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.
Sounds like things are really improving for you and it is good that people are showing such a genuine interest in you as well as caring for your well-being and needs. The fact that you have some unwritten agreement among you and your friends on how best is to communicate is wonderful. I am still trying to work on that one, but the fact that you have accomplished this brings me hope. Verbal/body language is overrated and unfortunately society revolves around it, but I still believe there is a way that NT and ND people can communicate between each other better than we do currently. Understanding and education will help with this over time.
I'm glad that things are improving for you and you are feeling better than when we last spoke. :)
Thank you Starbuck, I appreciate that. I feel so loved and cared for right now and with every message I get I feel so fortunate. I know I’m there for my friends and I don’t really ask for help, I didn’t know how to, but this feels like they are paying me back 100% plus more ~ not that I ever put a price on what I give.
And yes, I 100% agree with you. I absolutely believe there’s a way we can communicate better with nt’s. Most of my friends are nt’s and the diagnosis and the time spent in this burnout have taught me that I need to learn about others and understand them as much as I want them to understand me, as far as they can. My support worker is helping me with that as well and I’m finding ways to communicate with people that doesn’t result in arguments and me getting annoyed with them. I also see how even my brother in law, who I thought for all these years was out to wind me up, wasn’t/isn’t. I thought he was the chief winder upper and he wasn’t at all.
I’m coming to understand that my autistic traits won’t dissapear just because I have awareness of them but that I can do things to minimise meltdowns etc. For example, I might spent time with people but maybe make the visit a bit shorter and rest afterwards.
Having all that time alone, not even having to get out of bed or wash and change everyday etc has helped me tremendously as well as having the support from people on this site. I’ve still got a long way to go, my support worker keeps reminding me that I’ve got further to go than I’d like to think and that we have to keep on working the baby steps, because they are actually working. But I’m out of the darkest stage and I can see the light and that’s good enough for me.
I think we will all find our way to the light if that’s what we’re aiming for, however we get there. You’re often in my thoughts Starbuck because I know we were at a similar stage so I’m glad that my experience is giving you hope. It’s like it all just happened all of a sudden but as we know I put a lot of effort in to getting me where I am today but it worked. I’ve stopped taking the anti depressants but they were a huge huge help. I don’t think I could have got this far without them. I’m very grateful to them.
With the communication thing, I think it’s all about have total confidence in yourself. Not in who you present to the world, that’s superficial, but in that thing, whatever it is that got us this far. I’ve always had a strong connection to it, all my life, although I didn’t understand it like I do now, or I didn’t understand that others weren’t like me. It’s like when you’re so connected to that thing inside of you that is beyond thoughts and ideas, it emenates out and meets other people. It’s like, I knew I needed this period of total solitude. I knew that and had so much confidence in it, it’s like my friends responded and supported me by not contacting me in all that time. If they had been contacting me I would have been freaking out, I wouldn’t have been able to handle it. I came off all social media, unsubscribed to all email lists and started blocking them. This took me nearly a year but I achieved it so now I’m not getting emails. I just reduced my life down to nothing, basically. I rarely even get mail coming through the door now. In the past year I’ve hardly ate and when I did, it was usually chocolate yet my blood results are better than they’ve ever been. My vitamin D levels are the highest my doctor said that he’s ever seen. He said in fact, he’s never tested anybody who wasn’t deficient. And I know this is true after working with consultants and politicians in the Isle of Man to get the government to supplement everyone as a matter of course. I have never not been aneamic. Me, my mum, sister and niece are all aneamic. We take iron tablets now and again if it goes too low and we can rarely give blood, but this time, my levels were normal. I have provided my body with little nutrition, no sun light, hardly any fresh air, I have barely moved, I even have bed soars, I haven’t kept my hydration levels up, I have been frequently dehydrated, living on solpeideine to take the pain away because even though I knew a drink of water would do that, I couldn’t drink. Even if I had had to live on the streets, there was nothing that was coming between me and my burnout. Meaning I was shutting the whole world out. I knew it would work even though all those around me were worried, trying to throw labels at me, eating disorder, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, agoraphobia. I was none of those things. I presented as those things but that was a false appearance. I was simply exhausted. My first shut down of this proportion was when I was 18 months old and they put me in an isolation ward at the hospital for kids with learning difficulties, for 3 weeks, all by myself with only nurses going in to feed me. And it worked. I began to function again. And as many of us found out, receiving the diagnosis is not only a cause of celebration with the answers to so many questions, asked and unasked, it also comes with loss, grief, devastation, fear for the future and lots of other things. 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. I was too tired for that. And now I’m coming out of it with a clearer mind and heart. The effort was all worth it.
Much love to you X
BlueRay said: 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?
I didn’t even go into the job centre to tell them I wasn’t coming in. This is what I mean. I woke up one morning and something told me I had missed a job centre appointment. I checked and I had. I thought good, because I don’t want to go in that place any more anyway.
I had had a break of three weeks from the job centre because my work coach went on a three week cruise. They would never put me with another advisor, even though they had introduced me to one ‘just in case’ and they had helped me to get to know her. But that was ‘just in case’ my advisor dropped dead. I said I would only see another advisor if she dropped dead. So obviously they didn’t give me another advisor in her absence.
That three week break was like bliss. It did me so much good. I only went to my autism group once in that time and I didn’t go to the ancestry group at all. It was wonderful. I got a really good amount of rest.
So when I realised I had missed the appointment, I thought I’m just going to phone them up and tell them, the break has done me good and I’m not coming in anymore.
I phoned a number. I told them. The woman on the end of the phone said instantly that I wasn’t sanctioned, I nearly said I never thought I was, but I didn’t. She was then very apologetic that she had to make me an appointment though. She told me not to worry, she would make the appointment with my work coach (they do it there and then) but that she would also send a message to my coach, to explain the situation, so I didn’t have to, and she would make the appointment for only 10 minutes and she would ask the work coach to make the arrangements for me to go in the group where I don’t have to go into the job centre.
I never asked for any of that. I barely spoke. I said I’ll see if I can make it.
I went for the appointment, my friend came with me. Before I said anything, the work coach said straight away, don’t worry, I understand the situation, I got the message, you don’t have to say anything. She even apologised (which I thought was weird) and began to stammer a little bit, unlike I’d seen her do before, and she said I’m sorry, I thought we’d already requested a work assessment, I don’t know what’s happened to it.
I didn’t say anything, but to my knowledge and memory, we had never discussed a work assessment. So she said she’s on to it anyway. She said she will have to see me in a few weeks but we’ll make it as our catch up. She’ll tell me about the cruise and tell her what I’ve been up to. She said don’t worry.
The job centre coach doesn’t talk to me about details of the benefit either, like once she said they couldn’t accept my sick note. My support worker (arranged by the work coach) liases with her on my behalf so she can then explain things like that to me in a way that I can understand.
All of that happened and I barely said anything. I have heard and met people in a similar situation as yours. One lady at my group was supported financially and in every other way for months while she was left with no money. I was astounded at the generosity of the people in the group in the way they supported her. She wouldn’t have survived all that time without their support.
I don’t make ‘light’ of living off the streets and eating out of bins I simply see no difference to sitting on a street to sitting on a setee in a house. Yes, the setee might be more comfortable, but comfort is only one aspect of my life and there are also many ways to get comfortable, even on the streets. And if I’m sitting down, I’m sitting down, no matter what I’m sitting on.
What I’m trying to say is, if I’m on the streets, I’m on the streets. If I’m living in a mansion, I’m living in a mansion. I might have a preference for one over the other if I was given a choice, but in this life, if you want something you are not always given a choice as to how it will come about.
If I had been sanctioned, I would simply see that I’ve been sanctioned. If that lead to me sleeping on the streets, it would be that last night I slept in that house, tonight I’m sleeping on the street. If the only way I could have my shut down was by sleeping on the street, I would still go to sleep with the same smile on my face and with the same amount of love and gratitude in my heart for the ability to have my shut down and to be able to go to sleep. If I’m asleep, I’m asleep. What difference does it make if I’m in a mansion or on a street? Im still the one sleeping whether I’m in a bed or on a street. Sleep is sleep. What I sleep in doesn’t change who I am. It doesn’t change my happiness. It doesn’t change my gratitude or my adventure. I’m just sleeping here tonight. I don’t put conditions on how I receive what I want/need, only that I get it.
I didn’t think I don’t want to be sanctioned. That thought never came into my head. I thought, I don’t want to go into that job centre. I’ve had enough. I’ve enjoyed not getting washed and dressed and needing to know what day it is so I don’t miss the appointment. My mind has got clearer and sharper. I feel more energised, even if it’s only in my mind right now, my body will follow if I continue this freedom from having to do those things such as get washed and dressed and be somewhere I don’t want to go, somewhere that stresses me out. And that’s what happened after I told them. I didn’t ask them not to sanction me. The thought never came into my head.
They’re now arranging it so I don’t have to go in to the job centre. I’ve stopped making any kind of entries in that journal thing as well. I stopped that ages ago actually. Before she went away, she did ask me to make one entry, to avoid it going upstairs (whatever that meant) and she told me what to say.
I don’t think I walk an exalted path at all (whatever that is, but I’m sure I don’t). I didn’t know what would happen when I picked up that phone. Maybe they said you’re sanctioned. Well in that case, I would have probably said, ok, thank you and gone back to bed, as I did after she said I wasn’t sanctioned.
I would of carried on doing what I was doing. Talking on here probably and that’s it. I wouldn’t be angry or upset that they had sanctioned me. It’s not as if it was my money to start with. And I would have just carried on. I don’t know what would have happen after that but I did know, I was going to get my rest and that’s all that mattered.
So I guess, in this situation, the people who magically cooperated with what I wanted, was the woman who answered the phone, the job centre coach and my friend, who turned up that day, not knowing about any of this, and encouraged me to go because otherwise, I don’t think I would have gone. I didn’t want to talk to them, that was the whole point, I was improving more because I wasn’t going in there. . She said I’ll go with you and you don’t have to speak, I’ll speak for you. But it turned out that none of us had to speak, it seems the woman who answered the phone said something, I’ve no idea what, but whatever she said she made it clear I didn’t want to speak. I think that was the day my friend took me out to lunch as well.
BlueRay said:I simply see no difference to sitting on a street to sitting on a setee in a house. Yes, the setee might be more comfortable, but comfort is only one aspect of my life and there are also many ways to get comfortable, even on the streets. And if I’m sitting down, I’m sitting down, no matter what I’m sitting on.
I'm sorry, BlueRay, but I can't help it on this occasion. This is nonsense. Not only that, but many desperate homeless people would find it extremely insensitive at best and grossly offensive at worst.
Martian Tom said:I'm sorry, BlueRay, but I can't help it on this occasion. This is nonsense. Not only that, but many desperate homeless people would find it extremely insensitive at best and grossly offensive at worst.
One person's nonsense is another person's lived experience. So just as you find BlueRay's description nonsense, I have experienced much like it and in no way as a desperate homeless person. I was homeless and it was a matter of facts, and I paid diligent attention to the necessity of them, eating from skips, waking up in frozen clothes and so on and so on.
It’s ok Deepthought, I’m out of here. I’ve never been met with so much hostility and name calling before in all my life. Like you, when I’ve been homeless I’ve been homeless, it’s a fact, and like you I accepted that fact and paid diligent attention to what I needed to do, I didn’t sit around crying about how terrible my life was. If I did that, I’d still be on the streets, I’d still be in and out of prison. Instead of crying about how terrible it is to be homeless I did something about it.
BlueRay said:It’s ok Deepthought, I’m out of here
Well that would be nice if you meant only for the time being in the temporary sense perhaps?
Deepthought said:One person's nonsense is another person's lived experience. So just as you find BlueRay's description nonsense, I have experienced much like it and in no way as a desperate homeless person. I was homeless and it was a matter of facts, and I paid diligent attention to the necessity of them, eating from skips, waking up in frozen clothes and so on and so on.
I was deliberately using that absolutist construction, Deepthought. But you're quite right, and I would normally have written something less severe. More along the lines of 'I believe this to be nonsense.' In fact, I wouldn't even have said that. More like 'I don't believe this to be true for everyone.' I think indignation made me slip a little, too.
Martian Tom said:I was deliberately using that absolutist construction, Deepthought.
I noticed, I have been following the patterns of development prior to and via your thread on Realism and Nominalism, to the full crystallisation of the Absolutism here, and thus my intervention with the Relationalism.
Martian Tom said: But you're quite right, and I would normally have written something less severe.
The basic problem was Black and White thinking, and as such using the Null Hypothesis, where Black registers as nothing or experientially negative and therefore being nonsense and disagreeable, and white registers as something or experientially positive and therefore is sensible and agreeable.
Consider for instance that Alice looks at Object A and describes a Square, and Bob looks at Object A also but describes a Rectangle. Object A is an Oblong ~ who then out of Alice and Bob is correct in terms of which shape they saw?
Two answers are that Alice is correct in describing a Rectangle on the grounds of who needs anything less? And Bob is correct in describing a Square on the grounds of who needs anything more?
So in terms of normally writing something less severe:
Martian Tom said:More along the lines of 'I believe this to be nonsense.'
At this stage the same message is being repeated as before ~ with the 'spearhead' of your statement still being the word 'nonsense'. Stating that something "more along the lines of" is actually more severe in linguistic spearheading terms.
Coming to terms with this interpretive glitch was very healthy indeed though ~ in the sense of noticing it as not being the healthier option. Another consideration for instance is "This is not making sense to me", yet you clocked it very well indeed as:
Martian Tom said:More like 'I don't believe this to be true for everyone.'
Seriously Tom, absolute linguistic gold, seriously.
In terms of the "I believe this to be nonsense." as involves the darkest or most malevolent (ill-wishing) self of us; from which we learn what not to do, and in terms of "I don't believe this to be true for everyone." as involves the lightest or most benevolent (well-wishing) self of us, from which we learn what to do.
Thus as such you considered the 'nonsense' of the negative self, then the 'sense' of the positive self, and as such weighed up and balanced out as the neutral self.
Martian Tom said: I think indignation made me slip a little, too.
Well with your little slip of indignation with us, the Child-Parent dichotomy problem became a well and balanced Adult solution.
I think it’s probably permanently Deepthought. I know the decision to leave the group was initially due to my autistic black and white thinking, but I also don’t feel as comfortable on here any more. If I can’t talk freely, what is the point of talking, is my way of thinking?
BlueRay said: I know the decision to leave the group was initially due to my autistic black and white thinking, but I also don’t feel as comfortable on here any more.
Well after what happened, I am in no way surprised at the moment that you do not feel comfortable talking as freely as you have before, very few people do when it comes to being treated disrespectfully regarding their individual outlook on life.
Such discomfort is meant 'not' in order to test us, but in order to 'rouse' us from our Autistic benightedness (or ignorance) about how to communicate in more socially amenable ways.
It helps to keep secure in mind that there are Conscious, Psychical, Mental and Physical languages and terms for relating with others, who are likewise familiar, or wish to learn. Thus there are four types of people who relate with these languages and terms, down to those who just use the Physical language base:
Type Fours (or T4s) have a developed sense of all experiential ranges of awareness, and use all language bases ~ so are Conscious, Psychical, Mental and Physical. T4s are by proportion enlightened Facilitators, and are the lesser minority of the population, at way less than 1%.
Type Threes (or T3s) have Conscious, Psychical, Mental and Physical awareness, and develop their Conscious range of experience for the more evolved, or else are more evolving their Psychical. Mental and Physical sensibilities. T3s are by proportion intuitional Leaders, and are the greater minority of the human population, at 9% approximately.
Type Twos are (or T2s) have Conscious, Psychical, Mental and Physical awareness, and develop their Psychical range of experience, for the more evolved, or else are more evolving their Mental and Physical sensibilities. T2s are more by proportion conceptual Supporters, and are the lesser majority of the human population, at around 30% approximately.
Type Ones (or T1s) have Conscious, Psychical, Mental and Physical awareness, and develop their Mental range of experience, for the more evolved, or else are evolving more their Physical sensibilities. T1s are more by proportion instinctual Followers, and are the greater majority of the human population, at around 60% approximately.
So what you do know and can do (as a T3 to become a T4) is not possible for all (particularly T1s and T2s), and what you consider to be an adaptable state of mind (such as the previously mentioned poverty thing) is for most also an immutable state of actual body and environment ~ that is very concretely and very objectively real for them. Nothing they do can ever change that, T1s live and breath physical and material poverty as is their path through evolution ~ whether rich or poor, for they are the youngest of the 'Children of Humanity', and need providing for as Followers ~ hence T2s are Supporters, T3s are Leaders and T4s are Facilitators.
[Autism involves being at least a T3, although T3s can be more like T2s or T1s ~ consistently, or intermitently]
So when you stated that you get what you want to survive, it is lucky that what you want is actually what you 'need' in evolutional terms, and as such you are in harmony with the facilitational frequency of your life course ~ as has just included here a sociological clanger! I have had quite a few myself just like yours here ;-) and they are good to learn from, really they are, especially with others who can relate :-)
Learn from not run from maybe?
Also spent time homeless
and in a hostel for the homeless
ElephantInTheRoom said:Also spent time homeless
ElephantInTheRoom said:and in a hostel for the homeless
I never did the hostel thing myself as I was too unsettled. Staying in one place did not really happen until I found my footing, which is to say where I felt most grounded, and got on the emergency housing list. Then I found a place advertised the next day in a paper ~ and the landlord turned out to be someone I used to know. He did not recognise me at first, but it was well amusing when he did, because he was really pleased and surprised ~ and memoirs and laughter aplenty did flow. He was a genius chess player type, and I had a mega bonus playing chess with him on a regular basis.
One thing I did have trouble with was that I was so used to sleeping on hard floors; that it took me a year and half's practice before I could sleep on a soft bed again.
Did you find the hostel thing to be okay?
I never went to hostels. I didn’t feel safe in them, I felt safer on the streets.