Thursday, September 25, 2014

Entry 72: “Artistic Autist”

Disclaimer A

May. 25. 2014

I’m “Artistic Autist” and perhaps “Autistically Artistic” too…not sure which way sounds better, or how it differs. What do you think? Many of us are artsy aspies, that’s for sure. I know I’m not alone whatsoever. Let’s explore the nature of how intense and painful, though wondrous, this can be.

My chiropractor said that the autistic neurology is a lot to do with being dominated by the part of the brain that wants to “solve.” Then, my husband said in order for the brain to be prompted to solve, it must first be enriched with perception.

We perceive a lot, in fact, so much that it hurts. This can feel like a curse, too; and this is where the sensory issues come in. My sensory issues are so intense, and difficult, that I haven’t said much about them. I wish I’d said more, and I will in my main book especially. However, it’s so difficult to talk about.

This hyper perception must be why the dominating needs to “solve.” Add the fluid intelligence to it, and this produces the looking at something from many different angles, exploring several possibilities, or routes to a similar or same answer. This seems like a logical process, it seems mathematical, but also it’s creative. This is how inventing happens, using design and originality, and also logical processes.

Now, autistic people are all fluid and creative in several ways, even when they aren’t “artsy” per se, and principally into math, science, and/or language. However, many autistic people are very artistic… either primarily, or as a hobby. What I try to tell me people is that even though I’ve taken up this endeavor with writing, I’m primarily an artist, even in my writing. It comes out, in ways that are either appreciated or frowned upon.

Imagine this applied: the extra flare for design, the seeking out, exploring and producing ideas with the colorful enrichment of being “artistically inclined.” This kind of aspie, who adores artistic endeavors, and therapeutically expressing themselves artistically, is often quite intense. They may struggle with overwhelming emotions, and need the outlet of their chosen art form. It’s with things like drawing, painting, sculpture, crafting, music and songwriting, and creating writing. What I mean by creative writing is poetry and artistic prose, using many word pictures, simile, metaphor, allusion, personification and so forth.

However, the brain is still in this logical “solve” thing too, in one way or another. So if we intertwine the two together, the brain is very uniquely integrated.  Here is design central! The reason for such heightened perception is because autistic people’s brains are so heavily integrated. The artistic flare applied to this can be a creative genius, coming up with the most amazing art of various types. Some of the great artists now passed were likely autistic, in my belief. The Autistic Artist is often very gifted.

Here’s the double-edged sword though, when the autistic artist does the solving, when they communicate their thoughts, they may sound convoluted to the ones who just don’t get it. In other words, they may sound “nutty.” Now, this kind of brain is like a wild horse that needs to be kept in reign, like a balloon for in which we need to hang onto the string. It can get carried away.

I do believe that there are many unrecognized cases of autistic folks out there who, under heavy stress, likely a lack of diagnosis, mistreatment and abuse, and drug abuse too, may have developed a comorbid major mental illness. Sadly then, the autism has been missed and may be forever more. Many of these people could even be homeless, busking with their music, making jewelry and crafting to get by, reading tarot among other things. Picture it. Again, these are the “lost savants.”

I don’t like labeling, I don’t like the DSM, but for the purpose of describing it we’re talking the bipolar and/or schizophrenia spectrums are where these unfortunates may wind up on. This is when the brain has become all jumbled up, severely imbalanced, and into a “dream state.” It’s complex but all I’m saying is that the likelihood of a sensitive, brilliant brain “shattering into fragments” due to exposure to heavy stress, abuses and perhaps self medication addictions, all ensuing chemical imbalance, seems logical to me.

However and in staunch retrospect, the original thinking state of the autistic brain, artistic especially, is not “schizotypal”... though it might be somewhat seen this way, and thought of as such. The way we think, so deeply, fluidly, creatively, and reiterating the same concepts, viewing it from many different angles, can again sound “off” to the average minded person. It’s not. If one had the capacity to really view it for what it is, they’d see that past the types of descriptive language use, there are often brilliant points to be made.

The artistic autistic is more at risk to be seen this way when they communicate their theories, views and concept in words: in writing especially. They are likely to be on much safer ground when they use visual art, poetry and song. From these angles, with the application of music and/or pictures to “show” what is meant more simply, in a way an NT is more able to understand, it’s alleviating for all.

This is not to say that I don’t regret what I’ve done in my writing, I needed to “actualize” my experience and pass it on, in hopes that it’ll help others who do get it… and many do get it.

Autistic people especially get me, particularly the more creative types. Of course they do, I’m “speaking autistic” albeit in my own “dialect” with heavy creativity and my own individualism applied. In lieu of that, I’ve run into some mean and cynical “sub-clinicals” (very mild Asperger types, not profound enough to make a diagnostic cut off.) However, it’s mostly NTs who’ve been negative, sometimes almost disgusted, with my viewpoints.

Some have been very mean, not realizing that I’m merely describing my unique viewpoints, and I’m doing my best despite subtle difficulties in “finding the right words for the patterns” (and sometimes I may “miss the mark” a little, and get misunderstood. My “takes” on things are hailed from different angles and most especially based on empirical experience. I am about ready to mostly retire from the relentless efforts to “spew out” my ideas in on paper, at such high intensity in terms of verbosity at least.

I will still write occasionally, but much shorter blurbs and blogs on the site I’m building. However, they will be much shorter, more succinct and more importantly they will “branch out” to other topics, often lighter ones, but sometimes just different. Like for example, the state of our oceans.

I’d like to further explore and bounce off my ideas in the area of concern for the environment. It will only be occasional, I am mostly going to back into my main passion in life: music, and all the art/design that comes with it.

It is intense even for the writer, and I feel I’m getting close to what I needed to say.  My body is telling me it’s time to “whoa Nelly.” I am feeling it, and have felt it…basically I am paying for it in more ways that I’m willing to say at this time. I did what I did, and this chapter must end.

I want to wrap up my books, and climb the stairs onto the “higher plain” above all that language. I’ve taken some mean hits, from those that don’t get it, and want to attack me. I’ve taken hits from my own healthcare system, too. My own health condition is paying for speaking out about my views and attempting to get needs met in ways they were simply unwilling. I’ll likely continue to take hits, so I need to prepare for it and get better at handling it without letting it affect my core sense of self. However, I want to show that I can, and will, rise above. Art: I’m coming home. I’ll feel safe in your arms.

- Rose Whitson-Guedes

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