Worries

I worry every day. I can’t stop the flooding in my brain. I worry about the fact that only 16% of autistic adults are in full time paid employment, and that only 32% are in any kind of paid work. I worry about the fact that I don’t look autistic and most people don’t realise just how autistic I am. They think I can fix my autistic traits if they keep telling me how to improve myself, but you can’t fix autism. It stays with you forever. I worry about the fact I may lose all my friends one day through my lack of understanding social communication. I say the wrong things often and I don’t understand why it was the wrong thing. I don’t understand other people’s social signals, either. I think I’m losing friends already.

I worry about the fact that 1 in 3 autistic adults are experiencing severe mental health problems and I think I’m one of them because I can’t see properly most days. All I see in front of me are traps. I think about all the ways I could fail in life frequently, and it isn’t enough to just think positive. I try, but then I think about all the negatives of that positive.

I worry about the fact that I want to do something big with my life but that I will never get the chance to. Don’t say I can if I try. Then, I’ll feel worse about not doing it. My autism looks like it doesn’t affect me much so people encourage me to do things that they would never encourage someone with a more visible disability to do. Just because mine is invisible, people think I can do things. I’ve tried to do more with my life and it ended in terrible situations each time, because of my autism. Each time, I remember back to those scenarios, and I think they will happen again. That is why I cannot do what I want with my life. I cannot experience the opportunities many are lucky to grab. It will end badly.

I cannot see any future for myself, personally. I see the future of everyone else around me — but not me. I have no future. One day, I might be all alone and not know how to cope with the world I’ll be all alone in, and that frightens me the most. I fear that I will be stationary, like a statue, for my entire life. I once had dreams and aspirations that burned down before me when I realised I can never complete those.

I’m depressed. I’m anxious. I’m autistic. No one wants to deal with someone like me. I’m too complicated for them. I’m a mess. I lie to people most of the time with simple texts and funny pictures. I don’t want to be remembered for being a fraud. I want to be remembered for being an author who volunteered with animals regularly, but that is not going to happen. I have had far too many set-backs already. My autism is literally stopping me from getting opportunities (I was turned down by a volunteer agency when they found out I was autistic, despite the fact I could do whatever tasks they wanted me to). I have tried more than once to fit in with society and it did not work out.

The truth is that I’m tired. I feel like an alien. No one understands me. I will not speak this aloud but I will write it in a blog post because that’s what my blog is about. Expressing myself.

Honestly, my pets are what keep me going. Seeing them each day gives me something to smile about, but there’s not much more for me to smile at anymore. I feel alone and frightened about my future. I have my family but they won’t be here forever, so what happens then?

I don’t know.

Lia

 

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Invalidated Feelings

Someone recently invalidated my feelings and it really hurt. I’ve been feeling like rubbish ever since because it was someone close to me. I just feel like I can’t talk to them about anything I might feel in the future. I’m depressed and I’ve been depressed for a long time. So, to get my feelings completely disregarded, by someone who knows my mental health and knows me very well, isn’t nice. Ever since they did it, I’ve been down more than usual. I feel like we would argue if I brought it up with them so I’m just going to have to keep my feelings to myself around them, I guess? Even though they’re someone I shouldn’t have trouble expressing myself to. I’m in a really low place right now and it hurts. It hurts that I can’t talk to them. It hurts that they’re such an important person in my life. It just hurts.

People Tell Me

People tell me I’m sensitive. What this means is that my heart is unlocked and you just need to climb inside it to see that I’m crying. People tell me I’m insensitive. What this means is that I picked up a pebble and threw it into the wind, but then it fell back down and was bigger than I first noticed. People tell me I’m beautiful. What this means is that my mind is a socket and people are plugging in a charger for my feelings. People tell me I’m ugly. What this means is that everyone else sat in a field of grass whilst I played in the mud. People tell me I’m smart. What this means is that I listened to thousands of other voices regurgitating the same spit. People tell me I’m dumb. What this means is that my life is an essay that I have yet to complete. People tell me a lot of things. What this means is that their lips keep determining, their eyes keep deducting, and their ears keep ignoring. I tell myself that I’m here. What this means is that I can focus on the snakes or the mice but, either way, I’m going to get bitten. Instead, I should focus on the most conflicting voice of all: my own.

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

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