Be Quiet

Hush

When more have a voice and a view and ever better ways to express them, there remains a disparity in the proportion of the worldwide audience actually willing to listen. Attention may be paid for objection-handling purposes or to feel involved by responding, somehow but that’s not the same as listening. No wonder we’re left with such a cacophony.

It can ring in your head far louder than on your phone and intrudes into every part of your being – then you’re caught. It can be really hard to find any inner peace or stillness and actually know your own thoughts from those imposed on you and it can take a while to extricate yourself from this influence…and that’s how it rules.

To spot deception in the world can make you really vulnerable to attack. To voice objection to it will, most definitely will. It can be shocking in its ferocity but your own integrity is tested when you realise the part you played in this eternal game, unwittingly or not. Do you continue to comply? If so, then how much?

This is the point when you can find space to consider – if you dare – any self deception that has created on-going harm to yourself and others. This is the point when you have a chance to discover real peace. Self-deception is the most harmful of all. Change the habit, though, and the transformation in your life is freedom. While everyone else continues shouting you can look inside, sense the peace and just be quiet.

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7 Most Common Regrets People Have When They Look Back On Their Lives…

It’s easy to waste life being wrapped up in words until we’re completely entangled but the right words at the right time can steer us to freedom that can only ever come from within ourselves. This is from one of my absolute favourite bloggers…

seagirll

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It’s one of the biggest ironies in life, that many of us live our lives doings things we don’t really want to do, and neglecting things that are truly important to us, and only finally at the ends of our lives, look back and admit we wish we’d done it differently.

It isn’t a big surprise to most people, that on our deathbeds, most of us regret things like not spending enough time with family, or working too much and not having enough fun. We are, as educated adults, aware, even if we are living a life outwardly that makes it seem otherwise, that the most important things in life are family, love, health, and happiness.

Yet, even though we possess enough common sense to know this, many of us are unable to let go of the pursuit of things that often take us farther and farther away from what…

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Weathering the Storms

Face-on

Face-on

With humility, I can say that I’ve never felt so reassured by my feeling ‘at odds’ with Society at large and even smaller communities.  Self-serving opportunism is now epidemic with little evidence of learning from having observed how this has developed and what it has developed into, in recent decades.

It may not bring me friends or riches but I’m pleased to remain my autistic – not stupid – self,  and recognise that my Aspergers gives me the focus on what actually matters in my life.  I’m not wasting any more of it trying to make sense of senseless man-made constructs and skewed judgements when all I need to find contentment is already within me.

The few friends I have are quality friends.  The little I have is meaningful to me.  I’m not chasing any rainbows.  I have a life to live.

Autistic, Not Stupid

Two years on from Asperger’s diagnosis – when I was told about the many geniuses throughout history, thought, with good reason, to have been somewhere on the autistic spectrum – it has become my entertainment, rather than my horror, to observe how knowledge of my diagnosis affects the way others treat me.

My early, startling realisations came when I sought out sources of advice and support, relevant to my new status as an autistic person – as opposed to ‘a person’. That’s when I realised that it wasn’t just the charity that I’d worked for that wasn’t quite as charitable, altruistic or sincere as one might hope.  No, many have a band of expensive, executive experts very much ‘on board’ to steer the organisation to the fullest maximisation of ‘not’ profits, with much of these coming from the public purse while delivering little actual value in relation to the number of eligible recipients of said, mythical help. Never mind, it keeps a few staff in good wages and reduces our being a ‘burden’ on local resources.

Ok, so charities (at least the biggies) were forced – kicking and screaming – to behave like big business – and we’ve seen how well big business has set examples of acceptable behaviour across the decades, haven’t we? But, it has been steered this way by successive Governments, again who only implement measures for the greater good- don’t they?, as I found when I went for my PIP assessment, conducted by someone who understood even less about autism than I did at that point.

She learned that, despite a slight processing delay, I can actually form thoughts, ideas and words that go into sentences that make sense. She apologised for her ignorance while I contemplated how much money was being wasted telling me how I would disappear into the vortex of wasted human life rather than receiving any encouragement to create anything meaningful and worthwhile – imagine what a contrast that would be to the reality of all that was being puked out by the executives and experts?

There are even organisations that believe autistic people should be euthanized.  The language they use sounds like they conduct research to support understanding about autism and support autistics and many, many people believe this without reading up on their real goals or seeing through the cleverly-worded blurb.  There are teaching and training methods that can show genuine results for their recipients but conveniently overlook the longer term effects on the autistic individual who has become repressed with the eternal prospect of their human self erupting like a volcano at any point.

Where is the humanity in all this, I wonder? But that is humanity and if I waste any more of my time being upset by those who look to undermine any progress I make instead of just recognising them for what they are – my progress will be thwarted, which is exactly what they want.  This has come from official organisations that claim to support autistic people and conduct research for our benefit and it comes from self appointed autistic advocates who are grappling with creating a place for themselves in the world.  I wish them well with that.  It’s all anyone is doing really, though I don’t hold with trying to further that goal at the expense of another’s worthwhile and meaningful efforts.  I’m truly sorry for the very capable people who could do so much to help themselves and other autistics but when they sign up as the token autistics for some rather disingenuous organisations to look more credible than they are, they’re doing themselves and autistics a deep disservice and should look to their conscience, rather than their ego for future guidance.

And there it is – showing how similar Planet Autism is to the world everyone else knows.  We’re all in the same space, just in different parts of it.  Two years ago I thought to myself ‘Well, I got this far with my Asperger’s undiagnosed and what affected me was one mistreatment too many – which would have affected many people similarly, autistic or not, because I’m just human.

My largely unpopular knack of calling a spade, a spade is just me being me and I understand that’s all anyone else is trying to be, too.  But I’m not caught up in the cliques and the deceptions. I get over the disappointments of recognising those who are and I move on.  Most happily, I’m not caught up in the self delusion practiced so widely that actually prevents knowing your true self.  I have to assume that some of the behaviour that I observe IS borne out of someone seeing themselves and not liking what they see, hence their charade.

That’s a pity when time only ever runs shorter.  For me, I’ve come to see the tremendous qualities in some of the people I know, so much more clearly having been repulsed by distractions and nonsense from those who rely on such self indulgences.  I’m grateful for knowing some amazing people; for their friendship and support.  Oddly, I’m grateful to the rest for providing the necessary contrast to make that realisation such a clear and definite thing – a fixed point from which to plan my life moving forward rather than stagnating in utter pointlessness.  It’s a choice we all have and we can take it or devour our life force in justifications and objection handling. I’ve never felt more confident about the direction of my future or the satisfaction I gain from my present life and that point has been reached thanks to the energies, efforts and massive amounts of time spent by some deeply crappy people.  How weird is that?  There are some great autistic Advocates and services but you’ll find them for yourselves, hopefully.

Self realisation isn’t a diagnosis, an education or a set of clothing, metaphorical or otherwise.  It’s not about looking around for what looks like an answer we can cling to in the hope it turns out to be the right one for us (or, at least, give that impression to others). Self realisation is about looking inwards, having the integrity to face the realities seen and the strength to make the necessary transformation.  That can only be achieved by the self.  No one will or can do it on your behalf.  The most tempting choices can be hardest, so imagine the real, deep rewards.

I know where I’m going and others can like it or not.  I’m autistic, not stupid.

When Mike Yarwood Met Chris Hatton

Love, Belief and Balls

I’m going to out myself. This was meant to be a secret until later on this year but I’ve been so shocked by some figures I’ve been totting up the last few days, I’m going to let you into my secret early. I’ve been writing a 2016 diary with the aim of publishing it as a book in early 2017. The intention is that it will be an extension of this blog: a combination of Steven’s funniest moments of the year, coupled with a chronicle of what life is like when you are caught up in the social care system. In my diary, I’ve been recording the amount of time, I spend on social care bureaucracy.

I hope you’ve heard of Chris Hatton. In case you haven’t, Chris is the genius statistician for Justice for LB. He also produced a phenomenal daily blog for Seven Days of Action revealing all…

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ASC – And You’re Sure to Find Out.

Imagine...

Imagine…

It’s a year today since I received my formal diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome – an autistic spectrum condition – and after initial relief, came a very steep learning curve culminating, largely, in total trust in my instincts over logic which can be completely subjective.

The most beneficial but difficult element has been in discovering who my friends are NOT, followed by understanding the meaning of words like ‘support’ and ‘service’ – often translating, very accurately, as a means by which to exploit someone with a vulnerability for one’s own ends.  I was aware of that and fell out with my employers because of it but I hadn’t counted on being in that situation myself as I went on to discover, despite the knowledge of my diagnosis. My instinct remained to trust and expect that others would ‘do the right thing – why wouldn’t they?’

Well there are lots of reasons.  Weakness is at the basis of all the reasons and cowardice drifts in at various points too, but it is clear that many think they just have the right to take without ever giving and will be aware of doing real harm to people because they want what they want despite that knowledge.  So my naivety was laid so bare that even I saw it and how my employers must have seen it too, given how they changed every aspect of the productive work I had delivered on which they had relied so much until my objection to their exploitation of the service users. Continue reading

Shedding tiers

In the run up to the UK General Election we are deluged by the latest round of promises unlikely to be kept – certainly not in the form they are being presented to us. The same old, same old is what has led our Country to be unable to even pretend to care about providing the ‘services’ promised.  Any attempt at this is left to altruistic dogsbodies who contribute so much, recognising the need and value of genuine care within our communities, while those in ‘control’ look after themselves and their cronies first, with a bit  left over to placate the rest of us.  It’s the national version of what the many within the social care system experience as a regular part of life.  Inefficiency, pretense, dishonesty, self preservation. Is this the time when those with the least while contributing the most will decide enough is enough and things are about to change? Continue reading

Let Justice Roll Down Like Waters, and Righteousness Like an Ever-Flowing Stream.

Some of the most productive, worthy plants have been swamped under mounds of manure first but as that continues to decay there’s that seed of hope drawing the energy back to fight on.

Love, Belief and Balls

I’ve been wanting to write something for Justice For LB #107days Take Two. It is hard to top the amazingness of last year but the Justice Shed are really going for it. It has clearly been a very hard week in the Justice Shed. The almost permanently silent Oxon CC launched a missile of deadly, cuntish magnitude. It is hard to survive an attack like that. In the past year, I’ve met Sara and Rich several times and each time have been in awe of their courage, dignity and fantastic humour. If anyone can get justice to roll down like waters, it is these two.

My language already gives away the theme of this post. It’s about the battles families find themselves in when something horrendous happens to them or their loved ones. I don’t like war like language – I find it nearly always overblown but it does seem…

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The Pointlessness of an Internal Investigation

Oh what a tangled web they weave…

Love, Belief and Balls

I keep gulping down deep sobs ever since I read Sara Ryan’s latest blog post yesterday. (https://mydaftlife.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/oxon-classy-council/) It is the latest in the catalogue of shameful, deceitful, inhumane behaviour by the Authoritys involved in the death of LB. How can the State treat the people they are paid to serve with such utter contempt?

We had an experience back in 2008 of the sham of the “independent internal investigation”. It is nowhere near on the scale of what Sara’s family are going through but it alerted me to the depths Officialdom will sink to prevent the truth from being revealed.

This is a year before Steven was taken away. One day, with no notice at all, the council stopped the contract with the agency that were supplying Steven’s support workers. We weren’t allowed to be told “why” the contract had been cancelled – it was none of our business. Left…

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The Ugly, the Bad – Now the Good

People get to you – they get to me but it never ceases to amaze me how many rotten apples it takes to join forces to cover up their wrongdoing and how few people it can take to counter that balance with a little goodness, sincerity or unaffected behaviour.

I have an accent that will not make me popular here and an expectation that people will appreciate honesty – despite all evidence to the contrary.  But among the perennial weeds of life’s bountiful garden I have encountered some blooming wonders – in people, as well as in nature.

My first encounter with a large group of learning disabled adults was a sensory overload in terms of sound and activity but beyond that I began to see that these new companions were among the best people I had ever met in my life.  They had humour, enthusiasm, a desire to please and succeed beyond the norm and most of all, a communally strong sense of right and wrong, honest, certainly, beyond what I saw as the norm.

As we began to work together I learned so much from the group who devised the most ingenious ways around obstacles in life to achieve real, individual successes that would be overlooked by the busying masses, using slight of hand to ‘look good’ in a bad way.

Don’t ever underestimate learning disabled, autistic, disabled – whatever you find a person to be on first meeting them, because human nature can be wonderful.  The ones you trust because they seem smart, forceful, trustworthy… are probably the ones with the best qualifications to be a con artist – but see what you find by not judging the book by its cover.

Beware, though, honesty and insight are very threatening to such people and the wonderful people I spoke of at first are prey to these types.  Many of them had degrees of autism from the vast spectrum, so perhaps that was the innate link of understanding we shared – I just didn’t understand it then but from the way they welcomed me, they recognised something way beyond anything I could then, while I was trying to cope with the noise of laughter.

There is a school of thought that we autistics – or whatever term you use – are the next phase of human evolution.  Interesting.  No wonder the dinosaur, self serving liars and manipulators are worried, though we are jumping the gun a little in terms of time scales.

The other group of people I have met who impress me with their similar sense of decency are the ones I’ve met along the path of recovery from the stress place on those of us who care.  From all walks of life and backgrounds, so many of these people have worked for a charity, raised concerns, paid the price, but they hang in there and from them, goodness will ripple outwards still, albeit in a thwarted and reduced way.  We are what we are, which explains much of the desperation of the lowlifes, to be pitied.  We pity the wrong people.  We pity those with some of the best qualities most can never achieve, because it isn’t perceived to be the very strong and powerful force it is.