398: Watching the Wheels

“Don’t let my wisdom and intelligence fool you. I might know a lot, but in that I know nothing, and am still just as needing and vulnerable as the rest. I just don’t choose to hide behind lies, silence, and games. I hide behind the truths I think shall save me from my loneliness.” ~ Sam

Yesterday I went to a baseball game to watch my son. I was entirely present and able to enjoy the game—a first in my book. I used to hide at sporting events inside books, and if there wasn’t a book, I leapt into my mind thinking of the past or future.

I used to flee when I felt scared in public. That is the bottom line, whether in my mind or physically, I escaped.

Until I realized I feel fear around people because

1) I sensed the illusions and falsehoods, including false love

I explored the false love and falsehood concepts in-depth in a recent post: The Core of Fear

Presently, if I feel fear surfacing around other people, I immediately, without much thought, recognize my true being is not who another person chooses to see. I understand I am simply a reflection of how another feels about herself. I understand that no matter what I say or do, many people will still choose to judge me, as they judge themselves. I am freed by this understanding and able to step back and not let another actions affect me.

This brings me peace wherever I travel.

I love myself despite my perceived imperfections. I have shed all my secrets, in public domain no less. I have nothing to hide. I have no one I need pretend be. I am a wonderful person and honored to know me. I have been to the great depths of soul and found only beauty. This enables me to love others freely, without expectation, want, or desire. And without needing another to complete, validate or fill me.

I am no longer questioning how to fit in, what to say, or how to be; I am simply me. I understand the narrowness and silliness of social rules and structure. I understand I never needed to understand the game; I only needed to step out of the game. Having the strength of self enables me to be self. I am still vulnerable. I am still human. I still care and feel, but the difference is I am not escaping my own feelings through distraction because the pain of separation and misunderstanding is unbearable.

For now, in this moment, I understand most people don’t see life like me; I understand I know how to love unconditionally and many people still don’t. I can tell the difference between fear and love. I can see through lies and pretending. And that’s okay. I choose to love the dreamer trapped inside the dream. I choose over and over to see another person as light and beauty, no matter their actions. I recognize all actions not of true love are stemmed from fear. I don’t really have any other emotions now. Usually just love and fear. All other emotions stem from those two. I see this easily enough.

If I come from a place of fear now, I feel an immediate poison in the body. Here, for me, are things that indicate a fear-based mentality:

1. Feeling the need to defend my point of view
2. Feeling the need to stick up for myself
3. Feeling the need to argue
4. Feeling the need to point out a correction
5. Feeling the need for approval
6. Feeling the need for recognition
7. Feeling the need for outcome
8. Feeling the need to set things right
9. Feeling the need to plan or think of the future
10. Feeling the need to reflect on the past
11. Feeling the need to complain
12. Feeling the need to gossip
13. Feeling the need to attach to an idea, person, place, thing, or event
14. Feeling the need to fix myself or another person
15. Feeling the need to help another person be happy
16. Feeling the need to placate
17. Feeling the need to judge anything or anyone
18. Feeling the need to point out another person’s errors or misunderstanding

I write “feeling the need” because I usually don’t let fear get beyond the starting point of forming need. I think a key to letting go of attachment is understanding fear in its guises and complexities. It, to me, is surely the darkest force and source—both hidden and able to adapt to ever-changing variables.

I refuse to see ugliness in the world. I refuse to see ugliness in people. I can step back and watch in wonderment, like when I was a child. I can watch and wait, and hope another sees their beauty as I do. That’s all I can do, beyond releasing, and letting be what is.

I think for a long time, I had things backwards. I was waiting for others to see me and my beauty, not realizing my own fear blocked my authentic light. Now I look for others beauty, and naturally find mine.

This image and process of painting represents me finding balance between my self here on earth and my divine inner light.

Before
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After
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Recently, I got lost in a pool of spiritual paths and inside the search of the right ways. Primarily because such great shifts were happening in my conscious and psyche that I felt I needed answers. But the quest itself became my life. I am back now, very much refreshed and desiring few answers. Having purged out my self and my soul, and left no secrets behind, I am free. This freedom is worth saving and savoring. NO point punishing myself in trying to figure out why and how, or even what. I can just be with my found me. And in that is pure heaven.

Today I heard a brief announcement on the radio: “The experts have just revealed that in actuality keeping secrets is detrimental to our health.” I just cracked up. I mean, I literally had divine belly-wobbling laughter. Experts, indeed.

388: Keepers of the Light

I invite you to listen to this song first.

I started singing You Light Up My Life, around the age of eleven. I think it was the only song I wrote down the lyrics to and memorized. That, and Away in a Manger. I used to sing songs at the tippy-top of my lungs, squeaking and squealing to anyone that would listen, including my downstairs duplex-landlords, who sometimes brought me indoors for cookies. I could tell when I sang, by looking in the observers’ eyes, that people didn’t think I sang super well or close to on key. I could tell they thought I was a lonely child searching for attention. I could tell that they were smiling in an attempt to help me feel accepted. But I couldn’t say all that. I didn’t think to say it. I didn’t know that everyone else, or most everyone else, didn’t think like me. I figured we all knew what was being unspoken. That we all just pretended we didn’t.

When I sang my heart out, I slipped into a fantasy world. I leaped across time and stood on stage. I imagined refuge in a bountiful light. I imagined being lifted and protected and seen. The song itself didn’t free me; nor did the audience observing. What freed me was the freedom I was—the capacity to be me. What trapped me was the realization that all about me others weren’t free.

There was a time where people approached me for my light. They were drawn to me. Something about me pulled them in. I know now it was and has always been Spirit. Then I did not know, and I didn’t wonder; I thought everyone had this; I thought everyone heard God and could see through people.

I remember going to the church around the corner, a Catholic cathedral where I never once attended mass. I was drawn there, at times, the little girl I was, with her un-brushed hair and with her big searching eyes. I would swing on the monkey bars in the church playground over and over, until my hands blistered. Then, if I hadn’t already entered, I’d walk quietly into the empty church and just breathe. I felt safe there. I felt connection. But I didn’t know why. The candles, the light of the candles, they spoke to me, as did the colors of the glass windows and the movement of sunlight through the grand space. I wasn’t frightened. I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t anywhere. I just was. Sometimes time stopped and I traveled into the future where I would walk in as full-grown woman and be, with the others, I would be.

I wasn’t a religious child. I wasn’t even spiritual. I was magical. I believed in magic everywhere. I believed everything, each and everything. I believed in everyone around me. And I loved everyone. I trusted them. I gave myself freely: my attention, my time, my love. I had an over-flowing abundance of love. And I was me. There wasn’t anything about me that I had created. I radiated from within.

Something about me, or perhaps something within me, gave me the incapacity to be anyone but me. This gift of being authentic was beautiful. But because I trusted and believed others so greatly and so freely, when they told me what they thought, I believed them. Because if they were beautiful and I loved them and they were perfect, then they must know, they must have the answers.

I believed when they, the others, told me that I was just a child and didn’t know things. I believed them when they said life was hard. I believed them when they cried and cursed what was wrong and unjust. I believed it all. And I began to see that I lived in a world entirely complex in its simplicity. I began to see that I held all the secrets of love and joy, but that none could see them. I knew how to laugh and how to make other people laugh; and I did so without intention or want; I just was joy.

Then came the passing of days, when I learned my joy was not enough. When I learned that my heart, no matter how big, could not make a difference—at least I thought. Soon as my friends grew older, they changed. Their views became more broken and fragmented, their opinions stronger, their hatred taking shape. Divisions were made, as I watched, fingers pointed, sometimes at me, but mostly at others. And everyone started playing this part that didn’t make any sense; except that their ways kept people, for the most part, in an imaginary role of control.

I began to see that love was divided and measured. I began to see that love came and went, as did people. I learned that love didn’t mean love; what some called love actually meant conditions and fleeting moments of spiked emotions of some sort that didn’t feel or look like love at all. I learned that whatever shape I took, I could receive part of this love, that wasn’t love. But since I couldn’t find the other love anymore, the one I held in the backyard during slumber parties and collected, as the others laughed with me, without cause or pause for judgment; since I couldn’t find that love anymore, I took what I could. It never felt right. It felt false from the start. It was false love created by my want for connection and the growing emptiness I had inside.

My actions seemed to define me. I seemed to become who people thought I was. It didn’t matter how much goodness I had inside me; no one could see it, unless they chose to. No one. And when they did think to see the goodness, it was because I emulated them; I showed them a part of themselves they liked, or wished to like. I showed a commonality or I complimented them by my presence or in my spoken words. I collected false-love this way: pretending to be who they wanted me to be in an attempt to connect. To say I played, would be false, as there was no joy in this. To say I fought, would be false, as there was no friction. It was a space and place that I am incapable of defining or marking. For how can I define a place in which everything was false—the only thing real my want to fill the emptiness of falsehood?

This falsehood permeated much of my life, far into adulthood. A falsehood that eventually blinded me as well, to my own inner light. I had to snuff my light to continue to exist. I was given no choice.

I had to extinguish who I was, if I ever wanted hope of connecting. At least this is what I conditioned myself to think. I learned to track the actions of another to determine my next move. I could tell from every flinch, every switch of voice, every motion. Responses were my indicators. Reactions my compass. I stopped feeling inside my own body. I became numb to my needs; everything was masked in my effort to predetermine how to respond to the responders. For I could see in their eyes the judgment, the dislike, the wondering. I could see so much that they wouldn’t ever say. Particularly their thoughts about me, or about the way they perceived me. I knew they thought what they dare not say. I knew there were all these connections going on just in seeing me. I was being categorized and dissected and figured out. It’s not that I thought I was that important, it was that I thought they were. I think all along I knew they were a reflection of me or at least a mirror to my own experiences. I knew we were one and the same, but didn’t know how to define the feeling. And so I would watch, until I laughed and joked, trying to squeeze the joy out of someone whom had seemed to forgotten where he or she put it.

Mine, my joy, was always there, right in me, never gone. Even with all the poured in sorrow, I had this joy. It was always growing and blooming. There was always hope. It seemed no matter how much the others responded in a way that carried the potentiality to sting like thorns, that I still kept my hope. There was this unstoppable faith. Something in that song about the light through the window, about the light itself; I knew this. I saw the light n my dreams and I heard light in the whispers. I knew my destiny. I knew my calling. But this too, I was often told was wrong. I was made in form divinely perfect, but undoubtedly I frightened people. And this brought me to a place of confusion, so very great, I dare not venture there even in thoughts and rememberings.

For how could I, one held by the angels and light, have been so terribly flawed? And why did all around me seem to be such blindness? I searched and searched as a child—in the trees, under the school buses, in the grassy fields—for reprieve. I slipped into my imagination. I hid in the shrubbery and shadows documenting my own thoughts. And I came to the conclusion I was someone made wrong; though even this, deep down I knew to be untrue.

In time, I learned to conform. I learned to tuck away the voice of truth and the rays of light. For I believed the misery of disconnection to be far worse than hiding my light. And so I hid, for a very long time. And though I was a keeper of the light, it dimmed.

And here the dark found me. So very freely, as if beckoned by the very ache of my soul. I walked forsaken to my self for decades. I learned, through my mind, to hear the lies before the truth. I heard the negative talk, and I collected this, for if I did not believe them, I could not be with them, and then I would have to be alone. In order to connect, I had to believe what others said about me. If I believed in my light and my angels, and in my very soul, than I would be without the company of humans. I would only have the invisibility of my hope and joy—and alone whom would I share anything with?

Eventually, the lies became my truth. My whole truth. I was what others created me to be. And then a shift happened, in which they were what I created them to be. I began to see like other people. I began to believe the lies. I began to think that yes, only my point of view counted. That yes, I am in control of my world. And yes, I am the most important and special. I began to be a love-leech collecting falsehoods. Love, love, love ME! I demanded. Love me through validation. Love me through listening. Love me through answering back how I expect and want you to respond. Outcomes became my life. Hope became my misery. I latched onto the yellow brick road of illusion. I thought, if I was just good enough, and right enough, and had all the answers I would WIN! I would be LOVED! This is what I was taught. This is what was walloped into me. This is what I ATE because nothing else was offered.

Until the pain of emptiness became so great that I knew I was wrong. I knew that life was not meant to be like this. I knew somewhere inside my little girl protecting the light was dying to come out.

For me this has been my greatest gift: my affliction.

My very agonizing pain was what set me free. The very discomfort that kept shouting within of the falsehood was my greatest joy. I was given a lantern since birth. And I walked four-decades pretending I was not, in hopes of gaining false love.

And now, as I step back, very much the little girl I was, with my lantern bright, I see I kept this light hidden for a purpose. I suffered for a reason. I suffered because everyone else was suffering. I didn’t retreat because I was so different after all. I just retreated a bit later along my path. I just retreated knowing I was retreating. There wasn’t anything different about me, except I was born awake. I was born with the affliction that is both my teacher and my cross to bear. I was gifted the wisdom at a young age, and through this affliction I was formed and made, through this affliction my lantern was fueled. I see this clearly, more clearly each moment I am here.

I see that we each have these lanterns, and that for some of us it hurts more to hide them. But we all have them. For some of us we know we are hiding them: this is the affliction.

I see now that I am struggling to turn up the lanterns of all, when all I need do is turn on my own.

In so many ways, in every way, I am that little girl, with her joy, with her lantern strong, standing on the hillside and beckoning my friends onward. Only this time I can see. I can truly see. I know now my once perceived greatest weakness is my greatest comforter. I know my need to be love, my need to shine, my need to be free is the only need I ever choose. I know that in my affliction I am made whole. I know that in my wholeness I honor each and every soul. For in the embracing of what has always been and shall ever be, I have embraced the world. I have embraced the light.

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Related Post: Behind the Curtain

10 Things I Would Say to a Female with Asperger’s Syndrome, if I were her Therapist

10 Things I Would Say to a Female with Asperger’s Syndrome, if I were her Therapist

1. I would like to offer something to you, if that is okay. I believe, at this moment, I cannot in any way understand what it is like to be you. I do not believe I know what it is like to be anyone, and I understand you carry with you a vast collection of experiences and knowledge. With that said, I want to try to understand as much as I can about your journey and perspective, so that I can be here with you, not as your teacher, or counselor, or therapist, or even friend, but as another human having a human experience. I don’t consider myself to know the answers; in fact, I believe you to have all the answers that we require to move through this process of discovery. I look forward to this journey with you.

2. I am here for you; you are dedicating your time and your attention, and I respect your commitment to be here. I recognize you have a choice of whom you see, and that you may or may not fit with my person as a whole. Please know that if there is anything about my presentation, my office, or my mannerisms, even my personhood that make you uncomfortable, I am open to you telling me this and will try my very best to be receptive to your input. Please know that any type of discomfort you feel, at any time, and at any moment, takes top priority above any discussion. I understand there may be many thoughts on your mind and that I am by no means able to alleviate all your misgivings, and I recognize this is not possible; yet, I still say this in hopes of creating a safe place for the both of us to sit together. I try in my practice to release the need of agenda, plan of action, or a blueprint we need follow. I am by no means perfect, but stating this to you helps me to remind myself that my top priority is you not my thoughts and needs. This allows the two of us to focus on what you believe is at the heart of your thoughts at all times, and keeps me from thinking I know the answers; as truthfully I know I do not.

3. If there is something of peak interest to you at the moment, perhaps an interest or a hobby, I am here to listen. I don’t mind if you need to talk the entire time we have allotted, that is what I am here for. I am here to listen above all else, to be present, and to receive you as a whole and complete person. I don’t see myself in lacking and in return I don’t see you as lacking either. I think we are both where we are meant to be and I am truly honored to be in your presence. I am not going to write notes about you, if that is okay, as I wouldn’t think I’d much like a person writing notes about me, but instead, I would like to offer you this paper to take home to write down your thoughts after our meeting; if you do not, this is perfectly fine with me, and if you do, wonderful. Feel free to ask me questions about my journey and respecting the therapist/client boundaries, I will offer out as much vulnerability as I can. I would take joy in meeting you equally in this journey, and will strive to remind myself when I become preachy or seem to think I know more than I do. I am human, but I know, beyond a doubt, that what is important in these rooms is not within me, but within you.

4. I wonder if you might be comfortable telling me what the driving force behind you feels like? Where do you think your inspiration comes from? Why do you think you have the intelligence you do? The drive? The stamina? How often do you think about who you are and what you are? Is this inquiry something that interests you or makes you uncomfortable, or something perhaps I am totally off base about asking? I ask, because in the females with Aspergers I have encountered, there is a depth of wisdom that honestly leaves me in awe and makes me curious as to how the universe works inside the mind; and I thought through this direction we might open doors to discovery? What do you think?

5. I am comfortable with whatever subject you want to discuss. There isn’t a set topic I have in mind, nor do I feel at this time there is going to be a need for a topic. I would like to know what pops into your head, and to listen to you process your thoughts, if you are comfortable with this. I think the more I can hear you talk, the better I will be able to approach the challenges you might be presented with through the course of us working with one another. Also, this may or may not apply to you, but if you are more comfortable, I have a lovely plant set in the corner there, and I am more than pleased to watch it as you talk, if me watching you makes you uncomfortable. Also, I can respect your body language and the way you choose to communicate, because I know this is what works for you at the moment. So please know I am not evaluating your body language, tone of voice, or anything about the quality of your speech or subject manner. I understand in my working with other females with similar, but of course their own unique way of perceiving the world, that sometimes they might need a full hour just to speak and process. In the past I have scheduled hour-and-a-half blocks of time, suggesting that the client speak for half of the session, to process her thoughts, and then we meet together and have more of a back and forth discussion. What are your thoughts on this? What would work with you?

6. I believe that there is a serious need for more information about females with Aspergers. What type of information have you found? Is there something specific you think I might be able to gain knowledge from, a book or resource? If you are comfortable, I would appreciate any information you have collected that resonated for you in regards to how you feel; this might be about females with Aspergers, poetry, paintings, or any form of expression. I would especially like to hear if there is anything you wrote, perhaps a poem or a short story. I think I can gain much insight in our journey together, if I am able to see the two of us, symbolically, exploring outside of the constraints of this office, and in the realm of something you may of have created, or perhaps will create in the future. If not, would you like to tell me what you see when I show you particular paintings or what you feel when I read a poem? I have collected some items from other females with Aspergers, a variety of expressions through different art media that I store here at my side. Sometimes, with clients, we look in the basket to see if there is something that resonates?

7. In working with other females, those that have traits of Aspergers, whether diagnosed or not, I have come across a checklist of attributes that typically fits the Aspergers experience well. I would appreciate being granted the opportunity to read this to you, to see what you think? Or you are welcome to read the list yourself, either aloud to me, or to yourself. I think there might be some connecting links here we can explore together. If you would like, we can develop a list of priorities, or address perhaps five items that caught your attention. For instance the concept of the anxiety that builds in planning for an upcoming event outside the house. Then we can decide together where to go from there.

8. I am well aware that sometimes certain techniques I have implemented in my psychotherapy practice aren’t universal, in meaning they don’t fit with everyone. I recognize that we are each unique in our experiences and learning modalities. I have done research on various learning styles, dyslexia, dyspraxia, and sensory integration challenges. I would like you to know that I am aware some of my approaches might not be the right “fit” for you. Such as in the past I implemented positive self-talk to a lovely client, and she explained to me that the form of therapy I was using, called “cognitive therapy,” was adding unnecessary stress to the stress she already carried. I am so thankful she told me, because from there we worked together and developed a new approach. With this client we looked at her favorite books and created stories about the characters in the book; this type of approach resonated with here. With another client, she explained that she had been through years of self-help and group therapy and only initially needed a safe place to be. And so we spent many of our sessions with me listening and her sharing. Another client loved Carl Jung and the thought of the collective unconscious, so we took that route together. Please know this is your time and I want to spend the time doing what fits your style, not mine. I think, if we both explore the vast range of possibilities, we can easily find an avenue that suits your comfort-level and learning style. Also, as a reminder, nothing we establish is necessary, or set in stone, or needs to meet completion; we can change midstream; in fact, I like to do that, as it reminds me that I am not the one in control, nor do I need to be. This frees up space for me to be more present and attentive to your needs.

9. Are there any specific spiritual practices you gravitate towards? Or any types of methods of relaxation you incorporate. I found with one client that even the thought of implementing a practice was daunting and actually sparked an avoidance of doing such practices. How do you feel about goals and lists? Have you ever partaken in specific grounding exercises, self-centering, or body awareness visualizations, and is this something you might be open to exploring together? For my own self, I find that when I am in my body and aware, I can better detect where the anxiety is coming from in my environment. I can then talk to this anxiety, and other emotions I have, as if it were a person. Do you understand what I mean? Do you ever personify numbers, or letters, or parts of your body?

10. I know of someone who says she thinks people with Aspergers are: “Keepers of the Light.” I like this definition, as I see such pure traits in women I have met on the spectrum or believe themselves to be on the spectrum; there is a source of pureness, innocence and this honesty that just bears all thorns. I cannot tell you how much I long to experience some of the truths you carry and to understand what this journey of yours has brought to those around you. I see you as such a gift to me and to the world. What would you like to call Aspergers? What name shall we give this journey?

All rights reserved. May be printed for professional use in therapy setting. May not be redistrubuted or used in any other manner. Thank you. Please maintain author information on the paper. Author of the blog Everyday Aspergers. Samantha Craft, M.Ed. Writer and Educator. Female with Aspergers with son with Aspergers.

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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.

316: 50 Reasons to Leave Your Lover

Me 4

1. He tells you as he is making out with you, “Someday your future boyfriend will be really glad I taught you this.”

2. He corrects and critiques the way you break your bread, showing you how to separate the roll into four equal pieces.

3. He stays up all night scraping the black factory-painted pinstripe off of his truck because he can’t sleep until it’s entirely gone.

4. He stays up all night making cardboard hotels for cats, convinced he will be rich off of his invention.

5. He owns a limo, but it turns out he’s the driver, and he likes to tell you often what he watches the passengers doing in the backseat.

6. He explains that he likes you a lot, and will share a bed with you, but doesn’t feel comfortable sitting on the same couch as you.

7. He steals your expensive perfume bottle (again) and “secretly” gives it as a present to his other girlfriend.

8. He doesn’t have driving insurance and totals his truck while on a secret rendezvous to the mountains with his other lover, and then asks you to come get him at the hospital.

9. He says, after your first dinner date, which he planned to be out of town, that he is too drunk to drive home but has conveniently already booked a hotel room nearby.

10. He promises he just wants to cuddle.

11. He says he has a romantic surprise for you, and when you enter the room there is a “toy” and a video camera set up.

12. His father tells you, after your lover has gone missing for three days: “He is just like me, a player, and he ain’t changing.”

13. His mother takes you out to an intimate lunch and tells you, “You are so smart and lovely and kind, why are you with my son?”

14. He takes you to an antique store to teach you have to shoplift.

15. He sells you a stereo that he bought with his roommates “stolen” credit card.

16. He doesn’t come and find you when you run out of the house crying.

17. He calls his ex-girlfriend when you are still in bed together.

18. He has rearranged the photos of you as a couple each time you come over.

19. He lives with his sister, has no job, is addicted to pain-killers, and is a chain-smoker.

20. He makes you gag.

21. He makes you wish you lived on another planet.

22. He says, “I don’t love you, I’m certain.”

23. He is the roommate of the other really odd guy you dated.

24. He has an ex-wife that warns, “Watch out, he is trouble.”

25. He enters a room and every woman wants to give him his number, and he takes them.

26. He has deep dark brown bedroom eyes, and he knows it.

27. He shows up late all the time, and always has a very detailed excuse.

28. He says, “It depends, are you planning on losing weight,” when you ask him if you should cut your hair shorter.

29. He tells you how to dress.

30. He tells to wear long fake fingernails painted pink.

31. He is in therapy with you and seeing another therapist with his wife.

32. He enters the athletic gym, and the male employees look at you, raise a brow, and say in a derogatory tone, “That’s your boyfriend?”

33. He was the first man you saw after breaking up with your other boyfriend who was the first man you saw.

34. He claims he cannot tell you where he lives because it is a temporary situation and he can’t give you his phone number because he doesn’t have a phone.

35. He plans a party and not one person shows up.

36. He asks your father for your hand in marriage, shortly after his mistress, holding a baby, kicks down his apartment door in an attempt to kill you.

37. He does things with himself at stop signs you know are plain wrong, but he insists everyone does it.

38. He lies to his mother.

39. He yells at you because you packed the camping ice-chest wrong.

40. He tells you that your suspicions about his cheating on you means you are paranoid.

41. He likes beer with his breakfast.

42. He takes you out to drink “brain freeze” alcoholic shots for the first date.

43. He tells you all about his special adventures with his guy friend, with a twinkle of love in his eyes.

44. He takes you to a party and you find him half-naked in the bathroom with his ex-girlfriend, and he claims she is helping to adjust his Halloween costume.

45. He tells you how you could be prettier.

46. He asks you to buy something for his mother’s birthday because he can’t afford it.

47. He takes you on an out-of-state trip, via airplane, to his hometown and disappears in the early morning to meet up with a past lover.

48. He calls you from a phone booth, a few blocks away, claiming he is out-of-town working for a few days.

49. He doesn’t say, “You are beautiful.”

(He points out your mistakes often, like forgetting to add number 50 to this list.)

Please protect your aspie daughter. Teach her she is worthy. Love her unconditionally. Pay attention to her. She doesn’t know as much as you think she does. She thinks, like herself, that everyone is kind-hearted and filled with good intention. Teach her about red flags, about predators, about liars, about trickery, and about manipulation. Teach her about appropriate behavior and conduct. Consider her an angel on earth, uneducated about the ways of this world. Hold her and cherish her. And above all teach her how special she is.

This was my first album; I used to play this song over and over and over. I memorized all the lyrics. I was so awesome.

Random thought: What if the reason why my dog is so very happy to see me every morning is because in her reality one night is 100 years!

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.)

273: Come, My Lady. You’re My Butterfly

“I think he might like me,” I told my husband, in reference to a man at a coffee shop.

“What do you mean?” my husband asked.

“Well, he was smiling and taking interest in me,” I answered.

“Honey, he doesn’t like you; he doesn’t even know you. He is attracted to your body or something about you physically. That is different from liking you.”

“Oh,” I answered.

The next day, as I was heading out the door to go to the grocery store, my husband said, “Remember if a man looks at you because he is attracted to you that doesn’t indicate that the man likes you. You are a very pretty woman who some men find attractive. But their attention doesn’t mean they like you.”

I found his words to be a mixture of both comfort and confusion.

I am slowly, very slowly, learning the social innuendos regarding communication with men. I never knew there were so many unspoken rules when speaking with men. It’s fair to say I’ve got the female social interactions down, but now there seems to be this whole other guidebook regarding men.

I think, for me, having not had the example of a healthy father and mother relationship, nor brothers, or even uncles that I knew well, as a child, meant that I never had the chance to really learn how to interact with a man, except single men I sought after to make my husband. (starting at age six)

And, I guess, too, the actions of predators in combo with the uncouth behavior of some other men, added to my confusion of my place in the world as a woman.

I only had one male friend as an adult for a very short time. He wasn’t actually a friend, really, more of a member of a support group that I belonged to, a man about fifteen years older than me, who I once in a while saw outside of the support group–maybe once or twice. I was involved with another man at the time—obsessively. So I never saw my friend as anything but a friend.  And I was like a little sister, to him.

Interestingly, after lacking in male interactions for over four decades, I’m still looking at males the same way I did when I was six. They might have aged, and I might have aged, but the little girl inside of me is still wondering is that my prince?

It doesn’t matter that my husband adores me, and that I think he is a very dear man. I doesn’t matter that I logically understand that there is no prince out there. What matters is I still have this pattern. I still see men as someone who I want to make love me. That if they love me then I am of worth. But this love isn’t based on how they see me inside; it is based on how they see me outside.

Likely, (obviously) there are still some Daddy Issues; the holding, hugs, kisses and I love you’s from a father that never materialized.

The fact that I need validation of my physical worth from a male, more so than a female, and that indeed a female’s opinion of me, unless repeated over and over, does null for my self-esteem, is troublesome.

Logically, I recognize that the opinion of another is not a reflection of my worth, but somehow I still hold onto a man’s words and actions towards me more than my own belief and love of myself.

I’ve grown up some in the last few months, grown up to the point that I am hyper-aware of my thought processes, actions, and my emotions. There are very few moments in the day that I’m not an observer of self: outside of my own body watching me exist and walk through the steps of my day.

I understand what I am doing in regards to the power I grant men. I used to think it was shyness, now I think it is a not knowing, a not understanding, a confusion and displacement of ease. Standing near any man close to my age or older, causes my ears to turn red and face blush.  Almost any grown male seems to put a magical spell of nervousness, meekness, neediness, and insecurity upon me. I naturally become a shy, flirtatious giggle machine, complete with batting eyes and the flushing cheeks.

Photo on 12-9-12 at 3.22 PM

I realize that I was basically unseen and unnoticed, very much invisible, in most areas of my life, until I blossomed at the age of fourteen and began to gain attention based on my appearance. I was homecoming princess, popular, and dated a very handsome boy. I learned then that my looks could serve as a form of power: a way of being seen.

I learned to equate being seen with having worth.

I am starting to reprogram my prior learnings.

I am interacting with males more and recognizing they are no less powerful or magical than females, that their opinions are not more important than others’.

The hardest part is I still don’t understand the nuances of male/female communication. I don’t understand how much I should look into a man’s eyes, how close I should stand, how I should smile, what my tone should sound like, what topics are socially appropriate. I don’t understand what most people seem to learn subconsciously through experience.

I understand now how often men have actually flirted with me throughout my life. I understand now why, in high school, I shouldn’t have been having an ex-boyfriend massage my back when I was involved with a new beau.

I am starting to understand how I surely give out mixed signals, matching and mirroring a male, thinking that reacting as a mirror-image is the safe and appropriate technique. After all, it works with females!

I feel so very alien and unprepared for earth, as I approach the male zone.

In dealing with male encounters, I don’t want to come across as a prude, or rude, or stuck up, or extremely shy, or as a flirt. I just want to come across as me. The problem is I don’t know what that looks like.

I’ve trained myself to make facial expressions based on my environment and whom I am with. I’ve trained myself to act in the best way possible, to not lose female friendships and to not embarrass myself.

I don’t have a natural facial expression. I don’t know what that even means. It used to be, if my face was relaxed that my mouth was downturned, and I then appeared mean and unapproachable. For a few years, I walked about with slightly puckered lips. Silly, but true. Now my face has been trained to be in a constant puffy-cheeked smile in public.

I looked at my husband the other night, as he was checking me out, and I said, “Okay. So I’ve added a new understanding, a new rule to this computer brain of mine. I have new input.  I now know that a man looking at me doesn’t mean they like me. But now I am confused, because you look at me with desire all the time. So does that mean you don’t like me? Does that mean you only care about my body?”

My husband then spent the next several minutes explaining to me about the concept of getting to know someone, of how attraction can turn into like, and like to love, and then, after time, the person is liking the whole of you.

I stared back at him with a quizzical expression. My eyes grew wider. “I don’t understand,” I said. “In all my male relationships (boyfriends) I loved the person as soon as I met them. It didn’t change. It doesn’t grow. It just was.”

I went on to explain my perception of love. That yes, indeed, I can grow to respect a person, to enjoy their company, to take great pleasure in learning from them, and grow in companionship and familiarity, but that my love doesn’t grow. It remains the same.

I began to see, through my husband’s explaining, that clearly I  don’t experience life as many people do, particularly love. I don’t experience relationships in the same way, either—or communication.

Last night while at the local store grocery store, I asked a handsome store employee for some help finding a dessert wine. I know little to nothing about wine. Just asking a man for help is a huge step for me. I have to stop myself from staring at my feet, stuttering, giggling, and staying stuff that is just plain stupid.

He asked if I was going to need the dessert wine for dinner, for dessert, or after dessert, and what dessert I was having. He said this while staring deeply into my eyes, as if searching, and connecting. I stared back for a while. Locked eyes. I was processing.

I didn’t know why I wanted the wine, or what I was going to have the wine with. I just wanted to have something sweet. I processed how the man was looking at me, and I did what I knew to do, I stared back, mirroring the man, as I processed his communication skills thinking: This man is really good with eye contact. I wonder if my mascara is smeared. My ears are on fire. I am nervous. Can he tell? I’m so glad I have this hat on.

 So many thoughts, so very fast. With even more intense eyes, I offered, “I don’t know why I want the wine; I just want to drink it.”

I think I came across as giggly, clueless and cute, perhaps even flirtatious. Not my intention.

The man was standing very close, and very, very kind. (I think) He spent five minutes with me giving me a mini-lesson on wine, and showing me his favorite. I kept thinking: He doesn’t like me. He might find my eyes pretty. That’s why he can’t stop staring. And I think he swiped a peek at my butt, but he doesn’t like me.

The entire time I was listening to the brown-eyed man, I was simultaneously analyzing his body language, his choice of words, his proximity, his inflection, his everything. I noted there was some attraction going on, but I couldn’t tell if he was interested or flirting, or just nice to everyone.

In retelling the story to my husband, he took in the clues and observations of my encounter with the store worker, and reported that likely this man was somewhat interested in me. He reminded me I was an attractive woman. (He lingered at my beauty for awhile. Bless the dear man.) He explained that if a man instead of a woman had approached and asked this employee about wine, he likely would have been shorter in his explanation, not have locked eyes the entire time, and not smiled and offered out his favorite wine. He wouldn’t have been standing as close either.

I still don’t know. I told my husband, in all seriousness, (and while slightly tipsy from the port wine in hand), that I’d like him to come to the store with me the next time and stand back an aisle or two away, and watch how men approach me and interact with me, and tell me if they are flirting.

He said, “Honey, I really don’t take pleasure in watching other men pick up my wife.”

Hmmmmmmmm. Hadn’t thought of that.

For now, I guess I’ll keep watching men watch me, and calculate what it means. Take note in my little imaginary spy book. Note that a stare at my  bottom doesn’t mean like, and definitely not love. Note that a prince isn’t likely out there roaming the wine aisle waiting to take me away to his castle to live happily ever after.  Note that the attention towards my outward appearance doesn’t note my worth. Nor does the lack of attention. And note that though I may appear to others as an experienced butterfly, I am still very much a naive nervous caterpillar quivering inside.

270: Warning: Lizard Tongue

Working Titles:

I Adore Myself so Much I Could Hug and Kiss ME All Over

Aspie: Why I am So Awesome?

Take a Chance on Me…PLEASE!!!

~~~~~

Why I Adore ME:

1)      My super-sized brain that enables me to be in anytime and anyplace with the blink of my pretty eye.

2)      The capacity I have to entertain myself in thought over the most seemingly simplistic ideas, such as how well do I actually know the back of my hand, and am I the only one that isn’t familiar with the back of their hand, and am I more familiar with the lens of my eyeball from which I see, even though I can’t see my eyeball when I’m looking out in the world, and is my eyeball invisible? How can I see straight through my eyeball without seeing any of it at all?

3)      My intense humor that makes my internal organs giggle, while producing this devious, I-am-so-radical-and-fantastic grin across my blushing face.

4)      My ability to laugh at myself, over and over and over again, and my ability to point out my bazar weirdness so my friend, or neighbor, or complete stranger can laugh about me, too. Even though I know secretly they are laughing at themselves, because I am a reflection of them. And if I point that out, I like to watch their faces turn sheet white.

5)      My huge empathy for everyone and everything. My urge to get out of my van and find out why the man crossing the road is homeless and to fix him all up, like in the movies. And to turn him into a freakishly charming prince, and ride off in his shopping cart into the distant sunset, all in a matter of moments, inside my brain, while stopped at the downtown stoplight.

6)      My urge to save the world with my ever-building (secret hidden) super powers.

7)      My butt. It’s just plain cute.

8)      My need to talk to safe-looking strangers, and to compliment them, so I can see them smile and their eyes light up. The expressions I magically produce on others’ faces when my compliment is unexpected and downright odd. “Oh your house is so big and lavish and fantastic. Is this your dream house? Is this your dream come true? I wish I had a house like this. It’s so perfect. Did it cost a lot of money?” pause…  “Oh, did I forget to introduce myself.”

9)      My ability to have simultaneous sensations. While this isn’t the best: sticky, bitter taste in mouth, jagged bottom tooth puncturing tongue, hard chair penetrating butt, shoulders stinging from typing, throat a bit scratchy, ears hurting from hum of fridge, airplane flying overhead, clock ticking….This is fantastic: moss the brightest magical green on trees, leaves dancing and spinning in front of me as they float off the branches, spider web glistening and singing in beauty, dog smiling at me, feet crunching the leaves, rain tickling tongue, birds singing in unison: a mystical choir, flapping of wings, insects leaping, squirrels pitter-pattering and playing hide-and-seek, wind lapping hair, warmth of wool hat, heaviness of thick winter coat, comfort of wool socks, swishing of pants, the sound of my own song, the sigh, the deep breath, the inhale of fresh crisp forest air, my pulse, my heart, my stomach, my skin, my being, my total beauty connected with the world.

10)   My ability to be remarkably insecure and overly confident at the exact same instant. Especially concerning my wit, charm, intelligence, and hair.

11)   My need for approval while constantly denying the need for approval, as you simply don’t exist outside of my limited perception and this created illusion.

12)   My bouncy spirit. No matter how low or how high, I’m always bouncing inside with the thought of getting to know you and be your friend, and learn everything about you, once you have read my blog and can recite my entire life story, so you can relate everything about you back to me, and thusly keep me the center of attention, so I know I exist somewhere inside the illusion you’ve created, because the thought of being an invisible empty space, as is clearly feasible when considering the vast universe between my spinning molecules, puts me into a state of hyper-awareness of the need to validate my existence.

13)   The fact that I’m uncommon and could never ever be common and ordinary, as hard as I tried, except for the fact that Nerd and Geek are coming into the mainstream fashion; so I might feasibly become the norm, my non-ordinariness becoming ordinary; that leads me to believe I need to create another part of me so I can maintain my uniqueness before society tries to suck it out of me. Perhaps I will sprout wings or let my antennae grow…or reveal my secret lizard tongue!

14)   My want to use made up words that make sense to me, and the knowledge that every word has been invented by someone, so that no words are real anyhows.

15)   My ability to see patterns everywhere, to solve complex riddles while I’m sleeping, and to wake in the middle of the night with an entire script in my head that I know without a doubt I have to share with the world or I will have not fulfilled my mission on earth!

16)   The ability to be entirely ME, and to see that ME is constantly in transition, that ME is subjective.

17)   The way coffee turns me into an unstoppable engine of achievement (inside my head.)

18)    The way I can open the number of my chocolate advent calendar in December, eat the chocolate, feel the smooth tingle go down my throat and chill of pleasure up my spine, sigh deeply, and feel like I’ve actually accomplished something for the day.

19)   How I can predict and time my bodily functions and hormones. “Bitch today; check in tomorrow.”

20)   Just the grandness of knowing there are other people who get me, and the giddiness I am able to feel in knowing that we are all so fricken insane that it brings saneness back into the ball field, all redressed in the ultimate coolness of different.

^^^ The song I danced to in the sauna over and over today, while I was staring at my goldfish, and thinking I’m on the other side of glass just like them; I wonder if they think I am a fish. Maybe I am a fish. Then I clucked like a chicken for absolutely no reason at all.

I have not had the chance to ask my husband if this is socially acceptable or not. So I will take a chance and make a disclaimer: My gigantic over-sized lizard tongue is not meant to be sexual in any way.

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260: Owning my Beauty

eigth grade

I never ever thought I was pretty.

There is something beautiful about a person who  cannot see her beauty on the outside. A sad humbleness that pulls the person into the eyes and soul—a vulnerability that others pick up on innately but generally cannot recognize or pinpoint.

When anyone complimented my looks, I thought one of many thoughts:

1)   You can’t really see me

2)   This isn’t how I normally look

3)   You must have poor eyesight

4)   You are lying

5)   You want to hurt me

6)   You want my body

7)   You are just saying that to be nice

8)   I hate me

9)   You say that to everyone

10) You must feel sorry for me

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I could never own my beauty.

This view of myself, as being not adequate on the outside, is something I’ve held onto since I was eleven. I can theorize until I’m blue in the face, and come up with a plethora of reasons why I doubted my beauty, starting with my overbite and chipped front tooth and ending with being victimized by men.

But the truth is, I think I was made to be that way….this way. I think I was chiseled and molded into this me that I am.

There are beliefs I carry that say: To love yourself in completion is to be vain and conceded.

There are thoughts that scream how can you think you are pretty, look at your flaws?

There is the dark voice that says, you will age and no one will love you.

I’m starting to have flashbacks of all the times strangers came up to me when I was younger, and the messages they said:

You have such beautiful eyes. So intelligent and wise.

Your face has so many angles and emotions; you should be a model.

Oh, I can tell by looking at you that you are one of them—a deep soul.

Do not worry, you are prettier than her, inside and out.

Wow, they didn’t make teenagers like you when I was in school.

Has anyone ever said how beautiful you are?

Those were strangers. Off the street, they would approach me.

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And I never could take in what they said. Never believe it. Never for a moment feel their words or truth. I always had doubt and disbelief. Actually it was beyond doubt. The compliments I quickly shifted into sadness and fear. For what if they were to see the real me? What if they realized how very wrong they were?

Something did happen, though. I began to see how my exterior gained attention.

In some ways I was fortunate. In my youth, with this “beauty,” people were typically accommodating, overly-friendly, and eager to date me. However the experience was more over misfortune because I felt I was not seen for the real me and thought furthermore that because I was truly ugly that I was playing some game of trickery. I believed one day people would awaken and the truth of my ugliness would be seen.

When I went to college, ripped away from my best friend of six years, and not having my boyfriend at my side, I felt extremely self-conscious, vulnerable, frightened, and paranoid. I was beyond shy. I walked with my head down and never ever peered up. I gave off the vibration of Keep AWAY at all costs. I was lovely, but untouchable. I thought I was ugly and unwanted. No one said hello to me. Only one boy in five years at college. I thought for certain that validated my beliefs; that in truth I was born ugly, unwanted, unneeded, and desperately flawed.

If a boy tried to make contact with me in class, I brushed him off with my insecurities or was clueless that he was trying to connect. I took “come on” lines at face value. If a boy asked about last night’s homework, that’s what he was interested in. Not me, only the homework. If he said I looked young for my age, that was the truth of his statement, nothing beyond, no agenda, just an observation. I couldn’t feel or see people reaching out to me. I was lost in my own world of ugliness and isolation.

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When I gained weight in my early twenties, and then later gained sixty pounds from my pregnancy, I saw how others treated me differently based on my weight. I began to see how fickle and surface-level people could be. At that point I had nothing to turn to. I hated myself on the inside and outside, but at least for a long time I could get by on these supposed “looks.”

At this time, I began to really hook onto and believe all the negative messages I told myself. In fact, I had been right all along: I was horribly ugly.

It has taken me the last few months, since late April, to reclaim the beauty I misplaced when I was eleven years of age: thirty-three long years. For the first time in my adult years, I can look at my face and not cry, cringe, or loop over my image. For the first time I am embracing this wonderful woman I am, and morning for the lost years, when the word beautiful was masked behind a curtain of fear.

What I find odd, is I didn’t judge my friends or strangers in the same way I judged myself. I saw their beauty. Their souls shined through. And all I saw was gorgeousness. Now, when I look at myself, my soul shines through, and I too am the same, one with all, pure loveliness.

Some will call me self-centered, vain, obsessed with my looks, or shallow, but I know the truth. I am home. I am reconnected. I am in love again with me. A child reborn.

I still have doubts. I still have those thoughts…and that familiar dark voice. But there is a light, no doubt, that outshines the rest. A light I am learning to embrace more each day.

Photo on 11-20-12 at 10.24 AM #3