I think that we can all agree that the Human dental system is one of the many things that the species needs to evolve out. Fear not, I will not spend too much time in this article talking about dentistry. It is only important to set up what I wish to talk about in the rest of this writing.
You see, like a lot of people, my teeth are not in the best of conditions. I have had several of them (somewhere on either side of half a dozen) removed in the past sixteen years. The first that I can clearly remember getting removed was removed because it was growing at an angle that can best be described as wrong, and was breaking apart my gum in the process. Said gum has never completely recovered from that, with the area around the socket basically flapping during brushing about like a muscle in seizure. Some sixteen years, at minimum, after the removal, I might add (my memory of events around that timeframe gets a little fuzzy as to the exact time, sadly).
When I was a child, I did not deal well with dentists. During my childhood, I was taken to a number of them for what I suppose was routine dental work. For reasons I am still not completely understanding of, there was a period where I saw one dentist a few times, then was seen by another, and another, and so forth. The one that my family eventually settled upon was probably the worst kind that one could take an autistic child to. Never was there a rhyme or reason to what she did that I could discern, and nor did she ever make an effort to explain it properly. It was just simply “your teeth have [insert words here], so I am breaking out the drill”. Total disregard for what pain I may or may not be in. Oh, and talking to me as one would talk to a baby. The manner in which phrases like “jelly band aid” (okay, seriously, what in the unholy motherfukk?) flowed from her mouth… in light of that, peoples’ seeming inability to understand why I am such an angry person is flabbergasting. I do not honestly know how I put up with it for so long. I made so many protestations of being taken there to my mother and anyone within listening distance that after my last appointment there, which ended with me leaping up from the chair and swearing at the dentist, I was surprised they were surprised.
There was a bit of a gap in which I did not see a dentist at all, except for what I will refer to as emergency situations such as the previously-mentioned irregular tooth growth that threatened to rip apart one of my gums. But I think the best thing about going to a new dentist and clearing one’s mind of expectations is that one can get to see a dentist working from a clean slate. One who will tell you exactly what the situation is, what their logic is in trying to treat it, and the results that they expect. One who will talk to you like you are a grown man with a strong hand in the decision-making process, as opposed to someone whose age is below three years, whose IQ is below 80, or both. When one is autistic and does not know it yet, that alone can make all of the difference in the world.
On this day, Wednesday August 1 of 2012, I went to see a dentist. This dentist that I refer to happens to be a good one. Of course, one has to take this in context. He has only seen me as an adult, but he has taken the time to listen to me explain the difficulties involved as I know them, and the ideas I have concerning how best to deal with those. He has not only put in a new filling on one tooth that is literally more filling than bone, but also extracted an old one, and I still continue to go and see him. This is a marked contrast to the other dentist I have mentioned. During one episode that I watched of Get Smart when I was a child, I believe I heard a character that the Don Adams character was in prison with say that he murdered his dentist. The fact that I treated this as a good idea, in spite of my intelligence and then-limited knowledge of how this world works and why, should speak to what I thought of that other dentist.
So in order to understand what I am getting at, my visit to this dentist was over pretty much before it began. As soon as the dentist in question began touching his fingers to my mouth, I began to retch or gag. Not as violently as I do sometimes when I am having nervous reactions to things going into my throat, things like liquids or food. But enough that even in spite of my efforts to bring it under control, the dentist basically decided he would not be able to do what he was intending to do. So, after some discussion of the matter, we have agreed that the problem is most likely anxiety-related, and that I need to see a doctor about getting that under control first. I will not get into the things that were eating me up inside just prior to when I turned up at the office, but suffice to say that anxiety from things like the local Woolworths apparently deciding that I am not an actual whole person might have something to do with it.
So I will be going to a doctor and asking them for help with anti-anxiety things. But unfortunately, this is also the basic point at which I have to call it quits not only with the place I am living in, but also Queensland. For far too long, I have been sitting in a basic second-class-citizen position and giving Queensland, both its social services and the portion of its people that I interact with, chances to change. And I think their response to that can best be summed up by the fact that I would now rather live in a toilet block in Sydney than in a mansion in any part of Queensland.
You might have read my previous writings about hypoglycaemia and various aspects thereof. Well, one problem with severe hypoglycemia is that when one is in the middle of experiencing it, one tends to scream for help as loudly and as much as they can. Why? Because when one cannot even stand, and operating a telephone is a difficult operation, one exhausts every possible option in terms of getting the situation fixed. And I mean every possible option. Wandering out into the street naked, screaming for help, whilst barely able to stand for more than a few seconds… you can say what you want about me, but I have done that. When your blood glucose is so low that you are one chemical reaction away from a coma, you will do whatever it takes.
But that does not stop neighbours from being assholes about it. This is why the proxy character in my writings known as Kronisk is able to make others experience exactly what he is feeling or imagination when he exerts his energy in the right fashion. I would dearly love to be able to give a neighbour who thinks it is acceptable to respond to a shaking fit by yelling obscenities at them the following morning from the neighbouring back yard. Yeah, I love to live in a neighbourhood like that just as much as I like being told that I have to live in it despite my constant statements concerning not being able to cope.
This seems to be a pattern of constant repetition in my life, in fact. David Bowie had a song called Repetition that was basically themed around a couple in which domestic violence is a factor. The thrust of the song is that the cycle just keeps repeating itself over and over. The reason for this is left open to interpretation, but so many of the badly underfunded social services in society will tell you that in such cases, mere support is insufficient. Intervention is the only way to get results, especially in the long term.
I will use an analogy here. When you have a person fighting you, as in punching and kicking, and you need them to be out of the place immediately, you do not gently shove them. You push them as hard as you possibly can. If you feel that your life is endangered by the presence of this person, you will push with such force that if they do not break anything in the process, that is their own good luck.
When it comes to people who are on the autistic spectrum but do not scream, urinate on themselves, and flail about at the sight of steaming water, social services in general seem to think that a gentle shove suffices. Even what that autistic adult can prove that they are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and now some sort of anxiety disorder. What in the fukk does a mostly-functional autistic adult have to do to get some help that he actually needs here? Jesus on a rubber horse, and people I have spoken to from social services wonder why I regularly entertain the idea of going into one of their offices and self-immolating.
What makes this completely inexcusable is that whilst the social services of New South Wales failed utterly and had slightly over two decades in which to do it, Queensland has been working from accurate information for nearly as long as I have been in it. Failing on the basis of confused, incorrect, and difficult-to-correct information is one thing. But when you have had the exact truth of the situation explained to you at length, and you just sit back and watch a person’s life go further to shit, you are no longer Human in my eyes. Ergo, with perhaps one exception, Queenslanders are not Human to me.
Okay, I could go on and on about how Queensland sucks until I am blue in the face. But you have to wonder about something. What kind of society pushes a vulnerable individual into a position where they need help of this magnitude, and then flat-out refuses to help in any meaningful way? Of course, I hear claims and arguments that it is preferable to just being left to die, but I have to wonder. Being dead at least means an end, ad infinitum, to the mess. And if a mess is not cleaned up within a certain timeframe of being made, it tends to fester. It tends to get worse the more it is left alone and untended. Queenslanders seem to believe that simply ignoring a problem will enable it to resolve itself. Whilst some eighty percent of illnesses are self-resolving, things like anxiety attacks precipitated by difficulties with a living environment are not among them. And if there is one thing that every medical doctor will happily tell you, it is that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The people I am addressing with this next statement know who they are. You could have helped me to prevent this state of affairs. You could have let me fix this before it reached a point where I cannot even get my teeth fixed because slight contact is making me gag.
David Bowie has a song called Sons Of The Silent Age. I love it. So much so that when I first heard it, I bought the album it was from (“Heroes”) before the song ended. I might have even bought it before I heard more than a minute. It is only slightly more than three minutes in length, but it is an awesome song, one of several from that album. So I will quote from it in order to describe the sort of people my male parental unit thinks I should have my tongue in the arsehole of:
They don’t walk, they just glide in and out of life; They never die, they just go to sleep one day