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

 

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

Why?

Why do we live in a time where you aren’t allowed to be proud, happy, supportive, of yourself? Why do we live in a time where we have to look for our flaws, even when they’re harder to find than the good parts? Why do we have to ignore our talents or our natural gifts? Why is modesty and low self-esteem the norm? Why can’t we just be accepting of ourselves?

It’s hard for me to say I’m good at anything, even when I get good grades. I’ve constantly been telling myself how bad I am that it just embeds itself in my mind and I can’t get rid of it, regardless of my grades. It’s because I’ve adjusted to this state of mind. We all have.

People who are proud of themselves are rarer in this world than those who are not, and I am not getting at arrogance here — that is another matter altogether. I am getting at those who have the right to be proud, and take it to the right level. I am in such awe of those people, at how they can manage to feel accomplishment for the same tasks that make me cry at how bad I feel I am at them.

I want to tell people how to be happy with themselves but I can’t because then I’d be lying; I don’t know how to be happy with myself so how can I tell others how to be? Compliments don’t change this; just add an edge of awkwardness and, perhaps, a momentary bit of self-appreciation. But that doesn’t last: it never lasts, and then you’re back where you were. Lost and confused about why you even exist; what qualities do you have to offer the world?

It’s so difficult living without being able to appreciate yourself: can’t that change? I wish it could, but there’s just no way of knowing how.

My dad

Yesterday, me and my dad had a huge row. He was going on about me snacking, as he often does (I was having some hummus and Pringles), and I was fed up of him always going on about it. Then, he called me fat.

Now, my BMI says I’m in the normal, healthy range and all my friends say I’m a good weight (though they might just be being nice) — but this is my dad. My dad called me fat. My own dad. I was crying and telling him to leave me alone but he wouldn’t even give me space. I’ve suffered with bullying and self-esteem issues a lot in my life and he knows that, yet he continues to obsess over this.

I don’t know what to believe, to be honest; I told my cousin (whom has suffered from an eating disorder for quite a few years now) and she told me he was mad, that he should not be saying that at all, and that it was my body, not his. I love my cousin so much and she always knows what to do to make me feel better. He’s her blood uncle and we’re quite close with her family (even though we can’t see them as much as we’d like due to distance) so I was quite surprised when she was saying that he was in the wrong, considering she’s known him for her entire life (longer than she’s known me, by four years).

I’m really confused now because my mum doesn’t like getting involved (though now she’s arranged a healthy-eating plan, woohoo, even though I don’t snack that much anyway) so I don’t have her opinion on the matter. But my dad thinks I’m overweight and he’s my dad and you believe your dad, you know? More so than statistics, I guess…

I was crying for so long yesterday over this and I don’t know what to think. 😦

Thank you for reading this post,

Lia

Falling Sky [Short Story]

  This is a short story I wrote as potential coursework for Creative Writing. I don’t know if it’s good enough so I’m posting it here — to get advice. 🙂 

 When it first started falling, it was just flakes, like dandruff, and we didn’t really think much of it. It was blue; real blue, like the colour that rain is in picture books. When a piece hit me, it felt like rain too, merging with my skin, except it left a blue dot, as if it was paint from the sky. Other people around me looked up too and we all saw the exact places that these fragments had fallen from because they weren’t blue anymore. They were a new colour, one that I can’t describe because you’ve never seen it before. If I were to describe it, though, I’d say that it resembled crushed up souls blended with creamed eyeballs. It wasn’t a pretty colour. That’s why I didn’t look up again; the colour made me want to be sick.

When I got home, my mum was visibly shaking, screaming, shattering. Her arms were coated in blue, which I realised was the fallen sky, and she was curled in a ball.

“My head,” she whimpered, “it’s like a bomb’s exploded in it.” She could barely say the words, gasping often. I sat beside her, wrapping my arms around her.

“What’s happened?” I asked.

“I don’t know, it’s the sky — it was falling, it was falling, and now I’m in pain.”

This story of the sky falling quickly made headlines, and one of the articles that caught my interest the most was Sky Side-Effects? It talked about the health issues that people had been having since the sky started falling. It described an unknown illness where people exposed to too much sky were having similar symptoms to that of a brain tumour, except there wasn’t a tumour. It stated that a few had already died from this disease, which is when I started getting worried.

“Mum, how have your headaches been today?” was the first question I asked every evening when I got home from school (before it was closed because of the threats of going outside). She usually had three answers: “good, actually”, “not so good”, and “help, help, help”. I hadn’t liked to go to school whilst she was ill but she’d made me, telling me that my education was important. She didn’t know that she was endangering me at the time.

When the schools finally closed, I monitored my mum often, making charts assessing her condition. It was still only fragments falling at this stage — nothing too serious — and no one went outside anyway, unless they really had to, and if they did they wore protective clothing. Her condition hadn’t gotten any worse, in fact it had gotten better, and I had pinned this to the fact that she’d not gone outside for a while. She was safe, for now. I also checked the news regularly (I’d never been a fan of it before) to see any updates.

Then, when all the little fragments stopped falling, we thought it was over. We went outside and embraced the cold, something we’d never really done before.

It had been three days since the sky had stopped falling and I’d taken my mum out for the first time. She was still a little ill, very pale in the face, but her migraines had diminished to headaches. It was quite pretty when you looked up at the sky now; with it being grey (it was a bad weather day), the clouds being white, and then, where little fragments had fallen, you could see the new colour: peluvia. I don’t know how it came to be called that, some scientist or something, but I thought it was a prettier name than any of the other colours, despite the fact that the colour itself was not pretty.
My mum and I were staring up at the sky together, holding hands, when the ground first shook. It was like there was an earthquake but we’d never had one before. We didn’t rule it out, though, considering the recent events.

“Staying outside is probably best, if it’s an earthquake,” I told my mum.

“But what if it’s not? What if it’s–” And then I could see the fear in her eyes become a reality as the ground stopped shaking, and the sky started falling. All of it. Not little flakes. Nowhere to run, hide. We’d survived this long; it wasn’t fair.

“Go inside. Now!” I yelled, pushing her weak body into the kitchen. I figured that if the sky was going to fall, it might not get to our ground floor. That was our best chance at surviving it.

I shielded her, she shielded me; it wasn’t much use really, but it was all we could do. I heard the sound of the roof breaking, the stairs crumbling, ceilings cracking. Then, it all fell down, and all I saw was dust in my eyes.

I think I died, then; I’m not sure how long after, but I did die eventually. I don’t know whether my mum died — I don’t want to think about that. I don’t want to think about anything from the past anymore. I just want to fall, like the sky; instead of sitting at the top of it, watching it fall in front of my eyes, without being able to do anything. Because, once the sky gets you completely, you’re the one pushing it — there’s nothing you can do. You have to. Or you’ll become a part of the new sky.

Thank you for reading this,

Lia