Wednesday, July 29, 2015

THE WORST THING ABOUT HAVING AN AUTISTIC BROTHER: A Personal Essay (Sorry for this anomaly blogpost, but trying something different)



You don't know. That's the worst thing. It's bad enough that, you're screwed and your whole life is based around...-. (Voice trails off, pause) I'm reading an article in the Las Vegas Seven, I don't normally read these alternative local mags anymore, I know I should but, there's this piece in there about this girl, Brittany Bronson, she's an English Composition Professor at UNLV and also works as a cocktail server to earn more money. She wrote an essay about it and sent it to the New York Times and amazingly they published it in an op-ed and now she's a regular contributor to them, and, you know, dammit! Why didn't I do that?! Send something I write to X or Y place or whatever, why can't I? I can, pretty easily, especially with the amount of stuff I write. But, I don't do that.

Well, that's not entirely true but...- (Annoyed sigh) Eh, just bare with for a bit here, I've got a few scattered thought going on at once and I'm trying to organize them in a cohesive way here, but I might be jumping around here, so just bare with me, please. (Pause) I don't talk/write about my brother much, or my day-to-day life or my family, etc., (Well, not directly anyway, and definitely never on this blog) Some of you know that my brother's autistic, severely autistic, and many, if not most of my days are me, watching over him. I don't write about it, 'cause it's-, you know, it, sucks. It's my life, you know, it's not this new aspect or experience, it just, is. And I don't want to put you guys through what I go through. Do you guys want to hear how he just started attacking me, literally in the middle of me writing that last sentence and I how I had to fight him off and force him into his room and how I'm now sitting outside his door making sure he doesn't get out until he won't attach again, hopefully? Yeah, I know you don't, and I don't want to talk or write about it either. That's life to me, and I'm trying to escape that, metaphorically through film, television, the internet, any entertainment really, and literally through my own writings and work. If somebody wants to change lives with me so they can write about it, be my guest, it'll probably be better than anything I could write on it.

My brother's five years younger than me; I remember distinctly thinking that he'll start talking when he's three. I don't know why, I guess because that's as far back as I remember, at least in my consciousness but that never happened. Either way, that's not a lot of years that I have without the ever-present fact of my life, that my brother is autistic. It's very easy for me to say that that is the single-most important, effective, and defining, moment, incident, whatever thing, that's has shaped or determined in some way, every aspect one could define about me. Very easy.

Except, maybe it isn't?

(Long pause)

What? no, it isn't really. I mean, yeah five years, but plus, 2,3,4 years, more maybe, before I realized exactly what that really meant, having an autistic brother, maybe longer So, that's, what's nine years, ten years of my life? Might be a little longer, hypothetically.

(Long pause, shrugs)

I'm not really extrovertive, at al. Maybe that's the wrong word, extrovert, but there's definitely some basic human interactions, skills, experiences that I don't have. Um,...- (Long thinking pause) I-eh, hmm, I tell this as a joke usually, like I do a lot of things about myself, but this does happen to me more often than I'd like to admit, but every-so-often I'll run into somebody who will mention how she or somebody she knows apparently had a crush on me, that I didn't know about, but, the way the event would transfold, that person would've thought that I either wasn't interested or possibly, I rejected their advances, outright, and I am usually completely unaware that this has happened until it's brought up years later. This has happened like six or seven times over the years, already to me, at least, and depending on which story/person, some of these are worst than others, I realize later just how many obvious, obvious, obbb-vious, signs I missed. That said, um, it's not like I did anything when on those, apparently rare occasions when I did realize it either.

I've always been rather solitary, I've always been anti-social, I've always been, and that's not, something that happened to me because of my brother, they date back before, you know, analyzing your behavior patterns...-  Um,..-, (Pause) I know that, this is a personal essay and I'm trying very hard to keep this a personal essay and not turn this into a therapy session. Things aren't going too well for me right now though. I don't want to get into all of...-, but things aren't great right now for me and my family, some you guys have probably figured that out from this blogs FB posts and other things I've written, said, done, etc. I'm actually looking for work right now, and I'm trying, I've got resumes everywhere and I can't get an interview at all. It's hard to write why I'm 30-years and never worked before because I had to stay at home... (Ugh, sigh).

This is me screaming, you know, me writing on this blog. I know it doesn't seem like much and you know, as I've doing this, by any real standard of my or anybody's else's... this blog is a failure. I don't have the hits or readers that I want to have, or have had even. I've gotten a lot of readers but that's...,- every-so-often I submit to Salon.com or somebody else, a big name, usually for film criticism (Which I'm not even doing at the moment) but I haven't in a while. I was so tired of, nothing, trying and trying to be noticed for my work or talents... That's why I started this stupid blog up frankly, I was so tired of writing script after script after script... or whatever I was writing and have it not go anywhere 'cause I couldn't film it or have the time or money, or couldn't get a group of friends together, couldn't send copies to agencies or producers, or anything, so I started a blog, and got a Facebook account, so somebody would hear me for once. I have to, I have to write, it's what I do and writing's only writing if somebody reads it. But I don't submit to the New York Times or anything.... (Voice trails off)

I know that seems petty or jealous or whatever, but trust me, this is a pattern of my behavior, one of many. Many that I struggle to overcome, knowing, about these other paths, and still not willing/able to, do, 'cause I-  I just can't with...- Am I saying no, 'cause I can't or because I won't?

That's the worst part. It's one, two in the morning, alone in bed, watching television, again, not getting invited to nights out with friends, saying "no", when I am invited, even on those rare occasions when I could go out. I know, consciously, it's nothing more than nature vs. nature, and I know it's an impossible thing to determine, but there are many, many times when it's all I think about.

My brother is autistic, would I, my life,-, would I be different if that wasn't the case? If he wasn't autistic, would I be different? I know, basically, you're all reading this and saying, "Of course you would!", but you don't know that for sure, and I don't know, and-, (Uncomfortable chuckle) and here's the real kicker, the true fear, it's not that I would be different, but that I wouldn't be, and that in fact, it didn't effect me at all. That's-, that's really fucked up, you know? But, I really can't say for sure. It's possible that this major piece of my existence, the most major, had truly, very little to do with me. It clearly effected me, but it doesn't mean that I would still be like this and doing the same shit that I'm doing now, anyway.

I don't know, and I never will. Either way, however my lesser nature and instincts were formed, I know I have to fight against them to survive but when it's so hard, truly hard to make and keep those connections to the outside wor- to the world, hmm, so many ways I don't connect.... I know I'm not the only one,  but so often all I can think and wish and prey even, "Why can't I be different than I am?!!!" "Why?" The more I think about it some days, the less and less likely it seems that I'm like this because my brother is autistic, I guess that's all I'm really trying to say, you know? Well, I guess if you're like me, than you probably don't know.


Link to the Las Vegas Seven Article
http://vegasseven.com/best-of-the-city-2015/people/best-new-voice-las-vegas/
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