up earlier than I normally would. Somehow I had too much to think
about and Dan followed me into my dreams. My bare feet skipped over
the wooden floor as I made my way to the kitchen. Charlotte’s room
was still empty. That meant that she had found a substitute for Dan
at the party yesterday. Sun was flowing through the windows in the
living room. The bright light made dust grains visible that danced
thought the air. I couldn’t forget Dan’s nightly visit but seeing him
asleep on my couch made me jump in surprise anyway. Maybe I thought
that he would have left already or it was just hard to believe that
after all this time he’d come here and actually apologize. His little
snores were the evidence for the fact that last night didn’t just
happen in my dreams. The fact that we had no curtains in the living
room didn’t seem to bother him. He was still sound asleep. Even when
I started to make myself breakfast and rummaged through the cupboards
in the kitchen he didn’t wake up. His upper arm was put over his eyes
so they were shielded from the sun. I decided to not disturb his
sleep since he looked so god damn peaceful. Never tickle a sleeping
dragon they say.
Dan’s giant body couldn’t take up all the space on the couch so I sat
down next to him and continued reading a book that I was already half
way through. At about midday the front door opened and revealed
Charlotte who looked like she hadn’t slept in five days. She was
still wearing yesterday’s outfit but somehow it didn’t look as pretty
anymore. Charlotte closed the door behind her with a little bit too
much force. The loud sound caused Dan to snap out of his dream.
as my room mate entered the living room he sat up straight and rubbed
his eyes with a drawn out yawn.
I said. My word was addressed to both, Charlotte and Dan. Both
reacted with total confusion. Dan looked around like a lost puppy. He
carefully examined the blanket I had put over him last night then his
eyes landed on me. I couldn’t really tell what was going on in his
mind at that moment. The look he gave me was filled with
embarrassment, gratefulness and something else but I couldn’t quite
figure what it was.
Charlotte froze in the middle of the room. Her mouth hung open and
she stared between me and Dan whose hair was a complete mess. I put
my book down on the coffee table.
was the party?” I casually asked Charlotte, trying to hide the fact
that Mister Super Popular had slept on my couch.
eyes formed into slits when she turned her head towards me.
is he doing here?” she asked, her voice was a dangerous growl.
quickly eyed Dan. What was I supposed to say? His eyes hid a little
twinkle that meant nothing good. Just as I was about to tell her a
stupid lie he interrupted me.
just fucked. Edwards couldn’t resist.” Dan lied with a cocky smile
plastered all over his face.
him a death glare and noticed in the corner of my eye that Charlotte
was shooting me a death glare as well. Somehow her eyes had become
even thinner slits and steam was basically coming out of her nostrils
should go now.” Dan said standing up. He stretched, causing his
t-shirt to rise up and reveal a little bit of his stomach. “I’ll
hopefully see you at another party of mine.” he said with a smile
as he walked past Charlotte. She was too angry and startled to smile
back. He was nearly out of the door when he turned around again.
and Edwards, thanks for the fuck. I’d love to do that again.” he
grinned and before I could yell at him in anger the door had fallen
into it’s lock and he was gone.
hooked up with Dan?!” Charlotte snarled as soon as he had left.
“You knew I wanted to get with him!” she shouted with her hands
on her hips.
can’t believe you would stab me in the back like that. You are dead,
Edwards.” Charlotte threatened. I silently cursed Dan in my head.
He always manages to make my life miserable.
happened between us!” I yelled back, throwing my hands up in
flushed cheeks and her with hatred filled eyes revealed that she
wasn’t having any of it.
to dig yourself a grave’ I though to myself as soon as she stormed
away into her room.
walked to class after that weekend I noticed a few of Charlotte’s
friends glare at me. Some even started to whisper when I walked past
them. 'I don’t understand why
Dan would even fuck her. He must have been pretty drunk. She is such
a bitch for doing that to Charlotte. ’
thanks, that didn’t hurt at all. Shout out to Dan for ruining my
chance of living a happy life and having friends here. When he
apologized I thought there was still a good part of Dan left, hidden
behind his fuckboy behaviour. For the blink of on eye I thought he
was still the same guy he was back then before Sophomore Year. I
guess I was wrong. And that realization hurt more than all of those
dumb comments that were said behind my back. It hurt more then seeing
him again for the first time after a year at the party. It hurt more
than hearing him say sorry. But it didn’t hurt more than what
happened in high school. Although I was now sure he wouldn’t change
and my hate for him wasn’t going to fade there was still one question
did he say 'I wish we could go back to the times
when you didn’t hate me’ when all of his actions made me hate
A lot of autism “experts” claim that autistic people are too literal. They start with real behavior–
many interpret language literally, and do not understand other people’s people’s sarcasm or metaphor.
some do not engage in narrative or pretend play when very young; they line up objects instead.
–But then these “experts” claim that autistic people lack the ability to understand symbols (that one thing can stand for something else). An ability that they think makes people fully human. (Dehumanization alert).
Obviously, most of this is nonsense. Most autistic people can understand and use symbols, even if they do so unconventionally. And even if they could not, they would still be fully human. But I want to talk about the other, more subtle assumption: that symbolizing and being non-literal help you socialize.
Because my own experience suggests the opposite.You can be too nonliteral, and it can hurt you socially.
I was as nonliteral as you could get. I don’t remember ever playing with objects as they were. Everything stood for something else. That yellow block with visible wood grain in it? It was a piece of cornbread, not a building material. Even when a toy didn’t stand for something else it resembled, it was a prop in a story. One of the many objects I got obsessed with was a rose that decorated our table at a Chinese restaurant. I brought it home and watched it dry, tortured by the fact I was watching it die, and told a story about that. (It dried beautifully, by the way, and I kept it for years).
Every game I played as a child was a story. I would act out stories with my Happy meal toys, my dinosaur figurines, my dolls, and my own body–filled with good fairies and wicked queens. When I drew, I drew scenes standing for stories, a panel per page comic-book style, telling the story out loud as I scribbled. When I played with other children, I wanted them to help me act out the stories I wanted to tell. They rarely wanted to do so, either because they wanted the story to go in a different direction or they just wanted to play. I would get angry. Adults told me I was “bossy.” I wasn’t bossy because I was a girl with leadership qualities, as a lot of people on Tumblr would assume. I was bossy because I wanted to direct my own drama, my peers wouldn’t cooperate, and I wasn’t willing to compromise. Needless to say, I wasn’t popular.
I was also too emotionally invested in my stories to relate to my classmates. When I was four and in preschool, I decided to pretend to be a mother hen and sit on some eggs from the toy kitchen. All was well until some classmates decided they wanted to cook some eggs. So they tried taking them from me (I can’t remember if they succeeded. Probably). I felt as if my own children were being taken from me and cried bitterly. Made such a scene that my teachers told my parents about it. They might even have sent me home; I don’t remember. I was too busy being upset about my “children” being taken from me and trying to get them back to notice this sort of detail.
I was obsessed with fairies, which to me, were a metaphor for the sense of wonder I often felt. I would watch snowflakes fall, gracefully and silently, and call them “snow fairies” because they seemed magical to me. I was four years old when a classmate told me, in a superior way, that “there was no such thing as fairies.” This child thought I was a fool for believing in them. He missed the point. Of course I knew that fairies were imaginary, just like I knew I wasn’t really a mother hen. I thought he was the fool, but I never found the words to explain why even to myself until recently. Here’s why: imagining things is a game. Of course you know it’s a game, but you spoil it if you say so. I knew that at some level when I was four. My peers didn’t. But to them (at the tender age of four), I was a naive fool who “still believed in fairies.”
Furthermore, even though I knew fairies weren’t real and I wasn’t really a mother hen, the associated emotions were just as real as the emotions triggered by real life. My peers and teachers wrongly thought I didn’t know the difference between fantasy and reality. That’s because they only saw two possibilities: being unmoved by fantasy, or not knowing the difference between fantasy and reality. They didn’t understand that you are supposed to have emotional investment in fantasy. Stories are vicarious experience. The point of role playing and consuming stories is to empathize, to understand what it’s like to be someone or something else. If you don’t feel, and feel deeply, you’re doing it wrong. The real problem was that I didn’t have the emotional maturity yet to react in a socially acceptable way.
Being a girl, and a highly agreeable one at that, when I was angry or felt like things were unfair, I didn’t run or fight. I cried. I spent a lot of time crying under furniture. My teachers worried and tutted to my parents about how I would manage in kindergarten. They were charmed and confused at the same time. They admired my reading, writing and speaking ability, but knew I couldn’t fit in. They wanted to fix me, and told my parents I was socially immature.
You might listen to all this and think, “maybe she was nonliteral, maybe she understood language, but she didn’t understand her peers, so obviously she didn’t have theory of mind.” Not at all. True, I didn’t understand my peers, who liked different things, reacted differently to most situations, and had almost the opposite strengths and weaknesses from me. Furthermore, like most children, I didn’t realize I was different yet. But it wasn’t because I lacked a “theory of mind.”
How do I know? One day when I was four, my father wrote down a conversation we had that day. (I know it happened and how old I was at the time because he included the date). He was pretending to be a silly character who hid his head and said, “If I can’t see you, you can’t see me.” (He often played logic games with me because they made me laugh, and I loved explaining to a grownup why he was being silly). In response, I hid my head and asked, “Can you see me?” He replied, “yes.” I said, just as he could see me–even though I couldn’t see him and thought he couldn’t see me–I could see him–even though he couldn’t see me and thought I couldn’t see him. “That’s a proof,” I said. Not the Sally and Anne task exactly, but lots of complicated syntax, predicting his perspective, and comparing it to my own. Probably more complicated in terms of language, logic, and perspective taking than most theory of mind tasks, to be honest, and I did it spontaneously. Surprised the hell out of my dad. My father, by the way, was impressed because I understood the concept of a proof and came up with my own–not because of the advanced language and theory of mind involved.
Fast forward seven years. I was eleven and in school for the first time. I was at a private school for gifted children. I had no friends. I wasn’t quite at the bottom, but there were only two or three children below me. I was an outcast at a school for misfits. When I finally did make friends there, it was with the other outcasts. Since, I have been isolated and rejected by most people I’ve met. I’ve made a few close friends along the way. All of them have been different in some way. Most have long thought of themselves as “weird.” Many were also outcasts.
My nonliteral way of thinking is still holding me back as an adult. My speech is peppered with metaphors and analogies.
When was the last time you heard those at a casual conversation at a bar or a work event?
I can talk to you for hours about your life story, the meaning of life, or arcane scientific topics. But I struggle to talk about real-world things, like sports, the weather, or places my conversational partner and I have been. I have trouble even learning about these things in the first place.
I can’t talk about movies right because–if I manage to overcome my audio and visual processing problems enough to understand what’s going on–I get sucked into the story. I don’t notice special effects or celebrity cameos. I even recognize celebrities backwards (when I do so at all). For example, I think of Sarah Michelle Gellar and her associated roles as Buffy, not vice versa. Think about how many conversations revolve around movies and actors, and you’ll understand why I have trouble participating in conversations with most people.
It’s not that I think my topics are more valuable just because they’re more abstract and some people say they’re “deeper.” I think real-world topics are valuable, if only because they interest other people. But I just can’t think and speak about them the way most people do. Between my non-literal thinking and my disabilities, my brain just doesn’t work that way.
So, to autism “experts,” I’d like to make a counterproposal.
Like emotional empathy and just about every other human trait, non-literalness is only good in moderation. More isn’t better. Too much can make you a social outcast, just as too little can.
TL;DR: Autism “experts” say that being non-literal is good and makes you socially successful. But too much can make you a social outcast.
[I’m tagging @withasmoothroundstone in this because she is often on the literal extreme and I want to know what she thinks].
My Borderlands Unkempt Harold is all finished! Please enjoy the photos.
Here’s what I have learned from this build:
On this build, I used a mix of poplar and hard maple. It too a lot of extra time to fill and sand out the grain in the poplar. Although the maple is harder to work, it is worth the trouble when it comes to finishing, with no visible grain texture.
I had a lot of fun using the toothpaste masking technique for the first time to simulate paint chipping, and I really like the way it turned out. I’ll be keeping this trick handing for future builds.
My problem with the [neo]-reformers is that they do not take sovereignty serious enough.
Repeat after me: God does not have to pay homage to lady justice in order to forgive sins.
The words of Elder Ephraim of Philotheou come to mind:
“For goodness’ sake! Do you think that Christ our God, the ocean of compassion and mercy, is incapable of lifting the weight of one sinful soul? What is a handful of sand when thrown in the ocean? It is nothing; it disappears. Does even a single grain remain visible on the surface of the water? Not at all. This is precisely what happens with all the sins of humanity. They are a zero in comparison to the abyss of God’s compassion.”
The heart of the gospel is that God took the initiative in Christ to trample upon death by death and upon those in the tombs bestowing life. It’s the opportunity to participate in the transfiguration of the cosmos, of which we are the first fruits if we choose to enter into that narrative–nothing about juridical justification.
This is one of the disastrous things about separating oneself from the Church. When you want to know what the kerygma of the Church is, listen to what she prays. “The Trinity is one in essence and undivided”, as we pray during the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom every mini-pascha [sunday]. In whom there is no darkness [1 John 1:5]. The trinity exists in mutual kenotic love. To separate the Trinity to pit the Father against the son to satisfy God’s ‘holy wrath’ in order to love you is self-defeating and rather toxic/schizophranic. Believe in Molech if you will, but call him Molech, not justice.
tl;dr: Unite yourself to the Church. Identify yourself as one radically beloved of God. That is the true self. God is not mad at you.