Monday, November 4, 2013

Hello

My name is Cecilia Therese and I am autistic. I am what was once labeled an Asperger autistic but the medical community has retired that term. Now we all fall under Autism. 

Growing up, I never knew I was autistic. I knew I was different from my peers but not due to intelligence. I was always on the fringes of everything, looking in with loneliness, but not really wanting to interact with any of them. It is only in the past month and a half that I've questioned what I was and only in the past two weeks that I was sure of it. So many questions began to answer themselves and I began to feel more like I knew my place in the world than dreaming and wishing I was living in a different era. 

I discovered face-blindness, Prosopagnosia. I have a relatively mild case of it as I do recognize my own face in the mirror and my childhood photos. I have always had a loathing of going to a gathering of people, even my family ones, because I could never remember anyone's name. If they changed their hair or lost weight or gained weight, suddenly I would be at a loss as to how I even knew them. I hoped people near me would say the individual's name so I wouldn't look stupid at forgetting it. No matter how hard I tried, I could never remember. I even embarrassed myself by not recognizing my own father after not seeing him for 9 months. He had to wave at me to get my attention and he was right there in front of me. It makes me nervous I won't recognize my children or my husband someday. What if my children get lost at Disneyland and I have to try and find them? That makes me so fearful.

I discovered mind-blindness. It's an interesting reason why I have such a hard time reading people. I have no idea what their actions will be, what they are thinking, if they're mad at me, why they would be mad at me, what they want, or anything. The list goes on. I have been flattened a number of times by this very problem. In the military, I had no idea these certain girl's hated me (I really mean that they hated me). I blithely took them up on an offer to spar and they were out for blood. After getting knocked down I just stayed there on my knees waiting for the drill sergeants to call time while they laughed and the girl continued to beat me upside the head, over and over again. I wasn't going to fight back because I had no orientation and was likely to get knocked unconscious. My mistake. I avoided those girls and tried to stay as far away but still they tried their tricks on me the last evening we were together. 

As a child, I made no friends. My mother tells me that I would often go off to a corner of the room and play by myself, organizing everything. My school held me back in 1st grade because I wasn't socially mature. My grades were awful, although I was very smart. I could solve 3-D mind puzzles with ease and I loved certain types of math. My first solve was this great little box. 

Ever since then, I was fascinated with tangrams, origami, kirigami, and puzzle rings. As an adult, I picked up the skills of knitting, crochet and sewing. My favorite is what is considered the most difficult knitting project you could undertake, socks. I love the unique structure of a sock and changing it from a flat object into a 3 dimensional one. My only skill left untackled is cabling. I have yet to muster the energy and time to figure out how to cable. I have the supplies, so that is not an issue. 

I am a rule follower, unless someone I trust gives me a caveat. If my dad didn't teach me how to drive, I would likely be that person who never exceeds the speed limit ever, even to pass. I would make complete stops at the stop signs and never go through a yellow light. Thankfully, my dad gave me some pointers that helped me to not be so strict with myself. 

I'm pretty bad with the sensory processing. I cannot handle wool at all. I remember in the military that we had to wear our wool socks, they would check to see that we did. I always wore cotton socks under the wool ones to keep the wool from touching my skin. I wouldn't break out in hives or anything but it annoyed me so much I just couldn't handle it. It was all I would think about. The same goes for tags in my clothes. I've tried to leave tags in but then would be running around looking for scissors to cut the offending piece off. I am so glad the garment industry has started to print the labels directly onto the clothing. 

I don't like chit chat and find it tiresome. Usually, I keep my conversations limited to exchange of information. If it's meaningless jibber jabber, I don't care and I often can't hide that I feel that way. 

I'm passionate about nutrition, but only the Paleo/Primal/GAPS/LCHF world. Vegan? Absolutely, No. I tried it and had such bad neurological side effects and physical ailments (nail beds twisting and vertical splitting), I will never try it again, ever. Vegetarian? No. My diet is too strict to do well on it (allergy to all cereal grains). Low Fat? No, No, No. I like my fertility too much, and my brain. 

I love the Catholic Church. I especially have a love for the extraordinary form of the mass. I love the bells and smells. I love the silence. I love the priest not staring at me. I love the music. I love the Latin. I love the reverence. I love the dressing up and wearing a veil to hide me from the world. Such peace unfolds within me and I feel so renewed and passionate about my love for God. It is my safe harbor. I just wish that our local churches offered the extraordinary form. Sadly, they do not. The nearest one is 30 miles away and in the worse part of town you could go to. My husband has expressed too much concern for my safety for me to go. Sad. I contacted the parish but they told me that no one in my area has any interest in that particular form of the mass. My husband tells me that the best parishes are in the bad part of town and the most liberal are in the wealthy section. I am inclined to believe so. 

Right now, I'm not quite sure where this blog is going to go. I am planning for it to be about autism and about Catholicism. Welcome to my blog.

2 comments:

  1. I'm so glad I discovered this blog today on the submission page for the autism flashblog. I've been thinking about all of this a lot, mainly because, with Mae's diagnosis and all the reading I've done I see myself very, very strongly in all the aspergers books and descriptions that I read (and my oldest too). Anyways I just wanted to say hi here too!

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    1. Hi Cammie, thank you for following me here and commenting. It was only after you posted about Mae's story back in September that it got me thinking and researching autism. Now I know why my mother always had kind things to say about autistic people, she saw it in me. All of the self testing I could do put me squarely over to the autistic side. You probably are too especially now that I think of your posts on scrupulocity. Legalism is a way for functional autistic people to survive in the regular world. Thank you again for your comments. :)

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