Tag Archives: #Post-Traumatic-Shock-Syndrome

To Find A Balance Within

Amazingly over the last two years I am still walking. I flew off my push bike. Hit the ground hard and woke up some time later with the dog literally sitting on me.
Totally disorientated stood the bike up and walked it and the dog nearby up the hill to a friends shop.

She freaked out. Blood everywhere. Cleaned up and walked a while. Then rode the bike home and slept. Sometime in the afternoon, a friend called round. Woke me up banging on the bedroom windows. Dragged me off to the doctors. Who finally sent me for X-rays. Several ‘requests’ later.

I have a hazy memory of wanting  all this fuss to go away so that I could do some more of the online marketing course. Only thing was that the screen would not stay still for over a week. Besides, all round my head and ears hurt. Wearing glasses was a next to impossible achievement. Add to this that, I would wake up then falling off my chair. Often just resting on the floor and waking up some time later. The dog nearby. And at times sniffling into my ear with his wet nose.

This dog Sox, is very much like a companion dog. And currently were both on a diet. Why?

We have both put weight on. For me hitting just over the 15 kilos ‘point something’ this morning was the pits. The three years off and on before flying off the push bike in 2014 October 17th had been a big game changer. My whole attitude had changed. That time it was of finding out who I was. Where I was going and how I presented myself.

Suppose it could also be inclusive of the “empty nest syndrome’.

As such I was either riding the push bike or running in the pines along the nearby vehicle inspection tracks through the pines. Sox ‘herding the kangaroos’ !! Okay, apparently the 1/4 dingo that is in there was coming out. Cows or sheep were safe. They were boring.

When Sox was having his afternoon sleep I was in the local swimming pools and swimming. Got up to 2.5 km every time I hit the water. So being just about able to really fit into size ’14’ clothes was fun.

Recently I saw a picture that had two women on it. Both the same age. The first was a 74-year old body building champion. In a bikini. The second was a lady sitting forlornly looking out the window. The first was smiling at the achievement. The second had a far away look of hopelessness. That last one hit home. I had nursed people in these situations.

Yesterday a friend stated there was something that I had not faced. As I walked once again around with the muscles in my left calf pulling and really hurting I began to realise that the last time I had felt something like this pain was ‘the equivalent’ to when I would have been born. You see I had both feet ‘clubbed feet’ [a.k.a. Talipies] and both hips ‘congenital dislocating’.

In some cultures, my life would have been worth nothing. However in the New Zealand one my father, by law, had the last say. He invited me into his ‘home’. My mother was able to take me home.

I asked once was there ever a time that he had loved me. The answer was “as much as I could” Which is a weird answer until people look at that in context.

Being a child of the World WarII and in London during the bombing, only a few stories did he ever repeat. Those though stuck in my head. That’s the OCD part of my character sorting out and finding these things.

It took until recently to realise why they stayed in there . With the visual side of my Autism. The words my father was speaking painted in a picture. Rather like color by numbers systematic steps. Do some now of this colour and some later of that color. One day the whole picture may be complete enough to recognise the picture.

You see every one of us in my family has some form of the Autism Spectrum. Primarily hovering in and around the High Functioning Autism aspect.

At his answer the realization confirmed. My father too has Autism. And so the “As much as I could answer makes sense”. Also, the job he did as a policeman would have raised the walls with interpersonal relationships. Remember there was not after the case talk down. you either functioned and went to work. Or you were broken and unfit for work.

In a world that still to this day seeks perfectionism… by my father accepting me into his home he was accepting ‘me’. And therefore, I was perfect. Just like God made me to be.

Ans ‘therein’ lies the issue. First God, then my father, had ‘formally’ accepted me. It was up to me to accept me. After the car accident years later when there was no recognition of what and who that other person who was constantly there was for nearly 24 years later I did not know who I was. Therefore did not know to accept who I was. Mirrors and windows reflected off other people. I never was in any of the photos taken as I could not recognize the lady that I saw in the van [ 1991] just before starting the ignition. Moving the vehicle forward.

By total fluke, a photo was taken of me, by me. Now I was able to connect one action to the other. Later I wondered who that person was with the lost vacant eyes were in the photo I had taken of me. A week went by. And then another. Finally, I asked a friend in Germany who this woman was that kept getting in the way of me.

He was totally confused. Totally missing the point of what I was trying to find out. And then asked [aka yelled] in despite me this question ” who do you think it is?” That’s when he remembered through his own tiredness what I was I was trying to tell him. Sometimes I wonder about selective mutism popping up here and there.

Instructing me to get a mirror, we would discover who the person was that the saw whenever we talked. I remember tears. I remember coming back to the computer a few days later and that picture was still there. In my ‘minds eye’ I was till 31 years old not 54 years.  And did that take some getting used too as well! To tell the truth it was as though some total stranger was looking at the outside world and giving me a screen view of what was happening.  Meanwhile here was me entrapped. Not even knowing I was not the one looking out through my eyes. ILater I learned that this was synonymous with an Autistic version of Post-Traumatic-Overload.  The total close down of everything.

Back to the photograph there I was catching a bus down to the town and buying a mirror. When at home there I was in front of the computer talking to Steffen again.

Often when people want to experience vision impairment[ blindness] they are given a cover over their eyes and lead around. Then through touch, they get to experience their environment. Steffen reversed this process.  With him on Skype, and myself with the mirror, he took me through my memories of who I remembered me physically being.  Through facial touch we discussed the differences. including the difference in hair colours. Gray had come in there.  Now I looked like my mother… just 25 years earlier who looked like I did then.  Talk about confusing. And yes we do look similar.

Memories and gradually replacing the ‘me’ from my past with superimposing the ‘me’ I saw there. Getting to know the feel of who was the ‘me’ on that day.

And then I slept again for a few days in between. We used the ‘sleep it through ‘time as to know when my mind was ready to get to know me once again.  Simple basic steps that were allowing my body and mind to find a balance within the overload.

Now, through many things, here I finally am at 56 years of age writing “I accept ME”.

After all, who am I to argue with the Master of everything.

Sincerely

Susan

Reach out to me on susan@autismasagift.com

or for business related matters  ; susanlewis@susanlewismarketing.com