Archive for the ‘relationships’ Category


when we were younger

December 13, 2012


I got the idea to write this from reading a label on a Lean Cuisine entree………”cocine en alto” which is Spanish for “cook on high”. When we were younger, we used to think that “alto” was a language, because we heard a friend of our housekeeper talking about it……..didn’t realize it meant the vocal part she sang in the church choir. I knew she was from a different country so I thought that her language was called Alto.

We had another post about something very similar. It was about Peter Pan and his pixie cohort Tinkerbell. She was dying because she drank Peter’s medicine that Captain Hook had poisoned. Peter asked people to clap so she would get better. Our out-of-body sister Natalie (Not her real name) and I were sitting on the couch watching, and we clapped because we thought Peter was talking to us. Can’t recall ages now. This was definitely more than fifteen years ago.

We (myself Athena and Andrea; though at the time we didn’t know about plurals and DID or even autism) also had other things we liked to do alone. Weather intrigued us quite a lot, so we would go to our room, close the door and then take out our beads and pretend the floor was a weather map. We put clusters of beads on the ground to denote storms. We made bigger and more circular or spirally clusters to denote hurricanes. We called it weather for The Littles. We don’t mean littles as in “insider children”. We meant small people. Very small people. Like toothpick sized. And invisible too.
We didn’t want anyone else to see what we were doing. This was a long time ago, so I don’t know why. Perhaps it was embarrassment? Not sure. We would often close our door in poor Natalie’s face. Well, not literally but I’m sure it felt like that to her. We wanted that alone time. To enter the world of the Littles and tell them what kind of weather to expect for the day.

It was a ritual that happened almost every day, probably around the same time. We cannot remember now, how long it lasted.

When we closed the door on Natalie, she often cried. That made us more annoyed because of sensory aversion to crying. We probably couldn’t understand why she was crying. It didn’t occur to us that she could be upset about not getting attention from Big Sis.

So, she would retaliate, by closing the door on us. I had no clue the events were related. It didn’t make any sense whatsoever at first. And also, there was a sense of “she is doing it to be mean, but I wasn’t.” We certainly felt that she was bullying us, and didn’t think that she might have felt the same way.

I would get upset at her and hit her or sit on her. I didn’t know how else to behave. I was less than ten at the time. We weren’t diagnosed as autistic until much later (we were almost 22).

We are pleased to report that today our relationship with Natalie is very deep and loving. We lift each other up. She doesn’t have as much time to talk to us as she would like, because of work and her own social life. We are also busy with school, especially at this time (end of semester, preparing for final exams, etc.)

This is one of a few posts we plan to write about our childhood.

Andrea and Athena, collaborative


I love my family. But…

November 13, 2012

I love my family BUT….they can be too critical. They can be very impatient. They don’t respect the boundaries of the fortress (well that’s because they don’t know it exists in the first place. It is that way for a reason. More than one reason in fact.) I don’t think they’d respect those boundaries even if they were aware of them, and actually it would be even worse for my privacy if they did know about them. Our mother has a tendency to make assumptions about our abilities based on inadequate information (we can’t or won’t explain fully what’s going on.) For example when I say to her “gee, this math is really hard,” she might say something like “well, you know, nobody is FORCING you to do it, you can do something else!”

This drives us nuts! And what drives us even MORE nuts (and makes us anxious and unable to fully disclose or even halfway disclose all of our struggles) is that when we DO open up about certain difficulties we have, for example going to sleep at a decent time, which we do understand is important, mom says something like “well then maybe you shouldn’t be worrying about college right now.”

That drives us absolutely bonkers.

Here’s another thing that drives us nuts. When we were living at home, and not in school, Mom wanted us out of bed by 8:30 in the morning when we had no reason to be up at that time. She expected us to do this without fail. Then she would give us chores to do. Which wasn’t a problem really as we were living there rent-free. The idea of waking up at a certain time every day in the morning is actually an idea that we can embrace! But the manner in which she finger-wagged and something in her tone made us instantly averse to it.

In fact this has been a common occurrence with our family and our mom in particular. She is often correct in her assertion that we should do things this way or that way, and her advice is not wrong. But the HUGE PROBLEM is with the MANNER IN WHICH she gives said advice. We aren’t sure how much our averseness to it has to do with our particular neurology and how much of it has to do with the parent versus adult child dynamic. Things like tone and body posture and yelling really get in our way of being able to listen to and make proper judgments on the merits of her suggestions. Another major issue is that we cannot articulate in the moment, why we cannot or will not follow her advice, because of all the vibes getting in the way and feeling put under a microscope. It’s very difficult to come up with a concrete example of what we’re talking about here, but if we do manage to come up with one we will write it up in a separate post and link to it.

All that said, we do love our family.



Junior prom and a good friend

October 14, 2012

This post is about Junior prom, and subsequently, senior prom. In 11th grade I had a classmate in my English class, I’ll call her Stacey. She had also been in my chemistry class the year before, so I had known her for a full year by the time we were juniors. She was a true friend to me, and she genuinely wanted me to have a good time when she insisted that I go with her to Junior Prom. I gave her many indications that I was less than inclined to go, but she politely and artfully ignored them. My defences were very lame and she didn’t relent, so I finally gave up and thought to myself what the heck, I’ll go. Perhaps something in my nonverbal behavior suggested that I really did want to go deep inside, which was the truth. I trusted her, as she and I had had numerous phone conversations, and she would confide to me things that were upsetting her, be they family issues, boy issues, or other things that might have been bothering her or that she just wanted to talk about. I didn’t always understand what she was talking about, but I guessed from what she was saying that she truly considered me a good friend. She asked me to go to prom in the first place because she wanted me to come out of myself. By that I mean to say she wanted me to have fun. I’ll be perfectly honest; in high school I didn’t have many friends and going out with people other than family on the weekends was extremely rare for me. At first I felt somewhat puzzled by her request, and a bit indignant that she had singled me out to extract from a shell. “Shell” in this case really means “protection,” not that I was really encased in something or that she or I considered me to be a shell of a person. She clearly couldn’t have thought that, or else we would never have had the kinds of deep conversations over the phone that I mentioned previously.

The prom WAS a great success. I cannot now recall exactly how I felt at the time because it was over a decade ago. But it certainly was memorable. She and I occasionally catch up via Facebook. I will always be grateful to her for reaching out to me and twisting my arm so to speak, and push me to go out and have fun. We went to senior prom together also, as friends. Until then, I never thought I would be remotely interested in attending the senior prom, as that year was one of the most challenging of my life in many ways. But after having such a great experience the year before, I simply couldn’t refuse.

Collaborative, Andrea and Athena
Ps. This occurred a few years before we actually admitted to ourselves and others that we were plural. We haven’t told Stacey, and are not sure when or if we will. It will happen if it is meant to happen. I think it would be kind of a strange thing to tell her now since we aren’t in touch all that often.


This is touching

October 12, 2012

Chelsea Weddington posted in Support Group for Adult Mental Health Consumers

Chelsea Weddington 12:59pm Oct 12
I saw a cashier hand a little boy his money back at the mall, the boy couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6 years old. The Cashier said, ‘I’m sorry, but you don’t have enough money to buy this doll.” The little boy turned to the old woman next to him, ”Granny, are you sure I don’t have enough money?” She replied, ”You know that you don’t have enough money to buy this doll, my dear.” Then she asked him to stay there for just 5 minutes while she went to look around. She left quickly. The little boy was still holding the doll in his hand. Finally, I walked toward him and I asked him who he wished to give this doll to. ‘It’s the doll that my sister loved most and wanted so much for Christmas. She was sure that Santa Claus would bring it to her.’ I replied to him that maybe Santa Claus would bring it to her after all, and not to worry. But he replied to me sadly. ‘No, Santa Claus can’t bring it to her where she is now. I have to give the doll to my mommy so that she can give it to my sister when she goes there.’ His eyes were so sad while saying this, ‘My Sister has gone to be with God. Daddy says that Mommy is going to see God very soon too, so I thought that she could take the doll with her to give it to my sister.” My heart nearly stopped. The little boy looked up at me and said, ‘I told daddy to tell mommy not to go yet. I need her to wait until I come back from the mall.’ Then he showed me a very nice photo of himself. He was laughing. He then told me ‘I want mommy to take my picture with her so she won’t forget me.’ ‘I love my mommy and I wish she didn’t have to leave me, but daddy says that she has to go to be with my little sister.’ Then he looked again at the doll with sad eyes, very quietly. I quickly reached for my wallet and said to the boy. ‘Suppose we check again, just in case you do have enough money for the doll!” OK’ he said, ‘I hope I do have enough.’ I added some of my money to his without him seeing and we started to count it. There was enough for the doll and even some spare money. The little boy said, ‘Thank you God for giving me enough money!’ Then he looked at me and added, ‘I asked last night before I went to sleep for God to make sure I had enough money to buy this doll, so that mommy could give it to my sister. He heard me!” ‘I also wanted to have enough money to buy a white rose for my mommy, but I didn’t dare to ask God for too much. But He gave me enough to buy the doll and a white rose.” ‘My mommy loves white roses.’ A few minutes later, the old lady returned and I left with my basket. I finished my shopping in a totally different state of mind from when I started. I couldn’t get the little boy out of my mind. Then I remembered a local newspaper article two days ago, which mentioned a drunk man in a truck, who hit a car occupied by a young woman and a little girl. The little girl died right away and the mother was left in a critical state. The family had to decide whether to pull the plug on the life-sustaining machine because the young woman would not be able to recover from the coma. Was this the family of the little boy? Two days after this encounter with the little boy I read in the newspaper that the young woman had passed away. I couldn’t stop myself as I bought a bunch of white roses and I went to the funeral home where the body of the young woman was for people to see and make last wishes before her burial. She was there, in her coffin, holding a beautiful white rose in her hand with the photo of the little boy and the doll placed over her chest. I left the place, teary-eyed, feeling that my life had been changed forever. The love that the little boy had for his mother and his sister is still, to this day, hard to imagine, and in a fraction of a second, a drunk driver had taken all this away from him. Now you have 2 choices: (1) Copy & Paste this on your wall(: (2) Ignore it as if it never touched you

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