I went to a meeting about my youngest daughter at her school. Fantastic meeting the deputy and her Pastoral care teacher, they are so all over her problems I love them. I love her school, Swan Valley Anglican Community School most fantastic pastoral care program I’ve ever even heard of.
Back to my point, so they had some great ideas about placating my little hothouse loon. Tash is currently having issues with substitute teachers and gossip (year 7). Then they mentioned the dreaded words; social stories. I love social stories, embarrassing as it might be to say out load the adults in our little autism & anxiety collective need pictures to help deal with stressful stuff. But Cat 23 and Natasha 12 are too old for social stories and similar coping methods, Lisa 45 is not too old for social stories, fiddleys & cuddly toys but she also cries in public and sometimes uses baby talk (that’s me).
I volunteered to write her social story for them. I had written a few years ago, but they didn’t have to be shown to teachers, Anglican teachers. So I was petrified. My style of writing is mean, I am famous (in our immediate family & incredibly few friends) for mean cards. I take pictures off the internet and make up words to annoy the recipient on their special occasion (the secret is never pick on a real sore point) for example for my mother’s birthday I moved chronologically from the big bang to the emergence of homonids finding what era matched her life milestones; my unproved theory is she is younger than the sun but older than the moon, and her teaching career initially involved dinosaurs.
So meeting Friday, stress worry, but by Saturday morning I was sitting on my mother’s couch (Drama for Gavin & the two youngest) giggling over possible slurs for substitute teachers. Saturday night I tried to draw a picture for the cover but transferring it to the computer messed it up. Sunday night I had finished the Substitute story, 32 pages A5 leaning heavily on pictures from Deviant Art, Harry Potter and Doctor Who School Reunion (I’ll stress about copyright later in this post if I remember).
Then the trouble started; I got praised. I became over ; I took it to KSP writing morning; I got advice and wasn’t hosed down. One man told me to do a theraputic trial and then apply for rights to the pictures. I was out of my mind on praise. I finished the second book on Gossip; 42 pages with Deviant art, Taylor Swift and Zombies. I was putting bookclub into the staff pigeon holes in the school staff room (I was in the staff room is all you need from this sentence so far) when I got more praise for ‘Substitute’ & I forced the poor lady to read ‘Gossip Girls’ right there. I was heading for a year 7 coffee morning so I got the stupid idea that the school might use these books and got more praise & encouragement. I also got the good advice of drop the zombies if the books are going to be used with under 13s Thank you. There was one dissenter in the largess of praise.
Problem: How can I tell the difference between people being nice and true praise?
Especially as I am known as autistic, depressed & easily upset. I cry, tremor & fall down in public, its not a well kept secret.
Of course when I went home my family and a woman from the Autism Association built me back up again and I gave copies to the lady (support coordinator) to talk to her manager about.
Problem: If I’m going to pursue writing and writing therapy books it is going to take a lot of time (I have got a lot) but a bit of money (we are very short on money). If people are just being nice I am going to waste a lot on producing these little sample books and am eventually going to be upset when they fail. How do I work it out?
Problem: The biggest possible expense is going to be getting permission to use other people’s images so any help I can get there is going to allow me to stay on this ego trip for longer.
I’m trying to reillustrate the books with my own work but it takes time & my cartooning is even more dodgy than my writing.
Ever since I blew all my potential by being too crazy & depressed to do anything meaningful in my life I have been looking for a way to do something, anything to give back, to be useful. Even in my immediate family my husband is the one that shoulders most of the burden. I think I need this. I think that yet again I am going to selfishly sacrifice everyone else’s needs (just a little this time) in order to boost myself. Because I can’t continue to live with failure when I’ve had a tiny glimpse of success.