My headspace: An Experimental Post

This is a test of something I wanted to play with. A more experimental post where I convey what it is to be autistic without going into the standard prose. What I wanted to do was put you in my shoes precisely and there’s no better way to do that than to use a mix of screenwriting and images. So I’m going to give it a shot on a vital subject: my relaxation exercise my therapist used. I’m going to guide you through what it feels like.


The sound of breathing. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out.

This is not relaxing.


A quiet but messy place. 28532_566208048102_4742476_n

It’s where you work. It’s nice. It’s a fun job. It’s the opposite of relaxing.


A beautiful baby crawls around.


Cute, playful, love of your life. But also stressful. Maybe not the first thing to think of.

You lie in bed, completely at peace.


Ah, this is the end result. But we can’t jump the queue. So focus on that breathing and we’ll get there.


Picture a soothing sight.

A beautiful, spacious mountain view.


This is a good start. But really think about it. When you picture this scene, are you truly at peace? I don’t think so. You’re thinking about the stimuli. You don’t want that. It’s nice but it’s not you.

A typical movie theater.


This is more like it. But still… Movies aren’t where you really relax. They’re often where you fire up. You don’t want to fire up. You want to let go. Where do you let go?

A standard motel.


Here we go. This is the place to set your image of calm. But wait, why here? Why not–

A nice hotel.


We have no budget limit. But still, that’s distracting. Also the lobby. Do you relax in a hotel lobby? Choose a standard room in a standard hotel.

A standard room in a standard hotel. The least noteworthy room possible.


Here we go. Bog standard. Nothing of note at all. It’s day in that shot but it’s likely day when you’re doing this so deal. Picture the room. Picture the basic details of it. The way the stiff carpet feels on your feet. The chemical scent of the cleaning products that smells just right. The perfect temperature control. The lack of detail. Just you and your thoughts. But not the bad ones. The peaceful ones. You’re away from your stressors. The outside world is outside. You aren’t in it today. You’re away. Sink into the bed. Relax.


The sound of breathing.

State of Brain 6/9: Mental Overstimulation, Lola’s B-day & Book news

This is kind of a hodgepodge post where I’m slamming together a few unrelated topics that can’t make a full post but I still need to blog on.

First up: Therapy this week was fascinating as I realized the strategy of withdrawing from the world to refocus my energy in a more healthy way was exactly the right one to engage in. I’m increasingly less patient with people who constantly express negative thoughts. I feel like there’s a toxic defeatism that’s infecting me. I’m not putting up with it anymore.

In therapy I was able to see that withdrawing was indeed correct. I can’t shoulder the burdens of life. I lose sight of the micro trying to live in the macro. What I engage in when I engage in social media amounts to the mental version of sensory overstimulation. My brain short circuits no differently than my senses do.

I’m going to continue to step back as much as I can. What I really need to do is to try and address the underlying issues that feed my addiction. I’m lonely. I’m jealous of Amanda for having friends nearby. I’m mad I can’t find new outlets. These are real issues. I need a social life. I’ll get one in time.

There was a conspicuous lack of blog posts yesterday for Lola’s birthday and there’s a very good reason why. I didn’t feel like anything I could write would feel genuine. I tried to put something together but it felt arbitrary. Nothing I could say yesterday would’ve been any different than what I say on a daily basis.

So instead I cherish that fact. That I love my daughter so much that I exhaust the supply of words I have to say about her. I take her everywhere. I play with her. We’re extremely close. I would rather have a close tie I don’t feel like exploiting than a distant one that I do.

There is a lot happening on the book front. One of the things I can’t yet announce but is going to be amazing when I do. The other I can: I’m writing the sequel which will be released hopefully next February. It’s going to take a while as I need a bit of time to write and I will have to get clearance from a few people. But it’s coming along. I’m using a carrot/stick process to write, having purchased 16 graphic novels from Amazon during an epic sale. I write a chapter, I read a book. It’s good self care!

An Exorcism Of The Sins I Carry With Me

This is not a rehashing of my earlier entry on the events of 6/5/07. If you’ve read that, you know what I think happened that day. That entry was about the events. This is about something different.

This is addressing a hard truth about why after all these years I still care about two days in my past. It’s hard to ignore that for most people, West Memphis would be a joke. They screwed up at a new job but who hasn’t. They’d tell it with bold laughter that would inspire warmth from their peers. I’m unable to do that. As the anniversary of tomorrow has loomed, I’ve actually felt a wave of sadness and pain. I’ve taken a long look at myself and I’m not at peace with what I see.

And I really should be! I’ve been at my job for nine years. Things are ok. I haven’t repeated that incident though I’ve made new mistakes. I’ve redeemed myself. I’ve even fixed a lot of mistakes others made. I can let go of this juvenile mistake.

Except this isn’t the only mistake I carry. That’s what this entry is about. The other wounds.

For instance I should be able to forgive myself for ditching a friend at the movies when I was 9. I was literally a child. I didn’t know better. Why on Earth should I still regret what I did when I was 9?

I should be able to move past the time my brother goaded me into prank calling a crush and I made an ass out of myself when I was 11. Again, just a kid. Except it was the most humiliating moment of my life to that date. But a kid.

I’m right to feel bad about having called a girl in my class and bullied her at the same age. But she’s forgiven me long ago. Maybe I can too.

I regret having rudely passed up my grandmother’s offer to pay for me to see a movie when I was 15. Looking back, not only was I a horrible ass to a woman I love dearly but I could’ve seen Life is Beautiful at the theater. That’s a movie I actually do kind of love, problematic as it is.

I also regret having been an ass on my birthday that year. As well as on vacation that year. And also generally interacting with humanity at 15.

I regret everything about my senior year of Journalism class. Like every second of it I was at my worst as a person. I was a terrible leader and my work was awful that year. I was a raging asshole to boot.

I regret the awkward way I handled a gift from a friend that summer, but less so. That one dovetails with happy memory. Miss that woman so.

My meltdowns in college will always haunt me but the one over Hot Fuzz not playing Little Rock was the utter worst. Especially since it, um, did that week.

And then past West Memphis, I regret things.

I regret the job interviews I was awkward at. I had no chance in any case so I should’ve done better. I was never meant for interviews but still.

I’ve made mistakes at work I’m still tormented by even after they were fixed.

I regret the meltdowns at work in my absolute soul. How can I not? One of them caused a nervous breakdown so bad I tried to leave the state the next day.

I’ll never allow myself to feel peace over how I wounded Brandi, the girl I dated before Amanda. I knew I wasn’t into her early but I strung her along because I wanted to be into her and thought I could force it.

Of course there are ways I’ve hurt Amanda, mostly by not thinking of her feelings. I can be very self centered.

And there are so many I’ve hurt just by not thinking. I can’t count all of them.

These are the moments I replay in my head in the dark of the night. They’re the moments I can’t forgive myself for. The times I was self centered and lazy. The times I just didn’t care. These are the sins I carry.

That’s why I care about reaching the 10 year anniversary of this day. Because I’ve reached the 10 year anniversary of one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made. It’s the centerpiece of my ledger. I want so badly to let go of these feelings, to not have this balance. But I fear that if I ever let go of it I might allow myself to forget.

But then maybe it’s time I do. I don’t know that carrying these failings has worked. Maybe writing this serves as a grand exorcism of my misdeeds. A public apology. I have hurt so many people and I will never stop trying to fix that.

I have sinned and I am beyond sorry.

Maybe someday I’ll apologize to myself.