BIG anxiety

A huge adventure yesterday. We were at the Big Anxiety Project discussion at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Sydney has been wrapped inside a massive storm over the weekend. Not the kind of weather for a sensory-anxious autist and a rain-averse Greyhound to be out and about. But we had an important mission, and so, in true autist and Greyhound fashion, we persevered! Continue reading

hide inside

Too much to process. Assaulted on all sides at multiple dimensions. Sensory attacks from the environment. Confusing shenanigans from certain quarters that even my non-autistic, neurotypical friends shake their heads at. Discombobulation. Distress. Chaos. Disorganisation. Changes, one following another, tripping over in clumsy stretto. Fever. Smarting eyes. Ringing ears. Inflammation everywhere. Tired, tired, exhaustion. Continue reading

no goodbyes

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Lucy & Janette @ Sonata in Z 10 Nov 2015- the very last time I saw my friend.

Throughout the tumult of the last four months – betrayal of trust, instability and almost not completing the PhD as a result – I had been thinking of her. My friend Janette. A beautiful soul, so gentle, intense, refined and deeply kind. Our last communication was a hastily written email about my traumatic hurried return to homeland to write up my thesis. She wished me good luck, and we planned to catch up after my submission. Janette died a few days afterwards. Caught in the flurry of fear, anxiety and desperation of PhD dissertation writing, I did not email Janette, until early this morning. I had been thinking of her throughout, but that email never was sent, just like the other important email to the university library (see below) – everything got swallowed up and lost inside the terrifying whorl of survival… and now, I shall never see her again. Continue reading

accommodations

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Accommodating grace, graciously accommodating.

This post is in response to yet another powerful piece of thinking by Judy Endow. Read it here: Autism, Accommodation and Differential Expectations.

Ah, accommodations… Sometimes, people make accommodations for me, announced with a warm fuzzy glow, and then suddenly withdraw them because it’s no longer comfortable for them to continue, and leave me to fend for myself without offering me any other alternatives. In the meantime, I am making accommodations for them all the time, being grateful, showing gratitude as best as I can, taking into account their own neurodiversity quirks, and, yes, even in the way I do not rant and scream when said promised accommodations are abruptly withdrawn. It is very very tiring, making accommodations for anyone, but the Endeavour of Empathy is important. We must not stop endeavouring, though let’s not forget that the endeavour is to Self as much as to Other. We autists struggling to survive this terrain need to remember that empathy is for Self too, because so often the demands of normative social constructs say we must do otherwise, and so we do. Continue reading

Embracing Autism

My contribution to Embracing Autism Month – enough (misdirected) ‘awareness’ and moving beyond mere ‘acceptance’… how about we begin to embrace autism?

Thank you, Martin Guinness of Guinness Entertainment, for making this video!

Rough Transcript (by me):

My name is Dawn-joy. I am autistic. I was diagnosed in my early forties – I am fifty now. Living and coping with life in general has been the hugest challenge for me. Being autistic is not in itself a huge challenge, but being autistic and coping with living in a social system, a spatially designed system, that is not innate and often not kind towards innate autistic function, has been the greatest challenge in my life. Continue reading

dissociation

This is not a poem. This is not prose. This is merely a collection of fragments, scraped from the bottom of a shattered consciousness, about that moment of dissociation, upon receiving a fateful piece of communication. Where has language gone? Where is that entertaining babblebrook? It was yesterday. This. Today, still unable to muster verbal speech. My mouth has left me, and has not yet returned from its bleak wanderings in outer space. Only Lucy understands. She does not mind. Non-speaking, but I have recovered some semblance of wordedness. Typed words. Here they are.

The Missive – 15/02/2016 06:34

Immobilised by shock.

Engulfing interstice of non-entity.

Voiceless.

Wordless.

Choking gurgles.

Brittle fragments of Being jettisoning wildly back and forth.

Someone was wailing. The cry was my own.

Molten liquid flowed downwards, swirling around hot burning feet, then dissolving into nothingness beneath.

Cold… it felt icy cold… in the warm summer air. And nausea.

Gloaming churning into blackness.

Mocking pyrotechnics inside bowels fear.

Lucy lying by my side… receding, disappearing into fog.

My eyes left me.

I could not see.

Kinesthesia seeping away.

Body motionless, cannot flinch from thunderous pain.

Dislocated.

Disconnected.

wordless enunciation

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angel unspeaking

My Angel cannot speak the worded language. Yet, I know she tries to tell me things. There are times I am tuned in and able to sense, just by touching her, watching her eyes, her mouth, her body, but there are times when I am sadly oblivious, lost inside my own domain. Then, there are the moments of sheer terror, when she is unwell, and I am haplessly flailing, desperate to grasp her subtle wordless enunciations. Continue reading

strange ecologies

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parallel embodiments

This is a simple yet very concrete article about affection and displays of love, between dog and human.

To Hug or Not?

I am learning a great deal from Lucy. She teaches me about parallel embodiment and alternative empathy. It does us good to pay heed to things that may not be within our own functional paradigms.

Why do I not want to hug you? Why do I cringe when you lunge at me in embrace? Maybe it is because I cannot bear the touch of your smell, or the taste of your hand on my skin? Have you considered that perhaps I have other ways to show you that I love you? So, please do not patronise me from out of your own ignorance and lack of empathy for ecologies not your own. Continue reading