480: Isolated

I am feeling very isolated tonight. Probably, being sick for most of a month is contributing to my sense of discontentment. I have done a lot of soul searching in the last days—nothing new and nothing finished—and I have made some headway into an increased awareness of my behavior and events and stimuli that affect my behavior. Nonetheless, this prevailing underlining of isolation remains. Certainly, some is an environmental causation, that of being alone in the house too much, in recovery, and there is a likelihood because of the fact that my body is out of equilibrium, e.g., increased pulse with decreased blood pressure, that my mood is altered. Yet, even at my best, this interlocking chain of impossible refuge binds me. Increasingly pulling back to the truth of what I am: the fact that most of what I experience has nothing to do with me, and I am some player made to watch the world around me.

Tonight I felt dropped down into the center of a short film, the semi-cute brunette in the dark corner at the table with other ladies ranging in ages, amid a noisy collaboration of loud music, numerous conversations, and clanging dinner wear. I was the girl with the hollowed eyes, appearing lost in herself and far away, never quite sure of her own place, her own whereabouts, or even her own needs. My facial expressions varied to remembering to wear my forced smile to catching myself with expression relaxed staring off into space with furrowed brow and scowl. The act of remaining in a state of appearing semi-interested was effort in itself. The company was kind enough, sweet enough, and nothing to complain about; it wasn’t anything to do with anything else, but me.

The fact that I can be somewhere and be so separated from all that surrounds me is something that has prevailed my life since a small child. I have moments, cherished moments of gleefulness and carefreeness, but there is always, always a price. I lose myself if happiness enters me. It is a type of giddiness unfamiliar to most, a place of childhood like giggles and extreme silliness, a place of over-zealous eager sharing, wherein my actions resemble those of a kid let loose at summer camp about to splash into the pool.

I jump into people or I hide from them as far as I can. I escape entirely in thought or imaginings or I collide with that which is adjacent to me. I am these two variables, and it is painful. To be me in equilibrium is to be connected to my source, to my God, to that which is the All, but to do this requires elements that are not always readily available and a continual focus on love and light that in itself can deplete me. It is akin to holding up a suit of heavy armor all day to push out that which is attempting to invade me.

In the middle state I am content; I am essentially free. I am calm. I am quiet. I am mild and at peace. However, each and everything has the potential to affect my state, anything from a person to the phase of the moon. I become that which is a part of the collective, subjected to a constant wave of transitioning, whilst stepping back and watching this someone I recognize as self carry on through that which is not real. I cannot explain where I go then, except to perhaps a watchtower of sorts, high up above what is happening down below. I am myself but I am not. I am aware but I am not. And I am entirely uncertain if the person who is processing and thinking is the exact personality I am or if I will shift at any minute.

I can be for two hours the constant traveler with rosary partaking in walking meditation around the lake and think that this representation of self is truly me. But then, in the next phase of the day, I am no longer this person at all, and worse I no longer identify with the one I was moments before. It is as if I put on coats of identity all day long. At one moment the quiet librarian-type reading in the quaint cafe, preoccupied by her aging reflection in the window. Another moment, a younger version of myself, perhaps twelve, over-inflated and elated over the prospect of something discovered or overheard. I fluctuate like the weather; moving clouds I am, transitioning in shape and identity; at times in true form blending across sky, at other moments found in the dew drops of daisy’s eyes.

I cannot find myself, because no self exists, and this frightens me. I am what others are around me. I reflect what others project upon me. I become their feelings, their desires, their interests, even their wishes, transforming myself to fit into the groves of their energy. I cannot help this. I become what is in front of me, what I am facing and processing. If one be smart and an elitist, I become this form. If one be cynical and begrudged, I transition to this state as well. Some ways of being are easier than others. Some I want to be, especially those states of unconditional love and acceptance. Other states are hard for me; challenging the most is the waves and vibrations brought on by distrust and anger. Essentially those elements don’t exist inside of me. None of it does, say the love I try to transmit. Yet, I am constantly contaminated. Constantly bombarded with elements of who I am not, even as I know not who I am.

Sitting at the table and playing the part of a fellow human being interested in the talk of the evening is beyond difficult. Difficult I could handle. I am strong. I am wise. I persevere. What is worse than the challenges of communication and presenting myself as part of the crowd, is the continued sense of being not where I am, but projected backwards and away from the situation, analyzing what is there instead of experiencing life. I am pulled backed, in my thoughts yes, but more so out of the arena about me, put somewhere else, or rather I was never there to begin with.

I can watch the people and know things, see things, observe and wonder. There isn’t judgment, not even discernment, just a detecting of varying misgivings, emotions, insecurities, wants and needs. The desire to be heard and seen. The desire to prove one’s self and to reflect back kindness. The desire to get along, establish connection, to share. None of it need be bad, or weighed as this or that. It is at is is, but I am not. I am not this way, and in not being this way I feel rather invisible and unmoved, untouched and extremely isolated. I know that every word out of my mouth is a collection of something or another that is not me; other’s theories, other’s views, a temporary truth spawned from a collection of my previous life times of living. I know that in one way it is only ego sitting there sharing and deliberating. I feel the motivation behind words. I feel the effort, the burden and the heaviness. There doesn’t seem a point to being where I am. What am I learning? What am I doing? Where am I going? Aren’t I supposed to be just enjoying myself leisurely and taking in the scenery? But how does one do that? I have never been able to do that. Nor will I ever.

I am not a casual participant in life, streaming through the river of discourse. I am the observer above, once removed, cautiously aware that every move I make is a representation of someone I am not. I am not comfortable in my own skin, in my own ways, or in whatever I choose to do, least I be out of equilibrium, that giddy opened-up child, who is too often ridiculed, put in her place, and told how to act. The little one who overwhelms new friends and pushes them away. For who am I to invade the space and privacy of another? Who am I, indeed.

There is a fracturing of self I have come so familiar with that I spend my days watching myself transform and transform again. Waiting to see who I will seemingly be next. Wanting to hold on to one state longer than it lasts, and wanting to rid myself of a state sooner than it expires. I am the person who longs to be a person, but who also longs to be somewhere else amongst people who only reflect back to me a currency of truth and trust and unbridled love and acceptance. That is the only place I wish to be.

The tears come, but they are not the batter of depression; they are instead the tears of remembering. The tears of knowing that though I travel decades I remain very much the same wandering child, still adrift in an ocean of nowhere, watching life pass me by, and wondering if ever I will taste what is before me.

470: Past Twelve: Aspergers

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I have to say that twelve was rather easy. I was still very much a child, almost fairy-like, or elven, always into innocent mischief and adventure.

The turmoil hit at the age of thirteen. That is when my hormones shifted and life suddenly became bleak, overwhelming and unmanageable. I discovered a new form of escapism then, a more ‘difficult’ escapism than before; I became more observant of myself and actions, understanding complexities in a new degree that felt unfamiliar and frightening. Before, I would leap into my imagination quite naturally and without pretense. Now, it seemed as if I escaped to get away from some pending danger.

Wherein my world once felt light and airy, full of possibility, and all things magical and hopeful, it now felt dark, dingy and doom-filled.

I didn’t have an active social life for most of my teen years, choosing instead one girlfriend to hang out with and one boyfriend to adore. I had the same best friend from seventh grade until I graduated high school. I never thought to have many friends. I hung out with her, copied her, adopted her taste in music and clothes. I think because I was pretty (but didn’t know it), I easily found boyfriends. I tended to stick with one boy as long as I could or until circumstances forced a breakup. I too, copied what I thought he liked. I tried to appease. But with young men, I found myself continually lost and alone with a separation between us I could not understand or explain. While having a significant other brought me this sense of being less fearful in public and the ability to go out and do more, the relationship also brought me this deep seeded feeling of being complicated, misunderstood, too emotional, and never kind enough.

I could write a full book on the challenges of my teenage years. Here I have attempted to summarize some of the key points:

1. Suffering with feelings of extreme isolation and oddness, but not being able to understand or articulate why I felt this way.

2. Wanting to be like my peers but not wanting to be like my peers. Recognizing their character traits disturbed me, particularly manipulation, game-playing, deceit, cliques (groups of children that didn’t allow other children into the group), lying, cruelty, pretending and gossip.

3. Not knowing why, for most of my childhood, despite circumstances, I had felt happy and content, and that now all of a sudden I felt a deep sadness and a disconnection from the rest of the world.

4. Developing an over-analytical sense of self that encompassed all areas, including how I looked, how I moved, how I spoke and even how I thought and reasoned.

5. Developing a hyper-critical awareness of my appearance, wherein before I could care less. It was an extreme shift from being comfortable in my skin to wanting to change who I was. Along with this intensity of dislike towards my own image, I also did not recognize my own face in the mirror. I had no idea the size of my eyes, my face, my nose, or lips. Nothing seemed distinguishable, and every time I looked in the mirror the image seemed unfamiliar. I consciously did not realize this was happening. I did not understand why I looked at my image so much and analyzed it. I thought I was vain and self-centered, even as I hated how I appeared and assumed no one liked my looks.

6. It did not matter how many times someone told me I was beautiful on the outside, I couldn’t see it, and didn’t believe it. I twisted compliments in my mind. I took a sincere compliment about my appearance and truly believed that the observer was lying, blind, misinformed, tricking me or not educated.

7. I did not trust life. I began to see the unpredictable nature of adults and teenagers. No one around me changed, but suddenly an invisible barrier was lifted and I saw reality more clearly. I had seemed to be coated before, protected in some shield in which the world appeared wonderful and filled with love. I had trusted everyone and believed in everyone; yet now, I believed the world was a scary place, and thought that I had been born on the wrong planet.

8. I didn’t understand my own emotional intensity. I loved deeply. I longed. I was passionate. I was a poet. I was this exploding young woman filled with romantic intentions and the want to get married and have children. I didn’t have any interest in being a teenager. Some part of me wanted to skip from young childhood straight into adulthood. I saw young men as a means of escaping the destitute of reality. I jumped into a fantasy land of tomorrow, when I would be raising a family, and far beyond high school and all its pains.

9. I still trusted everyone. I trusted strangers. I trusted anyone who was an adult. I trusted children. I trusted my peers. I shared from the heart. I told my deepest secrets. I cried openly. And people did not respond in a manner that was beneficial to me. I was preyed upon in all ways: physically, emotionally, spiritually and logically. People could sense I was innocent, naive, and inexperienced. I was very much a victim without knowing I was a victim. I couldn’t tell right from wrong. Because I assumed everyone was good at heart, I assumed everything anyone did was ‘normal’ and ‘okay.’ I didn’t understand that concept of boundaries or self-protection. No one taught me. I didn’t know boundaries existed. I believed people.

10. Concepts that came naturally to other girls did not come naturally to me. I did not understand or follow fashion. I didn’t think to. It never crossed my mind to try to fit in and assimilate to the teenage world. I was still very much twelve inside, even as my body changed. I didn’t start dressing like my peers and learning how to apply makeup until I was ostracized, ridiculed, and singled-out.

11. I didn’t understand sexuality. I had a cute figure and was well-endowed. I did not understand how different ways I walked, sat, or bent over could be perceived as flirtatious and even labeled ‘slutty.’ I didn’t know that I had turned physically into a young woman who men found attractive. Even as they called out names at me, or shouted inappropriate comments about my body in the halls of high school, I didn’t connect the dots. I didn’t know what I had done. And in not knowing what I had done, I didn’t know how to make changes in an attempt to stop others’ behaviors.

12. I copied television and movie stars. I acted like my favorite stars. My role models were a brunette from Gilligan’s Island and a brunette from Charlie’s Angels. And I moved and acted like them, or some other dark-haired daytime soap opera actress. I didn’t know I did this, but I did it nonetheless. I needed a role model, and I found mine on television. Mimicking the traits of sensual and sexual adult females did not add to my ability to fit in; my actions instead served to highlight my inadequacies and oddities. I did things halfway, some very awkward child trying to catch up to her peers and changing body, and not knowing how to even begin, and not recognizing that her subconscious chosen methods were damaging her chances of fitting in further.

13. I didn’t understand my bodily changes and the monthly menstrual cycle. The change had been explained to me in various classes at school, briefly by a parent, and in review of some books, but that information was not enough. I think, in retrospect, I had needed someone to walk me through the process daily for the first year. To explain and reexplain, to reassure me I wasn’t dying or sick, to comfort me when the new and unfamiliar body pains and sensations came, to give me more advanced biological descriptions of what was happening to me. I didn’t do well with change. Change scared me. And here, my entire body was not my body anymore. It was terrifying. I didn’t understand the entire concepts of sex, of the ways I might get pregnant or how to tell if what my peers said was truth or lies. I didn’t understand how things worked.

14. I didn’t understand the concept of holding back. I said things like I saw them and felt them; that is until I was so shamed in school, I clamped up and hid in the corner writing song lyrics in pencil all over my desktop. I didn’t understand social rules and social games. I came across as overzealous, as immature, as goofy, giddy, and somewhat of a ditz. I didn’t understand most jokes. I laughed a lot, out of embarrassment or discomfort. I developed a nervous giggle. I seemed fake to other people, when ironically I was truly myself. People questioned me, especially my facial expressions and body language, and worse they criticized me. If I walked with my head down, with my eyes glued to the floor, my peers claimed I was rude and stuck up, too good for them. If I smiled, I was a flirt. If I avoided eye contact, I was showing disrespect or further showing I thought I was hot stuff and ‘all that.’ I didn’t know how to be. I wasn’t given the tools or the freedom. Everything I did was judged or deemed wrong. I quickly began to surmise the world was a terrible place in which no one was allowed to be herself. And then I concluded I didn’t even know who my self was.

15. I cried a lot. I isolated myself a lot. All the traits of Aspergers were triggered as puberty hit. I was overwhelmed with entirely too much for any child. Not only was my home life unpredictable and chaotic, not only was my body changing, my peers suddenly my enemies, but my own mind was turning against me. I couldn’t tell who I was, what I wanted, and had no idea where to go for help. When I tried to tell adults I was afraid to live, they claimed I was seeking attention, that I was fine, or that I was creating drama. When I went crying to the school counselor, he told me plainly that I was a beautiful attractive and intelligent young lady. And questioned what I could possibly have to complain about. I was attacked on all fronts. No one believed me when I said I felt different and alone. No one believed the deep pain and shattering of my life I was undergoing. I became suicidal, never able to go through with any attempts, but always wondering how it would feel to escape this life. I became more and more of a recluse and found small ways to make my life more manageable. I ate the same lunch every day. I kept the same routine. I knew what path to walk in the halls at school. I knew how to hide. I learned how to pretend to be someone else in mannerisms, dress and behavior. I became that which was nothing but a ghost of me, and I lived that way for most of my days.

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Everyday Aspergers the book available in 2016. Join our Facebook Clan or follow the blog for newest information on book release, including contests and give aways. 🙂 ~ Sam

poetry from my teenage years

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425: What if I don’t have Aspergers?

What if I DON’T have Aspergers

But what if I don’t have Aspergers? What if this is just me clinging onto a thread in hopes of not being alone in this world?
What if we are just aliens, light-workers, empaths, sensitives or advanced spiritual beings?
What if I am a reincarnated sage?
What if I am a Buddhist paying for previous karmic waves?
What if I am truly crazy, self-inventing my own condition to feel more normal in claiming I am unique?
What if Aspergers doesn’t exist and this is just a human condition?
What if this whole Aspergers is a trend and being over diagnosed?
What if I am making this up in my head to fit in with a collective?
What if I find out from an expert I have something else and not Aspergers?
Am I smart enough to have Aspergers?
Am I odd enough?
Am I enough of anything?
Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee stop!
Who cares?
Really?
Get rid of the name. Call it a chicken-foot fungus dance. Call it the mushroom’s puke master. Call it genius. Call it gifted. Call it looney. I don’t really care!
WE found each other. And WE have more in common than not after years of feeling isolated and alone.

I don’t care what man-invented name, based on a collective documented list of traits based on the observation of some male behavior years ago, was the reason we met. WE met. And that’s what Aspergers means to me: Union.

We are together. We are no longer alone.
Perhaps we ARE from another planet.
Perhaps we are the only humans really here and the rest are reptilians.
Perhaps we are light-workers.
Perhaps we are entirely lost and confused.
Perhaps we are crazy nuts.
Perhaps we are the change the world needs.
Perhaps we are a trend, a wake, or a breaking.
Perhaps we are the new normal.
Perhaps we are just like everyone else.
I don’t care.
Stop trying to analyze what we are and who we are and why we are, and accept WE ARE.
There is no you verses them. There is no us verses them. There is no separation.
It is all just manmade games.
We just managed to survive.
To keep our heads above water.
To see through the madness.
To understand there are things, definite things that need changing in this world.
And if we want to start focusing on self-awareness, self-love, and self-acceptance, then YAY US.
I don’t care how you get there….to that point where life starts to make sense and you start to realize you aren’t alone and aren’t imperfect and have so much to give the world.
I just want you to know YOU matter and YOU make a difference and YOU are never alone.
Stop tromping over our parade, all of you doubters, critics, and people who feel the need to give your two cents about something that isn’t your journey.
I don’t care.
I really don’t.
Beyond the need I feel to tell the rest, who have struggled in pain so very long, that you are right where you need to be. Whatever you need to hold onto to build yourself up after this world has attempted to break you down, is what you need and is YOUR choice.
Shine, shine, shine.
It doesn’t matter if you have Aspergers or don’t, or if this word never exists again.
Let go of the word and reasons.
Just let go.
Breathe.
And be.
I love you.
Whatever you choose to call yourself.

416: How I would free my spectrum daughter

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Sophia

How I would free my daughter with Aspergers

1. I would learn everything I could about the spectrum conditions through reputable, well-honored sources; and then readily forget everything I knew and recognize my daughter is a unique individual with exact perfection and a glorious light.

2. I would acknowledge each and every way my daughter’s actions reflect a behavior that in some way makes me believe that I am affected. What is it that she is doing that is causing discomfort to me, would be a question I would demolish, and whole-heartedly embrace the conclusion that I am the only one choosing to be in a state of discomfort based on someone else’s reactions and actions. And in truth my reactions have a direct effect on everyone about me. My ‘job’ as a parent, if I were to assign an exact ‘role’ and ‘duty,’ would be to reflect back to my daughter her beauty and nothing more.

3. I would concentrate on the definitions of imperfection, flawed, wrong, and normal. I’d understand all words are manmade and invented, that even the deepest of spiritual beliefs and psychology have been spoon-fed from man to man, and thusly infected and created into something man-based. With man comes fear. I would readily announce the fear in me, and the fear related to my daughter’s ‘condition.’ I would see that all my discomfort is based primarily on two things: Fear and not living in the present.

4. In seeing I am nothing but the present moment, and that my daughter is thusly only in the present, I would establish a way in which I could practice moment-by-moment being there in a state of grace for my daughter and the rest of family, friends, and society. I would grow, as a role model for my daughter, a person of inner-security, unconditional love and acceptance. I would discard robes of non-authenticity, fear-based projection of self onto others, the selfish feeding that society dictates from mass media, big business, politics, and dogma-based religion. I would embrace the light of my child as my divine teacher and establisher of the breaking of norms to set my own soul free.

5. I would ask her to teach me what she knows, and try to experience the world through her eyes and senses, while recognizing her way is not right or wrong, and just is. I would understand she needs no fixing or alterations, and that in healing my own spirit and aches and longings, and by being in a state of centeredness and balance, she, as I to her, can grow into a reflection of me.

6. I would stop taking her to professionals who are not heart-mind centered and well-established in their own inner-awareness, growth, love and beauty. I would expose her to people that resonate at a high-vibration of acceptance. I would break up with all relations that fed off of her energy, ‘goodness,’ innocence and purity. Recognizing, she, like me, is born in beauty in perfection, I would establish an environment in which she could be the best of who she is: authentic in all ways and degrees.

7. If I ever felt embarrassed or ashamed, I would recognize I have bought into the illusion of normalcy and the ‘right’ way to be. I would declare there is no ‘right’ way to myself and to my child, and celebrate not what is good in her—for to do so would be to automatically judge and establish bad. Instead I would celebrate her in completion, for the gift of her in my life, for the way she has helped me to transition and grow as a person.

8. I would immerse her in her pleasures and passions; knowing her interest are the only means of escaping the chaos of a delusional world that breeds off of profit, greed, lies, and game-playing. I would understand that she sees through the veil of illusion, and is entirely awoken to the process transpiring before her. That to her the world is scary because the people are scary in their attempts to be loved through fear and imaginings. I would recognize until I see the world as safe, she will perceive the world as danger. In order to heal my own wounds, I would dive deep within and embrace my authentic being, risking like I never have and dying a thousand upon a thousand deaths. And through my own dark night of the soul, reestablished in my own profound light and knowing of All, I would return the light upon my daughter. Her established and well-pruned light of goodness. I would return not what was taken, but smothered by my own misjudgment and yearnings. I would thank her repeatedly for her gift of self.

9. I would expose her to life. I would teach her all is okay. But I would not take her where she chose not to go. If she was demolished in spirit in a social environment, I would not expose her over and over again. She is not lacking in her ability to associate with others and be in ‘public’ places. She knows the rules, she knows the game. What she is ‘lacking’ is the blindfold to pretend she is someone she is not in order to be falsely accepted by others pretending to be someone they are not. She recognizes the soul-eyes of the ones weeping and the bleeding pierced hearts. The sorrow is everywhere, and the heart-songs are locked away in over-burdened spirits, so lost upon self their suffering seizes the very encasement of my seeing daughter. And here she is rocked in so much confusion and pain, she longs for escape and safety. Returning her again and again to a place of non-awareness and imaginary games does nothing to lift her or gather her from one skill-level to another; it only reminds her, the over-exposure to the ways of the world, how very different, lost and alone she feels.

10. I would connect her to all awakened souls, so deemed awakened by her, more so than me. Whether this be the towering trees, the preacher on the street, the homeless man, the priest, or the Buddhist on the corner, or the birds in the garden, I would take her there. I would take her into the deep philosophical teachings of ancient scriptures of all denominations and let her find the interwoven connections. I would teach her through example to love all unconditionally, to accept all unconditionally, to erase dogma and the illusion of how things have to be. I would teach her through my very being that she is such a joy and gift to the world and that to let her fly through the removal of my own blinders is to me my own greatest gift to all. I would recognize I can never accept my daughter until I accept the completeness of my self, and in turn, accept the completion in her. Once accepted, my own perception of the world shall grant my daughter the freedom she brought upon me. The release of the self-afflicted self to the service of all. Here I would teach her, through my own being, that her gift shall serve the world, and in so serving the world, she shall be eternally free.

415: What Happened to Sam?

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AWAKE Painted today

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What happened to Sam?

Man, I was really missing me, today. It’s a strange sensation, missing the person I used to be. I know I am still me. And I ultimately believe people don’t completely change. But I also strongly know people can transform. I think we are meant to transform. We are meant to become the best we can be. Not in a perfectionistic way or in a people-pleasing way, but in a way that accentuates the positive-ness of our authentic being.

I am a flutter of blossoming self at the moment; no longer clinging to fixations, rapid thinking, complex worries and obsessive anxieties, I find I have an over-abundance of creative juices. To pour out some of my creativity, I started another blog, in which I share my spiritual prose, poetry, writings, and paintings. This has been a fantastic outlet. However I am missing Everyday Aspergers.

Tonight I found myself thinking, “I wish I could write a post on Everyday Aspergers.” I know! Silly, right? But I still have this thing about rules and the ‘right thing’ to do. I have managed to hold onto that Aspie trait rather firmly. I am definitely more lenient on myself and am quite capable of releasing self-judgment; yet, I get caught in this tango of evaluation of the next move without even realizing I have stepped onto the dance floor.

For the most part, I try to live in the moment, now. It is simply AMAZING…there is no other word beyond miracle and healing that I can think of to describe how I have transitioned in the last fourteen months. I owe an abundance of thanks to the readers who helped me find a space to be me.

I realized I died a thousand deaths here…and if not a thousand at least 400. Every time I wrote posts, typically, I was in a state of fear. I was afraid of judgment, of evaluation, of being seen and not being seen, of not being heard. I was longing for validation, friendship, and love. I truly thought I was an unconditional giver and lover—but I know now I had expectations, projected outcomes, and allowed myself to live on a roller coaster of being built up (very fleeting second) or tore down (torturous hours of misery). I dissected comments and instinctually found the tiniest bit of objection, insult, or non-congruency. I was a victim through and through, validating my own need for rejection and super fantastically gifted at highlighting my flaws.

That’s not part of me anymore. I am not easily offended any longer, nor hurt, bothered, brought off-balance, or quick to judge who I am based on another person’s opinion. Swear words don’t even make me quiver! Shit! That’s crazy healing right there.

I quite adore me. I see my ‘faults’ as humanness. I see my ‘gifts’ as part of the All. I fluctuate now between a state of deep inner peace and moments of “Crap; I am in pain.” When I am in physical pain I tend to get melancholic.

I went through a mini-phase of ‘acting’ like a Buddhist, saint, or what-have-you, and telling myself I could NEVER complain or say one ‘negative’ thing. I realized, shortly after this adapted way of ‘being’ that as long as I am human, I will have moments I need to be human. Trying to be otherwise, was plain silliness…and kind of felt self-righteous and spewed of righteous indignation.

I do believe that I attract into my life people and events that are ‘vibrating’ at my energetic level. I believe we all are energy. And I understand that I can still think ‘positive,’ be ‘positive,’ and attract ‘positive,’ even when I am feasibly ‘complaining;’ and even when I think the word ‘positive’ doesn’t exist or have meaning.

I have learned that the intention behind words is what matters—at least to me, and the intention affects the outcomes I readily observe in my life. If my intention is to love unconditionally, to serve, to be compassionate, and to have my life be my message, then when there are times I am struggling emotionally, that’s okay. It allows others to see I know I am human, to connect with my harder moments, and to assist me. I am not above or beyond help or service for me. I don’t want to be. I want to be on equal ground with others. Not some haughty-beyond-all being. And not some pessimistic downer. I like the middle road. I like it a lot.

Interestingly enough, I have been me for a long while now. A couple of months at least. I haven’t taken on any new roles or identities. I haven’t fallen into a new ‘passion’ I have to partake in. I wake up mostly with no plans and no intentions. It is very freeing, just being and allowing myself to be without restriction or expectation. I am finding that the more I treat myself with unconditional love and the more I grant myself freedom, the more others around me feel loved and free. This is a win-win situation.

I giggle and smile a lot now. I am still frank and to the point, but I am much quieter. There is this stillness that feels divine. And I think I am glowing sometimes. The world isn’t so bad when everything and everyone is beautiful, either.

I do miss aspects of ‘Sam.’ I miss her wild humor in which she would ramble on and on, sometimes with no point at all. I miss her brain-energy—the seemingly unlimited ability to write and write about Aspergers. I miss her constant tracking of blog stats, organizing binges, and the way her mind could leap from one cliff to another. I mourn her some. I truly do. Those aspects of self are transformed.

When I was little I would write stories about Clever Clyde the Caterpillar and his best friend Jolie the Butterfly. I always related to Clyde. He was a bit clumsy, shy but dynamic, and always in others’ business. Jolie, to me, was unreachable then. Someone I aspired to be like. Someone I longed to imitate. I think, in many ways Everyday Aspergers was my Clever Clyde, and I think in many ways Clever Clyde the caterpillar became his best friend, the beautiful butterfly.

I am still adjusting to my wings, I think. Still fluttering about. Still gleefully surprised by the glorious colors I be.

angel heart spirit
When I first started painting in the later part of 2012.

Belly of a Star Blog

411: Money in the Meter

On my way to see the doctor this afternoon, I left a message on a complete stranger’s voicemail. Someone I have never seen before. Never have known, and likely will never encounter.

I held on to that stranger while I sat alone at the doctor’s office.

Aspergers was on my medical chart, listed under conditions.

I have this tongue thing, like a gag-reflex tongue I suppose, and a long tongue at that, and my tongue NEVER cooperates, especially with dental x-rays and the like. It truly has a mind of its own. No kidding. As it happened, the doctor lost his patience with me. He tried all ways to get a culture of the white patch at the back of my throat with this long Q-tip thing. But my tongue kept blocking the pokey stick like it was sparring. I was embarrassed, to say the least.

The doctor threw the stick away, and huffed. Quietly and professionally, but the frustration was obvious. Me, being my nervous giggly self, offered: “Are there any tricks? Something you can teach me to help?”

I think he was fed up with the tips he’d already offered throughout the procedure. He kind of snapped, “Tricks? No, I don’t have any tricks.” I felt all of twelve.

My demeanor makes me come across as a stupid-head sometimes: the posture, the anxious laughter, the inflection of my voice. And I fumble with words as my voice squeaks in all of its youngness. You’d think I had the IQ of a horsefly. My un-brushed hair and sloppy attire of the day, likely didn’t help to set the mood of ‘got-it-together-woman.’ I was wishing at this point I’d dressed up for the doctor, at least had my hair up and not all straggly in my face.

Still seeming a bit perturbed, the doc summed up I likely didn’t have strep anyhow. The chances were very unlikely: no fever, no swollen glands, etc. But I knew I was feeling super lousy; I knew when I’d flushed bright red earlier in the day, I’d had a fever, and I knew I couldn’t risk getting sicker. I had an important trip planned and my husband was out of town. I had to know. The anxiety grew.

He left the room without telling me anything except to explain it was basically a sore throat and to gargle. I opened the door and asked a nurse if I could go. I don’t think the doctor appreciated that. He seemed bothered when he explained the procedure of when I could exit.

At this point my resources of zen-being and lovey-dovey-ness, were all but empty. I had a lot on my plate and felt like crap. I don’t remember the particulars, but somehow the subject came up again of tricks. And the doctor said, very bluntly: “I know tricks for kids. I teach kids tricks. I don’t teach adults tricks. Adults should know.”

Man, that wasn’t nice. I swallowed and felt my little heart race. I retorted, “I have to disagree. I have autism and my son has autism. And sometimes adults need tricks too, because our bodies work differently.” He kind of gave me a glance, and that kind of made me feel worse.

He then said, in a demeaning tone, “Have you ever heard of the phrase: Where there’s a will there’s a way?”

He asked if I wanted to try again.

I said, “Yes,” already doubting myself, coaching myself with the silent you can do it, and feeling terribly inadequate. As the doctor prepared another culture, I offered kindly, “The reason I want to rule this out and take care of it right away is because I have to drive in a few days a long distance.”

The doctor approached with the long thing. This time after several more minutes of ‘ahhhhs’ and ‘look up at the corner’ and ‘no stick your tongue back in your mouth’ and much more, the doctor sighed saying he’d likely gotten something, hopefully.

Again the sense of not enough.

Somewhere in the time line after something or another, that I can’t recall now, I lost my equilibrium. I don’t know if it was one final shrug or sigh on his part, or my urge to speak my mind. But I kind of unraveled in a calm but definitely I’ve had enough of this way.

Exhausted, I asked: “Do you not know what Aspergers means and how it affects people?”

He responded, “No.”

I said, “I write for a psychology journal; would you like me to leave a copy at the desk, so you can learn?”

He kind of looked either perplexed or bothered or preoccupied—I couldn’t tell. He said something that indicated agreement.

I said, “You know you were kind of rude to me. You didn’t treat me well.”

His back was still mostly to me, as he stared down the culture. I was thinking this guy was definitely undiagnosed Aspie. I explained, “You sounded like you were belittling me.” I was on a roll then, like when you finally get the ketchup in the bottle unstuck, after that final hiccupping glob, and the rest of the red comes pouring out swiftly.

I continued, “When you talked about not having to teach adults tricks. And you asked me if I knew what Where there’s a will, there’s a way meant. You sounded like you were mocking. And who doesn’t know what that means? You insulted my intelligence. Did you have a bad day or something? I mean the way you were…oh I don’t know what you were. You just weren’t nice.”

I felt a bit like I was in ‘Gone with the Wind,’ in an important scene. Only I was in old blue jeans and wearing socks with my sandals.

He mumbled, “Well, I’ve never had an adult who could not do a culture.”

I said, with a rising voice, “Well do you think I was doing it on purpose?”

He probably wasn’t too keen on being in a room with me at this point. Poor man. I should have given him my husband’s number, so they could commiserate.

The doctor left.

I had some time to wiggle and squirm and text a friend of my experience.

When the doc returned, indeed it was strep throat. He handed me some stick and started to explain about the red line. I said, “It looks like a pregnancy stick.” Now he was nice. He was smiling. He was more relaxed. He was finally sitting and looking at me. He seemed like a different person. He actually seemed genuine and concerned. I could have sat with this person for hours. He was much changed. I sat there hunched with a blank stare contemplating the reasons for his demeanor.

I was thinking: 1) He realizes I wasn’t a moron because I told him I write for a magazine 2) He is feeling kind of wrong for assuming I wasn’t sick 3) He is realizing he was a boob 4) He has no idea what else to do but to give in 5) He thinks I am nuts 5) He is so happy I am about to leave.

As I was leaving I said, about my strep throat confirmation, “Yes, I thought so. I usually can tell stuff about myself and my health.” I imagined I would have talked more and more, if he wasn’t ushering me out the door. I was fine then. He was like my new found friend. I’d forgotten all about the rest—the stuff before he smiled. He’d been kind and that’s all I’d needed.

I reflected back to the stranger, to the voicemail message I’d left:

“I was out of sorts when you left the note because I’d just returned from the airport. I was dropping off my husband there; and now I am headed to the doctor’s because I think I have strep throat. Your random act of kindness kept me from feasibly having that ‘last straw.’ My mother-in-law died this morning. I thought you should know you made a difference.”

When I was parked downtown earlier, she had left a business card on my van’s windshield. I hadn’t seen the note until an hour later, as I was getting into the car for the drive to the urgent care center. She’d handwritten on the back of the card: I wanted to let you know, I saved you from an $18 parking ticket.

She’d put money in the meter.

385: Navigating the Female Aspergerian Mind

“Samantha Craft,” M.Ed. has served as an educator for adults and children, a spiritual counselor and an advocate for individuals with special needs. She holds a teaching credential and a Master’s Degree in Education, and has completed multiple postgraduate courseworks in the field of psychology and counseling. Currently, under the penname of Samantha Craft, she manages and authors the well-circulated blog Everyday Aspergers: Life through the eyes of a female with Aspergers. Her prolific writings depict the multifaceted daily life of an adult with Asperger’s Syndrome. Samantha maintains contact with people across the world touched by ASD and serves as the founder of an online support group for adult females on the autistic spectrum. She resides with her husband and three sons, (one with ASD), in the state of Washington.

This article may be duplicated for professional use in an educational setting and for family members in the home setting. Please keep contact information on the page. The works are copyright protected and not meant for duplication for groups or presentations. Copies of the edited and complete article can be found in the future publication of a peer reviewed journal.

Navigating the Female Aspergerian Mind

Chances are, because of the lack of available resources in regards to Females with Asperger’s Syndrome, an undiagnosed female with ASD has slipped under the radar of many professionals. With today’s growing rates of autistic syndromes, any professional established in the field of mental health therapy would benefit from careful examination of the complexities of Asperger’s Syndrome, as it pertains to the female experience. Until recently, little to nothing was known about the female with Asperger’s, as most, if not all, current diagnostic tools are geared toward and develop based on the male genders’ characteristics of ASD. The simplest of signs that might indicate the female representation of Asperger’s to a practitioner are often misunderstood, misdiagnosed, denied, diluted, or unnoticed.

As a result of under-diagnoses, a large majority of females on the autistic spectrum are reaching adulthood as survivors of multiple emotional and physical traumas. Because limited resources and tools are available for working with the female client with Asperger’s, professionals sometimes fall back on what has worked with clients who do not have ASD, regardless of the fact that Asperger’s is not a mental health condition, but a neurological syndrome. More often than not the practitioner treats the symptoms and not the condition, focusing on the obvious comorbid traits of Asperger’s, such as depression and anxiety, without full consideration dedicated to the whole of the person, in particular the fact that he is working with an individual who views the world somewhat different from the mainstream client. Though the professional has the client’s best interest in mind, in some cases the professional’s overall lack of education and limited know-how can be not only non-beneficial for the client with ASD, but detrimental to the psyche. Wherein the astute practitioner recognizes the challenges at hand in regards to the female with ASD, he seems to be a rare minority.

Considering the sensitive nature of the female with Asperger’s condition, an individual whom has likely often found herself a subject of alienation, ridicule, suspicion, doubt and abuse, it is vital for the professional to understand the power she holds to make or break her client; especially the client’s feasible outlook on seeking out further assistance as pertains to her emotional well-being. In example, females on the autistic spectrum develop both conscious and subconscious strategies in their attempt to function effectively in a world which often appears unpredictable and potentially volatile. Oftentimes, a female with Asperger’s is using all of her mental and emotional resources to merely survive and navigate the social world. In response she is fatigued and over-taxed. If a female is partaking in mental health therapy, and the therapist suggest to her that she change or adjust some of her coping mechanisms, for example seeking out strategies to decrease verbal processing, the suggestion itself has the potential to create increased anxiety and feasibly shutdown the client’s ability to remain focused and present. Aspects of the unexplored “Aspergerian” mind can present challenges and/or roadblocks that the practitioner does not necessarily encounter in therapeutic dialogue with ‘typical’ clients, e.g., those presenting with mental health illness without a neurological condition. (I avoid the word ‘disorder’ entirely, in regards to Asperger’s Syndrome, as it is my firm belief that just because one functions outside the perimeters of the current majorities’ collective agreement of norm does not by the process of negation establish a select group as abnormal or having a disorder.)

In understanding the female’s (with Aspergers) mindset is uniquely different from the majority of mainstream society, including her capacity for complexity of thoughts, intense mental connections/scaffolding, and advanced logical sequencing, and taking into account the potential effects of a lifetime of repeated humiliation and abuse, it is advisable for the professional to consider the (ASD) client’s trauma may reach far beyond what is considered the typical depths of post-traumatic stress. Add this to her tendencies for sensory-stimuli overload, and the female with Aspergers will likely exhibit an instinctual flight-or-flight response to any new situation; especially those pertaining to vulnerability and emotional intimacy. Other factors hindering the benefits of therapy include the client’s ability to recreate her self-presentation based on how she perceives the professional perceives her. Often a master actress, the female with Asperger’s has developed a toolbox of masks enabling her to move in the world undetectable to the naked, untrained eye. Here in the client-practitioner relationship, the client is likely to mold into the persona that she believes best fits the comfort-level of the professional, moving within the room of therapy just as she moves in the exterior symbolic rooms of her life. A professional, unstudied in the elements of the female condition of Asperger’s, is apt to miss the nuances of a given client’s chameleon qualities, overlooking the client’s subtle changes in representation of self or wrongfully assuming the client is resorting to trickery and sabotage.

The female with Asperger’s, while extremely witty and intelligent, exhibits continual emotional fragility. In some cases this is hidden behind emotionally-detached humor or within the guise of a persona she is currently exhibiting; e.g., she may imitate a character on television. Though she is emotionally vulnerable, she is capable of hiding herself from other people and is keen in her honed ability to detect social norms and acceptable behaviors of a given situation. Given her nature and character, one word or mannerism from the practitioner may be overanalyzed and/or perceived by the client as a threat or criticism. Misinterpretations, distrust, or a number of other variables, can lead the client to shutdown (emotional withdraw), meltdown (emotional outburst), retreat into imagination or fantasy, recreate the presentation of self, and/or switch from a state of emotional presence to logical analysis. When the client is triggered by the professional and responds accordingly, the quality of the therapeutic relationship is adversely affected. Unlike the mainstream client, a woman with Asperger’s may never trust a professional once she believes she has been misinterpreted and/or criticized.

As a professionally diagnosed female with Asperger’s, in reviewing my own experiences in therapy, which encompass a decade-long-span of individual, couple, small-group and large-group interaction, incorporating a cornucopia of therapeutic techniques and theories, my most damaging experiences occurred when the practitioner was neither vulnerable nor authentic, a perceived-lacking from my point of view, that affected my capacity to connect at a humanistic-level with the practitioner. The best scenarios, in my therapy experience as the client, occurred when the professional was free of dogma, restrictions, and rigid-habits, and able to see through my mirage of disguises. In truth, I don’t think this ever happened, the best scenario that is, and that I, in actuality, through the process of vigorous self-help and psychological self-studies and applications, became my own psychologist by trade, primarily implementing Transpersonal Psychotherapy and elements of Logotherapy.

Based on my own life experience, the deep-level of understanding of my own Asperger’s condition and the personal interactions with other females on the autisitc spectrum, I have developed a list of what I would have liked to have seen, given the means and opportunity to time travel back as a client or to time travel forward as a practitioner. In recognizing each therapist has his unique style, I offer this as a list of suggested ideas, my hope and intention being to provide others the opportunity for a beneficial client-practitioner relationship.

List of Ideas

355: To the Professional

Take away the notepad and paper, take away the laptop, or whatever you are about to write on. I am more concerned with what you are writing and thinking than my own self.

I am uncomfortable looking at you. I don’t like your office, for one reason or another. Maybe you are messy or maybe too clean. It might smell in an offensive way or be too dark and cluttered. Then again the sunlight might be seeping through and displaying the dancing dust and pulling me in thought to germs and uncleanliness. If you cleaned, I am hoping you didn’t use toxins, and I am wondering how many people have sat in this chair before, and how they sit, how they position their body, but mostly how they position their mind.

I am wondering with each word I speak what you think and if I have answered to meet your expectations and intentions. I can guess half of what you will say and how you will say it, because I have studied you from the moment we met, and I have studied those like you before. I know more about the human language and the nuances and gestures and games than you can imagine. I can feel your energy, and I can feel how your opinion of me switches. I can feel you weighing in on me and my words balanced against your thoughts.

I am uncomfortable in all ways and trying to present myself as comfortable. And this you probably know, as I already know, and you are watching me closer, as if in watching I will grow in security and trust. But I won’t. I will feel for you what I feel for everyone. I will either like you instantly or you will make me want to run. And with the liking I will analyze why and if this is valid, this feeling of companionship and connection. I will linger here a short time, especially in comparison to if I want to run. If I want to run my thoughts will circle around you for a favorable amount of time, working inside and outside of your being and attempting to decipher the danger. If I distrust you, I will likely always distrust you. This may be nothing you have ever said or done; this is my natural instinct.

I have been preyed upon by predators and sought out by experts. I have been probed and prodded and measured one too many times. I do not like the way you measure me. Not one bit, and I want this time to end.

I want to like you, and if I don’t, I fear my own rejection; I fear the dialogue that will reach into the contours of my mind and debate the whys and hows of my own inclinations.

I will listen to you as best I can, but don’t count on me hearing all of what you say. One word will set me adrift into another place, one unusual sound or one ordinary sound from you or from the room that is silent. I will hear what you do not hear. I will hear the quietness through the silence. I will hear the pauses in your monologue, and I will question your expertise.

I will wonder if you like me and then wonder why I even care, and why it is important that you do like me, even if I despise you and everything about your space. I will still want to be your friend, and a part of me will still love you, like some pup you picked up from the alley while in a mode of rescue. I will seek harbor and refuge in this space you have provided, knowing I am paying, or someone is paying for this form of companionship that frightens me.

I will question your degrees, your education, your protocols, your knowledge, your booksmarts, and your conclusions without hint of regard. I will dive down corridors of your soul and wander about hunting out the darkness. And all this I will do as you sit there scratching away notes about me.

For I will have compiled a list a volume thick in the time you have taken for me to answer a few questions. And simultaneously, I will have composed my own representation of self to you, pulling out what is expected, and what might make you comfortable, playing the game so you can see me and not be swooped away by the real me that is locked away behind this tattered worn curtain of self.

You can’t reach in, as hard as you try, unless I know you recognize me. I won’t let you past, unless I know you are real, that you have felt the deepest pains and angst, that you, too, have been in the shadowed darkness weeping for reprieve, that you have been abandoned, ostracized, left for nothing, created into something others wanted you to be. I will not let you near, unless I know your heart has grown in the depths of the oceans and shoots out to save those who wither.

Your documented degrees mean nothing to me. Your schooling is lost. What you knew and what you think you know is not this me staring back at you. I am in no textbook and in no past discoveries. My experience is uniquely mine, and unless you have dived into the caverns of my mind, unless you can see the world of illusion, as I can, then I have no purpose or need for you.

Entirely, I sit. Entirely, I am. And I understand beyond measure what grips you and shakes you and what makes you spin. I can tell in your eyes when you are complimented you are lit, and when you are unsure you folly. I see you, like a master watching a child; I see your discomfort, your waverng, your questions. But mostly I see straight to the purity of your soul, straight into the core.

So don’t waste my time with man invented games and manmade questionnaires that nibble away at my character and personhood. I am beyond this, these guesses and marks, this test to prove something that needs no proving.

I am not this Aspergers. I am not this Autism. I am human in need of being seen.

I am not a test subject, nor am I confused. I am not sick. I am not ill in the slightest sense. I am a unique and special individual born out of the ashes into the phoenix. I am both God and Goddess and have so much to teach you.

So do not look past the secrets in my eyes to check off the boxes of your own design. Seek first in me the wisdom I carry, the answers, the knowledge. See what I have to say. Hear what my world is like, for unless you have lived inside of this me, then you are the one that remains alien.

Don’t pretend you understand my condition or my brain or my way of life. Don’t pretend you can help me. I already know your tactics and trickery. As innocent and as kind you be, to me everything you present I shall take apart and examine from source.

Present to me your own self, the deepest part of you, the part the rest of the world hides so readily in a game. Take off your mask and meet me in the playing field I recognize: one of pureness, naiveté, child-like heart and genuineness. Do not strip me of the very armor that sews my seams. Uplift my attributes and charm, the gentle grace that illuminates from the spirit I am.

Do not think that because you have a title or name that you are therefore anymore or any less than the others. You are still garbed in your fashions and mystery. Undress, strip down, bear your nakedness and show me your frailty. That is the only reason I am here. Not to teach you how to help me. Not to teach you how to change me. But to show you what truth and beauty is.

My way is not wrong. Nor is my mind hindered. My way is the one of the child of goodness and authenticity, and until you understand that what I carry is no less damaged than the stars in the sky and no less worthy than your very own heart, than you cannot reach me.

If you want to help me, if you want to truly help me, then become my student, so I can become yours. Meet me as one. And see that I am not your patient, your client, or your case study. I am me.

In all my uniqueness I am me. And in this, in being me, in being all of me, perhaps in your wanting to help me, it is truly I that will set you free.

332: Letting Go

Photo on 2-20-13 at 10.49 AM #2

***
I drove 1700 miles over the four-day weekend.
I grounded myself in my roots near the ocean-side of the Monterey California Peninsula.
I spent the weekend with my dear aunt, a devout and very loving Catholic.
I slept in my nana’s and nano’s room that has been untouched by the years, with aged prints of Mother Mary and Jesus set about me.
I slept in their bed, where they’d slept so many years together, long ago, before they passed on to another place.
And I felt remarkable healing.

I drove alone, and had in total, through several trips, over a day’s traveling time, some twenty-six hours alone on the road.
I prayed a lot. I laughed and I cried.
I sang to music.

I found myself again.
I didn’t let the invisible fear slip in.
Each time I felt a pain in my body or mind, I released the fear to God, and watched as thoughts evaporated and lightness entered me.
I didn’t hurt, despite my muscle condition; I was able to sit for an extended time and remained energetic and able to function at a high-level.
I was happy.
I was me and loved my company.

I was nurtured by loved ones and by myself, well-fed to the point of my chubby cheeks and lovely soul growing a few inches.
I nurtured every part of me. I walked and slept deeply.
Each night, in my grandparents’ room, I was blanketed in the deepest warmth and adoration. I have never felt such love.
I awoke refreshed and renewed.

The visions still came and are still coming, and so is the sadness, sorrow, and suffering. But there remains so much hope and thoughts of goodness to come. And I recognize the goodness is already here. Right here in me.

I am realizing with this traveling of body and spirit that I was happiest when I was teaching. I was happiest when I had a reason to get up and get out of the house, a responsibility beyond appointments and housecleaning and driving.

I am searching now, inside, wondering where I will go next, what my soul longs for, and whom she longs to be with. I miss the company of others, and realize that although my recent social isolation felt necessary that I now wish to return to a semblance of the life I had before, when I moved in the world more frequently with others and when I was confident in my work.

I have hidden a lot in the past twelve years, since I left the public schools, hidden at home and in my own thoughts. I have too much time to think, too much time to process and worry, and too much opportunity to over-weigh my choices and decisions repeatedly.

I need to be, and in my being, I need to be with other people more. I need to create friendships and connections here, in this place I have lived for almost three years. It’s time to stop searching for me and just be.

I have set some “goals” for myself, loose ones with no restrictions or necessity, no demands or “musts” attached, just ideas that I am releasing to my higher power, creations of whom I’d like to be again. Not just the part of me I released over a decade ago, but the part of me that had so much joy and eagerness for life.
I am slowly finding her, rekindling her flame.

I had to let myself burn in the fire awhile, slowly cinder there in deep reflection of self and my travels.

But I think I’m done with that now, the analysis and ins and outs of who this person that is me be.

I know I am love and light.
I know I am beautiful.
I know I am worthy of love and adoration.

I know I have an abundance of love and service to give.
And now I release this part of me, this “pain body,” this searcher, this wanderer continually searching for that which is nowhere to be found.
For I am here. I always have been, as has my God.

And so I am trusting in my next steps, not so much blindly, but with the legion of selves I have created at my side, cheering me on;
and I am releasing, with every part of my self, all pain to the higher realm.

I am releasing. I am letting go. And in so doing, I am free.

Blessings and love,
Sam

I find his music to be very healing. I memorized this song. It’s gorgeous, as is his spirit.

This is who I am:
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