I Know Your Name
I Know Your Face
Your Touch And Grace
All Of Time Cannot Erase
What Our Hearts Remember Stays
Forever On A Song We Play!
– Star Sky, Two Steps From Hell
I can’t say how long I’ve been gone, only that I haven’t put words to keys in a long while. I admit there has been a lot going on, which makes writing impossibly difficult (an almost oxymoron, that one) for me right now. The few fanfictions I’ve been working on are hard for me to whip up, and coming up with anything original is proving to be a trial and a chore that makes thinking difficult. A part of me feels a bit broken, at the moment.
Or clogged, to put it another way; I can still write, though through a different perspective. Blogging about myself seems easier, at the moment. I’ve done a few YouTube videos that are vlogs. They’re fun. Talking to myself, out loud, is getting easier the more I do it. Which makes what I’m doing right now a tad odd, considering I haven’t been on this blog in a long while.
I’m back, though. Hopefully.
I do have a laptop that semi-works. I’ve been trying to figure out what I wanted to say, what I wanted to add to this extensive community of ours, and I kept coming up blank. Then I thought ‘why not just talk about what’s going on?’ I know I have 130ish followers (and how many of you actually read what I put up, anyway?), and that’s amazing, but what can I say, what can I do, that would be as interesting as the stories I use to write?
Wandering Worlds can be many things – stories I create, things I find of interest, games, the shitstorm that is my life. My life is so complex right now that it feels like the different parts of it are different worlds. I don’t know how else to describe it.
So let’s start from the begging when things got shitty.
Shortly after learning my Uncle Terry was diagnosed with, and being treated for, Pancreatic Cancer, my mum, who is actually my grandmother, realized she was having a lot of the same symptoms he was having: darkly colored urine and very itchy skin. She was on a trip with her boyfriend, an owner of a ranch in the town over from mine, and she went to the doctor when she got back. Upon testing, the levels in her tests was an instant ‘Trip To St. Louis Missouri Baptist,’ mum was also diagnosed with the same cancer her younger brother was ensnared by some time beforehand.
Surgery came and went, mum went home, her wound exploded, she had to go back to St. Louis for another surgery…and I was the one taking care of her. My sister, older than me, has five kids to take care of. She lives on a farm. My sissy couldn’t take care of both her kids and mum, so I was the logical choice.
The Year Of 2018
In the coming months, and early on this year, things shifted and changed. Mum had the cancerous invader cut out of her body (success!), started chemo (has a few treatments left), and was cleared of cancer. She is 4% of the population who recovers from Pancreatic Cancer, so she was unbelievably lucky. The only downside to all of this, from her perspective, is losing all of her hair. Mum’s a bit vain.
While all this was happening, I’m working and going to college when not at home taking care of mum. When I would leave, her boyfriend, or Heather (my sister) would be around to keep an eye on the Lady of our Lives. We worked together as much as we could, doing what we could despite our own difficulties.
Early 2018, Mid-April
My own life takes a turn – I quit Metro because I’m tired of trying to pursue a degree I’m not all that interested in. The family wanted me to try something medical related, so I went for Billing and Coding (medical but not people-centered), but I wasn’t into it. During the months I was at this college, one of my teachers and I were discussing my oddities.
I’m not comfortable around people. I have a hard time relating to them, to their emotions and the subtle cues that occur in conversations. I’m not an empathetic person. I struggle with my own emotions and properly displaying them (I tend to have a rather calm exterior with limited facial expressions, except in serious situations where I’m either really happy or very pissed off). We were discussing that part of the issue and how, at one point in my life, I was in classes that helped kids with speech issues and I was also in special math classes.
I remember how she seemed to take a moment to answer, but her expression was a blank for me. There wasn’t a smile or a frown, so I couldn’t really pinpoint what was going on. Now I know she was piecing things together, a possible explanation rising in her brain that would cover by social difficulties, some of my learning difficulties when I was younger (and some I still struggle with, depending on subject and interest), and how I have selective interests that I tend to hover around.
Some of you reading this may have an ‘aha’ moment. It took my sister saying the same thing for years, something later repeated by a professor, and a counselor for me to finally do what I’ve been nudged to do for years – I went to the Community Center and asked to speak with a therapist.
Several months of talking, of assignments and discussions over assignments, of being analyzed without being aware I was being analyzed (Miss B, my counselor, was eyeing how I would sit, how I would talk, and things I would wear like my choice in jewelry or how I would be more uncomfortable in one pair of clothing than another), before we finally hit upon the prospect of working through diagnosis. I would pinpoint her jewelry when it was sparkling (she had a glittering necklace of bees yesterday), but I wasn’t paying attention to any of the things she was.
Then she said, “High-Functioning Autism.”
For years, Heather was saying ‘Aspergers,’ but Aspergers isn’t a diagnosis anymore. It was written out and now it is part of HFA (or Level 01 Autism), though there are a few difference between the two. I’m still trying to pinpoint those differences, but everything I have read about HFA and Aspergers says there are a few differences.
Anyway, yeah, HFA. I’m also an INTJ (which is often seen with Aspergers, apparently).
My Current Assignment: Research HFA and See If It Says “ME!”
HFA impacts five levels of a person’s life:
- Emotional Sensitivity
- Fixation On Particular Subjects/Interests
- Linguistic Oddities
- Social Difficulties
- Problems Processing Physical Sensations
In one way or another, I fit into every category. I’ll go through them because I need to do this to understand my own thoughts and I can also share them with everyone else. My darling readers may have their own thoughts and inputs, their own experiences, to add to this. So let’s move forward!
Def.: the ease or difficulty a person emotionally to different situations.
This falls into two categories:
01) How Aware An Individual Is Of Their Own Emotions
02) How Aware An Individual Is Of Other People’s Emotions And Feelings
Of the five categories, this is one, I think, that isn’t as largely expressed. When it comes to developmental disabilities, it often seems to center of learning and social interactions, but emotions play a vital part in everything we do. With emotional sensitivity, most people tend to be aware of their own emotions and have a relative grasp on the feelings/emotions others are displaying. Many people can see how a person is standing, or the way their facial features are arranged and get an idea of what emotion they could, most likely, be feeling. Subtle cues I can’t seem to grasp without staring at someone for a very long time – and that just comes off as rude.
Certain events, or blocks to rituals, can cause an emotion that can disrupt a person with HFA’s entire day. When I’m working on my computer, being pulled away before I’m done can put me in a “bad mood” for a long while. Once I’m able to get back to it and pick up where I left off, I tend to relax a bit more. When I have to quit to go to work, my mind whirls around whatever I was working on and often interrupts what I’m doing. Which can make things a tad difficult.
Fixation On Particular Subjects/Interests
This one doesn’t need a definition because it explains itself. For Autistic individuals, there is a noted fixation of something that much of what they do centers around. I have a deep interest in writing, for one. I have dozens of books on writing, on how a novel is structured, and I took every class my previous (and now current) college offered in English and literature and anything that had some kind of touch on the creative writing world.
At the moment, I’m having troubles with this one aspect of my life. It’s not something I do these days without it feeling like a chore. Once I feel like I can breathe again, I think it’ll spark back up. Until then, I can read every fantasy book I adore and play out the scenes in my head. I tend to live in my own little world, which is, as Miss B told me, something those with Autism experience: they live in their own world.
I also have an intense fascination with the supernatural: souls, ghosts, and spirits.
The three are different, so, please, don’t say they’re the same thing. They’re not.
I’m developing a keen interest in paganism, chakra, and Red Hawk because they all connect with things I’m already heavily interested in. Those are all just other facets of my interests, helping the range of what I pursue expand and grow.
There’s also the interest in fantasy and video games! I’ve been a fan of video games since my early childhood and is something I still like to pursue. I like the stories and the art and how the plot unfolds. Everything I’m interested in tends to fold together.
Children on the low-functioning end of the autism spectrum usually struggle with learning to speak, building vocabulary and holding conversations with others. Their counterparts on the higher end of the spectrum may start talking much earlier than normal and often display an impressive vocabulary. They may find conversations with others boring or difficult to follow and may avoid speaking with their peers. Many people with mild autism may simply seem eccentric during conversations as their diverse vocabularies, frequent interruptions or focus on particular topics seem like oddities rather than neurological symptoms.
This one wasn’t really apparent to me, but after questioning a few people in my family, I fit. I have a wide vocabulary because of how much I read and write. I enunciate my words with care, I can make myself understood easily enough, but Miss B said the first thing she noticed (other than how I sat down and folded my legs under me in the chair and my choice of necklaces) was how formally I speak. I’m careful with how I speak so I’m sure what I’m saying is clear. I’m also blunt and prefer getting right to the point.
I’m not a talkative person, however. If I don’t know you, I don’t want to speak with you. If a conversation is initiated, I’ll take part, but it’s likely I won’t say much. If the subject the conversation bores me, I’ll stop paying attention. Or I’ll try and change the topic to a new area that is more appealing. I do have a tendency to focus on certain topics, but those have changed, a tad, over the years as I became more comfortable with myself.
Social Difficulties & Problems Processing Physical Sensations
I’d rather group the last two since I have mentioned them, in brief. I have a hard time when it comes to conversations. I don’t like small talk, or repetitive conversations (like being asked how I’m doing every morning or when I’m coming home from work). I don’t like small talk. When it comes to conversation, it damn well better be something important or something that’s interesting. Or that I find interesting, which makes being an attentive listener difficult because I have a hard time knowing how other people feel or what emotions are coursing through their head.
Frankly, I’d rather not know. I have enough troubles puzzling out my own ticks.
Physical sensations are one thing I have fewer issues with.
I do have a few things in there, such as how my clothing fits. I’m uncomfortable in close-fitting clothing (except tanktops, depending on the fabric), and I hate jeans. They’re too rough feeling. They cling too tightly to my legs, limiting how I move. I’m a skirt or slacks girl. Silky, smooth, fluid-like material is my favorite. I’m the same with my shirts.
I like my clothing fluid and loose. Comfortable and practical.
It’s the same with how I eat. I’m not fond of spicy foods, though I do like lightly sour foods (candies), and veggies give me issues because of how bland they are. I like sitting for the zing. Yogurt can be difficult, but not overly so.
The only touchy thing I’m keen on is texture under my fingers. Groves in wood or a pattern raised up on a wall. I find them fascinating and I like to run my fingers over these kinds of things. There’s a wallpaper in my mum’s doctor’s office’s building that has a velvet-like texture with raised impressions that I could rub my hand over for a long while. Sometimes I get distracted while I’m in the bathroom because of this wallpaper.
Other than the things mentioned above, some people with autism have ticks. I tend to bounce my leg or tap my fingers. I also rock sometimes where I’m sitting (when I’m anxious). I also pick at my own skin, at scabs mostly. I tend to sink away into my own little world, mentally roleplaying nearly 24/7 all year round. Ideas and thoughts and stories run through my mind at all times. Unless I’m working on something else that requires my attention – so it’s anytime I’m relaxing, and then the creativity flows.
This post is so much longer than I expected, and there’s so much I still don’t know.
Research begins today, I’m learning new things, and I don’t intend on stopping anytime soon. I want to know more about what’s going on and why, on figuring out what I can do and how to overcome the roadblocks in my life. From what I have learned is that autism is a condition, not an illness needing to be cured. It’s just a different way the brain is wired and most people tend to be set up the other way.
HFA, INTJ, Aspie, Wandering Worlds of Wonder.
Past and Future Don’t Exist.
There Is Only Now.