Sara is my creativity coach.
And after a year of working together, I have news that’s going to put a whole new perspective on anything and everything we ever talked about.
Last week, when I sent you a “midterm update” as I called it, giving you a heads-up on my mental health.
I sent you that extra message, because I thought today’s email and our call tomorrow, would be about something different.
I assumed that I’d be back to my normal levels of content creation.
With all of my video channels, blogs, personal site with cartoons and yoga classes:
ALL of it attended to on a daily basis because life would be back to the way I have lived it for the past 5 years or so.
Which is me getting up every morning, ignoring all of my plans and to do lists, and doing whatever the fuck I want. Resulting in the highest turnover in creative production that I know.
Little did I know, that at this moment I am still days, perhaps weeks, from getting back into the grind.
But that I do have something extraordinary to share:
I am actually autistic.
It is not certain yet, I don’t have a diagnoses and this could take months and months. But there is not a hair on my head in doubt about this.
Because it would explain for everything.
Do you remember half a year ago, when I stated that seeing myself as a highly gifted and even highly intelligent person, already explained everything?
I still stand by that.
But what I see now is that – although an IQ test or other tests which could estimate “giftedness” would almost certainly come up with things that set me apart – my talents are rooted in a neurological diversion called autism.
On a very practical level (which is probably autistic in itself to refer as “not committing suicide” as “very practical”) it explains why I associate having a 40 hours a week job with so much stress that I don’t want to live anymore.
It were these episodes of deep despair over having to go look for or accept a job, that ultimately got me to seek help.
I even thought: “Maybe if they hook me up on Prozac, I can actually do it.”
On a soul level I would die then.
Just that on Prozac, at least I wouldn’t feel it.
So maybe I wouldn’t have to kill myself and just live on as a walking dead.
Which I thought was a fair price to pay to be part of society.
The other scenario was, if I didn’t get some magic pill which would allow me to work, that getting a diagnoses would maximize my chances of becoming successful as a writer/ entrepreneur OR if my art asked the ultimate price – my life – at least I would know which mental health condition was to blame.
“Whether you call it my madness or my calling – I want to know what this is,” I wrote you.
Little did I know what “this” was.
I feel some of the biggest breakthroughs of the past year, can be explained looking through the filter of autism:
Things we talked about as signs of autism #1
fear of a normal job
Makes total sense. Me immersing in my own world every day, thinking, writing, creating videos, is my way of dealing with reality.
My art is both my purpose as well as my coping.
Like many autistic people I am one with my work, you can’t separate the two.
I ve joked before, that unless my employer is Jon Bon Jovi himself, meaning an embodiment of one of my passions, normal work is never going to work. I need hours with my passion every day. And the few hours left after a workday are never going to suffice.
Next to that social interaction costs me much energy.
This is because I put on a face, a mask. And I can wear the socially-acceptable-me mask for a few hours, but then I zone out. And if at any time someone can call, or tap your shoulder, or send an email that requires immediate answering, this means I have to wear the mask the entire day and will snap.
Being autistic explains both my dread of losing having the day to myself, as well as the fear of being in a workplace.
It explains the non-negotiability of my purpose work.
Which brings me to:
Things we talked about as signs of autism #2
my maniacal working hours
I ve said it before and I ll say it until the day I die:
I don’t feel affiliated with normal writers.
From what I hear they map out their books in advance, experience writer blocks, second guess their work and so on.
Most write a few hours every day and carefully plan those hours.
“When is my best time of the day to do my writing?”
Whereas this is me:
No matter what I plan, no matter what I m supposed to be doing for my finance, or to build a business, or even whether it would be a good thing to do something with daylight or exercise?
The last couple of weeks my production has dropped to 20% of what I used to create. Due to stress over having to figure out my finance, and also the constant worrying of having to choose between taking a job possibly taking my life on one hand, and choosing for my art on the other.
This is also something where I can see autism:
My mass production can only exist thanks to monomaniacal focus.
So before this monomaniacal focus got disturbed by worry, I ve spent years where I just woke up, jumped behind my computer and wrote.
If at 3 PM the doorbell rang for a package, I was still in pj’s.
But I knew how lucky I was!
Lucky to have such an all-consuming work drive, where other writers were bothered with things like startup time, concentration problems, and needing an ideal working environment. I have experienced during the renovation here, that I write just as well if they are drilling next-door.
You could shoot a canon next to my desk and I wouldn’t even notice.
That’s called zoning out – typically autistic.
As is working till late at night, and starting again with your breakfast in hand –
Autism at its finest.
things we talked about as signs of autism #3
Cluster B (narcissist, borderline) repellent
First the downside of having autism:
My reluctance or sometimes flat-out inability to have superficial conversations. I can see the true nature of the other person immediately and often feel like the little girl wanting to yell that the emperor doesn’t have any clothes on. Every time I see someone covering up what they really want, I bite my tongue because I understand that lying your pants on fire is normal social behavior.
I am perfectly capable of having functional small talk.
For example when I buy a ticket to the movies. But the moment there is no goal, I stagnate. And if I get dragged into a non-functional conversation where I can clearly see that the other person is an insincere jealous bitch?
Call me autistic, but that just doesn’t gel very well.
So having social super powers does not mean that I can deal with a variety of people in a variety of situations. But I think no autistic person can do that-
I do know the ones who can!
And this ties in nicely:
A person who excels at “normal’ social skills is actually named within the autistic community, because we love them and they love us.
They’re called the Super Neurotypicals.
So autistic people are neuro-atypical.
Normal people are the neurotypical ones.
And the Super Neurotypicals actually excel at social interaction. They are empaths who immediately feel how the other is doing and they can change the mood of the other. I think all men I fall head over heels in love with are this – but I m not sure. They could also be fellow autists, since autists are really good at giving you attention.
To be courted by an autist is similar to being love-bombed by a narcissist, but without the danger of ending up in an abusive relationship with a narcissist.
So now I have introduced the THREE personality types which are linked to each other like Pokemon cards. Or like rock-paper-scissors.
The Super Neurotypical can understand (“beat”) the autist.
This empathic caring person, can be fascinated with an autist! I ve read somewhere that Super Neurotypicals “can become a true magnet for women with Asperger”
Asperger is a high-functioning form of autism no longer in the DSM, but still used. I have the impression that the term Asperger is starting to get used as a laymen term, for autism that you can’t detect at first glance.
So a Super Neurotypical person, the one with excellent people skills, can read and understand the mind of the autist.
However! And this is just a theory but I already find it fascinating – the Super Neurotypical person is absolute toast if a Narcissist or a Borderliner gets his or her hands on him.
Super Neurotypicals are so emphatic, they have no defense mechanisms to deal with Narcissism (or the Borderline).
But here is where the Autist comes in: They can deal Narcissists and Borderliners.
Again, it’s just a theory! But you know that I ve been fascinated with “bad guys” and “difficult people” right?
I see them rarely, but every now and then I hear of someone behaving in a way that strikes me as someone with a personality disorder, or I overhear a toxic conversation. And to then see or hear much space they get…
It’s not that I don’t see that what the violator is doing is wrong. They’re known for being good at mental abuse/ gas lighting, and they can make the ground shake with their outbursts.
It’s more that I m like:
“Come on! You let him (or her) get away with that?!”
Narcissists and Borderliners are dependent on your presence. If you’re not there, either because you walk out, or because you zone out, they are powerless.
I really believe that Autistic people are practically immune for the emotional appeal the Narcissists and Borderliners place upon you, because they just don’t respond to manipulation by emotions.
I am an empath – and I think all autistic people are.
It was long thought that autistic people cannot feel what others are feeling, but there is a tendency to start seeing that different: That we are so emphatic that we just can’t look people in the eye without feeling the same thing.
It’s what I told you about me teaching a general, heterogeneous yoga class (this does not apply to the last two years of my teaching career, which were homogeneous classes).
But I knew exactly what everybody was feeling, and yet I couldn’t address it because there were too many people there, and had to give some sort of average-one-size-fits-all class.
I learned to zone out.
So my theory is, either because autistic people can’t feel the emotional appeal on them (as classical autism suggests) or because we are actually so sensitive that we have to zone out countless of times on a daily basis in order to not get overwhelmed- We cannot be touched by the Narcissist or Borderliner.
Making autists among the few who can have relationships with them without having to write entire books about it afterwards.
Again! Just a theory! Maybe I will revise it, but for now it makes perfect sense, that not responding to emotional submessaging, has its advantages.
Bringing us to the last one:
things we talked about as signs of autism #4
Experiencing it as the whole
This is a difficult one to describe, but we’ve talked in different terms about my how my personal experience at the Bon Jovi concert, was an entirely different reality from what the other 50.000 people saw.
Or how the time I spent with my lover, cannot be simply reproduced by another woman having sex with him “because he’s so good”:
I bring something myself.
We’ve called it performance.
We’ve called it becoming one with something (a vision) or someone.
We ve called it creating reality, by elevating yourself to the where you want reality to be.
Ultimately we settled for: Experiencing it as a whole.
I don’t stand there just listening to the music, nor do I go to my lover with my arms crossed defensively:
“Well let me see, what he has for me.”
Everything I do in life that has meaning to me, has my full attention and I ve prepared for it.
Everything is an all spirit, all body, all mind, all vision experience.
The Rock Star Yoga I started is not “there” yet… It keeps fading in and out of focus, especially the last few straining weeks.
But at least I know (at times) what it IS and what it DOES look like.
I know the essence of it. Or I know who I AM, in the essence of it.
Even when it does require some extra searching and digging.
This morning I saw a video of Courtney Love talking about her autism, and that is my current “click”. The other women I tried to elevate and solidify myself and my Rock Star Yoga identity with, were all brunettes, so they were not ideal.
So I ve currently taken Courtney as my Rock Star Yoga inspiration. And it feels really good.
Taking it is as a “Hole” then it is.
This was my extremely long email. I ve also picked up working as a volunteer in a theater, on the floor so no desk work!
The light and sound boards had a great appeal on me, and everybody was really friendly.
Maybe I ll start a second life as a techie, who knows!
I look forward to our call Sara.
An unexamined life is not worth living
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