…in my garden. Excuse the weeds and lack of deadheading, it’s beautiful anyway.
And in his doggie paradise sits…
…Bertie, surveying his kingdom.
Thanks for coming on this little wander with us 🙂
See you soon xxx
a creative life on the spectrum
I would like to thank you all for following me, for your thoughtful and supportive comments and for helping this lonely woman feel accepted in this global community of ours. Actually I don’t feel as lonely as I did when I started this blog.
I’m on my way in sorting out my Facebook problem (see previous post and comments) but suffering from the fall out from that experience. It felt like I was in a crowded room with everyone vying for my attention. I’m sure that’s not the case at all but if you’re autistic you may understand this onslaught I felt.
Lovely Husband has gone into Taunton so I’m sitting quietly working on my grandson’s jumper that he has requested for his birthday. I’m really enjoying it. I think it’s going to be rather large on him for a while!
I’m working on another post but I need clarity of mind to write it.
Bertie is keeping me company.
Bless his little heart ❤
See you soon, bye for now xx
Facebook. Too much going on. Too much in your face. Too much expectation. Too much demand for attention. Too much negativity. Too much insidious bullying…
There. I’ve said it. Now I hope I feel better.
They say autistics do well with social media because it offers friendship. I don’t. I find it heart janglingly unpredictable. One moment I’m looking adoringly at a picture of my grandchild and in the next an animal suffering from cruelty.
I closed one account a few years ago and my main account last Christmastime. Today I reopened both. I wanted to remove friends and family to the ‘smaller’ account and leave the bigger one open to autism, art and craft related people. I miss seeing pictures of my grandchildren. It had got to the point where there are too many people I’ve never met and I worried about security when I wanted to share family photos.
Anyway, I’ve done the rearranging and the inviting. Now it feels just as messy as before and I feel bombarded by stuff and it’s left me feeling yuck. I don’t know how to describe it really. I’m not good at this so I’ll try by just listing some words and hope you get the picture…
Tight, anxious, overwhelmed, got at, sensory overloaded, nothing is worth doing (I struggled to do anything after I shut Facebook down), I want to push the world away, …
It’s not my ‘friends” fault.
Am I too sensitive?
I wondered about the actually autistic tag as I had not come across it until I started this blog on WordPress earlier this month. Then I had an email from An Autism Observer and I queried this with her. Thank you An Autism Observer for adding yarn and pencil to Actually Autistic Blog List and for sending me the link to Alyssa’s blogpost.
I’ve copied and pasted the entire post but do go and see the original post that can be found here.
Citation: Hillary, Alyssa. “Why actually autistic tag” Yes, That Too. 2 Sept 2014; http://yesthattoo.blogspot.com Accessed 28 Aug 2017
“I got a couple hits from someone searching “why actually autistic tag.” I’m not entirely sure why I got those hits, because there are lots of Tumblr posts that answer the question directly and I haven’t done so here yet. I’m not sure if I did on Tumblr either. But, if people are going to be finding my blog by asking that, I suppose it’s relevant enough for me to try to answer. So. Once upon a time, stuff about autism was generally in the “autism” tag. It didn’t work very well, because much as the autism tag is currently filled with people posting pictures of their siblings and children (often without mentioning that the person is OK with this, which is a problem for a lot of reasons) tagged with autism for no apparent reason, people using an autism tag as an insult for people they don’t like, advertisements for Autism Speaks walks, and people talking about their autistic children and siblings as mysterious. All this is generally very tiresome for autistic people to read and dig through just to find a couple posts by actual autistic people about their own lives. Additionally, when we said things about how the assumption of “mysteriousness” or such othering descriptions were really not cool, if it was tagged “autism,” there would be a pile of angry parents and siblings. Basically, the “autism” tag was really unwelcoming for actual autistic people! It was all other people talking about their autistic relatives, generally in ways that squick autistic people. This is similar to the problems when autistic people tried to organize at conferences about autism run by non-autistic people. They really didn’t like it when autistic people started talking to disagree with them. So another tag started: “actually autistic” or “actuallyautistic.” Both versions of the tag get used, a lot of people use them pretty much interchangeably, a lot of people use one or the other, a lot of people use both on any given relevant post. I don’t know of any pattern relating to who uses which ones, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one. That tag is meant as “the person posting this is themself autistic.” Not everything on that tag is immediately and obviously autism related, but it’s usually something that the poster thinks is related to their own autism. Sometimes it might be something that an autistic poster wants other autistic people to see, which is a pretty reasonable use of tags. Organization-wise, Autism Women’s Network (AWN) and The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) both post there, and Parenting Autistic Children With Love and Acceptance (PACLA) sometimes will if the mod who’s making the post is themself autistic (which might be all the tumblr mods?) Autistics Speaking Day and Autism Positivity flash blogs both post to the tags as well- these are autistic-run flash blogs. Having run the tumblrs for both on occasion, I only tag the autistic-written posts as actuallyautistic, generally. But since I’m autistic and autistic people sharing links to relevant things, autistic-written or not, has been a thing in the tag before, I don’t worry too much about the ones where I’m not actually sure if the writer is autistic or not. Anyways: The short version is that the autism tag was and is an unsafe place for many autistic people because folks didn’t get that autistic people were following and reading and might be capable of having opinions on what we were reading, the actuallyautistic/ actually autistic tags are safer for some autistic people, and thus they exist.”
Spinning yarn is a meditative craft. I think it’s one of the reasons why I enjoy it.
Some people on the spectrum have difficulties processing movement. I do at times but mine is linked with unexpected movement that is sometimes optical as in seeing people moving around me or through my body when in a moving vehicle. I don’t have a problem with my spinning wheel but I bring it up as some people might.
I can be impulsive and how I acquired my wheel is an illustration of that. I was about 18 and still at school when I was befriended by a young mum. She was a very kind and thoughtful person and she taught me a great deal, although I did not realise it at the time.
One day I went to visit her and found her spinning. I had never seen a wheel in use before and I was mesmerized. Sensing my excitement she gave me an impromptu lesson. I was hooked! I wrote down the name of her wheel, (I had to have one identical), and the following day visited our local yarn shop and ordered one. I must have had savings…how remarkable!
I took my Pipy Wendy home and my dad helped me put it together and taught me how to care for the wood. My wheel is made from New Zealand rimu.
I pretty much taught myself with occasional guidance from others. I didn’t spin constantly, sometimes months and even years between bouts of spinning. I took it up more seriously when my children were adolescents. I was living back in NZ and had joined a local group. It was here that I developed my skills further and started to use my yarn to make garments that were/are worthy of being worn. I was introduced to dyeing, weaving and understanding and handling different fibres. Note: many people on the spectrum cannot abide wearing wool, including me. I find it’s mostly ok if I have a couple of cotton layers underneath so that the wool isn’t actually touching my skin. Not all wool is equal… I prefer a soft fleece with a long staple which is far less likely to shed itchy fibres.
Back in the UK I joined a local guild but I didn’t fit in. Looking back now I think the group was too big for me. That was 20 years ago now.
Although the process of making your own yarn is slow it does make it more affordable. I cannot afford to buy good quality woollen yarn. I’m not saying they charge too much for it; the farmer and the mill need to be paid appropriately. I supplement my yarn by buying acrylic and cotton yarn (mostly from Wool Warehouse Wool Warehouse ) or acquiring scrap yarn from charity/thrift stores. I occasionally get offered bags of yarn too. Great excitement when that happens!
If you fancy having a go I advise you to contact your nearest guild (this link is U.K. based but says its international). If, like me, you find it difficult to join a group or leave the house, you could ask the guild if there is someone who could come and demonstrate in your home or a mutually agreed quiet space/place, (do consider personal security).
I mentioned spinning being a slow process. Slow is good! I’ll keep this for another post.
Bye for now xx
I’ve been struggling with having published the last blog post. I teeter between leaving it there or taking it down. Right now my thought is to leave it. It’s party of my journey and you never know, it may help someone. If it does please let me know. I was so relieved when my new bloggy friend Susanne left her comment.
Anyway, at present it’s staying.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. I have friends in the church and outside of it who are so thoughtful. Lovely Husband is a campanologist, a bellringer. They are a very sociable and friendly bunch. They recently had a social event in one of the member’s homes. I didn’t go as I had someone to meet up with the following day so I was having a quiet day in preparation. Not knowing if I was up to going to the event or not, and unbeknown to us, the hostess had set up some quiet areas for me to retreat to if necessary.
There are another couple in our village who have a regular carol singing party every December. They invite me to go half an hour earlier than everyone else so that I will feel included. I get to have a chat with them, have some wonderful hot, spiced apple drink and nibbles and then able to leave quietly when the noise and movement get too much.
These acts warm my heart so much and make me feel loved and accepted. I thank them for their love and kindness from deep within my heart xxxx
I’m scared that if I leave the house I’ll meet somebody I know. I’m scared that they will talk to me and I’ll have to be not rude and talk to them. They know how I am as they’ve already asked Lovely Husband.
Things like ‘it’s good to see you out’; ‘it’s good to see you making an effort’; ‘how are you’; ‘you should try coming back to church’… Even if I venture out after several quiet days in and I’m feeling ok these questions would displace me. I immediately become poor Tracey. I’m disabled. I’m overwhelmed by questions that you expect an immediate answer to but I would rather have time to consider, and if I do take time to consider you are filling in the gap; the sound of your voice makes me flinch… I start feeling what I call ‘fizzy’. It’s a warning sign and I need to heed it immediately. I say I have to go, I need to go… ‘but what about your family…how is…?’ I need to go, I start to turn but the talking, the questioning continues. I give short answers, robotic answers while attempting to ‘escape’. I rush home trying to contain the tears until I’m safely inside. I’m in overwhelm. I go to bed early. The overwhelm has triggered the anxiety button. I don’t sleep. If I do sleep I awake suddenly feeling extremely anxious for no reason. I tell myself it’s ‘just’ (!) anxiety. The following day it continues. I need deep quiet. Sudden anxiety overtakes me from nowhere. It takes such effort to overcome it. I find some release in creativity willing it to make me feel better. As the anxiety lessens the depression starts and I battle from spiralling downwards. Maybe a week hence, after days of quietness, I start to feel better. I hope.
The thing is, if the conversation was different I might cope. Talk to me about the act of creating; the dilemmas of marrying theory to practice; what different yarns feel like; what threads I/you prefer using; your attempts and triumphs of creating; how you dug the ground to create a new garden…
I want to go out but I’m scared you won’t give me the space to be me.
I’m scared of posting this in case you think it’s a pity me party.
It’s not. I want to be understood.
I want to go out.
Expectation… I was in my forties and an undergrad when I started to realise my lifetime experience had been to please others first. It took another ten years and my diagnosis to really understand how deep and wounding this is.
I’m smiling as I recollect my then three year old granddaughter singing ‘Let it go’. No relation between these two things…just my mind jumping. Nice to finish with a positive thought.
Thanks again Laina xx
Another topic that in hindsight didn’t get its due coverage (during the early days of my Asperger’s/autism spectrum discovery) is that of letting go. During the first few… (weeks? Months?) after my revelation, my inner scaffolding would get tossed about, as though at the mercy of a restless sea (which is probably closer to reality than I might like to admit). One minute feeling liberation, the next minute seething with long-term resentment and hostility.
I wasn’t even on shaky ground; everything was a torrent.
Let me back up a minute…
All my life, as I progressed through ages and stages, people around me adopted certain sets of expectations. Who I’d be. How I’d conduct myself. Who and what I would become. How I was “supposed to” live. And so on.
I used to pummel myself, for not living “up to” those expectations.
My vernacular has changed; I live “up”…
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I have finished one project today and started two more…one on the loom and the other on my hook.
I’ve made a lot of throws since I’ve had my loom but not many scarves, so thinking ahead to the festive season and gifting, methinks scarves are to be the thing.
Here I’m using Stylecraft special dk in claret, copper, tomato, and their new shade, lapis blue, plus Stylecraft alpaca dk in cinnamon and fig. There are a couple of others as well but goodness knows what they are.
This is the weaving that I showed in a previous post. The following image is after it’s come off the loom and been washed and ironed. The gaps have loosened up just how I wanted it. Yay.
The colour is more like this though!
It took a while to edit this so only altered the one photo.
Back to today’s second project…
I crocheted a jumper for my grandson a couple of Christmases ago that he has long grown out of but still wants to wear. He’s asked if I would make him another exactly the same but obviously a bigger size.
I’m using this
in denim blue and apple green. I haven’t crocheted for a while and I’m enjoying getting back into it. Here’s the old jumper on teddy 🙂
See you later xx
This is part 3 in a series about sensory sensitivities and atypical sensory processing. Read the other parts: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 4
While atypical sensory filtering is related to sensory sensitivities, not all unfiltered sensory data will trigger sensitivities. Remember the sounds I described hearing as I’m typing this? I’m not especially sensitive to any of them. I hear them and it’s hard to tune them out, but I don’t have a biological stress reaction to them. They’re just there and over the years I’ve grown used to having a lot of irrelevant aural data constantly pinging around in my brain.
In fact, I didn’t know until a couple of years ago that other people don’t hear all of those distinct ambient sounds when they’re engaged in an activity.
I suppose what’s happening in this case is my sensory gating is failing…
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