About autisticaplanet

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Welcome to a blog written by an autistic adult woman in her late 30's using words and images to advocate acceptance as well as awareness of those with life-limiting autism spectrum disorder. I hope you will gain compassion as well as knowledge in your visit. Thank you.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Autism and the unpredictability of animals

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again. Is it insane to try a different approach (such as taking a different route to work to save time)?
I've tried in various ways over the last four years to fully bond with the rescue kitten we adopted.
Lily was not ready to be adopted at 2 months old. My aunt, who is a shelter volunteer, was happy to hear of Lily's adoption.
" I hoped Lily would get adopted," she said.
Lily had litter mates who were rough. She hid from them while at the shelter. She also had intestinal problems, leaving her with a stinky butt after pooing.
That last part wasn't a deterrent. It was part of helping to raise a kitten.
We were very close for about 2 months. She would groom me after her nap. I played with her, but never allowing play biting.
Lily didn't need to be yelled at or sprayed with water. A firm tone of voice and consistancy worked well.
She became a distant and elusive teen and early adult cat.
Lily came into her own (I thought I knew what that was) this spring (2019). She was friendly, engaging and very comical.
Lily has always been skittish and jumps if a housefly farts. Her tail spasms if pet past her mid back (I don't purposely pet her there). She meows like there's no volume regulation.
I buy the theory that cats "have Aspergers Syndrome". I certainly see the similarities between her and my behaviors.
She was becoming more affectionate than ever, especially toward me, the second favorite in the house. She wanted to cuddle on my lap. That was something she rarely did. She naps at the foot of my bed after my sister lets her out of her room in the morning (yes, Lily has her own room).
She has, once a year on average, bit my hand seemingly out of nowhere. This isn't good for an autistic person who also has CPTSD. My startle reflex is beyond acute, and I have trauma from years of chronic bullying. Being physically hurt by another living being is a major trigger. I have automatically attacked in return.
With Lily, I was able to swat her on her butt and get her in her room with a sharp "Get in your room! It took me about two weeks to get emotionally back to normal. I avoided Lily, ignoring her in lessening degrees until I thought trust could be established.
It turns out that Lily is one more being I cannot trust. Trust and consistancy is key for me to relate to another. Most people I did trust have died.
On the evening of July Fourth, I was sitting on the carpet in the living room. I was on my tablet, distracting myself via Instagram from the hellacious holiday.
Lily took it upon herself to walk over and crawl into my lap. I didn't want her there, because I was tense and wanted to stim in peace. I also didn't want to be selfish and shoo her away, especially after becoming closer.
I pet her and talked in my baby voice, the silly, falsetto tone I use to talk to cats. Every cat I've done that with blinks their eyes, purrs and talks.
I stopped petting her and continued reading posts in my feed.
I don't know if Lily was jealous (there is never a solid reason when she does bite) or felt my tension (why come over to me in the first place), but she grabbed my sleeve and jerked my arm so hard that I dropped my tablet.
I wish I could tell you I put her in her room for the night and went to bed, but I'd be telling a half truth.
That night, July 4, 2019, I spanked Lily with a plastic fly swatter. I was like the parent whose last fuse blew and turned from loving parent into Kujo. I spanked the shock and hurt out. I beat myself with my fists afterward. Part of me wanted to feel worse.
The fireworks didn't bring me down. Losing emotional control and complete trust is what destroyed this year's holiday.
I can forgive. Apparently, Lily can too. She came around me the next day. Unfortunately, my trust in her is so completely shattered that I find it best for everyone's safety to avoid touching her or allowing her to get too close.
My sister gets the respect I don't. I'm younger and I'm severely autistic, IN SPITE OF A HIGH IQ. My anxious makeup, rigid posture and chronic clumsiness probably make animals nervous if not completely turned off by me. Horses and dogs often get anxious if they get too close. They likely feel what I feel-afraid.
I hope that if I need a place to live, should I live to the national average, I will be able to live in both child free and animal free section 8 or whatever else is available to a (nearly) 40 year old severely affected (except IQ) autistic woman with no way of ever being self sufficient.
Check out my IG account via request @autisticaplanet 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Goodbye

After almost a decade of blogging, I've decided that I have shared all of my autism perspective. Most of the subject matter focused on my childhood and adolescence. I wrote about what it was like to grow up undiagnosed. I wrote mainly from the victim's perspective, which I certainly was. I shared some victories and funny moments. 
A new decade is coming. I can't share any victorious, enduring adult stories. I don't do well researching, unless it is on a special interest. Millennial and Generation Z autistics have been given advantages (and disadvantages) unavailable and unthinkable in 1979. They are the generations who have endured life with diagnosed autism. From early intervention programs to utilizing 21st century technology for communication and advocacy, these are the voices who are uniting for changes.
I will continue to do what I can, passing along tidbits of wisdom and firsthand experiences.
You can send me a request on Instagram @autisticaplanet. 
Thank you for reading my posts over the years on both Blogger and Wordpress.
This blog will remain open. Occasionally, I may share something that I think is timely.
Sincerely,
Allison (autisticaplanet) Kramer 

Monday, December 24, 2018

Authenticity and Fashion: Things I Wish I Knew Thirty Years Later

When I was in Middle School, it felt like the emotional (and sometimes physical) equivalent of the weeping and gnashing of teeth in Hades.
Each day was a nightmare and fight to survive. The only thing that gave me a reason to wake up in the morning was my closet and jewelry box.
I didn’t think much about it, but I was expressing my creativity and offering my unique perspective of the world through fashion.
My parents were wonderfully supportive of my unique choices influenced by Blossom, Beverly Hills 90210 and Nickelodeon’s Clarissa Explains it All (Melissa Joan Hart WAS Clarissa in my opinion).
The early years of the 20th century’s last decade were bold, colorful and fun. I couldn’t understand why so many of my bland, NT peers weren’t into dressing like this:

“Clarissa Explains It All” Nickelodeon 1991-1994

The layers. The patterns, the mixing and matching. The funky accessories. I wore my ensembles like armour, protecting me from those vile beige and yellow cinder block walls and linoleum flooring.
Unbeknownst to me, my peers didn’t share my point of view. Along with my clumsy gait (I was told I walked like a duck) and obvious sensory sensitivity any time there was a fire drill, I unwittingly drew bullies like stink on shit.
Hindsight is 20/20. The saying is cliche, but pithy and easy for me to remember.
I wish someone had told both my parents and I about compromise. Not moral compromise, but the social compromise that would have helped me to fly under the radar a little without hiding my authenticity.

Me sporting a mullet, sunglasses, paisley sleeveless dress, motorcycle gloves and black tights with black stripes at my 17th birthday party in 1996.
Bullies are predators by design. They look for someone-anyone to take out their insecurities and emotional pain on. Some might say that I asked for every threat, punch and body slam I got by wearing these outfits. Others might be wondering what my parents were thinking.
My parents didn’t know about autism. Nor did they have any form of parental support. The schools wanted to get rid of me, but there wasn’t any place to send me aside from behavioral ed classes. Private school tuition costs a lot of money in the U.S. Homeschooling sans internet or parent who could devote the time and teaching skills meant public school hell.
I didn’t understand at age 11 why others couldn’t calm the hell down and mind their own business. I didn’t understand anything social. All I wanted was one friend, to be allowed to express myself and concentrate on learning so I could pass along to the next grade, one step closer to liberation.
My mom and dad never let me look like a slut. Anything that showed the hint of cleavage or buttock was promptly hung back on the rack.
As grunge made its way to the Midwest, I wore flannel shirts, stovepipe pants and (off label) Birkenstock-style sandals. Soon, the pop tart princess look was in: navel baring spaghetti strap tops, baby buns and body glitter. Who the hell needs body glitter? It gets everywhere you don’t want it to be!
Anyway, it didn’t matter what was in the window of Gap or Merry-Go-Round. Whatever inspiration I drew from them or a model in a magazine was recipe for continued bullying.
I tried dressing more conservatively a few times. I felt numb inside. It was like having a lobotomy performed on my spirit.
I thought isolation was worse. I tried doing dance moves to gain some sort of attention anytime there was a dry spell in bullying activity. Kids actually threw coins at me when I performed the
MC Hammer dance and ended it by shouting “Hammertime!” I was confused. I was hated, and yet they paid me to do it.

You can’t touch this! Me with chlorine hair from the pool wearing a black, rhinestone hat, purple tunic and a long, silver chain with bobbles attached. My hand is extended as I’m attempting  to prove that I am very cool, at least in my twelve-year-old brain.
There is no excuse for bullying anyone, ever. I did come to learn some heartbreaking explanations for why some kids bullied. I had a few friends for a few years and saw first hand how having an alcoholic parent could break the kid’s spirit. It was a wonder none of them bullied.
I attended school with a lot of kids who lived in a bad section 8 housing complex. It was full of drugs, homicides and absentee dads.
By contrast, home was my safe haven. I sometimes took out on my loving parents what had been done to me at school that day by swearing, being sarcastic and even one time, throwing a snowball at my dad in a way too rough, not playing around manner.
It was terrifying hearing him say “I think I lost her”, as my dad talked with my mother outside my room, down the hall.
He thought in that one moment that he had lost me as a daughter. I sobbed at the thought of disowning my dad because he got after me for throwing a snowball at him, even if I was mad. I was taking out my rage from being bullied out on someone who was safe. He yelled at me to stop throwing snowballs at him, and I snapped, throwing more.
I inadvertently bullied my dad without realizing it. We did reconcile, later that night. My mom helped us.
I’m wondering if being abused and wanting to be accepted by any group of people makes a kid a bully, preying on whatever they can find, especially when the object of their rage carries an army green, fishnet purse.
Back to clothing, I see now how I could have compromised without losing my creativity. Here is an example:

Me test driving a golf-cart on vacation in 1993.
As you can see in the photo above, I have a toned-down boho look going on. I had on a white, ribbed round-neck shirt and terra-cotta colored 12 inch shorts, a brown belt, white socks and Keds. Also, I wore a shark-tooth choker length necklace as that was in fashion at the time.

Me sporting my “Collegiate” look. A gray hoodie with the word “Classic” in all red caps and some kind of crest and symbol trio below. Those pair nicely with denim shorts and a pair of birkenstock-style sandals-especially if worn in winter for some reason only my NT peers knew. Normal is whatever the majority wants.

I was further inspired by “Blossom” each Monday on NBC back in the early to mid 1990’s.


1993: This babydoll dress paired with a black choker with a silver flower and black cardigan is what I would considered “toned down” and still on theme. Blossom would approve.
I hope this post provides further insight as to social compromise as an autistic person or someone with some type of disability without compromising authenticity. Don’t blend in. Be you, but please be balanced in doing so.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Lessons Learned in 2018 (Wish I'd have known in 2017!)

The following are a few insights I (sometimes painfully) picked up along the journey of 2018.


  1. Not to “info dump” or converse in even a half socially acceptable way with just anyone. Trusting just anyone with tons of information can make trouble for you. That person could relay things you entrusted to them in private in order to hurt you. Being vulnerable is only good if you can trust the person you are engaged with. And if you are being vulnerable with someone you trust, let them say their peace.
  2. It’s OK to let the other person (who you know is in the wrong) be right. Continuing to argue with someone who is toxic makes things worse. God and you know who’s right. If the other person admits their wrong, accept their apology even though it might seem second nature.
  3. When God asks you to let go of something, He means it. Letting go, especially when it is a passionate obsession is heartbreaking. I tried to explain and reason with God many times about this passion, and He waited, very patiently, until I trusted Him enough to let go.
  4. Screenshot any receipts or other transactions between you and any business. If there’s a glitch, you can directly upload it to an email or website without needing a URL link. I take surveys, so I screenshot each one I complete in case the system doesn’t credit me. I also screenshot my Amazon receipts, emails regarding payment for submissions or cyberbullying on a social media platform.
  5. I’ve read a lot of Instagram posts regarding self care. As long as you aren’t becoming self-centered, self care is valid. Saying “NO” can be a good thing if it means avoiding a meltdown.
  6. Plan ahead: I know when my PMDD (premenstrual dysphoria) comes. Paranoia and irrational thinking (even when on medication) does not pair with going on a road trip, the mall or even for a short walk. Have a backup date (raincheck) in case one of you has to cancel your plans for whatever reason.
  7. Drastic measures usually aren’t necessary. When neighbors set off fireworks on weekends, a sleeping pill (prescribed to me by my doctor) will suffice. Wanting to die is, well, overkill.
  8. Adding a description of my photo or meme is the right thing to do. Sure, it takes a few minutes, but vision impaired people need to be included. Inclusion is a right, not a privilege.
  9. Never use Windex to clean the picture frame that holds your favorite celebrity autographed photo. Even when the frame is dry, the Windex ingredients can still eat into the photo.
  10. If you want something bad enough, the pain is worth it. I prayed about my decision to get new ear piercings before going to the tattoo and piercing parlor. Once I knew God was good with my choice to pierce both my conches, I was ready to go. The intense burning pain was over within 3 seconds. Had it gone on for minutes I could not have done it. Five months on, they are healing beautifully.
  11. It’s much more accurate to say, “My autism” when describing my own experience in a blog post or commenting on social media. It helps avoid conflict over someone whose autism experience is totally different. Both parties can learn something. Here’s an example: “My autism is disabling.” If someone invalidates my own experience, I don’t need them in my life.
  12. God already validated me. It is hard to understand if you’ve been invalidated and gaslighted by fellow humans, but God doesn’t see us the way others or even us ourselves do. He did so by sending Jesus to die in my place.
  13. A little self-deprecating humor is a good thing. As long as it’s self depreciating. This eases tension between me and another person. Sometimes I use accents and lines from characters in sitcoms or movies (scripting). Example: Dropping something around another person, I can quote Adam Goldberg’s expression, “Oh balls!” It’s a bonus when the other person is a fellow “Goldbergs” fan.
  14. Instagram has helped me learn more about autistic people’s experiences. The generally short insights and images make learning for me easier than blogs. I also have an Instagram account, which if you learn like I do, you might want to follow @autisticaplanet
  15. Now that I’ve plugged myself (a little self-deprecating humor), I will bid you a blessed New Year filled with acceptance, inclusion and insights. Perhaps you will pass some of them down to me!