avia: Text, blue letters on a tree trunk: "I have only a beast's heart". (only a beast's heart)
[personal profile] avia
I saw this on [personal profile] redsixwing's journal and, thought it would be a good thing to complete and share with others...

01 - Basic Care and Feeding

I'm autistic and amnesiac, which can make communication difficult. I have language difficulties. I don't speak well outside text. I have body dysmorphia in a number of ways. I am nonhuman identified (swan). I need to be alone a lot. These are beginning things to know.

I'm a Swords person, meaning, out of the four Tarot suits (Wands - spiritual, Cups - emotional, Pentacles - physical, Swords - mental), I identify with Swords most in relationship. So, what I want in a relationship (friendship or other) is mostly mind to mind connection. If you are my friend, probably, I feel close to you because of the fascinating things you share with me, your ideas and your creative nature and the way that you say things and the things you think. That is how I start relationships.

As a Swords person, I feel uncomfortable in relationships that take the focus away from Swords, and, have the focus mostly about another thing (usually Cups or Pentacles). I can't deal with mostly emotional or mostly physical relationships (except in two particular bonds, and unless your name begins with S. and you know who you are, you can't go here). Wands is a little different, but, I never have had a mostly spiritual relationship except with my gods. I do think it would need a Swords focus to balance it out.

02 - Communication Tips

Because of my memory issues, it really helps if you give me a context when you are talking about something to me. In email or DW comments, usually, it's not a problem. But, bringing up an older conversation from some time, I won't usually remember what you mean without a prompt. Please try and give me these prompts if you can. It makes me feel like a bad friend when I can't remember details, even if it is only the fault of my brain.

I don't always communicate well. It is always okay to ask me to make something clear!

03 - Communication Quirks

Mostly, what is written above... also, I don't use a lot of sarcasm. Sometimes, sarcasm and humour, as well as some kinds of non-obvious thinking can be difficult for me. Please don't laugh at me if I don't get it.

04 - What you need from friends

* Good conversation, but also, space. I don't like to talk on IM, because I don't have good focus and it means that I can't do anything else at that time. Emails are good. I love emails! Send me many emails!

* A mind that is willing to take adventures and risks.

* Someone who does not "stop" at a particular level of weird. I am a very strange person on many layers. If I hear the words "I accept X, but Y is a little too weird for me", out of your mouth toward me or anyone else, I will know it probably won't work. I celebrate strangeness, I do not think of it as something to tolerate to a particular level... "the more that something moves away from normal, the more difficult it is to tolerate". I think of it as the reverse. Strange is a good thing. The more strange you are, the more rich and interesting your life feels to me. You can't be too strange.

* Accept me. Even if you don't understand, accept what I say I am, don't assume I am lying to you or delusional when I say something strange. That's not a base for a friendship. I do have delusional times, but, it is quite obvious in those times that what I say is delusional and usually, I even can tell you that at the time, I have enough clear mind to say "I'm having a delusional thought". But, telling you about my non-human nature, or phantom wings, etc. is not delusion. If you believe it is, against my own explanations of how I experience it, we can't be friends. In return, I always give you the same respect.

05 - What you need from family

My family don't read this, so, not a thing to talk about here? Though, I guess you can say that my flock are my other family. Flock is close friends... people who run and fly together. If we both decide we are flock to each other, then we are.

From flock, I need them to accept that we fly together and I will be there for them, but also, not to expect a lot of physical-emotional affection, and if I do give it, it does not mean things have change. My way of bonding, mostly is through Swords ways (talking, sharing). This is the sign that I am intimate with you, if we share deep thoughts often. This is my intimacy and it does mean something! Please don't treat it as less.

06 - What you need from significant others

I don't really mean to have a significant other relationship that is strongly different from a friendship. For me, it is not a strong line between "dear friendship" and "significant other", mostly because I do not want romantic relationships and I'm only a little bit sexual.

But, from people who think of me like that, what I need most is:

* Space. A lot of space, and, not to feel that I reject you if I need space. This might mean I can't share a bed with you. This might mean I can't share a room with you. This might mean I am happy when you are not there, even if sometimes, I also am happy when you are there. If this make you sad, I am not the person you want.

* Let me go first. I am much, much better at showing affection if I am allowed to be the one to do it. If you can't wait for me to come to you, then, I am not the person you want. If you need to shower me with hugs and kisses because the contact I am making with you on my own is not enough, then, I am not the person you want.

07 - Warning Signs

If you are physically with me, the big warning signs that I am shutting down look like this:

* I am replying to your questions with "I don't know" or babbling or flapping my hands
* I am staring into the distance and not moving or interacting
* I seem to be panic about small things that don't seem like a problem

In this case, please leave me alone until I recover. I am overstimulated, continue to try and get my attention or ask what's wrong will only cause a problem. If you can give me a soft comforting thing like a blanket or coat over my shoulders or a toy to hold, and just let me sit and space out, that would be wonderful.

Online, it's not so obvious, but if I am responding a lot with only short things, I might be overwhelmed. I have a bad habit of not mentioning it. If not sure, just ask, "Are you overwhelmed?" And, be prepared to let me be quiet, if I say yes.

08 - How you show love/care/affection

Often... I don't. Eheh. (´・ω・`) Or, I do, but I will do it by talking to you. Swords part of me again. If I am sharing stories with you, if I am excited about your thoughts, then, that is my way of showing affection. I will not always say sweet things to you. I will very be practical. I will talk but maybe not seem to feel. That is more comfortable for me.

I do like gentle, emotional, sweet things sometimes. But, it's very hard for me to do if it's expected. Normally, it is a kind of thing I will start. I don't expect also to have it returned, and, if I have it returned, I don't expect (or want!) that romance will grow out of it. I just like to be affectionate to people, but, I don't mean for it to make a commitment. I say kindness just because I feel kindness, not out of a deeper meaning.

So, the main thing is that I might show deep care and affection, but, it doesn't mean I want a relationship. It just means I like you. I like being your friend or close person. But, it's not a hint that I really want a commitment on a romantic level.

09 - How best to show love/care/affection to you

Don't.

No... that's not exactly serious. But, it is worth it to note that my first reaction on this question, is to feel something like, "do I really have to?" In many ways, most human kinds of affection can make me uncomfortable.

On the other side, it also can depend on the person. I am very contradictory and, that also is something unfortunate to face when dealing with me. Sometimes (most of the time?), I don't want your touch. I am comfortable be told I am loved... only if not in a romantic relationship. Being told I am loved from inside the relationship, or having a lot of physical affection showed, can make me feel pressured and horrible, even to the point of triggers (and is a big reason I think I am aromantic/just don't want relationships). Same, if it feels that the touch comes with any kind of expectation, I can't handle it. Sometimes I like it if people ask consent to touch me. Sometimes, it annoys me. It really really depends on the person.

I think the rules could probably be explained best like this:

* Talk to me. My relationship with you is individual and how to show love and care to me will be very different depending who you are. With some people, hugs might be the right way. With some people, I will be angry if you try. It doesn't mean I like you "less", it is based on the particular nature of our relationship, and, what I feel that your words and actions mean.

* Listen to me. Nothing for me, is more caring than feeling I have a space where I can talk about what it's like to be me, and be accepted. So, lusten to me and understand me, and let's talk in detail about our thoughts, is much better to me than any hugs.

* Don't be offended if I say no. Be prepared that I might say no, and, treat it as a strong line. "No" now does not mean "yes" ten minutes later. And, the more you are trying to bring the time closer when it can be "yes", the more chance that it will never be "yes", ever.

* Don't be offended if I react badly to touch. Please, think of touch like petting an animal, because that is what I am. Sometimes, the aninmal will be comfortable with petting. Sometimes, they will suddenly hiss or turn away if it's uncomfortable. If I do these things, don't be offended. Remember you are petting a wild animal trapped in a human body.

* Take me on adventures. If I seem like I am lost and numb, remind me of who I am. Take me glamourbomb. Plan something magical and a little dangerous.

* Write me stories. Talk to me about some detailed fun thing. Connect with the Swords part of me. But, also be prepared that I might wish to be left alone.

* If you do wish to show physical affection, non-human kinds (nuzzle, curl up with me, groom my hair, etc.) are better than human kinds.

10 - Final Notes

I'm not as scary as I sound! Normally, I am polite and forgiving about these things. Because of that, I don't usually say them directly. But, that is causing problems for me, because I accept things in my life that I don't really wish, or, even make me uncomfortable or trigger me.

So, I decided to fill this meme as a polite (I hope?) way to introduce this stuffs... please don't be too stressed about it, because, if you have been interacting with me, and we still are friends then, even if you don't do all thid "right", I am probably okay and handling it. It's just some ways you can help if you have the spoons, and, I understand when people don't.

Date: 2011-11-22 10:15 pm (UTC)
sweet_sparrow: Miaka (Fushigi Yûgi) looking very happy. (Scenarios)
From: [personal profile] sweet_sparrow
Question: how do you feel about hand-hugs or wing-hugs? I'm... not much of a physical person, but I'm fairly huggy. I usually offer them rather than assume people want them (at least unless I know them and am surer of their wishes), but I want to at least try and remember your preferences on them (which involves asking what, if anything, you'd be okay with first). I might forget, though, and a couple of times at that, but... I wish my memory was better. I so hear you on feeling like a bad friend because that's exactly how it makes me feel when I do it. I don't mean to forget things, especially not those that are important to people.

But that may be delving a little too far into the person I am there and I really just wanted to ask whether you'd be all right with either of those (or both or neither) because I don't want to cause you hurt or upset by accident like that. (I seem to offer them most readily for/to comfort, if that's important for you to know.)

Date: 2011-11-22 10:42 pm (UTC)
sweet_sparrow: Miaka (Fushigi Yûgi) looking very happy. (Scenarios)
From: [personal profile] sweet_sparrow
*grateful*

I usually go 'offers hug'. Does that work for you? I'll mess up a bit - or a lot, I'm not sure - more often if not because it's a pattern and I can't change those easily, but I won't be hurt or offended or anything if you decline. ^-^ I'd rather hear 'no' than have people accept when it'd do them harm to do so.

Date: 2011-11-22 11:36 pm (UTC)
sweet_sparrow: Miaka (Fushigi Yûgi) looking very happy. (Confused)
From: [personal profile] sweet_sparrow
^-^ Then 'offer' it shall stay. ^-^

*bobs head back, confused* Why wouldn't I be?

Date: 2011-11-23 04:12 am (UTC)
cereus: Ringtail Cat climbing tree (Default)
From: [personal profile] cereus
Thank you for the info.
A Question: is there anything to do to make sure you don't feel pressured, that there's no obligations?

This is a really great set of questions.

Date: 2012-02-23 05:34 pm (UTC)
wearetheweavers: obsessiveicons (LJ) (Default)
From: [personal profile] wearetheweavers
I've read this before, but I still find it interesting, to see someone lay all this out so plainly. Thank you for doing it.

And would you particularly mind someone else stealing it? I feel like it could be helpful, to try and get thoughts that bounce around my brain out. I do better freewriting with a push than freewriting on just anything, so.

Also, if you don't mind, I'd like to add you under my proper journal. I am really awful about getting back to this one, and I really do want to read yours on a more regular basis. Would that be okay with you?

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little swan child

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