Day 46 International Red Shoes Rock Virtual Relay Race – Congratulations to Christopher!
MEET CHRISTOPHER – I am passionate about music: creating, discovering and sharing the positive benefits it has for people with developmental disabilities, especially those with an FASD diagnosis. I am fascinated with the brain, how it works and how music effects it. I love animals, museums, go karts, theatrical epicness.
There I was
I remember…I could see everything
I was six years old when I picked myself up off the ground. I had hurt my ankle, nothing more. Nobody had noticed I had jumped off the roof of the mobile home I lived in. The very place of which I had already been exposed to things no six year old (or any child) should know, see and experience. I learned fear, cowardice, abandonment and how to run. I failed to thrive and lived in the foster care system from 4 mos. until I was adopted at 7.
I have many interests and I enjoy all of them. It didn’t used to be that way. Only 12 years ago I was struck by a blazin’ fever to learn everything. Before then, I had very little desire to read or learn anything as understanding most academics escaped me.
It felt like I “always” worked a zillion times harder than everyone around me to learn. I always felt 10 steps behind no matter what friendship or relationship I was in, no matter what job I had and especially on intellectual levels. I developed the survival skill of “knowing” any given subject without actually knowing it.
I found out ‘why’ my life was so incredibly difficult and torturous in May 2014 (one week before my 44th Bday) when I learned of my having FAS.
Today, I love psychology, I have been a certified peer counselor and I study it regularly. I love philosophy and read the works of many different philosophers. I enjoy learning about physics and Einstein is my go-to guy (admittedly, it was the hair that initially got my attention), hobby robotics, geekery, the world of fiber art, etc.
There isn’t an art form I don’t like.
My passion is music. A few months ago I decided to follow this passion. I love everything from classical to Barbra Streisand to The Bee Gees to George Benson to Train to Ozzy to Iron Maiden. I’m most passionate about theatrical/cinematic/epic music. I’m in the process of creating my first album.
Unlike other art forms music utilizes and strengthens both sides of the brain. To Me, music is much more than turning on the radio or studying music theory or listening to Mozart (speaking of Mozart, my middle name is actually Amadeus).
For me, rather than thinking in words only, thinking in sound is the language I prefer to use to relate my experiences, work through difficult emotions; to connect with my environment, its’ conversations and to recall memories.
I believe people with an FASD could greatly enhance their quality of life by including some kind of music in their daily lives. I want to share my music with as many people as possible but mainly and mostly with those who have an FASD diagnosis. There are days when my head talks to me by playing tapes of comparisons and impossiblities. Music, essentially, reminds me that “Just because you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel doesn’t mean it isn’t there!”
STRENGTHS – I am sensitive to people’s feelings. I am experienced with where many of them come from. I am vibrant and energetic. I’ve even had people in their 40’s tell me I make them feel young. I am compassionate and forgiving; willing to be understanding and trusting. I believe I’m a fair person and open-minded. I prefer to help people strengthen themselves through self-discovery, confidence-builders and, above all, through edification.
STRUGGLES – I actually have many daily challenges due to my FAS. Here are some of them: sensory overload, emotional overload, thought processing (specifically getting my thoughts to become actions), understanding the punch lines of jokes and telling jokes, memory retention, having childlike behavior, connecting, math,
WISH – I have a goal to be a public speaker in hopes to inform people about FASDs, motivate and help propel the already-flourishing “FASD Revolution” and create & develop new relationships with those living with an FASD.
I want people with an FASD (and those who don’t) to feel and connect with the healing and powerful benefits of music and, perhaps, some of the music I create.