The Woman Behind the Site

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Hopefully this pic fails to traumatize children or small dogs.

It’s always more interesting to read commentary and opinion (which includes exposition and discussion of Scripture) when one has some background information on the person doing the commenting and opining.  I don’t know of too many people on the autistic spectrum who openly discuss their faith- or who claim to believe in God at all.  I do know that being on the spectrum has caused me to ask a lot of questions, and to not necessarily take what I’m told at face value.

I write, and usually often, for a number of different reasons.  First of all is because writing forces me to organize my thoughts and compels me to seek answers to questions.   I generally don’t organize my thoughts too well, or do research as I should when I’m not writing my thoughts out and making them coherent and logical.

In my mid 30’s, I discovered there was an explanation for my atypical mental wiring, severe issues with fear and anxiety, social ineptitude, horrible physical coordination and peculiar ways of doing things: high-functioning autism, or Asperger’s Syndrome.  If only my parents and the schools knew anything about Asperger’s or people on the autistic spectrum in 1970-whatever.  They didn’t, and my early years were a combination of hiding out in the library, being hopelessly bored in school, getting the living daylights beaten out of me by my sisters, their friends and the kids at school on a daily basis, and having teachers fight over who had to have me in their classes.  No elementary school teacher in the small town where I grew up wanted to deal with a 5 or 6 year old kid who had a broader vocabulary than their own.  I remember there was a battle in the hallway on my first day of second grade.  Both second grade teachers had been promised by the principal that they would not have me in class.  The one who got stuck with me was most incensed and was trying to convince the other that there was a typo and I was supposed to be in her class. The one with the least seniority- the one I’d been assigned to begin with- ended up losing the argument. I don’t know if teachers routinely fight about which kids end up in their classes, but none of the elementary school teachers in the school I went to wanted anything to do with me.

In third grade I was actually told to “stay behind with the rest of the class,” because I speed read, and it was downright painful to follow along with a class of third graders reading a chapter paragraph by tedious paragraph.

On top of Asperger’s I am also hyperlexic, which means I read compulsively and voraciously, but I never actually learned to read. I cannot remember a time when I could not read.  I just woke up one morning when I was about two years old and could read the newspaper, road signs, the encyclopedia, whatever.  I have no logical explanation for Asperger’s or for hyperlexia.  “God just wired me differently than most people,” is about as close to an explanation as I can get.  I do know that my peculiar wiring made for a shall we say, challenging, childhood and adolescence, but as time goes on and I learn how to cope with my anxiety issues and to be comfortable in my own skin, it’s more of a blessing than a curse most of the time.

I am compelled to read the written word.  Constantly- even though I am almost 50.  I read far more than I write.

If in the act of sharing what I write for my own personal edification and education with others, they gain something from it, thank God. .  If you would like to comment or debate with me, please do.

As far as the basic stats:

I am recently widowed.  My first marriage was a disaster and ended early on in divorce. My second marriage (can’t believe it lasted 21 years) was also challenging as my husband was an alcoholic, and he had been terminally ill for the past few years.  He was troubled and challenged in many ways, and if I learned anything from him I learned that it is impossible to “fix” someone who doesn’t want “fixing.” I can’t claim to be any kind of authority on good relationships.  As far as age goes, I would like to think that I’m “old enough to know better” but I know that’s not true.  I’m always an example, but a good deal of the time I’m an example of what not to do.  I am more comfortable in the company of dogs and cats than I am in the company of other humans.

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Dogs are a lot easier to understand.

Since no one in my background knew anything about dealing with people on the autistic spectrum, in some ways I was fortunate.  I had to “be normal or else.”  I couldn’t hide behind my anxiety or my unique wiring.  I was expected to achieve academically (no problem there) and to deal with the real world (lots of anxiety there) and to be gainfully employed and part of society like everyone else.

I grew up in and around my Dad’s automotive shop.  For the past almost 30 years I’ve worked in various capacities in the parts and service end of automotive.  I’ve worked parts counter.  I’ve been a parts manager, service manager and at one time a fixed operations manager in automotive dealerships.  Today I work in a parts warehouse- selling to automotive dealers throughout the Midwest.

I am no theologian.  I don’t speak or write Greek or Hebrew, though I hope someday to learn.  I do have a college degree- in business.  At one point in my life (after the end of my first marriage) I was angry at God and at life, and then pretty much tried to think I was an agnostic – and lived as if there were no God.  For seven years I didn’t set foot in any church and was not involved in any sort of Christian community. I was obsessed with work and professional success and really didn’t care about much else, but my mental, physical, emotional and especially spiritual health was in tatters.  My family doctor had even warned me that if I didn’t radically change my attitude and behavior (I was 30 at the time) that I wouldn’t make it another five years.  It was at that point when I realized that if I were to have any kind of life worth living I needed to understand, as C.S. Lewis puts it, that: it’s Christ or nothing.   By the grace of God the Holy Spirit led me back from the pig pen, and from my own ruthless and often destructive behavior.  He led me to (what once was, but sadly is no longer) a phenomenal local church, and to a career path with a lot less stress.   I am still imperfect and wicked- a sinner saved by the grace of God in Christ alone.

I can probably tell anyone more than they would ever want to know about the inner workings of cars and the peculiarities of the automotive business than they would ever want to know, unless they are a fellow motorhead.  I’m not a warm and fuzzy person and never will be, but even someone like me who is emotionally impaired and full of missing pieces can praise God and marvel at His grace.

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I am never going to get it, other than in my baptism I was named and claimed as God’s own, even though I never earned or deserved His favor or salvation.  So I’ll keep on asking and knocking and seeking.

“Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.  For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8 (NRSV)

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One response

20 10 2014
Anita

You are awesome! I love Your writing. I feel like I amna lot like you, minus the IQ. Imwas just thinking yesterday how much better life would be if It was only filled with dogs 🙂

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