Yesterday I had a very challenging dream, one that was hard to escape. I dreamed that I was autistic and I knew it.

I felt like an icicle: I had difficulties moving, relating to the world, perceiving colour and emotions. Yet at the same time I also had all sensations our world can offer frozen inside of me. So I was hot and cold at the same time, I was joyful and angry at the same time, I wanted to break out and stay where I was, all at the same time. I felt overwhelmed by emotions – and yet unable to allow those emotions to flow. All those things became trapped in the ice that surrounded me.

I felt like the capital letter T because my arms were stretched out and frozen in place. I couldn’t relax them. I couldn’t use them to touch anything or hug anyone. Yet I knew that things like touch and hugs exist.

Towards the end of the dream, as I started surfacing (I guess), I knew that I had to ‘break the ice’ and force myself to wake up. I knew that I could not escape the situation within the dream. I pushed myself so hard that I nearly fell out of bed. The feeling of claustrophobia and carrying the whole world within me stayed with me all day – but not in a positive way.

As a shamanic teacher and practitioner it is my belief that seriously ill (or old or disabled) people perform a service (even a sacrifice) for our larger society. By living something they hold it so it finds expression. Often something that society at large will not ‘own’ or value. Energetically speaking there is something important going on, a contribution is made, even if it is largely in other realms.

After my dream I felt that by ‘freezing and becoming ice’, I myself had become a ‘looking glass’, to use the more old fashioned word. What I ‘saw’ was how mankind is living in a state of ‘disconnect, cut off’ from the earth, the animals, the elements and the principles that animate the cosmos.

I wonder if autistic people perform the service of holding and reflecting that ‘disconnect’. It’s something we need to heal in ourselves – not necessarily in autistic people, who – in my understanding – need compassion and permission not to be anything they are not – they need to be loved as they are, not ‘healed’, and valued for their unique skills, perspective and teachings.  But our relationship to them needs to be healed. And in doing so our relationship to ourselves and our planet can receive healing.

I don’t know if any of this makes sense to anyone else but I felt compelled to write it down and share it.

As always I love hearing what other people think.

Imelda Almqvist