Invisible No More

my love affair with words

about

It’s tooth and bone

and grinding nails

and lollipops

and puppy dog tails

It’s blood and blades

and scratches and

cuts

It’s tooth and nail

and tearing flesh;

rending flesh

it’s all about the past

the present

and the

future

that was never

 meant

to be

It’s all about tooth and bone

and grinding nails

It’s all about

ME!

.

.

                                                5/21/01

                                                       ©Patti Keno

 

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Who I am. part 1

I have something different about me, but my difference is invisible.  You wouldn’t see it unless you know why I’m pulling my wrists or biting my fingers (Actually I’m pulling my jaw, but to you it probably looks like I’m biting all my fingers at once).

Wait, let me start this off by saying I have never been diagnosed with Asperger’s or any other Autism related disorder.  In fact when I brought it up with my (ex)therapist.  He laughed (at me? or because he doesn’t believe in Autism?) and basically guaranteed that I did not have Asperger’s, but what that man didn’t understand is I’ve had 39 years to learn to adapt to this world and hide my tics, my meltdowns, my obsessions and other quirks.

My nephew was diagnosed as PDD-NOS, but at first we thought it was Asperger’s and the more we researched Asperger’s syndrome the more I recognized the traits in myself, I saw in myself so many traits of an Aspie.  With this blog, I’m not trying to convince anyone that I have this condition, because honestly I don’t know if I do or not.  What I hope to accomplish is to give you a glimpse into the mind of someone who may (or may not) have Asperger’s Syndrome.

I was taught when I was very young that I needed to look people in their eyes when I talk to them.  I remember very specifically my mom sitting me on her lap and telling me to look her in the eyes.  (Of course she was trying to catch me in a lie at the time.  I frequently took the fall for my Brother and Sister when I was little.  They would pay me for it. “I’ll give you a dollar if you say you did it.”) I learned from that experience what was expected when talking to someone.

Most of the time I try to stare at people’s mouths, my sensory processing disorder (also never been diagnosed) makes it hard for me to understand what people are saying.  One of my friends explained it as I hear what people say then I have to translate it into Patti Language before I can understand it. Sometimes I have to repeat the sounds I heard in my head a dozen or so times before it gets translated. So if I look lost or bored I’m probably just lost in translation. 🙂   Reading peoples lips helps, plus it’s a good way to avoid eye contact in a somewhat socially acceptable way.  Once I was at a Halloween party and I wasn’t wearing my glasses and I realized I couldn’t hear what people across the room were saying to me when I put my glasses back on I heard them better.  That is when I realized I subconsciously read people’s lips.

Accents are very hard for me to process, two examples:  I was visiting Tennessee with my Aunt, Uncle and 2 cousins.  I had painted my nails purple awhile before the trip so as always (it seems) my polish was chipped and only on the bottom of my fingernails.  A woman looked at it and said “Did you mash your thumb?” with a very heavy southern accent.  I literally was at a loss.  I had no idea what the woman asked me, but she was waiting for an answer I just stood there staring at her until my uncle translated, “She wants to know if you hurt your thumb.” I just said “nail polish” and wiggled my fingers at her.  I was so embarrassed that I could not figure out what she said it just sounded like DIDYAMASHYATHUMB.

The other incident is somewhat funnier; mom and I laugh about it a lot.  My pediatrician was a lovely Thai woman (she actually saved my life when I was 3, but that’s a story for another time) who at the time had a pretty heavy accent, but I was used it because I knew her and most times I could understand her. This time was different; she used a word that I didn’t quite know yet.  She said “I need to get a urine specimen.”  I’d probably heard the words urine and specimen before, but it wasn’t something used in everyday conversation. So I said “What?” and she said “I need to get a urine specimen,” so I said “What?” and she repeated it. It probably happened 5 times before my mom finally yelled “GO PEE IN A CUP!” That was much less embarrassing than the DIDYAMASHYATHUMB incident, because we were all laughing about it. Now, I think of that every time I have to give a urine sample.

DIDYAMASHYATHUMB. If you look at that word and have trouble finding where all the spaces go, that’s how I hear.  I have to match word sounds with words I’ve heard before.  If I’m bored or tired I just nod and smile, sometimes it’s just too hard to translate what people say to me, sometimes it’s just not ever worth the effort.

If you’ve ever seen me singing along with the songs on the radio, I don’t actually sing the words (unless I know the song really well) I just sing the sounds. For example in Portishead’s Roads she sings “from this moment, how can it feel this” I know those words so I sing them, but until I wrote this blog I never knew that the next word is “wrong” I always just made the sound RA.  LOL How can it feel this RA.

Because I don’t always sing actual words I frequently sing instrumental solos too especially guitar solos.  My friend Carrie always gets a kick out of that.

 

stay tuned for part 2.

You can purchase my novel A Murder of One at:

http://www.amazon.com/Murder-One-Patti-Keno/dp/0692388338/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1437168287&sr=8-1&keywords=patti+Keno

AMOO_lg

and Stay tuned for my latest novel Shattered Souls coming soon!!!

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