Wilson Wisdom – Autism, spoken VS written word, & anxiety.

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When Autistics speak, we need to listen . . .

Being autistic, it is sometimes hard for me to put my feelings into words using my voice, but with the written word I can say things much easier since I can see what I say and correct anything that I misspoke before anyone else can see it. Sometimes things that are bothering me I won’t talk about because I can’t put it into spoken words, if I try to, my point either comes off as not as I intended or it is misinterpreted because of the words I used.

To put it in a way easier to understand, when I speak it’s like a game of Scrabble, but instead of letter tiles I have word tiles, if some of the words I need are not available and I have to use similar words to get my point across it can lead to confusion. When I write I have access to all the tiles at once and it’s simple for my thoughts to come out, I still make mistakes, but not as much.

If I feel anxious I tend to deal with it on my own and tell no one since it is even harder to say what I need and I only bring it up when it is either resolved or when I really can’t do it on my own and I need someone else to help me.

When it comes to autism, the people around those with autism need to be vigilant about the mental state of the autistic person. With me, I can handle most things on my own and have an understanding of how my anxiety works (Some forms of my own anxiety require me to let it run its course when none of the other methods I have learned to use work or make it worse) but others may not have this understanding and cannot get through without help, mine comes from years of having to deal with it and with the help of my Mom (Crystal Cook) teaching me methods and helping me through them.

Some younger autistics have not yet learned to put such information to use so it is up to those around them to notice these moments of anxiety and help them through it, if you’re close to someone with autism I am sure you know the signs, I would list some, but not everyones signals are the same. For me personally it is just an anxious feeling or the feeling of dread or just full on confusion, each one has its own type of “Cure” and sometimes I just have to wait it out. If a person hasn’t figured them out on their own it is up to you to teach them to identify and conquer them.

For the past week I have had an anxious feeling that have been growing little by little each day. I believe it is cause by a mixture of changes happening around me and some just regular random anxiety that comes with the disorder I have. I have done every one of my usual “Cures” (Including talking to my Mom) and none of them have worked, that leaves letting it continue running its course and try again later if it continues to long.

Remember what I have said about keeping an eye on an Autistics anxiety tells, if you don’t help them discover them and learn how to conquer them they might never learn on their own.

Wilson Cook

The details of a memory.

imageSometimes a memory, long since forgotten, will choose to emerge and when it presents itself you have to decide what to do with that memory. I suppose you can try to bury it deep inside, try to send it back to where it came from. You can cling to it and incorporate it into your life. You can let it control you or you can attempt to make peace with it.

I have tried to bury many memories but there are always more waiting just below the surface for their chance to escape. I’ve clung to many a memory and I’ve tried to rid myself of many more. I’ve found the worst of them simply need to be remembered. They need to be acknowledged and only then will they blend into the fabric of your life and become a part of that which makes you whole.

Some are too painful to find complete peace with. I’ve tried. In my quest for closure I realized a memory itself is sometimes more than what it appears to be. We only focus on a small part of it, the part that hurts or brings us fear, but every memory has something that came before and something that came after. Every memory has little pieces buried within it that can change your perception of it.

The memory will always be, we cannot change what has already come to pass, but acceptance can be found if you take the remembrance apart like a puzzle and examine each little piece as if it were a memory of its own. Sometimes you’ll be surprised at what you find.

An old memory recently came to call, a quite unwelcome visitor. Instead of going through the tiring and pointless process of trying to push it back into the depths of me, I decided to find a place within me where it could finally be laid to rest. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get past the pain, but I examined it and began to find little details I hadn’t noticed before. Those details led me to an unexpected place.

I found a blessing in that awful memory. I realized my life was changed by that moment in time in more ways than I’d ever known. It was the details I sought out that derailed the way it usually unfurled itself. My past experiences have shaped me into the person I am today. I’ve always known that. What I didn’t know was just how much the hidden pieces of them had changed me and altered the course I would take in life.

When I was a little girl we had the most beautiful couch. It was velvety to the touch and colored like silken sands glistening in the sun on a far away island beach. It’s cushions where soft and welcoming. I loved that couch. I loved everything about it, especially the space in the corner where it met the wall; it was like a secret entrance. It was big enough for me and my baby sister to crawl into and find comfort and safety when the bad things happened.

I kept a few of my books hidden there, my favorites. Sometimes I would read them and pretend I was part of the stories. I would sail away on a magical boat or soar through the sky until I found a rainbow to land on. I would take my little sister on whispered adventures through mystical forests of fantasy. I traveled many miles and met many people during my journeys. Sometimes though, I would press my books tightly to my ears so I couldn’t hear the violent storm my mother was caught up in. Sometimes my tears stained the pages, sometimes the pages dried my tears.

I would hold my precious books close to me and pray the bad things would stop. I would hold them closer still when it was over and my mother would fall to the couch, staining the velvety fabric with crimson drops of life and crystalline tears sorrow. Sometimes I crawled out and cried with her and other times I stayed still and quiet so she wouldn’t see I was crying too.

We walked out the door one day and left the couch and everything else behind. My favorite books were forgotten, left to lay behind the soft, sand colored couch. I longed for them, for they had been my armor for so long and I feared without them I couldn’t be strong if I needed to be. A day soon came when it was safe to go back to the house with the sand colored couch and I reclaimed my books.

When I re-examine the couch of my memory now, it is different from the one my innocence had imagined. The velvety fabric faded, the softness replaced with wear. The cushions were flattened, their comfort long since used up. It was the color of carpet when boots have been tracked in on a rainy day. It was a nice enough couch; it just wasn’t the couch my young mind had made it to be.

The small space in the corner where the couch met the wall was barely big enough for one to squeeze into, but it had been a fortress for two. I know now the protection I thought it provided us was more of a longing than a reality. I don’t know what happened to the sand colored couch after we walked out that door for the last time.

I don’t know what happened to my favorite books. One by one they must have been left behind and lost as the years of my childhood quickly passed. I hope they were found and treasured by another and I pray my tears are the only ones that ever fell to soak into their pages.

My books, like that couch, where a part of my past that provided both protection and solace for me. The couch has become a symbol, a reminder not everything is always how it seems to be. Maybe it’s why I always see beauty in the brambles. Those books, my first books, the ones my mother used to teach me to read, somehow took me on one last journey with them, one which led me into the future.

I became a part of those stories and they will always be a part of me. I was given a moments peace in the midst of chaos because someone once sat down and penned simple words to a page, never knowing they would one day shield a little girl from the absolute pain of her world, even if it was just for a moment in time.

I honor and cherish those who carried me away on their quill when I had nowhere I could run to. They were my best friends when I had none. The poets and the storytellers who filled page after page with pieces of themselves were my heroes. They will always be my heroes. They gently held my hand and waltzed with me as I put pen to paper and began my own dance with words.

The pain of that memory and many more like it still linger, but they don’t have the hold on me they once did. I took what I thought represented nothing but sorrow and anger and fear in my life and I pulled something worthy out of it. I know God was with us there in the little corner behind the soft, sand colored couch. He gave me what I needed to get to where I am and I will forever praise him for that gift.

Crystal R. Cook

I did what I had to do.

 

imageThe things we do for our families . . . It’s been 8 years and I am still recovering.

I crossed the line this time. I stepped out of the light and into the dark and became one of them. You have to know I didn’t seek this out, it just sort of happened. It’s only temporary and it most certainly does not change my opinion of them. Besides, I’m not exactly doing what they do.

I suppose this makes me a sort of hypocrite. Well, so be it. It pays ten dollars an hour and Christmas will be here soon enough. Sometimes you just have to do things you never thought you would do to provide for your family. I realize I am justifying right now, but it is justified justification. Shit’s expensive and there are four of them expecting something under the tree.

I should tell you what it is I’m doing so your mind doesn’t completely wander away with thoughts of all things illicit and odd. I can’t believe I’m going to admit to this . . . Okay, here it goes.

Hello. My name is Crystal and I am a telemarketer, of sorts. I’m not like the others. I can stop anytime I want. I can.

I never intended for this to happen. I saw an innocent ad that shouted out to me, ‘Campaign phone staff needed immediately – Compensation $10.00 hourly.’ A strange feeling came over me and I was compelled to pick up the phone and dial the number.

Now anyone who knows me, knows picking up the phone to call someone is totally out of character for me. In the past two days I’ve made more phone calls than I have in the past thirty-six years, and that’s saying something seeing as how I’m only almost twenty-nine-ish-something.

For four hours a day I dial, talk and hang up. Dial, talk and hang up. “Hi, my name is Crystal and I’m volunteering today for blah, blah, blah and we’re calling voters . . . yada, yada, yadda. So can we count on your YES vote on Proposition OH I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M DOING THIS!”

My ‘target’ list, I must say I find it peculiar they call the innocent people on the other end of the line targets. Anyway, my target list is comprised of every registered voter over the age of sixty who live peacefully within the boundaries drawn by the county lines. I am given a gigantic stack of pages with their names, numbers and ages printed neatly in teeny little letters to ensure my eyes as well as my neck and my arms ache – Hey, you’d be surprised how tiring it can be making call after call after call after call after . . . Sorry.

I have mixed emotions throughout the day. I feel bad calling people whom I know I am disturbing and yet I actually do believe the issue we are seeking support for is important. I can’t say a day in the life of . . . of . . . a phone solici – no, a Communications Specialist, isn’t sheer tedium and boredom, but I can say there are brief interludes throughout the day that keep you from throwing the phone against the wall and running far, far away.

I’ve spoken to sweet old ladies, and not so sweet old ladies. I’ve conversed with adorably rambunctious old men and some not so adorable grumpy old men. I know the medical history of approximately twenty percent of the senior citizens in my community and I now know it is especially hard to get to the phone when you are eighty years old and have bunions.

Only three more days.

Crystal R. Cook

Keep Scrolling.

It saddens me, and pisses me off to be quite honest, when people are hesitant to post things online for fear of offending someone or being called a hypocrite or judgmental or racist or whatever else they may be called because they happen to be human, because they have the audacity to think for themselves.

I’ve got news for everyone, someone is always going to be offended. People need to get over themselves.

I don’t think people understand what offended means.

We exist in a society filled with those hell-bent on exerting their rights to say, do, think, and act as they please without interference, but it’s not enough for many of them. They seem to want everyone else to agree with their views, to applaud their actions and if they do not, they cry discrimination of some kind.

You don’t have to fill your personal pages with Bible verses to express your faith, but you should not be afraid to if you choose to do so. If someone does not share my faith, fine. If they do not agree with my political opinions, I’ve no problem with that. I do have a problem however, when they decide I am infringing upon their rights by simply having and sharing those thoughts that may happen to differ from theirs.

I don’t think people understand what rights are anymore.

There are those who want all dissenting opinions, beliefs, ideals, and values not in line with theirs removed, expunged from existence. They fight to destroy them while crying foul if their own sensibilities are called into question.

Every time I open my Facebook page or click on a blog I chance being confronted by something I don’t agree with, with something I find in bad taste or bad humor, I chance finding offense with something someone else thinks or believes.

I can keep scrolling or I can get my panties in a bunch . . . Scrolling requires less effort and time.

I don’t always find what my Facebook friends find funny. I follow blogs and visit websites and see things I may not always agree with so I keep scrolling.

Every now and then I’ll add my two cents in, when it is something I truly feel the need to say, I do it without accusing them of trampling over my feelings or aiding in the destruction of society because I don’t agree. Sometimes a good back and forth can be a good thing. Too bad no one seems to understand the art of debate anymore.

Respect is a two-way street. I know my cyber family does not subscribe to my every belief or my opinions, they don’t have to. They keep scrolling. I respect them for it.

Keep scrolling . . .

The things I do to pass the time

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I’ve been strangely preoccupied with vowels today . . . I tend to get stuck on various oddities and random subjects when I am anxious. My son boards an airplane on Saturday, he is heading home. I’m happy he’ll be home soon, but nervous about the trip. So to deal, I obsessed on vowels all day. Who knows, the topic could arise one day and you’ll be glad you read my ramblings. It could happen.

The English language, language in general, is filled with all sorts of interesting oddities. Since I was old enough to read I have been fascinated with words. I seemed to have a knack for picking up on some of their various little quirks, one I found particular delight in were words with vowels, not just vowels, almost all words contain vowels, it was words with vowels in alphabetical order that caught my fancy.

There are many words which contain letters arranged alphabetical order such as almost, begin and biopsy, but even more interesting are those composed of vowels in the exact order in which we first learned them, a, e, i, o, u and yes, sometimes y.

One such word is ArsEnIOUs (arsenious), which means something derived from or containing arsenic. Another is sUbcOntInEntAl, while at first glance subcontinental doesn’t appear to fit the alphabetical mold, it does, it just does so backward. Another backward vowel order word is dUOlItErAl (duoliteral).

In yet another example, fAcEtIOUslY (facetiously) the often misunderstood Y has been included. So far the longest word known to have all five vowels is order (for those of you who can overlook the Y as a vowel) is phragelliorhynchus with eighteen letters, while not found in the dictionary, it is widely recognized in the scientific realm as a protozoan. The shortest I’ve seen thus far is the word areious with just seven letters. The longest word I have found with the vowels in reverse order is another scientific term, this time for a crustacean, punctoschmidtella with seventeen letters.

Science has provided us with more than a few of these fun and nearly impossible to pronounce words with well placed vowels. Lamelligomphus, a type of dragonfly, annelidous is something to do with segmented worms; I didn’t study further into this particular definition. Adecticous means with immobile mandibles. Juloidea (reverse order) is a family of millipedes, super millipedes to be more precise. Another in reverse order is a rodent by the name of muroidea.

There are more than a few words which have become nearly obsolete in our everyday vernacular but fit well into the category of alphabetical vowel usage. Affectious and affectiously are little used variants of affectionate. Cameelious is word created in jest by Kipling to describe the lazy camel’s hump in his Just So Stories. Placentious, meaning pleasing, or disposed to please; complaisant or agreeable. Gravedinous lends itself to define drowsy or heavy-headed.

Better known words with this fun element include, in alphabetical order of course, abstemious(ly) abstentious(ly), acheilous, acheirous, adventitious(ly), annelidious, aerious, arteriousum, avenious, bacterious, cavernicolous, casious, hareiously, materious, parecious(ly), placentious, tragedious, uncomplimentary. This is just a sampling of the many words in this world which have the distinction of having all their vowels in order.

Perhaps these are not facts you will use in your everyday life, but they are fun little tidbits to know if you happen to be enamored with words. The dictionary can be a wonderful playground. I have great respect for words, their form and their function, I find great beauty in them.

*I perused the Internet while writing this, looking for words to add to my list and was dismayed to find many seemingly made up words or words slightly misspelled to fit the mold. There were hundreds of words to be found, but only dozens with definite definitions, so of course, only those definitively defined were used above. Definitely.

Crystal R.Cook