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 sensory processing disorder and resulting social and behavioral challenges.Thank you for visiting.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Autistic and inked

After a 2 decade hiatus, I finally did something I'd been wanting to do since my maiden voyage at age 18. I got inked again!
This is a repeat victory for someone who used to agonize over blood tests.
I had to get a lot of them when I was 17, as I was on medication that required periodic blood tests, particularly for Lithobid, which I am no longer on.
I was also hospitalized over 20 times (I stopped counting after 20), and blood draws are a part of the experience.
I had wanted a tattoo since I was 12. I used to get the stick on ones from Claire's. I saw a little butterfly on the sheet of stick ons, and I knew once I was of age (18 was legal for tattoos back in 1997) I would be getting a tattoo.
Being stuck like a pig definitely helped me prepare!
My dad would've been against it, but he had passed in 1994 (23 years ago today). My mom was cool with it-I got the second child privilege. By contrast my older sister couldn't date or get her ears pierced until she was 15. By the time I was 15, I had two pair of holes in each lobe.
My first tattoo took place in the only parlor around at the time. It was in a 1970's era tiny mall of only 3 shops. Olive green paint was peeling off the siding.
It was definitely a stereotypical environment at first blush. Biker dudes and dames browsed the designs hanging on the walls and metal blasted from the speakers. 
After a detailed conversation about needles and infection as well as what level of pain to experience, price and size/position of the tattoo, I felt assured enough to go through with my six year dream.
I chose a small pink butterfly for my upper left arm. Two more would follow over the next year, including a large Monarch. Bigger needle, so more painful.
After twenty years, I can honestly say I have "no regerts".
The little tattoo shop is gone, but you can still see the tiny white tiles of the old floor in what is now a resturant. It used to say "TATTOO" in contrasting black tiles until remodeling.
While doing my tattoo research, I was surprised to see how the parlors have changed. They are bigger, the atmosphere more like a spa or high end hair salon.
I began doing a Google search for tattoo salons near me. Today there are plenty of options.
I then contacted the ones that had an email or Facebook contact option.
It came down to two places. One told me they couldn't guarantee properly accommodating my sensory needs. The other promised me a day that had the least amount of traffic and the option to do the procedure in the piercing room, which is in the back and has a door.
I didn't want any unexpected noise to make me jump. Especially with a needle full of ink.
The price was not much higher than it was back in 1997.
More research told me that tattoo artists get tips. I'm so glad I did so much Googling.
It pays to prepare. I used sites like Pinterest to look for the pattern I wanted.
My sister facilitated the phone call to make the appointment.
8 weeks later (they book up fast), on Memorial Day Weekend, I memorialized my parents on my lower leg and ankle .
As far as pain goes, everyone is different. The smallest needle was used. I was given a fidget toy to spin (they actually had a fidget toy on hand!) while the procedure was taking place. I also brought my iPod and noise cancelling headphones, though I didn't need to use them.
It is a deep pressure procedure and scratchy at the same time.
The artist gave me plenty of breaks. His patience and easy going demeanor was much appreciated.
Yes, autistic people can get tattoos. Every individual is different. What can be tolerated on the skin and for how long as well as the area of the skin (forearms, tops of feet and thighs are highly sensitive spots to get inked) will determine what can be tolerated if at all.
You are not a "baby" or "wimp" if you can't tolerate the needle. I tell NT people this when they degrade themselves in front of me after getting into a brief conversation about one of my tattoos.
Be prepared if you are getting inked that you will draw attention from others. People are usually inquisitive "I like your tattoo! Where did you get it?"
They will also ask to touch it.
I usually let them touch them for a few seconds before drawing back.
One time, a sales clerk touched my large Monarch without asking. I felt slightly violated. She also treated me briskly while warmly chatting with other customers.
The artist wrapped my freshly inked tattoo in cellophane after rubbing some topical goo on it to keep it lubed and sanitary.
A good tattoo artist will discuss price and work within your budget. This was an early birthday present from family, so all I did was pay the tip, which I saved up several months for using money earned from my bracelet sales and monthly allowance.
The area felt much like a 1st degree skin burn, but only lasted 20 minutes upon completion.
I have begun putting Aquaphor on it, as the area is drying out and slightly itchy, which is normal.
My sister and I got something to eat and then it was off to the state park to snap nature photos.
This will definitely NOT be my last tattoo experience, but I will wait a few years, God willing I live longer, to do it again. I want to savor and plan.

Caucasian female's lower leg and ankle sporting 2 swallow birds. One is blue and orange and the other rose and pink.

The last thing I would add is to use a little common sense. Choose you location carefully. You may need to cover it up if you are employed in a conservative setting. Protect it from the sun with sunscreen as you would the rest of your skin. You may wish to cover it with a Band Aid if you are going to be doing any rugged sports or hiking through areas where rough brush and poison ivy is present. Remember, this is an investment.
I'm a Christian, so I prayed about this before getting started. There is that part in the Old Testament about not cutting the flesh, but some people take this out of context. What is means is not to cut your skin in worship to an idol. I assure you, I'm not worshipping the swallow god.

Friday, May 26, 2017

One shoe, no body/A list of everyday items that fascinate me

Dear readers,
I have decided that the content of this blog has been very weighty and dark as of late. I am going to change direction a bit and focus on my more humourous side. I hope you enjoy. Note: some light and possibly offensive language.

One shoe, no body

A lone black sneaker in a dimly lit parking garage
Photo courtesy of my sister

Have you ever been driving down the highway and seen a shoe? Usually a sneaker. Of COURSE you have!

It always weirds the crap out of me.


Then CSI kicks in.

Where is that other shoe?

Was it left behind as a clue?

Maybe by the MAFIA?

The message seems to imply this:

“We have your loved one. Bring the shoe to us or we will kill him!”

Because it’s always a man’s shoe.

You can see that while you are at a red light that takes five minutes to turn green.

It’s a size 13 triple E shoe. It usually is worn out and dirty.

“We have your husband who just ran the 5K. Bring us 1, 000, 000 and the other shoe as either we are too poor or lazy to buy our own shoes. Do this or hubby gets the other size 13 triple E to the head.

You want to know what scares the shit out of me? When this happens in nature.

I love nature. It calms me and provides great pictures, including the knife and single shoe I just discovered while walking on the compacted dirt path.

I photograph the lone shoe. Forget the knife. The worn out men’s size 13  triple E Nike has captured my attention.

I may have to email this to the local news station in time for the nine o’clock news.

This time there are footprints.

You know the sign in forest preserves that list the rules of the place?

“Take only pictures, leave only footprints (the shoe mafia did this already)  AND, we close the gates at dusk.”

No effing way am I waiting for dusk! Let’s get the hell out of this place!


I’m here all week, folks. Here all week.


A list of everyday objects that fascinate me

  1. Belly button lint. For you innies you know what I’m talking about. I always wait at least six to twelve months to clean my belly button. Gross, I know. It feels like gravel and there are at least 3 different colors all congealed into little particles of yuck.
  2. Those tabs on soda cans. You can make jewelry out of that.
  3. Paper clips. For the same reason as #2.
  4. Patterns in the plush carpet.
  5. Caps on the end of shoelaces. Great to chew on. They may very well belong to the single shoe left on Highway 72.
  6. Plastic bottles. Blow across the hole and you have a musical instrument that only plays one note.
  7. Sporks. Who invented sporks? I can’t eat soup with one, but I can eat the spanish rice I just got from Taco Bell. It’s really a fork with a rounded top. Let’s use descriptive language people! I don’t need a metaphor at TACO BELL!
  8. Pennies in the sidewalk cracks. Hard to find now, because everyone carries plastic. To those of you carrying plastic rectangular cards with way too high a balance: STOP TAKING THE FUN OUT OF MY LIFE!
  9. Exposed brick. A great skin exfoliator.
  10. Twigs. Preferably the long, bendy kind that acts as a tool of self-defense should I encounter the shoe mafia in the forest preserve.

I’m  here all week, folks. If I stink too bad, please have mercy on my immortal soul. Leave both my shoes on. Take only pictures, leave only footprints, preferably not on my ass.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The shape of things

Triangle, rectangle and circle in primary colors on a black background
The shape of things
Are all I can grasp
Only outlines
Form, light and shadow
Their depth a mystery to me
Reaching out,
Reaching in
I get more than I bargin for

3D vortex
Turmoil twising, spinning
Taking me down
I drown
Above ground

Laid flat
Immersed in sheets and cover
Self inflicted mental interrogation
That lasts for days

I am an enemy to progress
I decide to break the circle
And grasp no further
Than the shape of things

Friday, May 19, 2017

Part 21 and end of an autistic life in limbo

I am in NO WAY advocating suicide as an answer. This series is meant to litereally illustrate the isolation that some autistic people experience on a continual basis that can result in depression and anxiety. Waiting on God is no easy task, but modern culture makes it harder.
A sweedish study shows autism and suicide are real and happening mainly due to lack of quality of life. Please don't shut someone out of your life because they can't do all the things you can. Be there for them. Love and accept them. This is for all those who have taken their life due to depression associalted with autism resulting in lack of quality of life. 

Part 20 of an autistic life in limbo

Part 18 of an autistic life in limbo

Part 17 of an autistic life in limbo

Part 16 of an autistic life in limbo

Part 15 of an autistic life in limbo

Part 14 of an autistic life in limbo

Part 13 of an autistic life in limbo

Part 12 of an autistic life in limbo

Part 11 of an autistic life in limbo

Part 10 of an autistic life in limbo

Part 9 of an autistic life in limbo

Part 8 of an autistic life in limbo

Part 7 of An autistic life in limbo

Part 6 of an autistic life in limbo

An autistic life in limbo part 5

An autistic life in limbo part 4

An autistic life in limbo part 3

An autistic life in limbo part 2

An autistic life in limbo part 1

Trigger alert.. doodle series contains suicide and depression resulting from extreme isolation. If you are in a dark place please DON'T READ!!!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Goal of this blog

Picture of a hula girl looking at her distorted reflection in the window. Distortion effect is the whole image, adding that it isn't just in her head.

The goal of this blog is to share my autism experience with others, with and without autism. The goal is to educate the reader on what it is like to have an IQ above 70 and still have severe issues with sensory sensitivity and managing sensory overload.
It isn't to inspire and uplift, though if you find yourself either that is OK by me. A lot of what I post speaks to the frustration I face with lack of any supportive service, community access and grave concern for my future.
I have shared my faith and photos in earlier posts. I have lost desire for both, but that is part of major depression stemming from lack of purpose and grave concern for my future.
I am trying not to give up on either.
I know there is a better life waiting for me in eternity. My hope is to arrive there by God's timing, not mine. I hope to die in my own bed, in my own safe place that accommodates my autism and mental health struggles, not in an alley or institution.
I have to keep reaching out to advocacy organizations no matter how many times I hit a dead end. Nobody else can help me. If I ever do die indigent and abused, it won't be because I didn't do anything.
I will have also left something in my wake, this blog.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Asher Part 6: It's OK to be friends with Asher

Asher, a brown boy wearing red headphones with the caption, "Asher wants to be your friend."

Asher with his new friends, a white girl with red hair on the right and a black boy wearing a green sweater on the left.

I've heard that parents of non-autistic kids can be weary when it comes to their kid wanting to play with an autistic kid. While I can understand concern, I think talking those concerns over with the kid's parents-and the parents not getting offended would help allay worry. Supervising smaller kids, eh, like Asher, during playdates would be a good idea if parents of both parties are concerned about safety.
I was never allowed to be over at anyone's house if no adult was present. The few short lived friends I had were never over at my house without an adult present.
I hope Asher will make life-long friends, kids that will have his back no matter what. I know he will do his best for them.

Asher, Part 5: Be kind and patient. Invite Asher to play

Asher, a brown boy with red headphones with words, "Be kind and patient"
My sad drawing of a checker board with red and blue pieces.

My sadder drawing of a video game with two controls for two players

As I did, Asher needs a little nudge from an interested party when it comes to socializing. If he tells you "no" when you ask him to play, don't be hurt. He may be overwhelmed or preoccupied with something he is doing by himself. Ask again later in the day or the next day. Invite him over to play. Do something you both can enjoy.

Asher, Part 4-He wants to be your friend

Asher, a cartoon brown boy with red headphones, a blue baseball t shirt with the number 17 also wearing yellow shorts with red trim 

Despite his anxiety and frustration with sensory overload, Asher wants friends. He just needs a little help from the other kids. Hopefully, they will be kind to Asher.

Asher Part 3- The sounds that hurt his ears

Some of the noises that hurt Asher's ears, overwhelming him to the point of tears-without his red headphones.

I can't draw cars, so I drew a pathetic outline of a horn-red with sharp red lines coming out of it.
Drawing of a brown dog barking

Kids noisily playing ball
Please read parts 1 and 2 or you won't understand the drawings.

Asher, Part 2-he wears his red headphones almost everywhere

Asher, a brown boy with autism wearing red headphones, a baseball t-shirt and red and yellow shorts.
Asher is a 9-year-old boy with autism and sensitive ears. He wears his red headphones almost everyplace he goes. They help him remain calm, reducing the volume of loud sounds that are painful for Asher.

Asher Part 1: Meet Asher, an autistic boy with red headphones

Asher is a brown 9 year old boy who wears red headphones. Caption reads "Asher has autism".

Meet Asher, an autistic boy that experiences the world differently. He is young and hopeful he will be accepted and be safe in his community.

Asher with the caption, "Asher sees, hears and feels the world differently."


Concept: colors, lines, and squiggles with the word "Static" written in the middle

I drew this using a simple doodle app. The wild squiggles and different colors represent the different sensory chaos coming from all around and bunching, clogging my filterless brain. I screenshotted this, so pardon the advertising.