Invisible Struggle (Autistic) (Violet)

*TRIGGER WARNING*

You don’t hear me when I’m talking because I can’t actually say what I mean. I can rarely ever ask for my needs to be met unless you ask me a direct question about it if I’m dependent on you in some way. And even then I’ll still hold back. I get too overwhelmed if I feel that anything I’m going to say is going to cause conflict between us, so I end up saying nothing at all, or I just end up agreeing to everything you say. I usually don’t realize I’m even doing this until after we interact and then I’m ruminating over it for hours filling myself up with even more anxiety and guilt. I can’t help the way that I am, but I still feel that I’m a burden on you. You will never understand my pain when it comes to communication because you only see what’s on the surface. You only see what I was taught to be, instead of the way I really am. I used to be able to stim, not make eye-contact, and speak in a language that was mine. But now I suffer everyday because I was forced to be just like you.

I am invisible. It hurts. It really does. It hurts because I have to put so much energy into every little thing I do, every movement, every sound. But no one sees it. They only see the final product. I end up becoming so burnt out. I won’t be able to execute even the most basic tasks. I can’t last around people or around all the noise and chaos everywhere. I can’t stand it because I actually do want to be able to be around people without it being so exhausting. I want to be able to be myself, but even when I try, I can’t. I may be able to for a short while but I’m back to putting that mask on once again.

My mother would beat me with the belt for something as simple as humming. She made me feel so much shame when I wouldn’t lock eyes with her. The teachers yelled at me for moving around in my seat too much. And it was clear to me everyone was annoyed with me. I was bullied constantly growing up. I felt the pain, but a lot of times I couldn’t show it. Sometimes I didn’t even know it was happening, that people were actually making fun of me, instead of laughing with me. I didn’t understand, but now I do.

I feel like I can’t ever defend myself. It’s even harder for me to express things in words when I’m triggered, upset, or in a rage. I end up just letting people walk all over me. I end up just letting them hurt me, because I can’t tell them to stop. I can’t tell them because I just can’t express what’s inside of me. No matter how hard I try. No matter how many times people say I’m so good at communicating. I know most of the time I’m just stringing a bunch of words into sentences and failing miserably at actually expressing how I really feel. But people don’t see that. They see someone who is capable. But they rarely actually understand what I intended to actually say to them. They will even say that they understood. It burns. It aches. It stings. But I just end up smiling. Because that’s what pretty girls are supposed to do right? Smile? Act as if everything is okay? We’ll both just end up getting frustrated if I ever tell you that you’re wrong, because I won’t even be able to explain to you why that is, not where I’m actually satisfied with what I said.

So a lot of times I end up just disappearing inside of myself. I became a ghost when it comes to actually letting people know how I really feel. Not because I don’t want to share but because I’m not actually capable of it. So I’ll just keep going around in circles endlessly with all this anxiety building. But you won’t see it. You’ll just think I’m making it up. I would say that it’s okay, and that I’m used to it. But we both know that’s not true. I just don’t want to go into a meltdown. This usually only happens when I’m alone, so I only end up hurting myself. It just explodes out of no where. I just don’t get the same release I used to when I could actually sort of be myself as a kid. It ends up getting stuck inside of me, gnawing at my insides, until I just can’t hold it in anymore. Otherwise I tend to shutdown most of the time until all of the shutdowns eventually turn into a meltdown after getting burnt out over and over again.

I need to know what’s going to happen when I have a social interaction, even if it’s just going to last for a few minutes. Obviously, this isn’t possible most of the time. So I have to get the closest I can to knowing. I need to know the exact time, and as much of what will be happening during this time that is possible to inform someone on. If anything comes up that is unpredictable, it makes it so I go into overload and once again hit with a mountain of anxiety. That’s what it feels like. A fucking mountain of anxiety. I just climb and climb and climb until I reach the top and then I’m too tired to come back down. So I stay there filled with all this anxiety until the person finally shows up or I finally know what’s going on. The worst is when you don’t know what’s going on. I usually feel like I just got run over by a train by the time I finally get closure from the other person, and then I’m not usually up for socializing anymore.

It’s this constant cycle that goes round and round and it makes me feel like my head is going to fucking burst. Because unless you go through this yourself, you’re not going to be a mind-reader and know. And even if you’re told, there’s a good chance you might not understand. This is why any sort of relationship that takes commitment is just so exhausting to me that I end up not keeping in touch with people. And then I feel terrible about it. I’ll end up feeling like they hate me. That I failed at doing what to most people seems to come naturally. I feel like a lot of times when these things would happen, people would just think I’m a bitch, when really I’m going through fucking hell, and they just don’t have a clue. They don’t see how long it can take me at times just to write a few words back to them and what it does to me. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to. It just means that it’s usually not worth the energy. Depending on the day, sometimes just typing a few words can make it so I can’t do much else for the entire rest of the day. But a lot of times I can’t even put the effort into even typing those words especially if I’m in the shutdown stage of this endless cycle. Even talking out loud to myself can cause me to be in agonizing pain. People don’t see that pain when they watch my videos or read my work. It must look so effortless. But I can assure you it’s not. I just hope one day people will be able to see my invisible struggle. But until then I can only make these attempts to try to get what I have to say across to you and to myself.

Written by : Violet

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The Truth Hurts (Violet)

The truth hurts.

It really does.

It especially hurts when you realize that no one tells the truth. Even if it’s just to act like we are okay when we really aren’t. Or when we tell someone what they want to hear. Sometimes we lie to get ourselves out of a sticky situation.

We might be dishonest to protect ourselves. It doesn’t have to be as extreme as someone putting a gun up to our head. It could just be telling that guy who is cornering you on the street that you have a boyfriend when you really don’t so he will leave you alone.

Sometimes our gut instinct tells us to do the very thing that people tell us not to do. We may feel like we are left with no choice. And not only that but we are a hypocritical bunch. What we condemn in others, is usually something we are doing ourselves in some shape, form, or fashion.

But it doesn’t make it feel any better. It doesn’t make you feel safe with the words that come out of that person’s mouth that you care about. If you don’t have trust, then you don’t feel safe. You don’t feel like it’s ever real.

I think this makes many of us feel very alone. We can’t even trust ourselves, so of course we can’t trust other people. We tell ourselves that we do from time to time, but we really don’t. Because if we did, we would feel comfortable telling them everything, and I mean everything. But deep down we know that they are not only capable of lying but they are judging us, not that they can really help it.

You can’t have an opinion on anything without judging. So a lot of us choose to keep our thoughts to ourselves. Not just because it might do something like hurt another person but because it’s not possible for us to tell everyone everything.

Which brings us right back to the fact that no one can be trusted. If you don’t know everything someone is thinking, they are always going to be holding things back. You will never know what they really think and feel about you in its entirety. They can tell you whatever they want and you would never really know for sure.

We live in a world that tells us to be honest, but when we finally are people don’t want to hear it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been blunt and then regretted it later. You get that look from people like it’s expected to keep certain things inside of your head. That certain topics of conversation are on the no-no list.

I feel like I live in a world where I can’t really be me. People act like they respect someone who can be themselves but when they finally are, they don’t like it. They would rather have a pretty little package that’s all neat and tidy. They would rather not know the truth. Most people would rather crawl into a hole then to ever be faced with it.

I live in a world I can’t understand, and that makes me absolutely miserable. There’s so many contradictions it makes my head spin. And I’m no different than anyone else when it comes to being a contradiction, dishonest and fake. But I do wonder how much more honest and real I would’ve been if society hadn’t made me feel like shit about myself and my truth when I was a kid.

Because as an aspie I very much told it like it was more often than most and it made me into the scapegoat. Because no one in an abusive family ever wants anyone in it spouting off the truth. I allowed myself to stim like crazy without a care in the world, but then I was punished for that as well.

And now I can’t even do what comes naturally to me anymore even when I try so fucking hard. I don’t feel empty. I feel like I’m going to burst because I’ve been filled up with all this garbage that isn’t me. I’m ready to fucking explode.

I sometimes wonder what will happen to me that day when I finally have no more space to fill with all the lies that has made me develop into the person I am now.

But until then, I wait in all this pain and agony, just hoping I can let some of this muck out of me bit by bit. It’s definitely a process, but at least I’m aware now and that has allowed me to start somewhere.

Written by : Violet

 

Autistic Traits – List (We Vary So Much Person To Person) Take A Look For Yourself! (Reblog)

This is Violet! I decided to reblog this because it’s so on point and shows how varied autistic people can be. This is why we need to stop with the generalizations (though I know we all do it, even myself)…I hope this brings about some more understanding.

autisticality

Problems

Autism is big and messy and confusing, and no-one really understands it. It’s difficult to make a good summary and description of autistic traits, because generally no-one can agree on what autism actually is. But even taking that into account, I’ve never read a satisfactory article or leaflet summarising and describing autistic traits.  Every description I’ve ever read suffered from at least one of these problems:

  • Wrongly weighted. So many descriptions of autism written by neurotypical people focus completely on social traits. Often autism is described as an entirely social thing, and any other differences are considered incidental if they’re mentioned at all.
  • Vague. The “triad of impairments” is the worst offender here. It divides social traits arbitrarily into “interaction”, “communication”, and “imagination”, but there is absolutely no clear distinction between those categories. They’re meaningless and useless divisions that don’t remotely simplify the description, and so they serve no useful purpose…

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Blog Post From Like 2 Years Ago (School As An Autistic Girl)

Before we discovered we were multiple, one of the alters, I believe it was Ruby wrote this post from her perspective thinking she was just one person at the time. I thought it was really good and I’m deciding to share. It helped me learn some stuff about myself as a child and brought back memories I had forgotten about, but still feel really disconnected from these experiences. -ASHLEY-

I want to share some of my story about my struggle being on the spectrum in school and how I felt I wasn’t accommodated. This was also because when I was growing up they didn’t have very much information on what Autism actually was, especially when it came to females so I was never diagnosed. People have this idea that people who are Autistic are one specific way but we all have differences as well. Not all of us are male and enjoy things like Science and Math. Some of us are very much female and for me I’ve always done better with English. Before I even started school my Mom would take me to the library, and taught me the alphabet. She read some stories out loud for me but I picked up very quickly on a few basic words and was able to teach myself how to read. By the time I got to school I was already reading way beyond my level. Always had my nose in really thick books with language that the other kids hadn’t really picked up on yet. I would get these reading certificates for being the best reader in class. I also taught myself how to write, but my handwriting wasn’t always the best so my teachers would struggle with being able to read it. I wouldn’t put enough space in between the letters and words, my a’s looked like o’s, and they could never tell that my checkmarks were checkmarks which made it difficult to read. I still have sloppy handwriting at times to this day and even run off the lines so that’s why I prefer to type. My teachers would always try to teach me how to do it, but I couldn’t ever get it right, and I could tell they were frustrated with me, and just didn’t know how to approach the situation. I was in speech therapy for stuttering for the first two years of school. I started being able to speak better, at least enough for them to understand, but I still had trouble with certain words, and though they sounded as if they were spoken clearly, my teachers didn’t realize I had trouble processing these words before I would speak them. It took everything in me, taking away a lot of my energy that I had just to get some words out that I struggled with, but because it wasn’t visible to them, they never thought it to be a problem. For example, I was in the 2nd grade and I asked my teacher if I could use the “potty”, so I got in trouble for using that word and was told that it was inappropriate and I should use the word “restroom” instead. I remember how frustrated I got trying to say it, I tried to explain that it was difficult for me, but she just assumed I was being defiant, and forced me to say the word that was harder for me to process and get out. I feel as if I got in trouble for a lot of things my teachers didn’t understand. I truly did have difficulties with things and they thought that it meant I was being a bad kid. I had trouble with sleeping during nap time because of my sensory issues with all the other kids in the room, I would just lay there the entire time with my eyes open, and if they saw me awake, they would yell at me to go to sleep. I was always being called after class to discuss my behavior especially when it came to my disorganized desk and constantly forgetting things like my textbooks at home. I didn’t mean for me to be this way, I just didn’t think the same way as the other kids. I was constantly searching through my desk through wads of papers stuffed in there and could barely find anything. No one tried to teach me how to get organized, at least in a way I could understand, and so I was punished. Because of the constant sensory overload and social anxiety, I would do things like tilt the back legs of my chair back and forth because it was how I felt comfortable stimming. I was always told I needed to stop what I was doing because I was distracting the rest of the class, but I had no clue what else I could’ve been doing differently to help me focus better. I remember being in class for an exam one day and being allowed to chew on a candy necklace. It was the one day I felt like I was truly being accommodated for the way I was, occupying myself with the candy necklace made it so it was much easier to take the test. But of course, it never happened again. I loved writing on the inside of my desk which obviously had my teachers upset, and had to spend the entire class once scrubbing it off. I didn’t know that it was wrong, because it made me feel better to carve things into desks and draw in them, so I saw no problem with it. I tried wearing these leather gloves to class a few times but the teachers got furious once again because it was strange to them I guess and they didn’t understand that it actually helped me. I tried to do many things differently and felt very misunderstood because of it. I loved to vocally stim the most out of anything and that really made people think I was just being rude. I interrupted class a lot because I would get super anxious and start yelling out random words I liked, making sound effects, humming, and repeating things over and over again that made me feel good. This always caused the other kids to laugh of course, but they weren’t really laughing with me like I thought at first, but rather laughing at me. That’s when the bullying really started. I would make these animal sounds in particular and would get completely animated and mimic these animals. The kids called me ugly, weird, stupid, etc. They made fun of the way I would walk. I was constantly struggling with keeping my shoes tied so I was always tripping over myself. I hated that I could never get the shoelaces tied just right so I started wearing high heels to school a few times because I was tired of being made fun of. I would end up being late to class because I would struggle getting up and down the stairs. I would literally have to take it step by step very slowly until I would get to the top. It wasn’t comfortable to say the least and it  just ended up making it so I was made fun of even more. My Mom would pick out my clothes not realizing a lot of stuff she picked out didn’t match or would end up being see-through or something. I got teased a lot for the way I dressed. I accidently started a rumor about myself that I was a lesbian because I had kissed my friend and told another friend so word got around. I went along with it like it was funny at first, thinking guys liked lesbians based off of my friend said, and so that caused me to be tortured for years. They finally had something they could use to get under my skin and it was actually my fault that it happened out of being naive. I would stare down guys I liked and just people in general which had people constantly talking trash about me and making me feel as if I was some kind of sick person because I stared people down and couldn’t help it.  I hated lining up at the door with all the other kids because of how close together we were. It sent my anxiety through the roof and I would always get this sense of relief whenever the line would start moving. From the very moment I first went to school, even at the orientation, I hated being in groups of kids. We sat down for story time, and I grew very uncomfortable sitting there, so I just broke down crying, begging my Mom to take me home, before school had even started yet, this was the orientation before kindergarten. Most of the kids didn’t want anything to do with me because I was so different. I would play on the playground by myself a lot and ended up getting physically hurt from doing really impulsive things like standing up on top of the pull-up bars and jumping off, smacking face first into the concrete. My favorite thing was the monkey bars, anything where I could dangle myself and use my upper body strength, feeling that pressure in my arms. The other kids would be on the slide and jump roping while I was hanging upside down on the pull-up bars. One of the guys I had a crush on used me in this tag game they made up. I was so excited to play with the kids, especially a guy I liked, and so I didn’t realize that they turned me into the big ugly scary monster that chased them around the playground. They would tell me how gross I was whenever I would come close, but at that age I had no clue that it was a bad thing what was happening. I truly thought they just liked to play with me at the time but I was very wrong. I’m pretty sure my grades started to drop due to the bullying most of all and the fact that nothing was ever done about it. It became much harder to concentrate having so much more anxiety than I already had. The sensory issues and problems with interacting socially caused me to get physically ill and I ended up in the school office a lot laying down, and waiting to get picked up to go home early. I did have a few times where I had faked it, but most of the time I was truly sick. I couldn’t ever handle being called on. I absolutely hated being surprised and caught off guard to give these quick responses. I didn’t mind if I knew the answer and raised my hand but my teachers constantly targeted me, putting me on the spot so I would have to answer and a lot of times I would just say “I don’t know” or nothing at all, even though I was a pretty intelligent student. I would tell my Mom I needed help with my homework, but she was always more concerned with my sister because the teachers stated she had ADD, so my Mom spent the entire time helping her, and told me I was smart enough to figure it out on my own, and able to focus easier. Little did she know I struggled with comprehension most of all and really understanding the text I was reading. It would take me a long time to figure out the answers, sometimes I would sit there for hours on one problem, and just eventually give up. Luckily a lot of homework assignments, were graded on completion instead of accuracy so that kept my grades up for awhile. I was always confused how I would get some answers eventually, I never knew how I was doing it, I would just do it. I did the whole pronoun reversal thing as well, always switching the point of view of the person while writing, and I still struggle to this day with it and have to go back and edit my work constantly. I continued to vocally stim in middle school when I first got there but because I was thrown out into the hallway so much and got lunch detentions, I stopped doing it for awhile. And began taking my pens and pencils and poking my arms over and over again to provide that stimulation that I needed. This is when I really started becoming more mute because I was always on guard with the other kids and I also wasn’t allowed to do the things I needed to in order to cope. I switched middle schools halfway through my 8th grade year and I began vocally stimming again in class, but this time I wasn’t really interested in learning anymore. I was purposely trying to turn it into a joke because it made me feel good, and I just didn’t care about anything else. I would mostly shout out random words, I believe my favorite one was “Cookie”. I do the same thing now with the word “Butts” where I just repeat a certain word I like over and over again. My grades started dropping more drastically where I had failed a couple of classes for the first time but still managed to pass enough to get to highschool. I became disruptive because it was either I suffered in silence filled with all my anxiety and sensory sensitivity. Or people thought I was a complete weirdo shouting and making noises. My teachers always saw me as a problem instead of trying to figure out solutions to help me. I think that’s the biggest issue with the way these educators treat the students in general. They automatically assume the child is acting this way as a way to act out, but they’re just doing what they need to do to survive the day. They learn differently and think differently, but the system only seems to want to help those who have more obvious disabilities that they can more easily deal with. They had no clue what was going on with me and neither did I. I believed what they thought about me which made things really depressing because I looked at myself in a negative light instead of seeing myself for who I really am. I could never figure out why I was doing everything so wrong so now I feel a lot more at peace since I’ve discovered that I’m neurodivergent. I absolutely dreaded presentations and they tried to get me to do quite a bit of them. It was easier for me to do as a small child but the older I got, the worse it got. I even backed out of a presentation and took the zero knowing that if I didn’t do well on the midterm, I wouldn’t have graduated high school. I was so scared, that everything I had worked for, meant absolutely nothing to me. I skipped a lot of highschool but still managed to get by. I ended up dropping classes immediately in college where they tried to get me to do presentations. I also had this one teacher who purposely saw i was the most quiet in the class, so he called on me over and over again, and even used me as an example for sexual harassment which caused me to be very uncomfortable considering all the sexual abuse I had to endure in my life. I felt like I was always singled out because I tried to fade out in the background and not be noticed. I would’ve much rather just got my work done on my own, than be constantly concerned with whether or not my teacher was going to call me out in front of the other students. I ended up skipping a lot of college as well and would get picked up by friends as soon as I would get dropped off. But a lot of times I didn’t have a ride and I would just walk around the school while class was going on. I would sit out in the hallway and read. I also would sit in the bathroom when things started feeling weird with me being out in the open, I was always paranoid I was going to be caught, or someone in my class was going to see me there and realize I was skipping class. Little did I know that no one in college really cared or took notice to me because I barely said a word. I ended up not going back to class when I would get let out for bathroom breaks. My teacher even called it out one day, and said that we weren’t going to get those short breaks, if people didn’t stop leaving for the day. He also tried to make it so we would have to take tests after the bathroom break just so people like me would actually come back to class. I would memorize the review sheets right before taking the quizzes but forgot all the information afterwards. I didn’t learn much of anything, it was just memorize, take the test, repeat. I feel being in school didn’t utilize any of my strengths especially with the fact that I’m such an abstract thinker. I need to be able to think outside of the box and do things in my own little way so I can actually do well. They don’t know how to provide the right tools in order to have people like me function better in a classroom setting. I never knew how to cope. I was never taught, and I was never given any guidance. It also didn’t help that no one was really informed of my Autism or anything else for that matter. They turned a blind eye to me and I suffered greatly for it, thinking I was stupid for many years because I couldn’t do things the same as everyone else. I did things with my intuition and from the heart rather than using a more logical approach which made things even more difficult for me. I usually eventually figured out the answers but it would take a very long time to get there, and I had to do it all on my own. Our voices need to be heard, we need to recognized for who we are, instead of them trying to mold us into this one way of thinking. I think differently as an Autistic woman and I learn differently so therefore that should be accommodated. I feel we definitely need to put an end to all this stigma around kids who seem as if they are being disruptive when they actually need help. It’s also another reason I’m so afraid to ask for help, because I never got it. We all deserve the same kind of treatment any other kid gets. And that’s why I will continue to fight so this doesn’t ever happen to anyone else ever again.

It Hurts Too Much To Be Alive

There are some days where you feel like if there is a hell, it’s here on earth. These are the days that make you think about every possible way you could kill yourself. You feel as if you have nothing to live for anymore, because all you’re doing is surviving. You spend the day contemplating on a way to get out. You know the inner-child in you is screaming and crying. You can’t do anything to help this child so it sends you even more over the edge. You want to rip your hair out, tear your skin off, and run away to somewhere you can actually be alone. You’re trapped with all the people in places that you don’t want to be. You can feel yourself spiraling downward and there’s no way to pull yourself out of it. The things that normally make you feel better aren’t even doing the trick. You feel all the love you thought you had leave your heart, and you’ll hate everyone and everything. You’ll feel as if that no one understands you, and that you don’t even live on the same planet that they do.

You look around and all you can see is the negative side of everything. You’ll see people interacting with one another and it makes you think of what you lack in your own life. You’ll think they are so fake and you’re the only real thing there is in this universe. You might even feel a bit crazy, because you’re so disconnected from the rest of them. Instead of seeing yourself in everyone, you can only see how different you are. You try to smile but it hurts. You try to cry but you’re afraid to because you don’t want someone to come up to you and ask if you’re okay and then have to tell them shit you don’t want to talk about with anyone.

You find yourself waiting around for a miracle even though you’d rather be dead because you know you’re stuck where you are. You can’t see what’s good in your life because you’re blinded by the shitstorm you feel you have no control over. You feel powerless. You feel vulnerable. You feel like the whole world is against you. You don’t want to breathe. You don’t want to feel. You don’t feel like you have a creative bone in your body because you’re too exhausted from the stress. You just fall apart hoping that you will find some comfort soon. But it seems like it’s so far away, and you’re so far gone.

Written by : Serenity

We Can’t Be Friends (Ashley)

It really amazes me how people automatically assume that you’re open for building relationships with them and forming these intimate bonds just because you create content and share it with the world. Because we’re so vulnerable with ourselves, people think that means that we’re capable of connecting to them on a deeper level that goes beyond them just reading or watching what we put out there. We’ve tried to tell people over and over again that we can’t respond to most of the messages we get. We can’t keep up with the back and forth communication. We can barely stay in touch with the one online friend we have that we try to keep up with on a consistent basis. Luckily, she is autistic too and understands when we don’t respond for weeks or even months at a time. We’re only really capable of keeping up with her, and even so it’s difficult to maintain the friendship.

I hate the amount of pressure people try to put on us to respond to them. It’s way too exhausting to figure out what to say to people and typing it all out. It’s just as painful as communicating with people in the real world. At some points in our life, it can be easier to keep up with it than others, but even when we’re in a period of our life when we’re more capable of it, we still can’t do it to the same extent as the average person can. We’re very anxious and stressed 99.9% of the time, so of course when we try to add other people in the mix, it just adds onto to that stress. People also don’t realize that it’s not that we don’t want to connect, we really just can’t. It hurts us very deeply that we can’t connect with people, but it’s just the way we are. We are built to spend pretty much every waking moment of our life completely alone. And yes that can make us feel very isolated at times. Just because we’re autistic doesn’t mean we don’t crave connection, it just means we have a harder time with it, and prefer to spend time in our own company.

People don’t realize the amount of energy we put into everything we create. They think that we communicate with ease when we talk to the video camera or write something out on the blog. But it really isn’t like that all. It’s a huge strain to do this, but we’re willing to put up with it because we need to express ourselves in some way.

We had to deactivate our Facebook again and someone totally flipped out and emailed us saying we blocked them, that they felt rejected by us because they wanted us to be their friend, and they were very hurt. This made us feel like we were obligated to give a response because we didn’t want them to go on thinking that’s what happened. This person was just a follower of our public posts on there. We didn’t add them as a friend because we like to keep our friends on there to a minimum, and not just because we can’t keep up with it. We try to be careful about who we add because people on our friends list are able to comment and we get triggered easily. This way it makes it so there are less comments and usually the people who comment are people who know our main triggers and respect them.

I think that it’s perfectly natural for someone in our position to set boundaries with people. We have every right to do this but sometimes I feel like people try to abuse the fact that we care so much, and naturally want to people-please because quite a few of us have codependent tendencies. We can barely handle our own life and our own feelings, let alone other people’s. We can’t follow and subscribe to too many people’s blogs and channels because we can barely keep up with their content, let alone forming all these friendships. People seem to have these really high expectations of us and it can be very draining at times. It makes it so we can’t check our messages for long periods of time because it makes our life that much more difficult because of how triggered we get.

Most people, even people who aren’t disabled and who are dealing with the same life circumstances as us have trouble keeping up with social media and relationships in real life. It isn’t just autistic people or people with mental health issues. So I don’t have a clue why so many people expect someone who is now homeless and trying to figure out how to eat and sleep properly each day could possibly keep up with it all. It makes me want to burst into tears. I’m just glad that I’m able to express this right now because I really needed to get it out there. I know that there’s many people out there who can relate to this so I hope that it will make you feel less alone. Everything we create is because it’s helping ourselves, and it just happens to help others in the process. And that’s the way we like it, killing two birds with one stone. There’s nothing wrong with the way we are, and we should have understanding and support from people who say they care. But the true colors of so many people shine through and you have to accept that they are this way, just try to move on, and take care of yourself the best you can.

Written by : Ashley

 

 

Anger + Putting On A Face (Ashley)

I noticed that when I write really angry posts or share anything where I’m heated, I end up deleting it later on. This is because it’s very short-lived for me and isn’t something I want to “stick”. I guess there is a small part of me that is ashamed of myself when I get frustrated but I think that’s mostly because of how other people have treated me throughout my life when it comes to my anger. I think it’s great when I can vent it out constructively where I’m expressing it so I can heal through it. But I know other people can take it as just me being a bitch. I’m really not trying to be though, but it’s hard not to sound that way when you’re being authentic with the way you’re wording things when speaking out in anger. I let it all flow out exactly how I’m thinking it and it doesn’t always smell of roses. This can really put people off and even gets under my skin once I’ve had to chance to cool down. Because I know that my initial angry reaction isn’t usually going to sound at all loving. And I do want to embody love, but you can’t be this peaceful, gentle, uplifting person all of the damn time.

Whenever I come out, I usually put my big fake smile on my face and try to just be happy with whatever is going on even if I’m not. This is just out of habit. I’ve been protecting myself for a long time by pretending that it has become “natural” for me to act like I’m feeling great when I’m really not underneath. I don’t act the way I really am as well because I’ve had to pretend to be neurotypical for so damn long. I hardly know how to show my autistic true colors. I went my whole life being a little people-pleaser but also being quite selfish in other aspects. I’ve always just wanted to be liked, but it never seems that I’m the one that people care about, maybe some of the other alters, but not me. I’m just good for a suck and fuck. I’m the alter in the system that puts off that girly, snobby, thinks I’m better than everyone else sort of attitude. It helped me get through life when everyone was so cruel to me.

Serenity may seem like the most sensitive person in the group, but I’m very sensitive myself as well, just in my own way. I haven’t gotten in touch with those feelings like she has. My feelings tend to just blow-up out of no where because I suppress them for so long. This used to cause major meltdowns growing up, and a lot of them would happen out in public because I wouldn’t have enough time to get back home before they would happen. Everything would start getting to me, the lights, the sounds, the people, the anxiety, the bullying, the abuse and I would eventually just fucking crack. I used to take drugs to numb the pain but now that I don’t have that, it’s becoming a lot harder for me to hide myself, which is probably a good thing. But I’m scared. I’m fucking terrified of the person I’ve buried underneath because I don’t really know her at all.

Written by : Ashley

Anxiety On The Spectrum (Ashley)

Why is it so difficult to initiate a social interaction for those of us on the spectrum? I know that a huge part of it is because people are so unpredictable. It gives me so much anxiety not knowing how the conversation is going to go exactly. I feel like I’m going to be put on the spot. I feel like I won’t be able to get my words out properly. I need to know how I’m going to respond. I also need to know what the other person is going to say word for word. There is no way to know for sure how any given social interaction is going to go. You just have to do it. You try to build the confidence up to do it. You’ll spend so much time going over how you’re going to approach the situation and that just ends up causing you even more anxiety because you waited so long to approach the person. You’ve had too much time to think about it now so you just end up giving up on it altogether.

It doesn’t seem to matter how important it’s for me to talk to someone. It could be a life or death situation and I would still chicken out. I remember when we were homeless we couldn’t even ask for food. We were too afraid to tell people when we were hungry. So we would starve until we’d just pass out from the exhaustion of not eating. It amazes me how the anxiety can be so bad that you’ll even ignore your trying to meet you basic needs just to avoid an uncomfortable situation. There’s a lot of people out there that just don’t understand this. They will think you’re just being silly and it should be as simple as just sucking it up. But it’s not. It’s humiliating. It’s horrible. It’s devastatingly impossible. I normally embrace being autistic but it’s times like these I wish there were an off switch to the anxiety that comes from trying to communicate with others.

I was able to cover it up for so long by pretending to be like other people. I would get drunk all the time to ease the anxiety so I could actually stand to talk to people. I was a total wreck. I just wanted to be able to relate but I just couldn’t. I was always looked at as some sort of outcast no matter how much I tried to fit in. I appeared to be just this ditzy girl who would always say the wrong thing at the wrong time. People didn’t understand my jokes and I didn’t understand theirs. I couldn’t process what people said quick enough so they thought I was slow, and I believed it too. I realize now that I just processed conversation longer because I needed to analyze every little detail. I’ve done this for so long I just can’t help myself. It’s not that I’m lacking in intelligence. I just have trouble moving from one topic to the next. I also have trouble going from one task to another. I feel so much anxiety doing just about everything in my life that I need to take as much time as possible to get myself together.

People would confuse me as being a cluster-B personality disordered individual. They thought I was narcissistic and borderline. I thought so too for a very long time. I just couldn’t understand what the hell was going on with me. What happened was I was surrounded by people who were in the cluster B category and I ended up copying their behavior. I had no clue this was what I was doing because it became so natural to me. I thought that I was supposed to be sexually promiscuous. I thought they I was supposed to be mean and selfish. I thought I was supposed to play dumb and just look pretty. I thought so many things and it caused me a lot of heartache.

All I know is that I’m glad that I finally have some sort of an explanation for all the trouble I’ve had relating to others in my life. Before I found out about being autistic, I was like a lost little puppy, and now I feel like I’m actually home. That I’ve found a community of people that are like me, at least in a lot of ways they are. Of course I’m an individual and have had different life experiences so I’m going to present myself differently on the spectrum. I am highly dissociative and traumatized. But it’s still nice to know what the hell is going on with me, and having other people who can relate is a huge blessing. I’m so grateful. I wouldn’t change knowing for the world. But now that I know it also makes me feel alienated at times because I don’t know any other autistic people in real life, only online. Everyone around me seems to not have a clue about what being on the spectrum is really like. If I tell them I’m autistic, they’re usually shocked and say that I appear so “normal” which definitely isn’t a compliment. I expelled so much energy trying to be like everyone else that I just wish people could accept the real me so I could stop putting on an act. But to this day I still feel like I have to because if I don’t then it’s just going to cause me even more anxiety. I can only hope that with time the world will learn more about autistic women, and stop looking at us as burdens on society so we can be free to be ourselves around people without worrying so much. That will be the day I will finally feel accepted.

 

Written by : Ashley

4th Of July – Fuck Holidays

I think one of the worst things about having a traumatic life is that you can never escape all the reminders everywhere you go. If you grew up in an abusive family, the holidays can be torture whenever they come around. So many holidays are about celebrating with family. My family was extremely fake, hiding behind the façade they presented to the world. I didn’t even know that I was being abused. I knew something was wrong but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. So at the time I thought that I just had this normal family who would spend time together on these days, and that they really loved me. Even though my mother told me as a child she didn’t love me, I still believed she did. That was actually one of the hardest things I’ve had to accept, that her and so many others pretended to care about me. That every smile, every laugh, was just covering up the truth of the way things really were.

Today is 4th of July. I remember how excited I would get about seeing the fireworks as a kid. But as the years went on, I stopped celebrating it and stayed at home. I hated the noise because of my sensory issues, but the way the fireworks looked always mesmerized me. It gave me this deep feeling of pure happiness and joy when I saw them. I would just block out my family if they were making me uncomfortable which they normally did and I would get lost in watching the beautiful colors in the sky. I used to think that spending time with family just meant you were in the same place and doing something together. I didn’t know what real intimacy was supposed to be like, so I thought that watching the fireworks together meant we were bonding. It doesn’t matter if I know the truth now because at the time that’s what I really thought, that there was a connection there. But really I was just sitting there inside myself even if everyone around me was talking, all alone.

I thought about walking down the street tonight to get a closer look at the fireworks. But as soon as I was about to, I turned around and went right back inside. It brought up all these feelings from the past, just hearing them in the distance, and seeing them barely come up over the trees. I couldn’t handle it. I felt like I didn’t deserve to see them. That there was something wrong with me because I didn’t have a family that never really loved me there to watch them with me. I then had a memory come up of watching the fireworks with the only guy I ever really fell in love with when I was a teenager. It was long after we broke-up. It was one of those times he used me just to have some female companionship. I had sought after this guy so many times after he left me, but he always gave me the cold shoulder. He would always say “we will play it by ear” and then break my heart all over again. He kissed me like no one had ever kissed me before that night. He held me like no one had ever held me before that night. He made me feel like I belonged somewhere in this world. This is what hurts me the most, because I was happy, too happy.

Of course this experience only lasted as long as we were at the festival. He soon went on to treating me like dirt, and wasn’t actually serious about me at all. But that night he sure did embrace me like I was still his. It got my hopes up so high only for me to come crashing down shortly after. This is what fireworks reminds me of now. So as I sit here in the dark in my room, hearing them go off. I can’t help but just wanting to burst into tears. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get over this guy. I’ve never loved anyone like I loved him. It amazes me how even “happy” memories can leave you feeling absolutely horrible when you get any reminder of it. But the fact that today is a holiday makes the feeling even worse. Holidays to me just means that everyone around you who is supposedly “close” to you is really just playing pretend. Holidays are days where I feel the most lonely and depressed. I can’t stand them, and every year it just gets worse.

 

 

 

No More Shame : Stimming

I’m tired of seeing people be shamed for simply being who they are. I especially know what this is like growing up as an autistic female. People like us are made to feel like we are somehow bad for expressing happiness and joy in the ways that come naturally to us. We’re told that we are “too much” for the people around us. We are told that our self-expression is annoying and that we need to calm down. So we end up letting our anxiety get the best of us from overstimulation because we have no way to release the build up. We go into sensory overload and then we’re shamed for having meltdowns because of it. We get excited and start flapping our arms, making sound effects, humming, singing, etc. and then we’re told to stop because it’s not socially acceptable. What harm is any of this doing to other people? There’s nothing wrong with being happy. There’s nothing wrong with stimming. But for some reason we get put down because of it and made to think that we’re bad for being ourselves.

This has had such a major impact on me especially now that I’m an adult. Most days I can’t be happy because I feel a massive amount of pain when I try to stim. This is something that is absolutely necessary for me to do to be able to function better in my life. My stimming is very important for me to do to be able to operate in this world that is too noisy, too crowded, and just too much for me to handle. I need my body to move in the natural way it’s supposed to move. I need to express myself vocally in ways that will soothe me. But because people couldn’t accept me for my stimming, I now have trouble doing it even when I’m by myself. This has been absolutely devastating for me and causes me to burnout constantly because I’m putting all this extra energy into everything all so I can “pass” in this society as someone who isn’t autistic.

Can you imagine being told that the way your brain works is not the right way? Can you imagine trying to change everything about yourself to please other people? This is the way a lot of us live our lives, and it’s a miserable way to have to live. Even when we want to go back to our autistic ways, we can’t because of how long we’ve had to play pretend. I don’t want to see other autistic children grow up like this. I want a world that accepts us for the way we are. Being different should be celebrated! But instead it’s made out to be a burden on society. We have so much we could offer the world if we could just be accommodated while we’re growing and developing. Stop trying to change us, and start working with our differences, seeing them as strengths instead of weaknesses. We deserve to be treated with the same respect as anyone else. We’re not animals that you should be training into being more like you. We are people with feelings even though you so often say that we don’t have them. We may express those feelings differently than you, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t there. So please hear us out when we speak out, and stop speaking for us. We may have trouble communicating, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have anything to say, there’s a big difference.

 

Written by : Serenity