‘Gen Why?’ – Perception Deception

“Most days are full of meaningless uninvited interactions with the same kind of simple minded individuals, that indeed would have definitely complained about the inconvenience that little old pointless road had caused them.

They’d never have considered that, on some nights, a pointless underpopulated road leading to nowhere is, exactly the right destination”.

I recently stumbled across the above piece of writing by   bluedandylionsoul by a new blogger on  WordPress and really enjoyed contemplating many of the challenging concepts hidden within it.

It left me pondering whether or not the meaning of life is meant to be found within the journey of being or the destination of becoming someone?

Or are we all simply being mislead by both the questions and the answers we arrive at concerning these issues?

Are both the journey and the destinations nothing short of being perception deceptions?

Are we all, as Millgram believed, merely puppets with perception, who, on the odd occasion manage to sense the stirrings of the strings that propel us along?

I would urge all those of you who are interested in such concepts to click on link and read the authors short story.






via Gen why?.. — bluedandylionsoul


A Minority of One – Words from Magda Szubanski


“The crucial difference between Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Bi-Sexual, Intersex and Questioning people and other minorities is this:

In every other minority group the family shares the minority status.

In fact it is often something that unites them.

But gay people are a minority group within the family.

A minority of one.

It means, among many things, that gay children cannot draw on the collective family wisdom about how to deal with their minority status.

No one else in the family has experienced what the gay child is going through.

Worse still: all through our growing up, from the instant we realize we are gay, we live with the gnawing fear that our parents’ love could turn to hatred in an instant.

Intangible prejudice pervaded everything.

Lesbian characters in films or books were creepy, psychotic, jealous, scheming, neurotic, humorless, bitter, barren and died horribly.

In The Children’s Hour Shirley MacLaine hangs herself in shame; June Buckridge gets her ‘just deserts’ in The Killing of Sister George.

The dream of a long gay life filled with love was entirely absent from the culture we consumed.

And worst of all, many of us internalized the bullshit.

We took the loathing into ourselves.

Some of us, God help us, believed it to be true.

Like a greedy parasite this self-hatred attached itself to every other doubt and fear we had about ourselves, amplifying it, extending it, giving it power.

Until we were colonized by our own contempt for ourselves.

A lucky few escaped this scourge.

Some, for whatever reason, never succumbed: for them being gay was not an issue.

I wasn’t one of the lucky few”

Coming out.

It sounds like making your debut.

But for gay people there was no party, no celebration, no welcoming into the bosom of our family and our community.

We came out and waited for the brickbats.

We came out not knowing if, at the end of it, we would still have a family, a community.

Some people were convinced that it would kill their parents.

Some of my friends have been with their partners for twenty years and more, and their parents still don’t know they are lovers.

That constriction, that inability to be open with the people we love more than anything in the world, corrodes the soul.

My generation of gay people are sometimes like the walking wounded.

As teenagers, closeted and terrified, most of us never learned to weather the ups and downs of dating.

Mine was probably the last generation in Australia for whom the idea of widespread public support for homosexuals was unimaginable. It is not so long ago that gays were subjected to aversion therapy – which is to say electric shocks to the genitals.

This is to say: torture.

The best we could hope for was not getting beaten up, being grudgingly tolerated and allowed to form gay ghettos in neighborhoods where the rent was low and the crime rate high.

We were inured to the meagre array of career prospects.

Theatre, hairdressing and interior design for the guys.

Stage management, security companies and social work for the women.

Talents withered.

People led double lives and lived in terror of blackmailers.

The victimization was one thing.

The propaganda was almost worse.

We were blamed for the transience of our relationships, the illnesses we contracted, for pestilence, misfortune and bad weather.

And, perhaps most damaging of all, we were told that we were predatory.

That our sexual desires were not only unnatural but that we were child abusers.

Even before AIDS we were seen as a contagious illness.

In a supreme irony, proselytising Christian missionaries accused us of recruiting.”

The above words are quotes from Magda Szubanski  wonderful auto biography “Reckoning”.

Convicted Pedophile Admits to Sexually Abusing Young Girl with Asperger’s Syndrome

Paul John Bickford Pedophile
Paul John Bickford Pedophile

Convicted pedophile Paul John Bickford, aged 70, has received a 16 month suspended sentence after pleading guilty to indecently assaulting (sexually molesting) an 11 year old girl with Asperger’s Syndrome.

What makes this charge even more disgusting, (and believe me there are many aspects of this man’s behavior that disgust me), is the fact that the Port Macquarie resident, was once praised so highly by his peers that he was given the honor of being voted New South Wales’ senior volunteer of the year in 2009.

That’s right.

The fact that this self-confessed pedophile was once so publicly lauded for his role as the president of GAPA or Grandparents as Parents Again, which is a support network designed to help people caring for their grandchildren by offering them, among other things, respite opportunities, is sickening.

So not only was he a known pedophile who was in charge of raising his own grandchildren, but he was also a pedophile who used his role as the president of GAPA, to gain access to many unsuspecting and potentially vulnerable children and their families.

Why is it that so many pedophiles seem to have such a knack for hiding their true motivations beneath a thick veneer of trustworthiness?

Perhaps it’s a  skill that they learned from their priests, but for whatever reason, time and time again, this appears to be exactly how such men operate.

First they gain your trust.

Then they abuse it.

One cannot help but wonder whether or not Bickford, despite having stepped down from the presidency of GAPA, is still using the trust that others had already unwittingly placed in him, to continue to gain access to children. .

After all, how else could he have wormed his way into being trusted to care for an 11 year old Autistic child?

Was molesting such a vulnerable girl Paul Bickford’s idea of providing her family with respite and support?

I think not.

Clearly he must have used his position as a respected member of the community to gain not only access to this young girl but the trust of her family.

A family who now wish for nothing more than to see Paul Bickford exposed as being the convicted pedophile that he is, and for others to understand that this man is a sexual predator who, despite the fact that he escaped a jail term, is still as dangerous to their children as he was to their daughter.

This is the message that the girl’s family fear has been lost to many due to the light sentencing he received.

They believe that such leniency sends out all of the wrong messages to other pedophiles and may make it less likely for other victims to come forward.

Essentially all Bickford truly received for his crimes was a very light slap on the wrist, whilst still remaining free to roam the streets of Port Macquarie and use his once shining public profile to ingratiate himself once more, into the lives of other vulnerable children..

The family of Bickford’s victim are speaking up to try and prevent him from ever being placed in such a position of trust again.

It is there hope that no one else’s child will ever have to go through what their daughter, who has been deeply scarred by the ordeal and still remains highly “volatile” as the result of Bickford’s abuse, has gone through.

Personally, I do not understand why a man who has not only been charged with such a serious crime, but has also confessed to doing it, is allowed to walk free from any courtroom.

How can this man be anything but a danger to society?

He’s in his 70’s now, so just imagine how many other children he has abused throughout the course of his lifetime.

Surely this can’t be his first offense.

And to abuse  a highly vulnerable girl with Asperger’s Syndrome in such a way, can only be described as an act that deserves the title of being the lowest of the low.

Why is this man, whose behavior is truly sickening, being allowed to walk so freely among our children?

When will the law and our judiciary department finally see fit to set in place tougher penalties for pedophiles?

Are they not aware of the copious amounts of studies in to pedophilia that have been carried out, which show, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that there is no such thing as rehabilitation when it comes to pedophilia?

Or is such light sentencing still a left over remnant of our patriarchal system which still views crimes against children and women as being, somehow, of lesser importance than a man committing crimes against other men?

Perhaps one of the saddest facts to come out about of all of this is, that if it weren’t for the tragic abduction of a young boy from a nearby home, many of us would still be none the wiser as to either the actions of men like Paul Bickford nor the unbelievable amount of convicted sex offenders who are walking about freely within our society and potentially living within our midst.

Given all of these facts, isn’t it high time that Australia enabled its citizen’s access to a national sex offenders list, in much the same way as other countries such as America and Canada do?

It’s simply no longer good enough to let these creeps walk so freely among us without at least having the decency to facilitate a way of informing us, legally, of their presence.

Perhaps if our bureaucrats had already taken this step, then whomever abducted young William Tyrrell, may never have had the opportunity to do so in the first place.

I for one would certainly like to know if there are any convicted pedophiles living in my immediate area.

Wouldn’t you?


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Mutually Insured Insanity

We can’t insure ourselves against life.

All though I’m sure that at some point in time we’ll be encouraged to try doing just that.

After all, they’ve already got death covered now haven’t they?

Vulture Culture

Long ago, insurance was predominantly viewed as being a stop gap measure that was designed to cover you financially should disaster strike you.

As with most things back in the way back when, taking out insurance on one’s property was a luxury that only the rich could afford.

As such it both gave them a weapon to use against the honest and the poor whilst at the same time providing many with the means that would eventually make them targets.

But what about today?

Supposedly insurance is now something that everyone who owns anything should be able to afford.

That’s what we’re told right?

After all, what’s the point of owning a nice car, a nice home or even a nice laptop if you can’t afford to insure it against its potential loss?

I mean really, what on earth would you do if your car was stolen or trashed and…

View original post 1,488 more words

How our Public Housing system is creating Australia’s Public Housing Crisis.

All of you who are over forty and living in housing commission homes whilst working and earning a decent enough income to have new cars, boats, motorbikes, holidays abroad or whatever else your little heart’s desire, it’s time to get your snouts out of the public trough and give young families the same fair go you got when you were first starting out.

If you all did the right thing, there simply wouldn’t be a public housing crisis.

So come on older Australian’s.

Fair go.

Public housing was never meant to be seen as being a valid life style choice.

So wake up and stop being so darn selfish

Vulture Culture

Public housing was never meant to be seen as being a life style choice.

Yet unfortunately for far too many, that’s exactly what it’s become.

Many politicians and welfare groups consistently claim that Australian’s in need are experiencing a public housing crisis.

To further bolster this claim, every year at Christmas time there are ads on TV from welfare groups showing families living in cars complete with the said children of these car dwellers asking their parents the question “will Santa be able to find us this year”, as they sit in the middle of a car park.

At first these ads made me cry.

This is, of course, exactly what they’re designed to do.

Then I moved into a suburb that’s mostly filled with public housing or housing commission homes as we call them in Australia.

The neighbors to the right of me are a couple who have been…

View original post 1,777 more words

Australia Day – Invasion Day

“We lose nothing by tempering our own views in such a way as to be able to incorporate within Australia Day, both our gratitude for being able to live in such a beautiful land our acknowledgement that our fortune came at the loss of our Indigenous population.

Were we personally responsible for the past?

No, of course not.

But we are personally responsible for both the present and the future.”

Vulture Culture

I am truly grateful to live in this beautiful land.

At the same time, I am also honest enough to be able to acknowledge the history of dispossession that shadows our land and hence to seek to understand and honor the feelings of Australia’s traditional indigenous population regarding Australia Day.

In so doing, I offering up my humble apologies for the disrespectful way in which Australia was stolen from its traditional indigenous land owners all those years ago.

I believe that holding the capacity to acknowledge the wrongs of the past does not make anyone a “bad Aussie”.

If anything, I believe that holding the capacity to truly acknowledge our past, whilst also offering up a genuine willingness to pay respect to the true custodians of this land, would make us better Australians.

There is no shame in showing respect and understanding towards those for whom Australia Day is not…

View original post 547 more words

Things I wish people would stop saying to those of us with Asperger’s Syndrome

Art work by Aegis Mario S. Nevado
Art work by Aegis Mario S. Nevado

“You can’t possibly have any understanding of yourself and be Autistic at the same time. That just doesn’t happen’.

Well actually, yes it can and it does happen.

Individuals with Asperger’s are hyper aware of their feelings, their environment and those around them.

So hyper aware in fact that we experience sensory over load.

Yet every time we, as people, try to share our understandings of ourselves with others and  attempt to have our own personal views and needs both met and respected, we run into a brick wall of prejudice.

One that ensures that instead of being listened too, we’ll constantly have to  deal with having our personal truths questioned simply because of the mistaken belief that we are a particularly insular and self-absorbed type of person.

Due to this, instead of  being listened too when we try to talk about our feelings, we usually end up  being told things like:

-‘Why do you always look so sad? You should smile more”.

Well here’s a tip.

Why not try believing us when we tell you that we’re not sad we’re just so completely and utterly lost in thought that our faces automatically relax.

This process of relaxation means that our mouths and lips relax too.

And just in case you’re not up to speed with anatomy, it actually takes muscle contractions to create a smile.

So if a person’s face is completely  and I do mean completely relaxed, there will be no muscle contraction, hence no smile.

Besides, we are aware of the fact that we’re always having our facial expressions read by those around us, as if they were some kind of social barometer that might, potentially, give the reader some kind of insight as to what we’re feeling.

We’re also equally used to being blamed for an observers inability to read us due to our perceived lack of facial expression, whenever such exercises in futility fail to succeed.

Which is, once again, why you should believe us when we tell you that we’re not sad, just lost in thought.

Perhaps a far kinder thing to do would be to try asking us what we’re actually thinking about.

By approaching us in this way you’ll give us an opportunity to bring you a little closer to our world rather than pushing us away with false observations that only serve to make us feel even more self-conscious than we already do.

-‘You should get out of the house more. You’ll feel better for it.’

For those of us who are feeling overwhelmed due to sensory overload, the last thing we need to be told is to “get out of the house’, or to ‘go out and be around people’.

What  we really need when we’re feeling overwhelmed is to be left in the peace and quiet of our own surroundings and to be allowed to withdraw into our own safe space, without any ensuing argument or being accused of being anti-social.

So please, please, please try to understand that when we insist on the need to have our own space and to take things at our own pace, we’re not trying to be willfully stubborn  or malignantly anti-social.

We’re simply trying to do whats best for us by being mindful and respectful of our own needs so that we don’t end up in a full on ‘meltdown’.

Usually it takes years for us to learn how and when to walk away from situations before they escalate into a ‘meltdown’ so please understand that doing so is a sign of our maturity, and not our immaturity.

Please spend a little more time trying to love us and a little less time trying to  judge us.

Thank you.


Discussion of Autism in A Different Key – Errors and Revelations…


In his latest  article ‘The errors — and revelations — in two major new books about autism’ (http://www.vox.com/2016/1/21/10801846/autism-in-a-different-key) ,Ari Ne’eman brilliantly reviews two very different and distinct portrayals of Autism  within the books NeuroTribes by  Steve Silberman and In a Different Key  by Caren Zucker and John Donvan

As Ne’eman unpacks these differences he’s also concise in pointing out that whilst all of the authors concerned are themselves non-autistic persons, Steve Silberman,  shares a unique key  empathy with  Autistic people.

Growing up as a gay man, he too, felt the sting of having both his worth as an individual and the right to make his own life choices, constantly restrained and questioned by the weight of an inadequately informed  public, whose  opinion over his “condition,” has at times, been to his disadvantage.

His experiences give light to the truth that there are many people, with many differing “conditions” who are forced to constantly battle against the subversive majority, whose misunderstandings and judgements of those who are different, in any way, creates the lifelong sets of discriminatory values that we all find ourselves having to fight against.in one or another.

His empathy for Autistic adults over the fact we are often talked at and about, but never talked too, comes from the genuinely  authentic center of having felt the same way for most of his own life.

Hence his sensitivities toward and awareness of many of the issues facing people with Autism, lead him to tackle both the past and the present conversations surrounding Autism with respect and dignity.at all times.

In this manner, Silberman’s work stands in stark contrast to that of Zucker and Donovan, who discuss the issues surrounding Autism from a much more parentally based, outsiders perspective of Autism.

The problem with this is, as Ne’eman so eloquently points out is that “autism happens to autistic people, not their parents”.

As both a parent to two teens with Autism and an adult with Autism myself, I know that there have been many parents over the years who have indeed broken down the majority of the walls that once prevented inclusion in terms of educational policy and funding, but there are still times when I wonder whether or not it was ever meant to become a system where by every single child with Autism, regardless of how well they can handle it, must, by the dictates of state, be placed in mainstream schooling.

In fact these days, I find myself on the other side of the debate. Arguing instead for the right for a child, teen or young adult with Autism to be able to decide for themselves which form of learning environment they find to be the most comfortable and enjoyable.

 This aspect aside, there can be no doubt that parents have played a vital part in dispelling many of the myths that have surrounded the origins of  Autism, particularly when it came to the debunking Bettelheim’s infamous “refrigerator mother” syndrome.

Yet despite all of the work that they do, one simple fact still remains and that is the fact that they cannot, no matter how hard they try, ever fully experience what Autism feels like from the inside.

Parents  can and do,  comprehend what many of the triggers for someone with Autism are  and they can become very adept at helping their children adopt coping skills and mechanisms to help them during a ‘meltdown’, but what they can never do is actually feel that awful sensation of building pressure, of every raw nerve being heightened to the point where you feel as if you are boiling within your own skin.

And that’s just one of  the key issues that Ne’eman explores alongside the issue of ‘othering’.

Silberman, although also non-autistic, does a much better job of describing the impacts that being viewed as “different” or “other’ has on an individuals self-esteem and their broader life.

Though he may not know what it feels like to constantly experience sensory overload, he does know all too well, what it feels like to have himself and those whom he considers ‘kindred spirits’ , talked about in the media and discussed by  policy makers and the general public, as if they themselves, have no right to either speak or be heard, or even be trusted enough by their own families, to  make ‘the right’ decisions for themselves.

In a very similar way, when it comes to speaking for ourselves and having the right to be heard, many Autistic Adults working within the realms of advocacy, frequently express the feeling that parental advocates, by focusing exclusively on their needs and their understandings of Autism,  were quite literally writing the perspectives of children and young adults with Autism “out of  [their] own stories”.

Thus robbing Autistic Adults and children not only of the right to speak for themselves, but also of the right to be heard and taken seriously when they do.

The right to be taken seriously, to have our views and needs respected and to have our understandings of ourselves honored and validated, instead of constantly having our truths questioned and instead of  being heard, being told things like:

“You can’t possibly have any understanding of yourself and be Autistic at the same time. That just doesn’t happen’.

‘Why do you always look so sad? You should smile more”.

‘Get out of the house and you’ll feel better’

Being constantly told that we’re wrong or mistaken whenever we try to speak our truths or having our facial expressions always read as if they were some kind of social barometer that might give the reader insight as to what we’re feeling, then being blamed when it fails to do so, is insulting.

Please stop doing this.

Try asking us what we’re thinking about instead.

Try believing us when we tell you that we’re not sad we’re just so completely and utterly lost in thought that our faces automatically relax.

This process of relaxation includes our mouths and lips.

And just in case your’ not up to speed with anatomy, it actually takes muscle contractions to create a smile.

So if a person’s face is completely  and I do mean completely relaxed, there will be no muscle contraction, hence no smile.

Also, for those of us who are feeling overwhelmed due to sensory overload, the last thing we need to be told is to “get out of the house’, or ‘be around people’, when what  we really need is peace and quiet and the ability to withdraw into our own safe space.

So please, please, please try and understanding these few simple truths of Autism.

We’re not being stubborn or willful or malignantly anti-social when we insist on the need to have our own space and to take things at our own pace.

What we are doing is being is respectful of ourselves and we wish that others could be too.

In the meantime I urge you to click on this link and read Ari Ne’eman’s  brilliant article here http://www.vox.com/2016/1/21/10801846/autism-in-a-different-key

Life Without Facebook – Why I Chose to Jump off the Merry-Go-Round


About 6 months ago, after years of participating in various Autism/Asperger’s groups and pages on Facebook, I decided to delete my own Facebook account and the fledgling Women’s Asperger’s Awareness page that I’d been running.

I’m not sure whether others will agree with me on this, but as far as I’m concerned, there’s been a gradual deterioration regarding the overall quality of the topics posted within Autism/Asperger’s groups and an unsettling lack of authenticity appearing within many of the comments and responses that have filled group discussions, over the last few years.

Many of the groups that I enjoyed participating in the most were those that started out as small, authentic, safe and friendly spaces to interact with others with Autism online.

Many of those same groups have now become victims of their own success.

Some have become so large and fuelled by so many conflicting opinions, that it’s almost impossible to have a decent conversation about anything without having to combat those who either disagree with everything and anything or those who wish to simply hijack threads for their own amusement.

Many groups have also become inundated by members who do not themselves experience Autism/Asperger’s but who are there instead because they are seeking information about those of us with Autism for some reason or another.

Now generally, I don’t mind if non-autistic people want to join Autism based groups, but I do mind if they join such groups without declaring their real purpose for being there.

Especially those who are using such groups to tout for clients and build up their own professional profile or who are attempting to make money out of those with Autism in any way, shape or form.

This issue aside, there are also multiple clashes of perspectives going on within these groups as well, due entirely to the fact that non-autistic people do not declare themselves to be so.

For example, I’ve witnessed many nasty exchanges within Autism/Asperger’s groups that have occurred purely because some members are parents of a child with Autism and have taken offense at topics covered within the group simply because they have completely misunderstood, or to put it perhaps more honestly, held no internal comprehension of the lived experiences, that other autistic people within the group were trying to discuss.

And of course, this same scenario goes the other way as well where autistic people have attacked parents’ due to similar misunderstandings.

Such exchanges often lead to person’s with Autism feeling as if they need to leave the group for their own emotional well-being.

Which, as far as I’m concerned, is completely unfair.

Yet this is what Ioften witnessed happening as a result of such online conflicts.

Along with this issue, there was also a tendency for group after group to all post the same topic within minutes of each other.

Often I would find myself commenting on a topic in one group, only to find that the exact same topic was also the lead post in 5, 6 and even 7 other groups.

It made me wonder what the point of being a member of more than one Autism/Asperger’s group actually was if they were all going to run with the same topics.

This issue only became more pronounced once I’d decided to start running my own page.

Now I’m a big believer in original content and to that end, I’d spend endless hours searching for original blog posts and information written by other women with Autism/Asperger’s to share on my page..

Yet time and time again, within minutes of my posting a newly discovered piece of information or blogger, half a dozen other pages or groups would take the same piece of information and post it to their wall.

So in the end it felt as if all I was actually doing was spending my time finding interesting and informative pieces of work, only to have other pages and groups claim them as their own.

It was about this time that I realize that ‘I’m possibly not supposed to feel this way about the eternal loop of “sharing” that goes on in regards to Facebook groups and pages.’

Yet the feeling remained and I simply could not shake it off.

So I started spending less and less time working on my page and participating in group discussions.

Instead I just sat back and observed how this thing called Facebook worked.

This may seem strange but the more I observed the way in which Facebook groups and pages both endlessly and simultaneously feed off and devoured each other, the more I realized that Facebook, just like every other business model, is designed to perpetuate its own success above and beyond anything else.

The more Autism and Asperger’s groups, or any other groups, pages or causes it hosts, the more users Facebook gains.

The boffins behind Facebook don’t care about duplication or authentication.

Heck, they actively encourage their users to “share” everyone and anyone’s pictures and posts, regardless of whether they’re witty one liner’s or withering examples of stupidity.

We think we are using Facebook, but the truth is, Facebook is using us.

Making billions of dollars by selling advertising space on our pages whilst at the same time gathering up all of the information we are silly enough to give away about ourselves for free and selling it on to interested third parties.

Whoever ‘they’ may be.

Once I realized this, I also realized that each and every Facebook user, regardless of type:  group,  page,  organization or  individual, they have all been groomed via the “share” button, to cannibalize each-others ideas, fashions, hairstyles, food fads and on and on it goes.

I ended up eventually having a …‘Wait….stop the world… I want to get off…’ moment.

So I decided to jump off the Facebook merry-go-round.

I realized that I felt wrong about other pages and groups “sharing” my finds for a very good reason.

And that reason is, that in the real world, if someone walked into my home, without my permission and took one of my family photos, or one of my books, and then walked away with it, it would quite rightly be called “stealing”.

After all, isn’t that exactly the kind of example they use to try and tell us that downloading movies or “movie piracy” is a wrong?

It’s a crime.

So, if someone else is losing money from online “sharing” it’s a crime.

Yet, if Facebook is making shiploads of money out of allowing everyone to “share” whatever they want online, regardless of whether or not the thing they’re sharing is their own , it’s called social networking.

Personally, I can do without the sense of confusion that being told one action is wrong in one place, while the exact same action is not only considered right but actively promoted in another place.

Thanks but no thanks.

I much prefer the way Autism Facebook groups were when they first started up.

Back when the awe of simply finding another person in the world who thought like you, was enough.