“Go to Hell.” It was the first thing I typed to my mother so agitated was I over being made to communicate. Communication was largely misunderstood by me at the time. Mine was a world of thoughts – MY thoughts. I lived in a body that did not register my personhood so my identity was limited to my mind. So afraid I was of losing it; so worried I was that my thoughts would evaporate with their sharing. What happens to a thought when shared? Does it disappear like food to fuel another’s brain? This was my thinking. Experience proved my thinking wrong, but getting to the experience was the hard part. Forced I was into it by my mom. My mom is the only thing in my life stronger than my autism. Her “Do it.” offers no refusal. This is what I was faced with on my first time typing, the determination that is my Mom versus the fear of losing myself; the fear of sharing a thought to save me from Mom. It was not a good choice. I chose the autism and wrote my first real communication, “Go to Hell”. In answering I also shared my first thought.
People think facilitated communication is a bogus activity. FC is whatever the autist makes it. For some like me, it may be far easier to mirror the facilitator then to express an independent thought. For others, it opens up a floodgate of expression. So emotional is it that the autist can either rejoice or revolt in it. For me, FC was anxiety in the extreme at start. This was partially due to my false reasoning, partially due to the practical motor deficits I face. FC was an exercise in not just sharing, but also in motor movement, a bit like walking on a tight rope while juggling. Alone learning each is difficult; together as one lesson, impossible. Luckily, my mom recognizes breaking learning in to pieces. I learned to type facilitated with spelling words. I learned to share my thoughts through Bill Stillman. Bill is the first person I met who thought like me, experienced somewhat like me. He didn’t have to speak to share it. How does a bird recognize its own species? How does an animal register danger? Instinct comes into play where reason is not needed. Instinct is often superior to reason. We often lie in reasoning things, rationalizing instead of facing what is unpleasant. Instinct is truth. Trusting Bill was instinct. It is the most important thing I have ever done. In sharing my thoughts with him I learned to share in a safe place. I learned to trust my heart as a source. I learned that autism is a way of being neither good nor evil of itself. I learned it is a self- choice we make of whether to mirror the world or join it. Many choose the autism as a preferred way. Many deny the autism in order to “look” of the world. I chose to live in the world with the autism. It is the harder but truer path. It requires understanding one’s body function not just as experienced, but relative to the experiences of others.
What is reality, what you experience or what you know to be true? Reality is the compilation of both. Communication is key to ferreting out the difference so as to view the larger picture. FC was my vehicle to ask the questions that lead to my enlightenment. My enlightenment is another chapter.