen their (death) grip, then I release slowly, they seem pleased. I've let go too quickly many times, and that hurts their feelings. (Weird people!) It's not just that they need hugs, they need it done right for them. (Did I mention they are weird?) Turns out I can like hugs, it just takes me a while to figure out how it's done. If I initiate hugs, it all goes so much more smoothly, so I put myself on a schedule of doing this, because if I don't, I'll forget. There is something about two people coming directly at each other that is unnervingly confrontational to me, so if the opportunity arises, I will sneak up either beside or behind them. Surprisingly, they really like being accosted! I smash them, until again they start to try to escape, as I would, then they smile and are pleased.
    Certainly, I absolutely never hug, unless I want to. The reason I do, is because I'm aware of the needs of others (be they ever so strange), but I also put my own needs first. In this way, I am sure I'm ready for contact. I plan hugs, make sure I'm not near a meltdown (I'd never make it) and I've learned to plot for hug opportunities. I love to do these things, so we can get on to other interesting things, like discussing the meaning of life or painting or how light plays on tree limbs, or the weird stuff other people do.
      The great news is, relationships stay new and exciting for me, far longer than they do for others. I can be as clumsy and nervous at the 2nd or10th year kiss or hug as I was on the first date. I'm still not sure where the noses go. It's doesn't get boring. That's for sure. hehe.
   As for why people hug, I still don't know, but my internal organs seem to be ok with a little smashing, and this may increase blood flow, which is good for the body, as long as no parts turn blue for lack of lung space.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Response: OT Therapist pressing charges against a 13 yr. old Autistic Child

 I love ThAutcast! This is my response to the story above about an OT therapist who is pressing charges against an Autistic student for (having a meltdown) hitting her in the head with headphones. Normally, I don't recommend listening to the news, as I see it as a form of gossip, but if it enlightens, or causes introspection, change for the better, then I believe it's valuable.

    There's my answer! (at least for now) I tend to pray or meditate about a decision, then I wait and see what information comes. The story above showed up without my searching, but then these stories are plentiful enough that I'm not surprised. I'm more surprised that people are shocked by them, day after day, story after story.
   I was considering seeking to find if there was OT (Occupational Therapy) for adults. There is always room for improvement in me, after all. One deterrent (ok several) makes me hesitate. I had a therapist in high school  who talked a lot about relationships. She'd been married six times, was rather young and had spent a lot of time in the sun. I always worried about her skin, and other decision making skills. Nice lady though. Moving on.  I had a friend, turned creepy stalker who used to be a therapist. (No worries, I'm too logical not to nail these things.) Are you hearing that they have issues too? Surprised?
    If you've read this far, you're no longer allowed to be surprised. That's right. Tomorrow's or next week's story of abuse by parents, teachers, therapists, docs, nurses, bus drivers, care givers, preachers, never mind just get a dictionary. If the occupation is listed, abuse is possible in it. Abusive people don't pick just one particular field. I guess they like variety just like everyone else. (eek!) Am I saying people are dumb for going to therapists? No. I'm saying I'm shocked by the persistence with which people are shocked when they find out these people are human and sometimes are stricken with the intelligence of turnips. It happens to everyone at one time or another. It even happens to geniuses who are not therapists. (case in point--->tina jones) Now that the shock is over....
    Stalking and other abuse happens a lot with Aspie women, so I've heard. (It happens with males too, and I'm not certain that they don't have an even worse time when it does.) For whatever reason, disturbed people like us a lot. Yeah, it's creepy, and the awareness that one has to watch even the Tupperware salesperson, the ladies' auxiliary and the local produce provider, doesn't make it easier.
    We don't often get abuse cues, body language gets past me, and always looking for the positive, I don't always see a predator. Often used to misunderstanding people, even if something hits me as being off, I all too often assume, it's just me and my perceptions. I too often have taken blame for the misconduct of others. (ie. I breathed wrong, and that's why they are stalking me. B.S.) For me, I absolutely have to rely on the judgement and input of those who love me, as well as trusting my gut. I have a few very close friends who act as interpreters when a new person comes into my life or when an old one gets weird. I am short on the ability to see intention, and I rely on these few who have always been supportive.
   What do I do for these reliable friends? I love them. I'm the first to point out logic that they might miss in very emotional situations. (ie. Someone bugs you. It's not personal. Report it!) I make them laugh.  I accept them as they are, and I care deeply about their feelings, Just to be clear, it's not a one way street. We help each other, and if you don't have a person with Autism in your life, I strongly suggest you get one! (big smiles) We're cool people. We just make good bait for weirdos, and who else are you going to call to set up your computer, organize your rubber bands, teach the joys of hand-flapping or point out the obvious in a world of swirling emotion? We can be veritable Yoda's at times. (humor, but you ARE reading this. grins!)
    Years ago, I had a person who had studied therapy tell me that people who get into studying and doing  therapies often do it to heal something in themselves, and that they were often, "some of the sickest people on the planet." Many in the field have since agreed when I asked them. It seemed an odd statement at the time, but the reasoning becomes clearer as time and stories like the above occur. That said, I've known many therapists and more docs on a personal level having been married over a decade to a doc, who helped other docs with addictions keep their licenses as well as therapists, nurses, etc. I've met many from all over the world. I've held so many of those kids (their fragile state leaves me no other word, and it's meant with the utmost compassion.) in my arms while they shook and cried, and I'm the one with Autism. (So much for that lack of empathy theory.)
times, sickness and mistakes. Ditch the pedestals. Pedestals do no one any good.)
     In this news situation, I wonder about whoever it was that hired this person, and decided it was ok to allow them to work with children. More, I wonder about the state of systems that don't provide enough support for teachers, therapists and students.  It's not a decision I would have made, and certainly no one, no matter how put together they seemed should have gone without their own therapy if they were to be working with children or adults, as well as a back up to relieve them should they crack, as I've seen so many do. The news is enough evidence that it happens without having had my experience on a personal level with them.
   The child needs more than this person can provide, of that much I am certain.
    People are people, and they make mistakes.....even me. (I probably should have written "especially" rather than even, but we all get turns.)
     "Be the change you want to see in the world." Mahatma Ghandi
    On the positive side, I am capable of many things, and aware that therapists and docs and produce providers (or whatever) often help us to find the answers that are already inside of us, so I'll be looking to whatever best part of me there is for my own growth. I didn't get much help as a kid, and I made it. I'll make it now. I also look to friends, those on spiritual paths, those who are growing themselves. Even a child can enlighten me when I'm open enough to hear it. Further, they don't yet have a lot of the baggage associated with alleged adulthood. (That which is chronological, and without further evidence.)   Sometimes we just have to travel territory that others haven't, make mistakes, try again, and sometimes we even get to use our very mistakes to encourage another. I've made plenty of mistakes, so I have a treasure trove of them to grow from.
    Help is fantastic where it's available and healthy, but if it's not, don't underestimate the ability of a non verbal, stimming child to climb mountains. I'm still doing it, and I've seen some of the most beautiful views!
  Oh, I'm still open to the idea of therapy, but there will be no expectations, and I'll bring the compassion, and balance I'm looking for with me. If I need it, chances are others do too.
tina jones

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hygiene Humor? Oh why not?!

Because I know how men love hearing it, (sarcasm) tomorrow I have to go to the store to procure feminine supplies. (cool how I was all delicate there, huh?)
   Well, normally I hate shopping, but this I love. When I'm toting that stuff around, you see,
NO ONE messes with me! Even other women will enter the same aisle, see it, slowly back up and let me go by. It works better than two guard dogs and a tin of mace. I'm thinking of buying that stuff every time I go to the store, just as a crowd buffer! (I guess I could use the extras for wall insulation or emergency candles...)
   Oddly, to me,  they're scared because they think I'm going to be/act a certain way, as if my guard is going to come down emotionally, that some weird creepy stuff is going to show up, and it does.
   What they don't know is that I get uncharacteristically....ready?... cuddly! I know. It's crazy, scary. The worst thing that could happen is that this normally "Hug me and lose a carotid!" lady could possibly affectionately squeeze a door greeter. No one needs that.
   What they don't know won't hurt them though, and it gets me through the check out quicker.
 (wickedly) heh heh heh!
tina jones

Monday, January 2, 2012

Resolutions Of the NOW

After a lifetime of failing every New Year's Resolution I made, berating myself, and giving up until the next new year, I quit. For me, I was setting up for failure, and didn't realize it. I made resolutions that were far beyond my reach or capacity. I'd push myself mercilessly to attatain them, and caving under my own self imposed pressure, I'd give up. Further, my plan was set up to free me of trying again for an entire year. Perfect.
  For numerous reasons, my life had to get very simple some time back. It's been about 22 years since my last New Year's resolution. I had to live in the day.
  Now, there's nothing that irritates me more than an overused cliche, and heaven forbid a platitude, but when they work, they work.
  Enter the music to "Mission Impossible." Here's the task: I've got 24 hours, not a minute more, nor less. This is it. This hour is the ONLY time I've got. What will I resolve to do? Seconds are stake.
  Choose the cake that causes cavities or drink a glass of water and have a salad?
   "Never" gets left out of language when NOW is all you have. Never having cake again "never" enters my mind. Having it one day months or weeks ahead of NOW is not a thought I have time for. Here and now is all that matters when it comes to my actions. Plans don't count, Intentions don't count. The action I take in this moment does.
   This is the hour, not the year, this is the hour. Will I paint? This is it, no tomorrows, no "laters," here and now.
   The beauty is there are no "wrong" choices. The only important matter is that I make Conscious choices. Maybe in this hour there will be cake, but I will be aware that I chose it. Do I choose healthy or not? Do I choose this hour to run myself ragged trying to please someone who may take up ten minutes of my day later, or do I take a much needed rest?
   Every minute counts. Do I choose to work so hard that I miss an opportunity, maybe the last one, to laugh with a friend? This is it.
   Do I allow myself to plan or dream in this hour, or do I spend it in fear and self defeat?
   Do I choose to improve my intelligence or do I choose a movie that's bored me three times before?
   Do I choose to help or hide in fear?
   Here and now. Do I choose stillness, so I strengthen myself to be there for someone who may need me later, or do I choose worry and make myself too tired to help?
  Do I choose to turn the music off in this hour or will I dance?
   Down to days, hours and minutes, priorities reveal themselves so splendidly.
   I have to go now. I have to giggle on the phone with my daughter, and likely I'll choose some laughing bubbles for my bath after, but I don't have to worry about that now..This hour is for joy.
tina jones