Literally. Exhausted. And the pain… but nobody wants to hear about the aches and pains of a middle aged autistic woman. Come to think of it, nobody ever wanted to hear about aches and pains at any stage of life. I know that, because mine began from as far back as I can remember, and probably even further back to pre-memory and pre-verbal stages, judging from reports and anecdotes about my behaviour as an infant. “Psychosomatic!” “Pull up your socks!” (where are my socks, by the way?) “All in your head!” (it’s bursting, just sayin’)… Since the age of five. Amazing stuff, adults tell suffering children, yeah.
Sensory challenges are just that. Not impairments per se, not across the board, but they can be impediments. Unusual gifts of any kind, for that matter, can be manifest as disabilities when juxtaposed with a coarse landscape. That is essentially the crux of the matter. A daily struggle to balance the gift vs curse.
Today, my final day at our beloved college. Returning to clear out the art studio. Our home-away-from-home has to be deconstructed. No more respite, nowhere to hide, nowhere to work inside gentle, safe and inclusive (the security people are absolutely wonderful), and clement space. I am reeling from the loss, constantly on the verge of tears-which-do-not-arrive-in-time, my levels of anxiety and frustration obfuscating the landscape. The need to press on, because of my beloved Lucy – I have a daughter!!! – is heavy but it is a strong driving force that will not allow me to give up in despair.
And food… always an attraction and deterrent all at the same time, a dichotomous oxymoronic anomaly… So… My breakfast – budget sausages from Woolies (courtesy of my wonderful Irish friend Shane, who has a nose for budget specials), sliced onion and a sloppy free-range egg (courtesy of my friend Colin), cooked inside a weird ‘dutch-oven’ like pot in the microwave – and the arduous, panadol-aided, twenty minute process of breakfasting this morning is yet another wordless reflection on the theme. Tired. Sausages.