ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the March 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] mdlbear, [personal profile] alatefeline, [personal profile] mama_kestrel, and [personal profile] librarygeek. It also fills the "Autism or Asperger's Syndrome" square in my 3-1-17 card for the Disability Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] ng_moonmoth. It belongs to the series An Army of One.

Warning for emotional angst and meltdown.


"Listening Back"


The hardest part of living
in the Lacuna was feeling
like nobody understood her.

Armelle struggled to get by,
but every day was difficult, and
sometimes several days got
together and ganged up on her.

Things that had once been simple,
like shopping or childcare, had
become enormously complicated.

She felt trapped between worlds,
just as the Lacuna hung empty
between the Galactic Arms.

Sometimes Armelle melted down
just like the people around her,
only she didn't have a lifetime
of experience in handling it.

Usually someone stopped
to help, though, and Armelle
got to know Shuttlecock and
Palmer better because of it.

When Embry threw a fit in
the Agora because she couldn't
have a piece of candy, Armelle
broke down completely and
just sat on the floor, crying.

It was Astin who stopped
that time and said to them,
"This sounds like a bad day.
How can I help out?"

Armelle just blubbered at xyr.

So Astin picked up Embry,
who had quieted to sniffles,
and bounced her on xyr knee.

"You know, listening and focusing
on someone's spoken words can require
a lot of courage and a pretty big leap of trust,"
Astin said to Armelle, "if it's hard to process
and if experience is telling you they are
going to be saying things that don't work,
don't fit the plan, or don't make sense."

"Yes," Armelle said. "It's like that."

"Sometimes it's still worth it;
sometimes people even listen back,"
Astin said. "If you need to talk,
then I'm here to listen."

So Armelle poured out
her whole horrible day to xyr,
while other shoppers parted
around them without staring
or making any other fuss.

"That sounds really hard,"
Astin said. "Tell you what, let's
go to the Flask of Phlegethon
and get some yogurt smoothies.
Food often helps people perk up
after a setback. We can talk about
possible plans over our snack."

"All right," said Armelle. It wouldn't
fix everything, but it was a start.

* * *

Notes:

Armelle -- she is neuroambiguous, the wife of Bottleneck and mother of Embry. Armelle lost her entire family in the Massacre of Cascabel, except for her husband and daughter. Armelle and Bottleneck aren't close; the marriage was urged on them by their parents because it's what people do. Eventually she tracked Bottleneck down. Introduced in "New Wine in Old Bottles."

Shuttlecock -- a neurovariant woman who makes clothes at a shop called Threads. She lives at Sargasso Base. She is friends with Palmer. Introduced in "Umbilical Lines."

Palmer -- a neurovariant woman who does massage. She lives at Sargasso Base. She is friends with Shuttlecock and Astin. She has freckles on her nose. Introduced in "What the Scissors Have Cut Asunder."

Embry -- she is a neurovariant toddler, daughter of Armelle and Bottleneck. She came with her mother from Casabel to Sargasso Base. Introduced in "New Wine in Old Bottles."

Astin -- an other-gendered trader, neurotypical, friends with Weavercreep and Operetta. Astin likes clothes of ambiguous colors, such as honey and mauve, with shapes that are easy to customize. Similarly, practical yet attractive furniture of androgynous style is preferred, blending straight and curved lines. Introduced in "Uncounted Colors of the Stars." Astin uses the "xe" set of pronouns: xe is, xyr book, with xyr, of xyrs, and xyrself.

Dash -- a neurovariant man, he lives at Sargasso Base. He is the bartender at the Flask of Phlegethon, a tavern established shortly after the war, and has known Astin since the trader's first visit to the base. Introducted in "Who Is Devoid of the Power."

* * *

Anyone can have a meltdown. How you respond to a meltdown matters. Understand how to recover after having a meltdown. For bystanders, it helps to go around without contributing to the scene. Here are some ideas on aftercare.

Sometimes it helps to eat or drink something after a meltdown, which is grounding, as long as you're not queasy. Yogurt and some fruits or herbs have mood-boosting effects.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-03-15 04:29 am (UTC)
thnidu: blank white robot/avatar sitting on big red question mark. tinyurl.com/cgkcqcj via Google Images (question mark)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
Thank you, Astin!

"neuroambiguous"? Like, it's not clear whether she's neurovariant? The only hits in a Yahoo search were both for the same person:

https://allevents.in/melbourne/neuroambiguous-prue-stevenson/1437863439854633#

https://m.facebook.com/events/1437863439854633/

Re: Yes...

Date: 2017-03-15 05:38 am (UTC)
thnidu: glowing light bulb. tinyurl.com/33j2v8h (light bulb)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
Ohhhh kayyyy, this makes sense. Of course, «Look at me» works with someone who knows you only here, only when you add the self-descriptions -- as you have done in this post. I know only such of your unusualnesses as you have mentioned here, in the time I've been following this blog

Re: Yes...

Date: 2017-03-15 05:50 am (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
Hey! New word!

I'm close enough to NT to pass... usually ... but there are some things that *aren't* "typically* between the ears....

So, yeah. Colour me "NA". (What colour is that? Pelikan Edelstein Topaz. Notice how it's lighter around the edges?)

Re: Yes...

Date: 2017-03-16 04:22 am (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
Yeah. That's totally you. Shapeshifter.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-03-20 03:58 am (UTC)
jeshyr: Blessed are the broken. Harry Potter. (Default)
From: [personal profile] jeshyr
Love this very much! Neuroambiguous is not a term I'd come across before either but it's so intuitively obvious to me that I love it :)

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