1. The First Letter

July 13, 2006

I’ll have to fix these later………..

this is my first blog
I am on a quest to find more of the truth about autism and also to tell the truth about myself. I do not want to hide forever. The hiding isn’t meant as being ashamed of my autism, this I am clearly NOT. But I’ve been hiding about how challenged I really am, about certain things, like knowing to ask my Mom if she needs help when she comes home, things like that. I pretend to “get it” because I’ve tried indirectly hinting that I might not get it, and she jumps all over me, figuratively. She’s told me that if I really do have such and such problem, that maybe I am not ready for independence or real life or even college. This is why I hide those things from my family. But here…I don’t have to tell anyone I know about this blog if I don’t wish to.

The Fortress is my inner world, where I retreat into my thoughts, when I have overload issues. I used to go into my closet with a discman very often in grade school, when I came home. In fact, that was probably one of the first things I did when I came home. I need to escape….from the real world around me. I loved school, but I needed to destimulate from the school environment. All the classwork, class discussions, people moving around, etcetera. Wow, it’s really amazing how these words are coming out because I am right now in my fortress, thinking of this, yet I can catch these words into this blog because I am sitting here, detached, allowing myself to type and type and type away. I am not even really looking at my hands now. I am trusting that they will type the words I am thinking, without me looking at them. Hey I could use this idea for driving! Trusting my hands to do what my brain commands, even as my eyes are not directly focusing on them.

Telling the truth when I’ve hidden for years, “behind the shroud of” (eh, not the best words but for now they will have to do) Athena my higher functioning half….is making me a bit nervous at the moment but I know it is for the better, in the long run. It feels horrible, to keep this kind of secret for so long, because it has been a very heavy weight to carry for so long.




  1. I stumbled upon your blog from “autismland”. I noticed its been a while since you posted. I will assume it is because you are busy with college courses. I hope you aren’t giving up on blogging.

    My daughter has been diagnosed with autism, and I am trying to learn all that I can about it, particularly from the autistic perspective.

  2. hey there, clay! I am sorry I delayed in getting your comment posted to my blog………I’d almost given up hope that anyone would post something to my blog……..I have been so overwhelmed with school and studying and keeping my apartment clean (yeah right, looks like a hurricane went through it) and the usual pocket full of mumbles of living in a nonautistic world………wait. that sounds a bit cynical…..well, the wider world is a wonderful place at times and at other times it is sheer hell to live in because its confusing…….frustrating……..but individual people can be wonderful……just the fact that I got a comment on my blog will probably motivate me to blog more……..I have several drafts that need a minimum amount of reworking and addition before they are posted……when exactly was your daughter diagnosed with autism? It is very noble of you to want to learn about autism “from the horse’s mouth” so to speak……..from those of us who are on the spectrum….we do have fun, in our own ways…….perhaps through watching trains or in my case learning about science and doing math problems and watching the weather channel and discovery health. With a young autistic, you have to really experiment gently with a person’s learning style to really figure out the best approach to making a connection with that child. You want to build a bridge……..from your daughter’s inner world to your world and the wider world……a good place to start is identifying her special interests. Is your daughter verbal at all? If she is learning speech, perhaps make up simple short stories about her special interest, as a vocabulary-building exercise. But make it so that she isn’t given an opportunity to fixate completely on that interest and lose the lesson completely……..that sorting out will come with time…….I hope this makes some sense, as I can barely keep my eyes open now and I need to be up at 8:15 for class……..at 11. It takes me a LONNNNNNNG time to get up and get moving in the morning. I used to drive my parents NUTS taking so long……..oh, on that note, patience is very important. Many autistic people have trouble transitioning from one task to another, or from one topic to another in conversation, or, from one state of being (say, being asleep) to another state of being (being awake)…..I am sooooooooooooooo tired…………thanks so much again for leaving a comment……and I look forward to more in the future. If for some reason I fail to post them for a while, I am probably severely overloaded………sensory or just information overload. In the process of recovering from that now, actually.
    Best Wishes
    Athena Ivan

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