Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Reasons I Write---An Open Letter To My Family

I Have Reasons For My Writing..An Open Letter To My Family
by Melissa Fields on Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 4:32pm
I know that certain people in my family have been complaining a great deal about my writings, and the radio shows that i did earlier this spring. To all of you in my family, i am sorry that my writing and speaking seems to be making most of you uncomfortable and even embarrassed.....but i have a story to tell.....i am an autistic adult who has fallen through the cracks so much in my life..and to top this off, grew up in a family who, for the most part, have never accepted me or been there for me. Today, because of my circumstances, i have ended up being trapped in a neighborhood for the past 19 years, where there are several mean men who delight in terrorizing the living daylights out of me on an almost daily basis....i am merely trying to use my writing and speaking as a means to work through the very real traumas that i have been through. And to get help for myself. I have yet to tell my full complete story.....but this is my story.....i went through all of this.....and am still going through it.....

My only intentions, besides finally being able to get help for myself...are to educate the public out there on the realities of what life can be like for an autistic middle-aged female who grows up like i have grown up...i am not out to slander anyone, to bad-mouth anyone, or be mean to anyone...i am simply telling the facts.......of how it has been for me. I am a Christian who loves Jesus with everything i have in me.....i have NO reason to lie or to be mean to anyone. Yes, i still have a great deal of still unresolved emotional and mental battle scars from all that i have been through..and i would be lying if i said that i still do not experience a great deal of anger and resentment, all of which stems from all of the mega hurts that i have endured in my life......but.....i have found a vehicle: my writing, as a means of channeling my anger and hurt...........into words.

I would only HOPE and PRAY that my writings would speak to all the hearts of my family members who have chosen to harden your hearts to me......i pray that your hearts would soften.....and then there would be a time that you would all do some honest soul-searching as to the things that i have written and spoken about......

I really hurt because of how most of you in my family have chosen to treat me......and how you still choose to deal with me....i have made honest attempts through the years, to try to reach out, to explain my hurts, to try to facilitate mended fences between us all...and instead, it has driven most of you further away from me.....

Dear family, i am the first to admit that i was not perfect either.....

i did do and say mean things alot of times, that were very hurtful to all of you too.....

when i was growing up, i did get away with alot of things that i should not have gotten away with.

And i hereby apologize for all of those things right now!!!!!!!

But was i damaged goods? Was i, please excuse the term: retarded? Was i the weirdo you all liked to always call me? Was i wrong? Was i ugly?


I was just trying to live my life with the tools i was given.

Even so, i always felt so ganged-up on by my i could never do or say anything right....

i always did feel so VERY wrong, dirty, and ugly;

i always felt like i was in everyone's way.....

i always felt so isolated and cut off from all of you...and it became even worse when most of you, including my mother and father, all moved to Idaho!!!!! After that, alot of my Thanksgivings and Christmases became bitterly hard.....because, since you have all moved to Idaho, i have had to spend many of these holidays one in my family ever thought to spring for a plane, train or bus ticket so i could come up to spend the holidays with all of you. I would call my mom, and hear all of you talking and laughing in the background, and become so depressed because i couldn't be there!!!! In the 'Nineties, some of you were still living had not yet joined the others.....yet none of you would have me down for any holidays at your houses....i do get to go to my one brother's house when he and his family are in town for Christmas, but when they aren't, my Christmas is spent alone and fact, my eldest brother and sister-in-law even told my mother that now that she and my dad were in Idaho, they weren't going to have any contact with me anymore, because neither of them wanted to deal with my "problems" anymore.....for several years after this, neither of them sent me any birthday or Christmas cards anymore...those stopped for awhile, till after my dad died in early 2000......

In 2005, my youngest brother even told my mother that the family BBQ's would stop if i were to move up to Idaho, because he didn't want to deal with any of my meltdowns at the family BBQ's..........

I don;'t know how clearer i can make this, dear family....but i can assure you all that i am NOT out to trash anyone in my family...just tell my story, because i sincerely feel, in my heart of hearts, that this story **must** be told.

Please pray about my words, dear family. Please understand, once and for all, where my heart is at with this. I am autistic..i have a educate, to enlighten people, and to help others who may be doing this to their loved ones who are on the spectrum as well. In doing so, i am also trying to work through my own hurt. In doing so, i am also trying to reach all of you who still harden your hearts against me.

Thank you and God bless you, everyone. <3<3<3<3

Friday, November 26, 2010

My Thoughts On Thanksgiving

My Thoughts On Thanksgiving
by Melissa Fields on Friday, November 26, 2010 at 1:20pm
Earlier today, i was reflecting alot upon all of my Thanksgiving memories during my childhood and teen years growing up, plus how my Thanksgivings were when i reached my twenties, thirties, forties, and now. I thank God that most people are not like my family.

Growing up the way i did, i can remember all of my Thanksgivings being very formal and stiff. Oh, the food was plentiful...very, very rich and delicious. We had all the trimmings...we didn't just have turkey, we also had ham, relish trays, hors d' evres, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, rolls with butter, green beans, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie for dessert with homemade whipped cream. I so enjoyed the good food!!!! Before the meal, along with the hors d'everes, my dad would serve the grown-ups High Balls....alcoholic drinks which consisted of Jack Daniels whiskey, and 7-Up. The kids would just get 7-Up. At the dinner table, the grown-ups would get to talk and converse...and so would everyone who was in their teens. But the children...could not talk, except to ask for someone to pass a dish around. For some reason, my no-talking rules extended well into my teens. It was only after high school that my dad lightened up alittle, and even began to allow me to have High Balls. By this time, i had begun to have better relations with my older brothers and sisters. But..i was still not allowed to joke with, or talk alot with my dad.

My baby brother, on the other hand, became quite adept, at an early age, of being such a clown at the dinner table, that my dad was simply not able to discipline him. In no time at all, CA was winning my dad's heart...and he would let CA get away with joking with him, and talking to him and everything...when i was still not allowed to.

Thanksgivings, once i reached my twenties, were much more pleasant times for me, because the older kids had now married and had children of their own...and my dad was mellowing out even more. However, i had learned long ago, while still in high school, to develop a certain facade around all of my family in order for them to accept me..and it worked.

Once i reached my late twenties and early thirties, we stopped having Thanksgiving dinners. I was now living on my own, next to two old ladies who always had me over to their house for Thanksgiving. Then, i moved over here, and began having problems and meltdowns again..and i lost the acceptance of some of my family. Then most of my family moved to Idaho...including my mom and dad, leaving me here to fend for myself...because i didn't want to move to Idaho...i had at the time, a group of awesome Christian singles friends and was heavily into that..heavily into doing things with them, so i stayed here, and began to spend all of my Thanksgivings and Christmases at people's houses in our Christian singles group.

Ever since my family all located to Idaho during the 'Nineties..i have only gotten to go there twice...but never at Thanksgiving or Christmastime. No one in my family has ever been able to or willing to spring for either a plane, train, or bus ticket, for me to go up there for the holidays. And my relations with them all have deteriorated so much now, that i don't want to go near them. I am friends with my mom and one sister who lives in Arizona...but not the rest of them. There have been many a Thanksgiving and Christmas that i have had to spend it alone, with no place to go to be with people, since my family all moved to Idaho. There are some Christmases where my brother J and his family who all still live here, will have me over for Christmas Eve dinner and a visit. But..he doesn't really talk to me..i talk mostly to my sister-in-law and nephews when i go there. But when they go out of town for Christmas, i am alone.

Today, i have a wonderful family of autism community friends here on Facebook who all "get" my autism.

I have a neighbor who also "gets" my autism.

And i also now have a local friend who i went to high school with, who also "gets" my autism, as she has two sons who are on the spectrum.

Today, i went to her mom's house for Thanksgiving dinner and i had the most beautiful, wonderful time and visit...i was accepted by all of them...nobody there looked down on me because i am too morbidly obese, and too full of little quirks and my own unique little fun goofy-sillies.

In fact, you know what? I no longer have to put on an air with most people...because i have been able to learn how to like and even love myself the way i am!!!!! I have also learned how to tell people that i meet in public about my autism, and my quirks and needs, and what accomodations i need...and you know what? MOST of these people are okay with me..and they understand and have need to just forget the ones who still do not accept me, right????

I wish i could learn to do that too...because, man, if i could learn to just "Brush the dirt off my shoulder, and move on", like Jay-Z once said in one of his 2004 hit hip hop songs..i'd be so much better off....but it still hurts when i am dissed and shunned..when i get those derisive looks and stares and giggles..and oink-oinks...and...especially when my family still won't let me friend them on Facebook, or have their email addresses and phone numbers. It still hurts when i don't ever get a phone call or letter from them, or when i know they are down here visiting, and they don't stop in to see me and take me to lunch or dinner. It hurts to go to my brother J's for Christmas, and i try to talk to him, but he and i have the same exact stilted, stiff relationship that i had with my father. about it. The holidays can more often than not, be very heart-wrenching times for people. All because their are families out there who haven't taken the time to mend old fences....or to accept those in their families who might be differently-abled than they are. So many people commit suicide during the holidays....the suicide rates jump up even more during holiday season, because of just what i am talking about here. It does not have to be this way. if there is any of you out there reading this, who may have a brother or sister, aunt or uncle, mother or father, or son or daughter, that you have had issues with....please try to sit down with that person or persons, if you are able to, and try to make peace. If you can't, then just pray about it, and let God work on these people's hearts. I do not know if i will ever be able to make peace with the ones in my family who have hardened their hearts against me...all i can do is pray for them, that God will quicken and soften their hearts. I know that i am a good person..i have done no deliberate, intentional wrong that i can think of...except be born autistic.

Even so..i did much reflecting earlier today, on how all of my Thanksgivings from my earliest memories to now, at the age of 50 have been...and mixed in with all the hard ones...are alot of ones that have been total blessings to me. This year's Thanksgiving was one of the good ones..i was really blessed today, by my neighbor, my mom, and by my friend and her family whose home i was in today. Thank you, Sherry, Terry, Loretta, Melody, Thomas, Thomas, Thomas, Cassie, Zach, and Loren, for the awesome time and food!!! God bless you all!!!!

God bless all of you, my dear, wonderful friends!!!!! <3<3<3<3

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Terrorization Continues

The Terrorization Of Melissa Fields Continues
by Melissa Fields on Friday, November 12, 2010 at 7:26pm
Everyone, tonight i was just out in my front yard, finishing up talking to my neighbor as he was leaving to go back to work from his dinner i began to descend my steps to come back inside of my little tiny cottage, a white passenger car came speeding by, and began laying on his car horn all the way from in front of my house to the nearest cross street to the, all day, the mean bully monsters have been hot rodding relentlessly back and forth past my house...i have had to sit in here with my music up loud and my TV also up loud...holed up, afraid to go outside..i am always afraid to go outside....friends, it is this way everyday, and this is getting so much worse....i need help so badly, so that i can get my debts all paid off so that i can afford to rent another place......i HAVE to move, because of how bad this is getting..........

I am an autistic 50-year-old adult who has always fallen through the cracks and have always never been able to get the help i have needed...and so am trapped having to live in a house where i am prey to these mean men who work in three nearby auto businesses everyday, tormenting me to where i am losing what little physical health and well-being i have left..i can no longer function normally like i used to be able to...and am reduced to horrible screaming meltdowns all the time, due to these mean beasts........i have very little support from the police, or my community, or most of my family........

There has got to be a solution, PLEASE........i am really going downhill because of this.......

Am I A Modern Day Lazarus?

Am I A Modern-Day Lazarus?
by Melissa Fields on Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 12:24am
Again tonight
I look up to the sky
As i am crying inside
huge rivers and torrents of tears
It is not easy to just forget
to totally erase away
where i came from
who i am related to by my flesh and blood
like Lazarus in days of old
i feel
always sitting at the foot of my family's table
begging for just their scraps of affection and acceptance
approval and love
and just mostly getting ignored instead
many a night i sit, listening to my
Christian rock
and i pray so hard for all of them
that God will soften their hearts
minds and souls...not just towards me
but towards God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit
that the walls will all finally come crumbling down
that they erected between them and i so long ago
sometimes my tears come outside
and i allow them to fall
other times they stay inside
my heart gets broken over and over and over again
i know that the same God who created me
who loves me..also loves all of those who shun me
and i also know that prayers do NOT go unanswered
i pray heart and soul that my family will not
go the way of the rich man who rejected Lazarus
and then he died and then it was too late..i hope and pray
that this will not happen to the ones who ignore me
in my would tear me up to see them perish
all because of their intolerance and inability or willingness
to open up their hearts and minds to me.....
and it is not with hate or malice or judgement that i say this
but it is with nothing but a burning LOVE to see
my family all be saved
God IS real..i know, because He has done miracles already
in the half century that i have been alive
NOTHING is impossible if you believe in God and love Him
and i believe even my family can someday become my friends
because that is what God wants..for us all to love one another
and that means matter what that person's difference
or similarity may be...........AMEN!!!!!
Thank You, Jesus, for dying for me...and for giving me the gift of Life
and Life Abundantly!!!! And for making me autistic and uniquely me!!!!!
God bless you, everyone!!!! Please go and bless as many people today
that you can with the kindness that God put inside of you...let us stand up
and speak out wherever we see people hating on each other and bullying
and oppressing one another...God made us to Love and Hope and have faith
Not to hate and judge and oppress one another. ~~~~<3<3<3<3

My Latest Bad Customer Service Experience

Today, Friday, i had grocery and neccessity shopping to do. I have my one supermarket and one other superstore that i like to go to......because the majority of the clerks at these places all know me, and are very nice to me, they accomodate all of my sensory issues that i have with how i like to have my purchases are packaged, to how i like my change given to me..which is not wrinkled, stained, or gross-looking. And they even know how i like to have my packages placed in my trunk.

Well, tonight, i went to the checkout after getting all my stuff, as it started out being one of the lady checkers that is nice to me..there are a bunch of the guys who are nice to me there too...anyway, as i got to the line, they switched checkers on me, to a guy who i also thought would be i had had him as a checker before, and didn't have any problems with him then.

When it came my turn to be checked out, however, he looked at me with an unfriendly look and greeted me with a "Hi", that was very cold. I said hi back and asked him how he was, hoping to break the ice. he mumbled "I'm good," in that same unfriendly monotone, and looked down, then proceeded to throw my things in a very sloppy unorganized manner in the plastic bags, as he ran them through the scanner. When i noticed this, i tried to tell him, and he right off the bat, started laughing at me like i was crazy. I informed him that i am not crazy, i am autistic, and he just shook his head and chuckled at the lady behind me, who also was laughing at me. I told them both right out again that i am autistic and to please stop laughing at me..and they continued to mock me and laugh. Fortunately, the courtesy clerk, a young man who is ALWAYS EXTRA nice to me, was standing there, and he heard the entire exchange. He proceeded to re-bag my groceries and toiletries in the neat manner that i am accustomed to, and to double-bag all of them for me so i'd have an easier time carrying them all into my house. The mean clerk, then proceeded to hand me my change, without first checking to make sure it was change that was in good condition, so i asked him if he had forgotten how to do my change---and he snottily retorted back to me, sneeringly:"Well, i can count!!" The nice courtesy clerk heard this also, as the mean clerk and the mean customer behind me shared yet another mean laugh at my expense!!! Of course, i told both the mean clerk and the mean lady off that was behind me in line..i was angry!!! The courtesy clerk and i then proceeded to the customer service counter and we both lodged an immediate complaint. I was given better change, and we made our way out of the store to my car. On the way out, we both ran into the store manager and told him as well about my horrible experience...and the store manager was VERY upset and said that this would be taken care of right then and there.

The unfortunate thing about these stores is that bad clerks cannot just be many of them belong to unions..but if enough complaints are lodged, then that's a different story.

The thing of is...i am a strong enough of a person that i know when i am being mistreated, laughed at, blown off, etc..and i have learned how to confront people and not be afraid to do so....but even so, i, as an autistic person, am still badly affected by these kinds of customer service experiences.....i still have meltdowns when i reach my car, where i will scream and yell, turn up my car stereo full blast and just rage out of the parking lot. I will hit myself, hit and punch the steering wheel, and drive like a maniac till i calm down. No, this is not good to do..but it happens.. Luckily, i am able to clam down enough to drive safely, though. But then when i come home, i still have to get it out of my system, so i melt down again...and one thing i love to do when i am feeling this way, is to gorge myself on junk food till i am eatting so much that my stomache hurts.

I have a total love and hate relationship with shopping, with people, and with noise. I love people when they are genuinely nice..but not fake nice. I love friendly noises. I love to shop. I love to eat out. I love to be social.

But i don't love these things when they turn threatening, unfriendly, mean, and unaccepting if me.

Do i think that the retail and service industry does enough to train their mangers and employees on how to treat cutomers..including customers who have special needs? No. Not when these kinds of incidents like the one that happened to me tonight, keep on happening. We ALL need to stand up when these things happen. Fortunately, i had that nice courtesy clerk who came to my defense and helped me in confronting that mean checkout clerk..or my experience would have been a total trainwreck!!!!!

Thank God i am able to sit down and put my feelings down here on Facebook. I feel better now. Thank you all for reading this. Love you and God bless you all!!! <3<3<3<3

My Internet and Phone Shutdown Hell

Firstly, i want to say that i was very happy to participate in Autistics Speaking Day on November 1st. I wasn't feeling well that day, because i was already in the midst of alot of stress because my internet and digital phone service kept going out on me, beginning on Thursday night, with one outage a day, and then, by Monday and Tuesday, the outages were constant. I did post alot on Facebook and did also try Twitter, but i found Twitter to be too complicated and frustrating, so i went back to posting here on FB. I wanted to blog, but again, i wasn't feeling that well, due to a lack of sleep over my internet isssues. I don't know about you, but i really am quite attached to the internet.....i like to know that it..and here for me when i come to my computer. I love to watch YouTube, stream my favorite music stations, and interact with all of my autistic and non-autistic friends here on FB...and i like to also be able to call my mom, who i sometimes will call several times a day, if i am having a bad day. I also like to be able to call on Garrison as well..he's my kind neighbor who is like the brother i never had, who helps me with the mean bully monster issues i have.

I never got to do a blog that day. By Monday night, my internet and phone service were totally down.....and all that night, it kept going was a dark night for me. With my landline out, all i had to rely on was my little tiny cell phone, which only has 450 daytime minutes a month..and i can hardly see the screen, i can hardly hear on it, and i can't hear when it rings either.

I got forced into my own communications shutdown that night..and it was unbearable. UN-bearable. I never slept. I was on my cell phone, making repeated calls to Comcast all Monday night try to get my freedom back..and got a very frustrating mix of good and bad customer service. Some of the phone techs that i would speak to, were very clipped, uncaring and unhelpful...but others were so nice and kind..and really went out of their way to try to help me.

Digressing back to Saturday evening, a very nice young technician came and changed out all of my connections and ran thorough tests on my phone/internet modem. On Sunday, i had NO problems. But on Monday morning, i lost my phone and internet again..and after that, it just got worse and worse. Tuesday afternoon, another tech and a tech supervisor came here and changed out the wire that goes from the cable outlet on my house to my computer and phone modem. The tech gave me his business card and tokl me to call him directly. They also gave me a brad new phone/internet modem. I had no more problems until Tuesday night, when it again went out..and then it again kept going out all night long. I finally gave up and slept very fitfully for about 5 hours, with just my TV to give me background noise..but i had to go without my music completely..and so that made for another rough night. On Wednesday morning, it went out again..and i had to hear the mean bully monsters' loud hot rodding as a result. But the tech supervisor was now working on the area outage..and it did turn out to be an area outage. I went to do my SSA payday stuff and came back and have had my internet and phone service ever since...even tho there are still some unresolved issues that they still have to take care of.

I am still in close communications with the local tech supervisor..on Tuesday afternoon, he gave me his business card and told me to leave him voice mails if my service cuts out again...and he told me this afternoon that he will keep doing tests on my modem throughout the afternoon and evening. IN addition, he is going to schedule another appointment with me to change out the wire that goes from my outlet to the utility pole, as he sees that it hasn't been changed in a long time. it is ppl like these that give me faith in companies like Comcast.

I do think that Comcast as a whole, do care about their customers. All of the techs who have been to my house over this latest issue, have been so very nice and very understanding. About 50% of their phone techs are also extremely nice and helpful and caring....especially when i tell them about my health issues and autism. I think that Comcast tries to be friendly and accomodating to the special needs community. But i have had some real bad customer service reps too..and they only make my plight that much harder to bear.

Today, it is 90 degrees outside. I have my window A/C unit cranked, but am still hot. Today, the mean bully monsters are all giving me hell again..they are roaring up and down this street like demonic banshees....and they will not stop. But at least i have my internet and phone again...and i can blog and vent about it today, and listen to my music too. Now that i have had a computer for the past 4 years, i have come to really depend on it..and the internet, to be my way to communicate with my wonderful autism community friends who i have found here on FB. My internet and phone outages that happened these past 6 an excellent illustration of how i feel it would have been wrong for anyone of us to do a communications shutdown of Facebook, Twitter, etc. on November 1st...because i really felt like i was muzzled and in jail when i went offline...and kept going offline..and couldn't even use my landline to call Garrison and my mom. I had only that teeny little cell phone with hardly any minutes on it to use.

I am glad that Comcast is, for the most part, a company that cares about its customers. But they do need to work on the ones who don't care. We all need to do better to care about one another and listen to each be here for one another, and to let each other vent when we need to.

I have NO PROBLEM with being autistic..i am PROUD that i AM!!!!!! It's the ones who will NOT open their minds and hearts to us..the ones who refuse to work with us, who refuse to be accepting of us and the ones who refuse to accomodate our sensory issues, that make it so hard, even impossible, sometimes to be an autistic........and....those ppl need to take a step back and really open their hearts and minds to us. It could be their sister or brother or neice or nephew or aunt or uncle, or friends who could be autistic. We are all human beings..and we have the right to BE who we are!!!!!

This is the kind of along the lines of what i wanted to blog about on Monday night when my internet went down and i couldn't.

Thank you all for reading this. God bless you all, my dear sweet angel friends!!!! I love you all!!!!!! <3<3<3<3 <3<3<3<3