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Lock down...

Lies, hate and ruthlessness
It is conveyed mercilessly 
Their poison spreads insidiously
Sometimes I feel ashamed
Of humanity of people
Although they are not aware….

I listened. All around me, the forest was alive, growing and shifting, and drawing up water from my soul, adding new growth, and letting go of its dead… It’s shouting, it’s so clear.

In Elan Valley, I promised myself to focus. I start following my soul, my heart... I focus my feelings on nature. I talk to myself. I make a note of my dreams. I’m so comfortable in the spiritual world again. I have changed. I understand I don’t need anyone to tell me my path or my destiny. I’m learning to trust myself… I’m healing with nature and becoming a whole.

I’m doing shadow work (Jung), I’m doing art therapy, I’m doing shamanic healing for myself, I’m doing drumming healing, journaling, and dance therapy. I’m reading lots and creating art. I’m writing… I haven’t got any time for doing nothing. I have a lot to do. I’m able to live like this because of the Elan Valley fellowship. I feel I am changing every day.

Often, when by myself, I don’t cook because I don’t like to eat alone. Cheese, yoghurt, eggs, and nuts are enough for me... But in here I’m learning to take care of myself like, in the same way, I take care of others. It’s a slow process, but I’m learning. As an autistic adult, changing my behaviour is not easy, but I have discovered being alone in nature helps me a lot. Nature is a magical healer if you really listen to her.

I made a list for me to follow every day.
1)  Don’t lose yourself when you are reading, writing, or painting. You need a break.
2) Create an alarm for drink and eating
3) You don’t need to rush. CALM DAWN
4) İf you don’t want to do something then STOP. You don’t need to do something you don’t want to…

In the beginning, I’m alone, and I feel anxiety. I have no idea how I should spend my days. I’m here because of my fellowship, which is planned around guests. But I can’t have any guests because of COVİD. I realise this is a totally different experience and creates opportunity. I’m making rock painting, mandalas, drawing, writing, and discovering nature and discovering myself.  But I have a big problem … I planned everything around what to do with my guests. My brain had a short-circuit.  How many hours should I walk? I couldn’t feel tiredness so I can walk all day or days… What is my limit? I can read without sleeping, or I can draw, write… Which one is more important? … If I write Turkish is it ok or not? And the worse part, when I create rules for myself, they become my prison.  I have to have followed them without any excuse… Even in Elan Valley, I say to myself welcome to my Aspie lifestyle...

I’m observing how the land is starting to prepare itself for winter. Trees getting bare, their dress turning yellow… Red, brown, yellow suppress the green, but again you can see every shade of green.  I’m watching how leaves dance with winds. How they fly like a butterfly... Gently and happy… Roads have a carpet made of red leaves. I can hear the rivers shouting more and more, flowing faster, excited to be arriving at their destination sooner. Dams happy to meet their watery friends, so they don’t feel naked anymore… 

I’m living with the spider community in my cottage. I love animals. I believe I communicate with them and feel I understand them more than humans. I always talk to them, but the spider is not my favoured one. It’s not about being afraid, it’s about connection. I never feel any connection with them. 

I know this place is their house too. I want to respect their living area, so I try to avoid them. I push myself a lot but avoiding them is not easy. When you have a shower, you can see one of them near your shoulder. When you are going to the toilet, one of them is looking at you from the bath. When you are using the phone, you can see they are on the phone. So I start talking with them. I said that: I want to respect you; so you have to respect me too. I don’t want to kill any of you; however, you shouldn’t come into my space too. After this speech one of them, who always stays in the bath, insists on staying there because I’m not using that bath, so I said to her “it’s not a problem for me”.  Day by day when I use that bathroom, I talked with this spider.  I got used to it, I thought we started to communicate with each other, however, after ten days I found her dead.  I genuinely feel sad, I thought I lost my friend. I start talking to myself. “Meltem, it’s a spider, and it’s not your friend. Because you believe you are communicating, it doesn’t mean it’s true.” I took her from the bath and put her outside under the tree. One week later, I recognise more and more spiders around me. I have five spiders in my bathroom. On the stairs more than six, in my room four, near the phone more than five… I started to feel uncomfortable…

One day each week is my cleaning day. I clean everywhere very carefully. Andy calls it ‘Turkish style
cleaning’ But one week I was out and couldn’t clean until the weekend. I was aware of all the spider webs surrounding the living room, my room, bathroom…  It was the last straw for me. I gave them two minutes, and I cleaned their webs away. If some of them were still around, I gave them two more minutes to escape. 

My cottage got cleaned. I haven’t got any webs anymore. I think all the spiders were able to escape and survived. After that day, I do not see spiders very often.  So I start thinking “even spiders show me how boundaries are important. Because if you don’t show your boundaries to others, then you slowly lose your place…


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