Skip to main content

My Rainman

 


When you’re on the spectrum…

Yeah, I guess that was a surprise. I always wondered what was wrong with me, till one day in February 2014. I was taking a class for my license, credentials for my practice. As we did our first role-playing. I realized that I didn’t have to pretend to be the HFA (High-Functioning Autism) student. I was creeping the guy out being myself.

I hate to say I got some joy out of it. It fascinated me. How easy it was for me to pretend to have HFA. The professor instructed us beforehand that it would feel weird, because we were all ‘normal’. As he explains how to act like a student with HFA, I’m thinking, ‘but I do that… And I do that. And that too.’. I was almost ready to raise my hand and ask, ‘Are you sure…?’ But I held off.

During the role-playing exercise, I was in my element. And no one else was. I could hear the professor in the background saying, “I know how you feel.” I heard classmates sounding uncomfortable. And when it was time for my partner to be the student, I was way cool with it. I was relaxed. I don’t think anybody else was. My role-playing partner apologized for not being able to be what he wasn’t. I responded, “Hey, you’re normal. It’s okay.”

After the six-hour class, I drove home on the highway. I reflected on my fight stage name. I took it in honor of my quirkiness others had seen. Better yet, it was the name that my long-distance coach Tom Fleming gave me in the late 1990’s. (I could actually tell you the day…it was sunny, barely a cloud in the sky, June, in the low seventies, 1998. It was a Thursday. I made leg of lamb that night for Norman and I. It was a late dinner, about quarter past nine. Maybe it was sixteen after nine, but probably seventeen after nine. I won’t get into the milli-seconds.)

Back to Tom. Tom had been a special-ed teacher. I’d hear Tom say it quietly. Every time I’d passed Tom holding the watch, timing us on the track. I’d hear, “Rainman”.  Some who’d caught on, would wag their heads, some would giggle.

After a few track sessions and my seeing the movie “Rainman”, finally. I realized I had some of those ‘Rainman-ish’ attributes. One morning in our kitchen, I started talking like “Rainman” in the movie. I have been doing impersonations since before age five.  I’d made up some voices and others I’d copy. Mannerisms, voices, movements, and such I’d impersonate. It was and has been my comfort zone. Too bad I don’t get paid for it.

Now that’s the upside. Quirky, has been good to me. I accept that I am. The downside is that, I almost always feel uncomfortable around most people. Yet, I do know that I’m one of the few people that actually, ‘get it’.  Get life that is. So, a couple of my medical friends have told me in private.

In my life, everything is through observations. That’s the downside. I had a police officer I knew. Knowing a little bit about me. He remarked, “I’d never want your mind.” I quipped, “It would make you a very good detective.” He replied, “Yes. But you remember everything. I wouldn’t want that.” The downside ‘ahh haa’ moment, I battle.---Jody-Lynn Reicher

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Completion of Humanness

Completion of Humanness As we arrive to the completion of the first year without Norman, I had decided long before he'd passed that I would continue to do things certain things he liked yet could no longer do. I decided I would not take a day off of fitness.  I would run at least for 500 days in a row. I began that in early 2020.  I'd not be concerned with the distance I'd run. It was the very thing I convinced Norman and the thing that mattered to him, from the very first discussion we had August 11th, 1981, was fitness. I loved that he was a College Boy. He loved that I was a Marine. We tickled each other's soul with such admirations. Later fitness continued as an old discussion from 1994 ...getting outside and to run no matter what. I would say to him, "Run 200 meters, then 400 meters. If it doesn't feel good, stop. Turn around and walk back home and know you did your best. That is all you can ask of yourself." I said this,  knowing he would get dow

In My World

As I finish putting away the week's groceries, I contemplate other's lives. Aside from my two daughters,  I consider what may be other's lives.  How they have conducted their lives over the past two years.  This is a thought not unusual for me to have. Yet, it occurs more often than not. Especially  now, as the population is probably feeling ever more irked. Regarding perhaps. their illusion of any lack of their freedom. But isn't that what life is about? The illusion of who we are. What we are about. Where we stand on the planet. Who we love. And who loves us. Our significance. Couldn't we imagine if this were all just an illusion? Sounds like a "Twighlight Zone" episode, perhaps. My aim here, are the thoughts of reckoning. I'll explain why I'm claiming such a thing. For about twenty-eight years of a career in dealing with injured athletes,  pain patients, chronically ill and the terminally ill. I found that there were many people who lied to

Reicher's 2021 Holiday Letter

  11/23/2021... The Reicher Holiday Letter... Yes, finally I'm on time...LOL. As the late November wind whips and the delayed leaves fall to the ground in our neighborhood, I await the first sign of snow. I stand outside, begin a run, do outside chores, bring in the mail and sniff the air for the smell of snow. Yes, humans can smell snow. Just like a spring rain approaching. It is awaiting to provide a cleansing of the dreams that need to be refreshed or re-routed. It’s all how you look at it. Really. Oh, the word ‘really’.   Per a few grammar writing geeks. A good writer is not supposed to use the word, ‘really’. I’ll say it again. Really? There is another word I discovered this year, not supposed to be used in writing by writers. I cannot at this moment remember what word that may be.   But I’m sure, it’ll arrive in my mind as I write this Holiday letter to you all. A reading audience. Where to begin this 2021 Reicher Holiday Letter? I’ll start with our smallest resident. T