What A Long Strange Road Its Been…. Anniversaries 18 & 21 by Rick London

milestones

I am a sucker for milestones and anniversaries.  Especially long period of time ones sometimes bring a tear to my eye.  But a happy kind of tear.

March through June are both fun and emotional for me for that very reason.  First and foremost this June 18th is Lee’s and my 8th wedding anniversary.  (She’ll be proud of me for remembering that LOL).

We married in a old stone chapel in the Ar. Mountains to which one had to hike, there was no road to it.  She found it on a solo hike 9 years ago and came home yelling, “I found our chapel. I found our wedding chapel).  Until she took me there (by foot), I hadn’t a clue what I was about to find.

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      Our Wedding Chapel 

It was a charming 100 year old stone building in the middle of nowhere.  Nature surrounded us.  It was/is us.  We hike back to it each year.

 

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Favorite Pic Of My Beloved Wife Lee Hiller-London

When we chose that day (it was our second pick), the 19th being our first, we had no idea

it wautism 222222222as Autism Pride Day or even that I was/am Autistic.  Lee sort of had a clue given she’d worked in high-tech many years around the world in the early days of technology.  She’s still a wiz at it, even given all the changes. Back then HTML was considered high-tech.  I still love her more than ever.

By the way I was not diagnosed for autism until 2015 at age 60.  It was hidden from me as a child (was not diagnosed) and I was given an “attic bedroom” far away from the family core; quite a frightening way to live, with autism,  at age six-age through age 17 (basically imprisoned with controlled friends).  I am vocal about it because, a lot of parents, later entire families, and finally entire communities disown their autistics (or different) children. My greatest hopes are to help lessen this obscenity. I know I cannot alleviate it.  But it is a form of torture and I plan to speak out.  Whenever the opportunity avails itself.

Future children/later adults need not suffer like that, now that we know what it is, and was. It is well past time to get past the years of character assassination of “those who are different”, and often those of us who are autistic, fall into that league.  Autism is who we are. It’s not a disease or ailment. It’s like being green-eyed or left-handed.  There’s nothing inherently wrong with it any more than there is neurotypical people.

Monday, March 19th is also the 21st anniversary of the day I launched Londons Times Cartoons (LTCartoons.com) in 1997.  Most folks by now know the story of my living in a tin shed with no heat or air and only cold running water (for over a year).  Electricity was installed and I bought a big old used IBM Clone 396 computer for several hundred dollars and a book “Internet For Dummies”.  And my trusty rescue dog “Thor”.  I had $300 more or less.

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Thank you to all the wonderful souls who have been with me through this journey.  There were times when I was certain it would not work, I’d stop knowledge of what I’ve learned, or people would simply forget about me.  None of that has happened, and the works I have done have grown dramatically.

     Thor The Wonderdog

I’ve published 4 cartoon compilation kindle books and one coffee table one available at bookstores worldwide.  I have about 4500 full-color cartoons on my website.  I woke up one day in early January 2005 and my site was #65 ranked on Alexa.com. While that didn’t last long, it stayed the #1 ranked offbeat cartoon (on both Google and Bing); it sometimes fluctuates to #2 but that’s okay given there’s about 10,000 offbeat cartoon properties competing for that spot on any given day.  However 8 million people had visited my main website and now it’s closer to 8 million and 188K.  It surprised me (possibly more than it does anyone else).  It all definitely went beyond my bucket list.

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oldmanHemingway once quoted, “A man’s got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book.”  I might add, “…And write several more really funny books to be humbled by the blessings I have received”.

And if all that were not enough, we’ve got Amazon Prime and Netflix and the occasional GMO-Free Popcorn.  Life is good.

 

 

To see my main site ranked Google & Bing #1 Offbeat Cartoons click here.   Most suggest to then click on “New Toons”.  You can find our most popular recent strange cartoons on Instagram here.  To shop there’s several stores. Let me suggest this one which is Rick London Gifts full of comic tees, mugs, cards, bags, jewelry, home and office and plenty of other stuff.

 

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.
ad rejected ptsd autism
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. 🙂
autism sympathy
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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.

Why Some Parents Create Identified Patients (Scapegoats/Blacksheep) As A Necessity

(Part of this blog repeats a bit of some past blogs (but has to to tell the story correctly). If so, and you’ve read that part, my apologies. Please gloss over that part and get to the new stuff).  Thanks.  Rick

Fifty years ago last week, I saved the lives of my brother Andy Stetelman and sister Carol Stetelman-Abshire from a raging fire that destroyed our home.  It had started from a lawn mower gas tank that the landscaper left with the cap open next to the hot water heater in the storage room.  My parents were at a cocktail party at the Fine’s house.  It was 6:40 (give or take a few moments) CST on a Thursday night, October 1965.                                   npd trauma 1

 

The maid/baby sitter had locked herself out of the house and was repeatedly ringing the doorbell.  My six year old brother Andy was paralyzed with fear crying on the couch in the den on the west side of the house closest to the front door.   My sister Carol was in the hall bathroom taking a shower.

My 11 year old aspie mind assessed the situation. I could see it was bad and about to get much worse.  First I ran to the beige dial-up phone under the stairs next to the bridge table and called the fire department which was on a yellow sticker on the phone. There was no 911 in 1965.

fire

I then knocked loudly on the hallway bathroom door to alert my sister who didn’t believe me (at first) but as smoked filled the house, she did and left through the front door.

I then pulled Andy next door to Richard Ward’s house who generously kept him calm there and safe so he wouldn’t re-enter the burning home.

For two weeks I had the role of “hero child”.  It felt awkward as I was not used to positive attention from my parents or family.

How do I remember these lucid details such as times, days of the week etc?  I actually remember much more of that night but no room to include.  Some people afflicted with autism/Asperger’s can remember details of situations as far back as 2 years old, some even further. I remember a lot of milestone details as far back as age four.  The fire is one of them.  I even remember how long it took for the fire department to get there after I called. I remember being nervous and twice having to hang up the phone as I could not dial the number correctly.  I remember how the smoke bellowed from my closet door as the Munsters played on tv.  That was 50 years ago. I was 11.

bullied no more

Then I was told never again to mention what I had done and they were back to treating me as “the core of all the problems they ever had”.  My father mumbled something about humility and that was the end of the story.  I thought he was doing me a favor, teaching me social skills; but if asked about the events of the fire, which I often was, I simply told people, “I don’t talk about that anymore”.

It ruined my bedroom as well which was in an isolated attic away from the family. For all my childhood, I thought living in an isolated attic was normal. It was not. It was very sick, and often done with disabled children who “don’t fit the family lineage”.

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I don’t bring up this dark time in my life to get a pat on the back or receive the tag of “hero”.  That, of course, is not what I am/was at all.  Any brother or sister, I believe would do everything possible to get their sibling(s) out of harm’s way.

The reason for writing about that event, is what was to follow.  The “erasing of Rick”.  It was already happening, I simply was not aware.  I was an undiagnosed autistic child, barely making it in the world, and punished severely for my behavior.

Joe and Rose Kennedy did this with Rosemary with a lobotomy and an isolated cottage in an institution that Joe had built.  On a much smaller scale, that was basically what was being done to me.  In both instances, lies were manufactured so the public would be assured they were being protected from this “accidental monster they’d created”. My family did it to me on a much smaller scale; but with just as little class as Joe Kennedy. Not much.

rosemary-kennedy-435

In medical/psychological terms, they were creating the “Identified Patient”.  In street terms, the black sheep or scapegoat.  Scapegoats don’t just “happen”, they are created and for a very specific reason (click on link below for article explaining).

Why would any parent do that?  Narcissistic abuse follows one way into adulthood. Siblings and their friends begin to “believe the lies” as to face the truth would make them fall apart, literally.

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I’ve decided this family secret has officially ended.  Whoever believes me or not is immaterial.  I now know what happened and it has been confirmed by some extremely knowledgeable people in the medical community.  And now, of course there are articles and stories all over the media with the Kennedy story being leaked all at the same time.

I am in the process of writing a book, and soon thereafter a film.  I’ve set up a strategy that should something happen to me, members of one of my autism communities will finish both.  Also one member owns a very large film studio. So it will happen whether I’m dead, in jail, or unconscious.  My beloved wife Lee and an autistic group will receive the proceeds of both should something happen to me (I also have congestive heart failure) and active “flying monkeys”, now very angry ones.

These stories need to evolve no matter how scary they are, no matter how much they make waves, no matter how much they disrupt the status quo.  For if they don’t the very soul of this great country is gone.  And it is up to us, the citizens of this great country, to set such stories straight.  Not everyone will believe them and that’s fine.  Those of us who have the epiphany of the real truth is what matters. And if it helps one more person or family, it was all worth it all along.

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Excellent Story On Why Parents Scapegoat:    http://bit.ly/1Lo8Q21

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Rick London is a writer, cartoonist and designer.  He is best known for his Google #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons which he launched in 1997 and Rick London Funny Gifts.