Who am I? You may well ask because I’m not sure I know anymore!
You see, I’m in the land of discovery because it’s come to light recently that I’m on a ‘spectrum’. The word ‘Spectrum’ has me thinking of rainbows, crystal spectrums of colour – I like it. I am a rainbow trying to find my light after years of being in the dark, searching for myself.
This spectrum is called several things: Autism, Autistic Spectrum Disorder or Condition (ASD or ASC) and High Functioning Asperger’s. These medical terms are shifting as I write. Basically, they all mean a person who is Autistic. There will be further explanations of this during my blogging process.
Since young, I always said, ‘I am what I do.’ Even amidst failure, I clung onto that ray of light that was my hope of ‘a creative future.’ Yet I could never understand why it wasn’t giving me the life I craved. There was a block and I’ve spent a lifetime trying to unravel the puzzle of an invisible brick wall.
One truth that kept me going was creativity. Once described as ‘Arty Farty’, I took this as a wonderful compliment because everything I am comes from an inner core that is creative. Only it got lost, buried under confusion, pain and depression, consumed by a failing life.
From a young age I was musical, played the piano and sang, by myself, to myself, a bedroom pop star. Luckily my eldest sister recognised my yen to play and suggested, to objecting parents, that I was musical. Dance was already a part of life from age 3 and at 12 a piano magically appeared along with lessons.
However, at school, I continually failed whilst the system, in turn, completely failed me by not recognising my strengths of drawing, music, dance, crafts, poetry and writing. In fact, my natural need to impart creative information in a crafting lesson, got me ‘expelled’ from a school. If only they had really looked and listened, I may have been saved.
Years later, having only managed some early disastrous office jobs and then a short dance career, it has transpired that my mysterious struggle throughout life boils down to these basic factors:
1) I was born with two, often co-morbid, genetic conditions:
- Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Joint Hypermobility Type III and
- Autism/Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)/High Functioning Asperger’s.
2) Restricted socialisation i.e. childhood development via learning was impeded. It has become evident that my mother was most probably Autistic which would explain minimal socialising, little physical contact and certainly no meaningful communication. Damaging for any child, let alone an Autistic one. I always called her my ‘absent mother’ meaning she didn’t engage so you were left wanting.
I guess I learned some healthy ways from my father who was emotionally connected and bequeathed his sense of humour and love of communication to me.
So here I am, searching for the truth of me. It is my hope that this blogging process will clarify my thoughts, seek out information (and boldly go where this mind has never been before) whilst leaving a legacy to anyone who may pop in for a read.
Why Arty Aspie? My creative soul wants to explore the possibilities of escaping this trap of disability. To reintegrate another thread of my DNA ~ the creative gene.
Thank you for dropping in,