Say What You Mean!

Something I struggle with a lot is people saying one thing but meaning another. I automatically assume that they mean exactly what they said, but this often isn’t the case and it’s very confusing deciding whether or not they meant what they said.

Sometimes, this makes me feel betrayed when they didn’t adhere to what they said, but it can be because they never really meant it in the first place. They were just making conversation.

For instance, someone says ‘oh we should do that sometime’ or ‘we should meet up’ but they didn’t really mean it. It’s something that a lot of people seem to say but not mean. It’s kinda suffocating trying to differentiate between a legit promise and a fake one. I just wish people would say exactly what they mean. It would make life a lot easier.

If people told me exactly what they thought of me, life would be easier too. I can differentiate between people who like me for who I am and people who want me to become something I’m not — and stick with the friends that accept me.

I just don’t understand why people always say the opposite of what they mean. It means that I get my hopes up for something that’s never going to happen. Over the years, I’ve had a lot of failed promises, but I still seem to get my hopes up because I never know when one is real.

Sometimes, promises are real, and I am so thankful for the people that say what they mean. For instance, when MyMindSpeaksAloud said that she’d love to go to a cat cafe with me, I was wondering whether we were really going to do it. Now it’s booked and ready for August! I am very excited about it, and it’s really happening, unless a cat-astrophic event happens that prevents it. I love puns.

If people just told everyone what they meant, we would all have a much easier time, in my opinion.

Do you find people confusing?

Lia

I’m Not Who You Want

I’ve noticed that people expect a lot from me. Honestly, I can’t do everything that is expected. People forget sometimes that I’m autistic, I think. I guess, for a while, it makes me feel more normal but I shouldn’t have to hide myself. My true self isn’t the person people want me to be. This doesn’t mean that people should avoid me, or worry about how to talk to me; they should talk to me exactly how they would anyone else. The only difference is that my reply might be vague or unexpected. It might not be what they wanted. I try to talk normally but sometimes my words get knotted and I end up saying something different than what I wanted to say. That’s just how I am. My thoughts and my words often don’t align. Sometimes, I don’t even speak at all, and that’s not because I don’t want to speak; I feel a physical block on my words. It happens most with strangers but it can happen at anytime with people I’ve known for a while too.

When chatting online, I come across as a very different person to how I act in real life. I type what I wouldn’t dare speak, and my online voice is more confident than my real one. This too can give people the impression that I am capable of a lot. The truth is: it embarrasses me to talk about what I can’t do. That’s why I don’t mention it to my friends unless it’s important for them to know. I put on this act that makes me appear able to do lots of things, when really I struggle to do most things.

I’m someone who needs a carer. That carer is also my mum, which means she is around me constantly, to help me do things. I’m someone who needs someone to go out with me, because I can’t go out alone. I’m someone who has a meltdown about the silliest things. The other day, I had a meltdown because my mum thought my meal was hers and peppered it. It was pasta and I can’t eat pepper on my pasta. A lot of people wouldn’t care about something like that but, like I said, the silliest things cause me distress. I have to have things exactly how they’re supposed to be and, if something goes wrong, I can’t cope.

I’m not who people want me to be. I’m trying so hard for my problems to not affect me, but they will always affect me, because autism isn’t temporary. I don’t mind being autistic, it’s who I am, but sometimes I wish it was more understood. There are many stereotypes around it, but I’m not those stereotypes. People thing that if I keep trying, one day my problems will go away. They won’t go away. I’m autistic for life. I can try to make things easier, but it will take time. It’s not something that can happen overnight.

Maybe one day I’ll be able to go out alone, but that day is not today, and it probably won’t be for many days yet to come. People who pressure me into trying to do things that are hard for me just make it harder still. I’ll do things at my own pace.

Understanding isn’t easy if you haven’t experienced it, but imagine you walk into the middle of a movie, and have missed important parts of the plot. You keep trying to ask people questions, but they’re busy watching the rest so they keep telling you to be quiet. That’s kinda what it’s like. You don’t understand what’s going on and you try to figure it out, but you’re still way behind.

Thank you for reading this post,

Lia

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

When You See Me

When you see me, you see a white girl with blonde hair and blue eyes. She can see, she can walk, she’s got nice clothes. That girl is lucky. Perhaps you’re right; I live in a house, with a family that cares, and I’ve got pets too. I am writing this on an iPad, that’s nice as well. I’ve got a lot of things I should be thankful for. I am thankful for them, but life isn’t a breeze either.

As a stranger, I look normal to you. But I have a hidden condition, and it’s called autism. For me, it means that I crave social contact but want to run away when I get it. It means that I won’t speak up about something I dislike until hours later, when I tell only my mum. It means that I can’t go out alone, can’t navigate alone, it’s too terrifying. It means that sometimes my words get scrambled up and I say things wrong. It means that I can’t currently work, because it would be too much; the people, the tasks, the deadlines— it would all get too much. I wouldn’t even survive the interview. It means that I stay in my house most days.

It means that I am not who you think you see.

People with autism look just like anyone else. Sometimes, they’re even extroverts willing to party (they do exist, I know a few!) and sometimes they’re not. Each person with autism is different, no two share the exact same difficulties. But we all blend in. Just because you can’t see it, that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. It’s very real and very frightening.

Thank you for reading,

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

What My Depression Feels Like

I’ve been depressed for a long time, suffered from anxiety for most of that time too, though I think the depression started first. I wasn’t even a teenager when it started. I have been on medication for it since I was fifteen, and I’m currently trying to get it changed as I am now an adult and it’s really not working. Not so many years ago, I overdosed on iron pills and spent quite a few hours in A&E, but I had thrown up most of them already. This was my way to get away from toxicity by digesting toxicity. Not my best idea.

I usually talk about my anxiety on this blog. My anxiety is simpler than my depression, because I can understand it. I can understand why I have it and what factors contributed to me getting it. I can understand why I used to be depressed, but I can’t get why I still am.

I guess it’s because of expectations, and what everyone else is doing with their life… and the fact that I can’t just get up and do something. It’s not that simple. Depression is never that simple. I’m at home most days, lonely. I want to get out and do stuff, but I can’t. A heavy weight stops me from doing it.

I want to be distracted, to have a friend come over and distract me, but people that were once my friends are now further apart from me than ever. They’re moving on with their lives, going places. And I’m not. You can’t expect me to just get a job, or to just go to university. It’s not that simple, again. Autism and depression don’t mix. I was never good at interacting with people, especially strangers. I want to volunteer but my confidence isn’t very high. My anxiety also coincides with this. I just feel so alone about all this.

This is just how I am. I’m sad all the time, but I’m too exhausted to talk to someone, because my mouth won’t move. So I type.

Again?!

Today, I found out that yet another teacher has quit us, though this time it was after only one lesson (what a record!). When I messaged Rose to tell her of it, she didn’t believe me because it was so ridiculous. She’d been ill so hadn’t come in, thus was very unconvinced. Unfortunately, I hadn’t been messing around.

I used to be ashamed of my autism, upon my diagnosis, wanting to hide it and never telling anyone about it but, then, when I realised that teachers who knew about my condition started treating me differently… I felt like I didn’t want to be different, but that I had to be. I wasn’t like everyone else and I had to accept that. So, now that I’ve accepted my diagnosis, I understand what aspects of it affect me. Change is a big one, and I’ve already done a post on it which you can find here. After struggling with so many teachers leaving, I was told that this one would stay. Nope.

It’s just really upsetting for me and I almost want to just drop out but I know that my parents would get a fine if I did, so I can’t. I have to put up with it. This isn’t something anyone should have to go through (especially when the college gets Ofsted outstanding!!!), but it is especially difficult for people with my condition and I am just not gonna do well this year at all.

I’ve been so sad today and they don’t seem to see how this affects my mental state as well as my education. It’s honestly ridiculous and I wish I could just have not done Creative Writing (my dream course) at all because, although I love writing, this course is so messed up that it’s just destroying me, to be honest. The constant change of teachers, the teachers who we do have not knowing anything, I just can’t deal with it. I wish I could but I wasn’t built like that. This just sucks.

How do you deal with difficult circumstances? Do you get out the other end?

Lia

After post P.S: Why do I need to approve me linking to my own posts?! xD

Change and Autism

We all go through change — everyone, whether it’s moving house or just trying a new cereal, it’s all the same thing: change. Change can be minor or major but, in the end, it can change a lot of other things as well. For instance, I changed as a person when I transferred school in year nine. I made some really good friends there and that made me gain confidence. However, my confidence has dropped again since starting college.

Change, to most people, can be a daunting thing; you don’t know what to expect from it. For instance, if I had been allowed to vote, I would have voted in for the EU referendum, because of the change that leaving would entail. We left and I’m having to adjust to that. On the other hand, today we went to a new cafe I have not been in before (as opposed to the usual one we go to) and I was really sad and had a mini-meltdown because it wasn’t the normal one. Then my food came and it was so well-presented and nice and they’d really taken into consideration my veganism that I just couldn’t hate the cafe. I realised that it was actually quite nice. It just wasn’t what I was used to.

If you’re autistic, change is an even more terrifying thought, because we like routine and to have an interruption to that routine makes us intensely stressed. At college, I have always had the same teacher and the same class for English and that is nice for me because it is the same. I have however had five teachers in total so far for creative writing, as well as the classes merging at the beginning of the year (making a massive class, which I can’t stand) and it really feels like they don’t care about our happiness: just funding. The change has really impacted me in a negative way so much so that I haven’t been to college as much as I should be. I also haven’t been because I have to read a potentially-triggering book in English. So, basically, my attendance is bad.

I cried my first day of creative writing, at the break, (though I didn’t tell anyone and only one teacher noticed and she kept pestering me but I was just like “no I don’t need anyone k thanks”) because the change was so extreme. It doesn’t seem like they have taken into consideration what effect this could have on me and my class. I think everyone hates the change but it is just annoying for the rest of the class: for me, it’s terrifying.

Change is hard but sometimes you have to adapt to the change in environment, survival of the fittest and all that, though sometimes, if it’s negative change that could have been prevented, it feels like there is no one who understands the agony it causes me. If I get anxious over a change in cafes, just imagine me adapting to my. fifth. teacher. Not all change is negative though, remember that. Changing schools was one of the best things that happened to me because I met A New Chapter and another really cool person who doesn’t have a blog.

How do you feel about change?

Lia

Judging

So, I was at my autism group today — as I go to most Tuesdays, excluding next week because I’m on holiday! — and there was a new boy. Well, two new boys, but this particular new boy is the one I’m gonna talk about because this isn’t the first time I’ve seen him.

In fact, we were at school together for years, in the same class, and he was alright – sometimes a bit annoying but sometimes nice. He had a few anger problems and I remember this one incident when he pushed a girl to the ground and she really over-exaggerated it, claiming she couldn’t remember anything, just because she was quite attention-seeking and manipulative. To be honest, I was glad he pushed her over — but that’s not the point! He got in trouble for that, and we just thought he had behavioural issues, but we never found out the reason.

I found out today though. It was a very late diagnosis, apparently, even later than mine — but I now see those memories so differently to how I did before. Before, I saw him as a boy with anger issues; now, I see him as more similar to me than I thought. He was nice today but it’s made me think.

Lots of people have issues that are invisible; like me, like him, and they get judged for them because they’re invisible. People wonder why they’re so out of sorts but then they don’t know the real reason. I didn’t know the real reason but now I do and I guess my mind feels a bit cleaner, if you get what I mean. He didn’t know the reason either but now he does. We both do, I guess.

Someone might get angry, or they might assume, but that isn’t their fault and you should make sure you make them feel appreciated. Don’t ignore them, don’t leave them out; if you give them the friend they want, maybe they won’t get angry, or maybe they won’t assume. We just want to be understood and once we’re understood, then we’ll be happy, and you can be happy too. 🙂

Thank you so much for reading this post

Got any suggestions? I’m open!

Lia 🙂