Getting back on track

I have been behind for so long for so many reasons. Partly it was out of my control, growing up with a parent who knows that I have either Asperger’s or ADHD or both, and partly because I was putting less important fires out. In the past I was hard on myself because I didn’t half of the things I know now.

I am working with a theory that I mostly likely have to deal with both. So last month I began putting in place mechanism in to my life which help with both. I hope it will work out during the summer and until forever.

Since I started using appropriate accommodations some traumatic memories from living with that parent and from years of bullying surface from time to time but I am able to deal with them better than I used to.

My business is not anywhere where I wanted because I overestimated how long everything takes but I am working on it. Tweaking my own systems, learning new skills and improving my current skills.

I am getting better and I hope you do too. If not hang in there your situation will change in time.

Body modification as a new beginning

So I got my ear pointing done couple of hours ago and right now my ears are starting to hurt really badly. But that’s not the point of this post. In this post I want to think about the freeing energy that’s in me right now.

Last couple of years were horrible for me. I knew that I was going into a trap and I wasn’t able to avoid it and crashed. I wasn’t able to get away from my workaholic/alcoholic mother for a long time. I wasn’t even able to admit to myself that she is partly abusive and partly neglectful. I still don’t realize that some things she said to me were scary.

I didn’t just fell on the floor, I fell through to an alligator pit and had to learn to be friends with those alligators. They are really good at card games if you get to know them a bit better. It took me awhile before I was able to pick myself up and start fighting at upper levels.

I knew that I needed to do this procedure, not just because of my love of pointy eared Claymores, but mostly because I changed so much and I need to go through some kind of dividing(?) ritual. Something which would acknowledge the change in the inside.

What I am talking about is similar to a transgender person choosing to transition and changing everything but a little bit different. While transition is never ending, this thing is more like thick line which marks the beginning of the next part of my life. (The view about gender transition is only mine, possible, I haven’t talked to other trans people how they view it.)

So acknowledging all the bad that happened in changing my own body has freed a lot of energy which focused on past and how to deal with it. There were some quite stressful moments while I was traveling to a place where I got my ear pointing and I handled them, to my surprise, quite well. I am not saying I didn’t panic. I did but I wasn’t overwhelmed. I could do some other stuff in the meantime and have a great time.

At this point I would get my ears pointed again, probably by the same guy. When the next set of events happens and I will need to make mark I might get some branding or tongue split. Just kidding about tongue split, I might do that just for fun.

Ear pointing and other body modifications

I am getting ear pointing next week (two weeks before this post will be published). When I learned about it and that it is possible I was quite sure that I want it even though it’ll hurt a lot. The reason why I am getting it is more symbolic than not. I probably have written here before that I was housebound for a long time, more than a year, so this body modification marks end of those times.

Sure I could get a tattoo symbolizing end of being housebound. Broken cage, cage with open doors and other motives seem appropriate but I don’t like them and they didn’t come to my mind before writing this post. Worse I can’t connect to them and don’t want these motives on my body at the moment.

It took me a while to get my ears pierced because wearing earrings meant nothing to me and I don’t get it. I got my ears pierced in Barcelona earlier this year just after I found out about plugs and tunnels. Sure, I saw them on my cousins ears couple of years ago but he went to the art school. I went to engineering school and no one has them there.

When it comes to tattoos in general I am not against them. But it took me couple of years to find couple I would want. Make a sleeve out of places where used to live may sound cool but not good enough for me to get it on my body. I’d rather spend a lot of money to get my hairline fixed.

Currently I have a list of tattoos which I want to put on my body but I won’t start getting them before June. My main reason is that with pain I know where I was, so my first tattoos will be either from Lower Saxony or Free Hanseatic City of Bremen. I would like to get some body modifications in either Tallinn or Helsinki but I am not sure if I will have a budget for them this year.

I plan to get couple more piercings and in couple of years I want my tongue to be split. Seriously tall businesswoman without a tongue split is no businesswoman at all ;).

Last 48 hours observations

In last 48 hours I was on three flights. From Tallinn to Frankfurt, from Frankfurt to Prague and from Prague to Barcelona. First two were awesome, the last felt awful from the moment I saw lady behind the desk at the gate. I haven’t noticed how much the staff on the ground can help to make me feel safe and comfortable.

When I was traveling from Tallinn to Prague I was on board of Lufthansa’s planes. There was feeling of Ordnung and pleasantness. I don’t know how to explain it better. Stewardess smiled. It wasn’t out ordinary that some of them even chatted with people. I felt welcome.

Waiting in Frankfurt wasn’t bad. It was actually good because I was able to find a good place to wait. Unfortunately I left a bit sooner because my time management skills when it comes traveling are weird sometimes. I don’t consider myself to be a dyscalculic person (person with dyscalculia) but numbers, when I am not careful, give me problems sometimes.

Both times when I was on board of Lufthansa’s airplanes I didn’t have trouble with leg space at all. Nothing and I was sitting at the window both times. Actually it was the same when I went from Prague to Tallinn two weeks before. I don’t know if I am spoiled by Lufthansa but they are definitely my measuring stick.

As I write this I am on board of the plane to Barcelona so my feelings are not only fresh but in progress. There are several reports how employees of Czech post are treated. They are being forced to sell other services and products to people who are there to send or pick up mail. I don’t know if it is the same with Czech airlines but it seems to me that this is the case.

The reason why I think it is that when I came to the gate the first thing which I saw on a monitor above the desk was an ad for what you can buy on board. When I came on board and sat down to quite small seat I knew there is definitely something wrong here. I can’t breathe freely and my legs are in weird position. I was aware before that Czech airlines have money problems and I am realizing why. Also why would want to spend money at a place where I don’t feel comfortable? There is no logic behind it.

Lufthansa may have staff problems from time to time. I get it. It is not easy to be pleasant to people when you don’t get paid enough. But if you are an airline which prides itself that it has long history and is one of the oldest in the world then you are not allowed to fall down to a low cost level. Sorry, Czech airlines, at the moment you are just an expensive low cost airline.

I don’t know what I am going to do with my way back but if I have to suffer from nauseating animation on board I just might consider a different airline. I am not sure it’s worth to switch to business class.

In the long term I think that Czech airlines are going under. That’s the only logical conclusion. Or they transform themselves to truly low cost airline and somehow survive but in the long term I am going to avoid them.

Civilization without public transport is no civilization

I am one of those people who theoretically can drive but are afraid of driving. I have driver’s license and before visiting my dad in Canada I chose to get an international driver’s license just in case. Also 50 Czech crowns isn’t that much so what’s the worst case? Dad will teach me how to drive again after six or seven years of not driving.

Yesterday I have returned from Guelph, ON. I liked it there and even considered moving there in couple of years until I was told that local public transportation system is good. I am from Europe and I tend to complain a lot because the public transportation systems there are quite good, not great. It would be great if I could get computer-brain interface which would inform me about the streetcars, busses and subways would arrive at the station ± 30 seconds. But we aren’t there yet.

I am used to being able to choose one of four or more busses/streetcars/subway trains every hour. I am used being able to use public transport quite smoothly until midnight and after midnight to 5 in the morning with some delays. So that’s my base line.

In Guelph outside of peak hours I had to wait quite longer. Probably the worst waiting was 28 minutes after I just missed a bus by 2 minutes. It was my bad. It was a bad day in general that day.

Now that I am back in a village in Prescott and Russell county I feel a bit trapped because there’s no easy way to get out of here. One diner, one pizza, one market and one LCBO. There’s not even a train station here anymore, so I can’t go for a day trip to Ottawa on my own. I am away from civilization, yet I can access internet.

Time

There is never enough of it or my time management skills aren’t that good or I want to do more things than I can/should. There are myriads of reasons why I don’t have time. As I see it if a day had more than 24 hours I wouldn’t have time to do all things. I should consider myself a lucky person not to live with non-24 disorder but I that wouldn’t help.

As I am writing this I am considering why I gave a high priority to writing a personal post once a week?

I should remind myself of two things

  1. Self-care isn’t wasted time
  2. Choose wisely what activities are worth my time

Until next week, please, take care of yourselves.

Screw visibility, accept me

I am transgender and I have a lot of autistic traits, not visible enough that some teacher or relative would tell my mother that I seriously need a diagnosis. It’s true that most of my problems started when I was doing my master’s degree because I was about to burn out or shut down, I prefer the latter term. There was awareness in my childhood already because child psychologist told my mother that I might have either ADHD or Autism.

If Autism was accepted I wouldn’t be going back and forth discussing in my head if I want official diagnosis. Or thinking over and over if I need one. And how my decision would affect me in the long run. If Autism was accepted as a difference I would have learned how to defend myself in the public long time ago. Now I am learning it on the go, semi-verbal. (It took me a while before I accepted that I can’t be verbal all the time or I’ll pay for it.)

If we had acceptance I wouldn’t need my parent to help get an official diagnosis by someone who “specializes” at diagnosing Autism. If you are specialist on Autistic children, please, call yourself one. Don’t call yourself an Autism expert.

If Autism was accepted, countries like Canada or New Zealand wouldn’t split families with Autistic members.

I think we’ve had enough of Autism Awareness.

On March 31 we had a similar day, International Transgender Day of Visibility. It’s a similar story. People from both groups are killed by their loved ones. That’s if you can call a domestic partner who is also a murder a loved one.

I can see a lot of harm is done especially to Transgender Women of Color unless I can’t stand it and mute my Twitter timeline. I have my own problems which make me feel powerless and when I see a senseless deaths it makes me sick. This can’t be solved just by visibility.

We need acceptance, visibility and awareness won’t do it anymore.

Personal narrative

I have a hard time with my personal narrative because of shame cause by not having a caring mother, being disabled and not having enough paperwork to prove it, years of bullying and a lot of other things. All of these things make me insecure, sometimes even scared to leave my house. But they also make me a badass for being able to survive in a very hostile environment. All of these things, especially being a semi-verbal person, are the source of my power.

  • Asking for alternate ways to communicate make me a lot stronger than giving up and choosing a different direction.
  • Talking about what happened to me gives me power to go forward
  • Changing my body gives me a sense of control over my life and autonomy

Being transgender, neurodiverse and ATCK brings into my life a lot of insecurities but if I change my narrative I can transform them into a source of power over my life. I am Sarah and I guess I am a badass.

Airport note

I am more or less homeless for next couple of months and it’s a good thing. I need this experience and it is scary. 

Leaving Czech Republic left me with bitter aftertaste because of shady practices of Telefonica O2 or how they are called. There is no way how can a person simply cancel subscription. I would understand a fine but what they are doing is insane. It is also a reminder why I don’t want to live in Czech Republic ever again.

I haven’t done everything I wanted to do because of them. My cognitive abilities suffered. I am not sure what to do with them. If there is something which can be called pure evil it’s definitely them.

It’s quite possible that I will write another post somewhere else about exits and user experience.

Functioning labels

I am starting to hate them because people are using them as boxes. I am in several at the same time. Two weeks ago I wrote about being Semi-verbal and I am still learning how live with it.

There is a planned book about Autism and unemployment. Although I don’t ever plan to get a normal job because of several reasons, mostly sensory issues, I was interested in it. Especially if there is a chapter about being semi- or non-verbal and how to deal with it, how to ask for accommodation.

The publisher answered me that the book is for those “who are capable of things like ‘networking’, ‘financial planning’, changing careers etc.”

I was angry and still am about it because I live on my own for six, almost seven, years. Finance-wise I am finding a way how to be completely independent. And now I have to hear that I am not capable of those things? I am sorry Jessica Kingsley Publishers but that’s not what I wanted to hear.

There are two possible answer with which I would be satisfied

  1. No, we do not address this topic in this book
  2. Yes, we address this topic in this book

I don’t think that this is too hard. But it seems that assuming competence is a lot harder for some people.