Prepare to enter the wild and wooly world of an adult with Aspergers Syndrome, a form of autism characterized by intellignce, quirks, social difficulties and downright strange and oddish behaviours.

People with Aspergers generally are high functioning in everyday life but have great difficulty connecting with others due to the inability to read faces, body language and subtle verbal clues. They also tend to take words literally and have a hard time multi-tasking.

Oversensitivity to touch (clothing has to be soft and often the tags removed), light (do not leave home without the sunglasses), sound (loud noises and noisey places are avoided), taste (many Aspies have quite a limited diet and are frequently very picky eaters) and smells makes the everyday existence more of a challenge.

Fasten your seatbelts and come on in...
To find out more about what Aspergers is..please check out my earliest blog entries

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Naivety, The Innocence of Aspergers, Autism

NAIVE: 1 unaffectedly, or sometimes foolishly, simple; childlike: unsophisticated 2 not suspicious; credulous
Syn- naive implies a genuine, innocent simplicity or lack of artificiality but sometimes connotes an almost foolish lack of worldly wisdom

So says Webster
I am naive. And I know it. One of the conundrums of Aspergers is an almost childlike innocence and way of looking at the world. I used to trust people, take them at face value, believe the words they said were literal and true...and I got hurt...a lot.
In my twenties and early thirties I found ways to protect myself and they weren't the most positive of virtues. I became suspicious, always looking for hidden meanings behind others actions. I learned to not trust what was being said because the actions rarely supported the words. I learned about masks that people wear, one for work, another for home, one for mom, one for friend.....but mostly, I learned to build separate even more from society because, quite frankly, I try and avoid pain.
I became the observer, the fly on the wall, watching, studying the words, movements and interactions around me.

Naivety is innocence. Be kind to the autistic. Remember that even though they look older, mature, grown up....sometimes they are nothing more than children trapped in adult bodies.

For the Aspie, the Auttie, be wary, but don't shut yourself off. I am physically old enough to say that there are many, many kind and caring NTs out there.
Things that helped me find the kind peoples: most NTs have patterns of behavior...if they yell and scream at their dog, they yell and scream at people; if they constantly put others down, whine a lot and are downright miserable, please, please walk away...don't try and rescue....rescuing is for the professionals, therapists, clergy; aim for hanging out with healthy people, those he are happy and content with themselves; avoid people who abuse substances and have a criminal history; don't make friends fast...take your time to get to know someone, find their patterns; trust your instincts...sometimes I meet someone for the first time and just feel like "ick" for no clear reason..I honor those inner feelings; ask someone You trust what they think about a new person you have recently meet...and listen to what they have to say.

You just have to be a little more cautious when you're Aspie. There are friendly, helpful and nice people's out there! I know, I have met many.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Spirit Houses Jiibegamig, Pinery Indian Cemetery

Last weekend I went sight-seeing in Baraga County. I headed East to L'Anse and drove north along the Keweenaw Bay on Pointe Abbay Peninsula. On my trek back, I came across "Indian Cemetery Road" and drove to see if I could actually find a cemetery.

A few miles down the road, on a bluff at the crest of a hill, I found the most beautiful cemetery I had ever seen...and I have visited dozens.

As I turned onto the precarious dirt road, overlooking a most beautiful valley, with birch trees and a small lake in the distance, my heart raced and I was enthralled. Spirit houses!
Spirit Houses or Jiibegamig, are knee high wooden structures built over a gravesite. I had never seen these before! They were positively glorious to behold.
As I got out of my car, camera in hand, I started bowing my head and mumbling, asking for permission to walk among the graves. I also thought and said, "I humbly and with great respect, walk among my ancestors." I had never felt so inclined to ask the spirit guardians in such a reverent manner before.
I knew I was on very sacred ground and I walked slowly, head bowed and humbly.
There had been a fire back in 2009 and 45 spirit houses had been damaged or burned. Remnants of burned tree trunks were quite obvious. One person I spoke with said the local Native American Tribe of Chippewas had to come in to remove the burned trees and clean up the cemetery.
In many places, were no grave markers or spirit house stood, red flags were put in the ground marking the locations.
I searched the Internet and found photos of the cemetery from years past. Spirit houses were varying sizes and often had a wooden cross affixed at the top apex.
My intense reaction made me wonder. Do I feel so strongly because it is such a sacred site and ancient? Is this a place where I feel a deep connection to the Earth and all it's beings? Or is it because I have a blood relative buried there?
The latter Is actually possible as my great-grandfather, Sebastian Wise was half Native American and lived in the Detroit area when he met my great-grandmother. I have a photo of him. And Grandma, Sebastians daughter, tells of how he went to a mission school where they changed his Indian name and no one knew his birth name or place of birth. Interesting...very interesting.
I will return to the UP and visit this cemetery again. I will also continue my research into this truly fascinating place.
Hope you enjoy the pictures!