Adult Onset Autism


A person can be at peace, but still feel a little frayed around the edges. That’s how I am today and I think I know the reason… At the apartment complex behind us there is some kind of large machinery going on; maybe a pressure washer? Whatever it is the noise is incessant, persistent, beating into my core, permeating every cell–not through my ears, though there is that, but through my body; it’s making me ragged.

The apartment next to us is empty, and a few days ago a commercial carpet-cleaner came to take care of the carpets. He parked right outside our bedroom window. I was without a car that day and maybe on my period, I don’t know… for some reason I couldn’t leave the house… so for three hours, while the back of his truck whined and moaned and whooshed as it pushed gallons of water through a giant hose, I wanted to fly straight out of my skin – “Dear God, make me a bird, so I can fly far far away…” – deflate like a balloon and hunch like an inchworm to the nearest dark space under a chair.

How do people do it? Endure this constant noise pollution? Somebody’s always whipping out the old leaf blower come Saturday. Sure, this cuts leaf-gathering time in half or more, but lost is the meditative scrape-scrape-scrape of flexible tines across the lawn. Why pay monthly to build your muscles in a stale-aired, stank-filled gym when you can make a one-time rake purchase with a lifetime guarantee and still hear the birds? I also believe in old-timey reel push mowers.

If the television is turned up even ONE click too high, my insides start to bunch up. And don’t even get me started on smells.

For some reason, two of the people I love and see regularly have decided that showering is something that can be done once a week, and even that is negotiable. It’s a thing, I get it, no problemo, live your philosophy, I respect that… Except that I can’t sit anywhere they’ve sat after they leave. I bought a big spray bottle of FeBreze, and that helps a little, but really it’s only adding another strong aroma to the first one.

Scott had a glass of some old rotgut whiskey he found in the cupboard a couple weeks ago and when I got home from wherever-I-was that night I just about died–the house smelled like the alley next to a dive-bar. I couldn’t open enough windows.

If a bite of food tastes bad, it isn’t enough for me to quickly swallow it; I have to rush to spit it out in the sink and then wash out my mouth with water.

If I invite you in to my personal bubble, that’s great. But don’t try insinuating yourself in without the nod… I will step away from you fast, because I don’t want you touching me. It’s not personal, but your fingers on my arm bother me; your energy bombards me. Like my cat Horatio, even if I know and trust you and you feed me my dinner, I can only let you pet me so long before my skin starts to ripple, my tail bangs on the floor like a hammer, and I want to bite.

I’ve been curious as to why this stunning oversensitivity has suddenly been happening to me.

Am I turning into a cat?

But then I remembered something I read when I was immersed in books about near-death experiences. One author, P.M.H. Atwater, said that ANY numinous experience–not just near-death–can heighten a person’s senses to the point of constant, imminent overload. A numinous experience is one that jolts you out of normal, everyday existence and into any kind of alternate state; it’s commonly thought of as a mystical or divine event. It’s transcendent.

And I remembered what happened to me a few weeks ago.

I wrote a little about it before, so it might sound familiar—-I was alone one afternoon, watching TV on the couch and not thinking of anything in particular, when the room suddenly became suffused with a warm, golden light, as did the air immediately outside the windows. Everything fell away, funneling down to one single space in time, encased in amber. I was entranced. A feeling of utmost peace washed over me, and filled me, blanketing me in love; I couldn’t move. Then, in my spirit, I felt this message come to me: You’re not alone. You never were. I’ve always been with you. I’m here now. After a few beats, the light released its hold on me, dissipated from the room, and all I could do was cry. I spent the rest of the day wandering around in a kind of blissful fog, a rag doll of love, a wet noodle of contentment.

Maybe it wasn’t of Joan d’Arc-esque proportions, but I’d say that was numinous experience. And it probably explains why my Spidey senses are now always a-tingle.

Nobody’s really been able to figure out where autism comes from, what causes this ‘disorder of neural development.’ Lots of theories abound, but maybe the answer is simpler than we think. Maybe autistic people are that much closer to God than the rest of us. Maybe they’ve pitched their tents on the other side of the Veil, where light and silence are golden, and visits to this brash, in-your-face, machine-clanging, leaf-blowering world are just too much to bear?

Or maybe they’re just closer to cats.

Love to you today! *shh*


Filed under Been here before, Beloveds, Creative, God, Mystics

4 responses to “Adult Onset Autism

  1. Isn’t there something about exposure to ongoing noise raising your stress levels – I think studies have been done about it.
    As for smells… yeah, that’s not very nice. And sometimes the fabreeze – smell mix is even more offensive.

    • Smell-mix…a new noun! Ugh.
      I’m sure there’s something to stress levels being elevated by ongoing noise; even if I didn’t experience it myself, it only makes sense. Thankfully our apartment tends to be relatively quiet, and we live in a little rural-ish town, so I don’t have to put up with too much excessive noise. I can’t imagine having to live off a freeway, or smack in the middle of a big city center. I’m envious of you, living way out in the country!
      If it were only the big noises that bothered me, I’d be okay with that, since they don’t happen too often. But I don’t know if I should be getting pissed off at birds twittering in the trees down the street. :)

  2. Interesting thought on your sensory overload~ I didn’t have that kind of thing happen during the couple of years where I was just blissing out in the Presence, so I can only imagine what it must be like! I prefer quiet, and am able to escape from the noises that generally show up in my life~ so far, I’ve been able to escape anything like that that I didn’t like, and attract mostly peaceful or light-filled experiences, especially if I stay centered ~ so maybe I have sensory overload, and just don’t realize it!

    • Staying centered does help, but requires more of an effort lately for the reasons I gave…This super-sensitivity is weird and uncomfortable at times, yet it has benefits as well. I am more attuned to what’s going on spirit-wise and that makes it all worth it!
      You may well be right! Maybe those of us who escape to nature–or peaceful and light-filled experiences–are susceptible to sensory overload, and don’t know it until we find ourselves outside of it!

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