Masks

 

And one day we realise

With heart thumping certainty

That we have been wearing masks

For longer than we can remember.

 

And we no longer know

What is underneath.

 

And we are frightened.

 

And once we know…

 

There is no going back.

 

Over weeks and months

We learn the nature of the masks.

We feel where their strings are attached

And first we wiggle,

Then loosen them a little

 

Until eventually

We untie them

And fling them down

 

And when the masks

Are finally off

We are raw,

Scab picked raw.

 

We finger our faces

Are they ours?

Is this us?

Is this who we are?

And we claw at our raw tender skin

Drawing blood

Determined to see if this really is

What is beneath.

 

Is all the pretence gone?

 

The cuts heal

 

Slowly

 

And all this time

There is the desire to hide

To curl up and protect ourselves

We can’t go out like this

 

This open

 

This raw

 

And we look at the masks:

Those masks we discarded

In order to know

The truth

In order to know

Ourselves

 

Those masks

May be useful now

Until we are not so raw

Until our skin has thickened a bit

 

Now those masks are a choice

That we wear consciously

We can remove them when we like

Because we aren’t frightened

Of what is underneath

But know that

For now, at least,

We need protecting.

 

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In Gratitude

 

Today I want to express my gratitude to all the autistic people who share their stories: through books, blogs, videos, articles, cartoons, interviews, chat pages,support groups, and to those who ‘like’ and comment.

Thank you, wonderful people.

Your stories helped me see my life experience as valid and not flawed.

Your words gave me scripts that for once rang true to me..

You helped me to set myself free.

A thousand times, thank you.

 

This Evenings Uncensored Random Thoughts

I am not a robot

I do more than process

and integrate

I am not a set of skills

or deficits

I am part of this

complex web of life

I am complicated

and messy

and ever changing

and organic

I am intimately inhabiting this piece of earth

that is my body

I am a piece of the whole

I fit perfectly

I have unique gifts

I am both ordinary and extraordinary

I inhabit many realities

I see through illusion

I am away with the fairies

and that is no bad thing.

Trust

Trust

 

I will remember to trust .

 

To trust your journey

To trust my journey

And to know that

While we walk together now,

They are different journeys.

 

I will remember to trust in your ability

To know your own needs

And to help you get those needs met.

 

I will remember to trust that you will learn What you need, when you need it

On your own schedule

In your own way

And I will remember to put my expectations aside.

 

I will remember to trust that you will know

What is good for you,

What you have had enough of and

What makes your soul sing.

And I will remember to listen.

 

I will remember to trust in myself

To trust in my gut feeling when my head is having a freak out.

 

I will strive to be always worthy of your trust.

I will remember that what I say to you will become part of your inner dialogue

And I will hope that my trust in you will

Help you to trust in yourself.

 

I will remember that the most important thing in our relationship is to build trust.

Adulting

Yesterday I did great

 

I whizzed around

the shopping centre

 

I participated

in a women’s group.

 

I listened.

I shared.

 

I did awesome at Adulting.

 

then I came home

 

and had a foot stomping

meltdown

in front of the kids.

 

there was no shame,

this time,

just an explanation:

 

mummy gets full

and explodes

too.

 
because she is an autistic human.

Being Autistic

 

Dear friend

 

I would like to share some of what it means for me to be Autistic, and how it can affect our relationship…

 

I would like to communicate kindly with you and it pains me that at times my communication may unintentionally offend. Please know that you are dear to me and that any perceived slights are due to my different way of communicating rather than an intended personal insult to you. I want to be kind.

 

I cannot read faces well…or non verbal communication….please tell me in words what you need me to know

 

I get overwhelmed easily…..one question at a time please

 

I process deeply……which means I sometimes have difficulty responding quickly….but my response, when it comes, is usually well thought out

 

I get anxious……a lot

 

I find many sounds and smells overwhelming to the point where I may have to leave

 

I pick up on energy…….if you are totally stressed but telling me you are fine…I may become overwhelmed trying to figure out how to react to you

 

I can feel when I am being coerced or controlled and I do not like it.

 

I do not do small talk…….or rather, I do it badly

 

I like deep meaningful one to one conversations.

 

I get distracted by sounds, smells, details and I may wander off (physically or mentally) .

 

I am often unable to verbalise my thoughts as they are too big and complex for mere words.

 

I sometimes don’t realise when it is my turn to talk or listen or if a conversation is over or how to end it.

 

I often sympathise/empathise by sharing a similar experience of my own. This is intended as a to a way to connect.

 

I connect best with others through shared interests and experiences.

 

My frame of reference is my own experience so I may refer to it a lot in conversation.

 

I ask questions because I genuinely am interested in what you are telling me and want more information.

 

I can get distressed when I am unable to to follow the thread of a conversation or read the people involved.

 

I have difficulty knowing how another person perceives me ….if they like me or are just being ‘polite’…. . if we are friends or just acquaintances……

 

I have difficulty discerning another’s intentions…..

 

I am really smart…….and I can be very naive

 

I like to socialise…..but I find it tiring. I need time to recharge.

 

I can find a change of plan difficult to cope with initially. …..give me some time please.

 

I like things to be done consistently……spontaneity doesn’t always work for me.

 

And like you, I am human, in all the messy gloriousness of it. I feel, I hurt, I love, I need,

Thank you for being part of my life.