Autism · Depression · Suicide

Unquiet Thoughts – by Melanie Bee Cee

I indulged a – way? impulse? … I’m having a hard time with WORDS.. impulse is good enough … I indulged an impulse of mine and Image Googled the title..and found a 16th?  17th?  heck OLD storehouse of images of sheaves of music, by some long dead musician, which were entitled “Unquiet Thoughts.”  Perhaps the classical music buffs out there will know the title, I’d never heard of it.

So I then image Googled “Unquiet” and found more useable images, but was becoming rapidly creeped out because I don’t do horror and there seemed to be a lot of stuff about unquiet graves and ghosts and well NO.

So I gleaned these two from tudorbratu.com.  They are unsettling in some undefined way (at least to ME)…something very unquiet about them, although there is no noise at all implied.

Where is that road?   The photographer obviously thought it worth several shots…

Tonight my unquiet thoughts are spinning around a couple of things that I’ve been pondering off and on all day.

A blogger I follow (Memee’s Musings)…blogged recently about suicide:

Be A True Friend. Isolation Kills!

The blog piece is chilling and brought up memories of my own attempt and the stark aloneness I felt at that time.   The pain I was in, psychic pain – no outward appearance of it except that I cried easily, I was snappish and cold to my husband, I rejected comfort; the pain was unbearable and I thought how sweet it would be to just go to sleep and not have to endure it any more.   I think all suicide survivors or (if we could talk to them) successful attempters feel that isolation.   That great pain that becomes unbearable.   Leads us to try to do something about it and sometimes we succeed.

Last night I watched a documentary which raised another ghost of my particular mental stew of symptoms…it was entitled “Autistics in Love”.    I am interested greatly in autism, and recently had a sibling wonder if that particular disorder isn’t in our gene pool.   I noted that they’ve now raised autism to a ‘spectrum’ level…which to me (uninformed that I am) means that there are a vast range of ways the disorder manifests itself…from very mild to severe.   If it’s in my family, it’s never been diagnosed and it is EXTREMELY mild.  But there is a young person (a young adult of one of my siblings) who is beginning to show the symptoms, same as me; and another (another young adult of another sibling) who is watched very carefully because they’ve kind of gone off the rails and have been in psychiatric care periodically.  Um…

I don’t know if I have that particular disorder, I was young eons before they even started diagnosing individuals WITH autism as having autism and not being the lump label of “retarded”.

Something one of the participants in the documentary said rang so true to me though and this is the part that makes my mind unquiet this night:   She said (paraphrased) “I was always ‘different’.   Nobody ‘got’ me.  They thought I was weird and strange.  I couldn’t make and keep friends like other people.   I felt out of place in my own skin.  I learned to hide and blend into what I thought might be expected of me.  I am a great actress.”   It was like she was talking about me.

Her father was interviewed and put it like this:  (again with the paraphrasing):  “People are born with social ‘antennae’ if you will, we pick up on subtle clues from each other as to how we should act and react.   People with autism don’t have those antennae or they don’t work properly…”

Autism is defined by me (and this is overly simplistic, I realize there are more components and facets to it than I’m listing here)…as a communication disorder.   People with it don’t communicate the same way as everyone else.  It’s frustrating and that adds to the problem.  I suppose it’s sort of like being deaf.  You can’t put it into words.   The message is garbled on the other end.

I realized this week that my antennae still don’t work properly.   I had a Christmas gift for someone to whom the act was inappropriate.   Our relationship is not one that includes friendship.   It’s professional.   I realize now that I crossed some sort of boundary, but the fact remains that I didn’t even realize there was a boundary prior to them explaining to me that giving them something for Christmas was an inappropriate action.   It could potentially compromise the professional relationship.

And that sort of thing happens to me all the time and has since I was a child.   I just don’t see things like other people do.   It’s very disturbing too.  And at my age it tends to be embarrassing more often than not.   I’ve got the actress part down pat, and unless you know me really really well (and not many do), you wouldn’t guess nor notice that there’s anything different about me.  Well so I tell myself.

I don’t know if I have autism, but I suspect I might have a very, very mild presentation.  My mother did as well.   We functioned in society, we held jobs and we married and we pretended to be ‘normal’ but we weren’t.    When I’m by myself alone (which is all the time now by choice) I don’t have to act.  And I’m finding it’s becoming harder to do when I have to go out.   I’m tired of trying to figure out what other people expect of me.   Because I just don’t get it 99.5% of the time.  And I’m also coming not to care that this is the situation of my declining years.   Maybe I’ll borrow that line from “Steel Magnolias” and tell folks…

“I’m not crazy.   I’ve just been in a really bad mood for the past 55 years…”

© Melanie Bee Cee 2016


Read Melanie’s previous contribution:

Blog: sparksfromacombustiblemind

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3 thoughts on “Unquiet Thoughts – by Melanie Bee Cee

  1. First, thank you for the mention 😉

    I wanted to say that I read a book maybe 16 years ago about Autism. And I did a lot of highlighting and writing in the margins, I would write the name of my mother, my son, myself at the points that glared sharply at each of us.

    When my son was 6 I was told my his then old man psychologist that my son had “all of the signs and symptoms of Autism but he is not autistic. Kids who are autistic will sit in the sand and just draw the sand up, watching it fall, over and over again for hours.” That was meant as an example not a fact. So, he was unofficially diagnosed with autism. I think he’s probably asperger’s which is the extremely mild form of autism. It’s not written down on paper and he’s grown out of a lot of the problems associated with it, but still there are things that remain that deter his life from being normal.

    Like

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