prose

Dear NHS…

‘Dear’ NHS,

This will, hopefully, be the final letter I need to write; may the power of this message shine through, at last.

I was diagnosed with depression at 15; I was self-harming and have consistently done so since, including several suicide attempts.

At 26 I was diagnosed, at last, with AUTISM, ADHD and DYSPRAXIA.

It is quite obvious why I was depressed.

Since being diagnosed with depression I have received NO THERAPY, save Family Consultation, which my family decided they didn’t want to do, and three Counselling sessions, paid for by a former employer, following a breakdown at work.

THESE THREE SESSIONS REMAIN THE MOST USEFUL SUPPORT I HAVE BEEN PROVIDED (they were private).

Other than that, the only person I can say has helped me in any way has been Dr. Nikita Kanani, who has been an understanding ear. However, as a GP, her power is incredibly limited.

I am desperate for therapy. It was what I asked for at 15; I was told the wait could be long, and given some SSRIs, which are not intended for pre-adults.

That is ridiculous.

I have a degree and over the past 4 years I have worked, for a maximum period of up to 8 months, as: a teacher; a teaching assistant; a holiday club assistant; a nursery senior practitioner; a nursery assistant. I also lived as a homeless man for 8 months.

SURELY, this PROVES that I am intelligent, capable and willing.

I keep having nervous breakdowns as a result of my autism; meltdowns are a feature of autism but I receive no financial support at all, so every time I have one and have to take time off work, I end up with no money. Then I can’t eat or pay rent. Then my depression gets worse.

I keep having mental breakdowns as a result of my depression; these will keep happening until I have some sort of support that means it is recognized that I have the same level of disability as anyone else with a registered disability; I feel like I am being punished for having eyes and legs and sometimes I think the best way to prove how bad my mental illness is would be to cut these off.

Worst of all, someone prescribed me Diazepam, which has been immeasurably useful in massively cutting down all features of all conditions, keeping me calm and allowing me to slow down and think carefully about things that normally cause me panic. I also feel I can do basic day-to-day tasks better. However, despite this being the one thing, other than therapy, which has helped me in any way, I am repeatedly being told that I am not allowed to use it long term, and it is just an emergency while I wait (another 12 years?) for therapy. So, basically, when I finally get the help I have been asking for, it’ll be ten times harder because ‘they/you’ will take away the one drug I am willing to take, which actually helps, unlike the three different SSRIs I have taken, which are known to have dangerous side-effects and all of which made my life worse.

Please help,

Yours in very little faith,

Jack Edward Cheal Baxter

PS: How many autistic people need to kill themselves or someone else before people realise how desperate life is for us right now?

That is neither a threat, nor a warning, just a damn good question.

 

Poetry, prose, Songs

Kentish Gypsy Tarts – Come Undone

The world is a beautiful place, if you follow the roads between. Keep your eyes on the flickering light that dances in the corners of your sight. The Mother is apparent in all and all is transient, what cuts will grow, what is dug will be filled, what is used shall be replenished. The Mother may not be eternal, but she was there before consciousness and she will be there if we waste it killing one another.

All we can do is dance, until the End of Time. Maybe it’s here already. All I cry about is the inability of my fellow human’s to live, laugh and love freely, openly, honestly and always. What more is there to this life?

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prose

I sometimes have difficulty in acting assertively because…

When I am honest about my thoughts or feelings, people become offended. I do not want to offend people and sometimes I cannot even understand their offence; even when I know why they are offended I become upset, because it seems that when people upset me they become offended but if I upset them well that’s still, apparently, my problem.

Welcome to my first rant as a diagnosed ‘sufferer’ of autism; just for the record, autism doesn’t make me suffer, neurotypicals do. Autism may be annoying, but NTs seem to be just plain retarded.

So, today, I got woken up by construction noises through my open window. Annoying, but it’s 10:30, so I shouldn’t even be in bed. Get up. Close the window. No problem.

Except, it’s still there, coming through the walls, subtle but jarring. So, on goes some tunes. Everyone else in house is in bed, so I am careful to make sure them music is just loud enough to block out the construction noises that everyone else can apparently ignore. I go downstairs, close those windows too, and at the same time check how much the music is reverberating through the floor. Not at all, all I can hear is the cement mixer.

All is good for half hour or so. The otherS get out of bed. I get a phone call. I get a promotion. All is, very, good.

Then, suddenly, the whole house is shaking. The floor or my bedroom feels like it is being punched from underneath, like someone is thumping the living room ceiling.

Now, let me get this clear, this is not an issue on a social, moral, philosophical or political scale, this is purely physical. I suffer from perpetual anxiety and this sounds and feels like an attack, and what’s more it is blocking out the music I have been using to block out the work noise from outside. I turn my music up, right up, until the thud is nearly gone, and realise I need to get out of the house.

Rush downstairs, stick the lead on the dog, grab some documents I need to photocopy and prepare to head round the corner to my Gran’s house; she has a scanner/printer. Just as I am about to leave, I mention to my mother that the other day I had my music up and I got told to turn it down straight away, I ask that next time I want to do so she remembers that, today, my brother was allowed to play, what she calls, ‘thumpy thumpy’ music, very loudly.

Well, I’m pretty much at the end of the story now. Next thing I know she’s raising her voice, wringing her skull, accusing me of having an issue with my brother, when clearly my issue was with her double-standards, and I’m on the back foot trying to explain how a bit of music can help me to relax but blaring bass attacks, funnily enough, are a bit much even for me. I leave the house, go to my Gran’s, to find Mum’s called ahead and Gran is ready to pick up the mantle and start shouting at me for upsetting my Mother. Great. Mum goes to her Mum when she’s been hurt, who do I got to exactly, when my Mum is the one hurting me?

Okay, I know I’m 26, but try not to judge me too harshly here, like everyone else. I’m calling out to the people of the internet because someone out there must have sensory difficulties like me and be able to understand that from the moment the road noises started, I was under attack. My anxiety was on a constant rise and whilst a bit of light music in the background can be amazingly helpful for dealing with this rise, people then taking it to the next level and playing dubstep at club volumes or shouting at me when I try to explain how it’s giving me bloody panic attacks is a surefire way to make my heart burst out of my chest (metaphorically), and for me to behave accordingly in response (literally) by (metaphorically again) melting down.

So, music’s been banned in our house (boy, I can’t wait until they get the pneumatic drill out tomorrow at meltdown o’clock), I can’t talk to my mother or brother because they both agree that, because I turned my music on first, that I ‘started it’, despite the fact that when it was just my music on, no one mentioned it being a problem and it CERTAINLY didn’t bang through the floor until after I had to turn it up, as otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to hear it at all.

Now I’m trying to use self-help books to figure out how I could have handled the situation differently, but as far as I can tell everything I did basically followed the methods outlined in those books. I was looking for solutions, not problems, but then suddenly I found myself in an argument that I did not want or predict. My automatic response here is to shut up and not be honest about my feelings anymore, which is the opposite of the intention of the writing exercise prompt that is also the title of this bit of babble (I sometimes have difficulty in acting assertively because…).

I’m supposed to construct a positive challenge to get me out of my comfort zone and help me to be more assertive, but in this case I can honestly say I believe that I was being assertive with my Mum, and then my Gran, but was hit by raw aggression in both cases, which caused me to panic and in the end, both times, I broken down and cried; my Gran continued to shout at me whilst I did.

I need to get away from my family because I believe my Mother has, without necessarily meaning to, so demonized me in all their eyes, and they cannot see how she behaves when they am not around, that if I so much as suggest that she has upset me, I get verbally abused. But I am still recovering from the mental breakdown I had at work a year ago and have only just been officially diagnosed with autism; I am at the start of my road to recovery, I certainly don’t have the money to move out, and my support network is the origin and perpetuator of my neuroses.

Help.

prose

Imagine…

England and Scotland get split apart by an earthquake. The two parliaments separate entirely and the countries decide to pursue independent and completely opposing manifestos. A war ensues.
To facilitate troop mobilisation, Scotland builds a bridge. This BENEFIT ensures the WELFARE of all their troops.
In this scenario, would it be morally right for the English, who do not support the Scottish people, to use the bridge?
Considering how, in this scenario, the English fully oppose the Scottish, I would think it prudent for them to make as much use of the bridge as possible. The Scottish might hate them for it and moan about the hypocrisy of the British slagging off their policies and then using their bridge, but really that would be the pragmatic thing to do.

prose

Scene 3: Man in Gray; Man in Gray.

Alone Now. Attempts to alleviate abdominal aggression accentuates an almost almonious agreement on agitation. Bowels blocked by bloomious stool. Counteraction and counter-reaction countermands the core. In principle, alone now is a sorry state of sordid sins, sans savingly snared sans, sorry, sans seedy sans hands to be washed. Sansitory. San. Sit. Ory…and stations to be approached. New and more avenues to follow from this junction…just another point in the way of looking for aggression.

prose

The Pursuit of Loneliness

The Pursuit of Loneliness

a short story

There is a buzzing- a BUZZ BUZZ iiiiiiING!!- fuzzy and ringing, muffled yet sharp- an under-the-ear-drum-itch- frustrating, infuriating BUZZING…coming from the people in this room. They cannot hear it, in a sense, for them, it does not exist- except so far as it exists for them as an invention of mine. I invent many things.

There is a hot and cold bubble boiling and freezing in the pit in my mind that drains the pit in my stomach. There is a Black Fog enclosing my brain- it is a fog of hate to imprison me in a hatred I will create, whelp, nurture, expose and digest. It is a process I have invented.

The Black Fog comes and goes with the tides of people who lap at the shores of my perception. Some bring ill-wind, some bring fair wind- it matters not to me or the fog; it travels at random on temporal seas.

It seems random to me…but then time follows no laws; it is an invention of man, which he imposes, unfairly, on reality.

Everyone agrees- the invention becomes real.

My inventions are my inventions and very few people exhibit very little interest in them.

Suffice to say I find it infuriating to know that of all the infinite universes in which people could choose to live, many choose to inhabit the same few! (; making them much cluttered, dull universes). Where I can, without hurting others, (as I perceive it) I like to live in my universe of my invention. When I can’t, I flounder on the shores of everybody else’s perception.

There is a buzzing and a boiling and a black, encompassing fog and there are so many noisy universes, all in one room, which I cannot bear. Somehow those blessed words make their way through to me-

‘And that’s it for this lecture; see you, next Tuesday’.

And I think- Bring it to Charlie’s House. But I don’t say it, because no one else will get it.

And I run; up the stairs; out the door; down the stairs; out the door; freedom.

Loneliness…

            That sweetest of sorrows- the sky is a beautiful shade of gray- the most fleeting of feelings- a single drop of rain- LONELINESS- that I long for!- loneliness– that I need!

I walk. I walk fast- faster than anyone else; away from anyone else. I force an absent minded expression onto my moody, desolate expression. I force my instincts to recede and train my countenance to obey me this once and be that mask of deceit which comes- unfairly – easily to lesser mortals.

I try to look like I haven’t a care in the world because if anyone asks me if I do have a care in the world I shall explode, I shall burst forth with such vitriolic determination that the very world of which they ask me shall feel scathed.

And if she be a thing, let her feel so! She is, like any woman, multi-facetted and deceitful.

*

I reach my sanctuary; the Writer’s Paradise; place of peace; where scholars and the great creative minds (I do not draw a distinction per se) join to sit, alone, in quiet to work; work in its most physical and spiritual manifestation: thought. My sanctuary…

The woman at the desk looks at me and I hate her; the old couple stand BLOCKING! The doorway and I HATE them; the children giggle at computers in corners and I hate them and I hate hate hate their parents and I hate this place and I’ll never get a moments peace as women browse and natter through aisles lined with ‘inspiring’ (!) novels about abuse and neglect and other ‘inspiring’ (!) themes and men peruse literature beyond far far beyond their capacity for understanding Dickens and Carroll and Wilde they couldn’t possibly understand those people if they were alive today so how dare (!!) they touch those leaves and students giving themselves kudos and pats on the back and other such shit just for finding (!) the books from their reading lists and I want them to go ALL GO AWAY NOW NOW NOW and I RUN FLEE ESCAPE THIS PLACE

No sanctuary now.

So I walk, past coffee houses blaring pop and restaurants blaring pop and churches full of kids and pubs full of kids and bus stops inhabited by homeless and alleys ditto ditto ditto – GOD! F.U.C.K, where is my place of peace; where is my sanctuary!?

Gone; the world is gone from me, gone gone gone, no peace, no quiet, just hustle and bustle and rudeness everywhere…no respect.

Suddenly I feel afraid; I have gone too far! I will miss the start of my next seminar! I will have to arrive late and walk in ALONE and eyes EYES will stare and they will THINK such horrible (horrible!) things and I will choose WRONG and my friends will hate me and my enemies will laugh and I will suffocate in black, the Black Fog…

I walk quick-time double pace back back back, fast, onto campus, past halls, down the hall, upstairs, through door- alone.

No one is here; classroom empty.

This is wrong- the class was definitely in here so why (why!) why-the-fuck is it empty?

This makes no sense!

PANIC

Makes no sense

PAN…

…calm down.

Think rationally.

Call a friend; my best friend in the whole university. Times are hard, but they’ve been hard before; friends- friend- THIS friend has always seen my through.

Call.

Ring.

Ring.

Ring.

R-what-the-fuck-why-can’t-anyone-in-this-fucking-world-answer-a-fu-

“Hello! Hi, yes, sorry, sorry to call, I’m such a fool, I’ve gone to, well I must be in the wrong class, no one’s here, and-

What?

Go home early?

Could have told…

I ran here!

Not around?

You have a phone you stupid cunt! What kind of fucking friends are you making me look like a fucking tit you can just drive back and get me you just left me here to make a fucking fucking fool of myself why the FUCK do I even bother with useless FUCKING friends like you you worthless fucking waste of space cun…”

…hello?