Goodbye to Real Food Kitchen

I know it might sound a little silly. Saying goodbye to a cafe. And for those who don’t know me and my boy I could understand that confusion. But for us, it was literally the only place anywhere that we could actually eat something. Because of our intolerances and allergies and my stupid health, it was impossible finding anywhere that met all of our requirements.

Till we found The Real Food Kitchen.

When we first found it was called the Paleo Cafe. Around that time we had basically switched to paleo (for lack of a better word) and I’d given up ever finding anywhere where we could ever eat out again. It had already been 5 years since the last time we had. And I was thoroughly sick and tired of having to cook I can tell you.

After driving past several times I finally psyched myself up enough to go it. I was with my boy the first time we went. Of course me being the giant chicken that I am with trying anything new and always scared to because of one reaction or illness after another, I thought I’d try the coffee first. Other than remembering the feel of a burnt tongue the memory that stuck with me was the look on my sons face when he was brought out his drink. A giant iced chocolate. His eyes grew 10 times the size including his smile and that drink lasted all of 10 seconds too and was gone in a slurp of the straw.

The chocolate brownie didn’t last long either.

Our visits there became more frequent. Usually on a Thursday when I had my support worker with us. At first it was just because I wanted my son to be able to know there was a nice place for us. Then it became about the coffee for me. For a long time that’s all I had there, The first thing I had to eat was the brownie. Warmed up with whipped coconut creme. It was just like eating a hot chocolate cake! Of course I went back for more. And oh my goodness the chocolate caramel brownie cake!

Over the past few years it wasn that cafe that became my place to escape to when things were bad at home or I needed to have time to myself. It was my son’s and my special place. And we got attached to the people there. It might not have been the most quiet of places. Many times a screaming kid drove me out or had me scrambling for my head phones. But I knew that it was a safe place for me. It was my spot.
I spent many Saturday or Sundays when my boy was at his dad’s, sitting at my favourite table with my coffee and sweet potato chips, watching the world go by, feeling the breeze and smelling the salt from the beach just  down the road. In summer when it was so hot it could melt concrete, the breeze from the ocean, and the over hanging trees were a welcome escape. It was my spot. It was my son’s and my spot.

I don’t think anyone will ever understand how special that was to us.
Being autistic its so important for us to have our safe places. Our bolt holes. For me it’s supposed to be home. But most of the time thats not the case. The amount of times I went out when I was in so much pain either physically or emotionally, just to go to my special place, exposing myself to more overload and more than likely more pain when I should have stayed at home, I’ve lost count. It was my routine for the last 3 1/2 years.

I’ve been bracing myself for over a year now since the boys at the cafe first told me of their plans to sell. But as the months went by I pretended that everything was ok and that they’d always be there. They just had to be. Now I completely understand why they needed to, if I think logically. The boys have been through such a hard time trying to keep things running. But the way the world works……..
Unfortunately being autistic I also react emotionally to change. I don’t cope with it well.
I’m not coping well now. I’ve spent the rest of today, their last day, editing a video of how special that place was to me. My boy was quite upset today at having to miss out on the last day as he was with his dad.

It was just me alone today.

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I don’t know if that was a good thing or not. Maybe it was. I know the kaleidoscope of emotions I’m going through will take some weeks to process as I’ve spent the time leading up to this day trying to be strong for my boy. Trying to be positive that will be other places that we can go to. Even though inside the both of us are skeptical about it and pessimistic.

I am grateful though to have the sense memory that I have. I will always remember the smell of the coffee. Always remember taking that first sip, that first smell that went straight to my brain and woke me up. The first sip I could feel opening up the blood vessels in my neck and up into my head and would ease the headaches or neck pain I get. I always knew by smell who made the coffee, and I’m pretty sure the new guys would always dread me coming and rating I’d give them hahaha.

We were spoilt too much there so its even harder to let it go.

It was our spot.

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It was my spot.

We’ll miss you guys. Thanks so much for looking after us. I hope the next stage in your adventure brings you much happiness.

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I’m too hard.

I don’t know about other auti’s out there, but I’m finding it more and more difficult to hide the feels I get when other people find me too “difficult” or too hard to handle just because I’m autistic and I have chronic health issues.

Its frustrating.

I didn’t ask for the super sensitivities and need for things to be a certain way like my life depended on it. I didn’t ask for the sense of smell so powerful I can smell a flea’s fart. And hear it too.

I would dearly love to be able to go out without the need for someone to be with me. To go to the movies and enjoy it without going deaf from how loud it is or get sick because someone decided to bathe in Lynx that day.

I’m tired of not being able to eat what ever I like.

I’m tired of feeling like all I ever do is complain.

I don’t think people realise how embarrassing to have to share your medical history or other issues with strangers just so you can get support. I hate that I have to have support. And I hate having to listen to people talk about issues that I’m having just so I can get support, especially if they relaying the wrong information because they’re too embarrassed by having to explain it.

And even though I hate having attention drawn to me, and that is one of the reasons why I have an assistance dog, I end up having attention drawn to me because of him. Which is funny.

It’s funny because I have turquoise and purple hair and an undercut but its still Kobash that draws the most attention.  1EE19A4F-E18E-4D3A-87A2-827EF964BF11

 

Side track: At the earth markets the other week and this couple were standing in the same position for like 10 minutes just starting at us. Dog, me, dog, me, dog, me……. I turned to my husband and whispered loudly “its so weird they’re staring like that, how rude is it??”They must have heard because they started moving.  I turned to try to go down another aisle to avoid them but they separated with the guy going one way and the woman another. Dread feels. I’d have to past one of them. The guy approached me and asked about patting Kobash and I said no, you can’t pat a working assistance dog or distract them.He mumbled something and stood back and continued to stare.  I could see the woman out of the corner of my eye waiting to see if she could come and pat the dog. The guy continued to stare at us until I finally couldn’t handle it anymore and said “please stop staring at us. You’re making me uncomfortable”. Thankfully he backed off and went to his wife.

I have to deal with instances like that the majority of times I go out.

I’m finding myself less tolerant of it. And I’m ranting a lot about it too which can’t be just annoying me 😛

Being autistic I really find people staring or drawing any kind of attention to myself completely anxiety inducing, and would much rather jam a cattle prod in my eye than deal with it.

Yes, it is ironic that I hate that and yet I have purple and green hair. I’m aware of the irony.

I love irony.

I don’t love stares.

Anyway……The reason for this rant, which I must type out because I’m actually fighting a melt down, is the being slapped in the face again with the realisation that people find me too hard to deal with.

Too accomodate. To get to know….

We were planning an outing. Its one we do every year. The stress alone of the travel and having to get ready in time and then the sensory overload from it has me recovering for days after. And with my health getting worse wreaking a heavier toll on me each year. But the outing is good. The program is always excellent. Up building. But because of my worsening health, my sensory issues are so exaggerated now and I’m so sensitive to  everything, and my executive functioning is so much worse that the build up to this outing is causing me to freak out. I spent $30 at the physio to get my back taped up just so I could handle having to sit all day. The only thing that was enabling me to be able to go was being able to sit in one section of the hall. Only one. I have to have a wall behind me because I can’t handle people sitting behind me. I can heard them breathing and chewing and blinking and whispering….I am incapable of tuning it out. The light from the curtain-less windows shines in and blinds me even with my irlen lenses (which need adjusting) so my eyes get heavy and then I’m fighting to stay awake. The fact that people drench themselves in enough perfume or hairspray to last 3 people a 1000 years and the face mask I have is powerless against it. The sounds of candy wrappers and chewing gum, and babies crying and everyone talking and breathing and the sound system up so loud I’m surprised Uruguay hasn’t called in a noise compliant. All that to deal with. And then the car ride up (an hour and a half drive) and back again on the highway I have a phobia about (I Know. How weird is it have a phobia of highways? But I see everything and my brain is doing the worst case scenario of that truck driver going over the sped limit having a blown tyre and then……yeah I’ll stop now). And then recovery time. But I can’t make it if I can’t get that special spot up the back of the hall. Right next to the sound booth (so if its too loud I can maybe ask them to wind it down a little so I don’t feel like my skull will burst) where I have a shield from the windows on that side and far enough away from the windows to combat sun blindess. Right next to a door for a speedy exit.

But then being told its too hard to save those seats and it was a battle even trying to save other ones last year. Why don’t I wait and see whats there when we come up and if those seats are gone then you can always go home……. Even after having to embarrass myself by explaining the reasons why.

Because its too hard.

Or is it just me?

I need a coffee.

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Neuro-cultures.

I wake up every morning and make sure my son is getting himself organised for the day, getting his breakfast, shower, teeth etc, prodding him along when he gets distracted (which is all the time), all while trying to get myself organised and breakfast ready (all before coffee mind you). Its not an easy task to get ready for the day. Why? Because executive dysfunction sucks big time. And both my boy and I have difficulties with it.

We each have our own strengths and weaknesses as Autistic humans. But I don’t tend to focus on the “weaknesses” of our neuro-culture. I don’t get up everyday and put my boy through hours of ABA or other type therapies. I don’t subject him to all the so called “treatments” that they put our kids through in the effort to purge them of being autistic.

I actually love my boy the way he is. He was born this way for a reason. I was born this way for a reason. To see the world differently. To experience it in ways that others sadly lacking our neurology will never understand or experience. See more colours, feel emotions so intensely. Move with the rhythm that the world around us has like a boat bobbing on the waves of the sea.

Yes the world around us can loud, and too bright, and too in your face. Yes it can overload us and cause us to shut down or meltdown or close ourselves off. But if I had the choice to be anything other than what I am would I?

No. Immediate. Resolutely. Undeniably no. I would never give up seeing and feeling things the way I do. To enjoy the little things so much I flap and jump or skip. To see my son laugh so full bodily to anything that strikes his funny bone. So completely and enjoyably. I would never give that up.

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Yes this world frustrates me to the point of apoplexy, the way most “normal” people treat us, see us, abuse us. Why they don’t see that they are different too. That they have the same issues that we have (if at a different scale). Why are we the only ones to have to suffer all the therapies and treatments? Do their children not also have social issues and have to put up with peer pressure and bullying? Do they not also feel like the odd one out or alone or find it hard to make friends? YES they do.

SO if this is the case why are we the ones that are “wrong’? Why is our existence so bad that you would force your children to suffer electro shock therapy? Chelation therapy? Bleach enemas? You think your child enjoys all that? Why are we the ones used for fodder for comedy shows? Does it make any sense?

No.

It doesn’t.

So I go about my day making it through the best I can when it wasn’t built with us in mind. I love and care for my son the way any good parent would love and care for their child, without restraint or limitations. Because to me regardless of this culture, his neuro-culture, he’s a human being. I am a human being.

Forgiveness.

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It’s not easy to forgive people sometimes.

Ok, most of the time. You make a mistake and your first instinct is to either pretend that it didn’t happen, or or you cover it up, or you make excuses, or the worst thing….blaming someone else for you mistake.

I’m not saying unforgiving that that I make mistakes…..ok I make mistakes.

In my journey of Autistic self reflection I’ve come to learn things about myself. Not all of them I like either.

I’ve learned recently that while I will rant and wail at people being un-apologetic about their faux pars and down right nasty wrong doings, I never really looked at it from the angle pointing to me.

Now most of the times when I make a mistake I will take the blame for it and admit my wrong doings, almost to the point where I actively take pleasure in taking the blame. Weird I know. I am currently working on the root of that strange trait.

BUT!

I’m not always so forth coming in admitting my mistakes. If I am currently in the process of being at logger heads with someone I find it reeeeeeeaaaaaaalllllllllyyyyy hard to admit my fault in the argument. Like, really hard. And it will make me angry having to say sorry, especially if I’m not the only one to stuff up.

Meanwhile I will rant and wail at someone else’s faults if they don’t even make the effort to apologise.

I also learned thatI find it hard to forgive. This goes against my beliefs too. Being a spiritual person I know that God can’t forgive us we aren’t going to be forgiving of someones wrongs.

Now if my son stuffs up and says sorry (he has the same compulsive sorry trait that I do) I forgive him. If my husband says sorry then I find myself hesitating at forgiving him. In some way I think it’s a pride thing, but there seems to be another factor to it as well that I am trying to figure out.

Being Autistic I work my logic and reasoning things through. I can also be very black and white about somethings while being very loose about others. One of things I am black white about it people admitting when they’ve a mistake and saying sorry for it. Especially if their wrong is directed at me.

 

The back story of the position I am in right now goes thusly. I won’t name names. Maybe one day the person who this is about will read this blog post things might change. But until then……… (Take into account I have left out a LOT of information and tried to keep it generalised.)

This person I have known most of my life. And for most of my life I have copped the brunt of her wrong doings and unwillingly taken the blame for her mistakes. I was the one blamed for all the bad things that happen in her life. I was stolen from, had lies told about me, was bullied…..the list goes on and there are too many stories and examples and details of things that going into it all would take a novel. The whole could be a novel (or a tele novella) its dramatic enough.

A couple of years ago everything finally blew up. I could no longer tolerate the hypocrisy in the relationship and finally took a stand. In a small way. Knowing the flack I would cop if I blocked her from FaceBook I altered my settings so that no more of my current posts could be seen by her unless I specifically tagged in her them. I did it this way because the back lash I would cop for blocking or deleting her would be far worse. But in the mean time I wouldn’t be able to see her posts on my feed either.

Well didn’t that just blow up in my face.

And it blew up big. This action resulted in me receiving multiple messages from family members and her ranting about how I had blocked her (I made the tweak to her daughters page only because I knew this person would still see me through that page. But in no way did I block, I just tweaked and they could still see my page and past posts if they looked) from my page and I was the most horrible person in the world. I came with exactly what I had done and why. But it made no difference. I was the bad guy again. Because I was trying to protect myself. In the end I was blocked from their page and they blocked my son as well. Since then my son was unblocked. I eventually had to block this persons phone number because the texts were causing such stress. Lots of blocking on going here.

I haven’t spoke to this person since then. And while I no longer have that drama in my life I am still copping the flack from it all from other people. Over the two years that have passed since I have been working on my anger over this issue because I know how damaging holding onto anger can be. But its very hard when the whole issue is constantly thrown up in my face.

My autistic brain holds on things that can’t be resolved. It takes a long time before my brain can shuffle through every aspect of an unresolvable problem before it will let it go. The fact that I am almost 43 and only recently been putting my traumatic school years behind me can testify to that.

I want to let this issue go. But the longer that time goes by and the more it is shoved in my face the harder and angrier I become. I hate being angry. It sits like a heavy ball in my chest filling me with adrenaline and I can almost feel it eating me away. Its a physical emotion. And I hate it.

In the two years that have gone by more and more I see where I was the one who made the first attempt at reconciliations, at seeing to her welfare. In that time I lost a family member and the stress of it all caused me physical pain and anguish (I feel emotions very intensely. Like each one is an active force that physical impacts on me). I ended up developing neuralgia and was in and out of hospital for other issues as well for over a year. But nothing from this person. No enquiries to my welfare. In the mean time I am given all manner of excuses for this person actions.

Now here is what my brain rationalises. If you are sorry for something, really sorry, it wouldn’t matter if your number was blocked, you could email. Write a letter. Come over, SOMETHING to show you cared and were repentant. But I got nothing. I am still copping flack for everything and being the one taking the blame. I often wonder if its because its just easier to blame the Autistic person because they don’t really understand everything anyway and they’ve got the whole mess mucked up in their minds (Yes I am being sarcastic).

Yes that happens to me more than I care to count.

That is the attitude I have had to always deal with. I can’t have an actually issues with something because I am always the one to blow it up out of proportion.

I see everything. I see the way things are. But most of the time I have learned to keep quiet because I know the ableist attitude that most people have.

I think I diverged a tad.

The whole point of this blog post was about forgiveness and repentance.

I have gotten to the stage with this issue that if this person were to come to my door with a repentant attitude, would I invite this person in with forgiveness in my heart?

At the moment the answer is no. At first it would have been yes. But so much time has passed now and so many excuses made and my anger at it all being shoved in my face weekly has driven me to the point where if this person did show up at my door my first instinct would be to slam it shut.

I am very black and white about things. Forgiveness is one of those things. You can’t forgive someone who isn’t sorry.

Its a big issue this whole forgiveness thing. We humans, whether Neurotypical or Autistic or Neurodivergent are all at our cores the same. We hesitate to being forgiving while we demand it from others. We push against saying sorry, but if no one says it to us then we wail. At our cores, no matter what you are, we are all the same. I don’t thing anyone is 100% automatically forgiving of anyone else. I never really thought about it in relation to me until this issue came up. I used to think that because I am autistic and so different that I wouldn’t have the same weakness as most. See I so know when to admit when Im wrong. I can get a high and mighty attitude to at times. And this is one issue who core I am very familiar with. BUT I am working on it.

I don’t think I will ever be able to be forgiving if someone isn’t sorry, but the other weaknesses I’m working on 😛

I think in the end everyone needs to work on their own failings and not look so hard at someone else’s. And admit what those weaknesses are. Its only then that those things will loss their strength and we will win.

Did I diverge again?

 

 

Photo for the sillies. IMG_1931

I don’t bite

Its not difficult to get to know me. I don’t bite (ok so I bit one guy once, but to be fair he was a dentist so that doesn’t count), I’m not going to punch you in the face if you talk to me. And I won’t run screaming.

And yet for some reason, people avoid me. They only give cursory greetings and maybe a wave as they continue to walk past me. That is, the people I am familiar with. Most others who don’t know anything about me are  not a problem.

There is a problem. But what was it? I’ve spent a long time going over this in my head Autistic fashion. I am always polite. I am courteous. Yes when I get excited all attempts at voice modulation goes out the window. I speak faster than a locomotive, hate small talk and only do deep and meaningfulls, flap my hands and clap when I’m happy or in anticipation, rant at anything that I see is unjust or wrong, and stare at my phone instead of you face  when having a conversation.

I’m not difficult to get to know. I tell it like it is. My words don’t have a double meaning to them. It’s illogical to me to say one thing when I mean something else and I don’t understand anyone who does that. Being verbal takes up so much mental and physical energy that to not be upfront is irrational.

So why do people avoid me?

As an Autistic I have spent my whole life trying to “pass” in society. Its taken its toll on me and caused a large amount of pain and I have gotten to the point where I don’t do that anymore. I was always the one to make first contact even though the thought of approaching a person and initiating conversation made me want to roll up like an armadillo. I was the one who invited people for coffee or to “hangout”. I was the one to chase people up when they forgot or to remind so they wouldn’t forget. Of course there was the odd occasion when someone else would say “hey, why don’t go to this place and have a beverage sometime or on this day next week?” And then I was the one to call and confirm and remind. I got tired. And I started thinking. What would happen when I stopped doing all of that?

Nothing. Not one…thing…..happened. I learned very fast that the only reason I ever did any socializing at all was because I was the one doing all the work. And once I stopped, so did everyone else. Those times when someone else would ask to meet up on some occasion were just empty words when I stopped.

I went through a range of emotions and thoughts about all of this. One side I know that other people have lives and everyone is going through some kind of hardship or troubles. But the on the other hand when you speak to me I will take you literally. I don’t understand or automatically realize that what you are saying is just one of those things like ‘Hi how are you?” when you really don’t want to know how I am you’re just using small talk.

It was a painful slap to the face this realization.

I came across and article last week that explained it all (I will put the link at the bottom of this post). The piece is about 3 studies that were done that suggest that our social issues aren’t a result of our neurology but actually down to neurotypical’s views of us than anything else. Once a person became aware of our Autism their attitudes and behavior toward us changed…

In other words, they found that an important contributor to social and communication problems stemmed not from the autistic individuals, but rather from the neurotypical reactions, based on (by definition) exclusionary social attitudes and first impressions, which led to a decreased drive to interact with autistic individuals. That is to say, neurotypicals tend to decide, within moments of meeting autistic people, that autistic people are less worth socialising with than neurotypicals..

It was a fascinating article and I am interested to see if anymore study is done on this.

I have my answer. though it stings. But when I bump into someone I know while I am out and about with Kobash, when they brush past me like they didn’t see me, or I get a drive by hi while they keep going, it’s hard in those instances to stay polite and not be sarcastic when all I really want to do is raise my voice and yell “Whats so scary about me??” (yes I am aware of the irony of that statement) And the worst part is that I see it happening to my boy too.

Do these realisations make me want to hide my neurology in the to eliminate these issues? Hell no. I will never hide who I am. I’ve worked to hard to get to where I am to give up. I’m not completely alone. There are those that actually know me for what I am and they don’t run screaming in the opposite direction 😂 Those that know my boy too.

For all intents and purposes I look perfectly for you definition of the word ‘normal”.  Till you see the dog in assistance dog vest by my side. I might be wearing my Autism World Domination t-shirt, my irlen lenses perched on my nose to stop the light from blinding me. Marks of my minority.

At the moment I am still working on my anger. And I do have some anger about this. But I am also frustrated and sad. I have had to take a step back for my own sake and ignore it. I don’t have any hope that things like this will change any time soon. And they won’t until people perceptions of  us change. And that will be a long time yet.

https://intersectionalneurodiversity.wordpress.com/2017/11/19/new-research-suggests-social-issues-are-down-to-neurotypicals-more-than-autistics/

When are we enough?

I’ve spent all day knowing I need to write something but not knowing how to start. I’ve got so much going on in my head that the need to get some of it down in written form is almost crucial to life itself.

My whole life I have tried. At everything. Being autistic meant that I had to try harder than everyone else at everything. Being a person. Thinking about other persons. Having facial expressions (I would practise that in front of my bathroom mirror to the point I felt like an idiot thinking,what was I doing it for?) Holding inane small talk in conversations. Toning it down. Being quite. Not talking because when I did actually talk which was what people wanted I talked too much and over shared or went on a monologue about a favourite topic. Be normal. Make friends. No not that way this way. It’s not enough. It’s never enough. You can try harder. Harder. HARDER!

When will it be enough? When will I be enough?

I spent my whole life knowing no matter what I did it wouldn’t be enough. With family or boyfriends, work, anything. I felt like I drifted around like leaf litter in a river being washed around, occasionally coming into contact with the bank and hard ground and life.

When I finally knew the reason why I struggled and that I wasn’t built to function the same as everyone else around me, it still took me years to learn, to want to learn, why that was so.

I was so happy when I did finally start learning more. That I wasn’t deficient or wrong and that this is how I was built to work. I took on life with a whole new perspective. Now I had the answers and as time went on those answers would become more refined.

It I still kept trying (chameleon) always trying because that was how I’d spent the majority of life up to now. It was programmed into me. Like a default switch that I couldn’t turn off. And the trying was slowly wearing me down. Trying to be something and someone I’m not.

The questions would arise: Why am I trying so hard? Why isn’t anyone else trying? Why is it so hard? Even though I had these answers I was still living the life I’d been pushed into like that square peg into a round hole. I didn’t fit. Like downloading android apps onto an iPhone. You know it’s not going to work, but by the slim chance you can get them on there they will never function properly and will end up taking the whole system down.

Because doctors will be doctores, and psychologists will be psychologists, I’d had one form of anti depressant prescribed to me on and off for years. Trying to medicate the autism out of me which also wasn’t going to work. All they did was numb me. They took away my natural defences and abilities and left me vulnerable to manipulation and abuse.

I have many scars.

7 years ago I managed to finally get away from it all. And it was like my hyper senses before were in hyper sleep like in a deep space travel movie, or waters trapped behind a damn that suddenly burst. I think it was both. Because when all that rubbish was purged from my system my senses woke up. They burst out of me from nothing to everything. From 0-100 kilometres an hour. Here I was in my mid 30’s having sensory experiences for the first time since I could remember and I was now faced with having to learn how to control them (yeah because that was going to be easy). I still feel sometimes like a character in a superhero movie who has been suddenly endowed all these powers and now has to learn how to use them or else.

I smell everything, hear too much, see too much, feel too much. Like Dorothy going from black and white Kansas to technicolor Oz. And the older I get the more acute it all becomes. The more sensitive to the point that I feel that if gets any more sensitive I’d hear it if the moon farted. And smell it too.

My son also laughed at that analogy.

Finding the autism women’s group I became apart of was so incredible. I felt like I found a home. A place where I didn’t have to try anymore because they all liked me just the way I was. I could be me.

But who was me? What was I? Who was Elle?

With everything going on in my life, all the troubles, all the pain both physical and mental, the turmoil the anguish the GAH! This year something inside of me snapped. It took that latest fight, that latest misunderstandings, that latest need to defend myself again….. I couldn’t do it anymore. I took a step back to get a breath and examine it all. My life. The people in it. Where I was. I was going through all these changes. I felt like everything was changing. (There was shifting in the force)

I was alone, metaphorically speaking. I had reached the end of….no broken the tether. With all the trying over all the years I saw the same pattern. I was doing all the work. I was the one who had to change. I was the one who wasn’t enough. I still couldn’t participate in a conversation at 42 without being told to be quite.

(snap)

It took me almost going into autistic shut down to finally wake up and see that I, for my own health and well-being HAD to stop. So I stayed in that step back. And waited to see what would happen. The realisations and what I learned in that step back both broke my heart and crushed the last of my hope. That unless I tried. That unless I did the work, no one else would.

So I stopped trying. But in my hurt and pain and frustration, I became angry. It wasn’t until the other night that I realised how angry I was. I’d shoved it down so hard. So now I have fight being cynical and pessimistic and negative (oh my!)

Even though I stopped, I still get the urge to defend myself when someone inevitably misreads me or misunderstands me (I’m not speaking Klingon or something am I) which happens quite a lot (I’m autistic I’m not a bitch!). My facial expression won’t be right. My tone is too harsh. My voice to loud. I didn’t think to ask how someone was. You have to understand other people. Everyone is going through a hard time you just have to try harder…….all those words hurt me. Can’t you see they hurt me? Can’t you see that I’m suffering too? That I have my own pain to deal with? No. Because I don’t see how it is. I don’t have the empathy or connectivity to other humans to be able understand properly. I’m not normal.

Yes I know from all these words how full of it all I’ve become. But I can’t keep holding out my hand only to have it ignored or smacked away.

It’s not hard to get to know me. I don’t bite. Yes I’m blunt and matter of fact. Yes I’m right almost 100% of the time and it’s annoying. Yes I need to have things a certain way to be able to function smoothly. Yes when I get passionate about a subject my voice modulation is beyond my control along with my facial expressions and physical movements so I look more like I’m agitated than happy. I’m intense. I hate small talk and will actively avoid it wherever possible. Yes I will tell you stop whistling or cracking your fingers. I will tell you if that dress you’re wearing is ugly or your hair cut unflattering. I won’t remember to ask how you’re doing if you’ve been sick unless you ask me to specifically. I will tell you if you’re being an idiot. I have an intense sense of justice.

But I’m loyal. I am fiercely loyal. Until you break my trust and than I will have no feeling for you other than as a fellow living creature.

I am passionate. I’m eccentric and quirky. I have such intense empathy that I feel physical pain when I see an animal run over or someone hurt to the point I have to shut it off. My memory is looooooooooooooong (yes I will remember that time you were wrong and I was right)….. The pluses outweigh the negative. It’s not hard to find them if you try.

But I’m not waiting anymore.

I started seeing other kids do the same to my boy. But I’ve learned from the mistakes of the past, yes I know they were well meant but they were damaging. Now I’m teaching my boy how to function with the abilities he was given. Body language over facial expressions. No he doesn’t need to make eye contact or shake hands or hug someone he doesn’t want to. Yes be polite have manners and think of other people but don’t let that compromise the person he is. We aren’t wrong we are another culture. A neuroculture.

It might be a while before I’m done processing everything that’s happened this year let alone the events of the past. It might be awhile before the feelings of cynicism and frustration fade (I wish they’d hurry up).

I guess I’m still trying in some ways, just not in the ones that hurt me anymore.

I’m autistic. I’m not what you think you see.

Executive functioning

Executive functioning. How many of us have issues with this? How annoying is it that this tiny little area of your brain that’s right between your peep holes should be in charge of and contribute to how well we function in the world?

I for one am getting quite irked.

I have been familiar with the term for a long time without being consciously aware of how much this effected me. It wasn’t until my health started worsening and there were more pressures to deal with and stress in my life, that I started noticing this little area of my brain start to seriously malfunction.

I had read some about it and noticed correlating evidence in my son but didn’t get that light bulb moment on how it effected me. Not till I watched an enlightening video from an amazing lady who runs a page called Oh My Musical Goodness on Facebook. She was explaining how executive functioning worked and it was then that it slapped me in the face on how much I had been struggling with it for quite a while.

I can get up so early in the morning, well before anyone else, I’m talking butt crack of dawn early. But somehow even though I turn my phone off so I’m not distracted, I drink my coffee while getting ready, and Hoover breakfast down so fast I’m surprised someone doesn’t need to give me the Heimlich maneuver, I still, somehow, end up in this time warp. So

that even though it feels like I’m moving fast, to the rest of the world I’m stuck in a time bubble like the replicators in Star Gate SG1, and moooooooooovvvvvvviiiiiinnnnngggggfgsssuuuuuppppppeeeeerrrrrrslllllooooooowwwwwwwwww………

It’s hard as hell for people to not get impatient with me, damn it I get impatient with my self enough. And even though I’m aware of it, I see it in my son and it’s sooooooo hard to not get impatient with him!

It’s a vicious cycle.

 

Today’s status? Feeling like I need a brain transplant. Or a coffee IV. Which ever comes first.

Chameleon

The older I get the more realisations I come to about myself and how I function. More light bulb 💡 moments and slaps to the face.

The last few months especially have been very intense in self awareness.

The more I understand and learn the more knowledge I am able to pass on to my son. I wish I had known the things I know now back when I was his age and in my late teens and early twenties.

But while a lot of bad things happened back then they shaped the person I am today and now I can help teach my son to understand himself better so he can avoid (hopefully) the situations I got my self into.

One of the reason I think, that I had so many troubles is because I was put on one kind of anti depressant after another because of ignorant of autism doctors who even though they knew about my diagnosis, still diagnosed me with manic depression or bipolar when I didn’t have that. These pills only served to numb me and take away my natural instincts which could have protected me from a lot of what happened to me. It was when I finally rid myself of all these after my son was born, that all my senses came out of hibernation with full intensity. Nothing was keeping them suppressed anymore so I was now confronted with trying to control these abilities to feel EVERYTHING that I wasn’t able to do before. And traits that I have that had also been suppressed came out. Like some stims I have now.

Over time, especially recently with all these self awarenesses I’ve been having, the term chameleon that has been attributed to autistics has been playing through my mind. It’s a very appropriate term I think that has been applied to us.

Monkey see monkey do is a term tagged to children we are all familiar with. And we all know the one, bad associations spoil useful habits. With all people, if they are around a group of the same people say in and day out will pick up idiosyncrasies, speech inflections, tones of voice, body language and even accents. That is something beyond anyone’s control.

But as an autistic person (I’m not sure if this is the same with all of us or to what degree) it’s more intense. With this “chameleon gene” we’ve been born with we can almost become the people we are around. Maybe it’s part of our fight or flight responses being so amplified, I don’t know. But for me, if I am around someone who speaks with an accent (for instance) even for a little while I will start speaking the same way to the point I have to apologise as that person will think I am making fun of them.

In a lot of cases I don’t like what I pick up.

I’m changing all the time. And these awarenesses are helping me to understand so much about myself that I wish I’d known a long time ago. While I struggle with a lot of things, especially at the moment as life is so intense right now, I like the person I am and what I am. I’m becoming more me.

The autistic community I have found is so incredible. So many amazing women, strong, unique and all so encouraging. We are all learning about ourselves through each other.

It would be great to learn about other autistic people’s experiences and the knowledge they’ve gained about themselves. Share that knowledge and help each other to to keep growing and understanding more about our autistic culture. And rich culture we are at that.

Passed!

So Kobash passed the resit of his public access test. A stressful event as it is, but this one was 6 months early! For an Autistic this was brain melting freak out time. Kobash, due to an ear infection, was off form and had been for a couple weeks. Plus we still struggle with dropped food. But despite my freaking out and how early it was it passed! Though when a piece of salami was tossed in front of him was the end of it 😂🤣 But the lovely ladies that came to test me were as wonderful as the last time and did their best to put me at ease (even though I was I practically vibrating from my nerves). I’m so grateful that Kobash can continue to be my shadow and my helper when we are out and about ❤️