(Feminine and Neurodivergent)
Storyteller | Creative | Australian
Radical Acceptance | Innate Pursuits | Love and Safe Relationships | Sexy Sex Health
Freedom from Violence
THE HOOK: catchy with something unexpected
Fabulous – no filter or pragmatics, let's get real – fast! I hold space for my PDA'er child to be gender fluid, a sexually diverse Autistic and Neurodivergent human. My fluid sexual diversity has included questioning, asexual, however mostly heterosexual and I prefer gender-free referencing such as ‘they’, ‘them’ or ‘their’. Our bodies are our own. No-one hugs, kisses or touches my child or me without our say so. Flitching, moving away or freezing is our 'no' in non-speaking language. "No is a complete sentence" and despite what society promotes, sexy sex (lust/romantic love) is not the sign of genuine love. Love is the sign of love and anger (contempt has a thousand faces) is the quickest way to kill it. My child talks freely about these things and informs their friends that, "love is kind, caring and compassionate". My child knows when our housemate is struggling and will ask them if they're okay.
BACK TO THE BIO: got to love my ADHD brain's distractions!
I’ll blast off with a back cover copy for a book kinda way, (the shortened extended version – lol!) starting with my presumed better bits. But please know they are secondary to my most noteworthy and vital role, devoting my life to being my child's 24/7 Carer, champion, fellow colleague, student of life, biggest fan and bean bag. Both my child and I are PDA'er (Pathological Demand Avoidant) Autistics. We experience an anxiety-driven need to protect our personal sovereignty from others' demands and expectations.
A PEEK: into our bits and bobs
My background incorporates being an artist, designer and writer, and an educator with past experience of teaching graphic arts at tertiary level. Fun and mucking around was a priority in the classroom, creativity is fueled by imagination, and it requires an open mind. I hosted and attended public speaking seminars, workshops, exhibitions, community activities, events and groups with a talent for appearing in several television commercials, podcasts (Fight&Fawn and The Pink Bits of Autism), my hallways and mirrors rehearsing great conversational lines and comedic standups. I’ll never have or perform. But like my child’s strong identification with Coprolalia Tourette’s, they have to come out, an itch I have to scratch!
I'm a rocker from way back. I rock and tongue stim the back of my teeth for regulation and we love white noise of a fan at night come rain or shine, and so does my child's service dog. Ha! Both my child and I have been blessed with OCD's designed to protect us from danger. We both experience Abandonment OCD. My child specialises in Contamination OCD and I take the cake for Retroactive, Relationship, Responsibility, Harm and past history of Body Dysmorphia and Eating OCD's. Sprinkled with some learning difficulties and combined major intolerance for things that don't work out straight away. We tend to lose it. Although I'm the internaliser (Fawner) and my child the externaliser (Fighter)!
My child is naturally motivated to pursue gathering information and understanding about Sexual Health (no surprises there!), Gaming, IT, Business, Music (Didgeridoo/Beatboxing), Film Design, War History, Social Justice, Politics, Equality, Meteorology, Science, surfing and skateboarding. Thank goodness our brilliant same-sex attracted housemate and diverse skateboarding community has most of these things covered – we’d be lost without their unwavering and unconditional support! So blessed!
Book and Program:
I loved writing and designing a self-help book based on my journaling I wrote in the '90s before my thirties. Delivering it as a highly successful creative program, (participant informed) for autistic and neurodivergent teenage and young adult women inclusive of LGBTI2KA + kin and diverse community. Where we shared a lot of tears, snot, belly laughter and homemade cooking.
We had great joy sharing our hopes and dreams in all areas of our lives. Few secrets were held back. We talked freely about really tricky and real stuff – our true vulnerabilities. The program had a particular focus on the following: family and relationship violence, sexuality, sexual health, addictions, mental illness, relationships, financial hardship, unemployment, homelessness and all struggles with day–to–day living. It was such an honour to be a witness such incredible courage and change. My intention was simple: to support young people's innate pursuits, to believe they are truly superb and not alone if they are struggling or need for individual and diverse assistance.
As a professional, having lived experience with the above, I found an incredible youth service provider who reflected philosophies of absolute respect for young people’s autonomy, choices and differences and did things differently because of it. We listened, what young people said mattered, believing they knew more about themselves than anyone else, they’re magnificent no matter how battered they were from society or how their behaviour reflected the pain life’s bruising caused.
A BIG CHANGE: a grave understatement and in an instant
After 20 years of developing the program, with entrepreneurial backing, in its final stages in preparation to be rolled out nationwide, the rug was ripped right from under me. I didn’t see it coming. By the time I realised it, it was too late – irreparable psychological damage had been done to both my child and I. The government systems designed for children’s growth and development cooked us like boiled frogs.
Boiling Frog: "A problematic situation that will gradually increase in severity until it reaches calamitous proportions, such that the people involved or affected by it will not notice the danger until it is too late to act. It is a metaphor taken from an anecdotal parable about boiling a frog, in which a frog placed in boiling water will immediately try to save itself, but one placed in cool water that is gradually brought to a boil will not notice the heat until it is boiled to death."
DID WE ESCAPE THE PLOT? Well, we did more than that!
We were smashed up beyond recognition even to ourselves, no one there to save us. My parent says, "sometimes we’ve got to cut our losses for our sanity and wellbeing". Walking the beaten path was not for us. It never was. We became our own superheroes and ditched the educational system that nearly killed us. I launched forth returning to listening to my child and the quiet spaces within, making choices that “weighed heavily against” loved ones and societal thinking. In doing so, I lost what I had identified with most of my life, my relationship, career, most of our family, friends, and all other community support, social engagements and involvement, including attending weddings and funerals. Our livelihoods were turned upside down and inside out like my knickers on my super sensitive tactile defensive skin. It took me a while, but I worked out how this came to be for us.
PULLING IT TOGETHER: the path to our neurodivergent flow!
It’s death waiting to happen, living according to how others play, love, learn, work, live and heal as it threatens our very existence – disconnecting us from ourselves and the world around us. I'm currently compiling my journal entries into a book, writings capturing how we got through this harrowing and ridiculously painful time. I am forever grateful to the few humans that stood strong with us when we abandoned the mainstream ship and those who walk with us still now.
We have an insatiable thirst and focus for information, solutions, creation and evolution. Our super senses read people’s energies, agenda’s and in particular a radar for environments and approaches that are right for or killers of our autonomy, free-thinking and disability needs. Play, laughter and learning, impromptu comedy, mimicry, songs, dance and on our computers side by side, day or night, no time table, is our way.
As a webbed thinker these are but a few wonderful humans around the world, I tapped into that lead to creating part of our neurodivergent flow:
Gavin DeBeckers book, The Gift of Fear affirmed my inexplicable knowledge within – my intuition with people, places and spaces, aims to protect my child and me and can do so when I listen and act upon it without question.
Kristy Forbes, a PDA'er Autistic whose videos gently and lovingly held and healed my mind and heart through the treacherous waters of midnight terrors, CPTSD from systematic abuse and ableism to trust in my intuitive parental flow when I feared I wasn't doing enough.
Steve Martins master classes re-opened my heart to our innate comedic flow my pathway back to our endless fun and joyful silliness.
George Dawson's book in 2001 informed me it's never too late to learn or publish a book. He was 98 when you learnt to read, and wrote his first book at 101! The message: my child and I have plenty of time to ease into our learning and creative flow.
Penelope Trunk, Autistic and an extraordinary entrepreneur who holds nothing back about her humanness (just like Kristy and myself) about everything and says things most don't or won't. She keeps me calm about my career and financial fallouts, child's home learning and their love for gaming!
Our Doctor emphatically encourages me to take the best care of myself, that my child and I are incredible, doing brilliantly, to trust my child “will learn what they love” and “not to worry about what they’re not learning, the world needs and will seek out autistic humans like your child just the way they are!" We are so blessed by her unwavering support and including the two other brilliant female doctors who assist when she cannot.
My child’s Pediatrician fully supports “no pressure at all on my child to do anything” understanding their mind is extremely sensitive to anxiety (PDA), needing to be relaxed to do what they can (trauma-informed). And online gaming communication is as valuable as face-to-face socialising!
I love our medical professionals who respect and understand our natural neurodivergent healing flow. They’ve got our backs!
Now in our neurodivergent flow, connected with our hearts, minds and bodies, we are thriving happily naturally once more! It helps with COVID19 shutting down everything though, there's significantly reduced pressures and activities that require regulation mastery. We're enjoying the retreat break – a lot!
– FAN xx