Slowwww start to the year

snow monkey sitting in waterUsually, I’m “up to speed” by the 2nd week in January. In the past, I’ve been energized by New Year’s resolutions and the feeling that I have a new lease on life. But not this year. It’s different, now, and I’m not all that invigorated by brand new plans for 2018 that are supposed to fix everything that was wrong with 2017.

Basically, my plans are the same as 2017 – just a continuation with some completion of projects and ongoing progress on the agenda. Whether or not it will “fix” anything, is anybody’s guess, but at least some stuff will get done, and I can get them off my list.

But even though my plans are pretty clear and my path is well-defined, I’m really having to push myself to get going. I can do it. I do do it. I’m a grown-up, and I know that’s what it takes to make progress at times. But this year, I feel like one of those snow monkeys who just wants to sit around in a hot springs while the snow falls all around.

If only I could.

The thing is, I really do have a lot I need to accomplish, this year. Projects I’ve been trying to get done, are finally going to get done, and that’s something to look forward to. But there’s a lot to do, with many little details to get worked out. So — much as I’d like to — I can’t just take myself out of “the flow” and camp out in a pool of warm mineral water.

It’s a goal for future years, but not this year.

Because now that January is here, it seems like everything around me has taken off at top speed. The last 10 days feel like the longest month, and I’ve been scrambling to keep up. Work has been extremely busy, and things at home have been picking up speed. There are health problems with friends. Changes to insurance coverage, that I have to track down and keep on top of (so I don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars for a medication that should cost 5x less). There’s lots of personal drama. Tears. Anger. Mortality. Asking “Why?” And more.

Oy. I could seriously use a break from all the carryover drama plus from last year the brand new drama for 2018. I really could.

Anyway, my life is mine to do with as I please, and with each passing year, I’m more interested in doing something substantive with it. I’ve always been interested in doing that — motivated… driven, even. It’s just that now I actually have a much better idea about how to help it all happen. It’s one of those weird autistic things, where I’m clueless for decades, then all of a sudden — SHAZAM!I get it, and I can suddenly move forward in leaps and bounds.

I’m “funny” that way.

But that gives me hope in a roundabout way. Because if I can flounder and struggle for oh, so many years… and then suddenly — woo hoo!  the path opens up for me in some ways — that means that it can open up for me in others, at any given point in time. And being clueless and stumbling around right now, doesn’t mean I’ll be stumbling around forever in a clueless fog.

Which is, for me (not speaking for anyone else), why suicide is never a viable choice. Because I never know just when things will suddenly open up for me, and stuff that used to be so awful and unbearable aren’t even “blips” on my proverbial radar. Things can turn around for me, just like that, so that’s the state of mind/body/spirit/logistics that I have to hold out for. It gives me something to look forward to, that’s for sure.

So, yeah. My life is there for me to do as I please. It’s not always pleasant, and it’s often pretty painful, to be honest. But I persevere. I hang in there. And ultimately, (many) things turn around. That’s what I’m hanging onto right now, as I lumber through the first weeks of the year like a hibernating bear waddling through the narrow aisles of an antiques store. Maybe some of the stuff I bump into is valuable, maybe it isn’t. Maybe some of the stuff I knock off the shelves is priceless, maybe it isn’t. A lot of that’s in the eye of the beholder, so I can’t get too worked up over things I mess up or break.

I do that. It’s a skill.

But enough about me. I have to go get some work done. It’ll all get done, one way or another, and a lot of it won’t be very enjoyable. But eventually the situation will change, and I’ll move on to something else. One thing at a time, one step at a time, just taking it as it comes, and doing my best under the circumstances… which is pretty danged good, considering how bad / blah / disconnected I’ve been feeling, lately.

It’s all an evolving process. That’s for sure.


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An interesting start to the new year

road with yellow stripes and trees with snow along the sidesUsually, when the new year comes around, I feel an immediate change in my mood. The last year is behind me, and the potential of the new year is ahead. This year, though, as soon as the date changed over to 2018, I had this abrupt sense of reality. It felt like all of the intentions and all of the resolutions of yesteryear were to no avail, and all the positive thinking in the world was not going to get me where I need to go.

It’s been a bit of a downer, in a way, but on the other hand, I think this is probably one of the most promising changeovers I’ve ever experienced. Because while lacking a buoyant sense of optimism feel strange and out of place, the feeling of stark realism give me more hope for my actual future.

I have a lot to do this year. I have a lot of important decisions to make, and I have a lot of momentous steps ahead of me. My writing has shifted to a more intentional direction, with the emphasis on hard work and personal responsibility, and worrying less about what others are doing, than what I’m up to. And my overall worldview has shifted from one that was punctuated with spurts of wishful thinking and visualization interspersing long periods of frittering away my precious time… to dealing with reality as it is, and taking steps to substantively alter it in the direction I desire.

When I think of all the time I spent in the past, just thinking about how I wanted things to be, instead of actually doing something concrete about it, I cringe. Because for all of its ability to make me feel differently, visualization doesn’t help at all if I don’t combine it with actual work. And it’s the work that I’m focused on for this year.

So, I have no over-arching resolutions for this year, no list of things I’d like to do, dreams, visions, big picture blueprints from my future success. What I have now – and this is much more hopeful – is a long list of things I know I need to do, in the order that I need to do them, and a structure to my life that will allow me to actually get them done.

So while this new year maybe a little little more muted than years gone by, it’s probably one of the most hopeful ones I’ve had. A life well-lived takes a lot of work. And I’m worker, so that is definitely in my favor. Rather than hoping, wishing, praying, and visualizing for a changed life, I’m just getting down to the business of doing what needs to be done, and slogging through the boring, challenging, frustrating, demoralizing stuff that inevitably comes with any kind of substantial change.

It’s a new year, and I have a new outlook. It’s the best one I can possibly imagine for myself.


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Just a few chores to get done…

rope caulk window in winter
It’s that time of year again.

The nice thing about having time off work, is that there’s no set routine for me to stick to.

The downside of that, is the very same thing — there’s no routine for me to stick with.

So, that means I have to work a little harder during my “time off”. I have to put more thought into how I’m going to spend each day. I have to put more time and energy, period, into everything I do.

It’s ironic — the time when I’m expecting to be able to rest, is the time when I get worn out more. But at least I get my naps in. That’s something.

I’ve got to put rope caulk around my windows today. No excuses. It’s getting into the single digits at night. I’m leaving my spigots dripping a little bit, so my pipes don’t freeze, like they did a few years ago. I’ve got the heat turned up. I have firewood put with easy reach in my garage. And I’ve got three days’ worth of hearty chicken-noodle stew in the refrigerator.

Rope caulk is non-negotiable in this house. Its windows are original to the house, dating back to — gasp — 1972 (younger than me, actually), and they get drafty. Personally, I prefer it that way. Because a tightly locked house is a house that doesn’t breathe. And houses need to breathe. I don’t care for getting trapped in a house with off-gassing from whatever stuff I hauled inside with me. Keeping a slight breeze going in the house keeps the air from stagnating. And it saves me from having to circulate with central air, etc.

Rope caulking is my annual admission of the fact that it’s friggin’ cold outside, and it’s not warming up anytime soon! I can let things go indefinitely, especially because I like to have a little chill in the air at times. But eventually, the New England winter gets the upper hand, and I pull out the rolls of corded putty that gets pressed into the seams and cracks around all the open-able windows in the house.

It’s good practice for me, actually. It helps me focus my attention, and it helps me strengthen my oft-flagging ability to keep my focus on one thing for extended periods of time. Rope caulking all the windows — 8 downstairs and 10 upstairs — isn’t instantaneous. After a while, the caulk makes my fingers tacky, and it becomes a sensory issue. But I know it’s going to happen, pretty much when I get to the the 10th window, so I have no excuse for getting bent out of shape about it. Yes, it’s uncomfortable. Yes, it sets me off. Yes, it makes it hard to concentrate. But that’s where taking a break comes in. And I can always step away for a few minutes to get something to eat or drink, wash my hands, and gather myself before I go back in.

I used to get so bent out of shape, when the caulk would stick to my fingers. But please. That’s just caulk being caulk. And me being me. So, enough of the upset. Just take steps to deal with it. And git ‘er done.

Speaking of which, it’s time to gather up my various breakfast dishes and cups, wash up, and dig out those boxes of rope caulk from the bottom of the pantry storage bin.

They’re in there somewhere. I’m sure of it.

Off I go…

It’s Sunday. I should write something.

winter snow on treesI’m about to go back to bed for a few hours. After days of racing to wrap up things at work and adjusting to organizational changes (my group got shuffled around a bit), it’s really caught up to me today.

Once upon a time, I used to go out for a walk, shortly before midday on Sunday. I’d take to the back roads and walk for an hour or so. Sometimes longer. Then I’d come back, take a shower, and have a long Sunday afternoon nap.

Today, there will be no walking outside. It’s cold and snowy and too bright. The roads are not wide enough to fit all of us comfortably, and I’m really tired, which jacks up my sensory issues and impedes my coordination. I don’t mind the cold — I actually really like it. I feel great when I am moving around outside in the bitter cold. The colder it is, the better I feel, in fact. But I’m really too tired to deal with much of anything.

And I have to go out later and do Christmas shopping (!)

My partner and I will be going later, after most of the regular crowds are gone. We’ve got our list, we’ve narrowed down the stores to the ones that are all in the same mini-mall, and we know exactly what order we’ll do things in.

Which is good. It helps to have a partner who’s a double-Virgo and extremely detail-oriented. She also has mobility issues, so she’s always looking for ways to streamline our activities to be the least stressful and least taxing.

Anyway, speaking of being tired, I need to eat my chicken soup, power down the laptop, take a shower, and get myself into bed. I’m really looking forward to that…

Yes, it’s Sunday. And I’ve written something. So, that’ll do for the day.

 

Or, they might be all wrong about #autism…

You keep using that word. I do not think itmeans what you think it means.
Autism – You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Yeah, I know I’m a sucker for punishment, sometimes. I do things that cause me pain and suffering because it seems appropriate at the time. Like reading a book that’s full of half-truths and over-generalizations about autism. If you follow me here or on Twitter, you probably know what book I’m talking about. I’m torn about whether to post pictures of the text I’m about to discuss. I want to address specific points in the passages that I find problematic – and also rephrase them in a constructive, pro-active, and more informed way that puts autism in the context it deserves.

But I don’t want to burden all the readers (including myself) by repeating unexpurgated nonsense.

Let me be clear — the author of the book in question is the product of circumstances both beyond her control and well within her control (which she may not realize). And her viewpoint has most certainly been shaped by uninformed and exploitive “service providers” who have a lot of money to make off parents of autistic kids. They see a market, and they make the most of it. But they really serve themselves, in the grand scheme of things.

I spent a few minutes this morning reading the Introduction, and while there are major problems with a number of passages (pathologizing differences, buying into the party line about autism diagnosis stats being “startling”. Personally, I think the prevalence of neurotypicality is a lot more startling, but I digress. It’s hard to know just where to start — so far, the book reads like the logical product of mainstream “autism” thinking (marinated in a perpetual ideological bath of Autism Speaks “Truth-Speak”). But I should start somewhere, so let me pick out just one of the salient points that could use a little reconsidering.

Because, by God, we do need to reconsider autism and how we conceptualize it. From the bottom up. ‘Cause, you know what? There are a whole lot of autistic adults who went through the extended trajectory of autistic development — which to the untrained eye looks improbable, even impossible — and we are living proof of what’s not only possible with an autistic development trajectory, but also how wrong-headed the mainstream conception of autism actually is.

There are a lot of people who are suffering from mainstream misconceptions about autism. That goes for parents and children, alike. Autistic and non-autistic folks, alike. There’s too much money being spent on the wrong stuff — trying to cure autism, instead of addressing the core underlying external issues which turn being autistic into pain and suffering for everyone in the vicinity of the autistic experience. We’re not looking deeply enough. We’re only looking at our surface experiences, and we’re judging them based on our emotional reactions, as well as our physiological processes.

And it results in pain.

Take, for example, the book’s description of mothers of autistic kids:

typical look of mothers with autistic kids

… what might happen next… One would think it’s All Autism’s Fault, because “it” makes these mothers’ children behave in unpredictable ways. They might start jumping around. Calling attention to themselves. Scream. Start climbing something. Run away. Anything, really. And then what? People will stare, point, talk, criticize, and the parent(s) will be ostracized instead of being supported. Because clearly, they’re not “fit” parents. Every-(neurotypical)-body can see that, plain as day.

It’s a problem. Indeed. But isn’t the real problem the reactions of everybody around? The people judging, the people finding fault, the people pressuring the mothers to have “normal” kids…?

Seems to me, that kind of hyper-vigilance is less necessary in an environment where kids are allowed to be kids. And where the range of acceptable behavior (for kids, who are still developing, fer chrissakes) is a lot broader than our modern version of “seen and not heard”.

Divergence is less socially impactful, as well, where kids’ behavior is pro-actively managed. When autistic kids are given clear instructions on what the appropriate way to behave is, what the right things to say are, and they’re actively kept in line by firm discipline, developmental differences can be a lot less traumatic for everyone.

Impossible, you say? You can’t reason with autistic kids! You can’t pro-actively manage their behavior! Nonsense, I say. My own parents did that. They were firm in their boundaries, firm about the requirements of civilized behavior, and they were taskmasters when it came to how we kids (three of the five of us clearly on the autism spectrum) comported ourselves in public.

Did my parents catch all kinds of crap from the rest of the world, for how we behaved when we acted out? Oh, you betcha. And it wasn’t easy, because we were seriously a handful — and there were three of us autistic “firecrackers” among a total of five kids. But my parents kept the pressure on, kept us in line, disciplined us as necessary, and they were always very, very clear about how to behave and what to do/not do.

My childhood was at times excruciating. For both myself and my parents. We all caused each other a lot of pain, most of it accidental. But there was never, ever a question of whether or not I’d ever amount to anything. Because there was a clear requirement that I’d follow a certain trajectory to adulthood, whether it was comfortable or not, whether I seemed immanently capable of doing it or not.

There was an overarching assumption that children had to be taught how to do everything. There was none of this modern assumption that kids are inherently capable of figuring things out for themselves. It was known and accepted that kids were works in progress, and it was the job of every single adult to bring them up in a way that produced productive members of society. Life was about contributing as best as you could, not about expressing your individuality. It was about making a positive difference in the world. And to do that, you had to be taught. You had to be trained.

And the parents took that on.

Ironically, after raising 3 neurodivergent kids, my parents still look 20 years younger than they are. They don’t have those dark circles under their eyes. They don’t have the darting looks of hypervigilant folks battling socially-created PTSD. Were they perfect parents? Nope. They really made my life hell, while I lived in their home under their set of rules. I have all sorts of residual emotional crap I still have to wade through, that they set the stage for. I split from them when I was 18, and I stayed away for about 10 years, till I got on my feet. We were at extreme odds in so many ways, and we all had to grow up a lot, before we could peacefully co-exist.

But they didn’t blame autism for their woes. That was just part of parenting. And kids who were behavioral challenges with cognitive development issues were… just kids who needed to be trained in specific ways. I wasn’t pathologized with a condition that was portrayed as a permanently victimizing force. And while my mother did play the poor-me card more times than I can count while growing up, it wasn’t autism’s fault. It wasn’t some dread developmental disorder that preyed upon my brain, that was sucking the life out of everything.

It was the fact that I wasn’t behaving or making choices that matched what my parents wanted. And the consternation my parents felt about me, they also felt about my neurotypical siblings, who — trust me —  made far worse decisions than I ever did(!).

So, yeah, playing the autism martyr doesn’t get very far with me. I know it’s in vogue, these days. And it seems to carry more weight in urban areas, where advanced civilization is supposed to have eradicated all those messy organic conditions that are hallmarks of rural American ideological backwaters.

Bottom line, kids of all stripes — neurodivergent and neurotypical — need to be trained how to cope and conduct themselves in the world. Putting a roof over their heads and food on the table and games in the Wii or PS3 won’t automatically produce productive adults. Kids need to be… raised. That hasn’t changed in aeons.

So, yeah. That whole “ashy-faced mother of autistic kids” identity doesn’t really do us any good. It’s not the autism that’s at fault. This is a cultural creation.

And I’m really tired of autism being blamed for it.

Meh, so I throw up. Meh, so I melt down. So what. Who cares.

bored emoticon mehWhat a horrible week this has been.

Work is just so unbelievably stupid, it’s astounding.

I’m behind on what I owe people, since — ta-da — I’m doing the work of 5 different people. Seriously. Look at the distribution of roles and responsibilities. I’m literally fulfilling the roles of 5 different people on the other side of the organization.

And that’s only for one of my three projects.

On my other two projects, I’m doing the work of three people, and two people, respectively.

Meh.

So what.

I thought I was going to throw up, today, after a conference call that was all about inept people trying to cover their asses and pin the problems on me.

Meh.

So what.

And then my boss comes by — Mr. Agitation — who really seems to thrive on chaos.

Meh.

So what.

The dumbest thing about this whole business is now simple it is to fix it.

The work is so easy, it’s not even funny.

I just haven’t had the time to do it.

Because I have to have my sleep.

And I have to eat regularly.

And I have to protect my sanity and my health.

The work will get done.

And even if I do throw up or melt down or whatever…

Meh.

So what.

I’ve been here before, and I made it through in one piece.

La la.

Woo hoo! Library run!

papers bound in stacksI’m spending this evening in the library of a large university about an hour from my home.

I am so excited!

It’s been a while, since I was in a university library. That’s my happiest place of all.

The books… the collections… the journals… the knowledge… all there for the finding.

Unfortunately, I won’t be there more than a few hours, but even so… It’s more than I’ve had in a long time.

I can’t wait!

Sharing: The pursuit of loneliness: how I chose a life of solitude | Society | The Guardian

Great piece that I can relate to. I’m not in a situation where I can choose to completely disconnect, but I sometimes think of myself as distinctly “Japanese” — maintaining my solitude in the midst of the teeming throngs.

Since the late 1980s, scientists have been tracking a whale who sings at a sonic frequency higher than any other whale of its species: at 52 hertz, just above the lowest note on a tuba. It sings songs no one answers. Internet societies have been following it for years like sad Ahabs, transposing their own feelings on to it, believing they understand it. Alone in their bedrooms they hunt this whale they believe to be lonely just like them. Talk to scientists and they will say other whales can probably hear it, maybe it’s deaf, maybe the whale’s song is the result of a genetic mutation. But it doesn’t matter: the lonely people have taken this whale as their totem. I’ve followed it for years.

In 2015, I tried psychodynamic therapy for what my therapist called “a loss thing”. Months prior, my grandparents collapsed on their bedroom floor and died in hospital, days apart, from the same case of pneumonia. The upshot was that birthdays make me miserable and trailing their twin coffins into the crematorium on my 29th birthday didn’t feel wildly out of sync with my mood. What followed this – one of the rawest experiences of my life but also one of the best attended birthday parties – was pulling the plug on a relationship that had been comatose for years, divvying up not only books but friends, plus the death of a Labrador I got when I was 12. It felt like the things that kept me tied to my youth – a blind dog, the unchanging 1970s blue bathroom in my grandparents’ house, nearly all of my 20s – were disconnecting their carabiners and pushing me out into space. A loss thing.

Read the rest here: The pursuit of loneliness: how I chose a life of solitude | Society | The Guardian

Tennessee Williams’ Catastrophe of Success

Tennessee Williams
Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams’ Catastrophe of Success

(Evening Standard/Getty Images)

Four days before the 1947 Broadway opening of A Streetcar Named Desire, the New York Times published an essay by Tennessee Williams on the depression he’d experienced after the success of The Glass Menagerie summarily ended life as he’d known it.

Fame had turned Williams into a “public Somebody” overnight, a crisis that ultimately landed him in the hospital, “mainly because of the excuses it gave me to withdraw from the world behind a gauze mask.”

The sort of life that I had had previous to this popular success was one that required endurance, a life of clawing and scratching along a sheer surface and holding on tight with raw fingers to every inch of rock higher than the one caught hold of before, but it was a good life because it was the sort of life for which the human organism is created.

I was not aware of how much vital energy had gone into this struggle until the struggle was removed. I was out on a level plateau with my arms still thrashing and my lungs still grabbing at air that no longer resisted. This was security at last.

I sat down and looked about me and was suddenly very depressed.

After spending three months witnessing inequities that felt wrong in a luxury hotel, let alone in a functioning democracy, Williams sought salvation from fame’s spiritually-bankrupt life of leisure, hoping to distance himself from a toxic setup he believed hurt everyone it touched:

Read the full piece: Tennessee Williams’ Catastrophe of Success

More quiet. More light.

person standing at the bottom of a cave with light shining downIt’s been a pretty low-key week for me. I made the mistake of going on Twitter last Monday, and I got caught up in a roiling, churning mass of conflict that ended up in me muting a handful of people I used to follow, but who had become pretty aggressive and dismissive in their attitudes towards people like me.

Yeah, no thanks. I really don’t need to be told I don’t deserve full respect and consideration — not to mention the benefit of the doubt — by people who share my neurotype. To say I was disappointed, would be an understatement. I just couldn’t believe that people who base much of their online identity on measurable difficulties with socialization and communication and (ahem) empathy, would just say whatever came to mind without realizing that their self-proclaimed limitations were in full-swing… and act accordingly. And as for folks who know as a matter of fact that autistic people are intensely sensitive… but still press ahead with hurtful, exclusionary statements (which are obviously opinions) as though they were God’s Truth… I just can’t even…

Buh-bye…

The net effect was that I went underground. Not literally, though I wish I could have. I just pulled back. Stayed out of interactions on Twitter. Muted more people. Expanded my social filter settings to screen out the virtual screaming. And went about my life.

Depressed.

Cold.

Disconnected.

Depleted.

Things haven’t been all that great with me, over the past weeks. I’ve been through a number of upheavals at work and at home, and not getting to go to my nephew’s wedding in 3 weeks is really bothering me. There’s no way I can make the trip down to Baltimore in mid-August (August!), deal with the whole loud crowd of my family, the unfamiliarity of the situation, the social requirements, the logistics around travel and making sure my partner is okay while I’m away. She can’t make the trip, herself — mobility issues, not to mention the overwhelm for her, as well. It just all feels so overly demanding.

And then there’s the conflict around my nephew’s own spectrum-y self. He struggles with many of the things that I do, but I can never seem to get through to him. He seems to be afraid of me. And yeah, I have been a scary person in the past — especially when growing up. His mom (my sister) still has a ton of issues towards me. Old resentments, hatred, conflicts about any number of things I said, did, or simply was, while we were growing up. Her eldest two kids (who seem pretty spectrum-y to me) seem to have inherited a lot of those issues towards me. And they’re either standoffish towards me, or they take me to task.

Everybody in my family seems to enjoy taking me to task. They seem to think I do the “boneheaded” things I do on purpose. Not much tolerance or leeway there. But then… Aspies. With their black-and-white thinking. And God help you, if you stray outside their range of acceptable thought/behavior… which I constantly do. They still criticize me for not finishing college, even though they actually contributed to the issues that overloaded me and sent me into an agoraphobic tailspin for years after I had to leave university. As far as they’re concerned, I’m just lazy. Defiant.

Whatever.

All around me, it seems like people are just living their lives, getting on with things, living up to their potential. And the best I can manage is getting up each day, going to work, keeping up with my responsibilities, and being reasonably effective at the limited range of things I do. I looked into going back to school, a few months back, and it looked promising. Do-able. Even affordable (because my work offers tuition reimbursement). But when I thought honestly about it, the idea of being locked into a certain course, being forced to take courses at a pre-established pace, in a pre-established order… and not having any leeway in terms of taking a break or getting some space to regroup (once you start, you can’t stop for 2-1/2 years)… it just wasn’t possible. From one week to the next, I never know how I’m going to feel, and with all the real-world responsibilities on me — working full-time, caring for a dependent spouse, being a member of a town board, taking care of the house, helping with a variety of extra activities, and taking care of myself with my requisite activities that soothe and center me — there’s just no way I’d have the energy or the resources to add part-time school to the mix.

I will say, though, that it hasn’t been completely dismal for me. There have been some bright spots. I’ve been reading more, lately. Writing more, too. Studying and checking out (free) online courses I can take. For the sheer love of learning. At my own pace. I’ve got some new foci for my intense areas of specialization, and that’s good.

At least I have that.

Well, not “at least”… actually, it’s pretty awesome, these “new” interests, which are really rekindling of old interests. Anatomy. Lots of anatomy. Cellular, too. And biochemistry. For someone who never finished university (four years, but no degree), I know a sh*t-ton about this stuff. Autonomic nervous system. Nervous system in general. It might not do me much good, academically, but it sure comes in handy in everyday life. Just knowing the difference between fear and anxiety has been a huge help for me.

And that’s what it all comes down to. Helping myself. Because others can’t. I’m pretty much beyond help from others, as far as I’m concerned. My needs and difficulties don’t “synch” with others’ expectations of me. I’m slow where others are fast, and blazing fast where others are slow. So, color me out of place. Perpetually. I’m “sub-clinical” when I’m in decent shape. And when I’m struggling, I often feel like such a disappointment to others (who expect me to be “high functioning”) that they just punish me for showing my vulnerability.

Yeah, I’m pretty much beyond help, in terms of other PNT (predominant neurotype) people. The mainstream has no clue what to do with me, aside from blaming and shaming me. So, never mind them. Life’s too short to spend hassling over those folks. I can help myself. In some really significant and meaningful ways.

That’s what I’m dong, these days. Helping myself. Digging into the things I love with all my heart, without getting bent out of shape over not being able to do them more often (or professionally). I’m still not happy about not getting to do the things I really want to do… weddings, university courses, etc… and I shed my share of tears over them. But that shouldn’t stop me from doing — and loving — the things I can do… sequestering myself with my anatomy atlases and researching furiously online … at my own pace, on my own time, in my own way.

It’s not all good, but enough of it is, to make it well worth it.