Today, I reviewed with my diagnostician / doctor the outcomes of my formal assessments and testing and am vindicated in my 20+ year practice of self-diagnosis (which is actually a 52-year self-diagnosis, since I have known since age 5 that ‘something was different about me’).
I am simultaneously liberated and infuriated. I cannot savor the first for being cerebrally verklempt with the second.
To wander in my mental world and see the same totality I have always seen, in which the fullness of both sorrow and sanity have clung so long, awash in acid and the acrimony of all too arrogant, allistic, ablist and apathetic animals called humans?
// sky like scream – rage – now just breathe // #haiku4u (Monads are hard! 3/1/3)
For some years I have pondered what my life might have looked like… the magical, moldering “IF” and all its mocking might-have-beens. That path leads to madness. The past is a ghost, the future, a child unborn… there is only now.
Then, my daughter. The purest of seeds, sprouted. In her eyes, fractals of futures and a purity of trust that both challenged and chaperoned me through the shadowed forest and once again into the light. Then watching myselves be no less able to stave the wolves. Then the pit from which all humans must climb if they are to live. But we are entangled, the pit and I. Superpositioned by sympathy and shared interest.
And so we continued. Across the desert, within which the she-lion was found. Then The Farmer, then the meadow and its many symbols and stories. Then the times of the campfire and the scorched earth. Then the return and the river and finally, finally, J.
A time at the oasis. A series of seasons and succor and sustenance. Seven years of good luck… dodging those mirrors made a difference, it seems. I forgot that cycles are called cycles because they cycle (Yo, dawg, I heard you like patterns!).
The prodigal returns, a unilaterally paradoxical narrative! I was beginning to unravel and she needed me to be as impervious as I always looked. I never was but since it never showed, how could it matter? She married and departed and then, the first grand-daughter, A. was born.
And in her, my karmic cycle completed before my eyes. Fractal and imponderable and yet, intimate as my pain, as my self. In she, I see me, that version of me that arrives in every diametric way from myself and, in it, the sweet breath of all parental dreams made true – “They know better and more than I did.”
Not as much so as I had hoped to deliver for them, but enough to break this rust-addled chain… enough to make it across the helix and into a future that will never know my experience but as the ‘unbelievable myth’ that (grand)mother wrote for herself.
My grand-nerd, A. is just as autistic as I am. But she has her math, and she has her family, their presence and support, and she is getting both the early assessment and the ND-affirming professionals.
My grand-nerd, E. is likely the same, but like my younger sister in it. The presence ready to be observed, and delighted in emergence and existing. My sister’s life written in alternarrative, like myself. How we might have been.
May they all, in all ways and always, have and know better and longer.
For my part, today’s outcomes made me weep; belonging’s desert flooded by rains. I will float in the flash-floods and giggle like the addlepated fool I am… sick with love of life for the most autotelic of reasons and finally able to rest my certainty alongside my defiance.
// reconciled beings – soldiers together weeping – bloody trampled fields // (American 5/7/5)
My body’s chorus, a capella, “Now we get to rest?”
Behind the campfire and the upland from the Jungian vistas that lead to the canyon of eld… we sit in the meadow, watching fireflies; the rusted, red truck idling like a Bernard… headlights seeking infinity. He slants the cobalt glance my way, never having aged a day, the gift of the animus and anima alike, “Now we get to rest?”
She pads softly into the cerebral frame, her raspy tongue greeting my neck; the rumble of her purr at once comfort and challenge, “We rest now?”
The girls shift restlessly, at once alarmed at the unexpected reveal and cautiously optimistic but compelled to mark their turf no less than ever… trust building is a life work. Around the campfire, now we count them out and call them up. Mostly confirmation but also comfort. The sense of arrival is… anti-climatic? Hah. As if. But the count is of comfort and compassion. It will go on as long as we do. No one complains, least of all me.
She is silent, rocking by the campfire and leaning into me. Our thoughts have been one since the flagpole. No words required because we freed the JuneBug together.
From the pit, a sniff, a sigh, a growl. No compulsion here. The distrust serves many needs still and the right to hold it remains there, in the deep and oathbound observant.
Meaghan, Maggie, and Morgan sit calmly with soft eyes and happy to remain idle and without words.
The rest, long since diffusing into general placidity; mist over the lake in the canyon… keeping the fishbones under the pier quiet company. I already forget, as we agreed. Four-leaf clover… they are recursing into La Brea and their forms shift and pulse and fade and it is both sweetness and saudade.
I joke and call them my baker’s dozen as I made thirteen, once upon a time within a me.
The struggle is not validation, it is vindication. Agency, autonomy, and their nascent authority… me of and in myself.
I know who I am. How I am. Why I am. Because the luxury of denial was never mine.
And now, it cannot be “theirs”, either. (but oh, how wrong I am, it ever and ever seems…. – ed; 12/04/2023)
Sweet solace still smacks of subjugation. The freedom to be accepted by declaration rather than by diagnosis. Perhaps my grand-daughters children will know even better, even more. The road is long and it is slow walking, for a human is allowed nothing, may claim nothing, that is not agreed by the external or by force; both usually being preferable. Not even oneselves.
How fortunate am I to live in a time where there is authentication of agency, autonomy, and lived experience authority at all! I fear it may not last. I fear for my granddaughters. And for my daughter, who is just beginning to see my perspective and in it, finding her own truths. I see the promise like a halo over them… and my history chitters and whispers until even I am sick of it. Send me the digest, ok? This is a moment of jubilation. Go fret elsewhere.
My mind swirls with imagery as my body scrambles to absorb the shift of … selfhood? Standing? A sense of steel and stone. Oh, bedrock. Hah. At last? Really?
Why is it that the most meaningful moments make the worst language? If there is ever to be a ‘touch of a deity’ this has to be the blowby of its wake. The closer I get to my core, the louder the silence. All my words and still no closer to the moon than the finger, pointing.
May I own myself enough to be silent?
Do I owe the world my voice? My face?
Does this mean the argument over my disability is finally resolved? I feel it has just begun.
I am tired. But it is lighter in this moment. I want to reclaim my smile.
Proximity is not permission. Access is not authorization. Identity is declared, not assigned. Even * said, “I am.”
Fair Warning: I’m nice until you’re not… FAFO.
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