Update on Moving House

So, as I said previously, I’m moving house, We were originally moving to this chalet bungalow, where I’d have a reasonable sized bedroom. Even though I hated the idea of moving house, this house was the one that I liked the most. I could see the potential in it.

However, as you do when you move house, my parents had a survey done of the house to see if there were any problems. There were a lot of problems, and it would take a lot of time and money to fix them all, so my parents decided it wasn’t worth it. Without telling me, they went to view another property, and immediately put in an offer on it, also without consulting me. I guess it’s their decisions at the end of the day, but I would have liked to see it first. I was hoping that the survey issue might slow things down… but it seemed to have no impact on time whatsoever.

The new property (normal bungalow) is in the same road as the other (though it’s a long road, compared to the short one I live in now, so it’s right at the other end) but it’s hidden. It has this really, really, really long driveway. Imagine a long driveway, and double it. So, although we will have neighbours, we won’t really see them much, because they’ll be next to the start of our long driveway, and we’re hidden the other end. The garden is also a wraparound which could be good for Pablo. Lots of space for him to run around. Although it’s near a busy road and railway station, it isn’t really, again because of the long driveway, so I hope the cats will be okay if we were to move there. My bedroom would be much smaller than the one now. Everyone else in the house is going to have a large bedroom so I’ll be the only one suffering a loss of space. Also, I think Pablo’s going to be upset about lack of upstairs, because he loves going upstairs. And the cats love swiping at us from the stairs.

I guess I’m terrified, again, because I haven’t even seen this house… and it could be the house that I live in for many years to come. I don’t know. Maybe it’ll be okay, maybe I’ll get used to a small bedroom and no upstairs and a different area and maybe the pets will be okay with it too… or maybe it won’t be good. I won’t know until I see the property. Who knows? Maybe this property will fail the survey too.

It’s just a lot of maybes at the moment. Maybe I’ll move to this house; maybe I won’t. I just need to prepare for every possible outcome.

Moving

I’ve lived in the same house for my entire life — 18 years.

Today my parents accepted an offer on our house. It means that it’s real, that I’m actually going to be moving somewhere. A chalet bungalow. I don’t want to leave this house. I really don’t. It’s terrifying, the thought of never being in it again… the house I spend most of my days in, all of my nights in.

Why do I have to leave it?

My heart is crumbling, piece by piece, because this is the house I have lived in for so long. Every second I think about the new house, a part of my heart vanishes, because it’s only going to get closer to the day I have to leave.

I don’t know if I can do it. I’ve dealt with changes before, but never such a massive one. This is the biggest change I will ever face and how can I live with it? I don’t know.

All I know is that it’s scaring me so much. I’ve never felt this scared before, because I always had the security of returning to this house. Now that’s going to be gone too.

What Not to Do to an Autistic Person

I’ve mentioned this before in posts, but I thought I should put a disclaimer before this one, just so you know. Autism is a spectrum, and the things that I don’t like or that make me stressed might not necessarily be the same for other people on the spectrum. They might have other worries.

This is a list of tips for people who might know someone with this condition. However, it is definitely not accurate for everyone, as mentioned above. It is accurate for me, though.

  1. Do not make arrangements with me that have less than a week’s notice, or that don’t have all the details sorted out until very close to the scheduled day of meeting. This stresses me out so much and I get so worked up over it that I am 84% going to cancel. If I don’t cancel, I’m probably going to be sad and tired for a while after meeting, because I hadn’t mentally prepared myself for it.
  2. Don’t speak to me in a demanding way, or with a stern voice. This just causes me to panic and I actually take longer to do the task than if you had just asked nicely.
  3. Please don’t ignore any text questions I have! I cannot stand the ‘read’ feature on social media. I use Facebook and Instagram most often (both of which have this feature) and it causes me an unsettling amount of anxiety when someone ignores my text. I’m talking about people who read it and then decide to never respond. This applies largely to questions and stuff that would normally incite a response. Just.. please…
  4. Don’t look at me too intensely. I am alright with you glancing at me occasionally but it kinda makes me feel uncomfortable if you look at me too long. I’m sorry, it’s just hard to deal with eyes looking at me… I sometimes want to permanently hide under a sheet so no one ever has to look at me.
  5. Try to avoid touching me. I am extremely sensitive to touch, and sometimes I feel so obliged to hug people and it really feels awkward and uncomfortable. Also, please do not touch my arm or something if you’re trying to get my attention or for whatever reason — I know you only lightly touched me, but it hurts! Most people wouldn’t be affected but sometimes my mum will tap me and I’ll go “ouch!” and she’ll think I’m being over-dramatic, but it actually hurts.
  6. Compliments… gifts… help. I am alright with compliments and gifts, as long as you don’t expect a response. I have been called rude for this but it is just so awkward! I am really grateful that you like my hair or for the potato you gave me but it makes me really embarrassed, especially around people who aren’t my close family. My mum calls me beautiful every day, that’s enough compliments for my entire life! I also struggle with confidence and don’t know whether you’re being nice or truthful. It’s hard to decide!
  7. Don’t speak too loud. You can speak at normal volume, but do not yell at me or raise your voice. I’m sensitive to noise, too, and tend to retreat from loud noise and often won’t respond, or might even try to cover my ears.
  8. Don’t expect me to never say inappropriate things. If I’m feeling awkward, or the conversation has stopped flowing, I probably will say something inappropriate. For instance, I might say something about potatoes because I love them and they’re the first thing I can think of. What gets me is when people question why I said that, or look at me strange. I’m not like you.
  9. Don’t forget me. I know I’m not the best person at maintaining friendships, because I eventually drive them away with my inappropriateness or my anxiety, but I always try to do the right thing. I try. It’s hard when people don’t accept me for the way I am, and how difficult I can be. I might be complex, but I can be solved. Just try it.

Thank you so much for reading this post,

Lia

Perceptions

So I was at a cafe today with my parents, just having lunch, when I overheard a conversation from the table next to us. A man was saying a lot of bad stuff about vegans. One thing he said was “if they were on my table, I’d have extra pigs in blankets”. He also said the line that I have heard so often from people; that if we didn’t breed animals, they’d be extinct. We actually over-breed them, so it’s a very false statement. Even if it were true, which it isn’t, I would much rather a species go extinct than have to suffer at the hands of humanity.

I know a lot of omnivores; the majority of the people I know are omnivores, and if they’re not, they are vegetarian. I don’t have any vegan friends. I hold my beliefs quite passionately but if I were to go around bad-mouthing them, I’d be a very unpopular person. I accept that it’s not something they’re willing to do. Whilst I’d like them to be vegan, I know that I have to accept them as omnivores. Being vegan is about passion and I couldn’t call myself passionate if I were constantly making them feel bad.

This guy had no right to talk rubbish about an entire group of people within society. He hasn’t even met most of us, yet he can be so rude. It kinda made me sad, because a lot of other people are probably staying similar stuff. Vegans aren’t the enemy; we’re just like you, except we live slightly differently. I’m so thankful for the small amount of friends I have, and I wouldn’t change them. But other people should not judge a book by its cover.

With me, it’s “is she antisocial?” “How rude!” “Does she speak?” “Stop fidgeting!” That is because of my autism and that is how I am judged. Next, because of my veganism, it’s “oh, she’s one of those.” “What does she eat?” “Plants have feelings too, hypocrite.” “Where does she get her protein from?” “Better not be friends with her, she’d turn me.” I have all these perceptions of me constantly floating around and it’s just upsetting to constantly have them in my life. Strangers, leave other strangers alone.Thank you.

I might not be what society deems ‘normal’ but I’m not what you think either. I’m more than just thoughts. I’m a person too.

Lia

A Letter to My First & Second Bully

This letter is about two kinds of bullies. The first kind is the bully who is going through something tough and they’re just getting their anger out on someone weaker than them. The second kind is the one who either does it for popularity or just gets a thrill out of making someone suffer. This is a letter to my first two bullies; the first was someone going through something, the second smiled whenever I cried.

Dear my first bully,

I shouldn’t really call you a bully. You’re a human being. I don’t actually remember how you made me upset because all I remember now is the aftermath. You probably don’t recall, as we’re practically strangers now, but after we found out that you were going through a divorce, we became friends. Your mum and my mum were friends for a while too. I think we once went to pottery together.

I’m glad you were my first bully, though, because you made me realise that not all bullies are monsters. You were angry and hurt and you took it out on me and that’s okay. Although I wasn’t used to it when you bullied me, you helped me to develop an ignorance for what was to come, though it still hurt every single time they bullied me. I know you were a sweet boy behind it. It’s the school’s fault, usually, because they make up stuff about anti-bullying policies that they never stick to.

I forgave you so soon after because I saw the real you. You were only young too; we both were. I’m sure that you learned that it was wrong and that it never happened again. In fact, I think I’m positive of that, because of how a bully became a friend. Though we went our separate ways years ago, I still remember you. I think I won’t forget you.

Dear my second bully,

Nice friends you have to help you insult me. It would be harder to do it alone, wouldn’t it? You always have to come in a gang of three, like the movies, but you’re the ringleader, also like the movies. You never picked on anyone else whilst we were in the same class; not even that boy who everyone else picked on — you were friends with him. It was specifically me. Specifically me. Why? Because I was a girl but I wasn’t one of the popular, pretty ones. I had my hair tied up and I didn’t wear mascara. I also didn’t have my ears pierced. Bare in mind that I was eight, yet everyone else deemed it normal for girls of eight to be coating themselves in stuff. I don’t get it. But I was still a girl: weaker, more vulnerable than a boy. You also knew that I didn’t have confidence, regardless of the fact I stuck my hand up several thousand times. I did that to try and make myself feel better, but it always made me feel worse. Your sneering didn’t help. It never did.

You were also the type of bully that I would never report; you made sure of that. You were subtle, but threatening, and you made me cry in the toilets. Our teachers hated me (because I cried all the time), so they just moaned about me being a cry baby in parent evenings. I think my parents were shocked, but it meant that you could continue doing what you were doing. I didn’t cry much until I came into your path. Yours and theirs; all of the bullies, but you were definitely the leader. I could always tell that. You did it for an ego boost, a popularity boost, security. You needed to feel like you had value because you never cared for class, so your grades weren’t the best; so you bullied me.

Still, it made you smile. It always made you smile, and that sickens me. Funny how sick rhymes with your name, isn’t it? You were another boy, just like my first bully, but you never became my friend. I will also never forget you, because if you hadn’t happened, maybe it never would have gotten so bad. Maybe I wouldn’t have had crippling anxiety for years to come; anxiety so bad that important grades suffered. I would tap my fingers through exams, thinking and thinking about how my life came to that point. And at one stage, I came back to you. And I was always disappointed with my results. Always disappointed. I think I could have done better; I certainly studied a lot. I think all of it was because I couldn’t focus. I just wanted to get out of that room and run out of that gate, all of the time. Maybe you were involved in some way, psychologically messing with me, even though I hadn’t been at your school for a few years.

Thank you for making my life a misery.

Thanks for reading this post. If you’re getting bullied, it’s tough, and sometimes no one will help you (at least, in my case) but you will always get online support. I am always here and so are so many other people. It’s a hard time but you can get through it. 

Lia

 

Routine and Fashion

As you are probably aware, I’m autistic, which means that routines are a big part of my life. I can’t deal with someone changing the plan or not giving me specifics; it gives me a kinda meltdown. But sometimes I get overwhelmed with the plan too and then I have to cancel myself.

Due to my like of routines, my clothing choices rarely vary. I have to have the same style of clothing every day. For me, this routine is greyscale. I wear black, white and shades of grey in-between. I don’t usually vary from this colour scheme. I’ve been using it for several years now and don’t see it changing anytime soon.

As well as this, I have this houndstooth bag. One time, my mum went to a workshop for autistic parents, and they mentioned that the houndstooth design is fascinating to autistic people. I had this bag before my mum even went, so she found it really interesting that they were saying that lots of people like me have a similar interest in it.

Another thing is my footwear. I always have to wear boots; black, relatively small boots. Even in summer, when my parents are saying they’re too warm, I have to wear them. The texture is good. Unlike other footwear (*cough* canvas shoes *cough*) where the material really feels funny against my feet, they feel alright and they also look nice, so I wear them. I’m not a massive fan of the feel of my socks because they feel tight and itchy but they have nice designs and those designs make me wear them, and it’s hard to find nice-feeling socks that also have nice designs, because I have to have a nice design! Socks are also my exception to the greyscale rule. I can wear any colour of sock, as long as it’s a good design.

I wear clothing that is wildly inappropriate for the season. In summer, I had to wear leggings, and sometimes I’d get really hot and sweaty, but at least it fit in with my routine. And now, I have to wear the same coat I wore in the summer, which isn’t the thickest coat, so I get cold. But routine is always the most important thing to me.

Do you have any clothes that you won’t stop wearing, no matter what the season?
Lia

Becoming an Adult

The day we become an adult is not the day we turn eighteen, but the day we get our last exam result, and then think “well – now what?” Most of my friends are going to university (some going to extremely high-ranked ones) so they have a little bit of a layout for their life (not much, but at least enough for the next few years) and some even know where they intend to go with their life. They have it all planned out.

But not everybody does. Not everybody knows where their life is going to lead them.

One of the most stressful questions to hear, as someone who suffers from anxiety and depression, is “what are you going to do now?” They mean well but it makes me think about the future and where I’m going and where I’m not going and what’s happening and what’s not happening and — you get the picture. It’s terrifying.

I got good results, results I was happy with, but I happen to be friends with geniuses, which often makes me feel like less of a person too, even though they’re wonderful and I’m happy for them. I just happened to pick up smart friends. I guess I must be the dumb friend, to them, if you think about it. So I’m worried about my results too.

I worry about whether my life has a direction but I don’t want it to, yet I do, all at once. I want to study a degree but I don’t, all at once. I don’t want to be a drifter, I want to be a sailor! But I can’t be. I will never be a sailor, no matter how hard I try to control my ship; it will crash and I will drift on one piece of wood left.

I want to become something, but I don’t.

I’m never going to be what people expect me to be, or rather, what they want me to be. I’m not going to be what I want to be either. Because I will never be strong enough to sail. I just won’t be.

Lia

Small Things

The other day I was out with my parents and we were having lunch, as well as complaining about the fact we were told there were no straws but people who arrived after us were drinking with straws. The thing is, I kinda have to drink out of a straw, for some reason, so it affects me quite a lot.

Then, a man who did not know us at all, got up and went inside. We didn’t think anything of it but a few minutes later he returned with a straw and gave it to me. I smiled a lot after that. It wasn’t the fact that he’d gotten me a straw, though that was nice, it was that a complete stranger would do something like that for me, a stranger to him. 

Small things really matter and the fact that this man did this for me really made my day. He was with his wife and son, yet helped out me. Sometimes, if you do a little action, it can really affect someone in a positive way. Try it. It might just make someone smile.

I’m An Adult?!

Today I turned eighteen.

Me? Eighteen? That can’t be right… Let me check my birth certificate, hang on… oh, turns out I am eighteen. Welp.

It’s such a scary age, isn’t it? More responsibilities, pressure, expectations. I’m supposed to be someone that I’m not; someone mature and reasonable and ready for life. I still have no clue what my life is going to become; no clue where it’ll take me or where I’ll take it. I don’t think I’m going to have an idea anytime soon.

Today, though, was a bit of fun in a world where there seems to lack it. I met up with some really good friends (ANewChapter and MyMindSpeaksAloud being two of the three that I invited) and we played cat games. Also, pizza, but unfortunately ANewChapter couldn’t stay for that. The cat games were so fun though and I had a really nice time. The non-blogger friend that came gave me some flowers, which made me feel really grown-up and mature, even though I’m not. What’s ironic is that she got me quite an immature card which contrasts with the flowers. It’s made me have an existential crisis: am I an adult or am I a kid?! She wrote some lovely words inside of the card though.

ANewChapter got me a really pretty notebook and also wrote some lovely words in the card. Too many lovely words! Luckily, MyMindSpeaksAloud was less serious and lovely in what she wrote, but it was still really nice. I mean, you can’t have three serious cards, can you? And she got me the best cat mug ever; she has really good taste. I suppose she just sees something with cats on and thinks “yup, Lia will like this” — and she’s right!

I got an iPad today, my first ever iProduct, and it’s really cool. MyMindSpeaksAloud, being an avid lover of iProducts, talked me through some of the settings. I also got a lovely dress which I wore today (yes, that was a birthday present, people who came to my house) and two cat-themed games, which I played with my friends. Plus £100 from my Nan, who apparently only gave my brother £60 for his 18th. My aunt only gave me £25 whilst she gave my brother £30 for his 18th though. That sorta makes up for it… Ish. If you take away the extra £35.

It was a fun day and I think my friends bonded, because MyMindSpeaksAloud hadn’t met the others before (though knew one from blogging, of course) and told me about how nice they were after.

My brother tagged my present from him (Exploding Kittens; card game) with the words: “You’re an adult!!! Now act like one”. That seemed like a very brotherly thing to say. I love him anyway, even if he does annoy me a lot sometimes…

Moving on, I just wanted to say that these eighteen years have been so mixed. Some years were great, some years weren’t so great, but in the end, I have three amazing friends who I don’t see as often as I’d like, but who I care a lot about. They’re the type of friends that you can go ages without seeing and just pick up where you left off when you do see them though, and that’s just awesome. Two of them are already eighteen and one will be eighteen very soon. We’re all growing up and heading in different directions. Two are going to uni, the other two of us are chilling for a while. It’s amazing how people extend into different directions in life. What makes people take those different turns? Why do some people end up as artists and others end up as accountants? (Referencing my parents and their very different lifestyle choices). It’s amazing how we all begin very similar and we end up totally different.

I’m eighteen now, but I definitely don’t feel it, and that’s okay. You might not feel your age either, and you might never feel your age, but age is only your biological factor; it doesn’t mean a thing about your psychology. You can be whatever age you want to be, if you believe it.

Thank you for reading this post,

Sincerely, 

An adult.

A Letter to a Friend

Dear Queen, as I’m going to call you in this letter,

I know you’re struggling right now, which is why you’re distant and barely reachable. I know you don’t have any plans. I know you feel like nothing interests you at the moment. I know you feel low and stressed. I know you’re scared. I want you to know that you are not the only one who doesn’t know what to become.

You’re the smartest girl I know, and I always wondered why you’d cry before exams when you always aced them. But I know why: you were stressed and you put so much pressure on yourself to do well that it all got too much.  You might be doubting yourself but I don’t doubt you.

I, too, am afraid of the future. I, too, struggle to find my ambition. I’m not going to university next year either. If you want to talk to anyone about this, talk to me, because I know what you’re going through. I know what it feels like to not have any clear goals. Of course, there is my writing, but realistically speaking, that’s going to be nearly impossible to accomplish.

I know you don’t talk to me as much recently, and I know you haven’t really been saying much to other people, but it’s important you remember that we all love you and we all care. You are so beautiful and fantastic and I’m so proud that you’re my friend.

Please, text me, or email me, or meet up with me sometime — you are appreciated. You are. I understand how troubling it can be thinking about your future; I’m in the same boat and sometimes I cry about it. But at least I have my writing to let my feelings loose. You really need someone to talk to, I think, though you’re scared to admit it. You’re awesome, Queen, and whilst you’re still going to doubt that, remember that no one else does.

Yours truly,

Lia