Sleeping By the Willow Tree
I started going to the river when I first moved to this house a year ago, mainly it was because of the lovely weeping willow that sat next to the water. I would sit under that tree and look out into the river as it flowed, I would admire the beautiful branches and leaves that acted like a veil. On a good season, the branches would be low enough to touch the surface of the water. The river always gave me the most soothing feelings both when I watch it and when I swim in it, and with the water being so clear I can watch the fish and other creatures below the surface without intruding. The water feels like another world that I have yet to explore fully.
The Spooky Spectrum: Carrie White from Carrie (1976) (Part 4)
Many Autistic people, including myself, will relate to this scene because we have had so many moments in our lives where we were lied to, tricked, manipulated, gaslighted to only to be made a fool of in front of our peers. One real-life example of this is where an Autistic youth was tricked into participating in the ALS bucket challenge, only to have feces and urine dumped on him by his peers. Carrie can only seem to focus on the people who are mocking her and laughing at her distress over the pig’s blood. When it became clear that Carrie had no one left to turn to in that moment, she flies into a rage and kills everyone in the school including people she considered her allies. When an Autistic person reaches their “breaking point” (also known as a meltdown) it can become very violent and destructive. Of course, meltdowns are never this violent. In Carrie’s case, her meltdown is exaggerated for the perfect climax.
The Spooky Spectrum: Carrie White from Carrie (1976) (Part 3)
During the research scene, Carrie hyper-focuses on the task of researching telekinesis and learns everything that she needs to know. This is also the scene where Tommy Ross asks Carrie out to the prom instead of Sue Snell, his girlfriend. Carrie does not know how to react to this sudden change in Tommy’s behaviour (Remember when Tommy was mocking her earlier?) so Carrie immediately leaves. Carrie is hyper-aware of how her peers perceive her but despite all of this wants to be included or treated as “normal.” Desjardin tries to comfort Carrie after she talks about her anxiety with being asked out by Tommy to the prom. Neurotypicals assume that Autistic people do not understand that they are being bullied, while this is true to a certain extent, that doesn’t mean that Autistics cannot at least get the impression that their existence is not well-received by their peers. Autistics are more than aware that they are treated differently by others, even ones considered “low-functioning” and those are considered the “easy targets.”
The Spooky Spectrum: Carrie White from Carrie (1976) (Part 2)
Later, we meet Carrie’s mother, Margaret, as she proselytizes a woman into joining her version of Christianity. Going against social norms, Margaret does not ask to enter the house, and stood there awkwardly until she was invited in. Margaret goes through her proselytizing like a “script” until it is interrupted by the mother offering money. Autistic people tend to follow scripts during conversations and can sometimes struggle with “reading the room.” Margaret is a great example of an undiagnosed Autistic person who was indoctrinated into a cult and suffered great trauma from her religious upbringing.
The Spooky Spectrum: Carrie White from Carrie (1976) (Part 1)
Welcome, my dear readers to The Spooky Spectrum, A Halloween Edition of Breaking the (Autistic) Code. I will be looking at Autistic-coded characters in Horror films during the month of October. It is important to note that I will definitely be discussing some disturbing topics in these essays so be cautious before continuing on. Spoilers will also be a thing as well. I am not a licensed medical professional and this series is not about diagnosing the character(s) with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This series is a personal examination of the film/TV show's plot, the character's traits and personality and how they relate to me as an Autistic woman. I would encourage my readers to seek out different perspectives on disability representation especially from BIPOC disabled creators who are often ignored in the disability discourse.
The Reasons Why I Write
I suppose I should introduce myself to my current and future subscribers since my Matilda article did manage to catch a bit of attention. Many of you might resonate with what I will be saying in this article and some of you might not know of my experience. I realize that my disability, or my experiences with it, will also make me stand out from most of the people on this site. In the end, I do hope that you will be taking the time to read what I have to say regarding this subject.
Breaking the (Autistic) Code: Matilda (1996)
Disclaimer: I am not a licensed medical professional and this series is not about diagnosing the character(s) with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This series is just a personal examination of the film/TV show's plot, the character's traits and personality and how they relate to me as an Autistic woman. Whether this character is canonically Autistic or not is irrelevant. This series has come about after Sia's controversial film Music was released and the backlash that has ensued before, during and after the release of the film. I am not the only Autistic individual that is discussing this topic, nor will I be the last. I would encourage my readers to seek out different perspectives on disability representation especially from BIPOC disabled creators who are often ignored in the disability discourse. I will also try to avoid giving away any spoilers for those who have not seen the film/TV show but if I have to give context for my arguments, this will be a likely occurrence so please be forewarned.