The Chameleon and the Girl with the Caravan of Art

Chameleon and the girl with the caravan of art

Chameleon’s.  Girls and women with Autism are great chameleons.  We naturally copy the actions and words of those around us.  Trying to fit in.  Trying to navigate our world.  Trying to learn what it is to be human in the cultural context relevant to us.

The problem with being a chameleon is that sometimes, say, when you are sick and/or disabled and you end up spending 99% of your time at home with no other women around, and no visitors, you end up with a black void of life where there used to be light and colours.  You run out of colours yourself and become your own black void.

You lose who you are.  Even who you were.

Sometimes, this can be a great thing – a chance to really find yourself and figure out who you are without all the noisy colour around you fighting for your attention and worming its way in to your personality.  Sometimes though, when there is no inspiration, you just become black yourself.

That has been me lately.  Black.  No inspiration and no personality.  Stuck in a rut some might say.  Unsure of where I belong, that’s for sure.  Lost.  Devoid of personality, and of purpose.  Jealous of my friends who have some idea of who they are – the advocate, the writer, the radio personality, the woman with a job of xyz, the stay of home mum doing stay at home mum things (which differs from me, the stay at home mum who doesn’t do stay at home mum things).  People all doing things.  People all interacting with the world and having the world interact with them.  People who have a label, even if they don’t particularly like it at the moment.

Today I bought art supplies, painted my nails black and declared myself “Linda.  The girl with the Caravan of Art”.  I am going to start wearing my long flowing dresses more often, and I’m going to sing in the rain and jump in puddles.  I’m going to buy my caravan and do it up, and then I’m going to do my art in it.  And until then, I’m going to do my art inside and screw the mess.  Becoming me can not wait.

I always wanted to be the old woman with an arty side – free flowing hair and lots of rings, who sneaks in a smoke in the afternoon after work and has wine with dinner.  The woman who paints on the weekends and wears lipstick that most would say is too dark for a woman of her (my) age.

Meh.  Why wait?  I might never have the job, or own my home as in my dream visions of my future, but I can have the rest.  I’ve been arty of late – finding that part of me awaken again has been amazing!  Making jewellery, scrapbooking, my art – even my writing – it’s all a part of who I am if I allow it to be.  Life and I may not be getting along right now, but that doesn’t mean I can’t force some of it inside still.  I am still a force to be reckoned with.  I am still me.


Disability consumer and activist since 2010. Mad as a hatter since way before that.

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Posted in Autism, Disability, Mental Health, Personal
5 comments on “The Chameleon and the Girl with the Caravan of Art
  1. You are Linda the Mad Hatter. You are the woman I admire for her tenacity in the worst of situations and the best of situations. You remind me I’m not alone when I feel alone. You save me when I need to be saved. When I’m mad as a hatter you don’t judge me, you just put on a straight jacket and sit with me asking “well what the fuck are we going to do now?”.

    You are the woman who teaches me our kids are who they are and we should try to change that. Instead we need to change the world to allow them to be who they are.

    You are the woman who stands up for what she believes in no matter what the response will be. The trolls, the blocks, the arguments the stupidity you still tell it how it is.

    You are Linda the Mad Hatter and we love you just the way you are. You might feel a little lost. That’s just energy. When you get your energy back you will realise you were never really lost. Just click your heels together three times and say, there’s no place like home xxx

  2. Belinda says:

    I have been writing about loosing myself and finding myself too. Different circumstances, of course. 🙂 I wonder if it isn’t part of the human condition to loose and find oneself many times over our lifetimes. And you? Well, you are a force to be reckoned with! 😀

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Pissed off since 1995. Mad as a hatter since way before that.

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