Coping with the ch-ch-changes

It’s no secret that I really struggled at the start of lockdown and in the lead up to that even. I don’t cope well to change or to being told what to do and found it very frustrating that while I was trying to ignore everything and keep my head frmly buried in the sand everyone around me was preparing for the unknown, making plans and changes ‘just in case’ and all in all really disturbing my sands of denial. Continue reading “Coping with the ch-ch-changes”

Being Vulnerable

I’m not someone who is very open with my emotions. Probably this is in part due to being autistic – I am not always super clear what my emotions are and growing up (undiagnosed) emotions were very dangerous territory – life could be difficult if anyone though you were thinking or feeling the wrong things, and how were you meant to know what the wrong things were? Also growing up we were a lot closer (geographically at least) to the English side of the family and they were very old school stiff upper lip Mr Banks English. Good people, just not visibly emotional.

When I volunteer as a Samaritan, people often question what the point is – how are we meant to be helping them when we can’t offer advice or any practical solutions or help. The answer, part of the foundation of how Samaritans works, is that just talking about how you feel and what’s going on in your life can be really helpful. It can be therapeutic to put out into the world everything you are feeling or might be feeling or know you really shouldn’t be feeling, but… without receiving any judgement or advice. Just time to put a name to your feelings and accept that they are there and that it is ok to feel that way. For some callers, being able to talk through everything they are going through helps them process and make sense of what can seem overwhelming. Continue reading “Being Vulnerable”

Living with constant uncertainty

Many people have talked, or written about uncertainty and the coronavirus. How it has broken routines, some of which were years in the making, made life a series of unanswered questions and completely disturbed any vision of the future that you might have had.

Uncertainty doesn’t have to be big though. It may well be instead a series of smaller uncertainties that build up over the day that do the most damage to an autistic person – small situations that they can’t control leading to exhaustion and meltdowns or shutdowns. Continue reading “Living with constant uncertainty”

Dreaming of the past (the past past)

At the Women and Girls conference one of the speakers talked about how autistic women and girls like to escape to a fantasy world to avoid the difficulties that being autistic can bring in this world. This world can be anything- one made up completely from their imagination, one found in a book etc, but for quite a few its the Victorian period that they escape to.

This strongly resonated with me. While clearly not winning any awards for most feminist period, it was a time that was presented as simpler for women and as an autistic girl, undiagnosed, at times that seemed like a dream. Continue reading “Dreaming of the past (the past past)”

Conference recovery

Having attended the National Autistic Society’s Women and Girls conference on Tuesday, today I am officially tired. As it was all the way up in Manchester (I have been North more times in the last 10 months than the rest of my life put together), I had a 4.20am alarm.

Follow this with the stress of travelling, the even stressier stress of making my way through Manchester to the conference and then a day of learning and tweeting and socialising, and it was all in all a very exhausting day. A day I would do again in a heart beat, maybe tweeting a little less, but exhausting.  Continue reading “Conference recovery”

Decision making

I like to think that I tend to make good decisions. My never slowing brain is constantly considering all the possible options and ways forward, so when it comes to decision making, I think things through and consider all the possible options and make a decision based on that.

A lot of that goes on in my head- it’s not evident to those around me as there’s no logical working to be done. My mother has commented on this on more than once occasion: “you did jump into this very quickly”, “you didn’t really take your time and think it through” and so on. This tends to only come up should I not be too pleased about a choice I made though – the apparently quickly made good decisions are not to be questioned.  Continue reading “Decision making”

Hide and seek life lessons

Yesterday I spent the day with my whole extended family (my mother’s side) celebrating my grandparent’s 60th Wedding Anniversary. Pretty Impressive really. There were about 16 of us ranging from 3 days old (brand new cousin) to 87 years old, all in 2 generations of family.

Family is lovely sure, and I do like spending time with them, but boy is it exhausting. People asking the same questions, talking over each other, posturing and attacking with passive aggressive criticisms and replies. Family time.  Continue reading “Hide and seek life lessons”

Where did I put my friends?

I have friends, I definitely have friends. Friend friend friendly friends, I have all the friends

For those of you who don’t, watch Crazy ex-girlfriend. It is a brilliant show that covers mental illness, relationships and self worth beautifully whilst being pretty funny and a musical.

For me, the key ‘this is my life moment’ came early on when the main character is planning a party and has no one to invite. A couple of episodes later she goes to the cinema on her own and again feels her lack of friends. Continue reading “Where did I put my friends?”