Confessions of an Autistic Painter….

If I told you I’m Autistic…

Would you see me differently?

Would your perception of me change?

It’s tough bringing up this conversation, Yet I believe I must. How can I hide in the shadows while others are working so hard to bring awareness to the world. Is it because I fear the same rejection I had experience throughout my life?

I’m often seen as an eccentric, obsessive, extreme, often misguided, gullible, short fused, walking time bomb. “Quick, everyone, hide, Naomi’s coming to town!”

Yes I’m gullible, I tend to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I fall for scams and am easily misled. I get excited about the simplest pleasures and lose my cool over something that could have been resolved quite easily. Associations play a huge roll in my existence. A specific song, smell, an image that can set me off into a tailspin. Even if the event happened years ago, the association of it can send me into a depression from hell out of nowhere for weeks on end.

I can sometimes research obsessively for weeks and weeks on end. Then I get bummed out because it all went nowhere and I was back to square one. I’ve sure learn a lot. I’ve researched the craziest stuff, hahaha!

Painting has been my lifesaver, my best friend and comforter for as long as I can remember. I don’t think I would have survived without the passion to paint. It’s the one thing I know I can do well. I taught myself to paint, but it can be very challenging as I have such a short attention span, it takes me a long time to complete the task at hand and stay focused.

Sometimes I hand money over to the teller before I’ve place my order…This can be so embarrassing. Right away that person is aware that I’m not like other people. Facial recognition is sometimes a tough one for me, I’ve introduced myself to the same person 3  times!

I never leave the house. I eat the same foods day in a day out. I don’t like crowds and rarely socialize. I don’t know how to.

I never know what to say???

I’m a black and white thinker. There is no grey area for me. It’s either black or white. Sitting on the fence is a very difficult concept for me to grasp.

It’s really difficult for me to read social cues. Although I think I can tell when someone is disinterested in anything I have to say. I don’t understand insincerity. It confuses me. I don’t like surprises. I don’t like it when people drop by unannounced and spring something on me out of nowhere. I can’t handle that. I can get extremely stressed out to a point where I don’t want to live. Not because I want to die, but because I want the anguish and the pain or association to go away. I feel Extreme emotions. Everything is extreme. Many Sensory issues like bright lights, certain smells, fabrics on my skin, loud noises, and even talking can be so much bigger and louder than life that it throws me into a tailspin. It causes confusion and chaos in my brain.

Sometimes all of this can be so overwhelming, I find myself wanting to escape and hide for extended periods of time.

Functional?

Barely.

Prejudice for lack of understanding is a dangerous place. It’s a tiring, lonely place.

I hope that one day, acceptance and community support will save so many of us from a secret life of torment and utter loneliness.

 

me painting

4 thoughts on “Confessions of an Autistic Painter….

  1. Oh boy I truly relate, I can pick up on agitation in a hurry but I do not understand at all what it is I do or don’t do that makes a person lie to me.
    I love that business about insincerity and because I am gullible I seem paranoid because I try so hard to avoid being taken advantage of. It happens all the time.
    I am thankful you are revealing yourself and speaking for someone like me, who isn’t eloquent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Brenda, thank you for your note. It’s difficult to navigate the world when it feels like we’re walking on broken glass, blindfolded.
      I started writing this blog many years ago because this was the only way I could socialize or communicate with the world without having to leave the house. I recommend it, even if you think you aren’t eloquent, you have so much value to offer. Your own experiences could be a source of great comfort to another. Connecting with people on your own terms is quite satisfying. At times I have nothing to say and couldn’t find the word if I tried. And that’s okay too. We need silence too.

      Like

  2. Thank you for having the courage to share Naomi! In some respects I can relate to you from going through my own health crises and issues from time to time. Sometimes people trying to be well meaning will tell you, you look fine and it feels like your credibility is subtly being drawn into question. Then you realize generally only other souls going through their own health hell can comprehend. Also our youngest son who lives with us, who has genetic disability, has taught us so much about what is in a person is so much more precious than how they articulate or express themselves in every given situation. I love it when people understand that and your words, your life and art teach others to understand. Thank you.

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    • Thank you so much, Len, for your note and words of encouragement. I’m touched by your words. You have been through so much, and overcome so many hurdles, kudos to you. Your courage is truly inspiring.

      Like

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