Verbal/body language communication is over rated

Verbal communication and actions are over rated.

For example, for the past 12 months while I’ve been in burnout, I haven’t heard from hardly any of my friends and barely any of my family, and I’ve got a lot of friends and family, so this isn’t usual.

This has been a true god send to me. Most of them don’t even know yet that I’m autistic and they certainly don’t know I’ve been in a burnout, they have no idea.

However, since I’ve started to feel better, I’ve had a steady but manageable (so far) stream of friends contacting me. Inviting me out for lunch, to go for a walk, to go nordic walking, cycling, one friend who knows I would love to go to Marrakesh has paid for and booked a holiday there for us in June, the same friend has also booked a hotel for us next week so we can go to listen to her favourite band who are coming over from America. None of her friends like the band so they won’t go but she knows I’d go to the end of the world for her if needs be so although I don’t like going to listen to bands, I’m happy to go with her because I know how important it is to her and she’s insisted that she pay for that as well. We might not see each other or have any kind of contact for months and months on end but she knows she can rely on me to the degree that if i’m able to help or be there for her in any way, I will be. She doesn’t have the same level of confidence in the friends she hangs out with all the time.

I have other invites coming in as well, as well as friends popping up to simply say hi, how are you. I don’t keep in regular verbal or physical contact with my friends or family but we are in touch constantly by something much stronger than our words and actions. They didn’t know that I need their friendships right now, that their friendships are what will help me on my next leg of the journey. I’ve decided to go back to India and Bali and some other countries so I’m going to be away for a while this time, maybe a few years, maybe forever, who knows, so it’s great that I get to see some of my friends before I go. And no matter where I am in the world, at least one of my family or friends (who are my family) will come and visit me. They have been to Australia, Bali, India, the Isle of Man, all the places I’ve lived in the UK, wherever I go or wherever I am my friends keep in touch with me some how. I’ve even had letters and cards arrive at remote ashrams I’ve been at in India ~ I wouldn’t even know you could do that!

I don’t keep in touch with them so much but they never let me out of their hearts and visa versa. They all encourage and support me no matter what I do. My dad is currently encouraging me to walk the Pacific Crest Trail, another friend bought me the book with the route etc and I just know that whether I want them to or not, at least one of them will come and see me while I’m walking the trail and either walk a bit of the trail with me or for me to have a little stop off with them. I know when my sister is hurt and in which part of her body and visa versa and she’s the least ‘spiritual’ person you could ever come across.

This is a few days later now and I have to admit that the messages from friends and family is starting to become a little overwhelming for me now. I’ll handle it. But what I’m saying is, if I had to rely on verbal communication, I don’t think I’d have any friends at all, but I speak to them in my language. They don’t use this language with other people and they have no idea really how it works with me but it does and I’m overflowing with gratitude at the love and friendship that’s pouring my way now, now that I’m ready to receive it.

Verbal communication hurts my head, sign language is a bit better but I much prefer to communicate in a non verbal, none sign language way. That way I don’t have to get past all your understandings and you beyond mine before we reach some level of mutual understanding.

This is why I love silent retreats and the level of friendships you form there go way deeper than the ones you make when you are verbally communicating or communicating through body language.

I love it when I go mute but that doesn’t happen very often so I have to accept that I was given the ability to speak for some reason. I have surrendered to this now so now I will be guided in whatever way I need to be and if it means using my voice, so be it. I don’t hate it like I used to. I accept I can speak and now I’m not fighting it I guess I’ll soon find out why I can. I still find verbal/body language to be a very crude and harsh form of communication though. 

Parents Reply
  • In the end I also stopped going to the job centre. I just told them I’m not going in any more, it’s not helping me, I need to not leave my house at all. They didn’t sanction me and they’re making it so I don’t have to go in any more. When I need that time for total shut down, I am so committed to getting that time that I will not accept anything less but I also don’t put any conditions on it. If it meant living on the streets and eating out of bins I would have done it. And I think when you’re that committed to giving yourself what you need, everyone around you seems to cooperate without you having to verbalise it.

    Golly!  You really must walk an exalted path, BlueRay.  How come you weren't sanctioned?  When I failed my ESA assessment, following my suicidal breakdown, they stopped all of my benefits dead.  I had nothing to pay rent or anything.  I nearly went under.  I appealed, so everything was reinstated - but then I had to go through all the stress of the appeal, and then later a tribunal.  All of it nearly finished me off.  I count myself lucky that it didn't, because it's finished off many thousands of other people.  When the DWP were finally forced to reveal the figures on sanctions deaths, it was shown that over a two-year period between 2012 and 2014, 2,380 people on ESA died within a fortnight of being told they'd been deemed fit for work and would lose the benefit. An horrific proportion were suicides.   But you're saying you simply went to the Job Centre and said 'I'm not coming in any more because it's not helping me', and they just happily went along with it?  Even though we hear countless stories all the time of people having JSA sanctions simply because they were half an hour late turning up to sign on, or didn't go because they were ill.  They clearly saw how committed you were to your shutdown, I suppose.  I also find it remarkable how light you make of living on the streets and eating out of bins - as if it's a valid and wonderful life experience.  Who are all these people, too, who magically co-operate when that happens?  All these friends you have?