Last Friday, the prompt for Five Minute Friday was “born”. I assume many writers, being Christian, will have written about the moment of their salvation. Even though or maybe because I consider myself a progressive believer, I didn’t have such a moment. I was saved 2000 years ago. Rather, something else came to mind. Here goes.
I am still not done reading the book Preemie Voices by Saroj Saigal. It is a collection of letters from people born very prematurely between 1977 and 1982, which was published in 2014. One of the letters I did read, however, spoke to me.
In it, the woman said she was born three times. Once, when she was actually born. Then, when she was supposed to be born, so her due date. For me, this would be September 29, 1986. I was actually born on June 27.
Then there was her moment of rebirth in a spiritual kind of way, but dit didn’t have to do with any organized religion. Rather, she considered the day she was diagnosed as autistic to be her day of rebirth.
I am also autistic. For me, the day of my diagnosis was March 16, 2007. It wasn’t some type of epiphany moment though. My support coordinator at the time called the physician who’d assessed me because she hadn’t heard anything about the results of my diagnosis after my assessment was complete. Neither had I. She was told I had been diagnosed with autism and the report had been sent to my GP. How blunt!
I didn’t even dare write about it on my blog till some days later. It was so weird. Because I was diagnosed three or four more times, I never quite considered this day to be of any significance. Sometimes I wish I had such a moment of rebirth.
Today’s Five Minute Friday prompt is “forward”. Let me share what I look forward to.
I look forward to seeing my husband tomorrow. The visiting rules for nursing homes were relaxed in prime minister Rutte’s latest speech on Tuesday. The new regulations wouldn’t take effect till next Monday, but my care facility decided to allow visitors from this Thursday, the day of Christ’s ascension and hence a bank holiday, on.
There are still strict guidelines. Visitors cannot touch clients or even be within five feet distance. We’re not allowed to travel in the car with our visitors or go to public places such as shops or snack vendors.
My husband was a little disappointed at the strict guidelines, and I wholeheartedly agree. Of course, I want to hug him too. After all, we haven’t seen each other in real life in over two months. Too bad we can’t at this point. However, it’s better than nothing.
I look forward to hopefully spending some good time with him. Hopefully, of course, the rules will be relaxed even more soon. That’s still unknown though. As far as I know, our care facility is already less strict than what Rutte said, as he said only one person per client can visit. Our facility allows two at a time. Not that I need that, as my parents or in-laws are a long way from visiting me, but oh well.
Wow, I actually finished writing this in five minutes flat. Thanks so much for reading.
This past Friday, the prompt for Five Minute Friday was “normal”. I didn’t have anything to write on the topic then, but I do now. Here goes.
Today I listened to a meditation on Insight Timer. The teacher said your observing self is like the sky (or heavens), while your thoughts, feelings etc. are like the weather. No matter how bad the weather gets, the sky remains the same. It can withstand even the darkest thunderclouds.
This is maybe how we need to look at ourselves in this time of COVID-19. We are told to adjust to the “new normal”. Even though our “intelligent” lockdown or stay at home order ended last week, I still cannot have visitors at the care facility and just found out the day center won’t reopen till October. I’m not sure how I feel about this. Well, about the day center. I know how I feel about the no-visitors policy, but that one might change this week.
Like Kate, the FMF hostess, I somehow settled in. I actually love being at the home for day activities and don’t mind not seeing people from other homes that much. I miss my husband, but I’m adjusting to that too.
This is where the meditation comes in again. I mean, no matter how hard life gets, I’ll manage. My thoughts may be dark, my feelings bleak, but I will ultimately be able to keep going.
Wow, can you believe it’s May already? I completed the #AtoZChallenge rather well actually if I can say so myself. Now I want to continue writing regularly for the month of May at least.
Today I’m joining in with Five Minute Friday, for which the prompt today is Distraction. At first, this prompt struck a chord, but I didn’t know why. Then I thought…
I want to live more productively. I also want to live more mindfully. These two seem contradictory at first, but honestly, if you get distracted by a thousand other things whilst being “productive”, you’re not mindful and not productive.
I want to stick to a regular writing routine. That doesn’t mean I need to write actually high-quality posts everyday. Of course, if my post is scrambled and going off on a thousand tangents, it may not be as easy to read. However, my writing will improve even if I freewrite. That’s why I try to join in with FMF today.
Then again, I’ve started this post a few times already and then stopped after the first sentence or two. I thought my post didn’t matter. Wasn’t good enough. Wasn’t real “content”. But then again, when I started this blog, I meant for it to be my space to let you hear my inner voice. So no matter how distracted I am, I will continue to write. That will ultimately led me to being more mindful and more productive at least in my blogging life. And hopefully in life in general.
Today I’m joining in with Five Minute Friday (FMF). The prompt this week is “Risk”.
Last month, like I shared in passing on this blog, I finally opened up to a behavior specialist at my care facility about my struggles. I was really putting myself out there. In my mind, I took a huge risk, because I felt that if I was open about what I really needed, I’d be kicked out of the care facility. I wasn’t.
Then two weeks ago, as I discussed my issues with my community psychiatric nurse (CPN), she started to suggest I live in an apartment building for autistic people. That didn’t sit well with me. I mean, I don’t care who my fellow clients are as long as I get the support I need and I won’t get that in an apartment building. I mean, of course I do somewhat care about my fellow clients, but not in the sense that I need to be able to get along well with them. They aren’t my friends, after all.
I still feel I’m taking an immense risk by opening up about my feelings. I did so again last week, when I asked the staff at my facility to ask the physician for a script for some tranquilizer. The reason is that I’m due to have an old filling repaired at the dentist’s next week. The area surrounding the tooth is already inflamed and I experience considerable pain from it, so I know it’s going to be hard going in and having it fixed, despite the option of getting a topical anesthetic.
So I put myself out there again and asked for something to calm my nerves. Initially, the doctor told me to take 0.5mg lorazepam. Well, that’s not going to work. So I felt off again, like I was being a drug seeker and a burden. I’m used to being seen as a burden, after all.
Being genuinely open about my feelings, my needs and even my wishes is a huge accomplishment for me. I’m totally used to being judged. After all, if people really see me, aren’t they going to discover how wicked I really am? Apparently not.
Today, I am joining in with Five Minute Friday (FMF), for which the word today is “More”. I regularly read the posts from other bloggers there, but rarely join in, as I”m not a practising Christian. I do believe in God, but am generally a lot more progressive than most Christians and do not like the practical requirements and political implications of organized religion. This feels odd to me sometimes. I crave spiritual guidance.
I found out through Five Minute Friday today about Betsy Cruz’s Book More of God and the title struck a chord.
I want more of God. I want more of a spiritual life. I feel I should be engaging in meditation and prayer more, but I don’t.
I also feel I want to connect to other believers more, but feel generally left out because I’m too progressive. I was kicked out of an apparently conservative Christian blogging community when I mentioned (without condoning it) the possibility of connecting to a higher power other than God in a post on my old blog. I felt sad about that, so I got angry with the Christian blogosphere and by extension with christianity as a whole. I wanted no more Jesus. But yet I do.
Jesus didn’t kick me out of that community. He loves me (and I’m sorry if this gets me kicked out of FMF too) even if I don’t follow the rules of conservative Christianity. He can and does help me find inspiration in life. I want more of Him.
This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt is “potential”. That definitely has me thinking. Kate Motaung, the woman behind the FMF challenge, wrote about the potential in a nine-month-old child. The potential to become anything. I loved this perspectve.
I am 32-years-old. Does this mean I can no longer grow? Not at all! My full potential is still waiting for me to unpack the gift that it is.
The prompt had me thinking. Often, one’s full potential is determined in terms fo success, of how much money you make, how many college degrees you’ve got, etc. At least it’s in my case. As such, I still do not feel that I’ve reached my full potential.
In other respects though, I have. I have for the most part let go of the limiting power of thhis “full potential” rhetoric that values success over happiness. I would very much like to grow, but not when it’s enforced by other people’s seemingly “objective” standards of what my potential should be.
This, as always, took me more than five minutes to write. I’m not that fast of a writer yet. Maybe I’ll be able to reach that goal at some point. Maybe not. We’ll see.
Last week, I had a meeting with my nurse practitioner. We discussed my experience of being multiple, of having roughly 25 different selves. We also went into part of the reason I’m like this: childhood trauma.
There are selves who are pretty loyal to my parents. They keep wanting to call them, visit them. They keep worrying about what happens to them shoudl they fall ill. My parents are in their sixties, so it is pretty well possible that their health will fail anytime within the foreseeable future. Of course, I don’t hope so and they’re still pretty active, but well, religion aside, no-one has eternal life.
Then there are parts who have stopped caring about loyalty and who are focusing on me. One of these selves emerged shortly after my grandma’s death last May. This event seemed to be cathartic, having caused me, or at least that part of me, to let go of the idea that my parents will ever be what I wish them to be. Just like I won’t be what my parents wished me to be, they won’t be what I wished them to be.
This split between wanting to be loyal to my parents and wanting to move on with life and my own process, also comes to light on this blog. I usually write pretty openly about my experiences, but each time I keep wondering what my parents will think if they ever read this. Part of me doesn’t care, as I’m not lying about my experiences or feelings. Part of me feels I’ve been scapegoated enough that I have a right to tell the truth even if it hurts. Yet part of me still feels I have to be loyal, show respect, honor the people who brought me into this world.
Linking up with Five Minute Friday. The word for this week is “loyal”.