A Patient Veteran, A Beloved Wife, A Sweet Irish Setter And Now My Life by Rick London c2016

By now most know Lee’s and my love for animals.  For much of my life, that meant domestic animals such as dogs and cats, and the occasional iguana or hamster, but for the most part dogs and cats and horses.

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I had surmised by the time I was ten or so that I may be the biggest animal-lover in the world, thanks to my late friend Dickey Randolph who, though six years older than me, took the time to teach me about dog care. I got my first Irish Setter from him.   And though I will never forget Dickey’s kindness and goodwill (we stayed friends until his untimely death several years back), I know now it was dogs and cats I loved.

I mention that as, I’d never had anyone explain anything that important to me in detail, that stuck with me throughout my lifetime, and became one of the most important parts of who I am; and most likely began my quest as being a vegan as I am now too.

Part of that “memorable miracle” with Dickey was that I was a disabled, but not diagnosed child with Autism (and now of course an adult with autism).  I was quite hyper, didn’t make good eye-contact, and my attention-span was dismal.

He didn’t care, nor did  it bother him in the least when he returned from Viet Nam, a multi-decorated hero, and very good man.  His guidance led me to the curiosity of nature and animals, and Lee took me to further explorations into the forest to see it in all its glory and how animals behave.  I never get bored with that and it has a very healing nature, very similar to the dog I got from Dickey, “Rusty”.

animal collection lion sleeps mug

I didn’t hate cows, pigs, sheep and chickens, but I dined on them.  Along with overcooked veggies that was my staple until college, at which time McDonald’s took over as “the family kitchen”.  I look back and wonder how I ever lived through that, and in reality, almost didn’t.  I was still 35 years away and two major heart attacks from “seeing the cruelty” in what I was doing.

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Having owned one of the first health food stores in Ms. with a $10K loan from the now defunct (like my health food store) Bank Of Hattiesburg, with a preacher from Glendale, Ms. who was later bought out by an ex-math professor at USM, I had an early curiosity of health foods, yoga, running etc.  It never occurred to me that something as simple as animal protein (including dairy and eggs) was not only holding me back, but eventually killing me, and how I didn’t die on at least 4 occasions has stumped all my surgical specialists.  I am a blessed and grateful man.

I went full-fledged into that business.  Most of my “education” came from salespersons with high-school degrees and books written by outdated writers.  Food science was moving forward as fast as one could turn a page.  The animal sciences were not far behind.  I was dedicated to trying to eat right, take the right herbs and vitamins, run marathons, and you name it.

I have since learned that cooked vitamins might as well go in the toilet.  To my knowledge there is only one firm that makes 100% organic vegan raw vitamins and that is “Garden Of Life” which we buy in powder form from Amazon or Ebay.  It is amazing and one can tell the difference immediately from the ones we see advertised on tv often which have had all/or most of the nutrients and more importantly live enzymes cooked out of them, so they are useless.

I learned that herbal tinctures, in most cases are far better than the tablets or capsules as far as potency. I also learned that organic and wildcrafted are every bit as important.  In addition I learned that “organic” in China would not pass for edible in the U.S. (for herbs and vitamins).  There’s still much more to be learned.  Not all of it works. Some of it is nothing less than miraculous.   More learning.  It’s neverending.

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Enter Walmart, a new “box store” to the town and exit my store, an old overpriced relic.   I sadly closed my doors in 1981

So I spent some time educating myself regarding food sciences and animal science.

I was married in June 2010 to my beloved wife Lee Hiller-London (Lee Hiller of Hike Our Planet)who became a vegan one year later. I had already read the health benefits and how it helped the planet but that still wasn’t, for whatever reason enough for me. However I did go mainly vegetarian for a year before my conversion to veganism.

animal collection beaver pillow

It was impossible to watch Lee’s positive changes and not want that for myself.  I didn’t know if it could happen but I was surely willing to try.  She’d lost about 90 or so pounds and about 20 years of age.  I was astounded and still am.  But that was not her goal. It just happened.

She was very patient with me as my evolution kept going with at least some dairy or cheese and finally I said, “I’ve had it”. I thought she’d be surprised but she was not in the least.  She said, we’d both cook alternate days and eat as much raw as we could, and that is just what we did.  I had no idea I would not only actually like it, but crave it, and the thought of my old “food” never even crosses my mind.  I truly don’t think my body could absorb it.  Lee kept looking and feeling better and her mood became very kind. It was not an act.  I’ve seen lots of acts.  This was a natural evolution.  I wanted that too. (Still working on it  LOL).

The life changes are dramatic.  Forget the goodness to the planet, and though I am tickled to death that it happens, there is nothing that would take me back to my old eating lifestyle. I say that because there is no such thing, really, as a vegan diet. Veganism is more of a learning/lifestyle philosophy.

A Robin Williams Tribute Cartoons from 2003 by LTCartoons.com

A Robin Williams Tribute Cartoons from 2003 by LTCartoons.com

Well, Lee retained the good looks, common sense and brains, and I got to feel human maybe for the first time.

Because nobody gets it perfect (I was told that would happen by Ed Begley, Jr.) on Twitter….. (It’s a long story)….I’ve decided not to become a militant vegan, and that fits me well. While I would love the planet to all turn vegan, I also know as Ed told me, “It ain’t gonna happen”.  I would love to live the rest of my life on the planet not killing any animals, but again, it’s not going to happen.  Even in the making of my computer animals are killed.  Lee and I kill insects for instance on our hikes, our ride to the grocery, etc. but not on purpose of course.

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So I wish the Gandhi-wannabes good luck, and let me know how that turns out.  When curious persons are ready, they usually ask us questions. Lee has come up with the idea to have them start with a Meatless Monday which is now a worldwide movement.

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As time goes by and they are still interested, I often direct people to YouTube to watch Sir Paul McCartney’s “Glass Walls”.  Any time I’ve growled or gotten snarly, they ran they other way and ate more meat, with guilt, more meat, nevertheless.  They didn’t want to be much like me and who was I to blame them.  So I changed, and hopefully so did they.

armadillo tee

Meantime I’ve put together a collection of my favorite animal cartoon gifts and tees and I have a lot more in the store collection.  A percentage of each sale benefits various animal and/or vegan causes.

Also for yet even more entertainment, there’s plenty on my cartoon website.

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Happy laughing…and eating….and hopefully shopping!

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Rick London is an author, songwriter, designer and cartoonist.  He is best known for launching Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts from an abandoned tin warehouse in rural Ms.  He is married to his best friend and hiking buddy, his beloved bride Lee Hiller-London who owns the nature photography blog Hike Our Planet. Though of course cetaceans are animals (Dolphins, Orcas etc.) Rick keeps a separate section for his ocean mammal friends (gifts).

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Autism Awareness Vs. Autism Awareness. Which Is Best? Can You Do It? Should You? BY Rick London

“Okay I gotcha, Rick. So your brain is neurodiverse and mine is neurotypical…What do you expect of me?”
Glad you asked.
autism suit
Acceptance, not awareness. Accept if you like me, and not if you don’t.
It’s really that easy.
Either way it’s win-win as if you like me, chances are I’m going to give it a chance to like you as well. If you show signs of prejudice or fearmongering, I’m far out of your way before you are mine. Been there done that got the tee.
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Top mental health professionals tend to agree that if a child is autistic, and purposely un-diagnosed and hidden away; that is,  created as a scapegoat, s(he) has ptsd or Cptsd and possibly a myriad of other issues.  If fortunate, he/she will seek professional help and stick with it until the answers come.  I’m here to tell you after 30 years of such professional help, the answers came and hit me like a ton of bricks. LOL.  Takes a few months to pick up the pieces.  I also get great support from Lee and consistent therapy.
I got my official Autism diagnosis at age 61 and it was a very big relief and explained so much in my life. It explained everything from remembering my “meltdowns” caused by the Cptsd of abuse at age 4 1/2, to saving my siblings life in a fire in Oct 1965 on a Thu. nite at 6:45 CST while watching the Munsters on my 11 in b/w GE TV in my attic isolation chamber aka bedroom. It had frosted tiny slit windows so nobody could see in (which wouldn’t have mattered since they faced 20 ft shrubberies).
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During that fire I came closed to perishing had I stayed another 4-5 minutes (I could easily tell by the heat and smoke bellowing down the hall) (and this information, I was told, was not to be re-told, as anything to do with the fire “made my dad nervous). I was only 11 and believed my parents. I mean why would they lie? All these things have finally evolved after 30 years of professional help. It all makes sense. “Friends and “family members”, the few with whom I speak still try to “minimize it” or pretend it never happened or that it’s my imagination (the Autism).
I have a very good response when it happens taught to me by a great therapist. (Silence…a LONG silence so they can hear themselves talk, now in middle age). How long can they carry their fantasy, when all the evidence shows, it’s just that, a fantasy, and it is they who might look within. I’ve spent three decades on my changes with phenomenal help. It’s never-ending and I plan to continue it. Lee helps me every bit as much as professionals in their field.
They say you cannot recover from what you don’t know you have. So you surely can understand how exciting it is for me to know what it is, what caused this, Cptsd is actually not a disease but a very healthy response to witnessing or being victimized in some way.
So now God is giving me a chance to recover from those tragedies caused by some extremely ill people. He also sent me my own Angel Lee Hiller-London to show me how that is done. And I love her madly and love learning (however painful some of that may be) to grow up and be me.
Kenny Rogers Cartoon

By Londons Times Cartoons C2011 http://www.LondonsTimes.us

She was the very first to show Autism Acceptance to me; and in fact prefers neurodiversity over NT (Neurotypical). I am one blessed grateful man who couldn’t have imagined this.
I thought the tragedies and pain would be omnipotent forever, when all it took was one person to “enter my world” and accept me for who I am.
It’s a wonderful world. 🙂
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Writer, designer, songwriter, and cartoonist Rick London is Autistic. He was diagnosed very late in life (age 61) and feels good about it.   He is best known for launching Google #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts.  He is married to nature photographer and gift designer Lee Hiller-London.  They are active in numerous causes including veganism, the environment, animals, veterans and autusm.

We Can Do Something About Isolation, Torture, And Neglect Of Disabled Children by Rick London

Beginning this past January 2016, in the UK, neglecting (willfully not getting diagnosed) an autistic or otherwise disabled child, and instead, putting him/her in unbearable living conditions such as isolated attics, basements, cages etc. (which is severe torture same as prisoners of war and banned by even the Geneva Conventions), and/or manipulating the child financially in childhood and at times into adulthood may result in a felony with 14 year federal prison sentence
For an NPD family model (Narcissist Personality Disorder) the scapegoat child being
created (they don’t “just happen”)  only need to be treated dramatically different than the other children, or if an only child, neglected, abused etc.  If the parents have the resources, it is ideal to build an attic and/or basement, with “all the accouterments”. It is the bedroom that “everyone wants”…the “cool bedroom”.  That seals the ruse. Nobody suspects a thing….except the savvy psychiatric community and many film producers now.  They “get it” the minute they see it.
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As predicted, America is quickly following suite. It is so good to see this atrocity corrected for this new generation. Two thumbs up for the UK and USA. Real civilization before our eyes…. and the culprits are falling into the fringes of society (just don’t realize it now). Always, please always, keep these, and every other case of which you hear or see alive.
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Keep a candle lit for these domestically-neglected/abused disabled. Thanks.
Report quickly if you even “have a bad feeling” from what you’ve seen; yes in your own neighborhood. NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) is pandemic in our country. It doesn’t always involve an attic, basement etc with “a wayward neglected child in it) but often does. Otherwise, America could easily fall back into the dark ages.
In America, it is now considered domestic violence and severe neglect and (from what is predicted) the laws are getting much more stringent). One can only hope/pray so.
autism bill gates
Some with Aspergers/Autism Turn Out Fairly Successful If
Recognized And Diagnosed Young By Caring Parents (See Above). Let’s open
the gates for all the rest.
Those who are decent, please never remain silent, ever. Fighting for this new generation of children, to prevent the atrocities, is the only humane thing to do. To remain silent is to remain who you were. If you are satisfied with that, then by all means do so. If you want to help children without a voice from suffering needlessly PLEASE SPEAK UP. You’ll be okay. The Narcissist/bullies can no longer (legally) hurt you. You can fight back with huge support.
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Disabled people are now officially the largest minority in the world, and clearly I am not the only one who was neglected, isolated/tortured and lied about (so as to be a “bad child” rather than a disabled/autistic child).
I feel confident as we find out more about this monumental population of disabled and/or autistic people on our planet, millions were treated as if they didn’t exist. In fact most their families/later communities too, wished that.
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Now the communities are discovering who the real monsters were/are, thank God. It may take time for it to sink in, for the communities not to feel intimidated by the monsters (who actually it turns out are generally well-dressed and/or behaved cowards), and speak out with impunity.
From what I understand they will have to, or the rest of the 21st Century will pass them by. And that would be a shame that a few powerful narcissists can hold an entire society hostage to continue their brutalization of the disabled and Autistic. How much hate can someone have in them?
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I want to recommend a film that my beloved wife Lee Hiller-London had seen and suggested I see. Thank God I did. David O. Russell got it totally right in “Silver Linings Playbook”. The cast was perfect. The golden child was perfect, the scapegoat in the attic, and Robert DeNiro got the “distant father” perfect and his wife played the enabler as well as anyone could. The “wayward adult child/now adult in the attic”, turned out to be “the sanest one”. Please see this film. Russell doesn’t make such films unless he knows there is a huge audience, and he knows. It’s pandemic. It sold a lot of tickets for a reason.
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Rick London is a writer, designer, songwriter and cartoonist, best known for his launching of Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts.   He is married to nature photographer Lee Hiller-London (Lee Hiller) Nature/ Wildlife Photographer and founder of HikeOurPlanet.com
#crime #torture #autism #disability #ada #americanswithdisabilitiesact #recovery #happiness #lifestyle #success #autism #aspergers #mentalhealth #mentalillness #culture #society

Living Well – Fine Revenge This Valentines By Rick London

Today is Valentine’s Day.

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For many years that day didn’t mean a lot to me, whether I was in a relationship or not.

That may sound like a “call for pity” yet it is just the opposite.  I know now how blessed and lucky I am, not just to have my wife Lee in my life, but both of us understanding with what we deal; autism as well as building our lives together.

Some think I talk about autism too much, and that’s too bad and their issue. Autism is very much who I am, why I do what I do, and how I do it.

For numerous years professionals wondered how I “lived through what I lived through”, and there are times when I did too, yet they never told me what it was in which they were amazed about.

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More than one psychiatrist I told I was hidden away in an attic at age five which lasted my entire youth up until age seventeen and then thrown to the wolves.   I am sure most of them knew what that meant, but maybe most of them felt it was best to tell me I had been severely abused, simply by the act of “residential segregation” and the very different rule structure set for me as compared to my siblings.

They also felt it best that my siblings were quite abusive as well, for the most part of their own survival.  That part I understood and even forgave. One extremely well-versed very well educated therapist told me, “If they’d had a backbone, if they’d had an ounce of good in them, they would have turned off the “hate Rick campaign” and done the right thing, as adults after your parents died, but they were too ambitious to “have their name in lights”.  I could easily see them given that I’d had my name in lights several times (and it was highly overrated). I’d never scapegoat a sibling to do so, nor did I ever.

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So given the abandonment (and even abuse) combined with the autism, it is beyond comprehensible to most that I survived. I did have the wherewithal to continue seeing professionals in an extreme effort to find out what had happened to me.  Remember, I didn’t know I had autism, nor that I’d been severely abused until I was 61. I was programmed not only to fail but to die young.

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And that’s probably why I decided I was not going to die young. In spite of two major heart attacks 3 surgeries and stents, I was determined to discover what had happened and who did what.

Then came Lee.  She loved me and loves me unconditionally.  She helped me in my quest, so that I might not dismiss abuse when it came my way.

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Remember, I never even knew I was “at war with my siblings” (I just felt they didn’t care for me) until age 61.  At age 60 I decided to write one of them to let them know of my autism diagnosis. Also of my vanus diagnosis; an extremely painful form of flat feet, also congenital.  As always, I was dismissed by one sibling by email with a line that read “My spouse’s niece had a bit of autism but is fine now. What will you do for symptoms”. (In other words people live with autism all the time.  Get used to it).

Truth be told, most autistic children do not get hidden away in an attic, scapegoated by their entire family, and never diagnosed.  The difference is apples and oranges (than simply “being autistic”.  I survived a pre-meditated war against me, one I never knew I was in, only to find the real truth, and that the perpetrators of that war were rancid cowards, bigots and haters,  and still are.  Now they will coddle their autistic niece to show “their goodness”.   Educated people expect that and are not impressed…in the least.

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I lost it. I was livid.  Symptoms?  Autism does not have symptoms. Autism is who someone is. It is not something to cure. It is something with which to have compassion because the tools to teach autism are just now coming into fruition.

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I told the sibling a thing or two about symptoms (the only true symptoms of such a condition are hate, prejudice and fear) projected by ignorant people, and I made certain this sibling knew what that meant. I never heard from that sibling again and if I’m fortunate I never will.  I know it sounds erudite but these siblings do not deserve to be a part of my life.

I am not perfect, in fact far from it.  But the torture of another person, especially a child who later becomes an adult, to me falls in the category of serial killers and such.  Before you say, “how crude”, so do a majority of the members of the autism groups which have at least 3.2 million diagnosed members not to mention even more than that that are un-diagnosed.

This feeling is real, and the experience/torture is very much of a similar sociopath nature. Those people need help and need it today.  They will within a few years, most likely, find themselves way on the fringe, at least that is what is being reported by knowledgeable scholars acting within the mainstream autism communities. I believe it wholeheartedly.

And I don’t regret writing that. I do not want that kind of “person” in my life, ever.  And though I know they cannot help that they are that sick, they do have the responsibility to get professional help.  After all, I did, and I was not even the one who needed it most. In fact, I am quite at peace with myself most times, knowing that I finally know what really happened to me, and not the “family press release”.

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Yes, I still get the occasional PTSD that I used to get often.  But PTSD is not a character flaw or weakness. It is a healthy response to something very bad that someone experienced or saw.  I can remember having it since age 5 (the year my first attic isolation tank) aka bedroom was built).  Why would a five year old have PTSD?  Child abuse is the reason about 99% of the time. I was part of that 99%.  I survived it and am very proud of that.  Not all do. And that is why I write these blogs.  I don’t believe any of my family will change.  They have too much invested in “the lie”.  But I know others might read it and see hope. I know NPD parents might read it and seek help.  If just one reads it and seeks help, it’s a success.  Torture is torture and if it prevents just one, it proved to be a good thing.

I merely ask you to imagine a 5 year old child alone, isolated in an attic, for 12 years. The first 4 years crying every night to no response (they couldn’t hear me in such a large home and made sure of that).  This causes all sorts of psychological problems, the worst of all chronic insomnia (which is not even allowed in the most brutal wars by the Geneva Convention). Neither is that sort of isolation.  Some parents truly need not be parents.  They are forgiven (by me).  They are also forgotten (by me).   I survived that and I am tougher than I thought.  They are more cowardly than I ever knew.  Sadly, they knew what they were doing.

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The rest of my life went downhill from there.  Until age 58.  That’s when God presented my wife, and there was a definite curve upward.  Beautiful things began to happen.

I realized rather rapidly I was the lucky one by not scapegoating anyone. I was the lucky one for “taking the fall”. I was the lucky one for letting them cast aspersions and tell lies etc.

I  look at my life and I look at theirs.  I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone else.    God made certain I would not only enjoy but cherish my 61 year old Valentine’s Day.  We have wonderful friends, most married who share the same affection for their spouses.

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I now am learning how to navigate life with autism. I realize I read and saw and thought everything differently. I also know that was not my fault.  I was not diagnosed purposely for nefarious reasons. Now I am diagnosed for decent reasons and have a beautiful chance to enjoy my life.  Lee and I will only associate with good people who support our relationship.  If you are one of those who find you are not, do not try to be a trickster.  We’ve seen it all, and we fight back. We will defend our love no matter what.

If you and I have been friends in the past, in real life, but you are frightened to express it due to NPDs and their “flying monkeys”, might I suggest those days are over, and they turned out to be wrong.  Very wrong.

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And if you don’t believe me try contacting one of the major Autism associations.   Most of them know me now, know the dynamics happening, and are not happy with it at all.  It’s very nice to have that support.

They will assure you that abuse and prejudice against autistics will be a dark part of American History. Please, consider siding on the right side of history.  Not the side in which someone might throw you a few nickels or “property one day”, or if you’re really lucky “be a part of their popularity circle”.  Just remember how they obtained that popularity.  With torture.   I will not tell you not to be a part of that.  We all have to answer to our God.  You know best.

You might look at my life and think it was quite unfair.  The real facts is that I was dealt a very bad hand of cards (by humans).  When I let God take over, things changed.  Suddenly my offbeat cartoon of which I’d worked on for 8 years was the Google #1 ranked offbeat cartoon and a few years later my designer offbeat gifts also became #1 ranked.  They have maintained that ranking through hard work all the way up until now (2016).  That is 11 years.  I am proud, very proud, but I clearly understand now it is from a Hand Above and from the loving Support of my Wife Lee.  I couldn’t have dreamed of this.

That may not seem like much, but given there are 100,000+ offbeat cartoons and gifts on the net on any given day (am told), I feel pretty good about that.  Had I been treated fairly, that would have never happened.  So I do have the culprits to thank, and thank them forever and ever.  Nobody has been as good to me (but surely not on purpose), and of course my Angel wife Lee who willfully has been good to me, and has showed me the world in a whole different manner.  I will always push to look at it correctly, and not as a “mean ol’ place”.  It’s not a bad place at all, and most the people in our circles are very very decent.

kenny rogers

Scapegoating toddlers who become children who become adults, with a pre-planned “program” to make them the bad guy and then “buy their friends” is not even considered humane in the very worse cultures and societies.

Sadly, it is done quite often in these United States, and most children/later adults never knew what hit them.  My parents never figured I would have the photographic/date/time memory that gave them away the first time they committed such a crime.  They were busted. They just didn’t know it.  It took me this long to figure out just what the abuse was.

It was so subtle, so professional, so well done in privacy with me; not when other siblings or friends were around, you would have thought it was an Alfred Hitchcock film.  But most Hitchcock films offer a bit of grace and negotiation. Mine offered neither.  I believe with the help of God and amazing friends, I lived long enough to figure it out, and have enough life in me to help others who find themselves in similar situations.

I am able to vocalize to them they are not alone. I am able to shout to them to hook up immediately with autism legal programs, autism support groups, and the like.  They can then safely tell their story and if someone interferes, it can easily become a civil rights matter and that interfering person may just find themselves on the wrong side of history, not where they want to be.

Scapegoating humans and torturing them is horrendous. Doesn’t work nor should it.  It’s hate. It’s prejudice and it’s fear.  It’s masochistic and brutal.  To support it is as cowardly as the act itself.  That’s not you I hope, and pray.

Love is truly the answer

The Beatles were right. Money can’t buy that.  It can’t even buy “like”.

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Rick London is a writer, songwriter, gift designer and cartoonist.  He is best known for his Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts “Londons Times” LTCartoons.com.  He is married to popular nature photographer and gift designer Lee Hiller-London who owns nature blog Hike Our Planet and brand store LeeHillerDesigns.com.

Londons Times Cartoons Autism Signature Series Has Launched by Rick London

autism series

One of my favorite things to do is create things (from nothing) that make people laugh.  Though WebMd doesn’t list laughter or humor as a medicine, folklore has, of course, called it “the best medicine” for several centuries.

And though of course technically that might not be so, it has been proven from studies at University Of Md Medical School that laughter does boost the immune system which can often ward off disease and help people tolerate pain better.autism fluffy cohen trinket box

On June 13th, 2015 at age 61, I received my diagnosis for Autism (well into the spectrum).  This was not a huge surprise.  I guess my big surprise was my wife saw it before anyone else did; or at least she had the guts (and caring nature) to tell me that might be something into which to check, so I did.  And I’m glad I did. It explained so much from my life.  It explained why I was put away in an attic while my siblings lived in the “core part of the family”.  It explained to me why I was “always in trouble”.   It explained to me why it was so difficult for me to focus on a job. It explained my life.

As I began talking to others with a late or very late diagnosis, I learned that the majority of diagnosis today happens past the age of fifty; though I was glad to hear that one candidate, Hillary Clinton plans to change that with early screening for all students.  She seems to be the only one, thus far, with the consciousness of how common it is, and how important it is to get an early diagnosis so that students can learn.  Everything I ever learned was “out on the street” and my return to college at age 47, though I had to drop due to health issues.

After the diagnosis I had to decide whether to keep it secret, or be vocal about it.   After talking with my beloved wife Lee about it for several weeks, I decided to be vocal. I am so glad I did as another new chapter in my life opened.

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I learned rather rapidly who had been my friends all along, and who just smiled real big.  So many abandoned me, which was a good thing; hurtful but good.  I didn’t need that kind of deadweight in my life. I love people a lot, but fake people can be complicated and hurtful.  I much prefer to have less friends, but quality friends, than so many who hate just because something or someone is different.  It makes life much simpler, and enforces that I enjoy my true friends that much more.  They are very decent people as is my wife Lee who stood by me through this. It would have scared a lot of people away.

One thing I taught myself about two decades ago was the cartoon business. I did so by contacting masters in the field. I am not that great an artist, but most recommended for me to recruit good artists and I write the cartoons and create the concepts, “blueprint them” and assign them to the team artists.  That was a big struggle for the first decade and now has stabilized into a very nice collaborative effort. I am proud that my Londons Times cartoons and gifts have been the #1 offbeat cartoons & gifts since 2005. I launched them from a tin shed in 1997.

I like to joke that I learned cartooning “by default”.  It’s actually not a joke, it’s true.  I was fortunate enough to have Charles Schulz as a “phone mentor” and friend, and he told me he got into cartooning “because he tried everything else and couldn’t do it very well”.  That too, was the story of my life.  I don’t think anyone wants to go into cartooning.  They do so because nothing else worked out so well.  I’m okay with that and actually enjoy the creation process quite a bit.

Finally, I have decided to open an “Autism Signature Line” of cartoons which benefits non-vaccine/non-cure Autism causes.  The cartoon themes are our regular offbeat topics; not about Autism or Aspergers or neurodiversity.  The thing that makes them different is that each images features the familiar colorful puzzle in the corner of the cartoon plus Rick London’s signature and his acknowledgement of being Autistic.

The Autism community does need support. It is one of those rare conditions that is both a disability and an ability.  The disability is that our modern society is not catered to the way our brain fires.  Our ability is that the way many of our brain fires, gives us the vision to create and do jobs that many others are not able to do.  This is known as neurodiversity.   The same is true of those without Autism, neurotypicals who can do tasks that we are unable to do.

autism duck dynasty

Most experts agree that the world needs both type of thinkers.  Autism is nothing to cure or correct.  There are traits that can be modified behavior-wise if one wishes, and I do so I participate in therapy to learn that process. It is never too late to learn.

And it is never too late to help others from ones experience, even if it had been a tragedy.  That is one of my major goals for however long God decides I should live. I will always do my best to make others feel better via laughter, and support Autism causes.  I never want a child (or adult) to go through what I did (out in the world without a diagnosis).  So many don’t make it, in fact I’m told most.  That is no longer necessary with the knowledge we have today. Over 3 million Americans have now been diagnosed and it is estimated 2-3 times that many who have not been diagnosed are also on the Autism Spectrum.  Please join me in working to solve issues in this vital arena.

autism puzzle

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Rick London is a writer, songwriter, entrepreneur and cartoonist. He is best known for his offbeat cartoons and funny gifts (Londons Times Cartoons), and now has launched a line of Londons Times Autism Series Line which includes the colorful familiar Autism Puzzle plus his autograph and acknowledgment of being Autistic.

 

 

 

 

 

Autism, Scapegoating And That Which Is Revealed by Rick London

It is said that if you are patient, especially regarding an issue that has been bothersome, “more will be revealed”.

autism flap hands

I decided, for the first year to alert my contacts in the autism network regarding my entire story, so that if anything happens to me, the story will be written.  The whole story. Not just the very late discovery of the condition, but the scapegoating, the being hidden in an attic for 12 years, the current flying monkeys, etc.  So the world is aware.

(For those who aren’t aware flying monkeys are generally low self-esteemed persons recruited by narcissists, who often give the FMs money or material goods or both and pretend to be their friends), in trade to do “their bidding” and purvey lies, rumors etc about the scapegoat in their family-of-birth. This can, and often is a “lifetime friendship”.  Flying monkeys can also often be narcissists as well).  Though most are unaware of “their roles” they’ve been given,  many are aware and enjoy further damaging the real family victim to receive favor from the narcissist.

The second year, I plan to get more formal education on the topic and write a book, and the third year release a film.  I don’t feel those are lofty goals, and I will have more education at that time to temper my knowledge with more researched information, making for a better film.

Autism_Awareness_Penguin_by_shugo974

But back to the people with whom I cyber-associate.

For the several years I’d looked up to one, given that he has a descendant in his family with autism, and he showcases her, especially regarding her accomplishments.  That made my heart flutter; to see a family that embraced the condition, and is actually quite proud of it.

I posted an Anne Lamont meme, one of her famous cynical quotes regarding “If you wanted me to write nice things about you, you should have behaved better”.  I didn’t say I was going to follow that “order”, I only posted it.

npd 12 scapegoat rspons

This kindly grandpa (and good man) wrote under it,  “Oh so now you’re going to write about them”.

Am not sure what he meant by that.  I am in hopes he was just having a bad day rather than projecting double-standards; that it would be okay for me to be abused, but not his own.   Those things happen.

But much more important are the positive aspects of learning of this condition and how to deal with it.  It is part of life. It is biological. It is inherited. It is not something I necessarily wanted.  But it is something I ended up with.

autism not me x0x0x0x0x0x0x00x0x0x

I learned that the woman I chose to be my wife is the best wife anyone could ever have.  She is not deterred in the least by the condition. If anything, she is my greatest advocate.  We both make fun of, and laugh at “some of my little rituals”, mainly because they are, indeed funny, and it’s fun to laugh at that kind of silliness with someone I love dearly.  I like to scrape paint off our walls (really); even in my sleep, I occasionally flap my hands, and other funny things.  Really.

npd flying monkey 2 meme

Also, emails and messages have come in almost weekly, many from my hometown who have told me they have children or other family members with autism, and discrimination is alive and well there (in Hattiesburg).  In fact, they still “eat their young”.  That is sad to hear, but really not so surprising.  Hopefully the next generation is ahead of us in such ignorance and will do the right thing.

I also have received emails from scapegoats of NPD (narcissist personality disorder) families in which they are just now discovering what happened to them, why they are not liked, why the lies have spread to everyone except them, etc.  That is also alive and well.  NPD is a disorder (not a condition like autism) that is addictive and people with it are in denial.  If they are parents they tend to “triangulate” their children creating a “golden child”, a “scapegoat” and often on that overlaps (or leaves) who is the “lost child”.

npd laughter meme

They often don’t help their own, yet are hyperactive in community affairs, doing far more than anyone else in charitable work, but of course it is all a show.  They almost always have “to advertise” all the good that they’ve done.  True charity is very quiet.  NPD charity is fired with a cannon.

Those of us who are survivors of both autism and NPD families will continue to pray for them.  Miracles do happen. People do get better. But only if they want to.

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Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist, and gift designer.  He is best known for his Google #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons and Funny Gifts.  He is married to nature/wildlife photographer Lee Hiller-London who is best known for her popular hiking blog HikeOurPlanet.com.

Enlightenment, Anger And Forgiveness by Rick London

Upon my enlightenment of what happened to me (early in my life) up until age 60, I became angry.  That is normal (many scapegoat children-turn-adult) never lose that anger.  Even more,  never even discover what happened to them, as it is “the family secret” and all participants who choose to engage “play a role” and play it well for their own survival.

 One of the main roles is to help “build the hierarchy” of the dysfunctional family model, by helping the parents scapegoat the “weak child”, hence removing responsibility of their own dysfunction and projecting it onto the scapegoat (and if that model scapegoat is created at a young enough age) i.e. vis a vie triangulation, isolation, etc. it works quite simply.

Of course there are numerous downsides to this type “family model” that are far too numerous to mention. One is the deception and manipulation mentioned above.  The family generally then turns to their community and screams, “See what a madman we have?  No wonder our family is in turmoil”.  Of course it is all based on deception and untruths. 

And though it “works”, this model harms a lot of people (even outside the family unit) as well as the children (not only the scapegoat child).   All models from the golden child to the lost child are angry (at whom, they are a bit confused/misguided) but that’s merely a fact of the NPD family model (they all think they are angry at the scapegoat). Sadly they are not.

Mix in a heaping tablespoon of  Autism Spectrum (with which I was born),  didn’t only make life difficult, it made it impossible.   Believe me when I tell you, Clark Kent couldn’t have changed into his Spandex and flown out of there without some heavy duty kryptonite burns.

Jung and Satir’s psychological and psychiatric papers are chock-full of these dynamics which are the “fingerprints” of any NPD family.  Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled) penned his 2nd book “People Of The Lie” on this very family model.  It is much more commonplace than people know.

So how to heal?  I’ve been reading a great deal on that, and consulting with several top professionals in that field.  I am also now hooked into several large networks that allow me support, and the ADA has assured me they would assist in any external issues that might arise while I attempt to begin my life, possibly for the first time;   and of course my wife Lee is a tremendous support.  Together we are walking through this.

Anger and fear are actually healthy responses to “my enlightenment”.  In fact, I’ve learned that had I not had such emotions, I should be worried.  It would mean I had likely gotten to the point of dissociation and void of all feelings (which would put me right back in the mud, wallowing with the narcissists and their“flying monkeys”)  who continue to occasionally pop up (I choose not to engage with them anymore, however; and that is healthier for both sides

As Katy told Boon in “Animal House” when asked to be his date to the toga party, “I’ll write you a note. I’ll say you’re too well to attend”.  And actually, just as promised from various therapists, once I purged the anger and blogged it, the anger subsided. Have I forgiven the culprits yet?  Of course not.  I know, I know, forgiveness is “the solution” to many things, and I agree, and feel I will forgive one day.

 But if I give a “fake performance” (just to show “how spiritual I am”),  and not feel the anger and “loss of innocence” if you will, that’s exactly what it will be, “a fake performance”.  Fake performances were the very foundation of what I had to do in that original family unit to survive. I refuse to be involved in that kind of behavior ever again.

So forgiveness is on my agenda in the future, but not forgetfulness. It is every bit as important to remember who did these deeds to me, and who enabled them (and who continues to enable some of them) and never, ever allow them in my life again.  They do not deserve that honor.  To be forgiven?  Yes one day.  To be forgotten would be naive and myopic.

Will I write a book (and/or screenplay) regarding my life? I have been approached by several very capable people “interested parties”, and am tossing that idea around.  I’d say “probably so” but I don’t want to do so while my moods are still volatile.

First I want to allow those around me who really love me (Lee) to help in the healing, which she has been doing, and that doesn’t go unrecognized, and continue our hikes as I’ve learned late in life that God’s handiwork aka nature is a healer like no other I’ve ever seen.  Lee agrees, and together our hikes are like magic. 


In college, my first time around, I was not a great student. Now of course I understand more clearly as to why.

I could barely read, and, I actually had never read even one entire book cover-to-cover until age 27, and again, now I have a greater comprehension as to why that occurred too.

A combination of struggling with both autism and scapegoatism, hindered my ability to do so. 

When I finally learned how to read properly (using a ruler or other similar object), it made things much easier.  And though I loved some of the great nature/spirituality writers such as Emerson and Thoreau, I didn’t fully comprehend their core message until experiencing it.  In fact I used to snicker at some of it, sadly.  Now I know how much smarter/wiser they were than I will ever even hope to be.

Lee on the other hand is and always was an avid reader and comprehends what she reads.  Using her instincts, one birthday she got us both Kindle Fires.  Suddenly, due to the brilliant background lighting and large font, enabled me to read and absorb the words (without using a flat object to keep the letters from jumping all over the place).

And though I realize the autism will never go away, I am slowly learning to accept it.  It is in fact a gift after all (I had always heard otherwise). It is why I am able to do a lot of the things I am able to do (especially on the creative side).  In my diagnosis, which was done by the top neuropsychologist in Arkansas, (and allegedly one most respected in this whole region) who does most of the neurological evaluations in this state as she is that respected, and has sat on the Ar. State Autism Board about 35 years who wrote a letter to my GP (which is the result of the evaluation).  She says that even my work is autistic in nature.  (I gave her the URL of my web site). 

Ironically, Lee’s guess and later my guess was Asperger’s.  She noticed numerous “Aspie” movements/gestures etc. for several years.  It took time but upon deep assessment, finally so did I.  But we found out I am much deeper on the Autism spectrum than the Asperger’s spectrum. And though Asperger’s is considered a type of autism, not everyone with autism has it.  I got lucky and have both.

As each day passes, I learn just how lucky and blessed I really am.  I have what I need; more than I ever desired.  I am alive and, though on some days struggling with health issues, I have survived and I am strong.

I am a survivor, of things that (I am told) most people don’t survive.  I don’t say that in glee.  I say that because that is one of the main reasons I blog this topic, very different than my cartoon/humorous stuff, which I find equally important.  Laughter was not easy on many days.  I have been writing cartoons for 18 years.

I notice on days I am able to find humor on which I could rely for a laugh, sometimes that is all I needed to make it through the day.

But I also needed information like this (on this topic). 

It is not fun to write, and sometimes it isn’t easy to write. But for me, it is very necessary to write.  I’ve already been told of several families who have been helped.  Young lives who won’t have to go through what I did.

Several families have opted for professional help rather than ego-driven narcissism/power etc. to greet and welcome in life.  To them I say, “God bless you” and please do keep the faith.   All that pain, made this day worthwhile for me, and I hope and pray that in your own journey toward recovery, both of us will be able to look back and say, “Now what was that that was bothering me back in July of 2015? I don’t even remember”. 

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Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist and gift designer.  He is best known for his Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts which have remained Google #1 ranked since 2005.  He is active in such causes as autism/Asperger’s, animals, children and the environment.

Important Films And Books On Narcissism (NPD Disorder And Scapegoating) by Rick London (Chapter 4)

Since posting 3 chapters of my book on my autism and being scapegoated, I’ve been deluged with questions. And that’s a good thing.

Snow White - Disney 1937

Snow White – Disney 1937

Some people are not sure, most feel fairly certain they are not on the autism or Asperger’s spectrum; a few feel they may and are getting tested. If planning to get evaluated, please make sure to “vet” the professional who does so. Not every psychologist or psychiatrist is trained in that area expertise.  Mine has chaired the Arkansas Autism State Board for 35 years and is well-versed in the topic.  Yours does not have to have that kind of qualifications, but it should be someone who is well-versed in, not just autism/Asperger’s but various disabilities and truly knows the topic “inside-out”,  and is not likely to make errors. You don’t want a wrong diagnosis.  You’ve gotten this far.

That is good too. I’m starting the book as “a novice”. No, not a novice at being scapegoated or having autism…have had that all my life (for 60 years). But I only discovered both through the help of some very experienced professionals; I could never have figured that out on my own; though I was able to finally put all the pieces together with the help of some very insightful professionals with over 100 years experience in this area of work. So I’m a novice at “knowing the issue at hand”.  For 60 years I knew something was not quite right, I simply didn’t know what.

Keep in mind struggling with the autism was/is challenging enough.  But add the struggle of a narcissist/scapegoating family who had, while abusing their community powers, also recruited other “flying monkeys” to march to their “hate Rick” campaign, the odds were pretty much stacked against me.   But now I have a chance to live my life, and live it well.  The point I’m making is that I am not unique.  Most disabled persons (born disabled) but rather than diagnosed and treated, are hidden away, abused and/or neglected, have a similar unique challenge.  They eventually have to decide to come to terms with what has happened to them, is happening now, and will continue to happen.  I was, and in some cases still am, punished by those who were supposed to love and help me, simply for having a congenital condition of which I inherited, and over which I had/have no control.  That condition is sad and quite a challenge.  Those who were/are abusive are, I’ve learned, much sicker, and much more cruel than I’ll ever be.

The fact that suddenly I have had a “eureka moment” does not change anything on the outside.  The family and the part of the community they have recruited are ill.  Very ill according to numerous top professionals.  They won’t be getting well anytime soon, if ever and their “We must hate Rick for our own self-esteem” will probably go with them to their graves. It is a much a part of them as breathing oxygen. It is their oxygen in many cases and has been all (of my life). I shouldn’t expect any support from them.  Is that painful?  Of course, but now I am getting support from healthy places, and I realize they will die ill and bitter.  That is what hurts.  The good news is the replacements.  Those who lost the chance to share my love, and there are many (former relatives, friends, etc. are actually the ones who have lost an opportunity).  No, I’m not anything particularly special or great, but I am strong.  Very strong.  None of them could have survived what I have. Not one single one of them. I could have taught them a bit about strength, about character, and about things they’ll most likely never know. Their loss.

People I once looked up to and trusted, never were trustworthy, and never will be, and as my doctors have suggested, in many cases it is best to ignore them, they don’t deserve the honor of my presence, and only address them (or let the government address them) if they continue to try any bullying or abuse (whether directly or through a third-party “flying monkey”.)    Still, I remain very optimistic simply based on the internal changes I have seen, as well as the external ones, that is, suddenly the type of healthy and loving people in my life, of whom I never felt I would have access. And they love, respect and support me back.  To me, that is success. Others may define success however they wish.

Arthur: The Film

Arthur: The Film

So there are plenty of questions of which I don’t have the answers (at this point) though I plan to study it for the rest of my life and learn as much as possible and I promise to share any and all pertinent information that may be helpful. Nobody, under any circumstances should endure scapegoating, and to scapegoat a disabled person is absolutely indefensible and repulsive  facilitated only by the most nefarious characters among us. Funny thing. The Brother’s Grimm in the early 1800’s had great insight on scapegoating and/or NPD (narcissism personality disorder).

If you’ve only seen Sleeping Beauty as a child, I strongly suggest to have an adult look at it.  No story I’ve seen explains the narcissist/scapegoating process like this story. It goes further into only those dynamics but “community/power/money” dynamics as well. Nobody wanted to “get on the bad side of the evil queen”.  After all, they could be her next scapegoat.  She “won by intimidation” (or almost did), but failed only because there was someone honest in the kingdom who could not kill Sleeping Beauty.  A lot of it is corny (it was written for kids), but it was also clearly written for adults.

Snow White is wonderful too with a similar theme to help both children and families of NPD disorder and scapegoating.  Of course Cindarella is also the epitome of the scapegoat child.

There is a tremendous moral to that story; how important it is to sometimes if not often “go against the tide”.  What one might be hearing is only rumors.  Not to put ones dog in a fight that doesn’t belong there.  How envy and hate can be omnipotent in some very sick people (as the queen was) and it happens in our towns, cities and communities all the time.  The other moral is “how one man fights the tide” and wins.  It’s an important story. Disney brought it back for a reason in 1937.  He knew the importance of something that he knew was epidemic if not pandemic.  He wanted the public to know.  And it became one of the biggest box office hits of all time.

If your esteem is down from being scapegoated, here’s the good news. You should pat yourself on the back for having survived. It is the narcissists and flying monkeys among us, who used our good name, who should hang their head in shame.  And if they continue doing it, and you are disabled, it will be worse for them than hanging their head in shame.  I’ll mention the disability webinar later in this blog.  Whether you have autism or any other disability, and you’ve been scapegoated (and/or still are), there’s some good news for you, and some bad news for the perpetrators.

Most of their children’s literature covered such topics. They deemed it important to write it in a format that both parents (reading to their children) and children could understand it, and, if their family dynamics were already in the middle of narcissistic parentel destruction, they could recognize it and get help. The Brothers Grimm knew only a few would, but even if it were only a few, consider the amount of suffering that would be avoided.

Original Sleeping Beauty ~ Brothers Grimm

Original Sleeping Beauty ~ Brothers Grimm

Fast forward several centuries. A novice filmmaker named Walt Disney also considered that topic high on the list of important educational topics. One of his first films “Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs” (1937) was based on the same Brothers Grimm book and covered the topic of NPD disorder and in a way that both the layman, the child and the parents could understand it. Knowing most NPD families are in total denial (for a lifetime),

Disney also knew this important message may only help but a few suffering families. But to him, a few was a lot better than none. It meant lifetimes of avoiding needless suffering (of children who later became adults). Here is a list of other popular films from Arthur to Wall Street to A Streetcar Named Desire…that all dealt with NPD disorder and scapegoating.   Another one, highly recommended but not listed on Wiki is “Gaslight” which won numerous awards.  It is creepy though and very difficult to watch, but clearly explains some of the “crazy-making” in more extreme narcissistic/scapegoating cases.

I recommend to rent these films on Netflix or Amazon for a few dollars. They can much more clearly explain scapegoating and NPD disorder than I can. As I stated, as I write this blog I am still new at “knowing” this is my story.

Film: Basic Instinct

Film: Basic Instinct

Where does the autism fit in? That’s complicated in that the autistic child (and later adult) already has developmental issues. When parents, siblings and the community scapegoat that autistic child, it can be lethal. Fortunately for me, God was apparently looking after me. I wanted to improve. I longed to improve my life. And I kept my faith. If I can do that, anyone can.

If you suspect NPD disorder occurred in your family, chances are there are still “Flying Monkeys” in your stratosphere. There are now ways (legally if need be) to keep them at bay. I strongly suggest a webinar by the Autistic Network. By clicking the image below that says “IPMG” you can register for free.  It is important, and will educate you on your rights, and make your life a lot easier.  I’m looking very forward to it as is my beloved wife Lee.

Click To Register For July 17th Webinar For Free

Click To Register For July 17th Webinar For Free

And though this webinar is targeted toward persons with autism and/or Asperger’s, it will be helpful to anyone with a disability. One of the main focuses is going to be knowing your rights (and what to expect from the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) which is part of the Department Of Justice. They are not only interested in your disabilities, but your rights if anyone (whether they be family, friends, strangers, groups, lawyers, you name it, they want to know) if you are being injured,  stalked, or harmed in any way by anyone(s).

Magnolia: The Film

Magnolia: The Film

If you were raised with an un-diagnosed congenital disability, chances are very good you were scapegoated, still are, and there are “flying monkeys” in your life. Groups like this offer you resources and protection.  You only deserve the best. You’ve seen the parts of life that nobody should have to see.  It’s your turn to enjoy your life with no sociopathic “flying monkeys” interrupting in yet more attempts to hurt you via censor, fiscally, or whatever other dirty trick they have up their sleeve on any given day, and believe me they do have dirty tricks up their sleeves, always. They are sick and it doesn’t go away unless they come out of denial and get real professional help. Sadly, the majority don’t.  They are convinced they are well. Very well.

As for you….. Don’t just “Want it”, “Demand It”.  You deserve the best. You always did. And now it really is your turn.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————— Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist and gift designer.  He is actively involved in autism/Asperger’s, animals, nature and children’s causes.  He is best known for his Google #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons and Funny Gifts which he launched in 1997 from an abandoned tin shed in rural Mississippi.

The NPD Family, The Scapegoat Child, And “Flying Monkeys”. The Remedy – by Rick London#the trac

First, thank you to my wonderful, understanding wife nature and wildlife photographer and gift designer Lee Hiller London who has made 2015 “The Year Of The Rick”, that is, I am able to feel comfortable in my development and growth (that never happened) due to un-diagnosed autism, vanus, and NPD Disorder parents (and subsequent “flying monkeys”).  A thought hit me the other day.  I wonder what it looked like to neighbors who knew I was put away in the attic and my other siblings encouraged to go outside to play.  Don’t get me wrong. I had a bike and all the accoutrements to appear to have some normalcy.  But that’s all they were, like braces on my teeth at age 12.    One might ask, “But Rick, you were given expensive braces. How can you say they ignored you or scapegoated you”.  Every child with crooked teeth whose parents had the resources got braces because that can be seen by the public, plus it played into “the perfection syndrome” of the NPD. npd meme 9 Autism cannot be seen, extremely painful vanus (flat feet with shattered joints, cartilage cannot be seen by the public.  Straight shiny white teeth can; futher proof of “all the good they were doing for their ungrateful child”. So I queried a facebook friend who moved into my neighborhood when she was 5 years old with her parents who were very well known and respected in the community.  Normally, my parents did their best to ingratiate themselves to that type.  Not this couple.  Why? Upon asking questions, I asked her a bit about herself several days ago in facebook private message.  As it turns out she is now a grandmother, and has grandchildren diagnosed with autism.  Upon noticing that, she could see many of the symptoms in herself. ADHD was one of them.  That was no big surprise to her as she’d been reading about it awhile.  She is starting therapy next week to try to lessen some of the painful side effects of what appears to be autism (When I say painful I mean emotionally so) such as depression, anxiety, esteem issues, etc. She feels from reading if not full-blown autism, surely somewhere on the Asperger’s Spectrum (of which I can also identify). I have both. npd meme 1 I asked her if she remembered my attic bedroom.  I imagined 50 years later, she didn’t.  I was very wrong.  She not only remembered it, she remembered wondering what the hell was happening at our home as did her parents.  Why were my other siblings out and about, and I was at home brooding in my attic bedroom away from everyone else most of the day after school. I occasionally had friends, but my parents “ran them off” for being “a bad influence on me”.  The only ones they allowed in my life, were the ones that truly were bad influences on me. Some nearly got me killed.  They remained “just fine” in my parent’s book.

My neighbor (and I’m sure many others) knew to a certain degree something was very wrong; she simply didn’t make it that blunt as you can see in her message to me further down the page on the “facebook screen shot”.    The narcissistic parents can be so self-absorbed, they haven’t a clue others nearby are curious at worst, concerned at best. Even 5 year olds (and of course their more worldly/educated parents).  I asked her if I might block out her name and photo and post it in my upcoming book (of which I am blogging various chapters now).  She said, “Not only can you post it, there’s no need to block out my name or photo. I can see quite well what they were doing to you”.  Still I decided to block it out. Her family was very well known and respected and though she’s moved far away, she still visits occasionally.  npd 7 The shocker is that though her loving parents didn’t know she had autism (which she may not), they knew something was different and took a very different approach than my parents did.  They loved her unconditionally and being good with academia, helped her nonstop with her homework and encouraged her to try new things and face challenges. Of course mine did the opposite.  jung meme 3 Here is a screenshot of her memories of me hidden away in the attic.  This was our third home, but our second home in Hillendale, the subdivision my maternal grandfather Marcus London developed, the home that burned down and rebuilt.  The home that I made sure the fire department arrived by calling them and the home where I dragged my 5 year old frightened brother to safety next door at Richard Ward’s home and made certain my older sister got out of the  bathtub and out of the burning home that had smoke billowing through it. She has even noticed that my wife Lee is an angel, learning with me all we can, so our lives are as happy and fulfilling as we deserve. And we deserve good now.  We’ve seen what rough edges can be.

We know what “flying monkeys” can and will do. We now have the tools to stop them in their tracks, with the help of major networks and government agencies if need be, but we know our rights, and we use them accordingly if need be.  I deserve my remaining golden years to be good ones. I spent 12 years in “attic captivity” in a place where NPD tactics were used regularly to create a “scapegoat child” and later a “scapegoat adult”.  The more you read about NPD, the more nauseous one gets.  There’s no way around it. I know I will have to forgive one day, not for them but for me. Meantime, my newfound anger, energy and contacts only drives me to help other families and/or children who might find themselves in similar situations.  

That has become, other than God and my wife, the most important thing.  That story was told often in my family….for a few months.  Then suddenly it disappeared as if it had never happened. I went from “the bravest little boy ever” back to the “snotty bratty kid who could do nothing right”.  Even in adulthood, my siblings never thanked me or acknowledged that I’d saved their lives.  My parents concluded I had, the maid said I did, I’m sure it appeared to next door neighbor Richard Ward I did, at least with my 5 year old brother (as I had him tightly by the arm dropping him off there to safety from the burning home, and finally am sure it is somewhere in the record archives of the Hattiesburg Police and Fire Departments.  

But suddenly it disappeared from my family records.  Rick never saved anyone; or at least it was never brought up again, and I was discouraged from talking to others about it.  It even seemed creepy to me then. Now that I know what that was all about, it is worse than creepy. It is maniacal, yet I’d do my best to save their lives again if put in a similar situation.  They never could help being emotionally ill anymore than I could.  My parents couldn’t help that they had NPD Disorder.  However, they could have gone for help.  They didn’t (to my knowledge).  If they did, it didn’t “take”.  mandalay connie Large blocked2222222222222222222222222

Anyone who knows he/she has not done wrong, longs to clear his/her name; no matter how many years later if it has been tarnished. Often, at first, it is a total surprise as to why it even has (been tarnished). I was never told I had done anything wrong.  I was never corrected for anything above regular childrens “crimes and misdemeanors.   One knows if he has tried his best. I’d not hurt anyone, at least not purposely, and was baffled figure out why their family of birth keeps those “imaginary wrongs” in the public eye.   Though I have a good name outside of my hometown in most cases (even worldwide..and should, I treat my friends and fans as I’d want to be treated), remnants of NPD occasionally resurface.

 I was raised in an NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) home.   NPD is a dreaded emotional disorder in which parents abuse their children, all of them, but particularly the “scapegoat archetype” child, well into adulthood.   That is a necessary dynamic to the NPD (according to Jung and Satir) in order for the NPD model to work.  Make no mistake, the other children; hero, golden, and/or lost child are injured every bit as much.  They simply don’t know it as they get “some soothing” via material possessions, less mental abuse etc. NPD is so subtle, unless one is trained, studied, or looking with a microscope, it can be very difficult to be revealed. In fact it appears the opposite. It appears the victims are the parents and the perpetrator is the scapegoat child. Nothing is further than the truth. In fact it is the overly-sensitive, truthful scapegoat that is chosen for those very qualities in most cases (to be the scapegoat) to the NPD parents.  

The other NPD children, the golden child, the lost child etc. may not have been brutally criticized etc. daily, but they were carefully and artfully manipulated into their roles to help do their parents bidding, and to make certain the “scapegoat child” was hated within the family unit, and then help broadcast it into the community.  Children are not dumb.  They knew early on it was a lie but had to do what they had to do to survive in that family unit.  So they did.  It became habit and possibly even fun.  But a lie is a lie, and even as adults, especially as adults, they know exactly what it is (unless they are just too far gone) in denial.  npd 3 meme parent The narcissistic parents do not recruit friends, they recruit to what are commonly referred as “flying monkeys” named after the flying monkeys from the film “Wizard Of Oz”.  Those FMs are completely unaware, at first, why they are recruited, at least most of them.  Ironically, not only Jung and Satir (and to for the most part Freud, were aware of this entire sick family dynamic, so was Mark Twain. He warned people with his famous quote regarding “getting fooled”.  It pertained to this very issue.  So where is the closure?  Where is the justice that was a lifetime of chaos and capriciousness facilitated by parents who used their scapegoat child as a diversion (for the public) to their own mental illness? 

What is left but “flying monkeys” who, haven’t a clue they were duped, wouldn’t believe it if the best psychologist (or psychiatrist in the world told them), and why do they continue, as if chronically ill themselves to blacken your name, no matter where you live by insidiously broadcasting to local religious organizations, law enforcement, friends, students and even mutual friends of the scapegoat etc. many of whom all tell me what they are up to.  At first some of it thought it was “sort of fun”.  Then they saw the damage that was being done to me.  Then they saw the damage that was being done to them. Then they got sick of it; at least the ones with a little bit of sanity left.  The others continue to enjoy it as it is “what makes them tick”.  They will (most probably) need legal intervention to stop if it invades my space, hurts me in personal or business situations etc.  But it takes what it takes.  Lee and I have a motto in our home and it applies to everywhere we go, “Nobody wants to bully either of us. They may not know it at this time, but they really really don’t.”

Most are sick of them and, like most adults, feel that if one has unfinished business with someone, they should confront that person themselves.  Flying monkeys are cowards.  Cowards of the worst kind.  Some think they are strong and mighty (because they have brought the scapegoat to his/her knees) but quite the opposite.  It was the numbers of them, not any one of them.  It was also the element of surprise in that the scapegoat hasn’t a clue that he/she is “in a war” until way after it is too late.  The negative feedback usually begins early on (and from parents, then siblings, then community) so that’s “just how life is to the scapegoat”, a bit difficult but hey, that is life, right?  No, not even close.  

In real life a person is not purposely undermined on a daily basis by hundreds, sometimes thousands.  The good news.  There is a solution and it can be reversed, and often is.  No one of them could endure, or even come close to endure what the scapegoat has (and deep down every one of them are quite aware of that fact), hence they never confront or even mention any of the “wrongs” to the scapegoat ever. 

When word has occasionally gotten back to me by 3rd parties, I always ask, “What was my wrong?”  Of course all I get is radio silence.  I always then ask, “Do you think you could get them to take a lie detector test with me?  I’ll gladly pay for it.” Again radio silence.  That has happened so many times, it is what led me on my two decade journey to finally discover exactly what the issue was, and the issue was not me, it was a  horrid social/mental disorder of which my parents suffered called NPD. npd meme father 2 Recently, I mentioned it was discovered that I have autism. I mentioned this to several relatives, close relatives (or as close a birth relatives that I might have).  One does not “catch autism” as if it is an airborne disease, it is congenital.  One relative had nothing to say except, “Well we didn’t know much about autism back then.”  I followed up, “Why wasn’t I tested?” 

She continued, “Well if we didn’t know much about anything why would we have you tested?”  I responded, “Then why at age 6 was I hidden away in an attic far removed/isolated from my other two siblings?  (radio silence).  I knew then my parents knew there was indeed something very different about me. It turned out not to be a disease, but a gift.  But a gift of which they were ashamed, since it was so different.

When emailed from me to one blood relative of my autism he replied, “Funny, I have a bit of dyslexia and I volunteer with some local doctors and we get great results. I’m very interested in yours. Please tell me more as my wife’s niece has a mild case of it, hence we have it on both sides of the family”. (In other words, “Shut up, Rick. You’re making a big deal over nothing.  Sorry your autism was never diagnosed. Live with it.  The rest of us are doing just fine with my wife’s niece with her mild case.”)

Unless he is totally naive, which is very possible, I think he thought I’d listen to his garbage and just let it go.  He thought so very wrong.  I will one day let it go. though, but of course that’s another season. Now is not that season. Now that I am in touch with it, know what it is, and finally know what it is I am battling and learning to grow, develop, and learning to live comfortably with  it, I won’t stop, especially given the NPD/flying monkeys continued behaviors, until the world is extremely aware.  That is a promise.

If anything happens to me, there are 25 others writing with me in the autism/Asperger’s network and they are very familiar with my case and the players.  FYI, there are no “mild cases” of autism or Asperger’s. One is either on the spectrum or not.  There are different places on the spectrum of which they are, but that isn’t mild or intense, it is autism, a different way of thinking. Period. Only the most ignorant and uniformed would call autism “mild”.

 I almost couldn’t believe what I was reading in the email, and then remembered it was from a related (one of the core) “flying monkey” recruiters. I showed that to my PhD psychologist expert who simply shook her head.  She knew what I’d been up against for many many years, and how very cruel it was, and is; as are the people involved in such virulently negative behavior. 

It’s way too late for them to continue the flying monkey routine and think it is productive. If anything it is simply more “grist for the mill” for our publishing and/or productions to do anything possible to help other families avoid it, or if they are already on the narcissism spectrum, how to change the dynamics from extremely sick to healthier, and possibly to healthy (with the right professionals).  So the more they “act out”, the more information we have on various “worst-case scenarios”.  As I mentioned, some “writers” who are not quite aware they are writing the ending….are writing the ending of my story 🙂  

My wonderful wife Lee seems to have a very instinctual understanding of it all, and is very supportive.  I am very lucky for that.   I get so much more done in my personal life, my business life, and now my educational life (that is in helping others understand what is happening to them with NPD and/or un-diagnosed autism/Apserger’s; and “flying monkeys and cruel/ignorant families.  She is a brilliant writer with excellent contacts and knows how to complete my project, and will, should something happen, along with the autism network.  It will be completed, no matter what. 

My blood relative added, “In 4th grade mom and dad learned I had ADD so mom threw me a Valium, put me on my bike and sent me to school. It’s a wonder I ever made it to adulthood”.  Then he added an “LOL” at the end of that statement as if that were funny, and of course another subtle request for me to “stop making a big deal out of nothing”.  

Of course those of us who are halfway studied, understand that child abuse is anything but “nothing”.  It could only make me wonder how he has raised, and is raising his own children.  I shudder to think.  Hence the isolation and subsequent mental abuse.  Possibly a part of them felt the abuse would “change those differences”.  I had tics, I blinked my eyes incessantly, I flailed my hands and numerous other obvious movements.

Healthy parents would have at least had their child assessed by a child psychologist. Even a mediocre one in those days knew enough about autism to know it was “not something to be cured” but something to be educated in a different manner (special education) and in my case it would have simply been “the gifted program” and I would have fared quite well. Keep in mind after the parents are deceased, with nothing, of course, but unfinished business, not just with their scapegoat but with their golden child and lost child, what happens.  Long before the parents are deceased, the siblings of the scapegoat learn they can join in with the abuse, and this for the most part keeps the focus off them, and their imperfections. 

Remember, NPD is all about ambiance, (the way things look and seem to the general public) and they must seem as perfect as humanly possible; even if that means “creating a scapegoat” as “the one who is always trying to mess things up”.  That scapegoat actually is, but not because he/she wants to, because he/she has to. He/she has been programmed by the sick parents to do so, and if he/she doesn’t misbehave, he/she can and often is criticized even more severely and for longer periods of time.  This is the parent’s “alarm bell” to say to them, “See, we are perfect and we are doing the best we can, but we’ve been cursed with this demon child” who cannot do anything but wrong.   And wrong I could do. I must have responded to my programming with such preciseness, they were quite proud (while badmouthing me the whole time). npd meme 9 A recent flying monkey reared his ugly head not more than a few months ago.  He lives in Houston and contacted several local businessmen of which I have a good relationship.  They wondered why, if he had a gripe with me, he didn’t simply contact me.  He grew up in this area, but really didn’t know them or vice versa.  One spilled the beans and let me know what he was up to.  I contacted the ADA (Americans With Disability Act). When I tell you they are on your side (if you have a disability, and believe me you do whether you have autism or NPD or both).  The casting of aspersions stopped as rapidly as they started.  I called for a complete federal investigation (and would again next I hear of one). 

I now have heart disease and high blood pressure (and civil rights) and if they do anything to affect my health due to my disability (and now that is what the flying monkey business is about), they are asking for prison time.  And I am willing to help them pack their bags.  I can no longer be run over, not by them, and not by an unsuspecting third party they “recruit in innocence”. 

The healthy places I’m now going in my life, are they don’t “want to go there” places…not because they don’t want to, because they can’t. Unless they come clean (which is highly doubtful), they will remain bitter sick “flying monkeys” into the grave.  As sad as that sounds, it happens every day.   Plus they are no longer invited. I now know who they are and their sick sick game. They do not have the honor of my company, even in proxy by 3rd or even 10th party “flying monkeys”. 

They will have to create their own new fantasy life that does not include me.  Maybe new scapegoats (Though I don’t wish that on anyone, a “flying monkey must have a scapegoat” in their minds, in order simply to “be”, to “exist” if you will.  Many do not understand that yet. They will when my book and subsequent film is produced, though.  The flying monkeys are writing the ending.  They simply aren’t aware of that fact yet.  Maybe now they are aware now, or figured it out awhile back. 

They’ve been writing it for the past 1.5 years.  I hope they like what they’ve written thus far. I mention that part of the story because one cannot do enough for narcissists.  The “scapegoat role” is way much more important than anything so temporary and expected as risking ones life to save there’s.  Thankfully there are still people alive who remember that incident, and I believe the fire and police departments keep that kind of thing on record.  npd flying monkey 2 meme Never try to satisfy a narcissist. They do not look at you as human, only as a tool to further their role as victim and covert abuser. Mark Twain knew that. Jung knew that, Virginia Satir knew that, and for your own peace of mind, please learn and know that. Twain possibly knew more (by instinct, not training) than any other in contemporary history on the dysfunctional family.  Often he felt it necessary to describe it from a child’s point of view.  Huckleberry Finn is chock full of quotes regarding this type dysfunctional family as well as other dysfunctional type family dynamics.  Mark Twain Quote If you are someone’s flying monkey, do the healthy thing and distance yourself. If you find yourself unable, get professional help. They will give you the tools to do so.  To abuse a child is unforgivable. To abuse a child with autism, or any such disability is beyond unforgivable. It is the definition of abuse and sin.  Even in the best of conditions, any scapegoat child would have had a very difficult time moving forward and grow as his/her peers. To stunt that is evil (in the serial killer level of evil….the dynamics are the same; having others/minions do the “soul murder” by carrying out their dirty work, but keeping their hands clean). Didn’t someone named “Manson” use similar dynamics in the 60s?  

True, it is difficult to see the similarities…..unless you’ve been the victim of this type of crime, but it is easy to see that the dynamics were/are identical. The narcissist makes the rules of who is bad or good, and then sends out “flying monkeys “to punish them”.  It’s pretty clear.  The narcissists hands are clean and rarely if ever puts such orders in writing.  The flying monkeys get the blame if caught.

  I’ll be clear.  As sick as these people were/and current ones are, I don’t compare them to Manson and his evil crimes.  (He is a monster), only the dynamics of their crimes.  The dynamics are exactly the same.  The perpetrator’s hands are clean.  Their flying monkeys have all the blood on their hands, and like Manson’s “flying monkeys”, don’t most (not all) but most, don’t even have a clue they are being used, and their best interests are not at heart.  Often they are given “gifts” or other material things to make them forget that.  The ones who continue it are the ones who never had moral or ethics in the first place and if they’ve passed middle age, they still have a chance to get well, but that window is closing rapidly. 

Make no mistake, it is a brutal horrible inexcusable crime (that rarely goes punished); except for the inner-demons and very low self-esteem that exists in any narcissist and “flying monkey”.  That is the extent of their punishment unless legally made to stop.  And that is my goal; plus to educate others as how to do the same.   The difference is Manson’s poor victims never had a chance to get help and understanding as to what happened to them.  Soul murder is different.  A victim does get that chance, if bright enough, but it won’t be due to the flying monkeys sharing private information or handing them the key from bondage.  It will be from self-awareness, education, and very good professional people who understand “the whole game” very well. In fact they see it daily.  They are the best psychologists that profession has to offer.  

And I have several of them working with me personally, and several more in my network.  I hate writing that, and don’t want to think it, but it is true (according to textbook psychology and psychiatry).  It is a type of murder (soul murder) that lasts a long time. Sometimes a lifetime.  Sometimes the scapegoat gets lucky and with a lot of help, figures their game out, and how it can and must stop (not just for my own good, but for theirs as well).   It is even more difficult to write, given that many of the central players of the “flying monkeys” are blood relatives to me, but I don’t call them “my relatives” when mentioning their names.  It is best for healthy people to not have association with someone like that; in fact pertinent.  Pioneer NPD therapist Virginia Satir understood the dynamics of an NPD family possibly better than anyone.  Here are her “Five Freedoms”….. npd virginia Satir If you find you are the family scapegoat of an NPD family, find a way to get the information into the community.  This type family crisis is fixable, or at least treatable so that the amount of abuse and flying monkeys are minimal, and you get to lead the productive healthy life you deserve.  But first one must confront every “demon”, and stop worrying about making waves.  As Shakespeare most briefly stated, “To thine own self be true”.  jung wolf ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————— Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist and gift designer.  He is best known for his Google #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons which he launched in 1997. His funny gift shops are very popular as well.

Gay Does Not Need To Be Cured. Autism Does Not Need To Be Cured. Haters Need To Be Cured

Excerpt from my upcoming book (also being co-written by several psychologists) and some laymen who don’t know they are writing the ending of my book.  They are.

What Happened To Me – No Longer A Mystery

It would be the epitome of hypocrisy for me to be for equal rights for those with disabilities (with which we who have them are often born with them) but not be supportive of the  gay community (when it’s been proven again and again, gay is how they are born).  There is no fixing autism. There is no fixing gay.  Fixing hate is virtually impossible, but has been done and is done every now and again. Sadly, more often than not, hate remains hate, and the hater waves it like a sacred banner.

Though I am straight, and married to a woman who I love, I also am autistic/w Asperger’s and was not diagnosed until age 60. My parents decided not to have me tested but hid me away in an attic bedroom instead. They (my parents) and my siblings resided far on the other side of the house, in downstairs bedrooms. The “isolation process of Rick had begun” at age 6 at 109 Mandalay Drive. The year was 1960. I was six years old.

I could not hear them talk, laugh, or cry. I could not hear them interact. When my brother was born, I couldn’t hear him cry.  I was basically alone from age 6 to age 17 unless friends visited. My parents banned most my friends “for their bad behaviors”, however, so it was “alone again, naturally”.

Isolating the “scapegoat child” in a Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) family is one of the most common fingerprints of such a family; and there is no better way to do so than to make certain the scapegoat child resides in a bedroom (preferably in a large home) as far away from the other siblings as possible).  My parents had that part down to an art.

They told me (when I cried which was often), it was “a special room” because I was such a “special child”.  That did not stop the crying. Any 6 year old would be frightened out of his/her mind alone in an attic while the other siblings had rooms across and next to the parents (in what might as well have been another home….it was that far away from my “attic hideaway”.

Why was I chosen as the scapegoat child when I could have been “the golden child” or another archetype?  Often it is “a luck of the draw”.  There is little doubt, now that we know of my autism (people don’t ‘catch’ autism, they are born with it), it is because I “acted different”.  Decent humane parents immediately get help for a child who “acts different”.  NPD afflicted parents do all they can to punish and isolate the child from themselves (the parents) and other siblings.  I’m certain my autism forced me to have odd movements, speech impediments, excessive eyeblinking, clumsiness,  etc.  That type child to an NPD parent would be the easiest to “be the troublemaker” or “scapegoat” and “programming” would not be as difficult.

This is not the kind of thing anyone wants to write of their parents.  Like all adults, we want to have fond memories of our parents as so many our friends do.  We want to brag on the amazing, wonderful things they did for us.  So this is not going to be a “fun read” nor is it going to be fun to write.  It is going to be pertinently necessary to write and I suggest if there is even a hint of the scent of narcissistic/manipulative behavior in your home, to seek professional assistance).  Do not confront the instigators. Find a way to tell a friend, school counselor, psychologist, or even the police.  Just make sure you get help. Otherwise, It only gets worse. Way worse.

My recent diagnosis of autism/Asperger’s was  truly not a big surprise; but a bit of a painful one; a lot to digest/absorb at this point in my life.  So was learning of having NDP disorder parents.

I also was born with vanus (a horrific form of flat feet which is very painful). That too, was “overlooked”.  My wife saw it within 2 years. I stood and walked a bit like a duck with inward pointed feet. When asked I told her I’d always stood and walked that way.  She was beside herself that nobody had diagnosed it before now (at age 60).

I had it diagnosed and sure enough, it was a classic case. People don’t catch vanus. One can only be born with it.  Again, my parents decided best not to have it tested. No need.  Crippling a child is fine.  By the way I later became a long distance runner (finished two marathons). My parents knew I was running them (and training 100s of miles for them) and said nothing.  My father was born with flat feet.  He was of draft age during WW2, but at that time flat feet kept one from military duty.

Vanus does not get a lot of sympathy.  Of all the pain I’ve experienced, and I’ve experienced a great deal including two major heart attacks (3 surgeries for them), appendicitis and subsequent surgery, serious sleep apnea and a new type of surgery that was the most painful post-surgery (including that of heart attacks) I’ve ever experienced, and several other horrendous experiences.  Of all that pain, nothing even holds a candle to vanus when it is untreated. The pain was often so horrific, it was beyond child abuse.  I  did not “understand pain” that is not visible (such as a scar, a cut, or something that showed blood), as I was too young to describe that type of pain that came and went, was sharp, then dull (all depending on how I was standing or walking). My doctors and specialists today are, just like with my autism, absolutely stunned no parent or guardian cared enough to have me tested for either. It boggles their/and my mind.  But it is truly the story of my life. It is very easily proven (one cannot “catch” vanus or autism, they are only born with it); end of story. No need for debate. Two of the state’s top experts made the assessments and diagnosis.

In my 60 years with it, it never occurred to me that I had it until Lee asked me why I walked and stood up funny. I didn’t have a clue.  We were at a limb and brace company, getting an elastic brace for my arm (tendonitis..also quite painful), and she saw the foot chart on the wall, pointed it out, showed the worker, who said, “Yes, surely looks like it.  See your doctor”.  That’s just what I did, who referred me to a specialist who xrayed it, and guess what?

Vanus and a very bad case at that.  Orthordic inserts almost immediately started the healing process, and I could even hike again. Though somewhat painful on some days, I can feel the orthodics grabbing all my joints, bones, etc and pulling them back into shape. Some days walking and standing feels “almost normal”.   It is amazing (and sad) to think my parents didn’t know or care enough to even have them checked knowing it was/is congenital and my father was born with it and had it all his life.  Again, fixing that did not play into the scapegoat child model.

Had they not worked, it would have put me in a terrible catch-22 in that my cardiologist demands that I get some exercise, and given that I like to hike with Lee and nature seems to have its own healing properties, I would have had to give up my favorite avocation.  Lee’s even teaching me photography (and she’s really the master of nature/wildlife photography).  Hiking and photography has added a whole new dimension to my life.  Of course I love writing cartoons so take my “genius pad and pen” with me (as my 1st writing teacher used to call them), and often find ideas just coming to me from the universe without my even trying to force them.  Something magic happens out there.

The pain aftershock was beyond belief. After 15 years of loving running, doctors suggested I stop running.  They didn’t have to make me stop, I knew how much damage I had done. The local doctor said my feet were nothing more than a “bag of bones” that I was dragging around when I hiked or walked.  Fortunately orthodic inserts have begun the healing process 60 years later.  Again a big applause for negligence NPD parents.  When I tell you they do not want their scapegoat to be healthy and strong, it is not sour grapes.  It is the tell-tale sign of NPD disorder parents, a type of sociopathic behavior that is very difficult to treat.   That is not “me talking”. That is from all the psychological textbooks in the study of psychology and psychiatry.

So I continued with life the best I knew how.  No advice, no mentoring, just instincts.

Regarding the autism/Asperger’s,   My wife Lee first noticed some of the “little rituals” such as “eye blinking”, “hand flapping”, etc.  Though not always as noticeable as Michael J. Fox, but sometimes even more so, it came as a surprise to me. At first it confused Lee. Now we both laugh about it, given that we know what it is.  I have scraped a large “artistic mural” with my fingernail by our bedside.  This at first bothered her.  Now she looks at it as a “work of art”. It is one of the many “little rituals” that my body does that it “simply does”.  I cannot help it. It is a part of my autism. Back to the attic bedroom……

Many will say, “Well they didn’t know much about autism then”, and they would be correct. However, my parents were no dummies and they knew by the time I was age 6  something was very wrong, enough to keep me as hidden (and isolated from my other siblings) as possible.

If I could have been born without such a condition, I gladly would have.  Does it hurt?  Not in the least; that is, unless you want to talk about the bigots, the ignorant and the haters who run from me or project their evil behavior or whatever it is that floats their boat…makes them feel mighty and powerful.

In addition, I was struggling with being the scapegoat child in an NPD family.  The last thing people with NPD disorder should ever have is children, (unless they have years of intense psychotherapy first). My parents had three (children).

Generally NPDs are infallible, and they do something called “triangulation” with their children, that is, talk/gossip about the other children to one, and then go to the others and gossip and make up stories about the first one.  They create a scapegoat child, often a lost child and a golden child, in cases of 3 children (such as my family).  Sometimes the roles overlap. But the children have no choice to play the NPD parent’s nefarious game, or run away.

It’s hard to run away when you are five or even ten (especially when you have autism or Aspergers).  The NPD model can be created with more (or less children) but three seems to be ideal.  At least it was for my parents.

Of course the scapegoat child can “do no right”, the “golden child” can do no wrong” and the lost child is often a bit confused and often leaves never or rarely to return to his/her hometown. Sometimes the roles overlap depending on the situation, but in the long run they remain the same.

There is much more to NPD Disorder but, not being a psychologist, I can only purvey my experience as a victim of it (as the scapegoat child).  There are countless articles on google.  Perhaps one of the easiest to understand is one I found in “Psychology Today”.

Keep in mind, just because the scapegoat in an NPD unit sees “more trouble” than the others, does not mean the others walked away “unbruised”, anything but.  Remember, they too were manipulated to meet their/our parents needs and played their roles well.  Hopefully, they too, got the therapy they need and deserve. They were used, dupes if you will, and thought they were “in on some big secret”, or “in some inner circle”.  They were not. It’s a very sad way to live and is usually repeated the next generation, and the next, and next until hopefully a conscience whistle-blower says “STOP THE INSANITY”. and get massive network (and if need be governmental support) if harassed. And that is exactly what I did.

Nobody needs to go through life only knowing the manipulations of NPD parents.  Love is nothing like NPD manipulation.  And love is worthwhile and my prayer is that everyone gets to experience it.

Please don’t get me wrong. I made plenty of errors and was far from the “perfect child”.  But the more one studies, the more one realizes most of my behavior was simply “acting out” what narcissistic parents were programming me to do, so they could be “victims” of this terrible child. And of course the community “bought it” (perfect parents/demon child).  Who is going to believe a 6 year old autistic crying child hidden away in an attic vs his already established 30 year old parents, icons of the community?  The difference between me, and the now living next generation of narcissists (and their minions/flying monkeys who spread the gossip and lies about Rick) is that I KNOW I was not perfect.  Until this day, they are not sure who/what they are; and sadly, why they do what they do. They don’t have a clue that their anger is not directed at me, but at the very people who really abused them.  It’s insidious. It’s sad, but it happens all the time and some of the brightest people fall for it, or sell their souls for it (for a condo, or a family business) or you name the item.

Do you have “flying monkeys” in your life?  They can be around long after your narcissistic parent(s) are deceased.  They keep the rumors/lies alive about you.  And they never stop unless they find out it can truly damage their lives.  The very destructive ones continue nevetheless until the law makes them stop (or puts them away).

Though I hear often of the “flying monkeys” in my hometown from third parties (most related to me or married to ones related to me), the last one who really tried to do some damage in my local hometown was/is an 80 something year old cousin living in Houston, Tx. He’d contacted some local businessmen whom I know and made up some odd lies and wouldn’t leave them alone. He was determined to “put me on the street” or whatever insanity was in his mind. I immediately contacted the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) and the “flying monkey” was suddenly silent. I do not know if they silenced him or if my local businessmen friends asked him to leave them alone and if he had a fight, to take it up with me.

What they didn’t know is that all “flying monkeys” are cowards, very much so, and are not likely to do so. Especially knowing what the scapegoat has experienced.  The scapegoat is much, much stronger than the lost child or golden child and can withstand situations the others could never imagine.  Plus now this scapegoat knows just where to go if it ever happens again.  The game of pin-the-tail on the scapegoat is long over, and if someone tries to play it again, they get to see this time what the consequences is, and to be fair, I don’t think they could endure it.  Seriously, I don’t. And of course I wouldn’t want them to endure it. After all, they’ve been injured as well (and don’t know it) but it would then be out of my hands; hence I’m in great hopes they know to do the right thing. Time will tell.

Conveniently missing from our “family history” is the fact that our home at 104 Mandalay burned nearly to the ground after the landscaper left the cap off his lawn mower and put it next to the hot water heater in the storage shed.  My parents were at a cocktail party and the maid/babysitter had locked herself out after smelling smoke and ringing the doorbell. The reason I remembered it was on a Thursday night about 7:40pm CST is that I was watching my favorite show “The Munsters”. Herman Munster was playing the piano so badly it caught on fire.  Meantime smoke was coming from my closet door in the attic. I remember thinking “How cool. 3d TV” or something similarly.

Then I realized this was a real fire. My older sister was in the bathroom taking a bath. I pounded on the door to alert her of the fire. She thought I was joking as I tended to be a practical joker (to cope) but I was not. She finally believed me after I knocked nonstop for about 10 minutes. I was not sure what to do, as I didn’t know, at first it was the maid (who had locked herself out investigating what turned out to be a fire in the storage shed…by now quickly spreading across the entire home).

I made sure my sister understood I was being sincere and exited the house.  My younger (5 year old) brother sat paralyzed in fear on the couch in the den. I grabbed him by the arm as smoke billowed throughout the house and next door to the Ward’s house (Frostop).  Fortunately Dick Ward (we called him Dick then, he is Richard Ward now) was there to make sure Andy was safe.  Fortunately he is still alive and can verify my fire story.  So can the Hattiesburg Fire & Police Departments as I think they keep things like that on record. I also stayed in the house and called the fire department until I was sure my siblings were safe.

So, though never really given credit, we have Richard Ward (after I was able to get Andy out of the burning home and to the Ward’s home) to keep him there and safe, and from wandering back into our burning home.  He stayed safe at the Ward’s until my parent’s returned.  Rather late, but thank you Richard.  I never (until this day) received a “thank you” from either of my siblings.  They simply returned to their roles of “flying monkeys” where they have remained stagnant all these years.  They have recruited many others; some (it has made the physically ill) and have revealed to me some of the insane lies, but at least they started me on my venture to find out exactly what was happening and why.

And though something like NPD disorder in parents cannot be explained with logic, it does show that even the most “reliable familiar” icons of any community can be very ill when out of the limelight.  Beyond ill.  Ill enough to make Joan Crawford look good.   This kind of behavior goes way beyond child abuse.  It is lifetime abuse. It is the undermining of every single project they were able to undermine. It is sick beyond sick.  And sadly, it is much more commonplace than on my block. That is why I am writing this. Not for revenge.  A blog is hardly revenge.  It is to help others recognize it and escape it if they find themselves in it, or even find themselves duped as a flying monkey.  It’s never too late to escape those roles, and it is so necessary for anyone’s sanity.

The 104 Mandalay house fire was a tragedy and we lost just about everything.

This incident was talked about often after it happened for several months and suddenly stopped as if it never happened. I thought that was just the way things happened at the time. Now I know my parents were scurrying for ways to put “Rick’s role back from hero/golden to scapegoat” and, at only age 11 or so, I was more than willing to play along. After all, didn’t all parents love their children unconditionally, or at least conditionally?   Not necessarily.

A strange thing happened though.  Keep in mind I was only age about 11 years old,  I hadn’t a clue I had autism then, nor that I was in a dysfunctional home.  All of a sudden my “role” went from “scapegoat child” to “hero child”.  For nearly a week, I could do no wrong.  It felt very strange, and frankly I didn’t like the role or all the positive attention.  I didn’t realize why, but I was only used to negative attention (even when I was doing positive things).

But this positive thing was on city and county record so my parents must have been beside themselves. No berating or criticizing Rick (though the majority of that was done covertly anyway except for the family-gossip-broadcasts). They knew they must at least make a public showing of how great I was for saving my sibling’s lives (which is what they kept telling me I did). They couldn’t stop “holding meetings with me and telling me how proud they were of me”, so often that it didn’t feel real. Of course now I know it wasn’t real in the least. It messed up their whole model of “scapegoat/demon child” who was making “their lives impossible”.

But it didn’t last long.  The criticism and berating came back as fast as they left.  It at least felt comfortable again, as it was familiar.

Since perfection/ambiance is so important in an NPD family, it was decided that I did not have autism (or whatever they thought it was).  They decided not to have it tested (or me tested for any such disorders, though certainly they knew something was amiss, hence the isolation in the attic),  and instead began their “isolation process”.

I am not showing a photo of our first home as it had no attic and I don’t remember it well.  It is where Bob Wilson later lived and also AAA Ambulance Service was on S. 28th Ave. behind the Highway Patrol.  All I remember from there is hanging upside down in the back yard on mimosa tree limbs and playing with insects. I lived there from age 3 days to 5.5 years old.

Then my maternal grandfather, Marcus London, developed the first subdivision west of the Forrest General Hospital, “Hillendale” in 1960.

We lived in two homes from the time I was 5 to age 17, one was at 109 Mandalay Dr. (1960-1963) and the other at 104 Mandalay Dr.  (1963-1971). At age 17, my parents divorced and instead of living with either of them, my father purchased a trailer and rented it to me while still a senior in high school. In other words I was abandoned/orphaned physicallyat age 17, though of course technically, emotionally, I was abandoned the day I was born. I was often told I was an ugly baby; that I looked like “Andy Gump”. I didn’t know who Andy Gump was, but later discovered he was a character actor who played “the ugly guy in movies”.  They all laughed upon saying it. I didn’t get why that was funny. Now I know it was all part of the abuse.

mandalay 109small

Above is our 2nd home, but our first home in Hillendale.  The address was 109 Mandalay Dr was our home from 1960-1963. If you look in the center of the home on the roof, you will see a gable. That gable has no windows and it is the back side of my attic bedroom. My windows only opened via “slits” and a turn nob. Nobody could see me.  It faced high hedges in the back yards.  Even residents in the homes behind us couldn’t see me (usually crying) in the attic bedroom due to the high hedges. Those high hedges were “very important” to keep that NPD scheme alive.

 My few playmates thought it was a “cool room”.  Even though I cried for most of that period, I was finally convinced it was “a cool room that any child my age would want” and of course I believed it.  It turned out to be a very common method of “scapegoat child isolation” to keep that child apart from the other siblings. Though the house does not look massive, it is. There is an “L” on the right side and the master and other childrens bedrooms are far away from the attic bedroom. I was unable to hear them, even when their voices were loud. I was petrified during those years.  But did not know I had rights (such as calling social services etc). Today if that happened, the parents would be incarcerated and the child to a safe orphanage or other adoptable home free of NPD parents).  The house still stands and one can drive by and see the “isolated attic in the back”…or the gable of the back of my old bedroom from the front. 

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mandalay full size

Above you are seeing an aerial view of our next home 104 Mandalay Dr. I remember hearing my father alert us he was building it and we were moving.  By then my younger brother was born. I was so relieved, feeling they had come to their senses and I would be living with the rest of the family. Not the case.  The home was much larger…and so was my new attic bedroom. The red “balloon shows the roof”. Slightly to the right of that you see a white bedroom built into the roof with blue shingles on top, and white wood siding.  It also faces the back, not the front, directly facing high hedges in back of our home.  Another home and those high hedges blocked it from S. 28th Ave (and blocked from the back of the homes on that street behind our home). In other words, once again, nobody could see me from the outside; even with the windows and drapes open.

Again I cried and acted out, but still did not know I had any rights.  So I stayed as the scapegoat who absorbed all the family’s issues, and lived there until age 17 when I was put into a trailer with other wayward kids only to get into trouble as I hadn’t a clue what I was supposed to do, which is perfect for a scapegoat child to do (it means he/she’s been properly programmed by his NPD parents).  As scared as I was in the trailer with no skills or worldly knowledge, it was better than my “torturous hidden attic bedrooms”.  I could see people and the street from my trailer window.

It is easy to show a house with an attic roof that was my bedroom.  But it doesn’t give you the full story (as a neighbor would have seen it).  So I remembered I occasionally chat to an old neighbor on facebook. I asked her on facebook in private message if she remembered my attic bedroom (I sort of doubted she would have given that she was only five when she and her family moved into the neighborhood).  Here was her reply.  (She said she didn’t mind at all if I used her full name and even showed her photo). I decided it best to block out most her face and name, knowing the type destructive damage the “flying monkeys” are willing to do to make it seem “Rick was bad and they were victimized”, but you can see her message.  It even looked very sad to her.  I can only imagine how it appeared to a young girl age 5 from a loving family.

mandalay conniesmall 2

After failing college several times, I was “taken back in” to have a roof over my head sporadically in my 20s and even 30s at times, but I had no workable skills of which to speak.  I tried school a few times to no avail.  I had been too busy simply learning to survive at poverty level (when I was lucky).  Anyone who understands undiagnosed autism, knows this is analogous to a child living in a country who doesn’t speak the language. Another good analogy is a southpaw with his left hand tied behind his back forced to be right-handed.  In other words it was torture that never ended.  In between the pain, I spent countless hours in the library, and later on the Internet to learn as many skills as possible.

My dad said, “I have an opportunity for you. You study and get a real estate license and you’ve got a job selling residential real estate forever for me”.  I passed the test after 3 tries and sold homes in his residential division which he had planned to close for about a year. It was on commission only which mean starving at best.

When my brother came to work for him several years later he was immediately put in charge of the commercial division for a very large salary and given a title.  He later took it over.

When one thinks of my dad, they think of equality and fairness.  (I hope you can see I am being facetious).  I did not expect the same level of career, but slavery vs wealth is not quite what a healthy parent does either.  I worked very hard when I worked for him.  I dressed in a suit. I got to work early. I left late. I made calls.  I had no idea I was a hated scapegoat child  “at war with an NPD” parent.   I know now.

Waterboarding is horrendous but abandoning an autistic child who is also the scapegoat of NPD parents is nonstop torture for many years. Not to underplay such torture which is hideous, it does end.  Setting free an un-diagnosed autistic scapegoat child into the world makes waterboarding look like child’s play.  It never ends. The pain and total confusion is a daily minute by minute experience.  The years of experience tells the victim it is not going to end either.  I am going to keep my opinion of the perpetrators to myself, and allow you to make a judgement call.

The only phrase that comes to my mind is “Extremely cruel and unusual punishment”.  The living siblings and some relatives and their friends continue to attempt to perpetrate it.  Word does get back to me.  God help them in their illness; though my case has proven it is never too late to get well, or at least get on the right track to freedom from that kind of bondage.  Yes they were harmed too, badly.  They were simply given “balm” or material things to make it seem they weren’t.  Most of them are old (and hopefully wise enough) now to know that is what that was.

Thank God some insightful lawmakers have now made it impossible to hurt me anymore. That does not mean they do not still try. Word does get back to me. No not my parents but numerous relatives and friends tell me. Now the DOJ (of which the Americans With Disabilities is a part) is monitoring my case, and they seem to have a special interest, and, I believe will make certain no more damage is done to me, no more needless pain is caused.

The rumors will continue to fly, most likely back home.  From what all the articles read about NDP parents, their “flying monkeys”, usually other siblings, mutual friends etc., stay forever. Their lies and badmouthing are very much a part of their persona and they wear it as a fashion statement. And remember, now the “golden child” is an adult, and without a “scapegoat”, the adult “golden child” feels very uncomfortable and usually cannot stand.

That part I understand and they have my prayers.  Meantime, I’ve worked steadily on my cartoons which have lured 8.8+ million fans to my website.  Many of them have become real friends.  My wife who I love is also my real friend, and we have real friends who hike on our same trails.  None of them care about hometown/tiny minded rumors 500 miles away, and when it occasionally leaks to our locale, they toss it out and take it with a grain of sand.  They know the real me, and most tell me how sad they feel of that experience and even more so of the people behind it.

I tell them not to, and I mean it.  Had that experience not happened to me, had I been treated fairly or even humanely, I would have never moved to paradise (rural Arkansas), never would have met my beloved wife Lee, and never would have launched Londons Times Cartoons.  So I really have “the  bad guys” to thank for those blessed events (though I’m sure that was not their motive) but you know these things happen, and I do hope (not being facetious) that good things happened for them too.

This is not the type of story I like to write.  The story does not define me, in fact today it is only a historical part of me.

Today I have a loving wife, I live in paradise and hike the Ouachita Mountains app. 3 times a week with my talented nature/wildlife photography wife, we’re vegans and we live a healthy lifestyle, nothing like what I was taught in my youth. It doesn’t even resemble it a little.  We are inclusive to others who were born with disabilities, etc.

I returned to a very good private college at age 49, just one year after my first major heart attack, and finished about 3 years (before having more surgeries and yet more heart issues).  I still plan to finish, and will.

Which brings me back to accepting gay rights.  Gays are born gay. No matter what ones philosophical or religious feelings might be of gays, we can all agree that gays are born gay. It is not a choice.  Children with autism are born with autism.

There is no fixing either.  Hiding an autistic child away in an attic did not make him (me) less autistic. Had they been healthy parents, I would have most likely gotten proper assistance and “autistic education” which is quite a bit different than regular education which I found quite boring.  I am what they consider “high functioning” hence I most likely would have been put in a gifted class throughout school.

But it was not to be.  I have no regrets and I don’t feel sorry for myself in the least.  Look at the life I’ve gotten to live due to my autism/and Asperger’s and am living now. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Now that I know my rights, and am plugged into the ADA/DOJ (who knows my entire story), it will be more difficult now to do more harm and if tried, I can fight back.  It doesn’t hurt to also be plugged into two of the largest autism/Asperger’s sites worldwide, full of lawyers (many of whom have suffered the same/or similar fate as I did.  That feels comforting  and actually is comforting.

So now if the leftover “minions” or “flying monkeys” cast aspersions at their own risk and a very big-risk it is. That means a whole lifestyle/behavior modification for most of them.   Even given the risk-taker I have been in my life, I wouldn’t take a risk like that for anything in the world.  And the smart ones are finding new hobbies (other than “lies about Rick”, I’m told).

So, I learned (the hard, painful way) that autism cannot be prayed away, modified away via behavior modification, hidden in an attic away etc.

Now I realize what many gays have experienced. I learned that they, too, often suffered from “parental manipulation” or “behavior modification” from parents or teachers or friends or whomever, who decided it was there duty to make sure they “fixed them”.  The only people who needed fixing were the ones trying to do the fixing aka “the haters”.   Gays are born exactly as they are supposed to be.  There is nothing to fix.  That is abuse. That is a crime.

Whether a gay child has NPD parents or simply bad parents, if they get it in their mind that that child needs fixing, and tries, that is child abuse of the worse kind.  Think about that, parents, if you happen to have a gay child. He/she is fine just as he/she is, and should be celebrated, not changed or even “just tolerated”.  Parents should be proud and supportive of that child.  The same is true of autism. Or any disability with which one is born. Any behavior otherwise is beyond sinful.

Please note many have good and even great parents, and they do not suffer the needless abuse to try to “fix them”.  The same is true of so many children with autism and/or Asperger’s.

Meanwhile Lee and I will always be supportive of all people, however they are born.  We will never “try to fix them” or support anyone “trying to fix them” whether they be gay, straight, male, female, autistic, Aspie-ish, slow, fast, fat, slim, or you name it.

The God to which we pray doesn’t make mistakes. We believe everyone is perfect just as they are. He knows what he’s doing, believe it or not.