Mind over matter


There is no doubt about it. The mind is amazingly powerful. People have healed themselves from terminal illnesses just from willing it away with the power of their mind. The old adage states that you can do anything you put your mind to. But is the mind reactively the sharpest and strongest of our functions?

It takes parents training their children constantly in the art of “biting the tongue” before children can even come close to being able to sensor their emotions. And if you have a child like mine who has Aspergers, this is exponentially harder as people who have autism often have no filter or take even longer to learn how to implement one. My daughter literally says everything that she thinks. She is a constant babbling brook. She narrates everything she does and thinks. Yet she scored in the 97th percentile on the first ever standardized test that she took last year in both language and spelling and 96th in social science. This is almost 20 percent higher than the rest of her actual class. So her brain is more than developed. Yet she can’t use that brain power to tell herself to keep thoughts inside her head and quiet to save her life. She functions on constant reaction first. This poses a major issue at home when she expresses every single thought out loud, she can come across pretty rude and obnoxious when she is told something she doesn’t want to do or hear. Even with medication, she has a hard time controlling the reaction that her brain has before she speaks.

For me, I have always been overly sensitive. This is based on my incredible high levels of anxiety. It is both genetic and environmental from growing up in a volatile home during childhood. I used to cry EVERY SINGLE DAY OF MY LIFE. I couldn’t help it. Whatever it was that would trigger me that day, I couldn’t hold back the tears no matter how hard I tried. And believe me, many times I tried. I hate how splotchy my face gets when I cry. I look like a red and white cheetah for hours after I have cried. It is utterly embarrassing. I couldn’t begin to start controlling the tears until I finally got on both an anti anxiety med and a beta blocker that was originally prescribed for my migraines but also happened to work amazingly for my anxiety and crying. I have been able to remain a functional human being despite all of the challenges I have faced in life. And so many people who have gone through far less than I have are far less functional than I am. My mind got me through all of that. I self healed. I have only ever seen a therapist for 2 months of my life and that was last year to help me deal with shifting the relationship dynamic with my parents. I handled my life entirely on my own, which is even more amazing. I am adopted which is a trauma in an of itself, I was raised by a father with Narcissistic Personality Disorder and a mother who has multiple psychological issues because she was mentally and physically abused by her mother. My mother was a pill addict for a few years of my life. My father is gay that I uncovered when I was 21 and had to tell my mother and confronted him. They still remain married today despite his 13 year affair with the same man until that boyfriend of his died earlier this year. My father took his own insecurities out on me and my mom because he can’t handle who he is. I raised 2 teenaged stepchildren full time whose addict mother turned them against me which posed some major tensions and issues for several years. My biological daughter was just diagnosed with Aspergers which does not make her defective, but it makes things challenging as a mom. Things have never once been easy for me in my entire life. And I’ve dealt with a of this entirely on my own, through the power of my mind. But when I’m in the heat of the moment, I do not react well. When I feel overwhelmed, I cry. No matter how hard I try not to, my brain can’t stop my reaction from crying.

As a music teacher, I have started to percolate on a very large scale idea that I will eventually be able to put together in to a larger presentation lecture or book and maybe develop a product. But one of the large themes that this is based on is that I have noticed in lessons with my students that the visual input trumps their logic. Regardless of the fact that they can answer immediately after playing something incorrectly and give me the correct answer as to how they should have played it, if there is some inconsistency in the way the music is printed that makes it look visually different than it should logically or than it does normally, they will reactively play it wrong.

There are ways to sharpen the brain and exercises and brain games for many things to advance our logic skills, but the reactivity in some areas, especiqlly the sensory areas, needs some development, if it can ever be overcome. Perhaps our senses reactively are just more powerful. And maybe this is why my brilliant child with Aspergers struggles with sensory input and emotional reactivity. She may be more highly evolved than I am. I have not found that to be out of the realm of possibility, that people with Aspergers actually have more highly developed and advanced brains…food for thought.




Author: Alice Funk Farie

Ecclectic Eccentric, Adoptee, Mom of a child with Aspergers Autism, Complex-PTSD from childhood trauma, Daughter of parents with Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Dependant Personality Disorder, Anxiety and Depression Warrior, Empath, Indigo Child, Musician, Educator, Wife, Stepmom, Martial Artist, Artist, Philosophizer, Quote Collector, Survivor

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