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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469: A Circumstantial State

I sometimes have a strong creative urge that I try to suppress, an urge brought on by an out-and-out pure response to chaotic, gone-haywire emotions of devastation, inadequacy, and not-enough. I become this questioner of questions, a process that is, I find, both cumbersome and too deliriously complex to explain and/or express. Yet, I try, as I do now, for that knocking upon knocking of my withered soul continues.

The truth is, by tomorrow, or the next day, I will be back to equilibrium, my hormones returned to some state of balance, my outlook, previously dimmed, much lightened, and my heart’s endeavors reacquainted with the concepts of hope and inspiration. But, for today, at this moment of juncture, life hurts. And that’s the way it is, all in all, a painful circumstantial state.

I am my worst critic. I am a deviously keen observer of self. Devious in the sense, based on my mind’s delight and current disposition, I can project pretty much any circumstance onto myself. I can create me into anything, and quite convince myself of the truth.

I am a fabulous debater. So fabulous indeed that I can argue both sides of any argument presented, detaching all emotions and outcomes from my viewpoint. I can just see into infinity at times: this spiraling of truth upon truth, knowledge upon knowledge, shared and passed on wisdom and leakage from the collective unconscious. Anyone can. That is, anyone can see what I see, if he or she chooses. Thing is, I don’t choose. At least I don’t think I do. It just is. I was kind of born that way, I conjecture. As it seems my brain has always seen in a limitless fashion, where inherently the truths of truths stem out of some pool of knowledge deep down within the center of some agreed upon collective idea of real. It’s a crazy way to live, literally, to see the disentanglement of complexities simplified into a raw element of nothingness. It’s bound to leave me feeling buoyantly afloat in a world filled with deep heaviness.

I am adrift more often than not, inside some self-manifested escapism. When I am not escaping into the concept of trying not to escape, when I am not purposely trying to escape the effort of mindfulness and being present in a world that screams for me to run, then I am trying to understand what relief and alleviation arises in my conquest of leaving reality. If it weren’t for my mind’s ability to take me adrift, afar off from this land of man, then inevitably I’d be lost onto myself again and again in a torrential, destructive doomsday way—broken, penetrated, skinned, and left to die. Escapism is my safety net from the world of worlds, this place created by man as reality, when nothing exists outside the reasonings of the philosopher’s ways. Escapism is in actuality the very lifeboat that removes me from the sinking ship of knowing and seeing far too much, and returns me to the shores of tranquility. For how can a one, that I seemingly be, exist in a place so full of torturous ways, and yet smile at the image in the mirror she neither understands nor recognizes?

I am rebirthed moment upon moment, acutely aware of my inadequacies in awareness, and completely mesmerized by the makings of this being that I am. Indirectly I give and take upon myself, filling my being with reassurance and then taking down the walls of pride or exterior notions of excelling or succeeding. I am trapped in a way, inside two extremes of being. The one that is to the left which is bleak and dark and reminding me of the world I wish to not be a part of: the illusions, the lies, the schemes, the projections; and the one to the far right of nowhere that is bright, but too bright, a burning scorching idealism that leaves the adventurer worn out by her own doings. I fall back and forth between the lines, finding balance briefly in the state of not being, only to be returned to the merry-go-round of limiting attachment. Wherein I want to belong, to be a part, to be entirely present, the greater part wants to dive away from the teetering of this life, and be not part of something thats very essence is ego-bound and self-limiting.

I crave to belong, yet, I long for the reprieve of isolation. With my own-ness, this state of being individualized and in hiding, I am less likely to be circumvented and exposed to the dispositions of others—to their thoughts, their opinions, their energies. I am less likely to be evaluated and reevaluated by an outside self that predetermines who I am before I am even made fully aware of reality myself. I am less likely to be molded into this prefabrication of idea of who I should be based on some prefabricated gatherings of hankerings and inklings created by absolute strangers (to themselves). I am, in my awareness of others, made into this idea of what is and what to be, or better yet, how to be. In being outside of the state of isolation, I am knowingly put into a stream of realities that don’t fit, don’t feel good, and actually hurt. Here I am made to practice again and again the process of letting go, the interjection of forgiveness and understanding, the recourse of relying on a source beyond me for the release of the echoes of hatred, demise, and retribution. Here, in this spinning nonsense of man, I am made to practice again and again to be someone I see not, to be that which is above the circumstances of sorrow and suffering. And here I am exhausted in my efforts to be all that I can be, beyond these conceived ideas of what is.

What I am becomes lost to me. I cannot grasp reality. I have sunk myself into the vastness of nonexistence. And I become lost in the labyrinth of endless possibilities. I seem to seep out of this life into the places of other lives. To see the extremeness of being in the unlimited possibilities. How each choice affects outcome. How each decision determines the blueprint of further coursings. How every ripple leads to movement upon movement. My mind is a centipede of motion, leg upon leg churning the outcome. I cling to nothing and loop again down the rabbit hole of trying to comprehend the incomprehensible.

In the making of one word, I see a thousand opportunities. Life is set out for some in such simplicities. The delights of the palate. The makings of grand friendships. The works of fine art. The creation of something magnificent. From where I stand, I become twisted in the details, the analysis, the facts beneath facts. The origin of the word, and the founder of the origin. What is it that is simple? What is the definition of delight? How is grandness defined? What makes something fine? What makes something ‘works’? How is magnificence created?

What is truth, if every word is a window to a thousand more doors? What is communication, if what I am is defined by that which I am not? If every word is chained to a reaction based on a previous reaction by a unique individualized perception based on a collaboration of previous collections, then where is the connection? Where is the place where I reach out and blend with another? Is it not in constant isolation we exist, continually trying to break through the barrier of I to blanket over the concept of we? To cover us as two conjoined and to remain outside the shell of isolation, whilst all the world is a slumber?

458: Morphers Anonymous; What is ‘Self’

I am wondering if the female with Asperger’s Syndrome could also encompass a loss-of-identity-of-self element.

I have always had a hard time understanding my own interests, likes, wants, and needs. My desires become obscured and distorted based on my current love-interest. This could be a love of a person, as in friendship and/or romance.

I seem to morph in and out of existence based on my current lifestyle and interest. I can hold onto certain elements of self, primarily my special interests since childhood, e.g., writing, drawing, poetry, nature, animals, music, but other interests and ‘trademarks’ of my personality readily change without much effort and without me even knowing based on my interaction with another person.

Somethings that hold true and steadfast for my character and sense of self include:

Honesty
Integrity
Great Love and Passion
Processing
Lack of Manipulation
Lack of Game Playing
Intellectual in depth Processing
Tenderness
Kindness
Sensitivity
Intense Introspection
A Child-Like Heart and Spirit
Innocence
Hope
Trusting
Sharing
Giving
The Desire to Serve
The Desire to Make a Difference

The parts of my life that alter when I have an interest in another:

Spending less time on a past special interest or activity.
Focusing on new relationship, sometimes with nothing else seeming to matter, except pleasing the other person by becoming akin to their likes and interest.
Vast amounts of emotional energy spent on the person, in comparison to the amount previously spent on self or another.
Partaking in future planning regarding the person.
Over-analyzing and focusing on aspects of my appearance, habits, behaviors, and goals; effectually comparing myself to the other, and wondering in what ways my self could better reflect the other person.
Revamping of what I choose for entertainment, recreation, and sometimes food/drink, clothing, etc.
Taking on the likes and interests of the other person, including book, music, and movie genres, entertainment, social events and various activities.
Taking on mannerisms, dialect, ways of speech, or other unique characteristics of the person.
Taking on belief systems, philosophies and/or personality traits of the person.

This is usually not done at a conscious-level. Typically, I am blinded to my own behavior, justifying what I am doing with some mind-conditioning or logical sequencing, such as rationalization or total denial. This morphing differs in codependency, as I remain intact in my self-esteem and sense of worth. I do not enable. I have clear boundaries of what I will not tolerate or allow in my comfort zone. I maintain a sense of joy in my own life and accomplishments. But it is similar in codependency in my want to over-give, transform based on another, and my tendency to obsess, fantasize, and make the person more important in reality than he or she truly is. In some ways the person becomes like my god or sun, and I the dependent mortal or planet.

Even with all my growth and self-reflection, I still get caught in the pull-push state of wanting to be myself in completion and wanting to figure out how to be what another wants me to be. Even with this strong awareness, this morphing of who I am transpires without warning or clear indication, until I am in the transient state of a chameleon of my personhood.

This morphing is a common part of the female with Asperger’s condition; the female with Aspergers molds her own behaviors and mannerisms in a way that she believes will satisfy the need of her beloved.

The downfall in this behavior is foremost: losing self-identity.

The other issue at hand is the female with ASD cannot ever meet another’s expectations in completion, because the wants and needs of another individual (aka her ‘best friend’) are in constant transition.

It is important to note that this act of morphing is instinctual in nature to many females with ASD. She is seemingly programmed in the brain to morph based on attraction or interest in another human being.

I repeatedly try to transform my own ways and behaviors to meet the needs of another, without even realizing I am partaking in this behavior. Once I catch myself in this chameleon action, I pull back and wonder why I have once again fallen into the trap of losing self. From here I question the sense of self in all aspects, and become boggled by the concept of simply being.

During the morphing phase, I live my life through the eyes of one person. I see myself being watched by this someone at a distance. I see myself adapting, conforming, and molding in an attempt to fit some faraway expectation or goal, I have subconsciously created. I watch my own self through the eyes of someone else. I match my movements, choices, and even sometimes my thought processes to what I think this individual expects or desires from me. I do this without much awareness or analysis, much like a robot following a pre-instructed and installed program. There isn’t much thought to what I am doing or why I am doing it, beyond doing.

Usually this perspective, the way I interpret myself being ‘seen,’ and how I respond in word, thought, and action, shifts every year or so, depending on the duration of a relationship. Everything I do, I imagine and I believe is seen through the eyes of a human being beyond myself (boyfriend, lover, husband, best friend, boss). My movements, my words, my way of being, revolve around this someone beyond myself.

It is like constantly having an overseer observing me. I question would he/she behave like this? I ask, “Is this bringing me closer to his/her liking?” It isn’t as much a need for approval as wanting to match myself to this other. Interestingly, at the same time this morphing is transpiring, I still maintain my own self-esteem and self-love. I like who I am. I want to be me. But I somehow get lost in the process of befriending this high-interest person.

High-interest in the keyword and key point.

Without the high-interest, I am not drawn into the morphing and adjusting of self. With high-interest, my brain attaches, much like it does with a special hobby or activity, and I become a scientist dissecting the person, as if the person were a project. My brain’s natural ability to dissect, take apart, and rearrange pieces of a whole into a new whole takes over. I become a detective of self and other; again, not typically at a conscious level; though I have some awareness of what I am doing, a cloak to my full reality remains. This cloaking action resembles some sort of protective mechanism and functions the same way as in my high-interest projects, (aka: fixations). I cannot seem to pull myself out, or properly analyze and confront my own behavior, until the passionate interest has subsided; the stopping point/tilting point usually being a new special interest. I go from one to the other, a child on the monkey bars of a playground, not letting go of the one in hand, until the next in hand is firmly grasped.

Through this way of being, I lose track of who I am. Yet, I wonder if I ever was to begin with.

If I take time to process this sense of being, and the ‘whys’ of the way I respond in passion to another, I become confused in thoughts of ‘what is being?’ and ‘what is self?’ I have no idea of who I am, beyond space and matter, and a reflection of the universe. I am ever-changing and transitioning substance. I adhere to the string-theory, to ancient philosophies and belief systems—that of being nothing but the combined perception of others. In truth, I know a thousand others would have a thousand interpretations of this self I am, and in a year’s passing even these opinions would all transition. I am never stagnant, and awaken a new person not daily, but minute by minute. I have no general sense of self or of being. I am that I am. In essence I am nothing.

Perhaps because of the ‘no self’ theory, I transform without intention when fixated on another. Perhaps, like some spiritual teachers have professed, I am merely taking on the characteristics reflected in the person I am observing because I am only, and will always only be, a reflection. Perhaps, I am wired in a way, spiritually or biologically, in which I am not a solid form made to stay stagnant and unwavering; or perhaps I am more keenly alert and aware of the changes and transformations inside of me, to a point that the changes distract from me recognizing a fully forming personhood.

Regardless of my hypothesis, I get trapped in the cyclical repetition of morphing.

In the last season of inquiry, I have reached a new threshold, in which I have questioned: What do I want in another person? What makes me happy? What are my true needs?

The only answer I hear is: love

Beyond unconditional love and acceptance, (and beyond Maslow’s hierarchy of basic needs), I don’t understand needs.
Any needs, to me, seem obscure and border on self-based, ego-needs. Who am I to claim a need without at the same time delegating to another how I wish him/her to be or respond (change) in order to please and satisfy me? And what is it inside of myself that is not complete and satisfied in which I need another to fulfill me?

With these thoughts, I become entangled in trying to contemplate the very basic nature of self needs and self-identity.

452: Scarlet White

The agony is torture, pure fire to the soul—the way such solitude is split into ravenous venom, devouring me as leash to the chain, choking the breath of life.

I am that I am. And then I am not. Lost again in some unfathomable labyrinth of thought.

Where and why eludes and leaves a trail of dust dried blood. Help, I scream from somewhere else. Inaudible and out of direction. No path left. No place to go. But inward, where I already dive deeper in the vine of self.

Is it not this place again? The familiar place of no sunrise and no sunset. Where the cold dribbles down the walls of caves, and placates the answers with sweet soft denial. Is it not this somewhere found in the furrowed causeway of my mind’s nimble foresight? My meanderings all leading back to here. Some forgotten spot of eternity missed.

I am a vagrant, a vagabond, a ghost traveler to my own shadow. Unable to distinguish between in and out, what is penetrating and what is piercing, what is poking to release its plundering poison and what is slicing to divide where I begin.

I am invaded by darkness, the soul long forgotten in the night, the enemy out to demolish the light. I am what is not in the way I move without motion and touch without rhythm, stagnant in an air of dismal lies. Here I stand in the place I was, only the place no longer is. Here I stand in the place I was, only I no longer exist.

Wobbling is my fortitude. Swaying, ignited by the dreams unwound, the sword plunged further into the stream of mystery spat open. Coughing up the remnants of who had been. Torn down into oblivion, obliterated and left as carrion to the greedy hunger of naught.

They find me, these naysayers, and call out to the lost sheep I am, with doings undone in their torturous view. I am but what they wish, set asunder below them, and made to bleed about as the rabbit sunken in the snare of despair. My white coat diminished by the scarlet fever set upon me.

Who am I but this child undone, left in the valley of rivers, and blown into the sea of forgiveness? Chiseled and chiseled, as if stone were the heart of me. Made to blend in with misery, to melt in the doorway of pain. Charred to the bone with the starch black of misery.

And here, still, he comes. With his arrow strung across the shoulder of time. His answer seized in the windstorm. Here, still, he is. This gentle grace of knowing naught and knowing all in the splinter of thyme. He enters me as clear day. The light upon my forehead new. The pressing spot of hope spun open into the rebirthing. Come, my lady, he declares, pronouncing me the victorious one, the homecoming of his awaiting. Come, my lady, he mends, his words the golden thread of healing.

And I follow, as blind lady lost in his rapture, spread open by the seams to his glorious name. Come, I do, and trace out my destiny in his waters, dancing in the stream of desert turned dream. At last in the home of home. No longer chased down by the dark ones seeking to erase what has been brought to them as buried treasure uncharted. No longer stalked by the nightingale’s ghostly brother, who pecks out a song of bitter vengeance.

In only this way I am free. In only this way. When the darkness sets upon my soul and the bleeding ceases to flow without follow, and the voice comes, from the seeping of my chaliced tears. Only then I am home. Only then, in the making of self whole.

442: deep within myself

I want to please you. I want to be ‘normal.’ I want to come out of my shell and fit in. I want you to see me in all my glory and love me in my completion. I want to be all you ever wanted and needed.

I hear, from deep within myself.

I want to dance like no one is watching. Believe no one is watching, and spin and spin without a care in the world. I want to be free. Open to all without fear of over-exposure.

I cry, from deep within myself.

Why is it that my existence seems so different and locked up? A prisoner without a key? Why must I continue to pace, one corner to the next, chiseling away at invisible barriers?

I pound, from deep within myself.

I am tired of waking up to me. This sameness unaltered in every way—still tired. Still scared. Still this child who was dropped down into a misty nowhere.

I plead, from deep within myself.

I hate it here, inside this me. When the walls close in, and the voices of unreason come, the mind cycling through unwanted thoughts, over and over, some washing machine gone haywire, off-balance, loud, uncomfortable rocking.

I bang, from deep within myself.

I should know better by now, the world tells me so. The world dictates my wellness. How to be. What to say. Where to go. Whom to turn to. What to run away from. Bombarding me with their fragmented answers they hold as truths.

I watch, from deep within myself.

Back and forth the dreams go. One day full. The next moment empty. Unbridled towering emotions surging through me. An ocean, a river—the continual rapids of intake. Equilibrium broken. Eternally walking on the high wire above the crashing falls.

I breathe, from deep within myself.

Where am I today? Where did I go? I feel the eyes of judgment. Daunting glares they are. Again? Again? Again? Can she not learn? Can she not break her pattern? Hasn’t she had enough of this self she proclaims?

I wither, from deep within myself.

Tethered to the billion ideas lingering. A graveyard alive of circumstantial evidence. Dug up. Exposed to the rotted bone. And still empty solutions. A ghost alive, drifting away, as the shell collapses beneath the weight of the world.

I separate, from deep within myself.

Hold me, I proclaim. Touch me. I shout out. Not wanting to be moved in a human way. Not wanting the flesh. But what is beyond the flesh. The richness of soul to penetrate mine and make me into the woman less lost and lonely.

I shiver, from deep within myself.

Alone I am in this dance of mind. Brilliantly bright. Brilliantly kind. Tender. Deep. An open book turned asunder. The worn spine split upward into the heaven’s tears. Angel wings tarnished, bent, left for good.

I wait, from deep within myself.

Save me. Oh, someone, I do not know. Save me from my bitter-torn vision of life. This someone who was not made for this place of earth, this uproar of fanatical placating, this constant course of soothing gone wrong.

I stagger, from deep within myself.

Broken, I am, I speak. From the highest peak within. Standing on the ledge of tomorrow. Leaping into the unknown. Free fall. Tumbling into the newest unwanted.

I land, from deep within myself.

And here I am again. The same swollen woman filled with the forgotten pieces of beauty. Shattered and made whole in the misery of my making. Here I am again, swinging from the stars of my forgotten soul.

I shine, from deep within myself.

439: Exuberance Turned Sorrow

pinit ability

I have had a very stressful summer. Many of those items listed in publications as the top stressors in life happened to me, or almost happened, in the last four months. I have lost my equilibrium and suffered some serious health ‘flares.’ I also managed to lose sight of all I had gained in the last six months, in regards to my faith and ability to trust in all things working out.

I understand, even in these darker moments, all is unfolding for a higher purpose. This has been my belief since a small child, and whether or not I am accurate in my faith, makes no difference, as I must believe in something outside my realm of existence to continue onward. It has always been that way. I have always looked to the stars for reassurance and the acknowledgment that my pain, and my joy, serves a purpose. If I didn’t have purpose in living, I wouldn’t want to live.

Currently, and for a long time, my purpose has been in serving. With my physical limitations, I can now best serve through my words.

However, through this blogging journal, I have noticed that when I write I sometimes receive a jolt of what could best be described as glee. In producing a part of self into writing, I become wrapped up in ribbons of gold and a sense of celebration. The little girl I am shines and flies through the skies. But then, something else inevitably interrupts, in which I am pulled down, beyond the balancing point, and pressed deep within my soul. It is there I sit, in a dimly lit isolation, gathering the pieces of me I had released, and pulling in that string of joy.

It is an oddity and a familiarity that leaves me with a bitter-broken taste. In theory, I seem to have a naturally built in self-regulator for hubris and pride. I can only lift so far, until I find I am reeling myself back in—some flying fish, netted, hooked, and spun back down at full spinning-speed. I can feel it physically. I can witness it spiritually.

I used to believe this process, of exuberance turned sorrow, was a subconscious protective mechanism rigged in my early childhood in response to environmental influence. I see now, with much reflection, that I am indeed made with an internal thermostat, with a dial turned to the point where my self-based joy cannot rise too high without immediate departure to sub-zero levels. In moments, I feel leashed in, unable to charge outside of the confinements of my boundaries without the reminder of the chained-collar choking my neck. I do not think this is an affliction or a psychological response to my upbringing. I do not think this is biological. I do believe this is another part of how my brain functions. I believe in whatever way I was ‘programmed’ or ‘wired’ or put together, I was given an internal system that keeps my nature in check. I believe I have this same system in place for other parts of me as well.

I cannot stop it. I cannot choose to remain elated. Nor can I choose to remain sad. I am brought to the height, pulled back into the deep, and then set at balance, cleaned and reformed. Sometimes I wonder if I am not constantly shifting and readjusting, an entity truly in constant transition. And that perhaps I am keenly aware of this process. In remembering my childhood, I had the sensation of being just outside the realm of the reality of my peers, conceptualizing and processing at a faster and deeper rate than my playmates; in comparison, today, I can step back and see this existing outside of the arena of life, happening still, only the concepts and ponderings are substantially more complex.

As I continue to write, and share through my thoughts and words, I continue to observe myself and the transformations I make. Wherein I used to barely recognize myself in looking back in time, say some five or ten years ago, in the sense I seemed much changed and transformed. Now I can barely recognize the self I was just last month or last week. In some ways, I seem to be processing through more in a day than I had in previous years. And in other ways, I seem to slip out of one skin of being, into another. I do not know if this is because of my brain or because of my empathic abilities, or a combination of the two. What I do know is I find it harder and harder to hold on to who I am in this moment, knowing that what I think I am will be changing. I find it difficult to be stagnant and stern in my opinions, perception, and desires. Being I feel in a state of constant motion, I find safe harbor in the continual ability to connect and reach out, which ironically signifies the exact thing that brings me flying high and then flinging back down.

430: I am Here

After more than two months, I finally feel the artistic part of me returning. It was a long, dry summer, even in the humid damp northwest, without my creative peace.

Today I woke up motivated to figure out how to record my voice. I haven’t perfected the process yet; it seems in life I always come super close to accomplishing something but that there is always a sliver of ‘flaw.’

I’ve noticed these flaws in my paintings, my writing, my poetry. I’ve noticed these flaws in the way I see myself and in the way I see the world. It seems I move through the world in thought and action, in voice and speech, in whatever I do, just slightly off, just slightly flawed. But I have come to a comfortable place through my flaw-like ways.

I have redressed and renamed this word and concept called flaw. I have built him into something desirable, worthy, and lovable.

He is me. And I am him.

I am flawed and I am brilliant because of my flaw-worthiness.
I am fantastic in all the ways I am not exact.
I create in an unusual manner with odd utensils and peculiar techniques, the features super big and the images somewhat askew.
But I create, and I create from the heart—a heart I recognize as pure, untouched and still whole.
I am me in all I do.
I am honest and rich with imagination.
I am spectacular in my unlimited ability to share and over-share, again and again.
I am magnificent in the way I can untangle the images in my mind and bleed them out into a formidable string of comprehensible parts.
I like how my mind is despite the lingering doubts, the trials and the tribulations.
I like that I am authentic—authentically silly, authentically child-like, authentically caring.
I like that I understand the depths of myself.
Even though I remain a mystery, I can still feel the endlessness and eternity that is me.
I can still feel.
And that is a gift.
To feel in this intensity and not walk blinded and lost.
Yes, I am a befuddled mess at times.
Often I am slipping into some stream of goopy mind-trap.
But I am a glorious befuddled mess.
I am interesting.
I am profoundly wise.
I am beautiful in the way I chisel away at myself wanting and longing to find the pieces beneath and wishing to do away with the unneeded weight and debris.
I am rude. I am mean. I am a poophead at times.
And that’s me, too.
This embraceable mess of me.
I hug myself.
I hug the supercilious parts, the extreme parts, the worrying parts, the merrymaking parts, even the parts that sit and panic about the time, about the wasting of the day, about the rules that I am forgetting, misplacing, or seemingly never learned.
I squeeze me into the goodness I am.
Holding me in the light of love.
Yes, I am a failure.
Yes, I am success.
I redress these words, too.
Yes, I am everything at once and nothing combined.
I am infinitely shifting and changing and transforming.
Reborn again and again into myself, and still so very much the same as I was decades before.
I can still see me there.
Still see me here.
This little girl with her heart of gold.
I see her hopes and dreams.
I see her innocence.
There is nothing wrong with me.
Absolutely nothing.
I just refused to grow up to the ways of the world.
I refused to lose a part of myself that is truth.
I refused to let go of me.
I am still me.
And I am glad.

Voice Recording
Poem at Belly of a Star blog

429: The Pool of Oughts

I have been living through a familiar dread—one that I have carried with me my entire life.

A major part of my predicament is in the stringing of my thoughts—in the way my mind instinctually expands off one concept onto another. At times I seem to be thinking, or at minimum existing, at multiple levels. Not in a psychedelic way; yet, in a very definite effectual state in which I am neither here nor there, but everywhere. There aren’t any lights or awakenings, but there exists this extremeness of a structure or building, as if I were a skyscraper itself expanding out in exponential infeasible directions beyond the view of the naked eye. And here, I slip simultaneously beyond what I am able to see and into the place of invisibility.

I recognize I am absent, with my faraway stare. I recognize I have lost my leash to the rest of self. I see from beyond that I am standing outside of where I am, holding a string to the other place of where the rest of me exists; my body in most ways remaining a shell.

In life as in fiction, I can be watching a scene play out, and at the same instant be analyzing the characters’ personalities, the actors’ personalities, the screen writer’s purpose, the landscape, the environment and feasible psychological ramifications of the spoken words and actions of the people. My mind seems spider-like in its ways, capable of reaching out in a potentially infinite array of directions, with its spindly legs sprouting and spurning in fanatical rupture. The rhythmic zeal moves from abstract to concrete, and I am swept up in the weaving of a thousand stitching legs—the legs themselves as streams pouring out of a waterfall, each spawning another waterfall. Picture after picture. Image after image dripping down in a thousand ways. All of this birthed into a whirlpool of thought that is neither disorganize or organized, but collected in the same manner in which one would forge food for the winter or build a nest for safety. Here is where everything is.

In sitting to do or think of anything, I am sitting as the aching spider, as the legs, as the fountains, as the streams, as the nest. Some large living machine pulsating with connections. I can sense this happening, as I am thinking about thinking about thinking. I take an elevator in thought or jump through the illusion of self that is in actuality the mirrors set upon mirrors—each image further, smaller, deeper, but just as real and just as exact.

I don’t actually see a spider and legs, and the rest, but I feel this movement as such; where if I had to describe the pulsating chains of me, this is as close as I could come. But in truth there isn’t anything I can follow or find, just this sense of substantial never ending depth akin to the collective pool of unconsciousness or perhaps liken to a life-size mold where self enters to be reinvented again and again.

Here in this space of no space, I meander through the chambers that hold the record of all experience, shifting through the files and bringing up into the light that which has yet to be discovered: a scaffolding mechanism reviewing what has been, what will be, and where I ought be.

The trouble begins, need I say trouble, when I open the files of ‘ought.’ There is where the stinging nettle comes, with the burning so distracting that all else falls down. The ‘ought’ files take over. For some reason or another, my essence absorbs the rules, regulations, how-tos, structure, system of being, and so on. I don’t know why, and it hurts to try to figure out the why of why I need to know the whys. I just do.

And in so being immersed in the ‘ought’ files, I get lost. I become over-expanded, swelled, and pressurized. A sponge in a pool expansive and foreboding, each movement of thought yet another burden onto self. Here in the pool of ‘oughts’ I become confused, primarily because there exists contradiction beyond contradiction. One school of thought against the other. One way of being beyond the other. Each standing in line shouting to be heard. Here is a room that has too many choices and too many directions. Too much depth. For a child as I be, I become mesmerized and trapped in the gooey notions of ‘ought.’ I begin deciphering each segment, each crumb, reaching the same conclusion continually: That all is an illusion and all is not.

I stand there ashamed of my own being for not being who I ‘ought’ to be. As I stand there, too, erect in self proclaiming who I am. I stand there crying in the confusion. And I sink there too, the strokes of my arms useless, as I wade through the muck of nonsense.

I become useless onto myself with so many options that lead to either dead ends or the opposite or the contradictory voice of a mass of many; the ‘oughts’ tie up the whole of the machine into a ball of inability. Motionless enters. I remain trapped, focusing and refocusing on what is evidentially lies or mistruths. I hear the echoes of the all. The ways in which the ‘wrongness’ hurts the masses. The ways in which we are each silently tormented in our minds by the rules established by the ones who are equally predispositioned to torment. It becomes a jumble of confusion and mayhem; something far beyond the enchantment of mystery and far closer to the bowels of a bleak twisted jail yard.

I am myself here, still. Uncorrupted, unmoved, but nonetheless made into something I don’t want to be. I am crying on the inside while strong on the outside. And then I am strong more so in the depths of self and made weak on the outer layers. I am bathed in this place of non-discrepancy, baptized in a sense by the very alive confusion. Drowned too, unable to breathe, and then spat out, left as naked and brought back to this place I am now. Here. Present. Aware. Alive.

I go through this in a way so swift and abstract, yet so expansive in distance and very real, that I cannot help but to be altered, existing as this being reborn and reborn again, through the loud shattering chaos that the world whispers as truth.

428: Impermanence

Impermanence.

I understand the word. I feel the word. I live the word. I am hyper aware of impermanence. It is all around me. The constant changing elements of water, the river that is never the same once visited again. I understand all is in continuum. Nothing ever stops and nothing ever stays. I think I have understood this since I was a small child. I think that understanding such complex concepts at a young age added to my anxiety.

Perhaps this is when I began to cling to my imagination deeper and deeper, and began to learn how to survive. I was a fledgling set out to fly far too early. Someone unadjusted to the world at large made to be a part of something she did not understand and did not want to understand. I hid in my very own nightmares, determined to fight off demons in an arena I created, untouched by the outside.

I jumped fence after fence, leaping from robbers and ‘bad guys.’ I protected my mother from the giant waves coming at us as I clung to the ocean cliffs for life. I ward off monsters pulling me down the bed.

It was impossible to live in the present. Entirely impossible. To feel everything at once would have been liken to an internal combustion. I would have exploded, in one way or another. Instead I locked everything inside and I made promises. I promised to grow up to be a good person, to be a good mommy, and to make a difference in the world. I turned my terrible angst into hope. I set goals. I set conditions. And I made order out of the chaos.

Eventually my goals were reached. I’d done everything I’d ever wanted. My life was set. Every single one. And there I sat, not too long ago, lost. For what was I to do when everything I’d set to do had been reached?

I understood myself and the dynamics of my life. I understood the deepest of religious thoughts and philosophies. I understood my journey and all that had transpired. At least to the greatest degree possible for the person I was.

Had I been a different person years ago…oh so it seemed. Had I been made new week after week, waking up to a person I did not know or recognize? Indeed. I was transformed from the inside out. The dreams, prophetic and enriched with symbolism, came. The painting, the drawing, the poetry, the intense unbearable passion. I was wrapped up in this whirlwind I could not control. I was swept away by the beauty. I was floating. I was where I thought I would remain.

Only I was drowning. I was suffering in a rigidness and extremeness. I was stuck again. I lost myself in a way I didn’t know way possible. I flew up to the ceiling of my own life in a bubble of my own. Everything and everyone seemed a burden but my God. I was able to love, yes, unconditionally, but I wasn’t able to be. I wasn’t there. I was lost in yet another formed self.

I was reformed into something I was not. At least it seems that way through the eyes of retrospection. But what if that was who I am? What if at that moment that was me in completion: this lost heroine found to her own self. I do not know. I only know I was drifting. I was floating. I was no longer grounded. Nothing was that had been before, and all seemed lost and found at once.

It was my new escape. I know this in looking back. But I never would know it then. I’d transported into another place and into another state of being to survive. What was I surviving? This place.

I’d set new rules upon myself: to not fixate, to stay in the present, to be of service, to love unconditionally, to forgive everyone, to release anger. All beneficial rules. All effective measures. Except I wrapped myself in barbwire. I literally took the fencing that had always caged me in—the fence of rules, regulations, and must-do’s—and then made the fencing my very skin. I took my self and made myself the rigidness. I bleed for the world. Or so I thought.

But I was really bleeding for me. I was finally coming to the cuffing of self—to the last prison—the last restrictions of soul. I was making myself believe that through effort, sacrifice, and obeying I would at last be free. That through service, I would at last have found the answer.

I didn’t realize that I no longer need to suffer to be the light.
I didn’t realize that I no longer have to search to find who I already am.
I didn’t realize that the very impermanence that haunted me as a youth, was the same impermanence that would pull me through.

I went on my knees. I curled on the floor and I wept. For through everything, I believed I still hadn’t sacrificed enough. I believed I had to be tortured to heal the world. I believed if I wasn’t bled out I couldn’t survive. I thought, without reason, that to live was to die a thousand deaths.

I begged for reprieve, for change, for retreat. And it came.

The waves of trials. The turmoil of emotions. The constant moving of my foundation. Everything bubbled up and exploded as hot molten. Everything splattered and spilled and spat—hot liquid pain. And the landscape reformed burying me in the process. Momentarily, unable to breathe or float or be, I dug through the debris. I suffered then, but in a different way.

I suffered through finding where I’d last left myself. And I found me. Somewhat buried, too. But not as deep. Just set out as a shell beside the shadows where I moved; hidden beneath the very darkness I carried. An invisibleness that formed into shape with each of my worries and woes. I found me there then, or what remained of me, all withered and severed. And I remembered that I had this funny way of finding places to go while leaving the rest of me behind. I had to have been there, I supposed, in this place of no place, while the other slipped on my suit of being. I had to be there and rest, beyond the structure of the illusion of our world, so I could awaken to me again and behold the lands ruptured and renewed