I'm not shouting, it's just the voice I am using.




I was trying not to annoy RT Teen yesterday. Trying and failing. We needed to talk and it involved RT listening and (evil mother that I am) answering questions. Yes, I wanted the ultimate exchange - a conversation that produced answers.

I started by gently introducing the topic. In other words, I tried to sneak up on RT in the hopes that we would have sorted it all out before he noticed I was asking him questions. Except that he noticed before I'd finished my first sentence and interrupted me.

'Let me finish-' I said, still not able to finish as he interrupted me again to say,

'I was letting you finish!'

'But I didn't get to say anything!' I replied, immediately sidetracked from the Golden 5 Minute Chat.

'Yes, you did!' he accused and then repeated what I had said.

By this time his voice was raised and he sounded exasperated. I managed to stop him but then spoiled it all by asking him to calm down.

'I am calm!' he bellowed.

'You don't sound calm!' I said, waving my arms about by now. 'You're shouting at me!'

'I am not shouting!' he shouted. 'I'm just talking this way!'

'Your tone of voice is shouty!' I cried, wishing I hadn't even started. 'And you sound really angry with me.'

'I'm not shouting!' he said, shoutily. 'This is just the voice I'm using, it doesn't mean I'm angry with you!' he finished, angrily.

At a loss, I said, 'But if you sound angry and you're talking to me then I'm bound to think you're angry with me!'

He looked at me like he was arguing quantum mechanics with a walnut and made that noise beloved of many teenagers, aspie or not, the cross between a snarl and yogic breathing.

'Just tell me what you wanted to know!' he growled, carefully keeping his voice low so that I wouldn't accuse him of shouting again.

Eventually, after much not-shouting, not-angry, not-in-any-way-loud conversation, I came away with my answers and some minor revelations.

In future, I won't be so quick to assume I've got on people's nerves when they behave angrily towards me. I'll just use RT Teen's example and pretend that when I am being ranted at, it has nothing to do with me.

Perhaps, for the next angry person I encounter, I can pat them on the arm and say,

'It's okay, I know you don't mean to sound as if I've annoyed you. It's just the voice that you're using.'

Then everything will be fine, right?

And I am now free to shout at anyone I like, then announce this is the voice I am using. Just because I am shouting, it doesn't mean I am angry with you! So stop taking it personally!! And no! I didn't interrupt you!

Yes, I'm sure this new approach will work wonders. It will also cut down on lots of unnecessary conversations. In fact, I can really see the attraction.

I must go now and practice my stage voice - and the wounded look I will need when people accuse me of shouting at them. And perhaps the teenage yogic snarl I will use if it all goes wrong.

Oh right, yes, I already have that one.

Amanda




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Life is quicker than the heart can tell




I've been thinking that pressure and troubles cause a kind of inertia, a feeling that I need to hide away until they pass. I have wanted to hide away but now, after another difficult day, I think that's all it was - a want. In reality, the situations I've had to experience over the last weeks and months have caused not inertia, not this immovable and unchanging state, but more of a blurred, overactive way of living which moves so fast that it pretends to not move at all.

The heart is tricked like the eye into thinking this blurred illusion is not properly seen, that it is a static fiction which doesn't move and cannot be altered until I am ready to stand up and face it. Instead what both the heart and the eye are looking at is a cruel trick of life where there is so very much going on at once, the senses are unable to take it in.

Time after time, issue after issue, problem after problem and all superseded by an overarching unwillingness for life to go smoothly, pushing me to the point of caving in and just saying Enough.

No matter whether I am hiding or whether life is a perpetually unmanageable blur of feeling, when a limit is reached then it is either turn away or break. I blame, I blame myself, I look for solutions within and then, confused, start casting about for them in the outside world.

I am both stopped in place by events and catapulted onwards by feelings. As if life wasn't complex at the best of times, when it becomes more so and this complexity is so full and ripe it is barely able to stay on the tree, then what can I do? How can I solve a multitude of problems when only one seems too big and ready for fruition?

The answer is in where I began: that blur of motion, so quick as to be unseen, is not the part I am meant to fix. It is unfixable in its present state. After all, how can any person fix something that is moving too quickly for the eye to process? You cannot find a solution for a problem which is moving too fast to hold onto.

What must be solved is my reaction to it, my need to feel that if I can do this then that will be resolved. I must let go of my feelings of control - they are illusory at best and in this climate of change and headlong, imminent undoing, any sense of control is foolhardy.

I must accept that I am in a place of flux, that I am also in flux, that the change which moves everything else so quickly cannot pass by without also moving me. I must realise, finally, that the reason I cannot fix anything is because it is not there to be fixed, it is just there because life is like that sometimes.

There is no hiding, there is no safe place in the physical world. I can only hold myself close and wait for the heady sense of motion to settle, and in settling for it to be revealed what it was that was spinning so fast it could not be seen.

It is only once this motion is over that I will be able to see clearly and know what I am dealing with. Until then, any attempt to change or resolve will end in partial victory at best and defected failure most of the time.

I need the patience to trust myself and to give up control. If I wait, it will slow, solidify, the colours will separate as the movement scales back. That will be the moment when it is time for me to stand and go forward, to have a better look. Then, and not before, is when I can see what must be done.

Until then I will live in the blur and know that waiting is a skill in itself. When we give up control and wait for understanding, we are learning to trust ourselves in the knowledge that not everything can be understood at the time we choose. Everything has a time and we are no exception.

Amanda




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This is my quiet place




It's a quiet place where I don't have to sit, hunched, arms over my head, eyes closed, everything frightened of being disturbed. It's total silence and no door to be opened or window to be peered through. It's alone.

And then it seems that my thoughts have voices of their own and come, unbidden, crowding round me, just as much as real people would. They are real, they are what went before and what might have been, populated by all the true or ungenerous souls I have known in my life. And many I didn't know for long enough.

Somehow, this lasts longer than I thought, my struggle to hear their voices matched only by my difficulty in staying still and allowing this one-sided conversation to take place. This is my quiet place until I ahave absolute privacy and then it becomes the arena where all that troubles me is worked out, thrashed into submission so I can understand it and defeat it.

I am still sitting here, exhausted now, trying to rest between times when I can think clearly and the many hours and days when it seems the queue of people, past and present, will never end with their incessant clamour for my attention.

This is my quiet place and I need to reclaim it but first I need to hear the words I usually push aside while I'm trying to go from day to day.

Eventually the door will reappear, the windows will let in the outside world and I will need to stand up and leave.

If my quiet place is full and noisy, if life has to be understood by stepping in here and working it all out, then where do I go for real quiet and actual solitude? Where do I recharge? What do I do when it all becomes too much?

This is my quiet place and for now there is no door, no window, no floor or walls, only me and the sanctity of a place where no other person, regardless of how loud their voice might be, can reach in and touch me.

When I leave, I will be counting the seconds until I can come back.

Amanda




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