Sunday, May 2, 2010

Waiting: One Person's Autistic State of Existence

“I do not feel real. I feel closeted inside. It is like I am looking outside of myself, but without access to the normal world. Am I destined to live inside with depression and hopelessness? Will I be able to come out into the light and feel like I exist? Will I ever be like others who I fanatisize were given the rules on how to exist? Will I be able to not cry myself to sleep and calm the child inside who has never been calmed? Will I ever be able to use myself in the presence of another? Please, please make me into a real person. I am literally dying inside.”

"Have I told you that I feel like I am waiting to be ‘bought-out?’ It is a funny position to be in. I feel that I cannot initiate anything because I am stuck inside and that I need to come out first before I can talk. Picture me as a lost child that is stuck inside and cannot come out of myself. I feel trapped and alone. Will someone come soon and help me out of myself out of my trapped life? I need someone to understand. I am waiting and waiting and waiting! I can no longer stand being like a wooden soldier who cannot move. Life is very unbearable and I am just barely holding on."

"I do not have a self I can use with others. I do not know this literally, but I do know I am waiting to use myself. I look out my window, the window of my soul and I yearn to be like other children. They can talk and play. I can only live within the shell of this person, waiting to be seen, rescued and understood. I am waiting to be a person. I am waiting to be like others. The waiting is interminable. It never ends. I cannot think of anything else. This dilemma is on my mind when I wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night. This nightmare consumes my ever-waking moment."

What is this autistic boy telling us? Let’s focus on what he is telling us regarding the interminable wait he is confronted with. He is talking about his state of existence and explaining it very well. His state is one of depression, hopelessness, being stuck, inability to move and waiting. He is waiting to be rescued from an unbearable existence.

From the perspective of an ‘Incomplete Attachment’ we can make sense of his state of existence. I have previously discussed the depressive and hopeless mood that comes along with not having had a completed attachment. The child cannot access parts of himself and so is left in what appears to be a static state of depression. Within that state because he does not have access to his feelings (lacks self-agency) he cannot move his body (physically and psychologically). He is stuck within this state of existence until someone on the outside realizes what is going on and helps him complete the attachment process. Thus we can say that he needs another person to help him out of this state of existence. Therefore he is destined to be in this waiting state of existence as unbearable as it is.