Why I constantly “label” the reason for things (April 20, 2022)

6 years ago, I took the most horrific & therapeutic “Why?” questions I could on my list like a challenge quest on RuneScape. A typical rabbit hole most neurodivergent brains do in a hyper fixation, No that’s just me? Okay lol; validation is always needed in times like these when I am vulnerable. If you cannot be kind to yourself during your darkest times, there is no need to continue to read. I will not ask you to go further for me then you are willing to go for yourself. I don’t blame you cause this one’s from the set of my pants again.

Let me give you more context of the beginning of this newest chapter of my life in the form of a quote; “Find yourself and be that.” Filled with infinite dimensions of what that could possibly be boiled down to and called a version of what I see for myself, I am a plain Jane with simple taste. I do not claim to be anything more than ordinary in this big wide world. This wasn’t what pushed me to deep dive into childhood trauma but I did & I did it backwards. Too many things made me overly emotional, I would crave 3-day ROMCOM binges by my late 20’s because my anxiety of fucking it all up in real life was easier to cope with in the safety of my own home. 

My mid-life crisis was hitting rock bottom at 2 mph over 17 years. Burnout after self-realization of my ASD started in 2008 after attending the COS course simultaneously, pushing my kids to live their best lives as their homeschool teacher for the 4th year. It didn’t take that long to realize after completing my early childhood education special needs requirement that I was an even rarer breed of weird. I love the lingo and choice of #neurospicy these days. For the life of me the name of that course just decided to take a long jump off a short pier in my brain bank of knowledge and I blame it on the #80HD; I love AWOLNATION & I got a tattoo to prove it. 

You see, I am a spicy version of autistic coupled with ADHD and I probably shouldn’t be smiling when I say this, but I spent my whole existence trying to find the answer to “why?” “Why am I like this? Why can’t I just be happy doing “okay” like everyone else? I seriously craved normalcy. Begged and prayed to a God I hardly knew to wake up “blonde, blue eyed and normal.” I just wanted to be an extra in my own bibliography.

Mrs. Austin Jean Alohekea Smith — “What do I want to be when I grow up?”

Had a scholarship to a fashion school in New York handed to me; I became a mom instead. Completed the first accelerated CNA program and simultaneously completed a Police Academy at West Hills College in my hometown, Coalinga, CA in preparation to become a MTA at Folsom Prison; ran away to recover from drug addiction and became a mom again. Being a homeschool teacher for 7 years during most of what comes next. Spent 3 years at COS and found my passion to create a curriculum based on sensory and behavior stimulation to help reduce anxiety during meltdowns and self-care affirmations. Publicly singing my lungs out from the heart and not my scared 4 year old head.

I craved a drab day where the sounds of a busy street didn’t make me want to cry. I cried all the time. Everything frightened me because I couldn’t tell what the words were. I just copied their voice patterns & monitored their facial expressions until I got the one I wanted. I remember watching Look Who’s Talking for the first time and feeling like an idiot that not everyone had thoughts like that when communicating with themselves even at the age of 3. 

Between 3 and 4, I finally saw the world around me for more than just the noise it was. The constant “hurry up already” feeling running through my body. “Just be fast and they won’t notice” was my own voice of reason. The constant need for things I didn’t understand, like food when my stomach would cramp or to rest my legs from growing pains.  I just could not for the life of me explain in words until it was too late, then it was just tears and seemed overly dramatic.

I was almost 5 the first time I spoke more than two words to communicate my needs. I practiced all the way home to say exactly what the kids told me to say. I walked about 2 miles from the beach we weren’t supposed to be at. I know I wasn’t going to say the cuss words, but I said everything else. My mom cried, I flinched thinking I was gonna get popped for saying the wrong thing again, it was the first time I’d said a full sentence with feelings, intent as if listening and ended it with a question. I didn’t know this was why I wasn’t allowed to go to school yet, let alone daycare.

I would mask enough to get to know a person by age 7 to 11, then I would explode into the “real” me. Due to my childhood trauma, when fight or flight kicked in, I would freeze, look at the ground and just start crying without making much noise. I wanted to go to the fair at that same tween stage as everyone else & fit in, but the thought of someone I didn’t want to touch, touching me; I froze and stupid people took advantage of that. This caused me to miss out on a lot of the “bad girl” days and this has been my life; sticking to the side of a dude best friend so I don’t end up dead in a ditch.

 So here I am, a few years behind everyone else who thinks to herself, “I am out here looking desperately late to her own 30 something life as a mom purposefully living her “best life” with her tweens, teen, a bit later teenager and a 20 something year old AND CONTENT” as I thought, single and alone until Mr. Ryan of course. 

“Fuck.  It took me into my 20’s to realize what the fuck a rhetorical question was, PLEASE leave me the hell alone. Not because I didn’t comprehend the definition of the word RHETORICAL either but because I couldn’t read the room. I still don’t. It’s why I am great at awkward “not my family” functions and community events.”

Mrs. Austin Jean Alohekea Smith — “Rule #3: Don’t invite me to things.”

I needed to acquire all the “facts” about people around me before moving forward with any type of activity because that was the way to “success” in my life. If I didn’t fit in the group, I would hear excuses like “you through off our dynamic” and I would be asked to leave. So, every time a group would stop talking when I walked up I assumed I “threw off their dynamic” and I would walk off. Fuck know I didn’t know they were talking about me or I would have thrown blows. My whole life everyone’s been scared of this big voice that comes out of me when I know I am NOT WRONG.

It has worked for me and still continues to bring me joy when singing but scared people when it was the other side of me. At a young age, I learned from those around me how to survive and adapt. As much as church and music saved me, I was an asshole. I used to scrap with all the kids who picked on my little sister and nieces and nephews.

I even ran a few down who made fun of my older sisters too. The first time my anger bit back was when I was in junior high. One day this boy set me off in class. I grabbed him over three tables and snatched him into my chest full of boobs. I was going to kill him and what does he do? He tells everyone in the school he touched my boobs on purpose and I was mortified.

So, I stopped saying no and just stopped talking around 12. For almost two years I can remember being shuttled from one person to the next trying to figure out why I just stopped talking. I was constantly analyzing the world around me for opportunities to survive. This also coincided with last week’s entry and what occurred the summer before 7th grade. The adults around me didn’t know it but the burnout then was real. I was not sleeping, socially drowning in self-destructive behavior, being physically beat on and emotionally abused at home, financially trying to save money to run away with my newly obsessive female love of my life and an older than me best guy friend (slash ex-boyfriend) who was the only reason for me still being alive most days even though I wasn’t allowed to talk to him.

Sensory issues kept me hungry as a child, my parents would just call me spoiled. Touch and textures kept me from playing with other kids my age; I was either overly aggressive or sitting alone because it was a contact sport where the boys were allowed to touch my body how they wanted to without supervision. I was usually hiding somewhere singing alone. The sound’s my voice box could make vibrating throughout my upper body and head was euphoric. Holding notes for longer than I should gave me a different adrenaline rush.

I was usually always alone. Finding secret spots to go and sing my lungs out as it echoed back at me. Stage fright even then kept me from sharing my big voice until now. You can catch me singing all the time now. It took me years of hearing “you got a good voice” from strangers to feel this way.

By 12, my logic was, “If that was me, in that certain situation, would the people around me react the same way I would?”. It took meeting a real smart ass turned best guy friend a few years older than me to show me a few important life lessons I can still hear ringing true today, 

“1) The first thing out of someone’s mouth is either bullshit or the truth and it’s not how they say it but how they stand when they do. 2) “Unless they are calling you by name; mind your business. If they don’t know your name, then they can’t talk about you.” And what has to be the most important 3) “No one has the power to say you are anything but You. So, find yourself and be that.” 

Mrs. Austin Jean Alohekea Smith — “what my first heartbreaking boy crush taught me”

My brain functions in ways that amaze me now and it is because of the plant celebrated today. I can sit down and slow everything down enough to enjoy the journey my memories can take me on. I no longer look at the monster in the story the same anymore. Those assholes no longer have the power they once had on me. I have taken accountability for the role I have played in my life since I realized I was giving that power away. 

My body doesn’t ache to move or stretch when the medicinal side of it flows over me. My celiac disease takes a break from crapping and the need for water kicks in. Self-care isn’t so far out of reach and taking the time to appreciate the world around me like I used to as a child. The simpler life I once lived feels just right all over again. Closer to my peace than most these days because I take the day as it is not for what it’s supposed to be.

I am a happier individual because I feel the purpose of my driven life is finally guided by my own needs and not just the needs of those around me. I am giving up my people pleasing ways and finding my groove in the sand. Sharing my many forms of self-expressionism is like an adrenaline kick in my mind that anyone else would be pondering a life changing point of view such as, “Be the young you feel, not the old you are.” So here I am, unscripted or crutched by an amazing author writing in my lingo (all the fucks and damn’s you can handle) to get the same point across I have been spouting myself for years, “I am the asshole in my story too. I am just as toxic as that hag because she raised me, or that dick called pop” content. 

I have found, throughout my journey, that I have always had the steppingstones I needed to progress peacefully in my purpose, within myself. I have had to live some life lesson’s I have watched many others suffer through and their personal experiences helped me to see the silver lining in what makes me the me I am today. Through music, literature, pow wows and smoke sesh’s I have learned more about the human experiences than one lifetime can tell, and I am grateful to those who have taken their time with me. To understand me and to see through the madness that is my process, the other side of things, the finished product. You’ve been reading quotes from what my life’s book would be filled with throughout this entry, so I kept the best for last,

“As the product – [all in one breath, are you ready you can skip this part if you want lol] of my generation, my friends parents, most of all of the parents who were neighbors to me growing up, my actual parents and their toxic childhood trauma, the teen angst we all attribute to some weird form of dress code in the 80’s/90’s, being a follower of the person I was obsessed with being around cause they made me feel any sort of “normal,” and the “I call them my friends but they more than likely have no idea who I am” social media friends – of the last 20 years – this one’s for you. [flick’s a bic] Keep up okay – it’s puff, puff, pass man.”

Mrs. Austin Jean Alohekea Smith — “If my life was a high school yearbook quote”

On to the next one …

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