asperger’s syndrome

Page Three, website outline                                                                               

 

                             

                      “Asperger’s Syndrome is not a mental illness, and it’s
                       not a disease. It is a neurological condition that sets
                       us apart from most of the people on the planet in both
                       good and bad ways.”
                                                             ~~~  michael john carley
                                                                  asperger’s from the inside out     

I began hearing stories about Asperger’s on public radio in 2004. When I heard the first story, I felt it explained a great deal about both me and the way people had treated me in my life. With that first story, I was pretty sure I had it. There were many more stories about it on the radio over the next four years, and I only became more convinced that I was an Asperger’s person.

In the last two years I’ve done a fair amount of reading on the subject, and I remain convinced. I did have a diagnosis, but that diagnosis was arrived at in a way that can only be called bizarre, and the result reported to me by a person who is not any kind of clinician  (this is covered in more detail on the blogs). In any case, I believed this person when he told me I have Asperger’s, because I didn’t have much doubt of it anyway. But I was 55 when I got this diagnosis, and am 57 now. Very late in life to find out you have a disorder that has affected, very negatively, your whole life.

Asperger’s is a condition on what is called the Autism Spectrum, and is the mildest form of autism. Like all forms of autism, it can vary greatly from person to person, both in severity and in its symptoms.

In other posts on my journals I’ve quoted from Donna Williams’ book, Nobody Nowhere, and it’s appropriate to do so again. So much of what she describes in that book describes some of my own behaviors and attitudes, fits so perfectly with who I am and how I react. So, to that end:

    ” … simple things left such a long-term impact .” ~~ “… a world I found foreign and unreachable.” ~~  “Although I was intelligent, I seemed to lack sense.”  And quoting something said to her by one of her friends: ” ‘ One day you were talking to me; the next day it was as though we’d never been friends.’ ” These are reactions and behaviors I still have. In fact, when my post-traumatic stress disorder began to get much worse in my forties, so did my Asperger’s symptoms, which had previously been rather mild compared to a lot a of people with the syndrome.

Smiling

This has been a tremendous problem my entire life, and I’ve been castigated for it for 57 years now, by a great huge number of neurotypical control-freaks (sometimes I wonder if all  neurotypicals are control-freaks). I wrote a post about it once on an Asperger’s website (wrongplanet) and hoped that I would get some feedback from the other bloggers concerning their own difficulties with smiling, if they had them. But as I got no feedback, I have nothing to report about other Aspies and smiling. In my reading, however, I’ve come across more than once the fact that being not much prone to smiling is almost a defining characteristic of Asperger’s.

Not only am I not much prone to smiling myself, but I have very negative reactions to other people’s smiling. I very seldom see a smile, whether it’s given to me or to someone else, that appears sincere. Most of the smiling I see going on around me looks (to my eyes) either 1. idiotic  or 2. insane. I cannot take it seriously, cannot take it as genuine. And a little smiling news item that just happened: yesterday afternoon the insane landlady who illegally evicted me drove by me with one of her unusually psychotic, ugly rictus grins on her face. I would think (what about you?) that if she were a person with even an iota of conscience, that she would have enough of it to drive by me, a person she willfully and knowingly destroyed, with, if not a somber face, or a remorseful one, at least a straight face. You really should have seen this madwoman, victorious, sick antic she twisted her mouth into.

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read…   Mishibone…   Neverending solitaire

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2010-2012 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

the department of mental health

Page Two, website outline

In Massachusetts, the Department of Mental Health is a state-wide, state-run, state-botched, lumbering and uncaring bureaucracy. I wish I had known that in January of 2007.

It was to this (I now know) indolent and incompetent juggernaut that I appealed when I was being illegally evicted from my apartment.                                                                                                        

They had an entire year to find me a home where I could afford the rent and keep at least some of my 14 animals. They did almost nothing to that end. They did, however, do other things behind my back, some of which have taken a long time to find out. Some I will never find out. They, and their contract agency, Community Support Services, lied to me, told lies about me, and presided over the destruction of my life and a tremendous worsening of my depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. At 55, with these issues as well as physical health issues, they let me lose all of my animals, who were literally my reason for living, and be put onto the streets homeless. I remain without an apartment of my own nearly two years later. I do not maintain that this wretched failure of service was committed to stick it to me, to pay me back for reporting the DMH to Governor Patrick’s office and to their overseeing body, Health and Human Services. There may have been an element of revenge in it, but I still believe that the greatest reason for the downright unconscionable “service” I got from the DMH and CSS was laziness. These state employees are shockingly lazy, and to find a place with a low rent where some of my animals would be allowed was something they just didn’t want to bestir themselves to do because it would have taken some real effort. Their idea of helping someone find an apartment is to give you a phone number for a housing project. Projects do not allow more than one animal, so that was a solution that was not going to be right for me. These DMH cretins have lists of landlords in the community, and work with these landlords periodically. But to go through these lists making phone calls, explaining about the psychological meaning of my animals, and trying to find someone who would let me keep about half of them would have taken time and effort. The same time and effort they spent arranging for places for my animals to be hidden and later killed.

The conduct of the Department of Mental Health both shocked and appalled me, as I naively believed that because their purpose is to help, that they would help. I further naively expected that I wouldn’t be lied to by these people who were supposed to help me, nor that they would do things behind my back that they had no authorization from me to do.

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It’s now April 2010, and I’ve written in other places that on April 1 I moved into what can loosely be called a rental unit, but never an apartment. About the size of a ponystall, it is tantamount to living in a small cell that has a huge window and a bathroom to glorify it a bit. After two years and two weeks of living in a technical state of homelessness, when I had no rental unit of my own, thanks to the DMH and CSS,what I get is a cell with a few embellishments. And I’m claustrophobic.

I cannot say enough bad about this inhumane way of housing poor people, which I only applied for because it was the fastest way to get what is called a movable section 8, a rent subsidy which is not tied to the project you live in, but which you can use in any apartment where the landlord will accept it. You are not condemned to project living for the rest of your life.

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read…  Spite and malice…     Mental hell

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2010-2012 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

 

a website, a scrapbook, an unamerikan story

 Page One, website outline

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turners falls, massachusetts

thursday 21 january 2010

why is my story unamerikan? the first answer is that  amerikans like to have stories about people who triumphed, despite having the deck stacked against them. the deck has been stacked against me since childhood in several very significant ways, and I have not triumphed. one of the things my story is is a story of failure, and amerikans don’t want that kind. everything must be horatio alger and bambi: the obligatory happy endings. nothing gets us amerikans down. we just keep truckin’ till that ole sun starts shinin’ again. to heck with all  that. didn’t I fall for that nonsense, and other nonsense like it, long enough? there are several other reasons as well that the true events of my life since 2006 are unamerikan , but I leave that to you. if you read enough pages, if you have a mind that can reason things out, then you’ll discover this other unamerikanism.

and the word story? there are stories that are fiction, and stories that are true. mine are true, with the exception of the single novel I’m putting on this website. you might choose to decide that some events I relate are not true, and that’s no doubt rooted in your own psychological longings for denial. but the set of your particular mind does not make a liar or a fantasist out of me. I’ve never in my life made up stories, except in the days when I was writing fiction. and I don’t imagine things. at times I misinterpret things, as everyone does, but I’ve never imagined events or people or space aliens or whatever. and if you find I misinterpret the words and actions of others more frequently than most people do, then the reason may lie in my autism, in asperger’s syndrome, and my great difficulty in grasping the indirect, tricky ways of other people’s minds.

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donna williams, an autistic woman who has written several books on living with autism, has these words about her view of the world as a child:

               the world seemed to be impatient, annoying, callous and unrelenting.

that’s how I also felt about the world as a child, and that is how I still feel.iIn fact, these feelings are stronger with every passing year. this quote is from her first book, Nobody Nowhere, and nobody nowhere is, vis á vis other people, what I’ve pretty much always been. I was someone to animals: someone lovable, someone of value (even if I am odd), someone they were always happy to see come into a room. it hasn’t been that way with human beings at all.

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and now March 2011, slightly more than a year since I started knitting all of my blogs together into a website. now things have changed yet again. I’ve changed my mind again about how I want to organize all this material. what can I tell you…. my life was destroyed, and that has changed me drastically, and for good. I’ve remained an internet writer much longer than I ever thought I would. I’ve remained this odd beast, an internet writer, whether I really want to be one or not. and I don’t, really. but I have no life — it was stolen. I have no animal family — they were hidden and killed. writing and organizing and doing images is a small anesthetic to the pain I live in daily. below is the most recent re-structuring.

the blogs that form the website:

 

                                       braonthree.wordpress.com  (you are here)
                                       braon
                                       braonwandering
                                       judah
                                       mishi  (asperger’s syndrome)
                                       sehnen
                                       mentalhell   (on blogspot)
                                       sehnen  (0n soulcast)
                                       small tales from rowley
 
two blogs of poetry only:
 
                                        shadowpoems
                                        scealta liatha   (fear not, poems are in english)
 
 
the books; ten little indians which may be turning into eleven:
 
 
                                        mugsy’s book  (a certain dog)
                                        lifelines       (autobio)
                                        don’t ask    (satire)
                                        spite and malice 
                                        all my stars   (animals)
                                        stolen stars   (stolen animals)
                                        neverending solitaire   (asperger’s)
                                        poison and snowflake trees  (turners falls)
                                        being toward death
                                        kaikenlainen    (a brother has died)
                                        lucked out     (a father dead a long time)
 
the eighteen-year-old novel:    the pygmies keep dancing
                               other novels:     dunvegan spell
                                                             she says
 
 
 
  
 
click here to new posts.
 

I belong to, and write in, a number of groups at experienceproject.com, under the name sehnen. follow on twitter: @ziidjian or @annegrace2.

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It’s going to take me approximately thirty-five years to write all the new pages that need doing for these books, and to move all of the existing pages from where they are now to their own new space. these projects are in part a way of living in the daily grief and loneliness and rage. and they are also, and this is the most important thing, a tribute to all the animals of my life, most especially the fourteen who were stolen, hidden, lied about, and killed.

I write bluntly and truthfully; sardonically and bitterly. the events since 2006 and the people who caused them are despicable to me. emotions are raw. I do not forgive these people, nor do I have any desires in that direction. if you seek positivity and airy new-age platitudes and happy endings — in other words, if you’re looking for the amerikan story —  then my website and my books are probably not where you should be. but if you love animals deeply; and if you believe that cruelty is not a fairy tale, but a true feature of some people’s personalities; and if you have any compassion for people whose lives have been laid waste by whatever forces, then maybe you can be a reader here. I appreciate sane, respectful comments. anyone is free to disagree with me on anything at all, in a civil and respectful way.

internet people seem to be hurry people. and information-hungry. and news-mad. none of that happens here, or will. this is slow here, this is about one person and many animals, none of whom are famous or important in the big, fast world. this is true life, true animals, true people, poems, pictures, satire, books. this is emotional. I haven’t yet found anything else like it on the internet, and I wish I could, because I would read it every day.

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The Scrapbook  Art I  ~~  Art II  ~~  Art III

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2010-2013 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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