The Inner Circle

As you know, I am still reeling from my Great Aunt’s death…but it has left me with a strange, sinking feeling that I will never be the same. We now have no reason to go to Harrodsburg, since the family gives us very little information and treats us like strangers. I would love to be a part of this special inner circle they have, but there is no effort or desire to bring me in. How do I get myself in with these people-damn my mother’s name? That seems to be the only way I can get in with these people-especially since my uncle Allen and my mother have a strained relationship. He seems to rule their opinion of my mother, and therefore, of me. I wonder what strange thing happened between them that they got so bad about? It almost seems that they want to exclude us from the family on purpose. Hopefully, we can get those things resolved before they die, too. There is so much they keep from us, that we are just strangers, just outsiders.

I have always been an outsider looking in whenever I was in a group. My youth group at church, my Girl Scout troop, and even my theater friends in high school-so much, in fact, that I always keep wondering if there is some magic to being neurotypical, to being able to infiltrate these great and wonderful cliques. It must be so magical to be in the inner circle….

Have I ever been on the inside, even in my own family? It pains me to say no. My mother and I are all we got when it comes to friendship and reliability. How I wish I could enter the inner circle-somewhere.

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Special Interests: Petronella by Jay Williams

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There’s a special place in my heart for certain stories. Petronella by Jay Williams is one of them. It is, simply put, one of those “feminist fairy tales” put out in 1973, which turns the tables on the “prince rescues princess” stories, and turns the tables on it again. I won’t say how, but sometimes you need a prince among men, rather than a titled one.

I discovered this story in my high school library. I wondered why it was there, knowing it was a fairy tale, but maybe there was a purpose to putting it there. It was in a thin, tall book, with some very cute pictures. It was drawn, I think, by Tomi Ungerer. I enjoyed the story and its twists. (If you did not know before, the case is, I like a good, twisted story.) I forgot about the story until recently, when I got curious as to how well it has been represented online.

I have looked all over the internet, and it seems that Petronella has barely scratched the surface of the internet power machine. All I seem to get is a few book covers and a few pictures, which are not pictures I recognize. One was illustrated quite recently, while the other seemed to have been illustrated quite unusually in the 1970s. I surmised the 1970s one was original. I was a little saddened to discover this story has precious little inspiration online. I also went to art sites, and found no representation. I am a little rusty in drawing, since I have been away from it for such a long time. I tried to draw the character Albion the Enchanter’s portrait, and it came out bland and horrible. Maybe I need to practice a little more.

I think Petronella would be a great fairy tale to get to the silver screen…if only I knew how. Maybe I could give a crack at writing a script for it? Of course, I might need help with dialogue, being autistic and all…

Sorry I am not currently giving any credence to “Harry Potter” or “Frozen”‘s sister princesses. (“Let it go, let it go…” Got that stuck in your head again? I can be so wicked.) I just think we need to see what stories we can get to the public before they disappear in the strange way that stories get lost in time.

I Miss Aunt Roxie

I am in a more somber mood these days. I had to go on hiatus because my family has just put my Great Aunt Roxie Jackson to rest. She was a wonderful lady. We did not spend as much time with her as other people in my family did, my mother and me, but she always made us feel welcome, like members of the family. I remember going to her house the last time, after the funeral. The spirit of welcoming, friendliness and family was gone from the house. Strange, after a person goes away from us, how the spirit in their objects changes. I took one last look at everything, because I felt this was the last time I would ever see them, or memories of her. It just saddens me to the point of zapping my energy how much I miss her already. We always had fun whenever we would get together, my mother, Aunt Roxie and me. We would giggle about how we would have “lunch on the lanai” – or just bologna sandwiches on the back porch at her place. Then we would talk about family, love, life, and whatever came up. (However, everyone else was tight-lipped in the family, treating us as outsiders. Yes, I have complained about it before-but unfortunately, in the case of my mother and I, it is true. That is all I can say about that.) She would often get gifts to us that would, by mere coincidence, be just what we would be wanting most of the time. I have the last two Christmas presents she gave me-fashionable scarves that she says belonged to my great-grandmother-and they’re gorgeous. I miss her already, so much. She made things much more bearable  as we live here in Kentucky. We liked having family around, a lot. We would like it more if the family welcomed us like Aunt Roxie did.

#ImNoAngel

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Here we go again: the issue of weight and beauty coming into our midst, with the tag #ImNoAngel, dubbed by Victoria’s Secret. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE the idea. What troubles me is that it still has to be done in 2015. Come on, guys, it’s the 21st Century. The idea that you have to campaign for beauty to include you is so 1899. It is not what a 21st-Century woman needs to hear or be to find acceptance.

What I hate most about the weight and beauty issue is the idea that beauty is a dictatorship, yet another way to measure women, to see if they are “acceptable” or “passing.” It reminds me of the times that murderers are accused of having autism. It reminds me of the times that my hair is too flat, or my skin is too pale, or too dark…or of the time of segregation. Yeah, that’s what troubles me about beauty. It’s a sort of segregation against all the women that are not the beauty ideal. Now, I understand that segregation and discrimination has dogged members of nonwhite races for generations…but in this whole “you can never be too thin” mentality, I feel left out. I know I will never be the rail-thin body the Beauty Dictatorship wants. And in this, I am segregated out of the better parties, the good man’s dating circles, and life of the

And this idea that the women who are the rail-thin ideal are “angels,” like they are pure and innocent and unthinking of any wrong drives me up the wall. It does so in the fact that women are still only accepted if they follow the rules. And the rules are…

1) Men control the world.

2) Women must be the ideals that men want, as objects.

3) Women cannot come into the men’s club unless they are what the men want, as objects.

4) All other women sit at the back of the bus.

As a woman sitting at the back of the bus, I’m going to play the part of the woman rushing the front. #ImNoAngel is a campaign to get all women to sit at the front of the bus, like the thin and dictatorship beautiful types get to, unless they break the rules. (Like being their own person, for instance.) Some people think I might not be giving men the credit they’re due, but it is society’s rulers, who are mostly men, that are pushing me to the back of the bus. I am beautiful. I may not pass the dictatorship, but I am beautiful. You can see it in my eyes. Remember #EffYourBeautyStandards? This is the same thing. I am giving the finger to the Beauty Dictatorship. Beauty needs to be a democracy.

#ImNoAngel

Come Together

I keep wondering what it would be like if all the resources going toward cure research, such as Autism Speaks, and fighting Autism Speaks and pro-cure organizations, were actually diverted toward something that could be accomplished: actually helping the actually autistic. There is so much division and fighting among the autism organizations that we are not getting anything done.

This World Autism Day, we need to come together. We need to come together and decide what is actually best for autistic people, while including autistic people in the decisions. One of the parallel organizations for those with mental illness is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI. One of NAMI’s best parts is that it includes, and receives help and decision making from those with mental illness. What I am saying is that the autistic need to be part of the autism debate. Just because the autistic may have speech and language delays does not mean they have no speech at all. As a matter of fact, many of us have full speech capabilities, and eventually grow into socialization. Who better to learn about autism than from the autistic? I will not stand by and watch as the autistic are marginalized, institutionalized and ostracized from the debate about what to do with them.

In case you are wondering, I come down on this side of the “cure” debate: I do not believe a cure is possible, especially for what is increasingly seen as a series of genetic traits. Recent studies show that autism is over 90% inherited. If that is the case, then why worry about a cure when you can help the autistic individual adapt to a society not made for them, which can actually happen? Since a cure has not been reached, we need to divert resources toward accepting the autistic into society as regular members, just like any other person with a perceived disability or trait dissimilar to most people.

I wish Autism Speaks could get the message that cure is not possible, and that helping the autistic and society adapt is the solution. All autism organizations need to come together to advocate, not cure. In a genetic sense, a cure requires eugenics, which is something I will not tolerate. I hope this message gets  through to the masses, and we come together to help make a society better than we experienced in a bully-laden high school, a better society which helps and adapts to us all.

Selfie for 2015
Walk In Red, and Light It Up Gold 2015