CeCee spent her annual 2 week Christmas vacation with me as she’s done for the last 15 years. For the first time I gave up on her. I gave up force fitting her into the normal world of museums, art galleries, restaurants, sporting events, theaters, malls, and parties that she has absolutely no interest in. I gave up forcing her to speak in complete sentences and so by default I stopped talking to her. I gave up treating her like a person possessing a normal brain that wants to be part of the normal world. Instead I allowed her to do what she wants to do, such as speaking in one-word bursts when she wants something (“Eggs!” for breakfast, “Ribs!” for lunch, “Cake!” for all the time, “Laundry” for Tuesdays), browsing the grocery stores for an hour to inspect colorful packaging, listening to musicians performing holiday services, and sitting in her favorite chair entertaining herself with her own thoughts.
CeCee is 40 years old now, after 40 years CeCee has outlasted all of our combined 60 years efforts to pull, push, and drag her into the normal world. The efforts did pay off though, CeCee knows proper expected behavior and by all accounts she is one of the easiest person to work with for social workers. I believe I was the main force in that one because I refused to allow her to be violent simply because she’s autistic and therefore somehow exempt from normal rules of consequences. Mom and Dad were absolutely useless in that area, it was perfectly okay by them that an out-of-control mentally disabled person beat, try to drown, push down the stairs, and beat some more out of her baby sister
They offered me no protection from CeCee and continue to force me to share a bedroom with her “because she needs socialization” even though CeCee’s definition of socialization is to go over to my bed while I’m asleep, grab my hair, pull me out of bed, drag me from our room, and throw me down the stairs. Mom and Dad forced me to take CeCee with me when I visited friends “because she needs socialization” even though my friends were terrified of her and for very good reasons, she took every opportunity to knock them down onto the concrete sidewalks and punch them repeatedly in the head. Even the troublesome teenage boys kept out of her way. A lot of angry parents went after Mom and Dad over CeCee’s actions but Mom/Dad ready excuses were, “They’re racist! They’re ignorant and do not understanding autism!” And, “They’re racist!”
At 8 years old I decided that I was going to hit CeCee back. It was then I discovered that while CeCee was great at attacking, she had no concept of defending herself. She never defended herself and I almost felt guilty for defending myself by stopping her attacks by landing single strong blow to her body. I felt guilty, again and again I felt guilty for stopping her attacks until she stopped attacking me all together five years later. But it will be another 10 years before CeCee stopped attacking people smaller than her and even then she watches, testing the boundaries to see if the new staff is a vulnerable target.
I looked at CeCee and said, “If you weren’t autistic would you be a sociopath or a psychopath? Because it seems that your default setting is to attack and beat people if you can get away with it. What is the appeal of attacking people?” CeCee, as usual, is silent. A high functioning non-verbal autistic who is my sister in name only. We don’t have a sisterly relationship; our relationship is that of a caretaker and receiver. I sometimes wondered if God made CeCee autistic so that she would be put under surveillance and control by me because if her true nature is sociopathic or psychopathic then it might be the U.S Marshals who have to take her down after she inflicted serious damage to society.If Mom has permission from a governmental authority (say, Nazi party or the Red Guards), she would unhesitantly commit a wide swath of murders, maybe indirectly but nonetheless unhesitant in her involvement. Bree agreed with me on this scenario, one of the few things we agree on. Mom has no interest in museums, art galleries, restaurants, sporting events, theaters, malls, or parties. Mom’s favorite activity seem to center on sitting in her favorite chair and entertain herself with her own thoughts, very much what CeCee did during the 2 weeks she stayed with me because I gave up force fitting her into the normal world.