Scheduled for yet another test. I guess this is the best way to find the divergence. Common sense says that this is getting out of hand. Common hints portrays this is in the plan. One more test just for assurance. Perhaps the test givers are seeking to see if they have OCD. Perhaps this has nothing to do with me. Perhaps this is just to test the test itself. Needless to say that I conveniently agreed to such rigorous rhetoric out of sheer curiosity. Personally I have already taken the aspire to be an aspie tests nearly ten times. Fortunately the sight saved me time by averaging the scores in each time. How very clever. I endeavor to take it again when the mood swings in that direction. So I am not complaining about yet another screening about this ever looming label that haunts me. This I will say in defense of the play of testing, I am more than a little frustrated with the style of questions. “You do not like to eat in crowded restaurants alone” type of double negative traps. Wait, no I do not, so I agree…wait I disagree…No, I don’t but what do I agree to!?! In lieu of this recent debacle I propose this:
Dear Test Creators,
Just ask me what you want to know! Thanks!
Honestly the asking double negative questions acts like a sedative on my mind. Spending more time on the question than the answer. Seems silly to have a college degree but get confused on what a simple test is asking me. Also, why such specific questions? Seriously! Sure, I love to watch slow running water. But what if I didn’t!? I also like to watch this candle flame shape shift in the wind. Why is that not on there? What if I did not like slow water but fast!? Am I not an aspie because of this ultra special, very specific question? You only have 50 or so questions to determine my label, so please make the questions more general. Yes, I did love train sets as a kid but that is beside the point. I also loved race tracks! What if my dad didn’t work for a rail company? What if I didn’t live on a street where I cloud run outside after every rain storm to watch the water run down the street!? Then I guess I would not be nuero-diverse. I would be a very untypical type of character that buys rib cord blankets just for the feel. Hey! Put that on the next test! Why not? Then I would not have been missed. I would not have been misdiagnosed. I would have been found so much sooner and realized that this abnormality is actually normal.
Ok, sure, I will try to create a test myself. No need to complain without offering to obtain some sort of solution. Sure, I will create a prototype of…let’s say…10 questions. Then you experts can intuitively go from there. Of course this is not to be expected anytime soon. This missive has consumed an incalculable amount of energy already. In conclusion, make a new test. Ask only what is necessary for general consensus. Keep the questions simple and positive, no need to try and trick the tester. If you need to spot a fake, then take time to get to know them. It’s better to counsel 1 malingerer due to a simple test than miss 1 Nuevo-diverse because of tricky, extraordinarily specific, ultra long, not negative, test questions!
Change is a must when not to change is the enemy of better days. Yesterday stares at the future wondering what could be. What should be. Trust that the process out of this mess is, as far as I can guess, truly necessary. It’s scary how many are growing stagnant. Older but not wiser but any means. The seasons seem to predict that constant effects are needed to promote new causes. Just because I feel safe in misery does not mean the risk outweighs the means. The committee speaks in community forums about scores of individuals on disability doing nothing. Nothing! Truly the process to help process this mess is better than this. Seriously! No, I am just being facetious but with a word full of tongue in cheek. Let’s speak as those who are in the know. We know that yesterday is not gone. We know tomorrow is already here. We know that if anyone is reluctant to change that it is all the same. I can predict the future. It looks just like yesterday without any change.
Off to a mountain type rocky start to the finish of a play. Playing with vibrations that transport swifter than an all terrain vehicle. Getting back to normal is a fallacy for the insecurities of fall leaves that ride the winds. They never see the tree again from the same view, only a few may stay awake long enough to notice anyways. Why are such unmoving, but living to give by the sea type trees so bountiful? They seem to play every time a breeze visits. So stable. So able to just be. Alive and unmotivated to move beyond what the roots authorize. No surprise that they last past the blast of the winds. This tree that my little i does see has been around to see more than me. Perchance, just a glance and he has seen those who made me and escorted me into the scene to breathe. Same chance that once only this type survives, a time when this very tree will see those who read from me. Those from eternity that earth is yet to see. The deer pants and does a dance for the fall of minds. Hunted like a prey. Sought after like for play. Life and death in the tip of the arrow. Buckets of bullets pierced the winds, vibrating the leaves as the tree shook with pain, while the watcher took aim. Cheers! Another death. Someone earned a trophy for the wall case. More leaves fell. The water grew silent in view of the violent vibration of blood on the ground seeping towards the roots of the trees. Tonight we eat. Tonight we sleep. We sleep with the leaves that fell last fall. We eat with the deer that fell last night. We dream of the trees that witnessed the blood. Let me be like a tree. Let me be like a deer. Let my mind rest from the vibrant run of the vehicle that crosses all terrains.
Met with psychologist recently and everything went decently as far as I can find. Went over treatment plan to ban together on how to deal with the masking tape issues that my facial features seem to stick with. To deal with leaving the agora without any phobia of returning home drained from the strain of acting very typical. To uncover the buried headline from recent times, my friend is doing fine. At least so far. Quite the leap from treatment plans to suicide prevention but this is how the world spins. This is how the nation winds around from experiencing exhausting shopping days to counseling former friends on the dangers of depression while alone and unstable. Now he is able to go to work again. Now he attempts to be normal most likely with the same hope that historic dark days were just a passing fad. He is glad to be alive for now. So am I. Follow up is so underrated. He and I even debated on the entire system of mental health that was created to assist the imbalance. Much more to explore but the discussion of personal performance perfection is tough to ignore. It is not a perfect system by any means. Yet, why allow such imperfections be the reason for rejection. I have received wrong orders from fast food establishments and still go out to eat. I have received bad advice from friends and still call those few almost weekly. I am on my 6th or 7th psychiatrist but I still keep going. They are who they are. If imperfections were the reason for rejection why do anything? Yet, the depressed mind has reasons that are very personal. Reasons from the place of pain and not quite fully functional. At least for my friend. Today however, he is better. Today he is at work. Today I sit at home and write. This is my job. This is my imperfection written with light and letters. My assignment is to work on masking. My treatment plan is to uncover. This is the first layer. I almost went to get something to eat today. Once my family came home I decided to just stay in my room and avoid them. The hour is later than I realize. I will eat snacks tonight and try again tomorrow when everyone is at work. Small talk is so trying. So useless. So dangerous. I will wait for the moment. I may stay in this corner all night as all day. With a mask that burns to peel away. I feel hungry. Where did this day go?
Recently received a call from a friend who has Aspergers with a strong dose of Bipolar 2. This night I sat on the other side of the desk. He was drunk and seeking methods of suicide to hide from the pride of failure. An ex felon with a job that he hates. Working hard to no end but a paycheck that doesn’t pay respect. He felt lost and abandoned and was definitely 14 cans of beer drunk when the call was made. He said that the suicide hotline often calls the police when chatting and as an ex con, that brought back traumatic memories. When calling for help causes more problems. So he decided to call me instead. Have not spoke with him in months so it was hearing from a ghost for me. No time to catch up on anything casual as life and death was upon the phone lines. To die or not to die. Not quite the poetic version but this was not a fictional story from history but a reality facing me. I am not used to sitting on this side of the desk. No training on suicide prevention. No idea what to say. So I just listened. I listened to the problems pouring out like a cold drink on a summer day. I listened to hopeless words stammering forth like sentences from a broken type writer. I realized he was sitting in a room that I had visited myself more than once. After quite a spell, he retained enough common sense to confess that Bipolar Depression is winning over his will power. That going to the local bar for counsel was not quite working to overcome such negative thoughts and feelings. I am in a mixed state as I contemplate his fate. So happy to hear he was alive. So sad to hear he is thinking about death. The previous prison record prevented him from purchasing a gun. So he went to research in the light of the dark web. It did offer a plethora of hidden advice on suicide methodologies. He shared his thoughts. I listened. Tomorrow he officially loses the job that he hates. Tomorrow he wakes up to not having a friend that he had known for years. The obituary spoke so clearly.
“If it wasn’t for my mom”
“I just don’t want to put her through this”
The thoughts that kept him around when all else was failing. Chemicals in the mind like chemtrails decline from the sky. I kept listening. Bipolar depression lesson continued for almost an hour. He almost talked himself sane and sober. Not to suicide. Sure, horrendous English but the best news. I was finally able to offer some free advice. Get help! I know that the last psychiatrist really let him down. He called and texted but she was too busy to return any message. He gave up. I hope now that he knows what so many have to learn. Bipolar depression is real. It is a big deal. Most can’t cope on their own and without help, there can be a loss of hope. He did call. He did reach out. I passed the baton onto the professionals. Hopefully, after losing the job, he finds his way to the office to find his life. Today I officially started my new job. Suicide prevention hotline. I officially quit. My number is not listed. I filled out no application. My only experience is…experience. I felt the voice of depression. Suicide has called me before on unlisted numbers. I almost answered the call. I didn’t. So far, he hasn’t. I hope that he calls me back. If he does, I will work again. He is my friend. I don’t want to lose anyone else to depression. To die or not, should no longer be the question.
The new science of Neuroscience detected from the university a pleasant plethora of diversity in my genetic code. Just some. “When is some better than full?” they asked with a keen grin of a friend. “When it follows Awe!” It took so much restraint not to be exceedingly angry that I was dizzy and felt faint. I presume from experience that most would have cordially gave an audible smile for such clever clerics from the worlds most elite minds. I was definitely devastated that such men in white armor would assume my sense of humor to be only slightly better than a preschooler. All I could reason is how “full” is not even the proper spelling of the horrendous attempt at wit. Be that as it may, I still found time to play around on the playground of my own awe inspiring thoughts. Today I am a neurodiverse man of a thousand thought experiments between a rocky psychiatrist and a hardened by life psychologist. They are wonderful. Wouldn’t trade either for the other. Great to have a team of trained sane neurotypical agents of change on the dream team. So much to say that always gets forgotten at the time of thought exchange. Time to rearrange the thinking to keep from sinking into comorbid mixed emotions and I keep forgetting something. What is it? How will I know if I remember it? OCD is a memento to the memory of mental metal rituals that flooded the syndrome of synapses. Only to find out that not one single computer like compulsion would ever emerge. Just a simple splurge for a blanket that I had to get every generation. From couch cover as a kid to college bed spread, it was the new version of the same feel. Still almost 40 years later, I still twist the ends of similar but newer versions of the same security quilt that I have felt for decades. No! Not a compulsion, but a relaxation of fixed energy programmed to enter into new dimensions of time and space through my blanket. I mean I like how it feels. It is a real calming effect, like coffee that I can’t drink. It’s a real calming cause, like hot steam that I hate feeling. It’s a real calming trap, like a run in the park after dark with shadows dancing near the perimeter outside of my peripheral. It just feels good to me. No reason. No comparison completely. It’s my blanky and I am almost 50, nuerodiversity maybe, Shhh!
Thinking in terms of trains. Not quite the obsession just hear the lesson in each neighborhood since childhood. Sets on the floor. Days to set up and more minutes to explore. The thought to add a few more cars to the track. Research the connection to each tunnel through which each wheel passes for a brief moment beyond the realization of the observer. Power source seems so innocent. Quick decision to spend more money on more parts to start a new ride. Inside the tunnel each connecting car runs without the need for an engine. The energy of itself carries it with the proverbial caboose. The train keeps running. It just keeps running. The cars no longer strictly connected. They run alone without power, with a power all of their own. The whole set is unplugged and full of tunnels. Still they run. No longer fun. The job of the track to keep all intact has failed miserably. Now they run scattered across basement floors to search and discover for more stops. Crowds make connections but I assume they will all be late. I am sure that I will be as well. I can’t tell where the enigmatic engine is. The tracks are just a puzzle to muzzle the vibration. The energy within is stimming like a steam engine as I approach red. Just lay on the tracks, on the back, on the basement floor. There’s the door but first must muster the many cars to realign into a track design. Must connect the train of thought to the real reason it was bought for such a price. Too tired to engineer anything meaningful. The train runs away again. Hopefully it hits the breaks before it breaks apart of me. Too tired to chase. The steam has morphed into dew. Whew! Now there is time but no steam to do anything but stare at the wet basement floor that I thought about cleaning up all day.
Undiagnosed for years due to linguistic semantics that professionals still debate about. We wait around in waiting rooms for eyes to watch for ours. Play this game. Seems insane. Seriously? The symptoms I wrestle with are not found in simple table games and eye contact. I have contacted the pain of strain trying to maintain a straight face. Like fried ice cream, masks cover the mental melt down. The frown is not me, as much as the smile is contrived to fit the scene. Just ask me, just ask how I feel when I leave. Why depression leads the way home from social scenes. Really it’s another semantic due the pedantic gathering of experts with expectations that we are all different. Yet, judged by everyone who is not the same. Drained! Drained from the rain of sounds and lights. Drained from driving down a new street with out stop signs. They Beep! The horn honks a new meaning that green lights means Hurry Up and wait again. Red means rest from the rare radiance of roaring traffic. Yellow! Hmmm. So yellow. They told me, “you speak so well”. I thought of this at the yellow. I waited for the yellow again. It’s not a sin. Unless you ask the men behind me who are in a perpetual hurry to get to the next light. I was also in a hurry, a flurry to get home to sit in the freezer and reframe my face. Turn on the melting pot for stew. Everything is different there. Everyone stops to stare at my MPAs. Too much to hide. Energy seems to be a distant diet that I can no longer afford to consume. A diet that is beyond the capacity of the expert chefs. Much like the criteria for social emotional reciprocal relational fictional responses that I gave. It worked. I am OK. The only question now is why is the ice cream melted in the pot of stew?
Energy to mask is missing. Must maintain some sense of normalcy. Wish to be abnormally normal. Read my mind, not being unkind, just drained. Straining to keep a straight face. Wish this waiting room was as empty as those cracks in the floor. Wish I could look up to see the time. To see the clock staring at my insecurities. The hands rotate to imitate my unconscious stims. So difficult to determine what’s going to happen next. Why is he still talking to me? Such small talk, such big bulky words for no reason. This season is unmasking for no reason at all. Plan an escape. Make way to the hallway for a bathroom break. Yeah, if he keeps being normal, I will flee to safer shores in stalls and writing on nasty walls. Where smells swell from deep dwelling places. Perhaps I will stay here. That sounds worse than a curse from an old lady with green teeth. Why so hard to be normal today. Why is this mask so heavy. This smile so fake that it breaks my heart to lie like this. This deceptive grin is against my religion. 15 minutes of waiting is carrying the weight of 15,000 thoughts made of shame. My mask has a leak. I am sure of it as the clock continues to peak and peer right into my abnormal. Those hands just don’t move fast enough. Am I next? Count the feet. Yes, only four left. I must be. Voices of calm are fading into the walls. I am going to make it this time. I am next! Whew!
One appointment and done. Small drive and still alive. So why am I Drained like the first breath after the last step of a marathon? Why is this mask so full of holes, getting so heavy? Just wear the T-shirt as a flirt with social norms. Alone is not all bad. This clock in my own house stares at me. It has seen me before. It knows what time it is. The alarm of taking off the mask is beyond snooze control. Today, I am too tired to be anything but maskless me. Maskless for recovery. I have another appointment next week. I hope I recover in time to make another mask. I hope I discover in time to fake another task. Until then, I am going to stare back at this clock until I know what I really look like.
Had my psychology appointment last week. Just when I thought it was safe to get back into the writing…a wrench was tossed. A new study was launched. New doors were opened. New answers to old problems and just maybe a few more initials to add to the seemingly ever growing list of issues. Most recent Autism Spectrum Disorder.
I was always on a pursuit to see if all the underlying issues were somehow magically connected. No sooner did I give that up and blog about acceptance of the Bipolar did this arise. Was she just waiting in disguise for my surprise acceptance to issue the next challenge? Perhaps! So I was tasked to research, as she knows I will anyway, to make the connect. Here are some recent but astonishing findings.
I have historically been diagnosed with Marfans Syndrome, which is a connective tissue disease. I also deal constantly with IBS and acid reflux. I also have severe anxiety issues that present all across the anxiety spectrum from somatic issues to panic attacks and everything in between. Still not enough, add Bipolar 1 and PTSD from a host of abnormal life twists and events. So what is the connection? Maybe Autism.
I know, right? But…how could this have been missed? Isn’t autistic behavior seen at a young age? In fact, I am quite certain that you have to be diagnosed before age 2 or 3 for most, not 50!
Come to find out, with still so much research to do, that “syndromic” Autism can be found much later in life. With 50% of the cases being what I will call “classic” Autism, that is to say, Autism as I read it in the DSM 5, there is another 10% with genetic factors. These genetic factors or the syndromic Autism is my new field of study. Obviously not much out there, and seemingly even less consensus. Much like the C-PTSD, which is not in the DSM but still readily spoken about by professionals on blogs and posts.
Now what? If it is true, I have a long awaited answer that connects ALL of the small mysterious dots. If not, I continue to explore and just be abnormal with one less label.
Interesting fact, at least to me, is that so much of my research kept ending up on Autism Spectrum sites. I study Anxiety and end up there. I study IBS and end up there. The kicker was searching for more info on Marfans syndrome and yet again end up there. Thanks to an article, that I need to find again, which showed the results of a study for Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and it’s connection with autistic symptomatology. Ehlers-Danlos is a connective tissue disorder similar but different than to Marfans syndrome. Similar in the connective tissue disease but different in presentation. All of that said, I have a few questions.
1) Is the genetic presentation of autistic symptoms still considered to be on the Autism spectrum or as a symptom pattern of the underlying genetic disease?
2) Is high functioning Autism a reality or just spoken of like C-PTSD?
3) What is the treatment plan for such a mixture of madness?
4) Is social awkwardness and language deficiency a must or merely part of a whole that may or may not be present?
5) Is it better to ask five questions when four was sufficient?