Dear Eve: Meltdowns

Dear Eve,

Thank you for reading my first letter. It means a lot that someone, however fictitious you are, is reading these. So, my fictitious friend, here is my second letter.

I have meltdowns a lot. When I have a meltdown, it’s because everything gets too much for me. These show in various ways, depending on who I’m with. If I’m with my family, I generally have more active signs. I’ll start talking loads at first, basically saying why something’s not how it’s supposed to be, and eventually I’ll cry if it isn’t resolved immediately.

My meltdowns with other people aren’t so obvious, however. People won’t really notice that I’m having a meltdown. I go subdued and quiet, and I kind of try to think about nothing at all because if I think about something, I’m worried my meltdown will become visible. On occasion, I do have more visible signs, but I try to postpone them for as long as possible. I’ll go on my phone a lot if I’m feeling really worried and I will probably text my mum. My mum usually answers quickly and she always distracts me with updates on the pets. I find talking about my pets calms me down instantly.

I’m terrified that someone will notice I’m having a meltdown and think that I’m being ridiculous or that I’m a bad person. I heard a story of someone buying all the apple pies in McDonalds because they heard a kid ‘being bratty about wanting one and having a tantrum’. It made me think: this person judged this kid without even knowing the kid. Perhaps the kid, like me, was autistic or had another problem? How do you know? You don’t. So I always worry that people will think terribly of me because I look so ordinary. I don’t want to be thought of like that.

I wonder if you’ve ever had meltdowns, Eve. A lot of people have them; it’s just that they’re more common in autistic people. My mum has them herself quite often but she isn’t autistic. She is dyspraxic however, so isn’t exactly ‘neurotypical’.

It’s nice discussing these things with you because I know you’ll never reply with advice on how to fix my problems. The truth is, Eve, I can’t fix my problems. I will live with them for my entire life. I can figure out ways of dealing with them, but that isn’t fixing them. I don’t like it when people, especially people without autism, tell me ways I can improve myself. They don’t know how tough it is for me and how terrible that advice makes me feel, Eve. I feel constantly like everyone is trying to see me as a person with potential, someone who can become something. That pressure to be what they want me to be sits inside me always. My IQ means nothing. It’s not about how clever you are, it’s about how suited you are to the world, and I’m a cat in a dog food factory. Basically, the world is wrong for me. I try to fit in but I never will.

I’ve accepted that I won’t fit in, but some people still try to see me as someone who needs to fit in with society. I need to work hard to get somewhere (where am I going? I don’t know), I need to not have meltdowns, and I need to respond when people talk to me. I like how you don’t expect these things of me, Eve.

People think these things are simple, but there are a million reasons why, for me, they’re not simple. I could go over the list but I don’t think you would finish this letter, Eve. So I’m just going to say one thing: this isn’t me. I’m not steady, I’m not calm, I’m not social. None of that is me. I sometimes feel like no one really knows me but I guess you’ll know me, Eve. These letters will help you know me. Thank you, again, for reading.

Love,

Lia

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

The ‘Would You Rather’ Tag

Rules:the-would-you-rather-tag

  • Thank and tag the person that has tagged you.
  • Attach the tag photo.
  • Answer the ‘Would You Rather’ questions.
  • Tag a handful of friends.

Thanks MyMindSpeaksAloud. I decided to do it from her.

1.) Would you rather have all dogs try to attack you when they see you or allS birds try to attack you when they see you?

  • All birds try to attack me. Simple solution: Metal umbrella. Don’t wrong me, birdies. :))

2.) Would you rather be unable to move your body every time it rains or not be able to stop moving while the sun is out?

  • Not be able to stop moving while the sun is out. I get sleep paralysis occasionally and it is terrifying as hell, so if I was paralysed every time it rained (in ENGLAND!!)  it wouldn’t be very nice. Besides, I need to get out more anyway, and the sun is out less than it rains in the UK.

3.) Would you rather spend the rest of your life with a sailboat as your home or an RV as your home?

  • Tough one. I think I’d go with RV because I could travel everywhere on the roads. Besides, you can drive your vehicles onto ships so I could travel across oceans as well.

4.) Would you rather walk around work or school for the whole day without realizing there is a giant brown stain on the back of your pants or realize the deadline for that important paper / project was yesterday and you are nowhere near done?

  • The deadline one. I once accidentally stepped into a flooded underground and had to run home in soaking wet trousers, with judging glares, and that was for a few minutes. Besides, I could just say my dog ate my work. He probably did, knowing him.

5.) Would you rather eat a sandwich made from 4 ingredients in your fridge chosen at random or eat a sandwich made by a group of your friends from 4 ingredients in your fridge?

  • Definitely the friend one because, if it were random ingredients in my fridge, I would probably have to eat non-vegan items and I couldn’t deal with that. My friends would be nice enough to give me vegan items, even if they were weird ones.

6.) Would you rather have plants grow at 10 times their normal rate when you are near or for people and animals to stop aging when you are near them?

  • I would love for plants to bloom before my eyes. That’d be magical. I’d go outside more. Besides, if people found out about the aging ability, they’d be lining up outside my door and it’d be awkward. So the plant one, for sure.

7.) Would you rather have chapped lips that never heal or a terrible dandruff that can’t be treated?

  • Wait; if I chose chapped lips, would it get rid of my existing dandruff? If so, for sure.

8.) Would you rather have out of control body hair or out of control body odor?

  • Out of control body odor. I’d just put on tons of deodorant and perfume. I don’t want to look like a gorilla. Besides, if I always smelled bad, people close to me would stop smelling it eventually.

9.) Would you rather know all the mysteries of the universe or know every outcome of every choice you make?

  • To be honest, I’d consider both a curse. To know everything is to me all-knowing and that much power is never good. Also, we’re naturally curious, so when there’s nothing left to find out, what would I do? On the other hand, I don’t think I could deal with the grief of knowing every outcome of every choice I make. To think I could have caused awful things to happen without even knowing it… yeah, I think I’ll have to go with knowing everything. Besides, I could earn money off it.

10.) Would you rather never be able to wear pants or never be able to wear shorts?

  • Never be able to wear shorts. I usually wear trousers so would not be able to not wear them.

11.) Would you rather only wear one color each day or have to wear seven colors each day?

  • Only one colour each day. I pretty much do that anyway. I wouldn’t mind just wearing greyscale, because technically that’s just different shades of the same colour, and also my everyday attire.

12.) Would you rather eat rice with every meal or eat bread with every meal?

  • Bread for sure. It goes with everything.

13.) Would you rather have no eyebrows or only one eyebrow?

  • No eyebrows. I could draw them on.

14.) Would you rather your only mode of transportation be a donkey or a giraffe?

  • I’d go with donkey because I’m not sure how I’d get down from the giraffe.

15.) Would you rather live in a cave or live in a tree house?

  • I already live in a cave… haha. So probably tree house. It’d be fun. I’ve never been in one and it’d be cool.

16.) Would you rather never sweat again or never feel cold again?

  • If I never felt cold again, I wouldn’t even be able to use my cold hands to cool me down when I was too hot. I feel cold all the time but to never feel even the slightest bit cold? That’s inhuman. So definitely never sweat again. It’d be so convenient.

17.) Would you rather never have to clean a bathroom again or never have to do dishes again?

  • I’ve never had to clean a bathroom before, so I’d go with never have to do dishes again. Then I’d never have to do either.

18.) Would you rather move to a new city or town every week or never be able to leave the city or town you were born in?

  • I hate change, so I’d say stay in town I was born in.

19.) Would you rather live a comfortable and peaceful life in the woods in a small cabin or a life full of conflict in a mansion in a city?

  • Definitely in the woods. That is literally my dream life.

20.) Would you rather be in debt for $100,000 or never be able to make more than $3,500 a month?

  • Never be able to make more than (calculates that into pounds) £2497.69 because that’s a lot more than I make now and I doubt I’ll ever make more than that anyway.

21.) Would you rather be the best in the world at climbing trees or the best in the world at jumping rope?

  • Climbing trees. Imagine it: monkey girl. 😉

22.) Would you rather never run out of battery power for whatever phone and tablet you own or always have free Wi-Fi wherever you go?

  • To be honest, free Wi-Fi is pretty easy to find. I’d go for never run out of battery power, that’d be amazing.

23.) Would you rather 20 butterflies instantly appear from nowhere every time you cough or 100 butterflies die somewhere in the world every time you cough?

  • Um… I’m sorry, but who would choose for the butterflies to die? I don’t care if I have a house full of butterflies. I’d rather that than the alternative, for sure.

24.) Would you rather never be stuck in traffic again or never get another cold?

  • Never get another cold. I get colds really easily so that’d be a miracle cure.

25.) Would you rather know the uncomfortable truth of the world or believe a comforting lie?

  • To be honest, I think I already know the uncomfortable truth. Humans are destroying the world. There’s not much more to it… so I guess that’s my answer. I would hate to be blinded.

26.) Would you rather every shirt you ever wear to be kind of itchy or only be able to use 1 ply toilet paper?

  • Only be able to use 1 ply toilet paper. I’m super sensitive to everything, including itchy material, so it wouldn’t just be kind of itchy for me. It would be torture.

27.) Would you rather have no fingers or no elbows?

  • No fingers, because how could you even use your fingers with no elbows? It’d be so awkward!

28.) Would you rather have all traffic lights you approach be green or never have to stand in line again?

  • Never have to stand in line again. That’d be so useful.

29.) Would you rather have a flying carpet or a car that can drive underwater?

  • A flying carpet! I could fly everywhere and it’d be so fast. Driving underwater would be kinda slow, because of the constant force against you.

30.) Would you rather find five dollars on the ground or find all of your missing socks?

  • To be honest, all my lost socks are probably from my childhood so would not fit my adult feet. Definitely find a fiver.

31.) Would you rather live on the beach or in a cabin in the woods?

  • A cabin in the woods!! I already live near the beach, and just living near it gives a lot of wind. If I lived on it, my hair would go crazy.

32.) Would you rather lose your left hand or right foot?

  • Right food, definitely. I need two hands. They do so much for me. I could cope with a prosthetic foot.

33.) Would you rather face your fears or forget that you have them?

  • Both would accomplish the same thing, right? You’d get over your fears either way. But I would say that forgetting your fears is so dangerous because you could get yourself into dangerous situations without knowing it. So I’d face them, as hard as it is.

34.) Would you rather snitch on your best friend for a crime they committed or go to jail for the crime they committed?

  • The truth would eat at me if I lied. And I can’t be away from my family for a day, let alone several months or years. I would have to tell the truth and hope they understood.

35.) Would you rather eat a box of dry spaghetti noodles or a cup of uncooked rice?

  • The spaghetti noodles. More texture?

36.) Would you rather humans go to the moon again or go to mars?

  • I disagree with us visiting other planets because eventually we might get greedy with them, if we learnt how to live on them. I don’t want us doing to those planets what has been done to this one. So the moon again.

37.) Would you rather never get angry or never be envious?

  • Never be envious. I would love to never have to think about what other people have that I don’t have.

38.) Would you rather be able to go to any theme park in the world for free for the rest of your life or eat for free at any drive through restaurant for the rest of your life?

  • Eat for free, for sure. I’d save a lot more money than theme parks, considering they’re more common.

39.) Would you rather never lose your phone again or never lose your keys again?

  • Never lose my phone again. Then, I can call my mum and ask her to let me in. If I lost my phone, but not my keys, imagine if I was lost. I wouldn’t be able to phone anyone… it’d be terrifying, and my keys would be useless.

40.) Would you rather lose the ability to read or lose the ability to speak?

  • Lose the ability to speak. I could learn sign language.

41.) Would you rather live under a sky with no stars at night or live under a sky with no clouds during the day?

  • Sky with no stars, because I already live with that, due to pollution. Clouds are nice.

42.) Would you rather have constantly dry eyes or a constant runny nose?

  • Dry eyes.

43.) Would you rather never be able to eat meat or never be able to eat vegetables?

  • So, this question is being asked to a vegan. How ironic. I already do the ‘never eat meat again’ one so this isn’t really a question for me. Lol. I’m alive. I know. Shocking, right?

44.) Would you rather always be able to see 5 minutes into the future or always be able to see 100 years into the future?

  • Five minutes into future. I could stop bad things from happening. Also, I’m terrified to know the distant future because we might be even worse than we are now. I hope not.

45.) Would you rather be married to a 10 with a bad personality or a 6 with an amazing personality?

  • I would say neither, but I’m going with the rule that we should answer all. So 6 with amazing personality. He’d be my 10.

46.) Would you rather never be able to drink sodas like coke again or only be able to drink sodas and nothing else?

  • Never be able to drink sodas like coke again. I don’t drink them anyway.

47.) Would you rather have amazingly fast typing / texting speed or be able to read ridiculously fast?

  • I already type extremely fast so I’d go with reading ridiculously fast. I could finish books so much quicker… it’d be great.

48.) Would you rather sell all of your possessions or sell one of your organs?

  • Sell one of my organs. On the black market. For a million pounds. Someone would buy it.

49.) Would you rather never have to work again or never have to sleep again (you won’t feel tired or suffer negative health effects)?

  • I suffer with extreme fatigue so to never have to sleep again would be absolutely amazing. To never feel tired again would change my life.

50.) Would you rather get one free round trip international plane ticket every year or be able to fly domestic anytime for free?

  • Be able to fly one free round trip international plane ticket every year. I live in the UK, I wouldn’t be able to go many places domestic.

I noma

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

The Blogger’s Story Award

Before I start, I need to give an explanation for my recent absence. As some of you might have noticed, I haven’t been on recently, and that’s because my laptop broke. It is fixed now though and so I can do posts again! Woo!

Firstly, I need to thank my awesome friend A New Chapter for nominating me! She is awesome and you need to go follow her, k?

the-bloggers-story-award.jpg

Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Showcase the award photo
  • Answer the questions
  • Nominate 3+ bloggers

    What’s your blog name and why did you call it that?

My blog name is Bamboo Chewer. Originally, it was Chewing Bamboo, but in an irrational moment of anxiety, I deleted that blog! [The next day I decided I’d made a mistake and then oops I couldn’t get it back so I had to create a new one. xD] I called it that because my pen name that I used on another site, though I have recently deactivated that, has used the idea of being a “panda”, so I like the idea of pandas in general. As well as this, being a vegan, I have a similar vegetation to pandas (in regards to not eating meat etc — I don’t eat bamboo aha ;P) and I also love to nap! I just love pandas, to be honest.

How long have you been blogging?

Oh a while now! I started in February but, as you know, I did delete my first blog — so this blog has been open for less time. So that’s about half a year! Wow!

How many followers do you have?

I currently have 85 followers! Thank you guys ❤

Who was your first follower?

On this blog, It was My Mind Speaks Aloud, and she is also one of my best friends. Please check her out! She’s amazing and I love her and I’m probably going to steal her cats sometime soon. 😉

What got you into blogging?

Me and my friend Thirteen Purple Roses decided to start blogging together as practice/revision for our creative writing a-level. It’s not something you can really learn so we thought that starting a blog was the perfect way to practice for the exams! It has also become such a passion for me and I love blogging! 🙂

What is your favourite part of blogging?

The community! Everyone is so lovely and welcoming to new bloggers. I always worried about getting followers and comments but I didn’t need to worry because everyone has been so lovely! 🙂 Also, I feel like I can really say whatever I want without the blogging community judging me, which is just awesome! 😀

If you could change one thing about WordPress, what would it be?

A private messaging feature. I have met a lot of lovely bloggers on here who I can’t really talk to outside of WordPress, but unfortunately, there is no way to get to know them better! I need a private messaging feature! Haha 🙂

Why do you continue to blog?

All of my friends asking me when my next post is due (and some, who don’t have blogs, sending me awesome messages in response to my blogs), all you lot with your awesome comments, the fact that it’s fun! Just a lot of reasons really 🙂

Nominations:

OK OK, so I know she has already been nominated but I do this thing of double-nominating her so she’ll do it sooner: My Mind Speaks Aloud 😉

I also nominate Thirteen Purple Roses

My third nomination is, um, you… you there! You, you, you. xD

Thank you for reading this,

Lia