I hate it when it's like this. Don't know when it's going to end.
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
Sunday, June 11, 2017
I hate it when it's like this. Don't know when it's going to end.
I can't think of anything I'll miss about her. Can't even find that I've gained anything by this pseudo alliance. Can't say I'm better off for having met her these short few months.
This Is no meeting of the minds just an exercise in futility and 6 months of trying to teach and school her in something out of her reach, out of her innate abilities.
It's sad having to start all over again but maybe I never got anywhere anyway and leaving therapy may do me more good than harm.
Honestly, clearly I've gotten nowhere just faster.
It's a shame, a sham, really, putting hope where hope does not belong.
God, I'm tired of trying to fix things that shouldn't continually break.
I throw up my hands and wave the white flag.
Maybe I can at least get this one storm to end.
Couldn't find a connection, an open station, a portal, a someone that could try and care, try and hear
She never had a chance, the cards always stacked against her or on the hands of madmen and thieves
Too many wicked got to her, took advantage and stole
She saw and heard the jokes, the grimaces, the weakness in her own character, the character flaws that perpetuated and drew in the sharks like blood in the water.
Could never find someone who could care behind the walls, across the distance that just kept expanding, widening
She wasn't one that someone could care about. She had always been too far gone
Couldn't find anyone to be sad when the words stopped.
No one noticed her silence, or were concerned about the reasons why
Hell, she didn't even know half the time
Either swim with the sharks amongst fear and bites, or just live alone, aimlessly on the island.
Living to avoid pain isn't much of a life
There were no dreams, nothing to wish for just the familiar emptiness that demanded and gave nothing
She wasn't someone anyone missed. She couldn't make the connections. No one knew she was gone
Words had no meaning when said in pity
No more desperation
No more try to search for a meaning that doesn't exist
It's not even sad anymore, just the usual emptiness of numb and no hurt, no drive, no ambition
It's nothing really...just nothing
She couldn't find anyone to simply hold her hand and let her be her
No one could see
Friday, June 9, 2017
I anxiously await getting my new prescription glasses. The drugstore reading glasses severely limit the times that I can write and read. I have almost constant eyestrain and slight dizziness these days.
I'm realizing that happiness is a choice!! It's similar to gratitude, being able to see all that is Sunnyside up and the half full glass.
I've decided to be nicer to myself. Hmmm, that's a big mental change that will take some getting used to.
I'm trying to just be me, lol, generally speaking. There is no one to impress or try to please. It's just me. I don't need to fix my hair a certain way or dress as I want others to see me, anymore.
My youngest seems to be pushing me away to make it easier to transition from living with me to spending his first time away from me for the summer. He's combative, bossy and probably has a ton of mixed feelings regarding this transition. It's got to be scary, exciting and overwhelming for him. I get that and I'm trying to keep his emotional state in mind.
In a couple of weeks, it'll just be me and the pup for 2 months. My autistic brain cannot predict how I will react to such a dramatic, completely new scenario.
I'll keep ya posted.
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Internally, I am this complex, introspective party of clowns, mimes and ringmasters frantically fighting to keep the show going on, both forward in the real world, as well as backward trying to make sense of startling flashback memories. It's sometimes a tug of war with bystanders and a pit of mud in the middle.
In a very real sense, I have one foot in each world and I can finally stand in middle ground and see both sides...confusing, yes.
Externally, my needs and wants are simple and few. I want a safe, non-threatening environment where I can be myself. I require a comfortable bed with clean sheets and soft blankies. I need just enough food in the fridge so that the starving sensation doesn't throw me into a panic. I desire to have my enough steady income so my needs are met. The SSD coming through, being approved would help that aspect. I crave a gentle, honest, kind and freely affectionate girlfriend who enjoys my company. Simple, right?
Thus I have complex versus simple.
I want to balance these two opposing worlds of living in the past, retro therapy vs. functioning and being present. Funny, previously i could see only one side or the other. No wonder I feel confusion as I've never had access to such a full view before. It makes sense that my direction is All Stop. Amazing how a little writing can provide me with much needed perspective.
Is it just Me? Or does talking and writing bring about answers? What a small gift with such a huge impact. Must write more often...note to self.
I'm sitting on a fence post..no, rather I'm straddling it and can see both sides for once. It's hard to make heads or tails of things when you see both sides as it's continually flipping in the air.
My life will change shortly, as my youngest goes away for the summer. Both the positive and negative stand in front of me. I can make no choice as to which one will weigh in stronger. They are equal in their own right even though I'm stymied as.....sure things are black and some things are white..like equality, like indecision. Stalemate. Hmmm.
What an odd place to find my self. Being able to acknowledge, sense and see both sides. I cannot weigh in. Opinions are now vague...or fugue..or mute...or nonsense....
Funny, it's starting to make sense this inner wandering. What a strange and new place.
It's weird, I oscillating between the highly functional, intelligent and capable adult versus the CHM, CPTSD, Autistic juvenile. It feels like primodial ooze just fermenting, pondering and questioning it's own existence and meaning. I've lost myself to the ravages of dealing with bureaucracy, medical needs and have-to-dos. I can't even think straight much less amuse myself and do things I enjoy. I kinda stop being for a bit...waiting...patiently...not...for my energy to return instead of this limbo lethargy.
Therapy...eh..i don't know...guess it's okay. The list of errands that can't be put off continues to grow, weighing heavily upon my malingering state.
It's a state of almost numb and slowed thought processes. It feels kinda like helplessness in that I can't do anything to change its course. I just have to wait it out.
My wrist is starting to feel better, less painful and a small amount of flexion. The need for pain medication, my ibuprofen has definitely dropped and I no longer require a stiff drink to escape the discomforting pain. It's manageable with signs of improvement.
It feels like lost, bogged down by fog and nothing exists beyond the front door. Like everything else, I'm aware it's temporary...without a concrete timetable.
So often...there are no answers...no help outside of my self. Just a nother day
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
It's definitely interesting, this dating thing. I'm learning more about myself and what works for me as well as figuring out others on a one on one basis. Some people aren't looking or emotionally ready for a relationship. Finding someone emotionally healthy is highly important.
I am having fun. Dating is proving to be enlightening, fun and an exercise in introspection and value fine tuning. I am having a great time!!!
Saturday, June 3, 2017
I wanted to spend the day at the beach tomorrow. I'd been planning it for weeks. However, this past week proved to be filled with unexpected and much needed appointments, mostly with doctors and therapists. Bills had to be paid, food bought and there was the unanticipated and wonderful date night.
I know that I have a limit, an autistic unavoidable limit whereby I shutdown and become incapacitated if I don't have enough down time. I looked at my calender for next week and I have 3 vital appointments to keep. In order to avoid the shutdown possibility, I need to stop doing all unnecessary activities and rest as much as I possibly can.
It isn't the choice I want to make and I've struggled with it throughout the day. Logically, with great awareness of my abilities and obligations...regrettably I must cancel my playtime plans for tomorrow. I'll reschedule a day for myself once I get my injured wrist taken care of.
One of my main events of this past week was getting up bright and early, meeting a friend at the hospital, being injected with dye and having a wrist arthrogram/ MRI done. Oy!!!
I did excellent throughout the procedure but when the lidocaine wore off, Holy Cow, I was dizzy with pain.
Today, at my family doctors office, she told me I had no broken bones but I do definitely have some ligament damage. Can we say "surgery is in my near future" in addition to a lengthy recuperation period complete with physical therapy? That's what I'm looking at based on superficial research. It's okay. I'll be fine. I just need to tone down my schedule a bit. Maybe less dates, more downtime and time to organize the apartment for an easier recovery.
I see my ortho guy on Monday and will find out the extent of damage and methods of treatment. Tuesday, another huge day with my long awaited Social Security appeal hearing. Wednesday is my therapy. Thursday is my son's therapy thus next week is just a little less full than last week.
Seriously, I need major rest, major downtime.
Life Is Good. I have no complaints. I believe in doing the right thing!
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
I just keep thinking or saying aloud "WOW" and "OMG"!!! I can't even think straight or focus. I'm lost in some type of rainbow colored clouds. I haven't had such an intense reaction to a first meeting before. She is positively amazing and feelings are highly mutual.
Somehow, someway I am supposed to try and get some sleep for my two important appointments early in the morn. Just WOW
Friday, May 26, 2017
I don't mind being lonely so much, as being lonely with someone else in the room is akin to headbanging with a witness.
It's true that my ability to express myself is injured, wounded and sulking, sobbing in the corner. I get that...but at least take a step toward my corner and off this singleton soap box that suits you for everyone else.
Listen to me and speak in simple syllables. She didn't even see me much less understand My plane.
I'm at the point where words seen useless, futile...like the words I make, out loud, are just for someone else to pop.
I've withdrawn, pulled back the troops, constructed a moat and am working on more concrete fortifications. If you are wounded, bleeding, confused or overwhelmed taking a step or two back seems to be the best option.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
I've notified my peer support helper so that I can schedule the test when she can accompany me. I'm kinda concerned at this point. If I need to have the bone reset or have surgery, well, then that's what I'll have to have done. I guess it's rather common for scaphoid fractures to be hard to detect with just xrays, due to the shape of the bone. Yeah, I'm just a bit nervous, now. I was thinking it was just really slow to heal. I'll have to wait and see.
I had one of my worst therapy sessions today. Two completely different planets spinning in opposing directions. Pure, utter nonsense. Fail. Why do I bother.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
I guess with some people that they look forward to paychecks, promotions, graduations, anniversaries but those things have never meant anything to me. Well, I guess I'm using the word goals in a different context or in my own special way. I Do have 1 thing that keeps me going, that I look forward to and that feeds me in some way.
Since about 1997, my greatest times...not right wording...the events that I look most forward to are my therapy sessions. Therapy is a hugehuge part of my life. My life revolves around it and I revolve around it.
A nice, little reprieve from lying on the railroad tracks.
The night sky especially clear, unveiled and tranquil.
Walking at night proves to be healing.
Finished my painting. I want to say "It says it all, so clearly." But I know few, if any would understand.
A short day and a half till therapy and a much needed hug.
Just trying to consume some peace to sustain me till then. Therapy and Neo, therapist are two of my favorite things.
I require so little, yet hunger so much.
Monday, May 22, 2017
Sunday, May 21, 2017
Monday, May 15, 2017
Early on, I thought that maybe it was just a sign of respect, my formality with titles. After all, I had to call teachers with a title and even aunts and uncles weren't spoken to without the Aunt or Uncle in front of their given name. As I've gotten older, the age/ respect idea seems to have left. With people younger than me, I continue to prefer not calling them by first name, either using a gender title or calling them by their full name. Most people don't object or even question my odd manner of addressing them.
I'm not sure why I have AdIs, addressing issues, other than I've seen this dilemma posted on other autism sites, so I'm going to chalk it up to being autistic.
This seems to be an absent or little writ characteristic of some of us on the autism spectrum. Just another one of those little things, small difficulties that make each day more of a challenge.
Funny example, I went to my local Urgent Care and was treated by a PA, physicians assistant. I kept trying to call her "doctor" and she would repeatedly correct me and give me her first name. Well, of course I couldn't call a professional by her first name, so I eliminated the problem by not calling her anything at all.
I've had a therapist for, oh, 6 months now. I can't say her first name to her face either, even with all the time we've spent together. I either call her Miss ***** or by her first and last name.
Funny, isn't it? How autism can turn something so simple into something near impossible. AsId Addressing Issues
Sunday, May 14, 2017
We'll start with her, who is frighteningly similar to my ex, both never to acknowledge any feelings or wrongdoing. Both self-righteous and blaming me for any and everything. And both not giving a damn about anything other then themselves. Both incapable of anything resembling love, or even like, even though those words were freely used.
It's been a boggy, quagmire of a week with sudden, catastrophic occurances materializing out of thin air. I injured my arm, a couple weeks back. I've had sprains before but I'm guessing this is more of a hairline fracture to my interior radius that will show up on the xrays due to be taken Monday. The pain isn't manageable to sprain like. It is intense, localized, wakes me up at night and causes fits of madness. I've struggled with pain management from simply getting pain meds prescribed to figuring out how often to take them so the agony won't set in and send me spiraling.
The pain is bad, awful bad, in the morning if I don't take something in the middle of the night. I have a sturdy brace that is affixed to my forearm. Any movements or actions will send the pain rapidly rising. I struggle. I've definitely been struggling...in many ways.
I've become disillusioned with my acupuncturist. It's been 3 visits and I even fell fast asleep quite rapidly this past week, sleeping so deeply I suffered momentary confusion and disorientation when I awoke. However, acupuncturist does zero diagnostic work, no checking of pulses and just puts the needles in places based on my symptoms. In my book, and from what I've read, that's a half-ass job. My energy has improved and my neck is less painful but...lets just leave that there. Yikes.
Mid-week I went ballistic in discovering my kid has been vocalizing bias and hatespeak. I ended up talking with him, at length, his therapist And his counselor at school to try and get a semblance of understanding as to why his behavior turned. The school counselor explained it to me most thoroughly. It does feel like I don't even know this kid. I guess the teen years are especially challenging for him. Anyway, it's been highly distressing and triggering.
I can't remember when I had a moment to myself whereby there wasn't anything on my list of things that had to be done. Not enough rest. Not enough therapy. No time for Art, my healing friend, sigh.
Facebook feels like each person is just circling their own wagon. Lots of self-absorbtion, so I don't bother much. I've been communicating with my woman friend almost daily. I really like her and hope we can find the time to get together soon. She's a pretty private person and an introvert. Two of the things we share and that I admire. No drama is a great thing.
Son and I spent the day doing laundry. Oh, what fun, Not. It got backed up due to my injury so one-handed mom and one-handed son, worked hard together to get er done. Then it was time for Dairy Queen. Man, it's taken awhile to remove that feeling of entitlement he had going. He continues to whine and complain over the simplest chores. I have no tolerance for that and ignore his whine. He needs to continue to pull his own weight and learn the tasks of daily living and they need to be taught by me. No cleaning lady here to clean up his messes for him.
Don't know if we will go out for a ride tomorrow or not. We will see how I feel.
It's been a highly, highly stressful and aggravating week. Begone!
Saturday, May 13, 2017
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
The amount of daylight consumed with problem solving is at an all-time high. The past weekend, while fun-filled with movie, laundry and a ride in the country was part of my usual unwind schedule. I really need to slow it down. I'll do what I can to lower the stress load. As long as outer influences stay low, I'll be able to recover and enjoy life more.
Saturday, May 6, 2017
Being Autistic means being in an incessant state of discomfort to varying degrees. Some days it's just a ripple and other days it's rogue wave after rogue wave.
Fitting in, well, I have moments I want to. I think that mostly I'm just trying to pass through unharmed which means unnoticed. Lights, sights, sounds and smells are all out of my control. Hmm, touch, others touching me is about the only thing I Can control. Interesting, sudden observation.
Thus, whenever I leave the house, I can expect to be uncomfortable...i just never know to what degree. Will I arrive home irritated, talking to myself, crying or relatively unscathed? I never know. Quite frankly, I'd rather not even risk it, staying home as much as possible.
Discomfort is the poor, younger brother of Pain. They share the same blood, you know? I'm not sure of where the line is whereby discomfort slides into mental pain.
So many types of pain, but I guess physical pain is the most prominent. Throughout our lives, especially as we get older, navigating physical pain seems to be a daily task. If you're under 50, you won't understand this, some day you will. My medicine cabinet is full. I never thought I'd become one of those people with an armfull of prescription bottles but here I am. It's a constant mental challenge to figure out which pain relief meds and/or tactics are needed each day. How much pain can I tolerate? At what point do I take these pills or those? I'm not sure. I'm second guessing myself. I'm trying to measure, so I can manage my physical pains.
Then you have our hidden friend, emotional pain. Ah, well, for those of us that acknowledge that we feel and seek to examine and understand them, emotional pain is quite real. Grief, sorrow, depression, loss, hurt, self-hatred, they are all...painful. The older one gets, the more memories, events, grief and events. They need to be properly stored, managed and disposed of, or contained, anyway.
I can only speak for my own life, my feelings and experiences....life is Pain Management, pure and simple.
I'm quite pleased to be seeing a Beautiful Woman and going out. We spent about 4 hours, holding hands, Out in Public. I had never experienced that before and I really enjoyed it. You can always tell when a first date has gone well when you get asked out on a second. I'm pretty pleased to meet someone so kind, caring and warm. We already have plans to go out again. She's really a delight. Makes me feel good inside just to be with her. She listens so well, texts me everyday and she's very caring. What a pleasant change.
My blog may be having problems with photos, so I'll try posting without them for a bit.
I took the week off of therapy. I seem to have a more stringent version about how a professional should act. Last week, I got very uncomfortable and this, like wall goes up and I couldn't go back. Another appointment this week. I don't know if I'll be able to go or not. We will see.
I started acupuncture and had my second treatment. My body energy responds extremely well to treatments. My practitioner seems okay, kind of comfortable and she does excellent work.
Hand is sore. My son and I did laundry together tonight. It was fun having the two one-handed, mom-son team working together. I seriously sprained my left wrist/arm a week ago. Xrays, so far, show no break but a bad sprain. My sports medicine dr told me not to take off my heavy-duty splint except to wash my hands. He says I'm not out of the woods yet, that a break may show up, so more xrays in another week. Lots of pain and I'm managing it with pain meds. The less movement I do, the better.
That's it for this post. Want to make sure it Will post. Be well.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
I think one of the earliest feelings I had was despair, helplessness. I felt that anything I need, or wanted, food, comfort, safety, was beyond my reach.
No one responded to my requests, cries, asking, so I learned it was hopeless to feel, to need and to want.
The hands were forever closed in tight fists, never open nor willing to assist.
Despair is like a grenade has gone off in my chest, blowing a large, gaping wound that I keep trying to cover, bandage and subdue.
I keep my hands and arms, close to my body; my mouth tightly shut and deny my needs labeling them as instigators, rebels, on the losing side of a war.
I was thoroughly taught that my needs were inconsequential, and things to be ignored, swept under the rug, denied, Denied, DEnied.
So what's a child, an adult, to do to rectify this erroneous emotional abuse? How does one change such deeply ingrained thought and behavioral patterns? How can I dislodge, override and dispel those churning wells of despair and feeling not good enough to live, to breath, to need, have wants, deserve love, comfort and support?
My friends...I truly do not know.
Helplessness is having no legs and the only thing on the path is a shaky bridge with crumbling stairs and everything I want is on the otherside.
Helplessness is a chasm and you have no rope. And you are alone...you are always alone, as this is an inner battle, never spoken of before. And I hang my head, afraid of shame, stigma, being ostracized and ridiculed....because few can imagine...living with...a never ending sense of helplessness from that which happened so many years ago.
I sit in quicksand up to my neck...as I always have. I ask not for an open hand, a bamboo ladder or snake like rope...because..if I open my mouth...the quicksand will have a way to get in.
It's difficult, dangerous, self-deprecating to even acknowledge such a fatal flaw. It's as if my words give power to an enemy unseen.. to use against me.
Ah, so I struggle and question and continue to heal from the egregious,wounds of my oppressors. But I Am well. I am Good.
Thanks for listening
Monday, April 24, 2017
So, I was fortunate enough to go on two Meet & Greets, this past weekend. I believe I was able to find the two intelligent and attractive women this one online dating sight offered, in my location.
They have so much in common, that it is eerie. Both; like crystals, were born mid-December, educated and intelligent, financially and Emotionally stable, confident, happy in their jobs, both in the health care field, casual dressers, lovely natural greyish hair, easy to talk to and easy to listen to.
I had a great time. They are both attractive and I'm hoping we can go out again. We have been keeping in touch via texting and have made some tentative future plans. I really enjoy talking with beautiful women who are so open and honest, such great listeners.
I like who I am and I know the type of healthy people to look for and hang out with.
I had a Great weekend!!!
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
First off, it means that a series of traumatic, abusive, horrific and overwhelming events happened to you, damaging your sense of self and splitting off various ego states along with the memories of the incidents.
These memories will slowly/quickly/ unexpectedly come back, at some point, in the form of flashbacks, in which you will find yourself reliving the trauma. Sometimes I can see, physically feel, hear sounds and words, even smell what the event was like way back when it first happened.
Often, I wake up in the morning, the middle of the night, after a nap, and have to orient myself to where I am, what city, is it day or night, what was I doing before I lay down, what is on the agenda of things needing doing, when was the last time I ate, is it time for meds? Usually not all at once, maybe 3-5 of those most times I awake.
It feels like I'm wearing my body like an ill-fitted suit. It can feel too big, awkward, clumsy or even robotic and it's movements are completely out of my control.
Sometimes I can feel my lips moving but I can't hear the words. I frequently and without any forethought refer to myself as "us" or "we". I don't consider myself a singular person, rather a group of related individuals varying in age from early childhood, toddler, preteen, teenager, young adults and adults, Littles (for those under 10; teens for, well, the teenage parts of me, aka "alters" for alternate personalities and Bigs, for anyone over 21.
When I switch/change into another personality, my vision change and colors may suddenly look very bright, dull and fuzzy, or crystal clear.
I've had numerous times where I've tried saying certain words and they sound like a child's vocabulary instead of an adults. I can suddenly start stuttering, stammering or go completely mute at any second, mostly just in therapy.
Sometimes it feels like I'm looking out through someone else's eyes.
It's not a normal daily life by any means. These are just some of the ways that I think being a multiple is different from being a singleton.
It's not bad or awful, just different.
Monday, April 17, 2017
I stumbled across this headstone today. It really gave me pause. I searched online for more information about Ame.
For one Oregon slave, the
Civil War didn't end bondage
Ame died in 1874, more than 10 years after President Abraham Lincoln set her free. So, why does her gravestone still identify 'Ame' as a slave?
By Finn J.D. John — October 17, 2011
In a quiet little historical cemetery in the north hills of Corvallis, there’s a marble gravestone about the size of a large loaf of bread, with a simple and startling message carved upon it.
The stone reads, “AME, Slave of Mary and John Porter.”
There’s nothing more. The gravestone has none of the usual information. Ame’s dates of birth and of death are unknown. Until not too many years ago, information like that was considered unimportant.
If Ame’s date of death had been listed, though, it would have been within a year or two of 1874 — at least 10 years after the President of the United States declared her a free woman, and at least five years after the Fourteenth Amendment made slavery unconstitutional. Yet she died as she had lived, as a slave, albeit now an illegal one.
But then, she'd been an "illegal" ever since she first came to Oregon.
Born into bondage in Kentucky
Ame's grave marker in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Corvallis, Ore.
This modest marker denotes the final resting place of a "slave" woman
named Ame, who died in the mid-1870s, more than 10 years after the
Emancipation Proclamation. The marker is considerably newer than
those of the rest of the Porter family, suggesting that the original marker
was a humbler one, possibly made of wood.
Philomath historian May Dasch told Corvallis writer Theresa Hogue that Ame was born sometime between 1808 and 1818, in Kentucky. At some point, when she was a young woman, she was sold to the Johnson and Susan Mulkey family of Missouri.
When the Mulkeys came out west on the Oregon Trail in the mid-1840s, they debated what to do about Ame. At that time, the question of whether slavery would be allowed in Oregon was still unsettled, and if it were settled with a "no," they'd lose a valuable piece of personal property. (That may sound catty to the modern ear. It's not intended that way; remember, this was well before slavery was abolished. The Mulkeys were simply products of their time.)
To play it safe, the Mulkeys decided they’d leave Ame behind with family members in Missouri — where, in any case, she had her own children to look after.
“When the start was made, Ame was not to be found,” recalled the Mulkeys’ granddaughter, Maude Cauthorn Keady, in an interview for the W.P.A. Writers Project in 1939. “Nor had she bade them goodbye. It was supposed that she was so sad or overcome with emotion that she could not watch them leave. Not so .... At the fourth camp, much to the delight of grandmother and the children, Ame appeared at the campfire, and was helping with supper when grandfather came to eat. There was nothing to do at this late hour but take her along. Her faithfulness to grandmother and the children was wonderful. She had left her own children to follow Miss Susan and the babies.”
From near to far, these markers are for John Porter, Elsie Porter, Mary Porter, the younger Mary Porter and family slave Ame.
Well, that was one interpretation. Hogue, for one, seems skeptical: “Whether it was loyalty or the fear of abandonment in a place where her only option was to become another family’s slave is impossible to tell,” she writes dryly.
And indeed, Ame had been passed around the Mulkey family quite a bit, and most people she’d stayed with didn’t like her. Perhaps she knew that if she stayed back in Missouri with her own children, she’d just be separated from them anyway and sold on the auction block, and would end up toiling in a cotton field for the rest of her (considerably shortened) life.
(Personal note: If I were making a bet, this last scenario is exactly where I'd be putting my money. It's not in the nature of human mothers to prefer other people's children over their own, and Keady's blithe assumption that Ame was an exception to this tells us something about the relationships here. The whole thing takes on the appearance of a deep personal tragedy wallpapered over with pictures of Disney princesses ... The Little Mermaid comes to mind. —fj)
Whatever the reason, Ame left her own children behind and came to Oregon with her owner’s family. Along the way, her chief tasks were keeping the oxen in line and the children out of trouble.
The outlaw slave
Upon arrival in the Oregon territory, Ame found herself an outlaw, shielded from a hostile society only by the protection of a respected white family that was, itself, breaking the law by keeping her. Black people were simply illegal in Oregon at the time — slave or free, they were legally prohibited from coming to the territory. There was even a “lash law,” according to which African-American folks were to report for a whipping once every six months until such time as they took the hint and left the area. Subtle, huh?
The “lash law” was blithely ignored in Corvallis. Ame continued serving the family, occasionally being lent out to help with neighbors’ chores. Keady said she seemed happy to be there with them — but did she really have a choice? Could she have walked away if she’d wanted to claim her freedom? Legally, she certainly could; keeping her in bondage was a crime. But as a practical matter, the community might not have allowed her to exercise that right. And, in any case, she herself was an outlaw, guilty of “being in Oregon while black.” What kind of support could she count on? A speedy repatriation to Missouri, most likely, to be handed over once again to the Mulkey family there.
She may have made the best of it, but Ame — and all other Oregon slaves — had been dealt a losing hand.
World changes, leaving Ame behind
Time passed. Ame got older and, according to Keady, feistier — although she’d apparently been plenty feisty to start with. Young Mary Mulkey grew up and married John Porter in 1858; Ame became the newlyweds’ property.
In 1859, Oregon became the only state ever admitted to the union with a law on the books excluding black people from living within its borders. So far as we know, though, this had no effect on Ame’s status.
Nor did the outcome of the Civil War change her life. In the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, President Lincoln himself declared her a free woman. In 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment made her continued bondage an offense against the U.S. Constitution. Still she continued to live and work as a domestic slave.
But then, by that time she was probably in her 60s, too old to go forth and start a new life in “free” society. She probably counted herself lucky that she was far enough away from Washington, D.C., to continue living as she had lived.
Ame’s gravestone is a good metaphor for her life. She’s buried right next to the family she served, but not among them — on the edge of the plot, closest to the path. Her loaf-shaped marker is much more modest than theirs. It was probably a little controversial to bury her in the family plot at all; after all, before the Civil War, black people were considered little more than livestock, and nobody today thinks of burying a dog in the family plot.
But perhaps that controversy is what the family intended. Perhaps the younger Porters, in this bright new world, kept Ame in violation of federal law as a favor done for an old family friend who deserved better than to be thrown away like a worn-out buggy. It’s possible — remember, the people making these decisions were the “babies” she’d taken care of when she was a young woman.
John and Mary died a year or two before Ame did, in 1870 and 1872 respectively; yet nobody else seems to have taken “ownership” of Ame after their deaths. When she followed, she was buried there next to them, with that grave marker at her head, its short and disturbing message looking up at the free Oregon sky like a distant accusation
Sunday, April 16, 2017
Lying in bed last night, I was suddenly struck with empathy for the wild animals that are hunted down or ensnared only to encounter a torturous, painful death.
Call it "the Snowball Effect" as I'm sure these sudden, intense feelings stem from the recent memory of my pet rabbit, Snowball, being cruelly butchered by my father in the family basement when I was 8.
I thought of all the proudly displayed carcasses, the deer heads, racks, stuffed and taxidermied innocent animals and how, each and every one of them must have felt as the bullet hit or the trap snapped, grabbing a leg and they were stuck in catastrophic pain as they waited to starve or bleed to death. I imagined what it must be like for a deer to be quietly foraging in the forest. It's silent home turf suddenly shattered by a bullet ripping through its side, startled, jumping, sprinting away, it's life slowly ebbing away till it dies, scared and frightened.
I'm torn. I understand the need for food but I am aware of the pain the animal must experience as well.
I'm not against hunting, per se, as I am no judge or jury and I don't believe I have the right to tell anyone else what to do or not do. I'm just saying that I could never look an animal in the eyes and claim my life was worth their painful death.
And no, I'm not about to join any animal rights groups as the last thing I'd want is grotesque pictures and righteous souls proclaiming their opinion. This isn't about protesting or trying to change anyone or what they do.
I'm no longer an admirer of "trophies", dead, hunted down and killed animals hanging on walls anymore, because I can imagine their suffering. It makes me sad, the things humans do for sport and for survival.
Saturday, April 15, 2017
It feels like I'm drowning in a sea of over information. Facebook is piously littered with all the miniscule wrongs from vocabulary purists, autistic overexplainations, picks aparts of every speech, quote and misspoke. People are impassioned, yes but everybody is right, no one's listening and the facts are skewed.
The Dissociative Identity Disorder/ MPD groups are assigning names to every little nuance. The politicos are broadcasting righteous indignation and belittling one another. Those who think we need to be shown photos of worldwide atrocities continue to post, thinking a picture of a dead child, wounded dog or starving family will make us change our ways and give a damn about something we are helpless to change.
It's as if it's suddenly okay to be outspoken about everything. Emotions, dare I say the cringe worthy word, are running high in both directions and nothing is changing but my ability to try and stay connected to my drama-free, simple life.
I've unfollowed at least a dozen "friends", left most of the intense groups, and have decided the only way to stay in touch is with brief, once every couple of days, checkins. It's just not worth it, this mind numbing, information overload.
The rose colored glasses are off but everyone's put on boxing gloves instead. No blinders leads to being startled, running in perpetual panic around the covered wagons circle. There are no foxholes save for the mighty power off switch.
My dear ones have forgotten my email, how to text and what a written letter is. If I didn't continue to check in periodically, I wouldn't know how my son, cousins and close friends were faring.
The good ol' days are long dead as I watch the zombies staring at their phones walking the streets blind to the rose at their side.
It's sad. It's what it is, now. And I refuse to be apart of the angst and anxiety of the new societal norm.
Time for markers and pencils, paint and small boxes, cartoons and old movies. Pop some popcorn and pass me a beer.
Let's sit and have coffee sometime.
I miss your face and seeing your lips form words that create pictures on the screen in my head. I miss the warm smell of someone breathing close to me. I want to fill the cold emptiness that has always been there, just recently acknowledged. Words on a page cannot fill me.
I'm a peace loving soul in a chaotic, drama filled world.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
About once every few months, I have a dream that takes place in a foreign country. Last night it was Lithuania.
Previously, I have "visited" Cambridge, Yugoslavia and, a couple months ago, Vietnam.
Last night, I was visiting with an older couple and we were talking about traveling. I mentioned how much I enjoyed the Dakotas, and the woman mentioned that they had a second home there.
Next, I'm walking on a beach and noticing how everyone had to carry four, regular size, pieces of paper, side by side, enclosed in plastic as it was law. I remember thinking that they had to be laid out and not together in one stack as the papers could easily be destroyed in something spilled on them.
Next, I found my self in a Customs Help Line, a place to go with questions. As I waited, I noticed a good dozen pocket knives strewn on the ground...like, they weren't allowed in so they had to be deposited there. Worriedly, I mental checked to see if I had my Swiss Army knife in my pocket and I was hoping they wouldn't ask me to empty my pockets.
As I approached the counter, I was greeted by a uniform blue dressed, blonde man. I'm not sure what I asked him, at first. I remember whispering to him, "I'm in Lithuania, right?" He said yes. He stated that he had brochures on nightlife, for gays, and would I be interested. I said I would. He replied, oh really?
He gave me the papers and said "my wife and I wish you a good trip."
I proceeded off to the left. I must have had my destination planned, as I knew I had to take the down escalator. I was nervous passing by, so close, to the open stairway but I told myself that I'm traveling alone and there are some fears I've just got to deal with. My arms were so full, luggage, a game for my son, my purse and such. Mentally, I was trying to figure out if I could find a locker because I simply couldn't continue to carry it all. Then I figured that at my next stop I would mail back to the states, whatever I could, especially the large, awkward board game.
I stepped onto the escalator, which had stopped and it immediately started moving. It was action activated! Cool.
I knew I had to travel down to get where I needed to go.
Off the escalator, walking down the hall, I realized I had lost my purse, my identity...go figure. I started shouting, "My purse, my purse, my purse" and I started backtracking to find myself.
Dreams often mirror waking life, don't they?
Monday, April 10, 2017
Sunday, April 9, 2017
I don't know. Just couldn't motive today. Zero energy and ambition. I wonder if I'm continuing to process that big bad memory from 10 days ago. A memory that I can never fully share because of its hideous and grotesque nature. The memory Is mine now, not hidden away in some garbage filled back alley protected by a dozen fences of various strengths and materials.
It's not garbage...it's just one in a long series of traumatic memories that I have to figure out how to cohabitate with until the day I die.
It's...difficult to image how a body/mind/spirit can live so overridden with wounds both seen and unseen, known and unknown.
The memory of the rabbit Snowball will always be with me, to some degree. I hear the grief will somehow, slowly abate...but part of me will always know..and remember..and be sad. And this is Just one of my horrendous incidents...how will I deal with and survive even one more...or a dozen?
It seems overwhelming, unfathomable.
How can I process out and find some relief? Is there any relief?
It's like I'm living with a stranger that has always been in my house but previously unknown. I don't know what to do with it.
It feels like I'm juggling three balls, yes it happened, yes I was there and it truly was real. And I'm just tossing these balls around, not holding onto any one for more than a few seconds cause I Don't Want To but I can't throw the balls away. Can't smash them against the wall because the wall has melted away.
Ownership...maybe this is all that I was given. A bag full of grenades whereby each one needs to blow up in my face in order to see who I really am and what events have turned me into this shape...and remind me that I ferl, don't feel and react certain ways because of these...horrid things.
Is that all I am is a series of hidden horrible incidents? That I can't or can barely look at, much less show to others.
Always partially hidden behind the curtain...never able to say all that I am.
I do feel great grief for Snowball. Inside, it's like he's lying in state and people are filing by, becoming aware...the spreading grief, bubble burst and water everywhere.
If an incident like that...took place...was readily and easily perpetrated...I'm scared for what else happened, you know?
The Snowball death was the first full, complete trauma memory fully processed out and I don't know how to carry on with the day or how to live with this knowledge. I'm lost. And I feel very much alone.
Grief and sadness
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Therapy today, thank you God. I continue to grieve the torturous death of my pet rabbit and how my father forced me to participate. The body memories of the incident resided in my hands where I felt the fur, the holding down of Snowball as my dad butchered him. I know Snowball is in heaven, free of pain and put back together again.
I'm still in a physical and emotional state of exhaustion, release a 45 year old emotional cyst will do that to you. I'm always tired, my body is heavy and my emotional facilities are sluggish. I have no ambition or energy to spare so I'm getting by with performing the barest of necessities, notably caring for my son and puppy. When he's at school, I'm in bed. I sleep heavy and am grateful for no nightmares.
It's like I'm wrestling in my head, seeing the incident, feeling the helplessness, allowing myself to feel the anguish, tearful flows of grief, just trying to be okay with what happened. That's a huge memory to deal with. I can't predict how many days I'll be down but I understand the whole "lying low" & taking care of myself aspect. I'm not denying or hiding what occurred and the intense feelings that went along with it.
There was a damn good reason I never mentioned this or the sexual abuse, the incest...if my dad could, with a smile on his face and casual attitude, torture a living animal, he could surely do it to me or those I loved.
Time to sleep. Healing is truly exhausting.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Yesterday, I had the near miss with the bicyclist who flipped me off. I'm apprehensive while driving by cyclists these days. I take extra precautions at each corner and turn. Constantly anxious.
Today, well, I was turning left downtown and immediately to my right were two fire trucks surrounding an unconscious, injured or dead body lying spread eagle, face up in the middle of the street. I saw his jacket and lower body completely unmoving. It was clear the fire trucks had just arrived but no one was rushing to his aid. The rescue personnel were just kinda standing and looking.
I was shocked, hurt, devastated. What had happened? Was he alive or dead?
I'd never seen a body lying in a street like that. Big city life is losing its allure.
What if I'm driving and come across a body lying in the road, in front of me? What if I can't change lanes, don't see it or can't stop quick enough.
I'm afraid to get behind the wheel, to be completely honest.
An unexpected, traumatic, sad sight today making me rethink things and feeding my persistently running fears.
I just want to stay home. We needed groceries which was the only reason I was out. I know there are places I must drive to but I Don't Want To. Streets are no longer safe. My world is shaking...and so am I.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Last week, when I finally released the 45 year old memory of my dad torturing my bunny, I ripped off the heavy duty, steel tipped bandaid that had been holding in all the unspoken, unexpressed terror of that incident into my waking, walking life. Since then, I have been not so subtly releasing all the deep seated fear and terror that I had surpressed. That is why I am awash in tears and terror.
I guess it is some kind of healing crisis, progress to free myself from such intense emotion. It doesn't feel good but I understand it now.
At some point the tears and fears will have completely drained and I'm sure to experience life in a majorly different fashion .
I feel like shit, wasted, messed up but I think I'm going to be okay.
Having recently been submerged in the tornadic autistic shutdown, I'd like to offer a description of how it feels...
It starts off as small waves of anxiety, building layer by layer with fear, uncertainty and thinly veiled, indescribable emotions. I can feel it building like watching a pot of water starting to boil.
There is no break, no respite, as the waves start building faster, faster, more furious until they reach a monster wave that hangs frozen in the air above me. I start to melt. Water droplets begin falling from my eyes at sporadic times, often gushing with a thought, a word, an action. The wave simply hangs until I can find someone to talk to, vent with, someone that can hear me and understanding my sobbing, garbled, gesture ridden words.
As I describe the feelings inside, the torrent of twisted thought and emotion, the tsunami comes crashing down, violent at first then abating into medium, then smaller, more manageable waves.
I'm a wash, feeling wasted, trashed, exhausted and crashed. The big wave dissipates; the pot over boiling with water and steam abates, dies down and I am left stranded on a desolate beach, thoroughly exhausted, sand in my ears, nose, everywhere.
I am alone and the sky is cloudy; the waters have calmed and I cry.
This past week, aka, known as one of the worst weeks of my life, I've become aware of when I switch.
In therapy last week, as I recounted a tale, I switched twice. The first time, it's like my vision changed, everything became clearer and I could feel my lips moving but I couldn't hear any words, then after a few minutes I was back.
The second time, the first thing I noticed was that my voice changed to someone younger who spoke much differently than I. Can't recall what exactly was said, but I know the verbage was that of a child.
Today, I saw the crisis counselor. Again, I noticed that my vision changed and my head position changed. I lost the ability to maintain eye contact. Since this counselor was new to us, yet very friendly, nice and welcoming, I pulled the speaker back in as it wasn't ideal or truly safe to fully switch in front of her.
This awareness is all new to me. Kinda interesting. Just sayin'
Monday, April 3, 2017
Everything went wrong today from the moment I got out of bed after a restless 5 hour sleep.
Last night, I had applied a new flea medicine to my puppy called ZoGuard. As soon as I was alert, all I could smell was syrup throughout the apartment. I wrongly accused my son of drinking syrup in bed. In my defense, he confided in me last week that he took gulps of syrup in the mornings before school. Seriously, I told him to stop and am concerned his "no cavity" record was in jeopardy.
Anyway, the smell was everywhere but most notably on puppy. I goggled "dog smells like syrup" and it kept leading me to diabetes in dogs. Nope. Then I searched Zoguard and no odd smells, just that it didn't work. It dawned on me that it was the new medicine as my eyes hurt and the smell was making me nauseous.
Springing into action, my son and I bathed and bathed the poor pup until the odor was gone. Then all of the contaminated bedding, three separate areas, puppy bed, son's and my bedding and jammies, all had to be washed in hot water 2 or 3 times until clean. Four loads of laundry, all done.
Okay, then I started feeling a different kind of feel after eating a "gluten free" pizza. It, too, had gotten contaminated and the weirdy symptoms of gluten ingestion hit me, hard. I get dizzy, my chest burns and I feel weak and loopy. That didn't bother me too much. Then my arms, from fingertips to elbows and, to a lesser degree, my legs from knee to foot started going numb, not pins and needles from sitting funny or applied pressure, but for no, currently explainable reason.
My chest felt really funny and my heart was pounding. I seriously thought I was having a heart attack. So I made my first trip to the local hospital where I had never been before.
I was scared, alone in a very large, city hospital. I kept asking for directions and was ushered in to a huge emergency room. The nurse was great and talked to me like I was a kid, then, as I listened to what was happening in the adjoining rooms, I realized that's just how these ER nurses talk, slow and low. Okay, I stopped feeling like I looked stupid.
Long story shortened, it turns out that my recent foray into my love of painting had exacerbated my cervical spinal stenosis and was cause my extremities to go numb from the inflammation and use of my arms. It's really a scary symptom and I'll need to see my doctor to get treatment, probably acupuncture, chiropractic care, more x-rays, better medication and maybe physical therapy again. Oh boy...
I'd never been in a big city ER, and I saw and heard traumatic stuff. A guy screaming in pain, fighting the nurses, doctor saying "I'm holding it here so You Don't Bleed Out", omg, omg, omg. The terrible shrieks of pain from this poor soul. Yep, traumatized in the ER, fer sure. Did I mention how frightened I was being in a new place? A new place where I didn't know a soul and didn't know where the exit was or what was happening to me next?
The nurses, all very nice, had something unfamiliar that I hadn't experienced in my small town life...they had a certain professional distance to them, a detachment because that's needed for them to do their job effectively. I realized that I really didn't need to say much and stopped worrying about making small talk.
After screaming guy was rolled off to surgery, the room was shortly filled with a crying baby. Omg, omg, omg, that was almost worse than the previous tenant. It's triggering for me, to be sure.
I wanted out and fast but I found some patience and waited it out. After laying there for a couple hours, my doctor finally returned with the good news. Zero heart problems but big time spine issues along with either a virus or acid reflux. It seems every couple of years, my stomach goes nuts, gets painful and I struggle with appetite and good digestion. This is one of those times.
Finally, I was discharged and made my way to the pharmacy on the way home. I tried calling my son, but the home phone wasn't working, thus I rushed as safely as possible.
The new meds seem to be okay. I have a couple more refills to get tomorrow. I'd like to stop by the health department to see if my nurse is on duty. See, when they put the iv in, it ran everywhere and when they took it out, again, a bloody mess. I'm afraid to take the bandage off. My nurse is wonderful and understanding. I'm hoping she has a couple of minutes to help me. I feel a little bit stupid but I've spent every hour of today frightened. And I'm not afraid to ask for help from nurse because she's nice and has always been helpful and kind. Plus, I need to set up a doctor's appointment to get my neck taken care of.
It's been a truly terrible, scary day. Everything seemed to go wrong in very big ways.
I can sleep in, if I can sleep but I have another big appointment at another new place. I'm trying my best, I really am. It's just harder at times these days. I've really been sick for two whole weeks, first the cold, then infected tonsil and now this.
I'm broken, I'm stressed, I get that....but the trauma dramas are free to stop now.
I'm bummed it's a few more days till therapy. Therapist seems like one big effective bandage these days...just too many days between appointments.
Maybe tomorrow will be better, lighter and smoother. A girl can hope, right?