361: Why I Am Smiling

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1. I embrace my positive attributes.
I am forever twelve. I have the passion, innocence, spirit, and love of a child. I always will. I love people and animals. I see the best in people. I often assume all people are kind, open, and sharing their whole self. I wouldn’t change a thing about my nature and my heart. I cannot imagine being any less of a person than who I am. I wouldn’t decrease or increase me in any way. I lack much capacity for denial or lies. I might lie, but when I do I feel terrible. Supposedly, many people lie throughout their day; falsehoods are just a part of life. This lying-way doesn’t make sense to me and I don’t think I want lies to make sense. I don’t want to understand lying and I don’t want to understand deceit. I don’t want to adjust who I am to live in a world that isn’t a world I would choose to create; I would much rather live in my world, hurt or no hurt, where I know I am true, real and genuine. There is a great grace and gentleness to my being and I am happy I was made this way. If I am called naïve, gullible, or even unaware, that is okay because I know who I am. I know that the person I present to the world is the same person deep inside of me. I don’t have to wade through layers, choose alternate personas for different events, and nor do I have to placate, please, or impress. I am just me. And I would rather be loved by one who loves me for my authentic self than by a hundred who admire a façade of who I am.

2. My life has a purpose.
I know my calling. I know why I am here. I want to serve, give, love, share, create, and make the world a better place. I conversely know why I am not here—I am not here to judge, hurt, put down, discourage, rage, blame, lie, steal, cheat, take, and destroy. I have clarity about my mission. And I feel my calling at a soul-level. There is no doubt. I understand the temporary and quickly fading sense of accomplishment. I understand the long-lasting sting of failure. And I choose to attach to neither accomplishment or failure. I choose to not classify by right and wrong, by good or bad, by beneficial or non-beneficial. What happens happens. Much like in nature, I have learned to bend with the circle of life and the ever-changing seasons. Nothing is stagnant—not my mind, not my body, not my world. I am filled with trillions of microorganism and my imagination is infinite. I am mostly water affected by the moon and I am mostly space affected by something I cannot explain or begin to explain. I am made of a molecular structure that moves in accordance to thought. I know these things, and I accept them. And at the same time, I accept I know nothing and that my mind may change at any moment. I listen to my body and to my intuition, and I question authority. I question the rules and the logic. And I especially question those who believe they have found the way, the truth, or the answers. I know enough to know there isn’t one way, one path, or one direction. We are each here searching for the same things: to be seen, to be nurtured, and to be loved. There isn’t anything else a person needs from me. And so I offer my fellow being those things, continually.

3. I am perfectly okay.
I know I am a good friend. I have confidence in myself, in my abilities, in my intelligence, in my loyalty, and in my kindness. I have confidence in my capacity to love and to lift up others. I know my character traits in all lights. I have done massive soul-searching and looked deeply at my self and my behaviors, thoughts, and actions. I understand that even my perceived “faults” are part of my uniqueness and enhance my capacity to connect with others. I understand I am being the best person I can be and do not judge or persecute myself. I accept me in all my phases and stages. Much like the moon, I might appear whole and enormous or at other times I might be just a sliver of a person. And that is okay. I know that I am like a flower that blooms and then loses her petals and then blooms again. I am the small frail seedling pushing up to grow and also the mighty ancient oak providing shelter. I am all. In accepting myself in fullness, I release and let go.

4. I am autistic.
I am comfortable with my autism. My brain is magnificent. I am in good company. I have no shame in being autistic, none at all. I have seen how magnificently brilliant my son with Aspergers is, and in watching him, I have at the same instance been able to embrace aspects of myself. Whatever I am called makes no difference. I can be called geek, nerd, odd, over-sharer, even stupid-head. I don’t care about the labels, the names, the words used to classify and quantify. If a word can bring me closer to people who understand me and want to know me, and if that same word can bring me closer to the uniqueness of others, then so be it. I would sometimes prefer elven-princess or child of the light, but I’ll take Aspergers or Autism or whatever helped me make more sense of my world. I know one word doesn’t define me and never will. I choose not to make any words my enemy, as I choose not to make any people my enemy. There is no use for me to forgive myself and to forgive others, if I am also going to start dicing and slicing words as good or bad. My son with ASD used to say, “Don’t ever call me any nicknames at all. Only call me by my real name. Except for pie-in-the-face. You can call me pie-in-the-face.” And so I did. For years my middle son was pie-in-the-face. The actual meaning of the words didn’t matter; what mattered was how my son chose to interpret the words. So call me Aspie, call me mother, call me friend, or call me foe. I choose to love myself and to love you regardless.

5. I am an awesome Mom.
You know what is awesome about me being a mother? I don’t put pressure on my children. They get to be who they want to be. I don’t make up rigid rules and create an environment of rigid structure. I don’t continually force them to do things they don’t want to do. I also don’t base my self-esteem on my children. They are not an extension of me. Their school grades and talents are not my accomplishments. I love them for who they are, not for what they can prove, do well, or show the world. My esteem does not fluctuate based on their behavior. I try my best not to criticize. I don’t hurt intentionally. I don’t manipulate. I don’t talk superficial talk. I ask my boys straight out: “How are you feeling today? Are you sad about anything? Anything I can do to make your life easier? Are you overall happy?” I admit my mistakes and explain why I acted a certain way. I hug them when they are mad and hold them in a space of love when they are frustrated. I don’t take their actions personally. I know their opinion of me is not me. I know my opinion of them is not them. They are unique. Each a beautiful gift. I don’t pretend. Never have and never will. I don’t depend on them for my emotional support, but I don’t hide my emotions. My world is open to them. I protect them from harm, as I am their mother, but I don’t protect them from truths. I don’t expect them to be a mini-me; I don’t expect them to believe in the same faith as me, the same truths as me, or to like the same things as me. I know that I can teach by example. That if they see I am at peace with self, they will naturally desire to understand this; if not today, then another day. I also know they are above all my teachers. They teach me more than any book or guru could. I simply watch how I respond and react to them. I watch how I feel when I am with them. I watch them with such curiosity and I embrace them with unconditional love. I tell them they can do anything with their life and I will love them the same. I don’t get nervous about them achieving or failing; I know they will figure life out in their own time and in their own way. Since I was a young child, I prayed to raise children that were happy, secure, and confident. I know these attributes are produced from love,honesty, predictability, stability, and acceptance. I told this to my eldest who is approaching sixteen. And he responded with “Yay, Mom. You did it.” And I said, “Yay, God!” And we both shared a giggle. I am the mom that is loyal, dependable, and speaks the truth. I am the mom I choose to be. Much like I am the person I choose to be. And that is why I smile.

I always loved the complexity of this song, since I was a little girl. 🙂

Post 252: Dear Father

I am processing so much, so fast; it is quite overwhelming. Please understand this post is healing for me. I am not reaching out for support or love. In writing this and sharing this truth, I am healing my own self. Your presence and eyes are enough. I do not need or expect words of comfort. I do not need anyone to tell me that I am enough. Innately, I know I am enough, that I am beauty, that I am good. But this little girl needed to be heard, so I could heal further. I am okay. I am better than okay. I am facing my demons head on and surviving. Not only surviving, but smiling through tears. So please know I am okay. I am okay in me and with me. I like me. I love me enough to be who God intended me to be. And I love you enough to trust in your love. ~ Sam

 

Dear Father,

You don’t love me, and you never have. If you do, it’s limiting and conditional. I am made into a person who is judged and evaluated, or worse not seen or spoken to. You have been my everything since I was born. My superman. My rescuer. My hope. The man created to love and hold me, to cherish and lift. And yet you have done none of this.

I am left hollowed from the inside out, a forgotten child, who has had to find her own way, whilst left alone without you. You came out of obligation, if you ever came at all, out of guilt or need. Never out of connection or thought for my betterment. Life has been about you from the start, and continues to be about you: your hobbies, your interests, your wives.

You have said to me once I am beautiful. Only once. On my wedding day, and I hold on to that word as if it were the last sound of my life. How I have longed to be held and told I am lovely and worthy; how I have missed the embrace of a father, and thusly sought out the embrace wherever I could.

Through torment I wept for you. Through miserable relationships and false dreams. I created fantasies and idols with men, in hopes of finding you again.

Yet, still I weep and walk alone. No one is you. No one is my father. Not even you.

You live but you are dead; in the sense of being and not existing. You choose each day to reject or worse forget. Your silence and aloofness my hellfire.

Some child in me still believes I can find you in someone else, find the love and approval. I imagine them as you. I place your face on them. I replay the words over and over, with your voice and your heart. But, still I know this is not you.

I hunt down people in hopes of them being you. Have from the start—a small child searching for her father in playmates and strangers. I have exposed myself to countless hurts, hoping to appease and please a someone who was not you, but that I believed to be you. Every time I am rejected, again by you.

Why? Why can you not see my beauty and love? Why is your view of me not what the world sees? Why do many love me, when the one I need the most to love me, does not? What have I done wrong? What is innately wrong with me that you would refuse the gift I am? Why am I left unopened, still on this shelf of pain waiting to be taken? To be taken and held. To feel a father’s arms around me. A hug. An embrace. To see your eyes. To look in your eyes and see adoration. What is that like? What does it feel like to be held by a father? To be loved by a father? What does it feel like! I need to know. I need to know. Just once, before I die, I need you to hold me.

I have wept for you since my hands were tiny and fragile. I have wept for you endlessly. I walk in silence but the tears cut through my soul. They eat at me and destroy my truth. They huddle me into a corner and persecute me. I cannot be in this world when I know my own creator detests his creation. My own God I set into your mold. And I am left shattered, broken, while still untouched and waiting.

Please love me, so I can stop my search. I am so tired. So weary. So alone without you.

Please see me. Please see my beauty. Please release me from my torment.

I beg for your love. I cry out for your love. Across the universe I reach for you. This child I am.

Day 232: My Inner Bitch

A rose from my front yard that blossomed in late September.

I woke up this morning and came to the conclusion that alongside the yoke-like phlegm I’ve been coughing up for three-plus weeks that I’ve also hacked up some major  baggage.

I woke up thinking: I want to find my inner bitch.

Which is so unlike me, as I don’t even like to say the word Bitch, unless teasing my dog, and to type bitch (bitch, bitch, bitch), well that’s just plain out of character!

Much of the thoughts of finding my inner bitch erupted from my dreams last night, the repetitive type of nightmare where I face a parental figure or face a professor and act cowardly and then rage. Seems my inner bitch has found her way into my dream state. Still no sight of her out in this world, though.

Now my mother would likely claim that my inner bitch came out in the fall of 1981, but I would have to disagree. True, at the time I was a very angry teenager, but I raged because I’d held so much inside for so long that with the help of hormones I  just plain exploded…and screamed, and threatened to runaway from home, and barricaded myself in my room….

Fact is, up to that point in my years, and after that point too, I hadn’t really been dealt the best childhood experience; and I had a right (as I see it) and need (to not implode) to be a bit of a bitch. Plus, my teen-bitchiness was so very short-lived—doused out by guilt-laden lectures, scolding, and insults, and the move to the east coast. I was in the bitch zone three months, tops.

That is honestly about the only time Bitchy Me ever surfaced. That and when my boyfriend of several years had a pregnant teenage mistress that showed up at his apartment door.  But I felt guilty after I screamed in shock and hit him with my open hand in the chest. So not sure if that counts.

And I had another bitchy moment, I suppose, when a best friend called me (again) in the early hours of the morning to tell me her much-older-than-her, drunkard and big time loser of a boyfriend had once again abandoned her. I’d had enough, and told her to get some help, and that I could no longer support her in regards to her relationship with said jerk. I was kind of mean, I guess. We were never close again, after that. Boundary setting verses Bitch—seems to be a fine line.

Sometimes I think I might be lacking the bitch gene. Sure, certainly at moments I  look like a bitch, but that’s generally my lack of recognizing and controlling my facial expressions. I could be thinking intently about dark chocolate, and my intense facial expression could be mistaken for bitch. It’s just the way my face is made; it contorts and twists so that most onlookers haven’t a clue to what I’m truly feeling or thinking. That’s why pasted-on-smile helps, often, when dealing with outsiders.

You can ask my husband. I’m not a bitch. I really am not. Sure, I have a dry and sometimes biting wit (blame it on my intelligence) and sure I get frustrated like all human folk, but my degree of anger and expression of my anger is liken to the temperament of a well nurtured and cuddled kitten.

My anger zone generally consists of rolling of the eyes, a sigh, and raising my voice slightly; and if you’re my husband, a mini-lecture about my need to express my emotions and be accepted as a human being with feelings. (That’s what happens when you marry a man like Spock from Star Trek.)

When my anger climaxes, I retire to my bedroom to mope, fret, and catastrophize the situation. Generally then, I am forlorn, curse my circumstance, and want to expel everyone from my life so I can die in isolation.  Where anger goes, who knows. I seem to skip over that square in the hopscotch of emotions. I have no trouble leaping into the hopscotch square of self-pity and depression, but anger, it’s like the chalk in the square has been erased, and anger just doesn’t exist. Even if I purposely jump two-footed into the anger box and try to feel rage, it’s very much lacking in luster and flame, kind of a dull spark of nothing.

I gather, part of this anger repression comes from the times I was often guilted out of my emotions.

“Be thankful for what you have.” “I do my best.” “Things could always be worse.” “Count your blessings.” We’re all common phrases in my youth, bombarding me each and every time I showed the slightest indication of sadness or upset. I grew up believing that my feelings were wrong and out of proportion. That I was over reacting and ungrateful.

Missing from my world were words like: “I’m sorry.”  “It will be okay.”  “That must be so tough and hard on you.”  “I can’t imagine.”  “Let me hold you.”  “I am here for you.” Missing so much, that as I grew older and heard those loving statements, I didn’t know what to feel, and as a result would start to cry uncontrollably.

If I dared to feel anger, I was to blame for not being appreciative, understanding, patient, or forgiving.

So much of my energy was spent stuffing emotions to appease.  I learned to evaluate others’ expressions and adapt my own body language to survive. If I could figure out what others wanted, I could feasibly avoid deflating remarks. If I acted happy and carefree, I was more likely to be praised. My happy expressions were seen and acknowledged; and whether genuinely expressing myself or not, when I appeared happy, at least I wasn’t invisible or wrong.

Anger, I gather, if anger ever existed, got lost in the shuffle of pretending. I was the good girl. The sweet girl. The kind, the giving, the loving. I was unbreakable, brave, and dependable. I was everything I could be to make another happy.

Interestingly, this year, during the month of May, I had a major breakthrough physically, energetically, emotionally, and spiritually. Starting in the late spring, I felt transported back in time to around the age of thirteen, when all feelings of love-sick, passion, creation, freedom, strong will, and justice were erupting.

Strangely enough, I first had bronchitis (due to living in a damp ocean town with mold and in a house with smokers) when I was a teenager and haven’t had bronchitis since. Until now. I seem to be revisiting my later youth on multiple levels, including visiting bronchitis.

Lately, I feel as if there is this sticky residue inside of me.

It’s been said 2012 is a year of purging out the “negative” emotions and coming to terms with all the garbage inside (I paraphrase with much liberty.)

Apparently, my bronchitis is symbolic of all the residue still located at my heart and throat center, where my ability to love and express my true self is located. I’m purging…going on week four now of purging (bronchitis).  And still stuff is coming up.

Today I am acknowledging some current realities. I am delving into the residue and coughing up the phlegm of the past. I am rediscovering that there are people in my life that I simply don’t like. As hard as I try, I don’t like them. I don’t like their behavior, their choices, their self-focus, their belief that their view is the right view, their tendency to think the world revolves around them, their ability to blame others, the anger they harvest and spew, their arrogance and their ignorance, and especially their lack of self-awareness and self-accountability.

I’m wondering if it’s not time to let my inner bitch blossom, if only for a bit, long enough to mop up the remains, to stand up and shout: Enough! Enough already!

Day 77: Holding On

http://www.etsy.com/

If I was to turn back the pages of my life, to the first calm months at my stepfather’s house, my days would appear wonderfully simple and sweet, and in truth they were.  It was a time when a gentle thread of calm and security weaved through my days.  A brief moment I fondly remember and continually reflect back upon, perhaps in an attempt to regain some semblance of normalcy or to remind myself there was some good.

There weren’t any worries about money.  My stepfather Drake was an attorney and helped the city officials acquire land for approved projects, which sometimes meant property owners had to give up their homes.  It was rumored much later, when I was an adult, that Drake’s firm was actually responsible for my great-grandmother having to abandon her house in Monterey, California for demolition, to make way for a multi-level parking garage for tourists…

The rest of this story is in the book Everyday Aspergers