dissociation

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dissociation
dɪˌsəʊʃɪˈeɪʃ(ə)n,dɪˌsəʊsɪˈeɪʃ(ə)n
noun
  1. the action of disconnecting or separating or the state of being disconnected.

Shared stories from neurodivergent people differ in hue, colour, strokes and intricate detail about their experiences of the state of mind-body disconnect that is “dissociation”. But all bear one similarity – that it happens because of pain, too much pain for the mind to bear, like a meltdown from sensory overload, though in this case the sense is excruciating pain, pure and unfiltered.

I wrote this Ode to Dissociation for all those who know it and are living it, the brave who have no choice but to be. This is not about death, really, it is about living in unending hell. That is what people who experience dissociation tell me. I think they must be right.

Dissociate

Depart from me, tender soul, your presence is not wanted. Inside tumultuous raging sea, this vulnerability attracts destruction, and annihilation becomes an inevitability.

Leave this terrifying arena, you have not the grit and boldness for the gory fight, you are but a diaphanous delicate entity, and the pounding hoofs of bulls are crushing you beneath.

Empty the soul, stand outside, dissociate from the incessant kicking of steel-capped boots, turn away if you can, do not watch, as this shell becomes limp and wearied, as it withers away.

Depart from me, tender soul, your presence is a burden that hastens annihilation. In death, we shall yet remain alive. This is an ancient trick, a grand sorcery of the mind, for survival of the fittest!

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no bacon

No bacon. That’s what the doctor ordered. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is no fun for a foodie. Doc says it’s due to a combination of contributing factors – mainly a massive accumulation of stress and a stomach bug that refuses to die, lurking in the nether regions of my digestion, making malevolent hiccups.

The reality? Pain. More pain in a world of pain. And the agony? No bacon or ham or preserved foods (aargh, but I love cured meats!). No dairy (not fond of milk anyway, but cheese and butter are things I do love). Just fish, fresh vegetable, and limited fruit. Of course, opinions vary where it comes to the IBS diet, because there really isn’t any such thing – that is, science is unsure so us humans just keep on guessing. However, the Christmas binge-ing and subsequent punishment sent a clear message to my very stubbornly food-driven brain that the “no meats” advice was good advice indeed. Also, no wheat infused foods. That’s ok, pasta and wheat noodles can be easily substituted with vermicelli and rice. But no chicken or pork? And “Eat lots of fish!” ???? Haaaaaalp!  Continue reading

stew

Festive seasons are to me like stew. I love food. I love eating. But I am wary of stew. Things get thrown willy nilly into a large pot, stirred, cooked and cooked, and then poured out in a chunky, goopy, mass. The sound it makes when a scoop of the stuff hits the plate or bowl? Quite nauseating, like a soft belching blended and layered with thick, dull, stretched out staccato. I do not much like stew. And I do not much like festivities.

Regardless, it was a goodly Christmas and New Year over here for this Autistic Foodie Bunny, and I am beginning to learn how to actually enjoy these things.  Continue reading

oil in my lamp

Noshment. Sustenance. Oil in my physical lamp. Goodness for my soul. And thankfulness in the spirit. The family – mum, baby sis, brother-in-law, furry boys, and helper Nula – had lunch at our usual favourite yesterday, but at a new location. It seems as if the neighbourhood malls are more crowded than the main shopping street in the city. I bring my mental clement space with me. It is a struggle, most definitely, but equilibrium is what I seek. Continue reading

ingénue

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There is no word I know that adequately expresses the fullness of Lucy Like-a-Charm. This simplicity interwoven with regal poise and quietude, wrapped around a gentleness so profound and sublime, my heart bursts with infinite gratitude to have her in my life. Another year has passed. My Angel has graced my human domain for a little more than 5 years now. I promised her a better life, away from the horrors of the racing life she once had. I wonder if she still remembers those perilous years, where her life and soul teetered on the brink of annihilation?

I do not ask, “Do you love me?”, but rather, “Are you happy?” “Are you well?”

Would I give anything to hear her tell me she loves me? No. But I would give my life and world to know just that she is happy and well. No words needed. No neurotypical-style longings for verbal and physical reassurance of my own worth as caretaker of this majestic, unblemished wonderment. I am an autistic human custodian of Unadulterated Pulchritude. Lucy Like-a-Charm is a once in a lifetime miracle of life – a gift from the cosmos to me.

Nonpareil.

Happy New Year, Lucy Like-a-Charm! My hope for 2018? That I may continue to bring you wellness, happiness and contentment. A better life. I am still working towards that. Thank you for your patience with me.

Goodbye 2017

 

Sometimes, the mind gets lost inside the mire of anxiety, like a hamster caught in an ever spinning wheel, so focused on the effort of running that one can forget to hop off the relentless vicious cycle. Feeling unwell from an unpleasant juxtaposition between Christmas feasting and irritable bowel syndrome, caught in the doldrums of self-deprecation, I was just about to declare 2017 a year of absolute non-achievement (yes, utterly ridiculous but that was my mindset at the time) when I decided to take a long, deep breath, sit down and make a list of the activities I had engaged in through the year. Truth be told, 2017 was actually a literal beehive of activity. I was surprised, duly chastised for my negativity, a tad shamefaced yet relieved – I needed that stern reality check! Continue reading

stillness

Stillness. Tranquility. Quiet contemplation. Sonorous repose.

Much needed especially in sensorially chaotic times like Christmas, New Year and other festive seasons.

Too much noise, too much food, too much smell, too much light, too much human interaction… just too much of everything, no matter how lovely, can easily derail the autistic with hypersensitivity.

My head is pounding and my muscles tense from all the pre-Christmas preparations and mini celebrations ahead of time. I love to see people enjoying themselves and I like the sound of laughter, but too much is too much and my senses start to scream.

Nevertheless, I do look forward to spending the next three days at our family holiday chalet together with the extended gang. This lot are cheery and easygoing, they do not insist on making me or anyone else join in their raucous goings-on. There is no oppressive social demand to sit at the table and silently cry into one’s soup while pretending to keep up with the meaningless babble. Two Christmases ago, that was what I was doing, entertaining wave after wave of superficial, self-important people in a fancy but not really classy apartment in prime location by the sea. I was the general dogsbody, locked inside a tedium dictated by charity. No more of that social rubbish. With this lot now, the food is always great – they are super foodies – and all that is required of me, mandatory, in fact, is that I turn up at meal times to eat. I am not even needed for small talk. So, the noise can be pretty daunting, but one unpleasant sensory bombardment in exchange for another delicious one, that is more than fair enough for this Foodie Bunny!

And Lucy has brought me a long, long, way indeed. Now, I have a Canine Angel. Non-speaking, elemental connectivity, no need for prattle and babble. Lucy is my Clement Space. My little nook for repair, restoration and refreshment. There will be lots of ‘alone-time’ with Lucy at our chalet in the suburbs. We can go for walks on our own, something I haven’t done much of since returning ‘home’. But now, I need to pack. The Angel needs her food. Oh, don’t forget to bring the Christmas Doggy Cookies!

Merry Theory of My Mind

Theory of Mind is a theory, or is it? Dancing around alien fires. Whose Theory and whose Mind?

While it is not true that autistic people lack empathy due to their inability to decipher other people’s mindscapes, I myself admit to being stumped, over and over again, by other people’s thoughts, motives, and actions.

Take, for example, this somewhat questionable penchant for offering help, mixed with an innate inability to make quick enough assessment of character and/or predict potential disaster. Not a good combination by far. Continue reading

drain

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Drain. The physical object. That little channel ushering its contents into the nether regions of our consciousness. The act of it. That actual movement, going, flowing, evacuating, emptying. And being drained. Emptied, while still alive, until there is no more. At which point does it translate into actuality? How long can the human soul endure? Continue reading