Alan Rickman

These last few months I got a lot better with many things that for a long time were simply impossible for me. For the first time in my life I had a healthy BMI, meaning I had to buy new clothing because you know the old jeans didn’t fit anymore also for the first time in my life. Spooky. Even spookier I developed a sleep pattern that was a lot more normal.

 

Yesterday it all came crashing down again. I had forgotten the sensations like crying until one was nauseous, being so sleep deprived and disoriented you feel like you have a herd of chloride molecules lodged in you nose. I had forgotten how it feels when emotional tolls can cause you to be physically off balance. Some things were new since I now fel more of my emotions than I ever did. This is the first time in my life I did the stereotypical rocking back and forth to soothe me and the first time I cried myself to sleep. (The latter is an achievement in more ways than one I could have never fallen asleep that upset as close to a year in the past.)

Some things I remembered tho. How you should make sure to use soft tissue when blowing your nose to delay the inevitable soreness. The late night cravings to write for my life and sanity. The need to keep your plushies close because they will never desert you on their own free will. They will not be sick or preoccupied with their own issues and most importantly they will not die on you.

 

This time around tho I do not mind so much. I feel the pain in all its expressions can not be strong enough. Just yesterday morning I thought how I wasn’t connected closely enough to anyone to mourn their death badly. Depression warps your thinking in unreasonable ways sometimes. It’s not true and sadly in the afternoon my Depression got a firm and well earned talking down to.

 

You see sometimes life writes strange stories. The person who donated a sperm to my existence simply was never interested in the act of parenting anyone. I grew up an orphan and later I made the discovery that even if like any well trained neglect survivor  I could not accept kindness I can use my imaginary world to somehow make it work a bit in a weird way. Accept a shadow of the things normal people seem to need to get from day to day.

I stumbled across “Snow  Cake” in those days. A delightful movie about a foreigner stumbling about the canadian landscape and an autistic mother grieving her child. Lina Freeman, said adult autistic character made sense to me in a way no one ever made sense to me before. I got her, they way you get people of you own culture or gender.

But more important for me even was the way the lead treated all of Lindas little and not so little differences. Alex Hughes was incredibly accepting and rather supportive of even the weirdest of Lindas boundaries. He never asked her to justify the way she is until late in the movie. When he already had a designated and very small area in the kitchen, questionable sleeping arrangements, a dog and a curious diet (for both him and the dog) to deal with.

 

It took some years to sink in but that movie made me realise I was autistic and that was ok. It would have never been on my radar if it hadn’t been for Alan Rickman. That same time I also started noticing him. Growing up in such a hostile environment it was weirdly reassuring to notice Alex Hughes’ other incarnations had been flimmering across the screen all this time. My exmother even had a Mike Oldfield CD. I felt someone had been there in a way. I felt seen just a little bit. I couldn’t have dealt with more and less wouldn’t have helped me heal.

 

Over the years I watched and listened to everything Rickman I could get my hands on, somehow he had cast a powerful spell on me (the muggle variant) and the famed Aspie obsession kicked in. It has changed my life a great deal. Even before the Autism thing really came to fruition my obsession with him and his nice slow way of speaking meant I could hear the gaps between the words in this English language that isn’t my native. It gave me time to process and learn the prosody. Even when I didn’t understand much of the language (cough close my eyes cough) I could still enjoy his voice and his acting. I achieved fluency in English because of him.

Also coming from someone who is face blind it is akin to impossible a compliment to achieve to enjoy someones acting. To have some resemblance of information from facial expressions. He still managed. Just like he managed to enter into this fort I had built around my true self. The self I almost forgot existed. He made me take up acting. I couldn’t do it as a full time job but it was as serious as getting cast as an extra in an oscar nominated movie and doing a few stage plays.

 

But over the years his impact became much greater even than enabling me to learn a language proper or branch off into a new side career. His most important legacy in my life is how through little bits and glimpses I got to know a kind, warm hearted and generous person from afar. I slowly, painfully learnt how the place I came from was anything but and begun the grueling journey of learning to accept good things in my life while letting go of the bad. (Very much a work in progress still.) He gave me the strength and he was the guiding light I used to orient myself in this strange world I previously only had intentionally misleading guides to. Or to borrow the words from Alex Hughes and twist them to suit my situation: I didn’t loose just any favourite actor. He was the one who helped me make sense of all this shit.

 

I could never thank him enough for all the good he has brought into my life, all the strength I direly needed and all the wisdom and wit that kept me sane enough to last another day when I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. I meant to write him a letter after my life settles down a little more again next month attempting the impossible of framing my thanks for his generosity and sort of mentorship in words that would no doubt have been only a hollow echo of the things that truly went on. I did and do consider him the closest thing I ever had to a father figure and I meant to ask his permission to legally change my surname, hypenate his to mine in honour of the massive healing, saving, supporting influence he was in my life.

The world is a colder place now and I don’t quite know how to go on from here. I relied so much on a man who never knew me, who now will never know what he has done for me. He wasn’t just an artist to me, it was more than that. A part of me always felt creepy for elevating him so much, projecting so much onto him, objectising him that way and rob him of the say a person usually has in an important relationship with someone. I wanted to give him this power back. I will forever regret I didn’t.

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My abusers/neglectors perspective pt. I Mother

One of the overly frequently encountered “helpful advice” one get when being on the receiving end of systematic long term abuse and/or neglect is that we are supposed to see things from the POV of the person being so hurtful to us. I do think this is one of the most destructive pieces of advice you can give to a victim because it keeps them from becoming a survivor and keeps them in a state where they excuse their abuser/neglector.

Also by and large the people being hurt are trained to see things from the hurtful persons POV anyway to such an extent that they often do not even have an own perspective. It’s all about the person actively hurting others and never about the person being hurt. We call that victim blaming.

To put some words where my words are I’d like to present you with the perspective of my parents. Because you know it’s all about them and I’m not good enough if I don’t. this advice is filled with so much wisdom and why haven’t I thought of that myself yet?

“mothers” childhood as told by her

Mother had a hard childhood. Which she does not hesitate to remind everyone of frequently. She was the third child and third daughter to her parents who had severe relationship problems and somehow thought having another child would fix things. Mothers two older siblings are 8 and 10 years older respectively and Mother always was the little annoying tag alongs.

My grandfather was one of those sexist idiots who was obsessed with having a Y-chromosome carrying offspring. So my mothers gender is her first failure in life. There’s this story floating around in her family that her birth certificate states that she is male. Apparently everyone thinks this oh so funny. Her second fundamental flaw is that she did not keep my grandfather from cheating. Obviously this is the task of the youngest child.

Grandmother allegedly found him in flagranti when Mother was 7. Before then they lived together with my grandfathers parents. Divorce was heavily frowned upon by the state and the church. So logically grandmother was punished for standing up for herself and consequently instilled a sense of worthlessness of this idea in her daughters.

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Codependance and connection

A deep sadness has taken hold of me these last days. Rather unsurprising considering I recently broke up with my partner. Before I had a strong drive to do this blog, now I need to drag me here. I will still try and write down what I am thinking about and what I might feel.

One of the things I’m pondering recently is how much I am affected by codependance. I know I love to be needed and think I’m not worth peoples attention if I don’t have something to offer. Letting go of the person I wanted to be closest to me does make me feel rather worthless, cut off and my thoughts become a jumbled mess. I can’t even write about it without feeling I’m lying. I just wrote so much about how stuff makes me feel and yet… I don’t know how to word it. I wish I did. Feelings are such fickle things.

Being alone again has triggered many bouts of my strange attacks where I can’t move or am in psychological agony. Borders between this and meltdowns are blurred. I just want to run to them and get a hug which I know will never come. The fight for acceptance, existence which I will never win. Not the way I go about it. Everything I do and don’t do seems so wrong.

I still dutifully take my medication and drink my liquid food and try to manage my life, heal ,grow, whatever but I have no idea where I’m going with this and my doubts are as big as ever. How do you heal when you have no idea how hole looks like? What if by trying to heal I’m just merrily cutting off parts off me, bombard me, poison me further… I just wish I know where to go. But whatever I do, no one knows, no one understands, no one can help me. They want to, I can see that. And I’m so cut off from it all.

I have such a hard time letting things go. I never know how, other people seem to have a magic skill in this area and yet no one can teach me. Like I am he only fish on land and no one gets why I am not breathing through my lungs. Have you tried just inhaling?

I just wish I’d have someone to run to, someone to confide in, I wish I wasn’t so cut off from myself, I wish I knew how to confide, how to not have 20 completely different feelings at once which can’t possibly coexist. But I only know how to crumble under the weight of my own pain.

Facing fears or how to turn autodestruction into construction

Facing fears or how to turn autodestruction into construction

Rumors of my demise have been a wild exaggeration of the truth! I’m back everyone 🙂 Life has been really … intense these last weeks and I want to tell you all about how I heeded my own advice.

I have been starting to see a new therapist recently. The last time I was in a psychiatric institution for an prolonged stretch of time ended with me being lied and manipulated, heavily medicated with the apparent goal of making as much money off me as they could with absolutely no regard for whether or not I would even survive the treatment. You might be surprised to learn I’m not fond of therapists. But I think seeing one would offer a great benefit for me, provided that they actually do help me instead of trying to switch me off because they have no idea what the senator they should do with me.

So I wrote to various therapists and two institutions. There is only one therapist in town that specialised in trauma and they have a waiting list 18 months long. Very motivating. One institution had the following exchange with me:

Me: Hi people, I am very sick and cant do certain things, I also have had bad experiences with people like you, thus I have borders I do not wish to see crossed if I ever am to develop trust in someone of your profession again.

Them: We do not care what you can and can’t do, if we are to heal you from your sickness you are to  do this our way because this is how things are done. Check if that is possible for you.

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In memory of my baby

In memory of my baby

A few weeks ago a member of  my patchwork family died. I’m in the process of moving across the country to be closer to said family and I have a hard time both waving him goodbye and not being with the ones who remain. So I thought I might just share how we met.

I first made the acquaintance of my boyfriend through the internet. We agreed to meet in the middle of our country and since he and his baby are inseparable his furry companion tagged along. (He was very good at pretending to be luggage when it came to packing the car.) We met at a train station. So there was my blind date I travelled 3 hours to meet. A very tall and bulky man with an equally tall and bulky dog at his side and another voluminous bouquet of flowers. I was most intimidated by the flowers.

So me and boyfriend gave each other a very long hug in the middle of all this busy town where everyone seemed to wear polished leather shoes. And our baby stood there. After a while he decided this won’t do. He was a Mastiff after all. Mastiffs are very very loyal to their owners. To the point of leaving them alone while working not being an option and them wanting to sleep next to you in bed. They take guarding very seriously after all. That’s what they are literally made for. And there was this stranger giving his daddy a hug. So he did what we all expect these dangerous beasts to do…
he stood on his hind legs and joined the hug! So much for scepticism. He never told me what made him choose me as his mum before i even properly set eyes on him (which mind you is not how I normally go about interacting with humans and dogs). But he did. He was very kind to me during our two weeks in this city unknown to all of us. Always tried to obey the command that made the most sense rather than the gibberish I said since I didn’t know dog lingo that well back then. Every morning he licked my feet.

Not impressed- daddy just left without us!

Not impressed daddy just left without us!

One time we were fetching takeaway food from a shopping mall very late at night. Since dogs weren’t allowed in (which is ridiculous!) I was waiting outside with him while boyfriend went in. Apparently as I stood there and kept my eyes trained on my boyfriends proceedings a creepy man approached me from behind. Also apparently he was from some dubious “security” company. Again apparently he came so close to me that I should have been able to feel his breath on my shoulders. I was completely oblivious. I have a talent for missing the elephant in the room.

My son however wasn’t oblivious at all. Boyfriend also wasn’t. But the later of these two beloved men thought if he gestured to me to turn around I might scream and then our baby would have unleashed the beast for real because no one got to mommy until they acquired his approval. And boyfriend was always scared of losing his baby because while the dog was doing his job our laws only see a vicious dog once they actually educate creeps on proper manners. So boyfriend let his independent smart loyal best friend and mentor take care of it. And take care he did. He stood on my left and also faced the indoors of the restaurant. Through the reflection in the windows he saw that guy who stood to my right. Apparently at some point while leaning over my shoulders he saw the dog for the first time. How he managed to oversee a dog twice my weight in first place is beyond me but he might also have this rare talent of missing the Mastiff in the room.

The Mastiff however didn’t miss anything, he looked the guy straight in the eyes – the most common intimidation gesture among mammals – raised the hairs on his back and neck and assumed intimidation stance. Everything about him must have said MINE! Get out of here or we will thoroughly discuss this before you make another move! Of course I still managed to be oblivious somehow. That man however was now seeing that he was about to cross a Mastiff. Which you just don’t do. Its survival instinct. No one will take a chihuahua seriously in such a situation. But dog and dog are two different things. He up and ran. At least smart enough to live to kidnap another day or whatever it was he planned to do to me. There is a saying children and drunk people are always lucky. Since I am one of the few adults in countries where drinking is an accepted past time at social gatherings of all sorts who can still state without doubt that I have produced more ethanol through my own physiology than I ever drank it must conclusively proof that I truly am a child at heart, right? Right??

Speaking of childrens habits. My son and I shared a strong love for teddies. I brought one to my encounter with this internet guy who actually turned out to have stated the truth about himself or over exaggerated his bad features. I was sure this doesn’t happen on the internet. Ever. However as our time in the creepy city with the nice hotel room came to a close we all got very emotional. Yes all of us. And yes that of course included the dog. He is smarter than many humans I have had the misfortune to have to converse with. But since he neither had tears nor words at his disposal he developed more creative and dog like ways of sharing his thoughts. In this case he gently picked up my teddy which of course was one of the last things I intended to pack up. He shook my teddy, again very gently to disperse the smell of me that clung to my teddy better in the air. That way he could smell it more intensely.

Of course he didn’t know yet that we had a plan ready. We drove around in the town one last time to buy another teddy. I went to the toy store first (stupid dog rule, just punish the owner of a rampant dog the same they punish parents when their kid destroys something) and saw a teddy of a brand both boyfriend and dog had a profound love of. So profound boyfriend had already told me about this love for this type of stuffed animal a few times at that point already and so profound I have seen pictures of my baby from his puppy days with him cuddling a tinier version of the bear i picked. I emerged from the store less than 5 minutes later to tell boyfriend which present id like. Upon seeing the new teddy the dog immediately but gently stole it from me but gave it up quickly when I asked it back and told him this was my teddy. Then I gave him my old teddy to take home. That teddy held a very special place in his heart. There are many more stories to tell about that boy. He was a true hero and if I ever achieve half as much as he did despite having statistically roughly about ten times more lifespan on this planet I will be able to say I did well. More of my baby at another time. More other random stories about vegetarianism, autism and other isms and non isms as well.