309: My Wounded One

My wounded one
I see you
I see you there crying alone
I see you with your hands pressed against your fragile skin
Your endless wonderment less chariot than dungeon
Your blizzard mind a target for jagged daggers
Though you are fearful and doubled-down with fear
Though you are strangled, the agony rising and choking dragon from within
I see you
I see you there crying alone
I see you with your heart set out for all, freshly pierced and bleed out upon your sleeve
Your efforts ignored, your desires stifled, your wishes buried with the agony and trembles
Your dreams trampled, your journey unknown, the light dimming and dimming
Though the isolation suffocates and pulls you further inward
Though the ground sinks beneath trapping you in what can only be hell
I see you
I see you there crying alone
I see you, the streaks of your past spread across the room and painted black on each wall
Your moment passed, your joy forgotten, your answers diminished, a sunrise never set
Your sense of isolation churning and twisting, your path unknown in its familiar confusion
Though the images of the future be blurred and joy feels beyond reach
Though the exhaustion breathes alive and misery claims you as chained-companion
I see you
I see you there crying alone
I see you, your swollen eyes, your swollen love, your swollen wants and needs
Your sadness pouring and pounding out in waves, your veins split open and pouring hurt
Your flesh a painful reminder of who you are and who you are not
Though you are crushed and beaten, bombarded by questions and uncertainty
Though abandonment seems certain and slumber your necessary avenue of escape
I see you
I see you there crying alone
I see you my sibling of this strange land, captive to the unknown hauntings
Your strength burdened with heaviness, your view one of bleakness and doom
Your begging a desperation born into being, your emptiness still empty
Though you be an injurious child, nailed to what appears to be destiny
Though you be a fallen star, burned out and spread upon the masses as aged ash
I see you
I see you there crying alone
I see you my precious earth traveler, your shoes worn, your feet bruised
Your image I hold, as I hold the most cherished of nature’s treasures
Your journey I behold, as I behold the purifying waters of a revisited well
Though we be apart, I recognize you as my equal warrior
Though we be separate, I recognize you as my equal healer
For I see you
I see you there crying alone
I see you there calling out in the whispers of your silent ache
Your beauty penetrating the deepest portion of my own existence
Your strength fueling the carved out substance of life that has surrendered
Though you feel blinded, your gift of being grants me the capacity to carry on
Though you feel unworthy, your gift of being grants me the capacity to see my light
I see you
I see you there crying alone
Your heart as my heart, your soul as my soul
Your pain as my pain, your fear as my fear
Though we be temporarily burned within the flame of all consuming mystery
Though we be masked in a disguise of imprisoned misery
I see you
I see you there crying alone

~ Samantha Craft, January 2013

Repost From Day 20. My vision of the Wounded Healer.

The Wounded Healer

“There are many types of healers. They are all brave. No healer is better or lesser than the other. One healer is called The Wounded Healer. Sometimes this may be preferred to as The Wounded Warrior, as they are like warriors, in their undying effort to overcome obstacles and serve. Before coming to this earth Wounded Healers make a soul-contract to answer the calling of a healer. Those that answer the call follow a similar pattern in life; some eventually become healers of great magnitude through various means, others partially complete the process; and still some, as hard as they try to answer the call on this plane, cannot. Still the soul-commitment of a Wounded Healer alone adds to the positive vibration of the earth and heals. And in this way there is always success. A Wounded Healer need do nothing on this planet and still contribute to the healing effect. However, The Wounded Healer that does go on to complete his task will have a huge impact on others’ pain.

Human pain is perceived as physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, and psychological in combination. No pain experienced is singular. Because no pain is singular, Wounded Healers “learn” to understand various levels of pain in their own life. To a great degree, each person on earth has the potential to be a healer. In fact each person in recognizing the light in another human being automatically heals. Thoughts heal. Words heal. But The Wounded Healer varies from many others in that their life’s purpose from birth is to heal. Because of this, there will be distinct markers of a Wounded Healer.

At all times it is beneficial to remember that a Wounded Healer is no greater or lesser than anyone on this plane of existence, and seeing oneself as a Wounded Healer is not meant to elevate or lift a person. In truth a Wounded Healer will feel a great degree of conflict in reading this; not wanting to feel prideful, pleased, or increased in any measure, there will be discomfort in the physical body upon reading these words. For The Wounded Healer’s main objective, above all, is to remain humble in spirit. Without humility, the healing efforts are lessened, not decreased entirely, but depleted with feelings of judgment of self and others. One cannot judge oneself lesser or greater than another, without losing humility. One cannot heal to the greatest degree without humility. Thus, these variants are dependent upon one another; that is to say, give up self to become humble, become humble to heal. Of course, as humans, there is a degree of self-giving and self-worth that is necessary to survive. Therefore, a balance is necessary—that is to say, for The Wounded Healer there needs to be a balance of healing of others and self-love. Though most Wounded Healers, when reaching the fruit of their calling, will be naturally loved and healed through healing others in humility. And therefore, in its greatest capacity, the healing is contradictory in terms of existing as both self-serving and endowed with humility. This is a complicated matter in considering, but no less necessary to explain.

There are five distinct traits of a Wounded Healer. These traits can be used to identify a healer in yourself or others.

(1) Wounded Healers are set on a path of empathy from birth. This is referred to as the “pain-cycle.” Often over-sensitive and naïve in nature, The Wounded Healer will experience pain in all forms before reaching their final role as a Healer of Mankind. This pain will happen throughout many years of their youth, and likely into young adulthood. Some will experience strong degrees of pain for half or more of their life. When this pain-cycle is complete, differs for each healer. When they have experienced the pain intended to experience, the cycle will make a dramatic shift. This will be an obvious shift. Observers will recognize this shift, as will the individual. The shifting of the pain-cycle will feel like a rebirth. This is often predicated by a dramatic change in lifestyle or life choice. This is not to be confused of “hitting bottom” or breaking the cycle of addiction. This is the end result of years of trials and tribulations—one after the other of soul-experience of pain and human-experience of pain, until at last there is a sunrise of a new day. This will literally feel like a “dawning.” There will be no doubt that the pain-cycle has come to an end. Healers will thus still experience pain, pain does not disappear, but the cycle of learning through pain will have ceased to spin.

(2) Often, almost all of the time, the child will experience great trauma in childhood. This will be perceived at one pain-level at minimum, most commonly the psychological-level, but very often the pain comes in combination. Wounded healers choose to experience a childhood of trauma in order to obtain a higher degree of empathy. This trauma (during this current time period) can be seen in all forms of abuse, ridicule, shame, addiction, neglect, malnourishment, poverty and abandonment. In the absence of an outside force produced by others, or in combination, the pain may be self-inflicted, as in perceived ailments of the mind or body. This may take the form of disfigurement, or the inability to be considered by others as “normal.” In later life this pain-cycle may manifest itself in the form of repeated unexplained sickness. These traumas will make a mark on the child. Each mark will serve as a greater good in the years that follow. Each mark indicates a pain that will be released from another being other than the healer. This can be visualized as slashes on the skin. A Wounded Healer carries these slashes that have turned to scars. Each person they heal at a later date will cause a healer’s scar to heal. Thus it follows the more scars a child experiences, the mores pains she is destined to remove from others. But remember, the number of scars is not equated to the number of people. In the process of healing only one person, all of the healer’s scars can vanish. In this way, a Wounded Healer’s soul-purpose may be to heal only one. Whether one or millions are healed is of no difference. Healing one has as much power and magnitude as healing millions. There is no lesser or greater; this is of up most importance to remember. Therefore, a Wounded Healer may complete his contract by healing one or healing many.

(3) All Wounded Healers are called to serve since childhood. It is not uncommon for the child to know before the age of ten what they aspire to be. Whether this vocation transforms rapidly or slowly is dependent upon the pain-cycle the person is to experience. Some will arrive at the vocation at a young age, while other will change jobs many times before answering the call. Still others will slowly transition. All life experience will benefit the Healer’s vocation. In childhood, The Wounded Healer will seek out ways to help others. Oversensitive, they will feel drawn to saving, nursing, rescuing, and easing discomfort. They will notice the wonders of nature that others often overlook. They will cry if a creature is hurt. They will cry if a person is hurt. At one point, in an attempt to survive, they will learn to stop crying as much, and this can cause much inner turmoil. These children will seem wise beyond their years. They will have the strong need to serve the greater good. They will often feel like failures and not good enough. This will be mistaken for low self- esteem. This is not so. These souls have a strong, if not all encompassing need to serve and heal, and when they cannot do so they feel suffocated, inadequate, weak, and not good enough. They might be mistaken by others as depressed, failures, dreamers, or perfectionists. Emotions may be out of control.

4) All wounded healers are empathic and also considered Empathic Healers. The Empathic Healers carry empathic traits, but do not necessarily carry all the traits of a Wounded Healer. The Wounded Healer includes the qualities of an Empathic Healer. However, an Empathic Healer may or may not have the traits of the Wounded Healer, such as: traumatic childhood and pain-cycle. In distinguishing the two, there is no urgency or necessity. But for clarity we point out the difference. Traits of an Empathic Healer include the ability to read the emotional energy field outside of a person. This can or cannot be seen. Usually the energy is felt more than seen. But seeing can be developed with focused practice and attention. Empathics have the ability to pick up on others’ emotional state. They may feel “depleted” in energy around other people, especially in crowds. This is a falsehood to consider the experience a “depletion.” This interpretation implies that there is not enough energy left in the person, and that something has been removed, taken, leaked, or escaped. There is no depletion of energy that is possible. What is happening is the person is taking the others’ energy and reworking the energy so to say, and then returning the energy cleansed to the others. This is like a doctor removing a sample of blood, cleaning the blood, and returning the blood. Only the Empathic Healer is the doctor, the tube holding the blood, and the source of healing. Thus the Empathic Healer is left feeling tired from the process. There is no danger in this except the feeling of exhaustion and the possible susceptibility to taking on another’s pain instead of cleansing the pain. Each Empathic Healer will have to learn how to protect themselves from exhaustion and the transfer of pain. The key is to recognize ultimately there is no pain, and thus, what is really happening is an energy transfer, a giving of one to heal another at a soul-level. This “healing” is complicated, but it is suffice to say the one must recognize the other for the earth to heal, although, even this is very much not the true and ultimate meaning.

5) All wounded healers are repeatedly humbled. This begins in childhood and does not stop for the course of a lifetime. For in order to heal to the greatest degree, as mentioned before, the person must practice and live in humility. Each will do so in various degrees. The greatest healers and shifters of mankind will be the most humble. We need not look far to see who these souls were that existed to transform this world. Not all souls who are Wounded Healers will retreat to the greatest of humility, there will be varying degrees based on culture and the necessity to affect change. How others perceive the healer is still important. Societal rules and regulations, and the status of a person, can all affect the perceived skill of the healer. Therefore, each Healer will have different degrees of humility. Not all seekers will feel comfortable with a half naked man with no teeth. Therefore, Healers are colored in all patterns, and dressed in robes that will attract those needed to fulfill their highest good. This may mean no robe, a tattered robe, a designer robe, or a robe of gold; what matters is not the robe the healer wears but what he houses beneath. A Wounded Healer will heal. This is a matter of practicality. There is no way she cannot.

Wounded since childhood, and sometimes before entering this plane, the soul of The Wounded Healer will seek out help from an early age. They will attempt to remove the pain in many methods. Many of the methods will lead to further humility. Sources such as strict religion, addictive relationships, drugs, alcohol, gambling, overwork, and the like will often accompany the Wounded Healer in his journey through the pain-cycle. Many will seek help through doctors, psychics, energy-healers, therapists, clergy, and counselors, and in this way continue to be humbled. Others may succumb to mental collapse or physical breakdown. Again, they will be stripped to the bare bone. Some will experience great pain through loss and affliction repeatedly, which end results leads to humility. The pain-cycle will continue. When the fruitful time has arrived, The Wounded Healer will break free from the pain-cycle. This is different for each person. If one were to know when the pain would end, this would be no different then knowing the age of death. On knowing the age of death all life is unavoidably lived and experienced differently. Therefore The Wounded Healer has made an agreement to not know when the pain-cycle will end, in order not to affect change or the end result.

Even as the pain-cycle ends, pain remains to a degree. Humility remains, as does the ability to see in others what is in thy own self. Humility then becomes a coat of armor and a friend. A blessed companion we thank the heavens for creating. For in this grand humility we find the comfort of knowing what has come before has served to heal.

In evaluating a Wounded Healer it is best not to use logic but instead to rely on instinct and feeling. A healer of such magnitude, who carries the armor of humility and the pain of many scars, will be notable to you on many levels. First, and foremost, they will carry with them a peace and inner light so that you will have a tendency to feel that you “know” the person or want to know them. You will be attracted to The Wounded Healer and not necessarily know why. This of course is after the completion of the pain-cycle—before this you might actually be propelled away or want to escape. But we speak of the end of the pain-cycle, when the cloak of humility, grace and service is evident. In this time seek you signs of a welcomed presence. This Healer will seem wise beyond his years, will gravitate towards serving others for the sake of healing alone, and will often be serious-minded and unable to easily let go and relax. Overall, in considering The Wounded Healer it is important to remember their coat of humility. For whatever they may say or do, or seem to say or do through your perception, their ultimate goal is healing.” ~ Sam

(No editing was applied to this prose. This all came out in one quick sitting.)

If you be a wounded healer, I recognize you, I see you, I hear you weeping, and I love you. Wishing you love and light and the strength to carry on. With deep compassion and love. ~ Sam

308: Weakness

Weakness

A leader who feeds off his own authority
A learner who believes his words are the right words
A man who takes his own life
A widow who gives up hope on living
A child who runs from the bullies
A dancer who cries at audition
A doctor who lies to a patient
A rapper who slanders his father
A joker who criticizes himself
A wife who stays with the abuser
A person who claims life is too hard
A candidate who cheats to win
A scientist who presents false data
A listener who thinks she knows better
A friend who gossips
A gambler who has a system of winning
A mother who leaves her children
A daughter who banishes her father
A prisoner who escapes
A judge who accepts a bribe
An athlete who gives up on the race
A sister who weeps openly in public
A brother who drinks to feel numb
A street walker who gives of her body
A cop who deals drugs
A classmate who hides in the corner
A neighbor who cheats on her spouse
A grocery clerk who steals from the bin
A principal who harbors resentment
A test-taker who pays for the answers
A waiter who keeps more than his share in tips
A gymnast who takes steroids
A jailer who bludgeons the captive
Of which of these would you call weak?
Of which of these would you judge?
And still more, of which of these would you fear?
Are they not each a part of you?
Are they each not a collection of your perception?
Of what you have been taught is right and wrong?
And what of the murderer, the destroyer, the dictator, the martyr, the insane?
Which of these is wrong? Which of these is evil? Which of these is not enough?
The one you find the least in favor, is this the one you hold inside of you most?
Do you fear the rapist, the reaper, or the tramp?
The gambler, the preacher, or the false-prophet?
Which one shall be punished? If not all?
Who are you to say? What is it that gives you the right to declare the weakest? The worst? The one deserving punishment?
Is it the child molester then? Who shall it be?
Which one pulls on you to no end and makes you squirm?
Who is it that you cannot and will not love?
Is it the one who reminds you of fear or of self?
The one you cannot understand or will not understand?
The one that caused so much suffering to the innocent?
How do you know who has caused the most suffering?
How do you recognize this evil?
Have you not looked into your own soul?
Have you not dived within to see your own incompletion,
though you be whole?
Where inside of you does this judge live?
And how much suffering does this judge give?
Are you not the one who bleeds suffering?
Are you not the one who is the sufferer?
When you have removed the judgment, when you have stopped to see another as someone to be categorized, fitted, and placed into one of your boxes, then you shall see.
That all of us our God’s children. None of us more or less worthy.
You will see you were never meant to be the judge.
You were never made to be the evaluator.
You were built to love and love alone.
When you see the angry dog, vicious with his teeth out, do you judge the dog?
Do you think that is a wrong dog, a bad dog, a demon dog?
When you see a storm coming, do you judge the storm?
Do you think that storm was raised the wrong way, a storm that should know better, a false storm?
When you see a tree that falls down and crashes a home, do you judge the tree?
Do you think that is a vicious tree, an unjust tree, a tree that needs to be taught a lesson?
When you see the sea do you curse the waves?
When you see the sun do you curse the rays?
When you see the rain clouds do you curse the coming water?
What is it that you see?
What is it that you need?
Do you think because human has a mind that he is above nature?
Do you think that because he is above nature he should be judged?
Do you think that nature is not bestowed with the same giving spirit as you?
Do you not see the nature is as worthy as you?
And if both are of equal worth, than how can one be given different standards?
How can you not respond to man like nature: With your heart, with open eyes, with bewilderment and awe, with amazing grace.
This man before you is no less or no more than the sunrise each dawn, no more or less than the space that holds your spinning world, and yet you think you are more or less than him.
This makes no logical sense, as you are him.
You are each of the same seed.
Each birthed in beauty and magnificence.
Look upon each other as children of the universe, not as enemies of this land.
Join and you will no longer suffer in your separation.
Bleed out your truth, this truth though weak it seems, is the cornerstone of your foundation.
Your greatest weakness is your disbelief in self,
In your disbelief in your grand magnificence.
There is no weakness beyond this false belief.
And even that is not a weakness but opportunity.
For I have given you nothing but opportunity, for opportunity is the fabric of my love, ever-reaching, ever-growing, ever-nurtured.
There is none loved above you and none below.
So go out now and look at the sunset before you.
The one that God blows to your doorstep.
Breath him in. Bring in his wisdom.
For whatever touches you is a gift from beyond.
A gift for you to open: a gift to judge not with thine eyes, but with the heart of God.

~ Samantha Craft, January 2013

Lori Sealy is a woman whose voice, spirit, and message truly touch me. She is on the spectrum (ASD). I find her music healing.

This is Christian based.

https://soundcloud.com/#lori-sealy/song-of-the-afflicted-mix1

To find out more about this artist, go here:
On iTunes at:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/begone-unbelief/id585872741?i=585872804&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

And on Google Play at:
https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Lori_Sealy_Begone_Unbelief?id=Bbz3o5yjbzz6v2d5grbmtdaogva&feature=nav_top_albums#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDUsImFsYnVtLUJiejNvNXlqYnp6NnYyZDVncmJtdGRhb2d2YSJd

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/lorisealy

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This woman is my spirit-given sister; here is a post that I found helped me very much.
http://alienhippy.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/uncluttered-what-are-you-doing-here/

307: Prophet for Jesus, Fence-Sitter, and The Flame

Alternative Title: How Deep Is Your Brain ^^^Thusly, this song I cannot get out of my head.

This writing is an example of how my brain processes, not an example of clarity, linear thought, or even anything understandable to most. It goes in circles while trying to pull out conclusions. In the end it makes lots of sense to me… and probably only me.

One time I got all gung-ho about Jesus with an atheist girlfriend; and I ended up giving her an impromptu mini-dissertation about how church would save her marriage. I can kind of blame my untamed and inappropriate outcries of abashment on the bad reaction I was experiencing from an anti-depressant at that time: and since I can, I will. But what sparked the monolithic proportions of my monologue eludes me. Sadly, I must say that that then and there moment, as I spewed Jesus jargon judiciously, would mark the end of what had been a fruitful relationship.

For the most part, I am a fence sitter, it seems, stuck between one version of me and another. If I cling onto some thought too tightly, I crash. I get carried away like a young fledgling on first flight, spreading my wings and getting caught in the experience more than the cause.

In most cases, I don’t like to leap off my fence, as I crash and burn. Case and point being my mini-prophet-for-Jesus excursion.

I like to sit in the middle, in the neutral territory. At least I thought I did.

But I got to thinking last night, as I tossed and turned, still sick from some virus combined with the combination of pre-menopausal hormones that make me shift from a feeling of icy-pond to a bug-singing-lightbulb-crisp rollercoaster ride every few minutes. I pondered on the capacity and audacity of my fence-squatting, and was hit by a big ah!ha!

Like retrospection on high-speed, I was shown the intimate details of the fear-factor that makes me so hesitant to leap from the place in which I perch.

It’s not so much that there is an embryotic fluid that I am trying to maintain balance within, it’s not that I don’t want to cause waves, it’s not that I’ve latched on to some Eastern Tradition of unconditional acceptance and the knowing of not and absence, it’s that I’m fricken freaked out and afraid to claim who I am.

Ohhhhhh, she said to herself, she being me, as she tossed about night-sweaty, feverish, and nose-drippingly on the creased and feather-beddy couch.

Ohhhhh, she said again.

Bewildered once again by the self enlightening of self.

And then the mind dove as often does, into a place that still astounds me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I have clung onto all these beliefs of why I am the way I am.

In truth, at least today’s limited truth, or in thought, or in some speck of bubble of time that I happened to breathe in at this moment, the fast growing cohesive fact is that I am AFRAID.

Quest-filled as I be, I am AFRAID to be anything outside the scope of that which I’ve studied and claimed to be a supposed ideal.

I blame zealousy entirely.

I am the potent human combination of INFJ, Idealist, and Cancerian, and over-dominantly right-brained. I am basically screwed on all accounts to be a functioning logical human being without being overthrown by extreme passion, emotion, and evaluation for doing what is right and just.

And in so being this way, that is seemingly beyond my own control, I have latched on to the right and just path: That of doing nothing, because essentially nothing is real to begin with.

The only one big oversight being that in essence in the rigid act of doing nothing, I am in fact doing something.

I am indeed afraid to be anything other than that which I have so deemed to be ideal.

I have moved beyond much self-serving wishes and behavior, but here I still remain stuck on the fence.

And why?

(And with this question I dive deeper in image and thought. Still making sense, but communicating what I am thinking becomes more difficult, as I am experiencing most of these concepts all in picture form and trying to find words that feel right. Some words feel good while others feel like a bump in the road of what I am trying to communicate.)

Well I used to think it was because I was being good, not claiming a right way or right cause, but in so doing, in so sitting on this proverbial fence, wall, or what have you, I am in fact claiming a way. I am claiming the way of the fence-sitter!

So all this time I think I am doing nothing but observing and being, I am actually doing and demonstrating, and that’s what befuddles me: the extremeness of being, wherein I cannot theoretically choose anything without spawning a choice and then exposing the choice to the world. I cannot even sit on the fence without being that which others would claim as a fence-sitter.

Every action I do is perceived as an action. Even inertia. I cannot be motionless without being perceived as motionless. And it is in this perception, in the others’ viewing of me, in which I feel trapped and over exposed.

Before last night and the review of my actions thus far, I hadn’t thought that a fence-sitter could be judged. I thought I was safe on the fence. But in actuality in today’s reckoning, indeed I am judged.
Outsiders judge me with wonderment, regardless.

As the depths of me unfold and I sit upon my fence, I am a fireball of inferno waiting to rupture, waiting to expand and scream I AM ME! Only I know not who I be.

So here, I set about to claim myself, if not to free my own entrapment, than to re-stir that which has been deemed stagnant energy.

I reclaim myself in the doing world, in the being world.

The fact that I have molded myself into so many identities in attempts to fit into a place where I never quite fit in has led me to flee to the sideline, to the fence-sitting. But as I started to write and share my strangeness and perception of life with other earthlings, I soon gathered that I was not as isolated and alone as I had previously imagined. What this means is the fear of rejection was slowly purged and eradicated out of my soul in a two-fold way.

(Here is where I dive deeper and I add words that might not make sense to anyone but me)

First, I was forced, though self-enforcement, to face hundreds of strangers’ reading my words. After months upon months of panic and fear of how said strangers would perceive me, and how my innards would be torn out by disarray and conflict and people pleasing, I became utterly exhausted by the entire process; depleted of mirth and effort I had no choice but to retreat and to let go. And then, and only, with the release of fear, I was finally freed from that which had been the doings of my own self-imposed tyrant.

Secondly, with the people-pleasing aspect of myself released, processed, and forgiven, I was free to speak more from a place of me than from a place of potential danger. Doomville in the strings of feasible futures was eradicated from my thoughts, freeing up a creative aspect I hadn’t delved into as this self before. Having solely dived in such a manner, as in freeing self and freeing mind, I then began to subconsciously analyze my own behavior further, whilst the original me remained dutifully ignorant that the underlayering of me was shedding and rebuilding.

I emerged, some time and somewhere in between as this other me: someone not afraid of what people would say or how people would react to my words, but someone still afraid to make a claim and remove self from the fence.

(Now I go into philosophy mode. I type what I feel, see, and hear from an inner voice. It doesn’t all make sense until I go back and reread it. I remember all the images I viewed while writing and learn a lot about myself. Some words “hurt” and I can’t use them. I pause until the right word comes..)

I was like an in-betweener. Somewhat of a gorgeously endowed knight with shiny armor, sword, and crested shield, yet unyielding in desire to move. To budge me off the fence would be my doom. To make me be a someone, an individual, a man of opinion, or woman no matter, would be my potential downfall.

And so I sat, fence-sitter me as observer dressed for pillaging and forging through the mysteries of world, with only my mind for company.

In so being, I dove further into thought, and vision, and the expansiveness of non-reality, emerging further bathed in what I could decipher as knowledge and know-how but with nowhere to stake my said claim of what would not be called accomplishment but experience.

And as a fence-sitter I grew, and grew weary, wanting more to reach out to the essential self of who I am and was and could be than to the passerby who judged me solely from that place in which I sat.

The judgment be gone and I could jump off. Or so I thought. I dissected, this part of me beneath my other traveling skin-covered self, and recovered the pullings of that which brought rapture upon the dying pieces; I brought out the truth of my fears, beyond the truth of the judgers and the perceivers and the passerbys with weapons and wounds their own.

I came to see that what really kept me steadfast and immobile and riddled with a fear of movement was not that fence in which I built to sit, but that of what could be, if I merged all sections of self and forgo the constant self-injury.

What I saw, as a holy terror, was that the emerging of my divine self was in actuality that which I claimed monster from the start; for in this divine energy coming forth were the mysteries I could not analyze or solve, or even factor as a multiple of life. And as numbers abounded me, drowning me in complexity, the thought of breaking and molding into something new astounded me true, but terrified me more than less.

And so I set bewildered at the self and the propensity of amazement, that indeed the act of self-implosion and procreation of the millions upon millions of tri-folded awakenings beneath me was justly my foe.

And then the light shone, and I disintegrated thought and mind, and released and proclaimed my stand as man and man alone, in spirit and in flesh; one divinely gifted with light and love and passion to be.
And in this reclaiming that had been said so long ago in ancient land, I set forth the fortress of who I was—the castle strong, the enemy weakened, the turrets rising and declaring my beauty.

I rose then, not this man confused by the dark but man confused by the light. For seeing such a grand mass of individualism ghastly reformed into truth blinded me to the causation of form, blinded me to the fact that yes: within I had blossomed so grandly that in need I blinded self.

I understood then, with an unbridled passion of symbolic thought and image, that what be futile broken and unclaimed holiness, was in the same instance trickery mirrors, set upon by no other but me, to deflect from the beauty emerging within.

For in the end, as I rise phoenix from the flame of eternal everlasting self, there was never an enemy beyond the fury of reflection inflamed before my eyes. For where I saw fire was no other than self, and not that the flame bleed false, or wrongly, or pain, but the flame bled beauty beyond reason.

And in this is where I sat, astounded by my own beauty, forever singed in the smoke and soot of what I thought to be demon enemy.

How merrily disguised this beast of naught, how trickery is woven by self and self alone, as one sets upon the land of feet and walks in no direction but away from self, when self is where the ocean waits.

I see now, clearly that I am no less black and no less white than that in which the flame dictates. For when the light reflects I am the shadow, I project and I foresee. I am nothing and everything I wish, if the wisher be awake.

Yet still I sit, this fence-sitter still wondering if all I see is not some grand mystery trapped with a droplet on the ebb and flow of some forgotten time. I sit and wait for the flame thrower to cast his way, for the one I call me to find the girth and scope of chivalry, to find this thing called brave, and jump into the abyss beyond. I see now whilst contemplating the rhythm of thought and nature, I am but me and nothing more, but this me be everything.

And these are the visions that come before me as I still sit twisted in the knowing that though the flame be no other than me that the flame still be.

^^^ and I dedicate this to my hormones ^^^ Night Fever :)))

And that’s all she wrote… as her brain was emptied…. at least for the next hour.

306: Seams, I Am

Who am I, this mystery before me, both below and outward, both inside and beneath reason?

Who am I, this single dancer in a circus line of creatures mistaken as self, whilst all about this singular is nowhere?

Who am I, this bewildered child screaming out of the darkness, whilst light is everywhere, immersing my doubt in the seeded-bed of nutriment.

Am I but my shadow, the edges of me formed by the objective angle, by the instrumental being of sun at play with madness?

Am I but marionette set to strings or the more: this twisted master puppeteer snarling and snapping from up above, laughing at the ownership of chance?

Am I the singer tethered inside shell, severed voice blocked and thusly returned by thine own harbored walls?

Am I this rice, this grain, this planted web, tangled beneath the soil of enrichment, begging within a beating substance to escape the depths from where breath labors?

Am I a blinded legless one, slithering through the streets of reason, slipping through skin in regeneration, hoping passerby will collect the shed of what’s been?

Am I the monk with cymbals, clanging-metal-smile-creator, discontented-sorrow-seeker placating the rebel masses, born into appeasement?

Am I the voice without time, the rhythm without cause, the ocean without water, the mountain without foundation? Am I merely floating in a nonsensical nonexistence, wading and wavering through that which is naught and cannot be found?

Am I dropped here, a foreigner, with all the ripened senses plucked out of me, so I may spend eternity searching for the one I once was?

Helpless at my very seams, I am.

The most of all not mended, not fixed, not finished, left to wander with the stuffing jumping outside into teasing freedom, my insides deserting captain, torn empty, this incomplete form.

I am this.

I am this universal measure in incompletion, steadying myself on untrained legs in an untrained world. Jumping through hoops that neither exist or appear, but manage to bruise the very essence from where I gather semblance and substance and order.

Hollowed I am, in the shape of the corner of the mind, bleached by the external force of unknown, blanched and then blanketed in a knowing of unknowing, taught of the presence of presence, and moment within moment, but then tortured by the possibilities that endlessly speak of nowhere.

I am this vulture starved of the carrion, starved of the self, starved of what would be me inside the mirror, if image appeared. And yet I am meant to be in some way here, as if here was evermore spoken.

And thusly I clamber and shake, my own boots too big for the climbing, my own answers too heavy to be held in the limited chambers of thought’s engine.

And I trumpet, one part bleeding out to the other parts, to prove a lingering hypothesis of ever expansion. Until the weariness speaks louder than the want. Until release beckons like the child’s grave that speaks out to broken mother. Unbendable matters beckoning forth from somewhere bleak but lacking bleakness, formed of unspoken words and erased images that never were.

Here is where the artist’s invisible and imagined heart is purged, here in the incremental sewing of the energetic threads of the absence of self.

Here I exist: as the pudding poured out from the sharpening of nothing.

~~~
Samantha Craft, January 2013

304: Time Travel Back to Pre-Teen Me

I sometimes think if I could go back in time to meet my pre-teen self, I wouldn’t. Mainly because of the whole “Butterfly Effect” and my inner dread of somehow erasing my own children, or possibly my own self.

But… if I was able to travel back in time and actually be triple-pinkie-promised, by the Big Man in the Sky himself, that nothing would change in my life when I returned, and that my entire memory of the event would be wiped out, and that the girl (that is little me) would not be negatively affected in any way whatsoever or have her life altered drastically, and I could verify I was really talking to God, and get the archangels, all the great gurus, and talking trees to back Him up, then, and only then, would I maybe consider traveling back in time. I’d want a contract too that insured I wouldn’t explode on impact, and I’d likely ask for a cute Dr. of some sort to come along.

In meeting me there are several things I’d want to say. Beyond the greetings, and saturation of unconditional love, positive affirmations, kudos, information about boys, men, and safe dating, and lessons on proper etiquette and manners, and compliments on my beauty, and the reassurance that all would turn out, and so much more, I’d definitely want to set myself straight on the whole hygiene and puberty thing.

I’d probably put the hygiene stuff into a list form, specifically listing things I was relatively clueless about.

1) Brush the back of your hair. I went until my early forties not realizing that just because I cannot see the back of my head does not mean that everyone else can’t.

2) Look at your toe nails every once in a while. Try to get into the habit of cutting them and cleaning them. Despite what your stepmother once told you, in an attempt to get you to cut your nails, you will not get nor die of toe fungus. Never. Stop obsessing. And if, and when, you go to get a pedicure, try to remember to clean your nails first. As an aside, you will feel guilty getting pedicures and making someone clean and touch your feet. The best way to solve this is to tip big, preferably in cash. You’ll always forget to cut your children’s toe nails too; so teach them young or they will look like little hobbits.

3) Remember that food gets stuck between your teeth. I know you don’t like smiling in the mirror. Eventually your chipped, discolored, and dying front tooth, and your extreme overbite, will entirely vanish. Look in the mirror, open your mouth, check in between your teeth, and floss. If you don’t have floss, you can use a piece of your hair. If you learn this before you are a senior in high school, your boyfriend’s older sister will not have to teach you these things in a public restroom.

4) Scrub your hair with your nails when you shampoo. Suds up the soap and scrub all over. Scrub hard and only use a dab of shampoo. The chemical shampoos will cause an allergic reaction; so start saving up now for the expensive natural alternatives.

5) I know you don’t like washcloths, but try ever so often to scrub behind your ears. You will discover in your forties that dirt collects there.

6) You don’t need to go to the dermatologist at all, until after you are in your forties. The spot on your eyeball is a freckle, it will not kill you. It will not grow. It will not change. You only have like five dark freckles on your entire body, and the doctor will not consider that a concern or a lot. The red spots are red freckles. There is nothing they can do about the dark patches you got from pregnancy on your forehead and along your jawline, except offer expensive laser treatment. Just wear a hat and sunscreen in the summer. When you move to the dreary northwest, you’ll be too pale most of the seasons to notice. (By the way you will get every pregnancy side-effect imaginable. Don’t panic. You will be fine.) That one dermatologist you see about the age-spots on your arms, well he will way over charge you to burn the spots off, your arm skin will turn red for weeks, hurt like hell, and the treatment will make no noticeable difference. And by the way, that skin doc closed down shop permanently two years later after being sued for malpractice. You were smart not to pay that $400 he wanted to remove the one red scalp freckle.

After answering hygiene questions, I’d sit myself down and tackle the topic of puberty. Then I’d leave my little self a reference letter:

Dear Beautiful Me,

Those books mother gave us in third grade aren’t going to help you in most areas. I know the nude beaches were creepy, but wait until you watch those movies in that Human Sexuality Class you take in your first year of college. Maybe prepare a bit for that. Your bodily changes at age twelve will totally freak you out. Hair is supposed to grow in those places. Please, please, please try not to kiss so many boys. Perhaps fixate on a movie star and write him letters—a much better choice than boy chasing. Do not, I repeat, do not tell your friends everything. Do not tell anyone about kissing boys, your body, or fantasies. Write it out, and don’t show anyone. Keep it under lock and key. Try very, very, very hard to share nothing private with ANYONE. Remember we spent an entire day together, you and me, discussing the concept of PRIVATE. Take out those notes and refer to them again and again. Do not under any circumstances draw pictures of boys’ private parts or the diagrams will get passed around middle school. I guarantee you will regret it. It’s funny when you are thirty, and a great joke to retell, but so not worth it! The entire “here comes the period” drama… you are not bleeding to death. That terrible feels-like-your-guts-are-being-eaten-by-a-mutant hamster clan, those are called cramps. Take some pain reliever. It will improve after you have babies. Don’t wait four months to tell your mother. The toilet paper won’t work. Give mom a note, if you are afraid to speak to her. And talk to her years before the event, so you can fill up an entire walk in closet with supplies. Huge Warning: Do not take the free samples of super-size expandable tampons that they PE teacher gives out in gym class. That should be illegal. But if you do by mistake, whatever you do: DO NOT USE THEM. Also, do not look too closely at that baby-birthing area, after your first child. Your insides are not on the outside. I totally promise. The emergency examination by your family doctor caused by your full on panic-freak-out-episode will result in the same level of humility as the penis picture in middle school. And goodness, use soap and water or shaving cream when you first shave, unless you want a scar atop the shin bone area of your leg the rest of your life. Oh, and don’t announce to the other seventh graders standing in the lunch line: “Look, I got a new training bra.” That circles back to the whole privacy thing. Read the reminder list, please!

Love,
Sam (Who somehow turned out just fine, despite all the little mishaps.)

302: The Black of Me

I was standing in front of a variety of buckets of paint. I dipped myself in paint after paint.
I was in search of answers.
Soon I was multi-colored and dripping in knowledge.
I dipped and dipped more and a brilliant rainbow blossomed.
I dipped and dipped, covering every inch of me, until the colors all merged.
Then, and only then, I was the color of black.
But it did not bother me, this guise, this dark, this black.
For I knew all the other colors were still there, still with me, and now in me.
But then the “experts” and “professionals” entered the room, where I stood dripping black. And they observed. Their clipboards and furrowed brows moving in an unwanted rhythm. The dance of them entering my mind and hurting my being.
And they looked and looked where I stood—noting this black shroud upon me.
And I knew then that they were blind, that they could not see all the colors.
They only saw black.
They were quick to form theories about this black. And they were quick to find words, and labels, and meaning.
They assumed since I was garbed in black that I liked black, and only black. They assumed what they saw was the truth.
They couldn’t see.
They couldn’t see that just as black was my companion, so was every other color. Colors they had never imagined.
I couldn’t explain the colors to them. I couldn’t go back and show them where I’d been. I didn’t know how.
I didn’t know the words.
I was blind to their words, as they were blind to my colors.
To them I needed black.
To them I was black.
To them this end product of black was their everything.
They didn’t know that black was merely the mixing of everywhere I’d searched and everything I’d questioned.
They didn’t know that black was not the end product. There were still more colors to find. Still more colors to be.
But when they looked, they saw black.
They gathered their boxes next.
They needed boxes like I needed colors.
I understood that we both craved things that the other did not see or comprehend.
But somehow I was supposed to accept and understand their boxes. Even though they do not attempt to see my colors.
This made me cry inside. This disconnection. And the black grew darker, thick and coated. A darkness that stopped the colors from seeping through. And stopped me from dipping and dripping. Stopped me from being.
And as I was black to them, I was placed in their box of black.
And from there, in the box, I watched them write the words of who I am.
I could not tell them how these words made me feel. I was too busy crying for the lost colors.
How I longed for them to see my colors. To see me in completion. How I longed for them to dip.
For then I knew they would see.
They would see what I see.
And through their dipping and dripping
They would soon discover
That their boxes never existed.

301: Manwife Needed

(Warning: There is adult language in this post that some may find offensive.)

    And while you are at it, there is a c—– (insert vulgarity beeps) that needs cleaning…. This is how I wanted to end this post. But I found it overly offensive. So I put it in the front of the post, in order to confuse you more, and in hopes you might forget about it by the time you maneuver through the Nyquil mess below. I’m not calling my husband this time to check if it’s too inappropriate. I figure if people read Shades of some color or another, they can handle a bit of Crotch.

    I am writing because I need help. The house is a mess. I need a housecleaner. And no offense, but I’d much rather stare at a man doing my dishes than a female.

    I’ve been guilting myself up lately, as in telling myself those negative messages such as: I’m a lousy housekeeper, I hate cooking, I’m clumsy, I’m lazy, and I must be losing my fricken mind, as I can’t remember a darn thing.

    It’s a good thing God (or that purple-green alien guy) birthed me with a sense of humor. I’m the type of person who turns on the oven, and when the oven timer goes off, I wonder what the noise is. Worse, is, I’ll start to cook a meal, and then soon afterwards smell something yummy, and think to myself: What is that smell and where is it coming from? A while back I was yapping on my cellular phone, the palm of my hand pressing the phone into my ear, and then suddenly I panicked and starting searching the house, as I wondered where I last left my cellular phone.

    It’s ridiculous. I’m ridiculous. And I’ve decided I need help.

    I am a danger in the kitchen. I’ll start to boil soup, leave the room, and forget until the upstairs is filled with smoke. I come dangerously close to losing a finger every time I meet up with a knife, and following a recipe is like reading a very difficult language—like Japanese converted into brail and then into sign-language. I have to reread, and reread, and recheck, and then double check. Still, I usually mess up on some portion. Unless it’s just: add eggs and milk and stir. Then I forget where to look on the fridge shelf, or leave the fridge door open, or break the measuring glass, or if I get distracted before I begin cooking, I forget all together I preheated the oven and wonder why there is a mixing bowl on the counter. Or I get distracted by memories of the recent documentaries describing cage free hens that really aren’t cage free and the cruel treatment of cows and wonder if indeed the eggs are cage free and if the milk is happy milk, and not some milk tainted in cow sorrow.

    Sometimes I think there is something terribly wrong with me or that I am going senile; until I realize I’ve been this forgetful my whole life, and haven’t progressed in weirdness, just perhaps recognition of said peculiarity.

    I am so forgetful, and my short term memory is so lacking, that even grasping the spelling of a word that describes much of my condition (dyspraxia) is merely impossible to remember. Of course that critter of trouble, lovely dyslexia, doesn’t add to my ability to spell.

    It wasn’t until I was in college that a professor actually took the time to tell me to think in patterns and visual images when attempting to memorize spelling. She noticed my high-intelligence and thought it didn’t match my atrocious spelling. (You know what I love about Google? I can type in a wrong word and find the right word! I just typed: How do you spell atroshish. And voila, now I know; at least for ten more seconds I do.) My professor said to look at the word separate and notice the letter r was separated by two letter a’s. From then on I could spell separate.

    Since my spelling is already naturally atroshish, I kind of wish I messed up on easy words, too. Just for the phone of it. (< not intended to spell that way; total mistake.)

    I’d like to regularly misspell the word as as ass and but as butt. But I can already spell little words correctly. I guess that is what texting is for: a place where a but can be a butt and an as an ass. Is that redundant? Oh, the freedom. Only text-ville and Kindergarten classrooms have an excuse to misspell.

    Which reminds me…My husband used to squeeze my son’s naked butt cheeks together, and make the cheeks move like a mouth talking, (all our sons actually) and say, “Let me asssssk you a question.” And HE has never undergone psychic evaluation. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

    This is part of the reason, the butt jokes, that my eldest son is certain he was born into the wrong family; that and the fact that he is confident beyond measure, secure, a social butterfly, and life comes easy to him.

    He is what seer told me is called “Earth Bound.” I am not. I am “Mars Bound.” The planet, not the chocolate candy. Though now that I think about it, anything is possible.

    Now as I’m trying to force out of my mind the image of Mars bars looking like alien turds, I am squeezing my brain super hard trying to remember what I was laughing about earlier that had to do with a conversation with my oldest. The labor of thinking. Or the constipation of thinking. They are about the same.

    This isn’t what I was trying to remember, but this thought is first in line. So I will share:

    When I was delivering my eldest son, the labor and delivery team told me I was really good at pushing.

    My response: “I know; I’ve been constipated my whole life, so this is quite easy.”

    I’m just now remembering this; and thinking this might have been an aspie moment.

    Now I can remember.

    The conversation with my eldest yesterday went something like this:

    “Mom, you and Dad should get drunk once in a while. I never see you drink.”

    “We drink son, just in small amounts. I was actually tipsy the other night, because I had two glasses of wine.”

    “You need to loosen up, go have some drinks with Dad and come home drunk.”

    “Son, I have been tipsy before, you just don’t see it, as you don’t spend a lot of time hanging around with us when we have a drink or two.”

    “No, Mom, you need to get drunk like Dave’s dad did the other night. He was fun!”

    “What? Your friend’s dad got drunk while you were there?” Eyes shift sideways and eyebrow springs up.

    “Oh, Mom, just a little. I wish you and Dad were more like that. His dad was so funny when he was talking to us.”

    “Okay, let me get this straight: You want me to get drunk and hang out with your friends?”

    Son’s face blushes red. “No way! Yuck. That’s not what I’m saying at all.”

    “Yes it is!” Huge smile. “That’s exactly what you just said.”

    Silence, and then I’m pretty sure: FEAR.

    ~~~~~~~~~
    I woke up this morning still laughing at the conclusion of our drinking conversation. I was still in a playful mood, as I sat on the couch at noon and teased my son.

    “Thanks for giving me your cold, again. Chills followed by fever and body aches and sore throat, right?”

    Big smiling, fifteen-year-old says: “Yep. That’s it exactly. Tomorrow expect a runny nose. And you’ll sweat a lot at night. Oh, and you won’t be comfortable in your clothes.”

    “Well. If you see me running around the house naked, you know why.”

    Yes, this is how I communicate with my NT (neurotypical) son. We tease and joke, and laugh at life a lot. It’s how we connect. He gets me that way, and I get him.

    Sometimes though, I think he sucked all the social-skills out of me and middle son. Although, I often tease him, my Leo-star, that it is my fault he has so much confidence. When he was sound asleep, I used to sit at the edge of his bed every night and whisper: “You are handsome. You are smart. You are loved.” I read somewhere in a book about subliminal messages, and assuring my eldest’s self-esteem kind of became a little bit of an obsession.

    I wish someone would lean into my ear at night, and whisper sweetness. Depending on my mood, I think if someone is already whispering, they are saying this: You are endowed with supernatural healing powers and your natural, nutrient-giving fuel is chocolate. Dark if available. But any will do.

    I think it gets lost in translation though, shifted by unforgiving dyslexia into emboweled. Thusly the Mars Candybar Turd visions.

    I can’t even remember the focus of this post as I had a nighttime Nyquil in the daytime. This is my life. I do things backwards to survive. Nyquil gives me insomnia, just as non-drowsy Claritin makes me sleepy. I’ve learned not to trust lables.

    I know I wanted to talk about the need for a manwife, and that at the start of the post I was upset that no such word as manwife exists. It ought to be a word, women’s movement and all. Earlier, I was taken aback into a parade of delight as I made up new compound words with wife, such as casstlewife, trailer wife, tentwife, Yurkwife, motorhomewife, couchwife. I think the last one suits me. Now if I can use my magical mind powers to convince the rest of the world of the worthiness of couchness.

    Couchness reminds me of what we sometimes call my dog. Are you following my train of thought still? I used to call my miniature labradoodle Violet, after the character in A Series of Unfortunate Events, then I transitioned her to Spastic Colon, as she is a hyper-spastic dog and I suffered with IBS for years, and the name suited her and my journey in life. But in the late summer, I noticed after a week of no bath she has this awful smell. I really can’t stand it. It’s a female smell of some sort, and just plain nasty. So as a result, of her doggy stench, I started, in secret and in a soft silly voice, calling her Crotch. Well the name kind of stuck and caught on. So if you are at our house and you hear someone say: Hello, Spastic Colon or Come Here Crotch. Don’t get the wrong impression. We’re still a PG-13 rated house. We just call our dog after private parts.

    Originally, a hundred-thoughts ago, I was motivated to write this post based on an article on dyspraxia that a friend Sarah Sparkle of our support group shared. http://www.dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk/services/ad_symptoms.php

    I remembered reading about dyspraxia at the start of my blogging journey, last spring, and recognizing myself and my son clearly in the symptoms. And I thought, today, as I was reminded of our struggles, I ought to send the article to my husband. Mainly because he will be home soon and our kitchen looks like a giant hamster turned the area into its habitat.

    Also I want to remind him of why I can’t remember simple things, like the name of a movie I am watching. The review of the article describing aspects of dyspraxia really got me thinking that I do need a manwife; preferably foreign and dark, or from China. As an aside, I’ve been oddly attracted to Chinese foreign films lately, and fallen in love with some of the leading characters. Yes, I know it is make believe, but this is my current fixation. So flow with me on this one. Next week my manwife will be from Spain.

    I can picture him, the man I pay, in tight jeans and topless. I know it’s freezing here, and that most of the morning I had on a wool hat and the heat lamp singing my face, but this manwife is endowed with super powers; he is extremely self-motivated, energetic, and warm-blooded. And he’s not afraid of the camera, so I can post photos on Facebook and this blog, and you can drool. Unless you are a hetero-sexual man… then I can. Pause. Delete. I had typed some reference to my dog again. Enough of that already.

    Okay, so back to the focus of this post, which is basically: See How Goofy Sam is on Nyquil and somewhere layered beneath the challenges of dyspraxia.

    Dear Husband,

    The reasons I need a Manwife, based on dyspraxia:

    I can’t balance well, have a clumsy gait, and have poor hand-eye coordination. You totally know I drop things all the time! I have extreme difficulty standing for a long time and this challenge makes it hard to cook or do the dishes (and clean toilets). Also, I have difficulty starting actions and cleaning is a definite action. Therefore, logically, I have difficulty cleaning. This is basic logic. I have a tendency to bump into things. You know this. You see the bruises. The more I have to clean, the more chances I have of bumping into objects, and the more chances of booboos. I have difficulty using knifes. Remember when I sliced my finger? Remember how you look at me whenever I have a knife in my hand? Plus the website I linked above specifically lists difficulty with: “cutlery, cleaning, cooking, ironing.” That pretty much covers housework. I have tracking difficulty and this means I lose my place when reading. This makes recipes super hard to follow. I am over-sensitive to light; it’s good we live in gloomy skied Washington, but we do have those skylights and fluorescent fixtures in our kitchen. I am over-sensitive to noise, too. So the sound of the vacuum and even the fridge, while doing its humming thing, hurts my ears. I am also sensitive to smell, which makes cooking difficult. I am sensitive to temperature; this makes cooking over a hot stove gruesome. I have a poor sense of direction. Our house is big. I could get lost. I exhibit difficulty in planning and arranging my thoughts, which has nothing to do with cleaning, but is quite accurately displayed as one of my hidden talents in this post. I forget things. I could burn your shirt while ironing, if I ever took up ironing. And of course, since this pretty much describe me: “Slow to finish a task. May daydream and wander about aimlessly,” I think you should consider I am inept entirely at focusing on something that does not motivate me. I tend to get stressed and anxious easily, and housework triggers these things in me. No one ever told me how boys pee. And frankly, the mis-aiming thing…too much to handle.

    Sincerely,
    Your Wife

    (In all seriousness dyspraxia is a difficult condition to live with. I find it interesting how many traits of ASD and dyspraxia overlap.)

    If you are wondering how I will pay for the manwife, I’ve taken up a collection. Just Google Manwife for Sam or if you are a man put on this apron when you get home, take off your shirt, and get moving.

    _________________________________________

    * I did just call my husband and read him the first paragraph. He okayed it. So if you are offended, blame him.

    ** thank you to my friend Sarah Sparkle for sharing the article on dyspraxia with me today

    *** Sometimes this is my sense of humor.

300: Aspergers: The Stuff That Ain’t Working

1. Exposure Therapy:

For years and years I thought if I just socialized more, if I just connected more, and tried harder to be like everyone else, my endurance level for social gatherings would improve and my anxiety levels would decrease. I believed that through repeated exposure that things would get better. That hasn’t happened.

I don’t have a fear and/or phobia to any one thing or event; therefore there is nothing I can focus on overcoming or having less fear about. My anxiety isn’t caused by anything I can pinpoint. My anxiety is caused by the way I process the stimuli in my environment and the way I respond to my surroundings. I am hyper-aware and my senses are turned up to the highest degree. I am also, despite self-training and studies, unsure of how to act in a social gathering, (e.g, how much to share, when to share, when to stop, when to respond, how to stand, how to look, when to be less honest, etc.); and as a result of my uncertainty, I have a constant inner voice reminding me of how to be. A voice that also self-corrects continually.

I need and long for structure and routine. My fear can be reduced if the same events happen in a similar way. However, inevitably changes occur. To say I will get better with practice or exposure is not an accurate statement. First of all, I am not wrong or in need of improvement. I am uniquely wired. One would not tell a person with a visual impairment that if she kept staring at a picture on the wall the image would become clearer, and one would not tell a person with a hearing impairment to repeatedly listen to a song on high-volume to improve his or her hearing. In the same line of thinking, one cannot tell me to continue going outside of my comfort-zone, to eventually gain a sense of security. I do not have the physical capacity. This is not biologically possible for me.

2. Positive Self-Talk/Cognitive Therapy:

While Aspergers can, and often does, have the comorbid conditions of generalized anxiety disorder, OCD, and depression, Aspergers is not the sum of its parts. A person cannot be treated for the comorbid conditions and then grow out of Aspergers. If anyone says they outgrew Aspergers or cured themselves, I don’t believe they had ASD to begin with. Unless they’ve feasibly learned how to reprogram their brain.

I do not think there is a way to change my brain. And as hard as my life can be at times, I don’t like the idea of my brain changing. Aspergers is not a mental illness. The “disorder” of Aspergers is believed to occur in the frontal lobe of the brain. Why and how the condition develops is still largely unknown. Though there seems to be a large genetic factor.

While positive self-talk has many benefits and can decrease episodes of anxiety and depression, and perhaps even diminish some OCD tendencies, it does little to help with the condition of Aspergers itself. No matter how much self-talk I give myself, I still respond in a fight or flight response pattern, when I am in a public place or at a public gathering. I do not want to feel this way, and do not choose to feel this way, but this is the way I feel.

Self-talk and cognitive behavior techniques can sometimes do me more harm than good. When I am panicking, no matter how many times I incorporate positive self-talk or implement cognitive behavioral techniques, (e.g., replace negative belief that is a falsehood with a true reality-based belief), my body continues to respond as if I am in danger. When I do in fact implement the self-talk, in an attempt to do the “right” thing or to “fix” myself, I then feel guilty when the technique does not work. I then question why I was not capable of applying such a simple concept to my own way of thinking.

No amount of practice, hard work, or scouring through books has increased the effectiveness of cognitive-based therapy techniques for me. And the more I use them, and fail, the more I feel as if I am wired in a way that is wrong.

What does help me is letting go and realizing that the panic is something I have to go through, and realizing that when I am on the other side I will be okay. And that there is nothing wrong with what I am doing or going through. It is just the way I am. So in a way I am using positive talk, but not in the traditional sense. I am not finding a false statement or belief that needs change and fixing it. Instead I am self-soothing and reminding myself I will be okay regardless of how I feel at the moment.

I use my thoughts as more of a security blanket. The best thing for me to do in times of anxiety is not to retrain my brain to talk better to me, but to retrain me to treat my brain better. The key being letting go and acceptance.

3. Thinking if I am more self-aware I will be able to control my thoughts and/or anxiety:

I can’t control myself sometimes. I thought if I read enough and studied enough that I could reprogram who I am at a core level. To a degree, spiritually and perhaps energetically, and maybe even genetically, I might be able to alter myself, depending on what doctrine I deem to hold some semblance of truth, but overall I cannot change this elemental core of Aspergers; and if I feasibly can, the answer repeatedly stealthily eludes me.

I have tried every way imaginable to knock some sense into me when I go into a mode of shutdown, and there is nothing I can do, beyond pushing through the uncomfortable emotions.

When my anxiety is high, I become immobile. I cannot do simple tasks. I become extremely fatigued and unable to think in a linear fashion. I become trapped in a cycle or loop of thought. I can step back and see myself doing this. And the odd part is, I know what tools to implement that should supposedly pull myself out, but I also know they won’t work on me. I have tried. Nothing works to stop the anxiety when it is in full swing. It is like I have to go through the tunnel of darkness to come out cleansed and regenerated at the other end.

Days filled with too much sensory overload lead to days of shutdown. During this time life seems bleak and not worth living; however, it does not feel hopeless. I feel fed up more than anything, and exhausted by thought and life. My good hours are usually from when I wake up until mid-day. By mid-afternoon, I often become overwhelmed. This is when I can do little more than sit on the couch. I cannot listen to someone talk for long. It is like I am a computer and all my memory has been filled up. There is no more room left for input.

I have thought to scribe a list to remind myself during the high-anxiety, shut down times of what I need to do to feel better. However, when I am in shutdown, I know that no list of any sort will help. It doesn’t matter that I know why I am overwhelmed and exhausted. My brain is in lockdown. I am protecting myself from short circuiting. The last thing I need is logic or steps to follow. This cognitive reasoning only leads me into further shutdown and retreat, further bombarded by the outside. The only method that works for me is releasing control and letting myself go through the emotional process. If I do not let myself retreat, I will likely have a meltdown, in where I shout and cry. I need time to decompress and be alone. Time to process and discard of my abundance of emotions and thoughts.

4. Thinking that by knowing I have Aspergers I will be more likely able to change myself.:

With self-recognition of Aspergers my behaviors have shifted, but I haven’t changed. Before I didn’t understand my emotions. Before a major event, like a party at our house, when I didn’t know I had Aspergers, I would get extremely controlling and high-strung. I would order my husband around and start arguments. I would create chaos so I could release the tremendous fear building up inside of me. I didn’t know the fear was from thoughts of the upcoming events. My husband would often ask me why I was so angry and touchy before a party. I didn’t know. I thought I was a controlling person and needed everything to go my way to be happy. The problem was I knew innately I didn’t want to be a controlling person and I was never happy, regardless.

It wasn’t until I realized I had Aspergers that my behavior changed. Now, before an event, I no longer subconsciously create drama so I can release emotion. I didn’t consciously decide to change this; the change happened naturally with the discovery of my Aspergers. Now, I am hyper-aware of why I am upset. I recognize my emotions in detail and the triggers that set me into a state of anxiety. It might seem that knowing myself more would make the anxiety level decrease, but actually the anxiety is more intensified, because I am no longer subconsciously utilizing displacement. I am not displacing my own dread about an event into another event. I am not using or finding a scapegoat. I am not creating drama in order to diffuse my own tension. Instead tension keeps building and I have no way to release it.

Now that I am more aware of my own behavior and emotions, and the triggers, I do much more stimming, e.g., I flick my nails, flap my hands, clear my throat, click my teeth, and so forth. I also have anxiety dreams related to a planned event. And the day of the event, I have extreme fluctuations of emotions, and sometimes physical symptoms such as hives and/or stomach aches. I am now taking in the full of the experience and my body is responding. I don’t know if this is better or worse than the displacement. What is also happening is instead of “freaking out” before an event, I am often “freaking out” after the event. I feel very much like a child who holds herself together for the better part of the day, only to go home and have a meltdown.

I have found, to date, the best way to handle my anxiety is to not turn it into the enemy, or something to be eradicated and ejected, but something to be accepted. The more I fight the anxiety, the worse I feel, for there isn’t any avenue that saves me or leads to rescue. I have to go through the discomfort in order to feel relief. The process is similar to a minor panic attack or adrenaline rush, but it passes, and the more accepting I am of the process the quicker it passes. I’ve noticed the same with my dog’s epileptic seizures. They used to last up to twenty-minutes; now when they begin I hold her and release my own fear. I accept she will go through the seizure and be okay. I send this feeling of acceptance to her, and do not fight her seizures. I then let her go, or hold her less closely, and ignore her in a compassionate way, as if telling her: This is not a big deal. Don’t give it power, and it will pass. Since incorporating this method, my dog’s seizures have decreased drastically in length, generally only five minutes, and sometimes less than a minute. My own anxiety is like a my dog’s seizure; if I just let go and trust it will be okay, it passes much quicker.

5. Believing that by making plans I will feel more structured and therefore I will experience less anxiety:

Sometimes lists help me; especially if there are no deadlines on the list. I like to make lists of chores or errands, and to cross out items as they are accomplished. I also like to rewrite new lists and to see how much the to-do items have diminished. Lists are my friends. Appointments on the calendar are not my friends.

I remember my father would always tell me a similar thing. I would ask him if we could get together on such-and-such day, and he would typically respond that he couldn’t tell me yet, and that deciding at that moment didn’t feel comfortable to him. He did better with last-minute plans. I didn’t understand at the time why my father acted this way. I felt cheated out of his life and not important enough to plan for. But today I understand my father more. He didn’t want to make plans because he didn’t want the stress of worrying about an upcoming event. I am the same way. I have been my whole life.

To me, the best days are days nothing is on the calendar. Even one appointment or obligation can make me anxious for hours beforehand, sometimes even days beforehand. The thought of having to pick up my son up from school each afternoon causes me stress. I leave at a set time daily, and the trip is short, easy, and non-eventful, but the stress does not dissipate.

Usually two hours before a scheduled event, I start to become very preoccupied with the time and the steps I will have to take to leave the house. Simple tasks, like showering or getting dressed, feel overwhelming. I can spend several minutes, processing and reprocessing the pros and cons of showering. I can create in my mind a half-dozen scenarios of what sequence I should follow in preparation for my departure. Even before I’ve started the process of getting ready, I am often mentally exhausted.

When I see an event on the calendar, I have a small panicky feeling inside, as I realize that soon in preparation for an event, I will experience something similar to post-traumatic-stress-syndrome.

This seems contradictory in nature to me: the fact that I do well knowing what to expect and with routine but at the same time I dread plans on the calendar. I look forward to well-structured days indoors at home. However, the repeated isolation and lack of adult company can lead to depression and feelings of isolation, loneliness, and inadequacy.

There is a continual pendulum of want inside of me. On one side there is the longing for company and stimulation outside the home, on the other side there is the longing to hibernate and not have to experience the anxiety involved in going out. This pendulum moves back and forth. If I am not careful, I can self-punish myself by wishing I was different and more normal. I am in a constant state of fluctuation, never centered, and always wanting.

6. Believing if I can just let go of Aspergers and get on with my life, I’ll be fine.

I joke with myself sometimes. I think if I write enough and share enough, I will process the Aspergers right out of me. Some silly part of me believes I’ll wake up and be cured of Aspergers, and if not cured, so much better able to function. The truth is I don’t need to be cured. I am not sick, or ill, or broken. I have been born with a brain that is different from the general population. If society was different, I would be responding differently. But society isn’t different.

I have tried over and over to change myself, to try to fit in, and to try to function, but the more I try, the more I find myself battling the same resistance. What I have found that works is contact with other people who understand me. I feel safe with most people with Aspergers, and to a degree safe with people who would classify themselves as a bit “quirky” or “shy.” I fit nicely with the odd balls and misfits.

I don’t need to let go of Aspergers, I need to let go of isolation and thinking there is something wrong with me to begin with. The more lovely souls I meet with brains wired like mine, the more I learn to appreciate my uniqueness and beauty, and the more I recognize the depth of my own intelligence and empathy.

I was created differently, but different is not wrong, and need not be terrible. With the right balance of release and acceptance, and with the right connection with like-souls, I am learning to navigate myself in this world. Where I used to believe I was dropped down on the wrong planet, I now believe that I am right where I am supposed to be.