Language is hard, very hard, but, more so if you are one who is autistic. It is not always the ability to be articulate in saying words, as it is to express a complete thought or meaning. To me, my brain is like a gumball machine. Except my brain is full of red gumballs or (scripted words) and my machine has only one blue gumball which is the prize or (very core of my emotional thinking).


Sometimes visuals come to me,  and gives me profound thinking,  but getting to the blue gumball may cost me many quarters, because the red gumballs are blocking it, forbidding its escape. So I have to keep investing the quarters (expelling so much of the stored scripted words) or red gumballs, to just get to the blue one. But once the blue one emerges my insight can be profound.


So in this metaphor, the red gumballs are my scripted stored words, words that clog my systems, the blue gumballs are my emotional thinking, which I have no scripted words too, and then the quarters are my investments, they are my  tools of gaining access to my strengths.


Sometimes though, people will come to me and ask me a question, seeking guidance or insight. Before I can answer them, I have to invest a quarter in my gumball machine. As usual a red gumball comes out, leaving me frustrated because I wanted the blue one. I try again and put in another quarter, and out comes another red. After several tries, and many wasted quarters, I being to rage at myself, for the machine is not cooperating. I hit my brain with my fist trying to un-jam the gumballs. And again I insert another quarter, but this time a broken red gumball comes out and jams the machine completely. I then find self emotionally drained, as the quarters are my key to obtaining the blue gumball which is my responses, my relatedness, my emotional being, but after spending so many quarters I now feel emotionally bankrupt.


I know occasionally a blue gumball comes out, with insight of profound thinking that I know exist within me. Sometimes others get a glimpse of this from me, and because of this insight, they come back expecting me to just produce a blue gumball on demand. If they only understood the depths of their demands on me, which is beyond my ability, then they would not have asked such a request of me. But, they out of ignorance are asking me to play a lottery with my emotional being. Some days I have many quarters that I can gamble with, but other days, I have only a few quarters and I am not willing to sacrifice them, for there is no guarantee of getting a blue gumball this day. So I resist and react with a vengeance, and can come off appearing aloof, withdrawn, distracted, and if the demand on me to give is high enough, I will fight for my own self preservations with all my might.


Since the gumballs are my words and I am not investing any quarters I have no means to verbalize my frustrations, so I react by physical means of investing energy in other outlets. Some see this as behaviors that need extinguished, they lack knowing that what they want to extinguish is my own survival techniques. My own self preservations,  so I can live among the world that treats me much like a machine, a gumball machine, seeking the blue one from me as if it is their own prize, for self gains. And when I refuse to give them a blue one they pound at me, kick me and call me names like, “stupid machine”.


All of us have seen them, the sorts of people who in the real of life invest money in a vending machine, and the machine malfunctions and does not give them the item they purchased. Their reactions are instant frustrations and attacks to the machine.


Well I am not a machine but a human being who deserves more dignity than a vending machine. So if you want to me to produce a blue gumball then provide me with the quarters.


Written by Sondra Williams

Copyright January 20, 2004


"We each have our own way of living in the world, together we are like a symphony.
Some are the melody, some are the rhythm, some are the harmony
It all blends together, we are like a symphony, and each part is crucial.
We all contribute to the song of life."
...Sondra Williams

We might not always agree; but TOGETHER we will make a difference.


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