Leaving the old me behind

I’m someone who loves routines. Who loves to know about the happenings of a day. Who loves something if it feels right and who really dislikes any changes to the right thing!

I thought my marriage was right. I was too distracted to see it wasn’t. There were many signs and I just ignored them as I was happy enough as it was. I thought it would last and that made me feel secure.

Losing my “biggest love”, losing my home, one of my dogs, my security, my routines… It was too much for my autism to handle so I handled it very badly. Which of course only proved “what a bad person I was”.

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Autism and Empathy

This is something I’ve always struggled with. Also feeling happy for someone when they were happy about something I could not relate to. I always felt like I was unkind when I want able to mean it when I said I understood or that I was happy for someone. Not because I don’t want others to have something, to do something, to be happy about something. But because for some reason, I could not understand why they were excited or happy or… Whatever they were experiencing. I never talk about this much, as it’s something that gives me a rather large feeling of shame. 😔

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Autism – On the spectrum

They say “we’re on the spectrum” these days. Many autistics are against this, because we’re not on anything… It’s because of the changes made when the DSM-5 came, all sorts of disorders became one, the spectrum one.

I have a decent IQ and I struggled a bit with these changes. I understand why they were made, but I’m not sure if it’s all good. It’s some progress but we’re not there yet. And many people are also still catching up, so I used Google to highlight some of the changes. I know, it’s been 9 years, but it’s Autism Acceptance Month and I’m trying to add my bit of info, even if I used Google 😇.

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Learning to grow

Many make it seem so easy, just go with the flow, absorb what you need and you’ll grow as a person…

While I do like the sound of that, it’s never been that way for me. I always seemed to learn the hard way. I was the one swimming against that flow. I was the one asking the questions that were relevant a day ago, but I took longer to get there. It didn’t make my questions less important, but most people shrugged them away as “I was too late and we moved on to a new subject”.

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Autism – To unwind…

…and try to avoid a meltdown!

For me, living with autism makes me experience the world more intense. I can’t speak for others, this is how I feel it, this is what I talked about with friends and how they responded (won’t mention names). This is about a part of my life and how I try to manage it.

I’m not a health professional. I share my experiences as they might help someone who’s struggling as well, or who has a loved one struggling who can’t talk about it. Again, experiences are my own, but sometimes things that may help me, may help others as well.

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Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month. I’ve used Google for a little more information on this. So I’ll quote some facts, as some of you may like those 😉! All opinions are my own. I am an Aspie/On the spectrum/Autistic myself, had a late diagnosis at age 30, about 12 years ago now.

First, they now will mostly call it Autism Acceptance Month. I’m not sure how I personally feel about this change. It feels like “here folks, I see you, have a seat and be happy”. For me, personally, Awareness would be preferred to Acceptance. But, if it has to be with an A, why not Appreciation?? I’d prefer that over the other two.

Autism Together source of “Acceptance” with some more info and also it shows the logo many autistics prefer: the rainbow infinity symbol.

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Autism and pronouns

What do these things have to do with each other? Well, directly, not so much. Autism doesn’t define which pronouns people want to use, want to be called by… But for me, it does limit the understanding I have of the current pronouns and how they are used. Why would autism limit that for me, you wonder? Well, I have been taught the old skool style, when I was learning English. I is for yourself, you if for someone else and they is for more than one person that doesn’t include yourself. Seemed pretty simple and it’s what I have been using ever since.

But now, the world is (probably finally) changing. It is adapting to be more inclusive, to not keep thinking within a certain box and it’s limits. And that also means that pronouns are changing. I had never heard of “xe” and to be honest, for this article I needed Google to understand. And I don’t mean that I am not understanding as in “I don’t support it”. I mean really understanding how it works, when it’s used, why people would ask to be called with that pronoun. I really want to respect people, the way they feel, think, are, be… And I would not want to cause harm to anyone, as I’ve been in that position and the scars that are left will never heal… So I never would want to inflict such a feeling on anyone.

A while ago, another #ActuallyAutistic on Twitter who uses the they/them pronouns and confirms as non-binary, took time to really explain the they/them usage and I could not be more grateful. I share parts of our conversation with their permission, including the usage of their username.

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Autism & Fibro – Wearing my mask

And I don’t mean the masks we have been wearing for the past two years due to Covid19. I mean more like the Venetian Carnaval masks, to hide my true feelings behind the face people want to see.

Maybe that’s why I now enjoy being on my own: I don’t have to pretend to be OK because I don’t want to bother anyone with my ailments… I don’t want to complain all the time. I don’t want to be seen crying in the evening. I don’t want anyone to hear my screams due to nightmares… I want to be OK, really OK! But I guess every chronically I’ll person dealing with daily pain has this as one of their biggest wishes…

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“Never mind her, she’s got autism”

Something that has always bugged me a while came up in a conversation a few days ago, and it made me think a lot about it again. So I decided “to put the pen to the paper”, cq grab my tablet and keyboard and start typing like crazy. Let’s get these silly thoughts that I have out in the open. Maybe I am not the only one who has them? Maybe everyone will disagree with me, that could also happen. But, please do respect my points of view, even if we might not agree on them.

This post by no means is meant to disrespect anyone. I am on the spectrum/I am an Aspie as they called it up till a few years ago. And while mister Asperger has been in the news on a bad note, his original observations that lead to the “Asperger’s Syndrome” bit in the DSM IV, I do recognize a lot of those treats in myself. So, this is a good example of what I mean with respect and different points of view: I do see myself as an Aspie still, as the treats have not changed. However since Hans Asperger got in the news a few years ago about his actions during WWII, I do not endorse his views or opinions on any of those matters. But even if he did very, very bad things, the observations he made and wrote down did lead to people getting diagnosed and some receiving good help… I know I was helped with my diagnosis. But that’s also when I started to get annoyed with that sentence with which I started this blog post (aka the title 😉).

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Another day, the same routine

I wrote about my routine, I wrote about it quite a bit and if you search my old posts for “routine”, you may find more posts than you have time to read 😂! So, why another post about it? Because I am getting new people following my posts every day. Because I feel some days I may explain it better for people A and B, while on other days my choice of words may be different and it may be better understandable for people C and D. Plus many people won’t use the search option to read older posts, some may stumble onto this one because maybe they used a keyword search and found this post instead of one of the many others.

Ah well, TL;DR I write about it because it’s such a huge part of my life and because I want people to know how important a good routine can be for your mental health. For me even more so, due to my ADHD and my Asperger’s/me being on the spectrum. I do believe that my “need” for routine is driven by my autism and that my ADHD greatly benefits from me trying to follow that steady routine.

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