This thing that I'm about to tell you may sound extremely odd. OK, here goes. Lately, I have been worried about my freak flag. Let me explain what that means. A freak flag is a symbol for a person's level of weirdness. Everyone is a bit weird and, usually, a person's freakishness is visible to others by their flag. Brave people let them fly high up in the air. Like colorful birds, they tell the world that they are flamboyant, unique beings. The higher it goes, the farther you will see it. Hah, space even!
OK, so, in regards to my own freak flag: I think it has been in hiding ever since I had my first kid. Especially having a special needs child, I felt it was time to tuck it in. The thing is, I was afraid that people would link my boy's condition to me, and somehow look for an easy answer to why he is the way he is. I'd rather let them judge and diagnose him by an objective standard. Don't get me wrong, I think it's quite normal trying to figure out why a person is tuned a certain way, and looking at the parents for clues is one of the first things we do. Personalities vary though. My boy is odd. He's very unique. I am too. But while I'm quite shy and introverted, he's the opposite of that. Unlike him, never in a million years would you see me throwing a tantrum in public.
He's suspected of being on the verge of the autism spectrum, but, as things are progressing right now, it could still be a delay in his general development. There currently is no diagnosis that exactly fits his condition. Since most of his problems are centered around speech and social abilities, that area is where his oddity is most visible to others.
So in trying not to be at the center of blame, I made an effort to be less suspicious. I even got accustomed to talking to people. Yes, people. This may not sound like a big deal to the major part of the population, but it is to me. I'm not much of a conversationalist. Small talk makes my palms sweaty. Remembering names and faces and details to me is like playing Sudoku. Once I get it, and I know someone, I'm OK, but it's hard getting used to it. So, when my first kid was born, like all parents, I knew I had to let the world in a little. Talking to other parents, moms, professionals, doctors. And while I got a little bit of practice in doing so on a regular basis, I still feel uncomfortable at times. I think in trying to hide the freak flag, it has become even more elbowing. Because nothing is more odd to people than talking to someone who tries to hide a freak flag. It's like trying to hide a speech impairment by not talking. It's super freaking weird. And that's what I think has happened.
I should have known that overcompensating for my inner freak would not create "normal" behavior. Sometimes over-compensation works that way, with minor flaws it certainly does, but not with a whole personality. So in my quest to appear normal and together to the outside world, I forgot about my own well-being. I got a lot of stomach trouble. Now I want to go back to the old me, at least meet her halfway between crazy town and where I live now. That old me was a super creative, sensitive person who would look at her world through matted glass. I want to be her again. I am her. Freak flag, get out from under there. You're all sad and crinkled. Get up there. Fly.
To be continued!