#AKF Always Keep Fighting
I finally got my #AKF Always Keep Fighting tee! It has taken a while to arrive to destination, but I finally have it here with me. And with it comes the opportunity to get more personal on this blog. If you’ve been reading me for a while, you’ve already noticed that I don’t really get that emotional nor I tend to share many deep personal experiences. Yes, I do fangirl a lot. Yes, I do give tips on some topics related to living with my Vulcan… But I’ve never go beyond to a certain point here. But, today I want to change that and open a little bit more my personal door to you.
I love how Jared Padalecki has shared with the world his journey of always keep fighting. His message is strong and sound while giving example for others to follow. The brain is an incredible machine that sometimes works in a different way. We expect it to be perfect, and sometimes it fails. Other times it is just wired in a different way. I want to talk a little bit about that wiring.
I met my sweetheart Vulcan in Tokyo in an art exhibition where we exhibited three friends. I was dressed with a black and white dress and I wore dark wings. According to Supernatural fashion, I was an Angel. According to the attendees I was the fallen one. Whatever the case, the Italian I met that day made it into my heart. (A little bit astonishing taking into account my fashion choices.) And there we started our journey. Funny at times, and a little bit of lost in translation other times. I used to think that our lost in translation moments were due to the cultural differences between us. “Oh! Italians!”
Taking into account that we met in Tokyo, one of the geekiest hubs on earth, one must not be surprised to know that we are a very geeky/nerdy/dorky couple. I am a social beast who loves conventions and geeking around. Tokyo offered me the perfect ground to show up my weird in all my glory. So, you can imagine me popping here and there with a smile on my face. (Tokyo is one of the best places on Earth to be a geek, seriously!)
Back in 2011-3-11 my Vulcan and me experienced the Megathrust that changed so many lives in Japan. It was not an earthquake, a tsunami and Fukushima’s radiation, it was an experience that would strengthen our relationship further still. Many couples around us were broken. Tokyo was in shock, and our world changed in the blink of an eye. Despite this, we kept our plans about coming back to Europe in 2012. And so we did.
Europe, the old lady. Imagine that taking a plane makes a whole more than just changing place A to place B. My life in Japan was over and I came back with my Vulcan to the old Europe and changed all my habits in… hours!? People around us were unaware of the challenge in trying to make it back the old Europe after 8+ years living in Tokyo. I suffered a great “reversal cultural shock” that made of me a super paranoid Mad Max. If you’ve been living in Tokyo, and know how comfy and super safe it is, you will understand that coming back to EU makes of you, by default, a paranoid person. I wasn’t used to see such an amount of “foreign people” around me, nor I was used to keep my eyes on my bag at all times. It might sound silly, but for me going out was like going to kill orcs! (In Tokyo you get used to be a minority, foreign people like you are not so many, and so Europe seems like a strange place when you come back.)
I was cut off from all social interactions in the blink of an eye. Suddenly, I was not only a total stranger back at home, I had nothing to share to the locals, uninterested in the topics I am interested in. It was not only information that was not matching the expectations of people around me, but also my fashion, gestures and even pronunciation which made me a challenge for them. So, all my geeky social life was gone. And the type of social life that the place offered me was not of my liking.
To this add the fact that family needs to adapt itself to you, and you back to them. It’s not the same coming for vacations than staying for more than three months. They start to notice your weird, and you start to get pressure from them. And from friends. They expect you to be the exact person you went to Japan, but you can’t be that one. All my experiences have changed me. I cannot be exactly the same, nor I can be expected to know what happened on the Brig Brother while I was abroad, if you know what I mean.
And to all this mess of reversal culture shock, unable to adapt back and zero social life, add the discovery of autism. I went out to take a coffee with a friend from University, and for some reason we ended up talking about her autistic uncle. By that time I had no idea about autism. She started to tell me about many funny situations her uncle gets into because of his autism… but, I got shocked! Many of the odd stuff that her uncle did was pretty much what my Italian Vulcan was doing since I had met him. I felt like I had discovered something that would have a great impact on us, so I needed to make sure. So, I started to read online about autism, and I found a test online. We both took the Aspie Test (I tricked him into it) and his results were staggering: his autism was more than clear. Still, a test online isn’t enough. So, the next step was to find a therapist that would treat autism in adults and check out if the online test was accurate. Again, my tactics were that of getting both of us tested so that he wouldn’t feel bad. I didn’t know at that time but he is totally blind to this type of empathy. I could have just asked him to do that, and he would have done it without feeling bad at all. And when we found the therapist, and we did all the test, the results were there: my Vulcan has High Functioning Autism. (I’m using the easy terminology because symposiums on this have changed it again. Maybe in the future they’ll change it yet again…)
What happened was a journey of self-discovery for my Vulcan that would make him make sense of all the funny and odd stuff he used to do, or ran into. However, I went down to feel really bad. My life had changed too quickly, I was in middle of a cultural shock, cut off from social interactions and now I was flipping because suddenly your dorky guy is autistic. The cocktail of circumstances made me feel really bad: welcome to anxiety and insomnia. I would be a zombie in the morning, and an owl at night unable to sleep. I would go up and down unable to realize that what I was having was anxiety, and by the time we found out I was pretty much not wanting to do anything. What was the point? (You get the picture.) But we kept fighting.
Thanks to the autism of my Vulcan, I’ve had access to a new world of options. He’s offered me new perspectives that I had no idea were out there. In fact, he has this strange ability to make me laugh always. And when I say always it means in any case, even in those times I’ve been super low. Granted that some things are weird and challenging, but it’s his way of handling stuff in such a different way that has kept me amused and intrigued. And the good part of all this is that we’ve both learnt things from each other that have enriched us in ways that we haven’t imagined were possible.
So, for me the message of “always keep fighting” is a strong and positive one. Keep on it, keep on going. The world has in storage amazing things for you!
Ps: If you want to know about Autism there’s the film of Temple Grandin. This film was really helpful to understand what my Vulcan sees into his mind (see the scene with Temple with spoons, or with doors, etc).
I also recommend her way of explaining how there exist different kinds of minds. So, if you have some time, just take a look at the video below.
From time to time I post tips and daily life stuff about me and my Vulcan here. And yes, I like to call him Vulcan because he sometimes feels like Mr. Spock (though he is a mix between Mr. Spock, Data (Star Trek TNG), Sam without soul and Iron Man… It’s hard to define, so I use bits and pieces of characters from different shows, movies and comics.)
Copyright: Images on this post (C) depepi.com / Memes (C) by their owners.
I definitely need to snag a shirt for this cause! Also, crazy that you were in Japan during that time…I truly can’t imagine the fear that comes with a situation like that. Thank you for sharing such a personal story!
Jared’s #AKF tee is over already. But I think he’ll make another run. I suppose that it’ll be with another design. There’s still a day to grab Felicia’s one though ( https://represent.com/felicia ) So, you could give it a try if you want 😀
And well, the earthquake, all the aftershocks that came, and all the things that happened that year were crazy. But, so far we reacted pretty well. But I got sea sickness on land. I mean, it moved so much that many people got sea sickness (myself included). I couldn’t eat anything during that night. We were quite lucky (on a 4th floor). A friend of ours was living on a 15th floor O.o I think he couldn’t sleep much, so finally got some days at a friends house. A friend who lived on a first floor… And I remember weeks of shakings so… It was… weird to say the least.
That is so scary…I’ve never experienced an earthquake and I feel like the complete and total lack of control over things would be the most frightening. So crazy.
And I did know this shirt is done (poop!), but I’m sure a new design will come out and I definitely want one then!
Well, since I arrived in Japan back in 2004 we were told that the big earthquake that would destroy the city would come. (Nice welcome as a student LOL ) So I got used to that and all the drills and info. However the big one for Tokyo wasn’t the one I experience. The Megathrust was from the northern part, so there’s a huge one still coming. I just followed all the rules that the Japanese told me to do since I arrived, so, in that sense I was more like a robot. But, still, got sea sickness…
And yeah, I really hope he goes for another tee campaign. I’m sure I’ll get one too! 🙂
Side note: maybe I should write about my experience during the earthquake? What do you think?
Thanks for sharing this. It must have been tough to share something so close and personal to you. Definitely Always Keep Fighting but remember its ok to ask for help too! Much love Charlie xx
Thank you! And yes it was tough… it took me quite a while to write it. I’ll remember about asking for help! Thank you!
Thanks for sharing this, Pepi. I can imagine that experiencing culture shock the way you did and finding out that your fella is autistic would cause quite a bit of anxiety:/ Anxiety is really tough to deal with, since your body does all these weird scary things and your brain KNOWS it’s just the anxiety but you still can’t make it stop…I started up on some medication for my anxiety a couple months back but I’m still experiencing quite a bit of it anyway. It’s always helped me a bit to know that I’m not alone in this fight:) And I just looked up Megathrust…holy crap that’s scary!
Oh Ashlee I hope you are feeling better right now. It’s really hard… Please AKF <3 And yes, a culture shock is quite annoying and enerving, and all things mixing was a great cocktail to swallow.
Oh yeah, Megathrust is as scary as the word looks like. I am thinking that it might be good to write about that day. The funny note: it strook when I was sipping coffee. I saved the coffee, the mug didn't break. And astonishingly, the furniture all was okay, and nothing broke in our appartment (despite all the swinging and all the noises). It's spooky, yes… 😮
I love that you shared something so personal, Pepi! Beautiful post. Also, I am so glad that you two found each other!
Thank you!!! <3 <3 <3
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