Creatively wrong...again




It's okay to get things wrong (you tell yourself), everyone gets things wrong sometimes (ninth time in one day), you can be forgiven for not always being right (just once in a while would be good).

It's easy to put yourself down when you get confused easily, especially if you suffer from the kind of confusion where you were absolutely sure you were completely right, up until two seconds ago when you found out how wrong you were this time.

Being confused is what I expect of myself these days. I know I'll be wrong, I wait for it and look for it coming along then try to dodge it at the last minute.

If you know confusion is just around the corner it can make you nervous, uncertain of yourself, more likely to make the mistakes which label you as a Confused Person. Don't let Dilly-Dally do it, people will say, she gets it wrong more often than she gets it right - and then she argues with you about it!

The arguing part comes naturally to many aspies, including myself. I am used to being wrong but when I'm sure I'm right, then I stand my ground. Usually this lasts for as long as it takes the other person to prove, irrevocably, that I am actually not in the right. Then I mutter my apologies and go off, still suspicious of the whole thing and secretly wondering if I am right after all.

Then there's getting it wrong and being able to take it in your hands and create something wonderful, like a beautiful glass ball full of butterflies. You fling it up into the air to see them break free and fly, fly away...unless the ball hits the ground because you never could throw and all the butterflies are mashed to a rainbow pulp which you have to clean up because it's your mess.

This is what happens when I try to cover being wrong by somehow, creatively, making it right in a different way. It can be done, sometimes people are fooled, but usually it happens like this:

Small child, lisping: Look at my picture!
Me, with carefully-practiced genuine enthusiasm: Oh, that's lovely!
Small child: Do you like it?
Me: Yes, I really do, it's a very pretty gazelle.
Small child: It's a fox...

(A moment's pause as I give Small Child an are-you-serious? look, then cue the butterflies)

Me: Well, it would make a very good gazelle because gazelles are almost the same colour as foxes and really not that big and [warming to my theme] if the continents hadn't shifted when they did and weather patterns had developed differently then you might be drawing gazelles instead of foxes anyway. Right?

Small Child carefully retrieves picture and frowns.

Small Child: Foxes eat chickens.

(Admire triumphant randomness of Small Child then, unable to stop self)

Me: And so do you!

Some time later, once Small Child has recovered from realising what they have on their plate and where it comes from and that they are a human version of a chicken-stealing, farmer-baiting, cute-nosed predator, I leave, wondering when I will learn not to do this kind of thing.

I don't know why being wrong, which is so familiar, inspires me to try to work it round to being right, or at least diverting the conversation so far away that the other person forgets I was wrong in the first place. I guess it comes from wanting to lighten the mood after I've shown my confusion all over again.

Also, really, shouldn't all small children understand about continental drift? They like dinosaurs, don't they? Aren't the shifting continents natural progressions from all that?

And why shouldn't they know what their food used to be? It's only fair to the chickens - and the gazelle.

Amanda




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Even superheroes need recovery time.




I have the best of intentions and somehow, here I am, with nothing achieved in real life but a whole generation raised and married off in The Sims.

I would like to say to all busy people (you know who you are) that yes, I do understand this is a waste of time and yes, I do realise there are better things I could be doing and no, I do not have an army of house fairies to make everything fey and beautiful while I sit on the laptop all day.

In my defence (though I resent having to defend it) I've had a very busy week and only today where I didn't have to be doing something. And when I'm busy or have been busy, I need recovery time.

It's at this point that most busy people roll their eyes. They do not understand the idea of recovery time. They have busy lives too and they work full time and they come home and do all their jobs and they don't have time for recovery, they just get on with it (sigh).

And the evenings are enough for them, after the busy day; and the morning before they start it all again, that is enough for them too so that the opposite ends of the day feel, to them, as if they have had time to themselves before and after the busy-ness.

I never did get the hang of that. To me, evenings and mornings are a time of held breath either side of the part of the day when I need to put every last bit of effort into seeming as most people seem and managing those aspects of life which make it possible to live without too much want.

When you have lots of things to do, you are busy, but when you have lots of things to do and also, the whole time, have to be a version of yourself that isn't quite true, that's when the strain tells. After a busier week than normal, I need recovery time to re-establish the me who keeps me sane.

At this point, the busy person, thriving on their moments of hearth and home amongst the many hours of worldly-wares, has no idea what I mean by needing to be someone else. I expect they think I mean like when you act in a professional way at work, to give the right impression. No, not so.

It's like always being in a slight disguise, one which doesn't quite cover who you are but hides it enough so that you pass into the world and do what you need to without giving away everything precious.

That disguise is not easy to wear though and sometimes you don't get it right. Other times you need more layers so that there is nothing visible of the real you, it is all packed away inside the outer shell that everyone can see with their harsh, daylight-bright lamps for eyes.

And blessedly sometimes there is no disguise at all and the real you parades forth, resplendent, happy, loved, knowing that today is one of those rare times you feel comfortable in being abroad as yourself.

Most days when money needs to be made and people like to see me as a real person who can do real work, I at least have to flip the cape over my shoulders and pop on the little mask, the one that lets them see enough to know when I am laughing but not so much that they see when I cry.

Those days lead me back here, home again, resting, secretly revelling in the absolute peace of being just me, right now and right where I am.

Amanda




My books and writing blog, with free stuff.
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Some feelings take a while to filter...




It's true that strong feelings can descend from nowhere, like a whirlwind took you through every room in the house, bouncing off walls and leaving you exhausted and drained. But what about when your feelings are not strong? What happens when you don't seem able to feel them at all?

Those times when others are wailing and running about like children, making it seem as if their emotions are so very powerful they have no control over themselves. How quaint! Spare a thought for those of us who take so long to process important events we are still waiting for the first trickles of feelings to break through when everyone else has had the drama and gone home for tea.

Nothing like the meltdowns and stresses, not like the anxiety-induced shivers and tears. Not anything that could be deemed a proper emotion at all. Just a sense that if you were to think about it properly, there may be a feeling somewhere in the room with you. Probably.

Days later, weeks, months and the filtering process is finally starting to work. Like a reed bed on the bottom of the river, forcing the water to slow as it passes, catching tiny, sinking flotsam, the miscellanea of a life lived beneath the surface. There, the water is cleared of troubles and runs freely again.

And so, weeks later, my own filtering has worked enough so that I can feel it. see it for what it is, understand that these feelings are for here and that particular feeling is for there and some of those others are not ready to be felt at all yet.

How confusing it is when we are expected to understand and feel and react all in the same space of time! I suppose it's also mystifying for other people when they see us not doing these things, or doing them in the wrong order with no proper connection.

There is a connection, it is just a little bit like that river; it meanders and makes false turns and sometimes it runs too fast and rushes past where it should saunter. Then it slows and widens and has time to see where it is. But always it does carry on, whatever seems to be happening. Even when it is frozen, it is a river still and life exists within it.

Turning back I can see now what I left to one side, waiting for the time to be right to feel it and know it in its proper place. I waited long enough so that it would be done in the right way. This doesn't make those feelings any easier to have but it does mean they will be processed and not buried away.

Sometimes the most important part of any emotional reaction is giving yourself the time you need to have it, even if that time is measured to a different rule.


Amanda




My books and writing blog, with free stuff.
Find me on Facebook.and Twitter!