Hello, reader. How are you doing? Yesterday was horrific. Can I tell you about it? It’s time for a thank you post.
I had a 9am dentist appointment that cost $1700. It was supposed to be two hours. It was more than three hours, and I can’t do that. It was wrong for me both socially and sensory-wise. I was beyond overmuched, so I needed to come home and rest a very deep rest.
But home was not restful. There was too much noise and smell. A lot of baking was going on, and our room is right above the kitchen. Usually I love this spot. But something yuck was burning on the bottom of the oven, and nasty smells were filling our room. I could not endure it.
I tried going outside, but the construction on the house across the street was overwhelming, even with headphones. What to do?
Can you imagine me, needing rest more than anything, unable to find it, fleeing multiple environments, trying to find something safe so my saturated nervous system could stop vibrating me wrong? I was getting more and more escalated.
There was the part where I was very hungry, coming home from the appointment. My dear housemate was preparing cupcakes in the north kitchen, and I was crying as I dished myself leftover beet potato soup to heat in the microwave. Soup weeping is not normal kitchen behavior in this house.
My housemate was kind to me, getting out of the way so I could access the microwave, and letting me be who I am. But I was sorry to be very sad and spoonless in front of innocent bystanders.
My conclusion about all that is simple: autism is a real problem. Or let me rephrase that. Living in a culture that gives zero fucks about disabled people is a real problem.
Most days I manage so well. But out in the world, my needs are not met. Culture at large doesn’t give a fuck about me. Being bumped repetitively, hurt in my mouth physically, having my bottom lip stretched to the point I thought it would break open during the procedure, smelling my own tooth burning as it was drilled upon… All that and more, while hearing workers talk and music playing for three hours. That was hell, even with headphones and extra anxiety medication. I was ok at first–it got more and more hell.
Like always out in the world, I stay as quiet and easy as I can. That means I build up all this distress and take it home with me, rather than inconvenience the people out in the world who are trying to help me. It’s a survival strategy. Trying to endure the impossible, we make poor choices at times. When there is no good choice, poor choices are inevitable.
Sleep differences can be part of autism for multiple reasons. I tell people I like to write in the early morning because it’s so quiet. They usually understand and say, “Ah, yes. Quiet can be so nice.”
But it’s more than nice–it’s my survival. I need low sensory times. The world is way too sensory stimulating for me. Noseplugs are not really a thing. Headphones can only do so much to block out noise. And my specific trauma means that not being able to hear what’s around me is scary. So I trade one harm for another.
Ear plugs hurt my ears. So it’s all trading one pain / harm for another. I’m going to suffer–how would I like to suffer? Making that choice while I’m already suffering and not thinking straight is horrible too.
thank you to Ming
This is where the thank you post part comes in. Ming is the one who dealt with my crankiness the day before, and my upset the day of. He tried to help me, and kept trying to help me even when I got unpleasant. Here are some thank yous for Ming.
Thank you to my dear spouse Ming for steadfast love. Thank you for hugs and holding my hand. I appreciate you driving me around like the inconsolable baby I was. Thank you for parking so I could look at the river. Thank you for walking around with me for a few minutes. I appreciate you listening to me complain. I enjoyed when you touched my back.
Thank you for getting me food. Thank you for reassuring me. You are goodness itself. You are the best. I hope I can be so kind to you sometime.
Thank you to the refulgent, resplendent universe for allowing me to arrive here on earth and do what I’m here to do. Thank you for nurturing me into the animal I’ve become. I love having the chance to do language, relationship, pleasure, and touch in a human body. Thank you for all the water, sunlight, sleep, plants, delicious foods, and learning so many things.
Please help me stay grateful to you. Thank you for a new day this morning. Thank you for my own body and my own breath. Please help me use my strengths for the good of the world and stay kind to Ming and others.
Thank you to the house for containing me and this community of people I love. Thank you for the plumbing, the heat, the roof that works, the fridges, the ovens and stoves, the sinks, the soap, the shower where I get clean, the bed where I rest. For the windows that allow light in, while keeping outside out. Thank you for the floors that accept my steps, the doors that close, and the chairs that accept my weighty ass. You are a good house filled with love and so much history of bright, trying our best people. I appreciate you and honor you.
Thank you to the housemates who package leftovers for me to graze on, and who care about my food needs. Thank you to the housemates who might give a kindness, hug me, have patience with me, hear my words, and read my sentences of words. I have so many words, and mostly they are welcome here, as I am welcome here, and my dear spouse too.
Thank you to the housemates who have done ritual with me, played mandolin with me, visited the museum for learning, and dreamed big dreams. Who have introduced me to linux, made art with me, and touched my hurt places. We do so well, moving on the path of life. Thank you for your good hearts and generosity which you cultivate so caringly. I enjoy you.
my own body
Thank you to my beautiful queer, fat body, for how well you survived yesterday. You are amazing to keep going, especially considering what you’ve been through. I love your resiliency.
Thank you for the great work you do at the molecular, cellular, tissue, system, inter-system, and whole self level. Thank you for the sleep we got, and I’m so glad we didn’t have a panic attack at night. It would have been ok, if we needed to have the energy discharge of a panic attack. But I’m glad we didn’t need that.
Thank you for dancing, singing, touching Ming, yourself, and other beings, eating foods, drinking drinks, and being abundantly who you are. Thank you for the art you make, and the truth you express.
You are a lovely body, and I’m so fortunate to be you. I like how you move and what you value. You are welcome at the table of life. Even if no one else welcomes you or makes a safe place for you, I will do that for you as I can, every day.
thank you post
Gratitude is a great way to situate myself. It’s instant good perspective.
It gets a bad rap as toxic positivity at times. But I disagree. The world wants to program us very critical. I enjoy choosing to program myself more warmly. It’s accurate too–I’m not making up these blessings. They are at least as real as news stories, pessimism, complaints, and cool detachment.
Thank you to you also, reader, for holding my hand through the computer so kindly. I love you.