I am the Queen of disjointed thinking. I like your hat! :-D

Posts tagged ‘autism’

Making Friends with Things

Hello.  I’m PrettyKitty and I anthropomophise everything ever; from “This is my favourite blanket because it gives good cuddles” to “My dress does not look stupid!  You take that back, you’ve hurt her feelings!” and naming every plant in my garden and every musical instrument I’ve ever had in my possession: my gazania plant is Rupert, my tomato plant is Darcy; Ethel, Guinevere and Deborah-Rose are my clarinet, guitar and piano.  I once had a bucket named Julie.  A bucket.  Named Julie.  Referred to as “she”.  I’m sure you see the picture I am painting here.

When I was little, everyone thought it was pretty normal; lots of kids have pet sticks or pet rocks, besides which I am an only child and there were no children around my age in my life, and I have a very active imagination.
Except I wasn’t imagining, I was believing.  I still believe, but now with a tiny slice of added logic.
I’m told this is very common for both people with synesthesia, which I’m blessed with, and autism, which I am also blessed with.
It’s not too bad, except if I break a cup of whatever, I feel like I’ve killed it and all the other cups will miss it and that’s my fault (shut up, That Guy!).

Now, since everything ever in the whole world has feelings, obviously their feelings need to be protected; they need to be nurtured.  Obviously, if I nurture things and keep them safe, they will love me as much as I love them (That Guy again?  Why are you still here?!) and will take care of me as well.  They are my friends, just as real as human and animal friends.

So imagine how I feel when I lose a special object, when something is removed from me against my wishes and against my power.

I recently lost four friends.  Three of them didn’t have individual names, but I named them Glitz as a collective.
I had a dragon pendant (named Dragon) and three garnet rings (Glitz) that I wore every time I left home for many years.  Recently my home was broken into and they were stolen.  I feel all the normal things anyone would feel in this situation, in addition I am grieving the loss of four very, very dear friends, and I’ve come here to tell you about them.

My rings were birthday gifts from my parents, garnet is my birth stone.  I got them for my sixteenth, eighteenth and twenty-first birthdays.  When I was about fourteen, I knew I wanted to have a ring on every finger, I wanted to be like Ringo (the Beatle, not the Japanese word for apple).  I wanted them to be special, so I spoke to my parents about getting them for special birthdays.  I got the first one while I was still fifteen, as my dad (who worked away on oil rigs, as I have mentioned before) was going to be at work for my birthday.  It was small and simple but very beautiful, and made my heart leap to look at it.  I wore it proudly to school the next Monday, and made all my actual human friends say nice things about it.

I got Dragon from a little shop in Bundaberg when I was seventeen.  I saw him there and I knew I didn’t want to be without him.  I felt we bonded instantly and were friends from the first time he was around my neck.  Over the years I changed the cord several times and watched Dragon change colour from a bronze tone to a silver-grey-white-whatever tone.  It didn’t matter to me that he didn’t look shiny and new anymore, he was my friend.

Do you have a friend who’s very presence makes you feel safe and secure?  They give you that little bit of confidence and make you feel you are ok, even when all the evidence says you are not?  That was my Dragon.  He was that friend for me.

Do you have a friend who’s all-caring and makes you feel loved all the time?  A friend who radiates love and fills a room with joy?  That was my first Glitz.

Do you have a friend who makes you laugh by being around?  A friend who smiles when they see you, and then you’re smiling too?  That was my second Glitz.

Do you have a friend who lets you know, even when you’re down and out, even when it seems things could not get worse, that you have worth?  A friend who makes you feel like a queen/king (delete as appropriate) even when you’re wondering where your next meal is coming from?  That was my third Glitz.

And they’re all gone.

Four of the best friends I have ever had.

Four of the friends I have known the longest.

Gone.

All gone in one fell swoop.

I feel afraid now.  I know they are things, I know they have no real power, but knowing and feeling are different, and what I feel is broken-hearted.

Signed with love and hope,

The Pretty Kitty.

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Feeling a bit spectrummy.

That’s all it is.  I think I’ve said before that I don’t like the term “Autism Spectrum Disorder” (ASD) because I don’t like the D word.  Seriously, don’t swear at me like that.  Some days I’m more spectrummy than others; it’s hard to explain and it can be triggered by anything or nothing.  Yesterday and today I’ve been feeling a bit spectrummy.  I listened to the one song on repeat for (quite literally) three-and-a-half hours yesterday, and I’m heading towards doing the same thing today.  Constancy.  Repetitive noises actually really upset me, but a song is a different animal.  Anyway, I digress.
There are certain traits not just mentally and emotionally but also physically that are common to all persons with Autism, a certain physiognomy, if you will allow, for want of better wording.  I’m not going to go into that too much here, it’s mostly just my own observations, but if you look at side by side images of persons you know to have autism, even very “mildly” (again excuse wording), you will notice commonalities, I’m sure of it.  One thing that I have noticed as common to spectrummy adults is the thinky-wrinkle.  This is the little wrinkle between your eyes that you get from thinking constantly about ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING EVER!  It’s similar to but different from a scowl line, and when you learn to pick the difference, it’s quite plain to see (maybe just me?  Someone confirm…)
When does it become noticeable? Well that depends how much you wrinkle.  Mine’s barely started now, I have the tiniest, shallowest thinky-wrinkle possible, and chances are I wouldn’t let you get close enough to my face to see it, but a school friend of mine had his very visibly and completely by fourteen.
I like to sit in the Quiet Carriage on the train and see how many thinky-wrinkles I can spot.  They’re quite plentiful in there.
How does it happen?  What are all these thoughts?  Well, from my own experience, they’re constant micro-calculations of one’s environment and surroundings.  Take this example that I hastily cobbled together in MS Paint, a scenario of walking along the footpath when a car (looks like an old Ford) is sitting in a driveway, the driver attempting to enter the flow of traffic.
Image 

For non-spectrummy-type people, this is not a stressful situation or one that involves a lot of thinking.  Walk around the car, right?  Simple.  For me, not simple.  I have the “walk around the car” bit sorted, because can’t go over it, can’t go under it, have to go through it… wait, this isn’t a bear hunt, it’s a walk to the shops, can’t go through the car, have to go around it, ok, sorted…  Around it how?  Around in front?  Around behind?  Maybe I should just wait for the car to go first, I really just want to walk in a straight line.  Too much traffic, too much standing.  What do I do while I’m standing, waiting?  I can’t stand there looking like I’m waiting, that’s weird.  Just go around the car.  Mud behind, go in front of the car, don’t walk in the mud, nice shoes, no mud.  Walk in front (by now one is only about a metre away from the car.  Stress levels are high.  Palms are sweating.  Heart is racing).  CAR MOVED FORWARD!  Wait, it stopped.  GIRLY RUN PAST FRONT OF CAR!  YES DO!

And that’s how thinky-wrinkles happen.

I was going to say more on this, but then I started thinking about yoghurt; fermentation; bacteria; cheese; Italian food; tomatoes; my garden; earthworms; intestinal worms; worming paste; cats; allergies…

Signed with love,

The Pretty Kitty.