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Invisible Peoples: Blame

July 5, 2018

 

Hi everyone. 

I recently wrote a blog about this new drawing I finished but the final photo didn't come out great so I promised to post it once I'd re-shot it. 

 

If you are interested in a more detailed description of this drawing click here. 

 

Otherwise I'll give you a brief re-cap of what this drawing is about. 

 

This Invisible People's drawing came from two concepts colliding:

 

1. My mom who works with children who have autism, asked me if I could do an Invisible People's drawing about autism. 

 

2. I was feeling overwhelmed with all the voices and memories bouncing in my head about why I couldn't just be "normal". 

 

This drawing is an attempt to describe both of those ideas. 

 

I talked more about the idea of autism in the post I mentioned earlier. Basically, I don't have autism and I don't know what it is like for someone who does but I imagine that having a disorder that makes communication difficult and makes the world feel-overwhelming creates some of the same emotions and frustrations that I had growing up. I imagine that as a kid being asked why you don't understand (when you don't understand what is being asked of you) and pushed to be part of a world that is naturally difficult for you to interact with is frustrating and makes you feel like you want to shut down and scream. 

 

On a personal level, that is how I felt when parents, teachers, doctors and friends with the best of intentions asked me why I didn't talk or made a big deal when I attempted to. It is also how I felt when I was given behavioral-therapy based assignments while at a certain hospital that prodded me to interact with staff at what they deemed an "appropriate level" without considering the underlying difficulty that I had. 

 

As an adult I understand what the hospital was attempting to do and why, but this is why I still dislike behavior-based therapies. As a child who was absolutely terrified of talking and who was seeing and hearing things that weren't there, being asked to "act normal" (as though I were purposely being abnormal) made me feel like a criminal. When I tried to communicate people would stare at me, either because they couldn't hear me or because they had no idea what I was talking about since our perceptions of the world didn't line up. 

 

"Why can't you just talk?" was a question I felt a lot and it made me wonder why I couldn't just talk and if having this experience that was so foreign to so many people didn't automatically make me "bad" or "useless". In my head these feelings devolved into a battle of "It's your fault," "no it's not," "you are sick," "no you are useless," "you just need help," "no you need to get off the face of this earth and stop taking up time and space meant for people who are more deserving than you." The result was me wanting to curl into a ball, cover my face and scream to block out all the noise-- the literal result was actually much grimmer but if you want to know more about that you can read about it in a book I wrote about my experiences which can be found here (or you can email me).

 

Anyway, that's the basis of this drawing. If you look closely you can find words and phrases that represent these arguments/ feelings. You will also notice that a lot of the phrases are jumbled up. I did this on purpose to represent the chaos of having so many different feelings/ thoughts flying at you at once and only being able to comprehend pieces of them. It is also so that they can be strung together to create different meanings which is another thing that happens a lot in my head. Sometimes it can be hard to figure out what exactly someone means when they give me what they feel are simple instructions or a basic comment. The way I've learned to manage this is to ask for clarification (so if you talk to me and I'm constantly asking what you mean, you now know why). 

 

I'm sorry if the tone of this post got a little tense. It brought up a lot of memories. I hope you didn't mind reading it though and that you like the illustration. Please feel free to share, comment, or contact me. I appreciate your support. 

 

Thank you, 

Jaime 

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