I escaped that, in a province where the sterilization program for RETARDED girls and native women was still going on. I escaped because my father was transferred to Surrey, BC and they didn’t have enough room in the first grade/kindergartners’ room so I was put in with the second graders. And because I had Dabrowski's Sensual Overexcitabilities including but not limited to hyperacusis (hypersensitivity of sound, to the point of extreme pain), I just did ALL the work on ALL the blackboards, because mixing with kids playing after doing classwork in the back was painful. Mozart had it, as he was so sensitive, so to 'fix Mozart' his father paid someone to sneak up on his very young child and blow a horn. Mozart’s face drained of blood and he passed out of pain. Texture, smell, they are things which are turned on. It turns out that neuro-diversity affects not just what can be done in the head, or processed, but advanced processing of data includes ALL data (like the senses of the body: sound, texture). So with all the same learning disorders, I was bundled into GIFTED (they held some of the pages up to a mirror and realized I was writing just fine, just not the way they wanted). And yes, I was unable to 'adjust' to regular kindergarden or first grade because children are LOUD and I can't understand what the teacher says. Thus I was 'unable to adjust to normal schooling, unable to do work assigned, unable to function' conclusion: mental retardation. Except I was able to do ALL the classwork including several grades above me when left alone. Conclusion: Gifted.
So what? Well, it demonstrates that what is assumed is not always the truth. But then, this world isn’t really big on truth, but it is big on perception. There are things which are unstated but supposed to be ‘understood’ – one I remember which caused quite a lot of physical ‘instruction’ (this is what happens when you get hit, you learn…things, perhaps not what they person wants, but you learn) was not to stare at people. I could not look at someone directly for more than 1 second. Three seconds was immediate physical punishment. Things I was ‘supposed’ to know.
As a human, both legally and morally, there is absolutely no difference between someone who is cared for and the person doing the caring. One is not superior, nor inferior. In the same way, someone with an IQ of 190 and someone with an IQ of 70 are EQUAL. The law states that, in the human rights charter of Canada. But socially it isn’t applied. In the same way studies have shown that resume’s with ‘black’ names like Lakisha will NOT get shortlisted while the same resume from Emily will (Oft repeated study starting with MIT and university of chicago’s mailing 5,000 resumes) – Emily will get shortlisted 1 out of 9 resumes, while Lakisha will get shortlisted 1 out of 17. This is constant regardless of position, from entry level to manager, to president of company. Overweight individuals in shortlists with the same qualifications are NOT chosen at 9 to 1, and those in wheelchairs, dozens to one.
I have genetic abnormalities, I was born with them. I am a 47 chromosome. Why is it that one person with extra chromosomes is born with downs and one is born with mosiac? Both have connective tissue and heart disorders. In case you did not know mosiac is one of the chromosomal intersex conditions, some of which are visible at birth. Intersex, or DSD really boil down to: can you produce children? But in society it is more than that, it is: can you conform (in terms of gender)? Yes, and No.
Dabrowski studied sensitivity and how it turned out that some babies cried faster due to pee, found it painful to have the seam in socks anywhere except at the end of the toes. Dabrowski found that some children could have all these, as well as what he labelled as extreme empathy. This is also the same style of extreme empathy found in females with autism in a German study. He found that these individuals were more likely to be AWARE, and thus be gifted – the diversity allows for understanding, allows for creation, if they are helped to stop living in hell, a sensual hell. Except that my father believed, like the lab rats he worked on, that his children were all the same. And the religion group made him the teacher of discipline, and so he taught thousands that all children are the same, that they can be hit and it will not hurt them starting at six weeks. And that they cry but not to go to them, starting at four to six months.
I have this split world, this literal aspect of two, both in mirror images. I was, at some point, perhaps only as some split cells, two. I was two and now I am one. Instead of twins, I exist. I am both. I have dyslexia, I have what is now called autism, I was RETARDED and I was GIFTED. I was determined both, by exam of the same materials, by advice of doctors. I was to be in a school which taught nothing but I ended up taking multiple grades at the same time and reading Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. I am both. And I am equal.
I am genetically different, I am altered not because I needed to be, but because others felt uncomfortable about my existing. Decisions made at birth, operations after. I am not the typical female, yet I am female. Many females don’t know they are intersex until they try to have children (and can't without help). So what? A doctor stands over you as a baby and decides if you are a boy or a girl because he feels uncomfortable? I was left in the hospital, no one to rescue me. My mother was called by the hospital after leaving without me and not coming back.... Mosiac is not abnormal, I think we, in our social inability to expand what normal includes, is abnormal. I am not Kennedy Syndrome, or Williams, or a female Klinefelter, though there are females with Klinefelter, nor Turners, but Mosiac.
I learned to be loved and I learned fear and pain. I find the world painful, I find the world wonderful. Sound is pain, touch is pain, smell is challenging, empathy is pain and yet it is a state of being me. I am unfinished, I am finished. I am atypical for a human, but I am within the limits of diversity. I am a success, I am a failure. And there is no answer to this
I have no peace. I create because I will not cry, because I do not believe that I am alone. You are not alone.
I die because I am slowly unable to sustain the basic function of heart, lungs and circulatory system. I am socially discriminated because I am not seen as typical, not seen as disabled, not a recognizable disease and not recognizable in how I die. I exercise on Thursday, I exercised on Saturday. I go naked for my body is not my body anymore, as my heart failing changes it; my cells breaking down change it. I stand, to try and change, and they worker they sent me is 4 foot 8 or 9 inches. We are a group, one wheelchair, one cane, from 4’9” to 6’3”, all at different paces, we are typical we are not the same.
This is living.
Mika, a Lebanese singer moved to London, is a recent hit. He was used, he was taught from a young age, his first piano composition at age 6 or 7 was titled ANGER. This is not happiness. I mimic someone, telling my grandmother ‘I will kill you, I will murder you, I will chop you with an axe, are you listening to me?!!” I natter on. I am aged three or four, and would record these tapes in the basement. I seemed to think that saying I would kill, I would chop them up was how people asked if the other person was paying attention. Who did I hear say that? How does a three year old know the word ‘murder’?
Mika, who was recently knighted in France, writes Elle Me Dit. Which means: She Told me.
She told me
Write a happy song
Not a depressing song
A song that everyone loves
She told me
You will become a millionaire
You will be proud
Do not end up like your father
She told me
Don't shut yourself in your bedroom
Go ahead shake yourself and dance
Tell me what your problem is
She told me
Why aren't you more suave
You're stoned or broken or worn
You'll end up like your brother
She told me
She told me, it's your life
Do what you want, oh well
One day you'll understand
One day you'll want it
She told me, you're a zero
Get out of your bubble a little
You don't do anything important
Looks like you like it like that
The chorus is her shouting: “Why are you wasting your life?”
"She told me something that I love, she told me to dance."
While I live, I am. Who is it that sends you? I am that I am: so let’s dance!