(I was depressed over a long stretch of years. My two most consistent habits over that time were insomnia and compulsive writing. I got better and now my writing is different. Here is the last thing I wrote from that time period.
I recently guest-posted two interviews at Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism. I thought I would share links to those here, along with every interview/conversation I’ve been part of over the years. The topics all converge around autism, but I’m grateful for the huge variety of insights and perspectives these discussions made possible.
I worked graveyard shifts for a long time. It helped my senses avoid painful daylight hours. And it helped me avoid…you know, social stuff. Daylight people.
Every now and then, when I was very young, I could sense this shape coalescing within my thoughts. I would find myself…not so much visualizing it, as feeling it.
Alexia Klein is a Brazilian translator and author of the blog O autismo em traducao (“autism in translation”). After her son was diagnosed with autism, she decided to use her translating skills to share English-language posts about the spectrum and neurodiversity with readers in her home country (where Portuguese is the official language).
She recently reached out to discuss translating posts from Invisible Strings, so I took the opportunity to learn more about her efforts. We spoke via email about her blog, her translating work and the current state of autism awareness in Brazil.
(re-posting from a few years ago, for the holidays.)
When I was in elementary school, my social struggles developed into an intense fear of other people.
I sought out friendships, connections, but lacked the basic communication skills necessary to traverse the social world. I didn’t know that I lacked body language; I didn’t know that my mind was unable to catch the nuances of non-verbal communication. Needing people, interested in others, I repeatedly jumped into interactions, only to stumble for reasons I had no way of understanding.
As a little one, you didn’t understand facial expression. You didn’t even know it meant something…you just knew faces shifted and moved and you couldn’t make sense of that.
Final semester, 1998