Category Archives: Autism Stories

My Meltdown – A Poem – Guest Blog

This poem comes from a long term reader, fellow blogger, and dear friend. I am honored to share with you a work by the one and only Allison M. Kramer of the Through 1 Filter  blog.

Thank you for sharing such an intimate moment. People need to understand meltdowns. These conversations are important.

 

My meltdown is

Echoed in my screaming
Adrenaline is racing like napalm through my veins
Moro reflex punching my gut over and over
Reliving the sensory overload on a loop

I’m drowning without being in water
and I have to go to bed for 2 days

Sometimes it brings red and blue flashing lights on a squad car 
Handcuffs chewing into my wrists
Lots of shouting and grabbing
Strapped to a backboard while my skin turns purple and black

Locked up, drugged up
Being punished for something I cannot control
It isn’t a conscience choice I’ve made
To disrupt my life or yours

It so happened that
A dog was barking-
A child was screaming-
Someone set off a firecracker-
And I couldn’t process the information fast enough
To remain in control of my executive functioning

The threat of sensory overload
hangs pregnant, like a cumulonimbus cloud

I need a safe place and safe people- now and until I die
To successfully process what life heaps upon me

Will you help me to make this a reality? I cannot do it alone, behind a computer detached from any notion of community. I don’t want my life story to end in a jail cell, nursing home or alley. 

 

Allison M. Kramer
Author:Through 1 Filter

 

 

Trying to Explain Autistic Adults at the Dentist – We Blend In Better Than Autistic Children

I had a dental appointment this morning, a semiannual cleaning that takes a lot out of me due to my sensory sensitivities.

Up until this point I’d never fully disclosed my Autism to my dentist or the hygienist who cleans my mouth. In the past I’ve mentioned light sensitivities, high pain tolerances, and poor body temperature regulation (partial disclosure) but never used the word Autism.

Today, because part of my new years mission is to spread more Autism awareness, I told my secret.

I should be used to the responses people give my by now, but for some reason they always catch me off guard – “I never would have guessed. We have Autism in our family – nephews (young people). You hide it well.”

Even more I hated myself for my response to the comment. All I could think to say as I stood dumbfounded was “thank you” and I hated myself for even speaking those words.

My Autism is not something that I want to hide. I am not ashamed of being Autistic because I know that Autism makes me who I am.

I continued to share that “as I’ve grown up there are tricks that I’ve picked up along the way, allowing me to blend in and more easily manage in society. I have worked very hard to get to where I am now.”

In my mind we shared some understanding in that moment. I like to think that I was not dismissed as misdiagnosed or lying because often people don’t believe me when I tell them I’m Autistic.

There was so much more that I wanted to tell – how I meditate constantly and practice mindfulness to keep my anxiety under control. I wanted to share that me passing is a lot of work.

So much to say when you have metal tools in your mouth. There was no good time for further elaboration but I hoped for understanding of how hard it was for me to sit still while they probed around in my mouth.

Finally, as an adult, I am able to force myself (with great mental effort) to sit still through the entire dental cleaning.

At first glance it may appear as if I am calm and still but the reality is something far different.

My heart is racing and my hearing is fuzzy. As I lay flat on the dental chair my body is tense and I am pressing myself down with every muscle in my body, attempting to melt into the chair so I do not run away.

I wear sunglasses to block out the light and ear plugs to dampen the drills but still the excessive unpleasant physical contact is an assault to my senses.

Somehow I always manage to push through these draining experiences.

By the time I get home my head is pounding and my mind is fuzzy.

It is still very difficult but now as an Autistic adult I am finally able to get through an ordeal that was nearly intolerable as an Autistic child.

I am grateful for the small accomplishments. Learning to sit still while people touch me took  years of practice, determination, and hard work.

 

#ActuallyAutistic #SheCantBeAutistic #AnonymouslyAutistic #InvisibleAutism #InvisibleDisability

Our Physicians Don’t Know Autism

I can hardly believe the ignorance that is out there. In the world in the medical field. You would think that people who practice medicine and see people every day would know more than the stereotypes of Autism.

When you go to a medical professional you hope they will understand your medical conditions not doubt them.

I’m seeing a new physician – for me this is a very stressful change. It is a new person, I am driving to a new place, they have new procedures. Being in that office with that florescent white light burning my brain is hard.

My heart is pounding and I want to run out, so I close my eyes and count my breaths. I focus on the feelings in my lungs and the darkness until I am calm. There are several moments where I must do this through the examination.

At the end I mention my Autism, expecting for her to simply add it to the chart.

I handed over the wrinkled and folded diagnosis paper that I keep on hand for emergencies if I cannot talk. Already I could tell she was questioning it’s validity. “I’m surprised she put you on the spectrum” her overly friendly and patronizing tone was something that even I could pick up on.

There was so much I wanted to tell her. Desperately wishing to educate her – I was paralyzed by her doubt. This is a medical professional before me – if SHE doesn’t know we are all in trouble.

I wish I had said more but I was now trying not to cry.

I told her that I keep most things to myself and that growing up feeling different on the inside (but not knowing why) teaches you to hide everything that is strange about you. You begin to fear your own uniqueness. So you learn to hide everything that is different about you.

You learn to blend in as a survival tool.  All my mess is on the inside.

We need more education. If our medical professionals are still stuck on the stereotypes no wonder there are so many misdiagnoses out there and so many Autistic girls being missed.

Autistic women do not follow the male Autistic stereotype – and honestly not all autistic men follow it either.

This is a big problem. Where do we even start?

#SheCantBeAutistic #AcutallyAutistic #AutismAwareness #AutismAcceptance #AnonymouslyAutistic

My Biggest Secret – I’m Smart!

Most people who meet me have no idea. I  am a fly on the wall or a clown making jokes, deflecting from my deepest darkest secret. Nobody would ever guess, because my verbal (spoke) vocabulary is nothing particularly remarkable.

People sometimes describe me as “funny, silly, and quirky”. My coworkers describe me as “positive, friendly, warm, and kind”. Apparently the word feels as if I am a bubbly personality – they have no idea of the deep dark secret hiding within me.

Nobody knows that I am smart. I don’t run around wearing my IQ (144 SD15) on my blouse. That number is subjective.

If a cat tell’s a fish he is stupid because he cannot climb a tree he will never appreciate that the fish can breath under water – the cat cannot breath under water. The fish and the cat are different not less (as Temple Grandin said).

Most day’s I don’t feel particularly smart. I am great at problem solving, writing, and other random things, but sometimes struggle  greatly with basic life skills.

It is a frustrating enigma. People often say things like “you’re too smart for this” – I remember my mother saying this to me repeatedly through my childhood. Whenever I make a mistake it is always “because I am not trying hard enough”.

Growing up you learn that bragging does not bring you many friends and your parents beg you to stay humble so you hide your talents. Hidden under the dirt  and rocks your beauty can not shine.

My readers – you are my dear friends. Nobody knows my secret but you. Please do not spread this information around because nobody who meets me would ever believe it. 😉

Let your light glow. Do the things you love, be yourself, sing off key.

We are all smart in different ways. You cannot test a cat and a fish for the same skills.

I’ve Been Blogging for 1 Year – THANK YOU

Today, December 4, 2016 the AnonymouslyAutistic Blog turns 1!

When I started this blog a year ago I never would have guessed that it would have grown so much. I started writing after months of depression over the problems facing Autistic people all over the world.

I spent the first thirty years of my life misunderstood and now – thanks to all of my readers – I am finally spreading the truth.

To my readers – each and every one of you has inspired me to keep writing and keep sharing. Because of you the vast inner-world of my inner-voice has been set free.

I hope that some day the voice that comes out of my mouth is as strong as the voice that radiates from my keyboard but until then I am thankful for today and the accomplishments that it brings.

 

Until then, I am still yours.

Anonymously Autistic,

Anna

 

Looking Back

Looking back on when I started this blog. Reflecting on the discovery of my Autism and the negative things that were all over the Internet.

 

I was worn down and depressed. Eventually, after the shock from all the negativity wore off, I began to look for positive people and articles.

 

Almost everything positive was coming from Aspies. Watching my positive peers helped me to shake off my darkness, but finding all of their videos had been difficult. Search engines seems to prefer big organizations over small blogs.

 

It should be easier for people looking online to find this first hand information – straight from the Aspie’s mouth.

 

We know what we are talking about. 😉

 

I started to collect posts that inspired me and began to look for new inspiring Autistics online.

 

Writing out my feelings helps me to put them into words.

 

It’s funny, despite being told that I am a fairly decent writer, I do not think in words in a very typical sense. Really I am a more visual thinker.

 

I can type out words if left alone to think, but having another person around can send my words flying out the window. Typing is therapy. Speaking is work.

 

This therapy saved me as I collected videos and articles that I wished I would have seen early in my Autism journey.

 

I wanted to create a life preserver. If you happen to be lucky enough to find me, you will also find the biggest collection of links to other amazing Autistic people online.

 

Nobody should drown in negative information. I hope that you use this site as a lighthouse in the dark. Shining the paths to many amazing voices.

 

With love,

“Anna”

“Through Our Eyes: Living with Asperger’s” (Documentary)

I watched this documentary last year before I started my blog. Back when I was gathering information and desperately trying to find words to describe the things that I went through every day.

Today I re-watched this video and looked at the view count – 300,207. Wow. That is so important. That number reflects people learning about Autism, awareness spreading. Aspies own words getting out.

Like a fire our voices are spreading though the internet. Our stories are bring the truth to light.

I love the YouTube channel Alyssa Huber – The Life of an Aspie. She does a GREAT job advocating and educating. This video is wonderful and does a great job expressing things that many of us have felt.

I Love to Hate You – Autism & Socks

Socks.

It is more of a Sensory Processing Disorder problem than an Autism problem, but maybe it’s an Autism problem because we don’t explain the discomfort to the people around us.

We don’t know you don’t feel the same way we do about socks. We think that our behavior should be self explanatory because socks just suck that much. I have very early memories regarding the unpleasantness of socks. They felt like fiberglass burning into my ankles and the seam was a large lizard wiggling around on my toes.

When I was a baby my mother liked to dress me in socks with lace trim. I hated lace more than anything. Thinking about those socks makes me itch. Nothing could ever make them feel right. Looking around me everyone had socks. I thought you all were crazy. Why on earth would anyone put up with this much pain?

My mother said it was to protect my shoes, because shoes are expensive. It was a logical enough explanation, but as I got older I remember rubbing my feet and ankles raw by pawing at my socks.

Wet socks and wet clothing have always been impossible for me. My mother once asked me to put on wet socks. I can’t remember very clearly what happened after she asked that question (perhaps I had a meltdown) but I feel like the situation ended with vomit.

As I got older I started picking my own socks at the store. Ankle socks with no seam in the toe were my favorite when I could find them on sale. I had expensive taste in socks. If I could not find socks without a seam, I prefer ankle socks with a seam on top but they have to be soft.

I tried wearing shoes without socks, most of the time I ended up with blisters on my tinder feet.My balance is not the best and I am a bit of a klutz. I imagine my feet take quite a beating when not protected by socks.

Flats were great until my feet began to sweat. Pools of sweat feel like oceans in my shoes – it is ALMOST as bad as wet socks.

I try to stock up when I find a type of sock that I like. If a company changes their socks it will take me a while to get used to them.

Nothing is more annoying than a sock problem. The distraction is so intense it becomes hard to think about anything else without stimming. Maybe that is why I went barefooted so much as a child. I loved the feel of warm dry grass and hot asphalt on my feet.

I don’t run around with my shoes off any more. Now that I’ve found socks that feel nice I prefer not to feel small things under my feet. (As an adult, at 125 lbs, your feet hurt more when stepping on objects than they did when you only were closer to 60lbs.)

Even now there are some sensory days that I just can’t handle socks. If that happens I don’t wear them. It’s that easy. It is not fair that I put myself through the torture.

Itchy socks take away my valuable spoons. I need those they are mine!

I’ve been wearing socks for over 30 years now. It has taken me a long time to go from hating socks to loving socks.

Baby steps, progress is progress no matter how long it takes.

THE MASK OF NORMALITY – Hiding My True Self (An Asperger’s Conundrum)

I’ve been talking a lot about passing and invisible disabilities over the past few months.

As Alyssa said – people don’t think I am Autistic because I can come off as “articulate, well adjusted, and extremely capable”.

I come off as a great problem solver, a bright woman, who is good at finding difficult solutions that others often miss. Certainly I can’t be Autistic.

All my anxiety is behind the scenes. Why? Well do you typically go around advertising all of your difficulties to the world do you (other than online)?

My disabilities and weaknesses are invisible but so are my strengths. At the same time all of my strengths and talents also remain hidden, due to self praise being interpreted as bragging.

I am a conundrum – a mix of invisible skills and invisible disabilities. Outwardly normal, trying to fill a role that I was not built for.

Acting normal is a skill. I am HIGHLY skilled at “passing” but doing so drains my batteries rapidly and requires extra recharge and recovery time. The costs on my mental health are not worth it.

It’s time to take off the mask and ask for mental health awareness centered in acceptance.

Alyssa Huber – The Life of an Aspie is an AMAZING YouTube channel. I can take NO credit for her video but PLEASE check out her channel for more great content.

#WorldMentalHealthDay #invisibledisability #Glitch #mentalhealth #iamwhole#WMHD

 

Baby Robot Talks About Harmful Stims on Her AMAZING YouTube Channel

I never realized that I have harmful stimming behaviors – mine are EXTREMELY minor – but I do scrape and pick my skin till it bleeds sometimes when I am over stressed.

Actually, if we are being fully honest, I am CONSTANTLY fighting the urge in my head to scrape at myself. Stim toys help but if I stop paying attention my hands have a mind of their own. Its frustrating to have so little control over my own body.

Normally I tear my cuticles off.

It is also very had for me not to pick at or mess with any cut I have in my body.

I have to constantly remind myself to stop and try to do something else.

I keep stim toys in my hands and that helps me to stim in non harmful and positive ways.

Some harmful stims can be very dangerous and I do not have a lot of experience with those.

Please do not think that I am minimizing those in not mentioning them – I just don’t feel as if I have authority on this subject.

I know that I am more likely to harm myself more intensely IF I am having a total meltdown but most of the time I hide myself in a soft bed to prevent me from hitting my head or punching things.

“Stim freely – without shame.” – Baby Robot

I REALLY love Baby Robot‘s YouTube channel. I can take NO credit for her video please like her videos and subscribe to her on YouTube.