Touch The TV Show

Touch the TV show shows an autistic boy, Jake, who communicates through numbers. He’s intelligent and understands the world around him, he’s a fictional character but I’ve grown attached to him and it’s made me think a lot about people and their perception of the world.

Touch, for those of you who don’t know is Kiefer Sutherland’s TV show where he plays the father of an eleven year old autistic boy who communicates through numbers rather than words. Jake, his son is highly intelligent, he understands everything in the world around him in a way that everybody else ignores or more probably, doesn’t have the capability to understand. I know he’s a fictional character with a completely fictional back story to match, that’s why I’m not going to delve into the story line any further but watching the TV show has got me thinking a lot, more than any other TV show ever has. 

Jake seems neither happy or unhappy and through lack of verbal and physical communication it’s hard to decipher if he is ok with being this way or if he really does want to participate more in society but through his autism, lacks the power and skills to do so. Autism is an illness or a disability, truth be told, I’m not sure what is the correct term to use. I know it affects people in different ways and it’s such a broad scale that it can be difficult to diagnose. 

What would happen if all communication broke down? If we all chose to not communicate would society still exist? 

For some people, I understand they don’t have a choice in the matter, they can’t communicate. I’m choosing not to communicate in certain areas of my life at the moment but the very fact that I’m sitting here at the moment writing this, is me communicating, just in a different way. I don’t feel much like verbally speaking to people at the moment, I’d rather sit alone, read and drink my coffee but if I bumped into a person on the street, my automatic reflex would be to apologise and move aside for them to pass. I have the tools to communicate, I’m choosing not to at the moment. 

Jake seems content not communicating. Not happy or sad, content. I’m not happy or sad but neither am I content.

I want to scream until somebody pays attention. I want somebody to hear me, really hear me. I want somebody to actually understamd the pain I feel and understand why I’m hurting. 

I was born healthy, equipped with all the tools to communicate, yet I can’t. I like Jake because he can’t communicate either, I know I’m going to feel stupid by the end of season two when he miraculously starts being able to communicate better than I can but I’m ok with that because one day, something will happen and I’ll be able to do it too. 

-A

First Childhood Memories

I think childhood memories impact the person you will become in the future or at least I think mine influenced me.

What do you remember as a child? 

I don’t think it’s possible for children to remember the most important times they had growing up or the happiest or even the saddest memories. Perhaps that’s just me. I feel like my childhood memories are like a blanket with holes in it. Photos and stories told to me by adults which document the early start to my life, that’s the blanket. The safe, reliable, easy to relax with stories and memories. Birthday cakes, visiting Santa, various witch costumes for Halloween and happy days out with lost since lost childhood friends.

The holes in the blanket appear when I struggle to think back to what I personally remember. 

Let me just also state that I didn’t have a horrible childhood, not by any stretch of the imagination.

I remember things differently to how the photos look though. My very first memory, I couldn’t be more than four years old was of my father trying to teach me how to read and write in his language, Japanese. I remember that I could understand the English letters but I couldn’t grasp what he was trying to explain to me. I remember his voice getting louder and louder, eventually he snapped and threw everything off the kitchen table and threw the book at me, as I ran under the stairs for cover. I didn’t understand what was wrong or how it had switched so quickly from a father and daughter bonding to getting hit in the face with a book. 

It didn’t make sense. 

I was a bright kid, I could tie my own shoe laces when I was three, I could read and write before I started school. I would finish the maths text books set out for the year within the month of September. I was an over achiever but I never tried to learn Japanese after that. I never felt that anything I done was going to be sufficient.

My father was raised in a different time and place but he’s still very much stuck in his ways. I always think back to my childhood with him, growing up and every single memory of him is bad. 

There’s photos of him carrying me as a baby, me sleeping on his chest as my mother took the photos… I can’t remember these times but if I could, I think I’d be a very different person today. 

Why is it that I can only remember the bad when there’s evidence of the happy? 

Every memory I have of him seems to be me disappointing him. It made me give up eventually. 

He’s still of the opinion that women do not wear make up, paint their nails, dye their hair and other such archaic ideas. 

When I was sixteen, I  got my first tattoo, a huge taboo in the Japanese culture and I continue getting them to disappoint him over and over again. I’m not stupid, I know it was so I could feel like I was in control, I was making the decision to disappoint him. I didn’t know it at the time but I’ve come to learn, that’s probably why I done it. 

Now I’m nearly covered in them, just a few spaces on my legs and stomach left to cover, yet I still think back to those childhood memories and how it could all have been so different…

-A

Social media disguise

Social media is a lie of ourselves we portray to the world. It is the best version of ourselves we are choosing to put out to the world or at least in my case it is.

According to my social media I have a really fun life. My instagram is filled with scenes from nature walks and wildlife, my snapchat is filled with cups of coffee and lunches in the park, my Facebook profile shows a girl who looks younger than she is, healthy and smiling. If I didn’t know myself, I’d probably be slightly envious of that life. 

My instagram pictures of walks in the mountains and strolls by the river are my days out when I want to cry aloud and be by myself. Nobody bothers me out there. Nobody to hear my cries and nobody to see my tears. The cups of coffee on my snapchat are how I calm myself after a panic attack in public before I can face getting on a bus home. I update my Facebook picture about once a month, a picture of me, smiling and happy, putting on a front to the world so nobody can question how sad I really am. I’ve taken my job down from my Facebook page so nobody knows I’ve quit my job. I’ve put myself “not saying” in the relationship section so nobody knows about the fact me and my “other half” aren’t even friends at the moment. 

It makes me wonder because I can’t be the only person doing this. It’s all an online illusion and why do I feel the need to put up the pretence? 

What would happen if I posted a photo as I am now, getting sick all day with panic attacks, red eyed and blood shot from crying? Would anybody like me then? People like me because they think I get up and go on random little adventures with my time off. Would people like me if they knew the real reason why I like walking by myself? 

This photo might look pretty but while taking it, I was crying. Not cute little sobs but convulsions with tears streaming down my face.

What was I crying about? 

Nothing in particular and everything at the same time. Everybody “liked” the photo because I made it seem like I was having a good time. Would anybody have liked it if I’d told them my hands were shaking trying to steady the camera? How I sometimes like to take photos and edit them later to make myself feel better because I feel like I never appreciate anything when it’s right in front of me… 

Letter sent… 

This is the last thing I’ve sent my boyfriend. He can’t even be bothered to reply. Am I wasting my time? I need help.

“​I don’t know how to make everything between us better again or even if there is a way to make it better again. I was happy with you. I loved going shopping, making pancakes and all the stupid little things that I took for granted at the time. I’m sorry, I fucked up and I’m trying so hard to make it right. I’m trying to show you that I want this to work. I don’t want to fight anymore. I’m so sick of fighting with you and with everybody else but mostly with you. 
I’m sick of loving you and spending so much time arguing and worrying about if you love me or if you want me in your life. ******, I want you in my life. I want to be part of your life too. I want to be with just you and I want to be able to trust you when you tell me you love me. 
Why do you even love me? 
I spend so much time thinking about how much you hate me that I don’t have any reason left about why you would love me. It’s so hard to be with you at the minute but I don’t want to give up. I want to stay with you. I can’t give up on us. You mean everything to me babe. 
I wish so much I could take back the past few weeks but even before that, things were weird between us. I’m so embarrassed about how you treat me and the things you talk about that I can’t even talk to anybody about it. I’m embarrassed for myself for putting up with it because if somebody told me that, I know I’d tell that person to get out of that relationship. I can’t seem to do that with you. You hurt me every time you do it and I keep staying. I can’t walk away because I’m in love with you. I don’t want to be another girl that walks away from you just because things are tough. 
****** I still want all the things we’ve talked about. I don’t want a life with anybody else, I want it with you. Just you. Do you understand that? Does that make sense to you? You can go and ask any of my friends behind my back how I’ve spoken about you in comparison to exs. From the start I told them you were different, even my mom. I told them that you were the person I’d been waiting for, the person who made sense to me and treated me with respect. I still think you’re special. I still think you are the one and things are hard now but I don’t want to bail and give up. I don’t want to be with anybody else and I don’t want to be on my own. It’s not a case of me staying with you because it’s easy either. 
Like you said, this is hard and giving up and moving on is the easier option but in a years time I’d still think about you and wonder what would have happened if we tried. In five years time I’d still think about you and wonder if you were happy. That’s why I want to stay. I want to stay because I love you and I think what we have is special because nobody has ever made me want to stay and work through a problem. Nobody has made me fall in love and nobody has made me want to settle down and try and be normal, have a home and a life. I want that with you. 
I don’t even know if you believe that anymore. I have no reason to stay other than my love for you. I hate this feeling of not being able to touch you because I’m afraid you’ll brush me off. I hate feeling like you can’t stand to be in the same room as me. I hate the way you can’t even look at me. I hate knowing that I caused part of the problem. I want to fix it. 
Do you? Because we need to do something about it if you do. I don’t want to go on like this. I don’t know if we can fix it but for the sake of everything we could have I want to try baby. I really want to try and I’ll do everything I can to make it happen if it’s what you want too. You’re the single most important person to me and my own fucking insecurities made  me act the way I have. I don’t feel attractive or like myself and I haven’t for a long time. I’m trying to work out these things on my own too. I love you and I want you so much. It makes me weak but I do love you more than anything else or anybody else. I’m sick of trying to tell you how much you mean to me but I don’t know what else to do.”

This is what I’ve sent to my boyfriend, so far there has been no response and I don’t know what to do. I’m sick of putting my heart out and getting nothing in return. I want him to respond. I want him to put his arms around me and tell me he loves me and he’s willing to work even a little bit as much as I am. Is that a lot? He hates talking so we end up texting things back and forth but it’s not the same as talking face to face. It breaks my heart. 

I’m starting to think I’m really wasting my time. 

Relationship Goals

I’m a disaster in relationships but I don’t know if it’s my fault anymore. Sometimes I blame him, other times I blame myself for being a pushover and letting him away with it.

As I’m 26 I’m not as naive as I have been in previous years and in actual fact, I think I’m probably quite realistic when it comes to a relationship. I’m not expecting a whirlwind romance like you find in movies and books. I’m not looking for a knight in shining armour. I’m not looking for some tall, dark, rich and handsome guy to walk in and sweep me off my feet and take care of me. I actually hate the fact that those romances exist, even if it is only fiction. It leads girls (in particular) into a false sense of reality. 

I don’t think I expect much from a relationship. 

I want somebody to do nothing with. Somebody to waste time with. I want somebody that is reliable and who wants to challenge me. I don’t want a push over who will agree with me on every debate. I want somebody who will support me and love me in spite of my imperfections. Somebody who will make me feel safe. 

Is that a lot to ask for? 

Because if it’s not, then why do I always pick the wrong ones? 

I don’t even have a type. I don’t go for guys based on looks. I go based on personality. Somebody who can make me smile and laugh. Every single one of them though has been a failure once I get to know them. Somebody who puts on a show to win me over and then just drops the pretence once I’ve been sucked in. I’m beginning to think it’s my fault at this stage.

I think I’m a good looking girl. Slightly underweight maybe but not sickly thin, more toned than skinny. I’ve a fat ass that’s too big for the rest of my body and small tits. I’m mixed race and I always get compliments about my looks, especially my eyes so they’re down below. I’m polite and friendly, even when I don’t always feel like acting that way. I know the right places to nod and laugh in a conversation. I don’t think I’m a bad person. I just seem to attract bad people into my life. 

I guess you could say that with my track record in relationships, I’ve grown accustomed to being mistreated and it’s what I’ve come to expect. It’s what I think I deserve. 

This relationship is tough. I got sucked in with smiles and jokes, laughs and dates. I met his son and grew to love the two of them. I wanted us to be a family. I got up and made family breakfasts and came home and did family dinners. I cleaned the house and made it a home. I ironed shirts and looked after a sick child. I was happy to do it when I thought he wanted it too. Now I’m not sure what he wants. 

Sometimes I think it isn’t me he wants at all. Sometimes I think he just needs a cleaner in the house. 

We don’t have sex, he fucks me and thinks of other girls. How do I know that’s what he thinks about? He says it out loud, my sister, my cousin, my best friend… Even my mother. I’m never enough. 

What is wrong with me that every single time I feel like I’m taken advantage of? 
-A

Reading as a distraction

My life isn’t boring, it’s just shit. Reading is my distraction when I’m depressed.

I should have known I was becoming depressed from the amount I’ve been reading the past eight or nine months. I’ve always read a lot, even as a kid I’d fly through book after book. I had the reading age of a fifteen years old by nine. I don’t know why but at some point along the way I stopped reading so much and started binge watching TV shows on Netflix and movies that I genuinely had no interest in. 

Reading takes time and effort. It puts you into the shoes of the protagonist. Movies and TV shows give you an insight, yet they can never display the array of emotions the way a book can using words. You can become absorbed by a book, if you let it. You can take on the feelings of that character and picture yourself in their life. You can read it aimlessly as ultimately you’ve no control over what’s happening next. It’s not like real life where you’re expected to make a decision and communicate with people. 

I’ve read hundreds, if not thousands of books where being the narrator has seemed much more appealing that my own life. It’s not that my life is dull and needs to be shaken up from the mundane, I just don’t like it. In fact I hate it. 

Sitting here in and waiting room, writing this, passing seconds until a therapist is ready to see me next. How much I wish I could tell them somebody else’s problems and not my own. The fact I want to lie to them… Does that make me more fucked up? 

-A

Normal therapy… 

Tomorrow is my first day of therapy but I can’t sleep because…

Is it normal to not sleep the night before you’re first therapy session? I knew going to bed I was going to sleep tonight but just in case the four panic attacks I had today didn’t give me enough to think about tonight, the messages from my ex certainly did. We’ve been broke up two weeks now and if I’m honest, he’s not the reason I need therapy but he’s the reason I’ve pushed myself to go. 

He told me tonight that he loves me and he hates disrespecting me… Go figure that one out and come back to me. If he loves me can he not stop? If he hates it can he not just quit it? What does he even mean by disrespecting me? The emotional torture he’s out me through for months? I don’t know anymore. I wish I didn’t love him and I wish I was strong enough to turn my back on him. 

Instead I’m left crying tonight, still wishing he’d let me go home while wishing I’d also never met him. He keeps giving me a sense of hope that we can work this out before ripping it away again. Every time it feels like I’m going through it all again, each time hurts more than the last. I’m broken. I can’t break anymore or there will be nothing left to break. 

Maybe tomorrow will make it disappear.