Day Nine: For All the Times You Wouldn’t Hold Me (Undiagnosed Father with Aspergers)

Day Nine: For All the Times You Didn’t Hold Me  (Undiagnosed Father with Aspergers)

I first wrote this excerpt several years ago, when I was not yet diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, and had no reason to look for traits in my father. The short vignette shows remarkably well the earmarks of Aspergers: the lack of affection, emotional distance, need for order, obsessive hobbies, and self-interest. I am thankful I documented my personal experience with an innocent perception. In rereading and sharing this truth, I am further healed and graced with a deep understanding of my father navigating through life the best he knew how.

For all the times you couldn’t say it: I love you, Dad.

And for all the times you wouldn’t t hold me: I forgive you.


Though I was deemed a full-fledged adult by all societal standards, the late summer day I strolled into my father’s house hauling a large plastic sack of weathered stuffed animals and my plastic piggybanks, I was still very much a child.  In the previous years, had I been afforded ample time with my father, I might very well have exuded a glowing aura of self-confidence and formidable strength, instead of the bubble of palpable vulnerability I steadily emanated…

(available in the book Everyday Aspergers)


Day Eight: Oh Crap! (And by the way…I Love the Number Eight)



Today I promised myself that I was not going to go on the computer. So here I am! (I’ll give you a second to process that statement.)

I crave writing. When I find a healthy and stimulating venue to pour out my thoughts, I long to return to that place. This is nothing new; I’ve been processing through writing since I learned to hold a writing utensil. My favorites were the scented markers: writing and sweet surprising smells – now that was magical.  Today, as an anxious-ridden adult (living in a fear-based society, I might add), I’d probably worry about the toxins in the ink. Go figure. I miss the innocence of my youth, when I truly believed, without an inkling (how funny; no pun intended!) of doubt, that the world was safe.

In committing to write everyday for a year, (and sometimes two times a day—God love me), I’ve found some added comfort in scanning through other blogs about Aspergers Syndrome. This morning, I came across the word dyspraxia on someone’s page. This word isn’t new to me. As a teacher and former advocate for children with special needs, I’ve come across the term a time or two. However, since I hadn’t been diagnosed myself, until recently, I never took the time to stop and understand what dyspraxia meant. I figured it was something to do with dyslexia or word order.

Now that I have done grueling detective work on the subject; just kidding I goggled Wikipedia, and the process took thirty seconds.

Okay, I have to stop here, because I can’t believe as a human species we now have a word called googled. I can imagine the futuristic race studying this word in the generations to come, much like scholars study Latin phrases now, like ab absurdo (absurd).  And here I take a detour with my mind wondering if googled is in the dictionary, yet; when it will be in the dictionary, and who are these supreme beings that get to decide what is a word and what isn’t? Okay. What was I saying?

Oh yes. In examining the definition of dyspraxia, I scanned down to the Whole Body Movement, Coordination, and Body Image section. And I tell you, if you were a mind reader, you would have heard my young-sounding voice shout: “Oh Crap!”

Now, I’m not collecting labels to define myself—I did the label collecting years ago—and I don’t mean Box Tops for the schools. I’ve been known as a: victim of child abuse, codependent, woman who loves too much, Adult Child, etc. etc. While it is suffice to say, there was a time period in our history where to be understood and function in societal circles amongst women, having a bunch of self-created titles was useful in terms of cackling like the other hens; now, in retrospect, I wonder what the heck I was doing. Again, the brain is to blame. The mechanism that constantly needs to categorize and sort, to make claim to something that makes sense out of the ambiguousness of this illusion named life. (Oops, I digress.) I wonder who thought of the word life and who decided it got a stamp of approval for the dictionary. Who was that man?

Is there a song called: Rambling Woman? I can hear the lyrics in my head.

If anyone is still reading, I will attempt to backup, re-circle the driveway, and return to my starting point. In reading the description of dyspraxia, I’m forced to spill out, and spit out of my mind, the fact that yes indeed I do in fact appear to have dyspraxia. Pin the ribbon on me!

Without risking the act of plagiarizing Wikipedia, let me say in relation to dyspraxia markers that my timing sucks, my balance sucks—yes, I trip over my own feet, I suck at sequencing movements, spatial awareness….sucks,  I drop things all the time, I knock into people, can’t tell the difference between left and right, and I have trouble determining the distance between objects. If you suck at these things, too, then congratulations, you have dyspraxia!

Oh, and in reading on, let me also point out the problems associated with short-term memory, increased propensity to lose things, difficulty following sequence, and sensory processing disorder. Oh boy!

I’m actually very happy at the moment. In my vivid imagination I’m dancing around on stage pushing my arms up and down with my palms facing the ceiling and doing a happy dance. (And I’m twenty pounds lighter) You know why? Because despite these challenges, I taught myself to write, I completed college with honors, and I continue to achieve my goals. I rock!

Now the funny thing is (in an odd, remarkable, and sad kind of way), I was cheerleader for over two years in high school. And I never could figure out how everyone picked up the moves for the cheer routines so quickly and effortlessly, while I had to practice for hours on end, and was still typically going the wrong direction. Cheerleading? You ask. Yes, as I’ve said before, I could perfect any role. Give me a role and I would become that role. When I was a cheerleader that was my identity. I memorized cheers over and over; I wrote cheers; Xeroxed cheers; taught cheers; read about cheers; it was my obsession—I loved touching my megaphone, organizing my trophies, fluffing my pom-poms, and practicing my high jumps and kicks. I just didn’t look up at the bleachers and pretended I was one of those spunky characters from a soap opera or afterschool special, while cheering. It was actually easier being a cheerleader, than being me. Heck, I didn’t know who me was.

I even became captain of the squad my third year—for or a very short while, until the other three girls of the team told lies about me and had me forced out of my position; and having not the tools of conversation or knowhow to defend myself, I quit and cried myself to sleep for a month. Identity lost. Deeper depression set in.

Luckily the meanies, (I didn’t know that was a word. Cool beans!), weren’t my friends to begin with, because I only kept one best girlfriend and one best boyfriend all through high school. I played my part during the schooldays, and then, later, in the safety of the front cab of my boyfriend’s truck, I’d retreat in fear, crying in his arms, terrified of the world and my existence. My sweet boyfriend’s response was always the same: “I love you but I don’t understand you.” I realize to the highest degree humanly and spiritually possible how fortunate I was to have this young lad for emotional support. Believe me. Still, the process of losing an identity and not understanding your own mind, with or without a boyfriend, was terrifying beyond belief.

I’m done. Processing complete. I like this post. Mainly because the writing is a valid example of how my mind streams off in different directions from the main river of thought. I like this post because the voice reflects me, this identity I’ve been uncovering for the entirety of my existence. I like this post.

(I had to write I like this post three times. I truly had to.)

Now I’m going to go sit in my far infrared sauna and purge out all the toxins in my body, while reading a book by Yalom on overcoming death anxiety, and contemplating the best avenue to pursue for my son with Aspergers, who is experiencing extreme anxiety about school, which his therapist calls a phobia, in which I differ in opinion and do not call a phobia, and… Isn’t my life Fabulous!

Day Seven: Aspergers and the Sixth Sense


Sometimes I can see the future. I’ll explain more in a bit.

When I’m partaking in some deep thinking; which let’s face it, is pretty much every waking hour of my life, I hypothesize about the creation of this Asperger’s Syndrome. I’m beginning to wonder, if in fact, Aspergers is not a syndrome at all, but a result of a lack of a particular sense (as in the five senses). Being born with Aspergers might be compared to someone who is born without the ability to hear or see. For example, if social skills were considered a sixth sense of sorts, then could we not theorize that instead of a syndrome (a clinically recognized collection of features, signs, and characteristics) that Aspergers was a result of not having acquired a sixth sense: A deficiency in being able to subconsciously navigate the social arena without assistance?

It is true, that like a person who has challenges with vision or hearing, that a person who has challenges with social skills can be taught said skills to increase his or her aptitude. A person with Aspergers will arguably never truly see socializing from the exact neurotypical viewpoint, but he or she can learn to improve his or her social skills, similarly to the way a man with limited sight would learn to navigate in a seeing world.

(Stay with me here, as I remind you that I’m merely processing aloud, and not discounting any of the scientific studies that are pointing to other biological and environmental causes.)

If we were to consider the prospect of a sixth sense, that of being social skills, and to postulate a child with Aspergers is born with a deficiency in this sense, then would it not be a logical conclusion that other senses would develop more acutely–just as the person who cannot see develops a stronger sense of tactile experience or smell? If this is the case, that a person with Aspergers compensates for a lack in the social skills’ sense, by having a heightened awareness in other senses, then perhaps this explains sensory overload.

In my own experience, I wonder, too, if another sense, that of the ability to see into the hidden worlds, those of the quantum physic and collective unconscious worlds, is not a sense also capable of increasing. In my case, I have been hyper-sensitive in my dream state since I can recall. I began having precognitive dreams at the age of three about my animals and other people. I would tell my mother about my dream, and then parts of the dream would come true.

Here is an example of how my precognitive sense works:

In what I believe was early December (as I did not record the date), as I stood in the living room talking to my husband, suddenly I saw a scene before my eyes. A waking “knowing” that is difficult to explain. The process was similar to watching a sped up movie before my eyes, while at the same instant knowing a “truth” was being conveyed from a higher source.

That late day in December, overcome but what I saw in the vision, I uttered words close to the following to my husband: “Honey, in the early part of next year Carmen will be calling you with news about her health. It will be a serious illness, one requiring a lot of your attention, and a time when you will be asked to fly down and see her. This is partially happening at this time because there is such a physical distance between you for the first time in her life.”  I don’t know how I knew this, but I just did; as if someone had just phoned me and told me the news, and I was conveying what I knew to my husband.

I went on to explain in more detail what I meant by this to my husband. It is important for me to communicate that at the time of the event there had never been any indication of serious health concerns, or indicators that Carmen’s health would be compromised in the near future. In the many years I have known Carmen, there has never once been a serious health concern that required my husband’s full attention.

This news came to a great surprise to my husband, and he responded by saying: “Don’t say things like that.” He then shook it off, fearing the superstition that I might be creating this by speaking it, and thinking I was wrongly informed. I, myself, too hoped that the vision I saw was wrong, but I could not put the image of my husband flying on a plane to go see Carmen out of my mind.

In early January I had a profound dream, one that stirred me so greatly that I was drawn to write the details of the dream down in my journal; this was a significant act, as it remains the only dream I wrote down in the last nine months, and the only dream I wrote since moving to the state of Washington. (I have been encouraged to record all my dreams, and hope to develop this dedicated habit soon.)

Thirty days after I recorded the dream, we received news of Carmen’s health. At that time, I was immediately able to retrieve my dream journal and show the page to my husband. He was much surprised at the words he read, as was I; even with the ability I have carried of prophetic dreams since I was a child, the process of the dreams coming true still affects me to a great degree.

I will not write the exact words found in my journal, but summarize with some detail. First, this is the only dream I ever recall about Carmen and her daughter that I have had in my entire life. I clearly remember my dreams each morning I wake, without fail. Usually I remember at least three or more dreams.

This dream began with Carmen’s daughter at a home similar to ours. In the dream there were palm trees in a storm—a symbolism I took to mean calm turning into a stormy situation, or storms ahead. I asked (telepathically) Carmen’s daughter to tell me why she was at our house without Carmen. She then took me back in time, as if painting a story. I was removed from the events she unfolded, like a bystander walking alongside the characters without them seeing me.

In the dream Carmen was in a world I did not recognize, surrounded by a golden field of what looked to be high grass or wheat. She seemed at peace, though I noted in my dream journal she had lost a lot of weight, and had undergone much emotional change. Around her were most of her grandchildren, circling in the field and carefree in spirit. Carmen’s daughter indicated to me (telepathically and through symbolism) that Carmen’s weight loss was due to severe stomach pain. She showed me this by leaning over, clutching her stomach, and acting like she was throwing up. I noted in my dream journal that this meant chemotherapy as a result of cancer.

Carmen’s hair was mostly gone or hidden and she wore a bandana around her head. Her pants were long and purple, which signified a spiritual transformation or passing on from this world. Carmen’s daughter indicated by pointing to a hospital sign and again using telepathy that there was “no help in this place.” A child (*), liken to my youngest son, began to swell and be sickly; Carmen lifted this child and was trying to take him to a hospital for help. None could be found. I suddenly was seen by Carmen, and began to apply healing light to this child. The child and Carmen were pleased.

When I wrote this dream the following morning, I felt in my heart that Carmen would be discovering an incurable cancer in her body, and be undergoing chemotherapy. I did not share this dream with my husband. I did not want to upset him, and a part of me hoped that the dream had only been symbolic of my friend’s mother, who I learned the next day, following my dream, had just recently died of cancer.

Another part of this experience involved my physical body. For some reason, call it my empathic ability, I some times experience symptoms and discomfort in the same body location as someone I know, usually before I actually know of their diagnosis. For instance, recently I was unable to move off the couch all day from severe back pain. I told my mother I believed I was feeling sympathy pain for my stepmother undergoing back surgery; though it turned out that on that same exact day my cousin had broken his back. On the day my son’s teacher fell and injured her tailbone requiring hospitalization, I also had a freak accident where I bruised my tailbone. When a good friend was undergoing breast surgery, I developed a cyst on my breast (never has happened since or before that). These could be considered coincidence; and I tend to lean that way myself, except that these “coincidences” continue to manifest themselves in my body.

Concerning Carmen, the entire month before we were informed of her condition, I developed an unusual circular rash on my chest. It was “scary” for me, to the point I went to the doctor twice. Right before we learned of Carmen’s health concerns, the circular rash began to fade. For thirty days straight I was convinced I had cancer in that location of my body, to the point that I bothered my husband repeatedly, having him examine the spot. With news of Carmen, I knew where the cancer was: indeed it resides on the exact same side of her chest (inside her lung). I also soon started to have a discomfort, like a knife pain, in my back; Carmen confirmed this to be the same area where she was feeling discomfort.

Approximately a week or two before we received news of Carmen, I had another dream, one which I told my friend about the morning after the dream occurred. In the dream, my father phoned me to say he had cancer. During the dream, there was a period of trying to acquire more information, and wondering about the severity of the condition. The time period seemed to last several days in the dream. My father then phoned back in the dream, to tell me that his state was incurable and serious but that he wasn’t planning on going anywhere anytime soon.

The morning following the dream, I confided in my friend that I did not think this person represented my father, and that I believed (as had happened in the past) that he was a messenger of sorts in the dream, indicating that someone else in the family was going to be calling with news of their health.

It was in early February that Carmen called us late in the evening to tell us of her health news . That same morning I had a strong feeling to send her a present. Something I have never thought to do before (except Christmas time). I told my friend that I wanted to send Carmen a special and significant token with a note that read: I love you unconditionally. In my mind I was picturing my rose quartz necklace, and imagining purchasing something similar to the necklace, so that a healing stone could rest in the area near her heart. I had no idea why I was getting this indication.

Then, during breakfast that same morning, with the same friend, I had a very odd experience; the first of this sort. As I was eating, I kept looking over my friend’s shoulder at a metal coat rack that rested in the corner. There were some jackets, a bag and some other objects hanging from the curved bars of the rack. For approximately thirty-minutes, I repeatedly kept saying to my friend, “This is so strange, but the coat rack behind you keeps appearing to be an executioner; the type from years ago that had a sack over their head as they oversaw the gallows.” This was very disturbing, as I usually do not have visions of such sort, in the broad daylight in public nonetheless. My friend was very patient, as I kept repeating the apparition I saw behind her. I was a bit worried for my friend, as well. I felt at this time that this was an omen of news soon to come regarding death or the like. Again, I repeat, this was the same day Carmen called us.

In summary, the five signs were as follows:

1: The waking vision in early December involving news of Carmen’s health and my husband’s attention.

2: The dream 30 days before the news, that outlined the process Carmen would experience with her health.

3: The dream a couple weeks leading up to the eventual phone call, involving my father and his news of cancer.

4: The odd rash on my chest and the knife pain in my back, as well as the need to mail something to heal the heart region to Carmen.

5: The apparition of an executioner for a half-hour the same day we heard the news.


* Soon following the news of Carmen, I had to rush my son to the emergency from a severe medication reaction, which caused his body to swell in hives. The experience was was very similar to the rushing for help in the dream.