A Message From the Inside

They say – those notorious sayers of supposed truth and wisdom, whoever they may be – that appearances can be deceptive.

To anyone on the autistic spectrum, this is not news – it is a way of life. Nothing is rarely – if ever – as it seems to us. So many games; so many hidden meanings; passive-aggressiveness; sarcasm; nuance in the look, the body language, and us… A blunted hammer in a world of needles and scalpels.

This, though, is a message. From me to any of the neurotypical folk who look in on my life and my relationship and think all is fine. Appearances can be deceptive. Continue reading “A Message From the Inside”

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I fear for my grip on the life I have. It is slipping slowly, surely, away from me, piece by piece. My partner is as distant now as he was when he lived 150 miles away, and if he should go, the other dominoes will follow – our house, our dog, my ability to face work, my strength to fight through University studies.

And as always, I feel helpless. I don’t know what to do about it. I want, so desperately, for him to understand that, and move toward me in our stand-off, but… Nothing. Just silence.

The pain is unbearable these days.

Yesterday

All my troubles seemed so far away. But distance is all subjective. They felt so far away because my partner and I had enjoyed one good evening in each other’s company. It made the world of difference.

But it didn’t last. It never lasts. I embarked on what was actually an incredibly tough day, with little to no support from anyone around me – least of all him. Continue reading “Yesterday”

Jealous Guy

Another song title – this time John Lennon’s, but one I have had pounding through my mind this weekend, in anticipation of today, when my partner spent the morning with friends and their kids. Continue reading “Jealous Guy”

In-dependence Day

Which is veeeeeeery different to “independence”, in that I am probably, most likely, almost surely mired in dependence on my partner.

And he has gone away for three days with work, which shouldn’t be a big deal to me, but is.

Because it means my routines have changed. It means my environment has changed; emptied of his sounds and presence. And it means my responsibilities have changed, too. I now have sole charge of our dog, and must now try to remember and accomplish all of the things that are usually his job to remember and accomplish.

In short, I must, for these three days, be two people. Which is difficult when, on most days, I barely feel like one….

Mr. Cellophane

There is something I understand as being quite common amongst autistic individuals: namely, the feeling of being openly ignored. Looked straight past. In discussions, I have heard it suggested that we do not, perhaps, have a natural presence, nor natural body language and so are overridden in turn. Which is painful realisation to make, and one that was plunged home to me yesterday, at a doctor’s appointment.

It was, to be frank, actually a therapy appointment, which made it sting all the more that the experience I had there was not befitting of a bastion of dependency, trustworthiness and professionalism.

My appointment was at 9.30am and I arrived ten minutes early, having checked the SMS and letter five times to make sure I had the day, date, time and place correct. The Receptionist was pleasant and said she’d inform them of my arrival. I took my place in the waiting room.

At 9.35am, someone who I was fairly sure was the gentleman I had seen at my last appointment, poked his head out of a door and scanned the waiting room – but not in my direction. Ten full minutes later, at a quarter-to-ten, he walked past me, wearing his coat, and leaves the building.

Between my uncertainty of it being the gentleman I required, and my inability to process quickly enough (because, I mean, it surely couldn’t be him – I had an appointment!) I did not speak out and stop him, meaning all I could do was go back to Reception and confirm I did, indeed, have an appointment. The lady assured me I did and I had to, embarrassingly, explain that I had just watched the man walk right by me, missing me completely sitting in full view, and leave. Three people spent thirty┬áminutes trying to contact him, until they sent the Practice Manager to apologise to me and promise a rearrangement.

I was, and am, livid.

I spend enough of my daily life feeling downtrodden, dismissed and downright invisible and now, even in an institution supposed to be helping me with those issues, they manage to find a way to heap on the misery. My distrust of such services is currently resolute.

In order to make myself feel better, though, I have drafted an incredibly strongly-worded letter to the Manager. Who said I can’t express myself – hmph!?

That’s Not My Name

By which I mean, of course, Sheldon Cooper. Off of that ‘Big Bang Theory’ on the telly.

Yes, I now have a personal stake in the debate that rages about the benefits of mainstream visibility and its drawbacks. It is an issue I have seen – and faced – before with the LGBT community (of which I am part only in name. Aspie = no social, remember?)

So yes, while it is heartening to see someone, somewhere on TV entering into people’s hearts and minds whilst displaying many of the typical traits of the autism spectrum, it is equally damn frustrating when, in response to revealing my own diagnosis, people say, “Oh like Sheldon Cooper, you mean?”

To which I can only really say no, not like Sheldon. Not at all “like Sheldon”. And begin a long and impassioned rant on the subject until they are under no illusion that I do not appreciate having my personal experience of autism – and living with it – overshadowed by a fictional TV character whom, were he officially diagnosed as being on the spectrum, would have a hugely different experience and many of his own traits.

In short, I am my own person. We are all our own people. Autism or not, we remain individuals and we do not like being lumped in as one quirky group of “otherness”.

So stop it, please.