I’m an Autistic mom to Autistic kids, and a non-autistic kiddo. My introduction to the world of “Autism” was through the diagnosis of my oldest son when he was 12, back in the 2000s.
Which, at the time of diagnosis, didn’t make any sense to me. My son was like me, and sure, needed more support in school – which was also like me. So when he was diagnosed with Autism, and by extension I was too, I knew it couldn’t be like the portrayal in the movie “Rain Man.”
I didn’t rebuke the label. I embraced it because I desperately needed to get my son more support in school. That, and even more serious, more protections in place to keep him from being killed by his peers. Yes, killed. 6th grade. No fucking joke.Welcome to being Autistic in the ‘hood.
Welp. M. is angry with me. I feel bad about what I did, but probably not as bad as I should. It has me feeling a bit guilty. Last night while he was watching TV, I was teaching Amelia Bedelia and Tallulah how to turn on the light to their fort. They didn’t seem to get it at all.
I spliced a big red button into some string lights under my bed. They hang out there at night when we’re sleeping. It seemed like a good idea at the time. It certainly looks cool.
Turns out, they did understand my instructions. Not long after we fell asleep, they turned it on and off repeatedly until M. lost his shit. (It was a bit like sleeping above a silent rave.) I just lay there trying to stifle my laughter. (Poorly.)
He’s super cranky today. At first, I was silently freaking out and avoiding him, (practiced my drums for two hours.) Then I realized even though he’s pissed at me, he’s not going to do anything but be grumpy. So now I’m waiting for Anxiety to get the memo.
I disabled the switch and apologized. I’m trying to think of how to suck up to M. without being obvious about it. I ordered Chinese food for dinner a bit ago. I hope it helps. My adult violin student is fantastic. I had no idea how much fun it would be to teach someone older than me.
She seemed a little freaked out when I told her she should set a goal to (eventually) join the local symphony orchestra. But after we talked about it, she’s excited and agrees it’s a good goal. She has the best social skills ever. I’m so glad she’s my student.
The only non-cool thing about her: Mid-century modern decor with every predictable detail. Keep Calm and Carry On poster included. I hope I didn’t telegraph my thoughts. At least she had art, I guess. Other than that, she’s kinda cool. Foods here. Yay.
I’m going to try recording my posts as an audio file and including it. I thought about going back to the first post and gradually working my way forward. Then I decided against it because that sounds overwhelming (and a little traumatic.) Instead, I’m going to see how it goes with one new post. If I pull it off (I will) to my satisfaction (never-mind), I’ll consider doing it again.
Just a heads up, I’m auditing English 101 (again) at a local university out of respect for grammar aficionados. (It’s a thing, right?) Maybe literary geeks are more accurate. (Sorry if I already biffed it in this post.) I like the class. I struggle with how English puts Logic’s head in the toilet and flushes repeatedly. Also, I don’t think in English, (she said, unnecessarily.) Hopefully, things will become less cringe-worthy around here.
I’m working on pacing myself in several ways. I’ve realized I approach things as if a Drill SGT is chasing me while firing an M-16 loaded with blanks, and I don’t know they’re blanks. (It’s probably because that’s how I feel whenever I do something on the other side of my front door.) M. is teaching me yoga, and it’s already helping. For example, I noticed there’s no Drill SGT chasing me, so I should totally stop running. 🙃
Aside from that actually happening in basic training, I have no insight. Ridic Quirk, meet Curb. Pasta lasagna, beotch! It’s been real (ly stressful.) I faked it on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I found so much stuff I wanted from Musicians Friend and put it all in my cart. Then I left it all there (even the bass strings, and they were wicked cheap.) I had a great time. On Cyber Monday, I changed it up and decided to get a top-of-the-line DJ setup (for no valid reason other than my love of buttons and LED lights.)
My cart came in at over $12k. I left it all there again. It’s more fun than actual shopping because I don’t have to do any research, and I’m hella rich in fake money. I never come up short when the cost is imagination. Yay. I should probably let my Personal MF Sales Consultant know there’s no need to inquire why I didn’t complete the purchases. I strongly suspect lots of (practically starving) artists do this. It motivates me to practice more (to justify a more beautiful instrument.) Which is what I’m off to do now. Imagine joy. 💜
Growing up, I heard the word “weird” frequently. So frequently, in fact, that I used its finger to point at myself. Get myself before they get me. If I beat them to the heckling, then I would be immune, right?
“Weird” was one of the only descriptors, in my defense. At least, it was the simplest one. Common in everyday vernacular, learned at an early age, easy to remember, a single syllable. It left much to the imagination. Different people conjure up different images in response to hearing it. And, it’s an all-encompassing umbrella term.
But there’s more to the story, of course. (Isn’t there always?)
On the Asperger’s/autism spectrum, the divide between the Seen and the Unseen is greater than that for most. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, although it can cause misunderstandings. “She can’t be autistic!”, goes the classic example. “She’s too [X]” or “she’s…
Thanksgiving, huh? I reject this holiday. Thanksgiving is where I take out my inner angst at being lied to while calling it education. Not too thankful for that, yo. (I just finished practicing my drums to current hip-hop songs.) I was also raised under the influence of Native American culture. (That’s the academic spin for my ego.) 😃
My inner teenager is running the show, today. She’s bent on making up for the fact I skipped being a moody little shit at the proper time. Fauxlidays belong to her. When I was a teenager, I had a car. I bought it with money I earned babysitting, raking leaves, and modeling for a department store. (The latter wasn’t terribly lucrative because they usually gave me the option of being paid in a gift certificate, and I often used it to buy video games.)
I drove a mustard yellow Datsun B-210 (or something.) It had a manual transmission, and I was taught by a fellow student on the only hill in town (at night while it was snowing.) For those of you who didn’t grow up in South Dakota or a similar rural city; we could legally drive at age 12 so long as we were on our parents’ property. (This was widely known among local 12-year-olds.)
Those of us who lived in the city proper had to wait until age 14. I bought my first car at age 12. (More like my then 13-year-old brother used my money to buy his first car when I was 12, then allowed me to name it Mine.) We used it exclusively for joyriding in the K-mart parking lot. My nephew usually joined us (because letting a 10-year-old drive is hilarious.)
So anyway, when I got to high school I attended public school the first year, which back then was 10th grade. I use the word attended amusingly. I’m the reason the school district adopted a stricter attendance policy. I missed 180 days in one school year, (or at least that’s the number I remember.) I loathed going to school. So I didn’t. Much.
Instead, I drove to the nearest reservation to get the truth about American history. It had a powerful influence on how I think. I thought talking to the chief of a tribe was fabulous. It never crossed my mind the poor guy was mostly exasperated by my constant questions. (That was before I understood the continuous inquiries into why I wasn’t in school were a polite hint.)
I spent more afternoons there than in class. He sent me on (what I told myself were) quests to find answers to some of my questions. (I was hint proof back then.) I visited the capitol building, a courtroom, and some university libraries. I was polite and neatly groomed, which has always worked well for me. I also spoke like someone who spent far more time reading than talking to others. (It rarely works out well. Sigh.)
In hindsight, I realize I probably didn’t have valid access to any of these places, let alone while I was supposed to be in school. White privilege is so bizarre sometimes. I know they didn’t question me because they very likely never spoke to a black person before, and were too distracted by the experience. It resulted in my having a lot of freedom to basically go wherever I wanted as a teen. (I paid heavily for this unfortunate habit in my initial years of service. It almost cost me my life somewhere (too) close to Area 51.)
I was used to being the unicorn by default, but in the Army, everyone is a green unicorn. (It’s so much better the Army way.) Oofda. A colossal guilt trip just landed on me. I’ve used autism as an excuse to ask questions in classrooms when I knew it might not be appropriate, (but I wanted the answers more than I wanted to be honorable at the moment and ran with it.) Ooh; that’s going to leave a scar. 😞😣
(I mentally bookmarked it to agonize over later, when my inner adult is back in charge.) I’ve never been able to buy into the concept of land ownership. It’s just too ridiculous, and I have trust issues. Heh. I’ve purchased property twice. Both times, it messed with me until I got rid of it. It felt like I was willingly stepping into a trap. Like believing dollars are backed up by gold ridic.
I also grew up believing life is the most valuable thing there is. (The Army failed to have any sort of adverse effect on this belief.) It’s like accepting reality is real, (to me.) It’s not going to be shaken easily. Also, that the only sin is to steal; such as someone’s free will or life. I believe whenever a death occurs, we become less as a whole. Less incredible as a concept and force in nature. I don’t think anyone has a right to take someone’s life or free will.
I don’t care much about theft of property. I don’t think it matters in the big picture. It’s why I don’t get upset if someone takes something that legally belongs to me. I don’t encourage or invite it because it doesn’t mesh with the rules of my community. But it’s not part of me, so I see no reason to feel bad. My cat doesn’t count because Amelia Bedelia is alive. You can’t own another’s life.
Welp. My inner teenager is done sitting here sharing deep thoughts. It’s her day, so I’m off to angst through music. Below is the t-shirt I’m sporting today. Kind of says it all, eh? Hope your Thanksgiving was great (if that’s your thing.) 🙃
I’m going to go ahead and share the link to my creativity blog. It’s titled Alison Wonderland. I’ll be adding more content as time passes. Today is kicking my ass. It’s nothing significant, just little changes that are adding up. I’m overtired, so that’s probably the root of the issue. I hope I sleep tonight.
I was delighted to discover the best affordable headphones for Synthesis by Evanescence is the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 250 Ohm. They’re less than $200, have all replaceable parts, and come with a two-year warranty. I like the all black colorway. My current Grado’s will do until they’re back in stock. (They’re what I bought for The Open Door.)
I’m off to continue reading, Oathbringer, by Brandon Sanderson. I’m enjoying it immensely.
I’m having so much fun getting to know Evanescence all over again. I geeked out about it on my new creativity blog. It’s still too sparse for sharing, but it’s getting there. I’ve discovered synthesizers are fascinating. I’ve only played with one of the pocket operators so far: Robot.
I only meant to fiddle with it for a few minutes. It turned into over two hours, somehow. It’s slightly larger than a deck of cards. I got the cases, despite being offended by how they’re marketed. Just charge more for the complete product. Don’t compromise after creating such an excellent tool.
I’m kinda mad at Teenage Engineering for marketing this product like they have low self-esteem. They’re an innovative company creating awesome stuff for creative people. If I were in charge, they would come with a better case, and each would cost $99.
I wouldn’t give the customer the option of passing on a case that will very likely prevent them from breaking it within a week. That’s just silly. They would be installed before shipping.
I sure do love the product anyway, though. So much. Now I want a base station where I can position three connected Pocket Operators optimally for playing them live. It needs to secure them, and angle them for access. It should have some weight to it.
It should have some sort of LED lighting, and an OLED screen. And provide power to all three Pocket Operators. Rechargeable, with at least six hours of battery life. And a nice case. I’ll stop before I talk myself into building a fugly prototype.
I guess I assume the minds who can create such a fascinating tool could also recognize these things as a logical addition. Fortunately, there are 3D printers. I’m going to go look for more footage of Stevie Nicks on her current tour. She’s finishing up in New Zealand.
I watched one yesterday where some people in the audience at the concert were talking while Stevie Nicks was singing. That’s really rude (on earth.) I actually read the comments on YouTube, it was so disturbing. There was one, and it said exactly that. I clicked whatever icon signifies my support and approval. Dammit.
I’ve been working on identifying my expectations of those I admire. Training artificial intelligence most of my life has taught me a lot about humans. The more progress I make, the more I recognize how amazing we are as a species. I’ve learned humans are individuals in every sense of the word. We all make mistakes. How we recover matters.
I ignored famous people while growing up. I had favorite authors but knew minimal if anything about them unless they were dead. I started noticing influential people who didn’t live in my world as an adult. I’m pretty sure Lisa Bloom is the first famous person I gave my attention. She worked for Court TV when I discovered her. She would share her thoughts and weigh in on high profile trials.
She’s since taught me a lot about ethics and behavior. It’s easy to draw tenuous conclusions about famous people based solely on what they choose to share with the public. I think the arrangement is suitable. Boundaries exist, and it’s super easy to adhere. I tend to admire leaders and artists; (performers, poets, writers, musicians, comedians, etc.)
I’m disappointed when people I respect mess up. It hurts in a manner I don’t know how to describe. (I think a parent might know.) This year has been trying so far in this regard. People seem to enjoy telling me which celebrities I appreciate voted for 45. I don’t understand the motivation, (mostly because I’m so annoyed by the behavior.) It feels like their saying, “Your ability to judge the character of people you’ve never met is lacking.”
Louis C.K.’s crimes made me cry. I honestly believed he was above that shit. The main reason I admire him in the first place is his excellent ability to use laughter to make me think. His recently revealed actions still have this result, but it’s not funny in this case. It’s pathetic. I haven’t read his apology because the gist was all I needed. He’s adult enough to admit his crimes.
Now what? This is where we all decide for ourselves how we want to move forward. I say this because I’m pretty sure there isn’t a right or wrong way to cope. Perhaps just right or wrong for each individual. I forgive Louis C.K. for being a predator in the past, on the condition he doesn’t do it again. If he lives the rest of his life without stealing another’s free will, I’ll be pleased.
I don’t expect perfection. I’m not perfect. Duh. Nobody’s perfect. (If someone ever was, we killed them.) The people who survived his disgusting behavior will decide for themselves where to go from here. It’s not my business and feelings are never wrong. I’m so proud of them for having the courage to come forward (in the second worst behaved (misogyny on steroids) industry on earth. The military holds first place.)
This isn’t the first time, nor will it be the last time. Famous or not, we’re all people. I just had to ask myself why I care in the first place. Then I realize they’re still the same person; my perception was off. Mistakes aren’t the end. They’re a new beginning during which time the flaw is faced down and corrected. Or not. It’s up to the individual at fault. What one does after enduring the consequences of their errors matters.
Every single person I admire makes mistakes. Stevie Nicks makes mistakes. Lisa Bloom, Michelle Obama, and J.K. Rowling have all made mistakes. Hillary Clinton made mistakes, identified them, adjusted, and grew publicly. She wrote a book about it. She could have blamed her mistakes on so many people and things, but she was interested in where she messed up because that’s what she can fix.
I want everyone to be as awesome as possible. I want you to be the best you ever. I want everyone to learn and grow into someone even more remarkable after recovering from a mistake. It can be an opportunity to improve, or an excuse to fail. Nobody can decide but the person who messed up, (which is everyone at some point.) I love Louis C.K. I recognized this before I knew he was a predator.
I don’t know how to unlove someone, and I’m not convinced it’s possible. I know Louis C.K. is capable of outgrowing his primitive mindset. He’s brilliant and thoughtful in some respects, despite everything. It’s up to him, now. I’m hoping he follows up his apology with fervent action to correct how he thinks and behaves. I hope he grows forward. It’s up to him. I’m rooting for him to evolve.
So I read the news earlier. Noticed Louis C.K. fell off the pedestal I built him and landed on his ass. I didn’t bother reading beyond the fact three people have come forward because one is enough. Welp. Dear geniuses, this is where Alison loses her shit.
Dear people of earth:
You’re not entitled to mistreat anyone. This is a universal rule from birth to death for all sentient beings. No amount of money or delusions of power can ever grant you the right to step on the free will of another. If you take away a persons ability to exercise their free will, you’re a predator.
Predators aren’t civilized or evolved, regardless of how well they can fake it. They’re still living with a primitive mind. Predators don’t develop beyond the mindset of a toddler. They focus on only one thing: Personal pleasure. Whatever they get off on is what their entire lives focus on. It’s all just the constant pursuit. We all know predators.
When you step on someone’s free will, you’re doing it for one reason: Your own gain. It’s taking what you want. It’s a severe problem of our species. It has an excellent chance of being our species extinction catalyst. It’s so pathetic. Vladimir took until they all died off. This is the likely story of homo sapiens.
And I know you’re thinking, geez, Alison, this is a stretch from groping someone. No. It’s not a stretch, it’s precisely the same thing. It’s taking what isn’t given. It’s stepping on someone else to get what you want. Men have a horrible reputation in this regard. It’s unbelievable how many men step on others for sexual gratification alone. Mind-boggling.
We’re quite literally beyond the point where we even need to wonder if the accusations of sexual misconduct are legit or not. Yes, I said it. We’re past that point. We’re past that point because so many men are predators. If there weren’t so many men doing this shit day after day, age after age, we wouldn’t waste so much time trying to bring a handful of them to whatever justice is possible on a male-dominated planet. Prove you’re innocent, eh?
Shit! We have to fight just so every human is treated as if they’re sentient! Collectively, we can’t even meet the minimum requirement to qualify as humane! Please, aliens. Please come and get me and take me somewhere civilized. I just want to create and experience joy without stepping on others. I’m happy to pitch in however I’m able. I’m ready to go. Just don’t eat my cat.