Francis-stein

Allowed that despair to overtake me yesterday. Just for a moment or two. Enough time to sob deeply and feel a tear drop from my eye. Then I shook myself, sighed, and went to the gym.

Exercise has become a time waster. A thing to keep me from smoking. Not a thing I enjoy. Not a thing I do to get in shape or lose weight. Just a thing that keeps me out of the house, away from my ashtray. The goal is to spend as much of the afternoon at the gym as possible.

Hope to tire myself out. Get back here and almost fall asleep for the rest of the day. Wouldn’t need to smoke then. Wouldn’t need to do anything, other than chill.

Doesn’t quite work, of course. The more I do, the better shape I’m in, the longer it takes to tire me out. Half hour on the cross trainer. Half hour on the treadmill. Half hour on the bikes. Half hour on the free weights. Was surprised all evening long. Kept expecting my eyes to close while watching tv. Nope. Wide awake.

Telling myself I shouldn’t feel all wimpy and weak. My stamina has improved. I’ve moved up settings on everything, including heavier free weights because a 15 year old BOY had to go and pick up the lightest free weights in the gym to exercise. Really, kid? I didn’t want to, but I picked up the 4 kilo weights and started working – after I shot him a dirty look. He’s a healthy BOY CHILD and should be working harder. I’m an OLD WOMAN and should be working less.

Gave a lot of thought to what I wrote about yesterday. Thought so much about it I think I might have handled one of those disagreement points better than usual. It came up in conversation. I could hear it in our words and the slightly harder edge in my brother’s voice. My head said ‘this is one of those times when he feels you’re not hearing him’. So I stopped trying to get my point across. I acknowledged what he said ‘I hear you, and agree’. I dropped the pitch and volume of my voice. And I heard him stumble a moment, expecting a fight and getting none. Then he dropped his voice volume and tone, and suddenly that horrible argument moment was over and done with without our getting into a shouting and/or blaming match.

….And no, it didn’t escape me that in handling and defusing the situation I had zero opportunity to speak my own mind. That could be an issue, so I hope nothing too important comes up. This whole thing began in part because I feel un-listened to. While I’m very pleased to have no arguments or bad feelings to overcome this morning, as far as the subject goes my brother has NO IDEA HOW I FEEL ABOUT IT. He’s assuming I feel one way or another because I haven’t spoken up. But I can’t speak up without causing an argument. And I can’t prevent and argument AND speak up. That’s two conflicting things for me. Either I concentrate on keeping the peace or I speak my mind. And if I continually choose to keep the peace, I end up feeling like my opinions and thoughts don’t matter anyway – which is exactly what started the whole fucking thing in the first place.

Why does this shit always fall to women? I never hear men talk about compromising themselves in order to keep the peace with someone. NEVER. They just bulldoze over. Me, me, me. Hear me. Listen to me. Honor MY fucking opinion. Oh, you have one too? Well, that’s just silly. You should think like me. You do, don’t you? Oh…you don’t? What’s wrong with you?

Round and round. Get ready, women. If you haven’t hit this shit in life yet, prepare yourself. It’s gonna happen, and you’ll be blamed no matter what you do. It’s what men do. How they react. It’s their fragile male egos, which we pamper and coddle because some of us like to get penises shoved up our vaginas. Or maybe all of you put up with it because you think you need men. We don’t, you know. Plenty of sperm in the sperm banks. We can kill every man on this planet and be just fine. Better than fine, with their male egos out of the way. We can make real peace, real change. And never, ever let another person with a penis think they’re better than us. Never, ever let them take over again. Return to a matriarchal society. Burn every book that uses ‘he’ as a gender neutral pronoun or ‘mankind’ to describe humanity. Destroy every testosterone driven film. And yes, cut off all the dicks of every male ever born because frankly I’d find it cathartic.

Right about now is the time when some man usually pops up and asks ‘are you a dyke?’

No, for the record, I’m straight. I just see men the way they really are. Oh, got a problem with that? Can’t reconcile the idea of a strong willed woman who’s not gay? You are so immature.

But that, of course, is just another male put down. Oh, if a woman has a strong opinion, she must be a lesbian. Regular women don’t talk like that. Real women don’t think like that. I’m rolling my eyes as I type.

No wonder I remained single all my life. Sure, part of it was choice. Part of it wasn’t. No one ever wanted to spend their life with me. And I suppose that’s got to do with having a strong opinion. Dad told me long ago that I’d scare men off. Too smart, too opinionated, too outspoken.

Odd, then, because he’s the man who made me this way. Encouraged me to think, to debate, to challenge his viewpoint at every opportunity.

I feel like a freak. Some Francis-stein that’s half modern woman and half old fashioned lady. Don’t know where I fit in, don’t know HOW to fit in.

Hanging on

Communication is a two way process. You can talk and talk and talk, but if you’re not communicating, nothing’s going to change.

I’ve been accused of being a poor communicator because sometimes (oh, goddess forbid!) I use uncommon words. Which means I dig below the surface layer of the average vocabulary and pull out a word that fits my definition perfectly rather than being a half-assed synonym.

Okay. I get that. If I use an unfamiliar term with no supporting language, it could be difficult to figure out what I’m driving at.

And that statement should hold true for everyone.

But, alas! In my household, it’s not. I am held accountable for my ‘high language’ as well as not understanding ‘common slang that everyone uses’.

This is coming from my brother, and it’s something I really hate about his communication style. Don’t know if he can accept he’s blaming me both ways, or at least that the words and facial expressions he chooses to use make me feel that way. I’ve done my best to say that. He doesn’t hear it, no matter what words I use.

And herein lies my problem, people. I’m damned well aware this is NOT a healthy communication style and it’s not good for me or my damaged self. Every time we come to loggerheads over something along this line I’m left feeling angry and unheard. Dissed. And of course my damaged brain goes that step further – it must be because he just tolerates me, he really doesn’t care, he’d rather I leave, etc., etc.

I hold onto something else, though. The idea that he does care, that this is just a left-over from our poor upbringing. My brother has seen me through some terrible times. Physically and emotionally. He’s watched me break, cried by my side for my unending self-hate, bolstered up my ego as much as humanly possible – all these actions say he does care, that my brain is turning on me, that I must keep my faith.

It’s difficult. Difficult to have my feeling conflict with the evidence at hand. Am I not being petty? Should I not call this what it is – a learned behavior of poor communication and blame? Is it not on me to rise above it, find a new way? He’s probably just as frustrated by these disagreements as I am.

Where do you draw the line?

They say you can’t fight every fight, and that’s an adage that holds true. You can’t. It’s exhausting.

But how does someone like me, who knows they’ve got issues and triggers, find that balance? Can I honestly say I’m reacting to all of this in a balanced and well rounded manner? Hell no! I’m being triggered by a billion things, including a lot of very old family shit. So am I doing that knee jerk reaction when I shouldn’t be? Or am I justified in my feelings?

Round and round with this question. I can never make up my mind.

Maybe it’s a bit of both. He’s wrong AND I’m wrong. He’s right AND I’m right. We both have valid points. And perhaps I never feel my point of view is acknowledged by him because he never feels I acknowledge his point of view. That’s what I’d expect a therapist to say. If you want to be listened to, listen to other people.

I just don’t know how so many things can get turned around to feel like it’s my fault no matter what I do or say.

Speaking of my fault, I grumbled the other night over my dental hygiene routine. Takes a long time every day, especially after some of the problems I’ve had. Heard this reply: “Well, maybe if you’d taken care of your teeth like this from the start you would’t have had all those problems.”

My brother was quick to follow up with all the advances in dental hygiene, how the tools we commoners can access are so much better…. All I heard was it’s my fault. My fault, I deserve it. All of it.

Made me wonder if I’d hear something similar, lying in hospital battling cancer. My fear says yes.

I don’t want to be blind-sided by that kind of thing.

The worst of all of it is my powerlessness. I have zero control. I’m only here under the graces of my brother, who’s basically supporting me right now. Chances of getting and holding a real job are very slim. I’m old, and my health is bad. I have no income, no savings, nothing of value to offer or sell.

I don’t think often on that part of reality, because it throws me into panic. But…and…this is why I say it’s better for me to just check out.

My brother, however, weaseled a promise out of me at one point. A promise to hang on, no matter what. To not voluntarily check out early.

When everything else goes haywire, that’s my rock. I sling a rope around that idea and hang on for dear life.

I’m hanging on now.

Working on it

The rain that’s been promised for days is pouring down the window. Supposed to go out in that. Get the shopping done. Pick up a few things. Head to the gym.

Ugh.

What I’m NOT supposed to do is open up the script for more work. Buried my head in it for eight hours yesterday. Take a breather. Do some of the shit that doesn’t get done when I write. Don’t want to, naturally.

The script is almost ready. Prepping up a lighting and sound effect list; don’t want someone to pass over the story because they think pulling it together is too much work, so I’ll do it for them ahead of time. That’s a pain. Page references are needed for cues, which means prepping and running a PDF to check where things fall. And I’ve got to do this for A4 and US paper size, so twice through it. Bugger the US, anyway. Just HAD to change standard paper size by a little bit here and a little bit there – ONLY to make sure things got fucked up between countries. I swear it.

Began a food diary. Been having extraordinary gas. I mean…I could always belch. But now! Duck or run for cover, because the blast of my burps will throw you across a room. Upshot is, I think I have irritable bowel syndrome. So, the food diary. Keep a record, and look. Is there any link to what I’m eating?

Writing down everything that I consume also drove one other thing home for me: I don’t eat much. Two small meals a day. Thinking I might have to eat more often, and try to keep something in my stomach during the daylight. Great. Now all I need is an appetite.

How can I consume so little, yet still be so fat? – Or am I really someone with THAT skewed of a body image? Looking at myself in the mirror…all I see are the fat bulges on my thighs, the tire around my stomach, the bat wings on my upper arms. Old, and fat. Flabby. I know I’m not as heavy as some people. Yet…I can’t let go of calling myself fat.

Sometimes I wonder if I am really crazy. So crazy I can’t acknowledge how crazy I am. I wonder if some of the hateful things people have yelled at me over the years are true: if I am as bad as they claim I am, if I am a liar, delusional, and so far gone it’s impossible to even talk to me. It’s a frightening thought – that outside of me, I am viewed as a nut job. That my vision of the world is so colored, so WRONG that I can’t even make out what the truth is.

…Then I remind myself of my history. The whole narcissist shit. The family: my mother, my sister. The entire set-up to accept partners who hit me, who raped me, who treated me like a dog.

And I don’t want to blame the narcissists all the time. I want to acknowledge that I had part in it: I caved. I let them beat it out of me. On some level, I allowed it.

It’s hard to trust myself or other people.

But I’m working on it.

There’s already enough

Heavy sigh.

If I were to take as long healing from all the crap I got growing up as it took to brainwash me into thinking I was a piece of shit, I’d be 76 and counting before I got over it. That’s the thought that elicited the heavy sigh, a depressed feeling, and anger over time never fucking being on my side.

I hate my family.

Gods…I know I look awful when I’m at the gym. Catch myself too often too deep into emotion. I tear up, my face turns red – I’m sure I look either like I’m about to have a heart attack or a nervous breakdown. Or both. It’s what happens. My body moves, stuff shifts and suddenly I am overwhelmed by memories and emotions. Therapists really should think about doing sessions during work-outs. At least in my case.

Gotta go through it. Free up whatever got blocked. Breathe. Fucking breathe. That’s the only thing I can think of, when it hits me. My feet move, time ticks on, but I’m unaware of any of it. Just stuck somewhere deep in a half hidden memory that’s full of old, built up muck. I’ve only impressions left over. Impressions of regret, and anger. Why did it go down that way? Why couldn’t I have been one of the lucky ones born into a family that cared?

Don’t talk to me about fate. I’ve always felt like I’m paying forward in this life, and it sucks. I was never a kid who enjoyed frying ants or ripping off the wings of flies. I don’t have that mean streak in me. If I’d been a shit in a previous life, wouldn’t it have shown up early on? I think so. But I was that weird kid who’d get up at 4 am to sing the sun up. I talked to trees, and cried over injustices.

And if the secret to reaching zen is dealing with people shitting on you all the time, I must be some freaking holy zen master.

So why do I find all of this so fucking difficult?

Haven’t I learned anything?

But, hey. I don’t have social niceties. Was never taught them. Don’t get hidden agendas, or most faux pas (what IS the plural on that, anyway?). And if I had a nickel for every time I heard about how ‘different’ I was…well, I still wouldn’t be rich. But I could buy a cheap meal for myself.

So what’s stuck in my craw today?

Other than the welling up of old memories and feelings, I guess I’d have to say it was what happened at my language lesson. Yeesh. You know, questioning any of this makes me wonder if I’m not just some drama queen timing things out and demanding my fair share of attention. Nonetheless, I noticed a definite difference between how I am treated and how my fellow student is treated. The effect was heightened for me because we had another new volunteer teacher sit in with us, to learn how a lesson might be. I think she looked at me twice. The remainder of her eye contact was reserved for my fellow student. And rightly so; the majority of conversation took place between my teacher, the newbie, and the other student. I was not included. I was not asked questions. I searched for things to say, to include myself…didn’t feel it was well received. They turned, they listened, but they didn’t follow up with statements or questions. Am I being paranoid? So difficult to tell. The other student is not as far along as me, and both instructors might have felt she needed more practice speaking. That’s logical. Still. I’ve an undeniable feeling that something else is going on, something I’m not catching onto. I hate that.

Mm. That’s the second thing I’ve said I hate.

Decided something. Had a weird few minutes during the script read through. I was outside with the director and someone the director knew was leaving. The guy asked me – twice – if I was the director’s wife. My reaction: laughter. I’ve thought a lot about that, and realized it might have sounded derisive to the director. Like I was laughing at the idea that we could be married because I found him unattractive or whatever. I wasn’t; I was laughing over the idea of anyone even conceiving ME of being capable of marrying someone. I’m just a bit worried that my hilarity will be taken the wrong way, and I don’t want any misunderstandings over my lack of social skills. So I’m gonna bring it up to him. Remind him of that moment and explain myself because I didn’t at the time. And I don’t need anyone else thinking I’m a shit.

There’s already enough.

Tell me

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Six plus weeks of hearing trouble, and I finally have the go-ahead to consult a specialist. Interesting examination with my doc this morning; she put a tuning fork to various places on my head and asked me where I heard the sound and how long it lasted (the best sound I’ve heard in the past six plus weeks). Hm. My spidey-sense tells me ever more strongly that I’m headed for surgery.

Saw my v.c. (very cute) physiotherapist yesterday. Haven’t referred to him that way for a while. He made it clear he was seeing someone, blah-de-blah, and I figured I’d just better get over my infatuation. But he greeted me with that smile of his, and bowed me into his office with the sweeping motion of a gallant knight of old, and my heart just went BOOM! So I’m right back to my fantasies, ignoring what’s going on because I can’t stop thinking about kissing him all over.

Tonight is the first night of auditions for the theatre group. I’m not on the schedule, but I’m going anyway to say hi to people I’ve met and surreptitiously ask a few members to help me with my own read-through. Been rehearsing, and prepping to step up and audition tonight despite being scheduled for Tuesday – because that’s the way my life generally works (prep for one thing, and another happens: in this case, if I prep for Tuesday I’ll be asked to audition tonight, but if I prep to audition tonight I’ll have to wait ’til Tuesday). Am blowing off language class this morning and tomorrow. My Friday teacher told us last week that everyone could bring their kids, because kids’ schools are off for Easter. Kids! Walking germ factories. I’m not exposing myself to that risk just before auditions and just before MY time off to write scripts. Uh-uh. Probably being overly cautious, but I’d rather that than another four to six week illness.

Back to the gym. Can’t say I look forward to it, but I’m doing it. Was appalled at how quickly my mood sank over the weekend. Gotta keep on it. A day off here and there, but no two day break anymore. Not ’til I’m over this mountain of anxiety (which, let’s face it: I may never get over).

No word from any place I’ve sent out emails to. I know my new email works; I’ve received a couple of things in my inbox. Why nothing from the important places? How long does it take to send an automatic response? Wondering how soon is too soon to send a second request.

Meh. And I got a look at my hair in bright daylight. The new color doesn’t even come close to matching my old.

Trying to not feel frumpy. That’s difficult right now. Seems every time I catch a glimpse of myself somewhere, all I see is this horrible old woman. Lines down my face, dark circles under my eyes, sagging skin, fat folds, wide hips, fading skin color…. Yet, I can look in a mirror on occasion and think I still look pretty good. I hate it; it’s like two copies of me. One, the woman I want to be; the other, the woman I’m afraid I am. Can’t honestly say which is the truthful version of me. Maybe both.

…Is my vc physiotherapist flirting with me, or is he yanking my chain? Do I have a real shot at a theatre role, or is it all a set-up with a pre-determined outcome before I even audition? Will these theatre groups even read my submitted work, or will everything I do end up in the circular file?

Somebody, please…tell me.

Something

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS CRUDE LANGUAGE AND RACIST SLURS TO MAKE A POINT.

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Finally sick with that cold everyone was trying to give me. Thanks for passing it on, people. Really. Thanks for sneezing on me, pushing your dirty tissues my way, coughing in my direction, passing me things after you’ve sneezed into your hand – oh, you’ve done a thorough job. Well done.

Can’t seem to say much these days. My brother keeps watching the fucking news, and I keep getting angry, then he gets angry at me for being angry at the fucking news. Oh, gee, sorry. Didn’t know I was supposed to sit by and let Hitler point two take control without a word passing my lips. I mean…history has pretty much condemned the average German citizen during Hitler’s reign. They sat by and did nothing while this happened. Deja vu, anyone? How can something like that be uttered, yet right now the people protesting 45 are being called losers, babies, and told to shut up, get with the system, stop griping. They’re protesting, maybe like the Germans should have done when Hitler rose to power. Oh, but you’ll stop them, won’t you. You’ll make it illegal to say anything against the system. You’ll lock people up for stating the facts, while you spread your “alternate facts”. You’ll squeeze out the free press, make taking to the streets unlawful. It’s happening right now, as I write.

This blog will become illegal soon.

Christ, and last night I just HAD to see a goddamn news bit from good old Wisconsin. The sleepiest state full of bigots you never remember. Oh, they’re all for 45 over there. Good old man. Even people with wombs think he’s wonderful. But that’s people from Wisconsin for you. If you didn’t know, Wisconsin is the SERIAL KILLER CAPITAL OF THE WORLD. That’s where you get the weirdos who eat their victims, or make furniture out of them, or shit like that. And they voted for 45. They support 45. Get the wops and the chinks and the niggers out, that’s what they say. Women should be barefoot, pregnant, and chained to the stove. I should know; I ran from that state as fast as I fucking could.

No wonder I don’t like to admit where I’m from. Usually I just say ‘earth’.

Had to try to explain to a bunch of people yesterday – in Dutch – how American doctors will let you die right outside a hospital if you don’t have insurance. It was so far from what they consider to be sane that they didn’t quite believe me. And I’m pretty sure they thought I was exaggerating the costs, too. I wasn’t. In fact, I was quoting them the costs from thirty years ago. At the time, a visit to a regular old doctor cost me 80 bucks. Even if I didn’t have insurance here, that’s 2.5 times higher – 250% if you want it to look real big – over what I’d have to fork out right now to see a doctor.

And the health care here is so much better.

…Onto things other than what the news stirs up in me.

Went shopping yesterday. I know, I know! Me, shopping. Mark it down; it’s rarer than a Blue Moon. My bro found a small strip mall nearby, so we metro’d over. Sales, sales, sales – which was great, because my winter coat has died. One of the snaps broke, and it’s the kind that’s sewn into the lining, so now I’ve a big hole in my coat as I walk around. Or I did have; I’m now the owner of two new smart jackets, one for cold weather and one for spring weather. Hit a mega-mega sale at one of the stores; retail would have been €160, I spent €75. Yippee! Looking forward to being able to wear them out, show them off. It feels like a long time since I bought something new for myself.

My dizziness is better. Long story short: I’m getting old. There are small bits in your inner ear that can become dislodged, float around, and make you feel dizzy when you get older. That’s the entire reason for it: you’re old. Gods. Like I needed to fucking hear that. Anyway, the remedy is pretty simple; you’ve got to tilt your body back and forth a few times to get those bits to re-set into their spots. Kind of like bumping an old pinball machine (there’s a reference that proves why those little bits are moving around: old, old, old).

I’ll need to prep up the script again, find another theater. This is week two. Haven’t heard back from the other theater yet, tho that’s not surprising. I find it cute that non-writers always seem to think people get back to you within a few weeks of sending them your material. HA! A few months would be more like it, and that’s only if they’re on top of things. Keep telling myself it’s just an exercise in positivity. I don’t really expect anything to come of it, but sending it out is an affirmation to me that I believe in myself. Plus, it gives me something else to look for in my inbox besides the long awaited email from the director who promised me last year to read it. That whole scenario has me all over the place. I’m worried I won’t hear from the theater group at all, that they’ve decided they don’t like me, so they’ll just conveniently lose my email and not notify me of their meetings, auditions, or whatever. Do I send out a message, asking? Most people would, I suppose. Most people would ask ‘hey, you said you were gonna read that thing months ago, did you ever get around to it?’ but I’m too afraid. Too afraid of that cold brush off that I’ve been getting.

But there’s only so much I can take before I say something.

Something.

 

A Little More Autistic

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Brick walls. They’re everywhere in life. I’ve sure run into them often enough. I’m surprised I haven’t broken my damned nose yet.

Today’s brick wall (let’s paint it black) comes in the form of some stonewalling from my uncle. He claims my eldest brother never contacted him, and he has no idea what I’m on about.

After my last post, I waited until T was up and talked to him. I read my message to him and asked for advice. He thought it was excellent, and only suggested I find a way to end on a lighter, happier note before sending it to Uncle D. I did. After receiving my uncle’s reply, I went back over the entire email conversation with my bro to find out if I was truly insane – did I read more into it than was there? T backed me up; my uncle’s first email asked about Geert Wilders and my voting habits. My reply was very short: I know Wilders, I vote locally, I can’t vote on the EU level. Now, between the original question and my reply, something bloody well happened. Because the message that set me off does not address anything I said. Instead, in reply to my statements about Wilders and voting, I received a four paragraph long explanation of how my uncle voted over the years, why he voted for this chosen candidate, why he left the Republican party and is now a member of the Libertarian party, and how he feels about Trump. His answer pretty much mirrors what I would have expected out of my eldest brother in reply to a short email conversation we had over my birthday. Hm. T’s acknowledgement that yes, something sounds fishy, helps: there’s no logical way to get from A to B without some hiccup having occurred. He also told me that gossipers don’t like getting caught out, and that’s pretty much what I did.

It’s left me feeling melancholy. Not sad, really. I already knew this about my family, and have no surprise over anyone’s reaction. There’s just a dull lump of ache in me. I can’t run away from the truth anymore: my family isn’t brave enough to be honest. They can’t own up to their past, their words, their actions. They lie, they manipulate in order to avoid the truth, they tell me I’m wrong every step of the way even tho there’s not one atom in me that doesn’t quiver and tell me otherwise.

This is how I was taught not to trust myself.

My uncle’s subterfuge – if it exists, and although I must acknowledge the possibility of me being wrong, I’m sticking to my guns here – is not major. I remember as a child shopping with my mother, my sister, and a cousin. My mother was trying on coats. My sister and cousin were laughing at her because she was so fat. My mother asked me if that’s what was going on, and I lied. I said no. Because I thought if I could convince her that wasn’t what was happening, she wouldn’t feel bad. I can liken my uncle’s lie to that: an attempt in his mind to save me from some perceived greater hurt. He’s a good guy. I think he’d be motivated in that manner. So I can’t hate him or be angry over anything he does.

*sigh* Naturally I’ve considered the possibility I’m being paranoid. That’s something else I’ve heard before: you’re being paranoid. Somehow it always seems to crop up at a time when a lapse of logic has occurred, when something shifted that can’t be explained away without introducing a lie somewhere.

Perhaps that’s the element missing in my understanding of social interactions: lies.

People have called me naive. I’m the gal who falls for silly jokes, over and over, because I just don’t get people who do that type of thing. My tendency is to believe people until they prove they can’t be trusted. And there have been times and circumstances in my life when I continued to believe, despite the proof….Oh, who am I kidding? I let people walk all over me for a good, long time, and then I finally explode like a spitting bobcat. That’s something I’ve been trying to change. Call out these people earlier on. Say what I need to say up front. If they’re cool, they’ll deal. If not, they can fuck off.

But speaking up is difficult.

It’s doubly difficult when you don’t trust your own instincts.

…So I fall back, time and again like a crutch, on my brother’s advice and thoughts. I run my logic past him and ask him to check my answer: is it right? Did I make a calculation error somewhere?

And underneath that: Am I bad for thinking this way?

Lower still: I’m scared.

T knows this. All of it, right down to the deepest muck there is. He’s always understood that part of me, just like I’ve always understood his sometimes cryptic replies to questions. That’s that weird twin-like connection we have. It’s so deep it’s difficult to explain. And his autism has, oddly, been a strength for me. He lacks many filters non-autistic people have; he just blurts stuff out. It can be really hard to take in. He’s also a hard ass on many subjects: knowledgable, articulate, and dangerous to debate.

I used to try to help T be a bit “less” autistic. I’d remind him of the types of things he shouldn’t say or bring up. Give him a couple of social niceties to use to break the ice.

I don’t do that anymore. If anything, I strive to be more like him: bluntly honest, sometimes to the point people find me repellent but DAMN IT! I’m true to myself.

Frankly, I think we should all be a little more autistic.