Tuesday, May 28, 2013

All About Jack...

        Not sure how many of you have seen the 1996 film " Jack "staring Bill Cosby and Robin Williams.  Robin plays a 10 year old boy named Jack with the genetic disorder Progeria.  By the age of 10 he has the body of a 40 year old man (Robin does) and Bill plays his teacher/tutor at home.

        Robin (Jack) has never gone to school, his health too fragile, his parents too protective (who wouldn't be, right?)  

        I watched this film yesterday and cried many happy tears.  No, I
don't have Progeria, but I can relate in so many ways to the character of Jack.  You see, I'm the opposite, I really am a 50 year old man, but inside me is a child of about 10 years old.  I'm not saying the typical "I feel like a child" to which someone responds "you are as old as you feel", not the same thing at all.

        What I have discovered about "me and ACC" is that I have the intelligence of a 50 year old man, a high IQ, testing... I live in the much the emotional world of a teenager.

        While to others it may seem not so, this is only because those with ACC seem relatively "normal" (really hate that word) until they reach the age of about 9 to 13. In neuro-typical children, this is the age when the Corpus Callosum begins to mature in humans.  It has many many functions, but amongst them the CC is responsible for the formation of social-consciousness and social communications .  It is also assists the frontal lobes in higher reasoning processes... i.e., the skills that allow us to take rote knowledge and make something more useful. For example rote knowledge is mathematics, but algebra is the more useful.  

        I understand the theories that exist in algebra perfectly, but lack the "working memory" or shortest term memory that enables individuals to carry on such tasks.

        Anyhow, getting back to social and emotional development...

        Those without a CC, like myself, and those with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) have tremendous difficulty with these skills.  The reason it may not appear so to others (usually only at first glance, stick around us, and you will see the incongruity, I promise) is that we learn to parrot these behaviors.  In order to not get "dumped on by those around us....  So when we do  (and will) get to real life conflict, our self-imposed ruse breaks down, and those around us, react accordingly...also many of us self-judge and self-hate because we are unaware that we are doing this.

We become experts at parroting socially acceptable behaviors, in order to stay out of conflict with those around us.  Even so, we do not always (or usually) understand all the implications of and reasons for said behavior.  Most often many of us aren't even aware that we are doing this.

        When my brain was scanned in 2009 (I think was the date) prior to beginning chemo for an unrelated condition...the Neurologist said to me rather bluntly "are you aware you have a missing CC?"  (I always knew what the CC was, and the implications of such, but didn't know that this was my congenital defect as well.)  The first thing I did was to call my sister (my God-sister soulmate/True Friend) Troya on the phone.  She said to me "well, how do you feel about this?"  I remember saying something to the effect of, "WOW, I'm not really sure?"

        It was very quickly after this though, that I knew what I felt about it.  It was the most liberating knowledge ever given to me (in regards to the "real" world), I could feel myself, to use the modern parlance "embrace my inner child" with the hug it had waited for all his life.

        You see, I always knew, I knew that I was different, that I wasn't "broken" or "mentally disturbed" or "psychopathic" (all labels my own parents used on me, and I co-opted as my own truth.)  Now I had a reason, now I understood that I was literally wired differently than most of the human population. (Full ACC from genetics is rather rare.)

        I have learned to love this inner child...but this is the rub..you see, he is not my "inner child", he is this one's personality, brain, ego, he is gurudasa/joseph/whatever I am called, and always will be.  I wasn't embracing my "inner child" but embracing my true (insofar as human personality, not spiritual) self.  I am no longer seeking to change myself in order to fit society's or anybody's standards of who and what I "should" be.  I was told that I was "too heavenly minded, to be any Earthly good."  So be it, perhaps now, I can bring "a little bit of heaven" into the lives of each and everyone I'll ever touch.

        All of you that come to read my blog, but especially the other-abled, please hear what I have to say.  The most powerful healing, the most complete "recovery" you will ever experience in your personal life, is self-love, self-acceptance, the true understanding that Life has made you who and what you are with a specific purpose, and this world cannot be complete without you, it simply isn't possible.  

        Jack's Journey was to accept that he was a boy quickly aging around his peers, appearing to be a man, my journey has been to accept that as I age as a man, I will always, in many ways be just the little boy "Scott" as my parents named me.  What a wonderful journey it is, too!

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