Where Will I Go From Here? (Violet)

I wish I could actually be able to enjoy the moment the majority of the time, but then I guess I wouldn’t be me. I also know that my mind analyzes every last little thing, scans my environment constantly, and tries to plan everything out to protect me. It thinks that if it does all of this then I may be able to avoid a dangerous and/or painful situation. Maybe I might be able to prevent myself from going into a panic attack in public. Whatever the reason, it thinks it is doing the right thing. So it’s something I’m trying to accept instead of staying mad at it. The things it does to try to relieve anxiety actually end up causing me even more anxiety sometimes, and I guess I just get a wee bit frustrated.

Sometimes I forget that I do have my limitations, but then other times I don’t give myself enough credit for the things I do accomplish by going outside of my comfort zone. I’m trying to find a balance, but I can’t do that if I keep pushing myself too far, or not enough. It’s hard to know where the middle ground is and if that’s even possible. Well actually I know it’s possible, because I’ve reached that place before. It took a lot of struggling along the way to get there though.

This whole idea of traveling is something I genuinely want to do. And I think a lot of people feel the same way where they want to as well. I’m tired of saying “someday” I’ll do this or that. I want to be able to go right NOW…but my mind and body just won’t let me. It shuts down. I become paralyzed. I get sick as hell. And sometimes it’s good to have things planned out. You don’t want to have to spend extra money when you don’t have to right? You want to make sure you’re going to be staying at a place that you’re going to be comfortable enough to be able to sleep. For us we have to eat specific types of foods, so we have to make sure all the right foods are close by, and then transportation is also something to think about. But going to a new place and trying to figure all of this out, and then having to do it all over again in another few days to a week doesn’t exactly seem ideal to me considering how overwhelmed I’m already getting trying to plan out this first trip. The weather has to work for us as well, or else we won’t be able to spend the time in nature that we want to, which is one of the main reasons we even want to travel… to expand our horizons beyond just going to the local parks in the area.

Everything has to line up perfectly no matter where we go because if we end up stranded as disabled as we are then it could turn really ugly. I try to remember I’m not like other people, but sometimes even with that knowledge I set the bar a little too high for myself.

Like when I made that last post…I was trying to be hopeful and believe anything is possible. But jumping too far ahead saying I’d actually be able to meet new people and socialize for a place to stay so I could save money was a bit too much. And because I told everyone about it, it made me that much more insecure about my situation, like now everyone is expecting so much more out of me than I’m actually capable of. It’s like it totally slipped my mind how difficult that would actually be since currently we can’t even stand to be around people at a distance, let alone be expected to socialize. We don’t have the capacity to do that. Even just those interactions we have where we go out and about where we are now that only last a few minutes with automatic responses take a huge toll on us.

Something that happened yesterday really showed me how important it is for me to have things planned out, and to not put myself in situations that could be dire to my health and well-being (social interactions for example). I need to take baby steps into this direction of traveling the west side of my country. I might not be able to leave right away until I feel ready to go as much as that kills me to say that.

I have to make sure I’m not doing things just because I feel like it’s the only way or that I have to. I should do it only because I want to. I also have to actually be capable of doing such a thing. If I don’t actually want to be around people, that’s not only not fair to me, but it isn’t fair to them either for me to take up a offer to stay at someone’s place just because I want to use them to be able to save money. And it could be detrimental to my health and happiness if I’m not actually able to handle such a situation, especially so shortly after my experience in St. Louis (which I haven’t disclosed yet) but it did have to do with the person who was letting me stay there. I can’t jump into such a vulnerable situation even if it’s only staying with someone for a few days I don’t know. I’m still trying to recover from what just happened to me. And I really don’t think I could even sleep in the same house with someone I don’t know because of how bad my hyper vigilance is in relation to my C-PTSD. I had the place to myself in St. Louis, and it still wasn’t a situation that ended up working out. Whether it’s a long-term or short-term situation with any person, it’s just not something I’m ready for right now. I got myself so deeply entangled with this person, and I’m still trying to unravel the knots.

I really want to be able to make this happen not just to actually enjoy the experience with what little life I feel I have left, but because I want to prove to myself that I can do it without another person being there to hold my hand. But then that brings me to my self-worth. I ask myself…am I really doing this for ALL the right reasons? Or is one the reasons to prove my worth to myself and others? To prove that these abusive/toxic people in my life didn’t break me, and that I can actually be happy? I don’t want that to be one of my reasons. I want to do it for the sheer joy of it! Yes, I am also wanting to do it so I can find my place in this world considering Portland doesn’t feel like my home anymore. But I want my top priority to be just to do it because I think it will be an enjoyable enriching experience. Not because I need to prove anything. And this is part of what I think has stopped me in my tracks, and is keeping me here.

One way or another I’m going to try my very best to live a life I can be proud of that’s authentically aligned with my personal truth and integrity. I took the first step leaving St. Louis but now I need to take another step. I’m just not sure what that is going to be yet. But I do know that it will be my decision, and my decision alone not influenced by another person (as much as I can help it). Because one thing I desperately need to do is find myself again because I definitely feel like I lost a huge chunk of myself in St. Louis. I need to stand on my own two feet again, and finally be free of the chains that have been wrapped around me sucking the life out of me.

 

Written by : Violet

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Compulsive Checking Confessions (Violet)

This is something that I don’t really talk about very often but it actually is a big part of the way I am in everyday life. I actually think a part of me is ashamed of being this way. It’s something I definitely struggle with controlling. And that is my compulsive checking.

I check my phone all day long, just refreshing it over and over again. I do this same thing when it comes to checking my email, Facebook notifications, and YouTube channel. I feel a lot of anxiety if I don’t do this, and feel that I won’t get any relief until I do so. But then it causes me even more anxiety just in a different way when I can’t stop checking.

This is part of why it can be really upsetting for me if someone doesn’t tell me the exact time they are coming over or are going to be contacting me because then it ends up making me check these things even more to make sure I’m not missing their text. My phone doesn’t go off when I get texts or calls so that makes it that much more anxiety provoking. This is also why I have to deactivate my Facebook all the time. I can’t just log out and be able to leave Facebook alone. I also have to check if I logged out because I’ll forget that I just did. For some reason when I have Facebook activated, if I don’t log out every time I leave to do something else, it causes me a massive amount of anxiety.

Facebook is actually probably the worst out of everything when it comes to the effect it has on me if I don’t check it. I’ll make jokes sometimes about me always deactivating my Facebook because “Ha Ha This site is extremely addictive, and it’s the only way I can stay off of here”…but the problem is actually much deeper than that. What makes it even worse is that people will think I’ve blocked them because I’ve deactivated it, and will even remove me from the support groups I’m apart of. It hurts like hell to know you’re not welcome in a support group because you’re trying to gain control of a very serious issue that debilitates you in your day to day life. And of course it also triggers up those feelings of rejection, but that’s a whole other blog post.

I know that many people probably don’t understand why I have to deactivate it, especially as frequently as I have to do it. I noticed recently when I deactivate it, it allows people to still be able to message me even though I’m gone. This ends up adding to my anxiety that all these people are messaging me and pushes that urge even harder to reactivate it and check what people are saying to me. Some people might think this is funny, but it’s really not. It’s fucking horrible, and quite embarrassing. This is an extremely debilitating thing to have to go through. I spend a huge chunk of my day either checking or thinking about checking until I finally do it with so many different things in my life.

I also have to check my keys in my wallet every time I leave to go anywhere from wherever I am multiple times. I have to check that everything is in my bag over and over again. This might stem from being afraid that I’ll lose the keys, forget my keys, or forget something else that I might need. I bring things that I think I could possibly need if certain things happen that are really scary like if it starts raining, because rain causes me extreme pain sensory wise. Sometimes I’ll even bring an extra pair of shoes just in case my shoes break because of the fear of being barefoot outside.

This can lead into a lot of other fears like if I’m barefoot and it’s hot out then I won’t be able to make it home. What if I step on something sharp and end up being taken advantage of because I can’t run away if someone attacks me? What if I need to go inside somewhere and they won’t let me in because I have no shoes on. I need to be prepared for any kind of weather or situation that could arise.

I also end up shutting and locking the door repeatedly until I finally feel relieved enough to leave the apartment. This I think is because of my fear of not locking and shutting the door all the way because someone might break in. I also fear that I need to check the door is not broken so I know I’ll be able to get back inside if I unlock it when I come back home.

And not as often but I do this as well is that I need to check to make sure the stove and oven aren’t on before I leave. I also do this quite a few times. I’ve even left the building, walked a few blocks, and had to turn all the way back around just to go check the stove and oven again even though I just checked it. Sometimes I’m not sure how much of this is amnesia and just not remembering, and how much is my compulsive checking. But either way, it fucking sucks.

I actually just went to do laundry, and I put some of my clothes in the dryer including my special purple blanket. When I went to get the rest of the stuff out of the washer, I saw that my purple blanket was not there and panicked thinking someone had stole it. But it turned out that I just dissociated and forgot that I had just put the purple blanket in the dryer only seconds before. Maybe I switched… who knows? All I know is that fear of forgetting things because I actually do all the time I think causes me to compulsively check a lot as well.

I feel like I’m living in my own personal hell. But no one really knows this part of it. Well now you do. Hopefully this may help others feel less alone that can relate, or just bring about some understanding of something that people like me go through. As always I appreciate you taking the time to get to know me, and to hearing me out. It really makes a huge difference to have a voice, especially when I’m always trying to isolate myself. I have no one I feel comfortable opening up to and can trust, so going public about these things is the only way I don’t allow it to bottle up and destroy me.

 

Written by : Violet

Oversharing – Processing Conversation (Ashley)

This is something I can no longer ignore. A lot of times I think we try to avoid things that we don’t really understand. But tonight it totally hit me why I tend to overshare a lot of times when I’m talking to someone. It isn’t just because we have poor boundaries. It’s because we don’t process conversation like someone who isn’t on the spectrum.

I used to think that I was really slow, and that would make me very insecure because of how others would treat me. So now I give these automatic responses, instead of allowing myself to take the time to think about what I want to say. They aren’t always short responses that I have stored in my head for later use to just pull out when I’m not really thinking about what I’m saying. I also tend to just start talking and hope that whatever comes out of my mouth will be a good enough response but usually it’s just a bunch of words stringed together. I can form a coherent sentence most of the time, but I don’t always say what I actually intended to say. And some of these times I’m not even ready to talk or sure of what I want to say. I just start talking. I start getting anxious if I don’t respond to someone quick enough. This causes me to share things that I’m not ready to share with this person. I’m not able to pause long enough to gauge how I’m feeling about what I’m about to say to the person, so I end up just blurting out whatever is there without putting on a filter. And some people may be like “Oh that’s so great you can be so authentic!” First of all, it’s actually not authentic, but I’m not going to get into why that is. But it’s also not always so great to be so blunt. There can be very legitimate reasons why someone may want to keep certain things to themselves. And it feels terrible when you’re not capable of doing that because you can’t process the conversation like your average joe.

People also can use what you say to take advantage of you or use it against you later on. If you don’t trust the person, and you know they are manipulative, this can be especially dangerous. It’s not about whether they go around telling other people things you would rather keep hidden. It’s more so that they can use it as a way to gain more control over you as a person, where you can become like their little puppet. Sometimes this can happen without this even being a person’s intention. They can start asking you whatever questions they want to, and you’ll just give them the first response that comes to your head even if it’s something you don’t want them to know. This makes it so they can get any information they want out of you as long as they ask. For us it can be really difficult not to answer someone honestly. If they end up being an abuser, they can use the things you tell them to hurt you and take advantage of you. I know this is something that is true because we used to be in a relationship with someone who would act like they were good listeners but really they were trying to get as much information as they could out of us so they could use our insecurities against us later on.

After coming to this realization tonight, it has been very frightening for me. I feel like I don’t have control over what comes out of my mouth when I’m put on the spot, which is like all of the time. The person doesn’t even need to question me for me to just start talking about something that later on I end up regretting bringing up. But I brought it up to fill up the silence because I get so anxious when everything gets quiet when I’m socially interacting with a person. It all goes back to how I was treated when I couldn’t respond quick enough in the past, or I’d still be stuck on something someone said minutes or even hours before. I would be sitting there thinking about things someone said much earlier in the conversation and still be processing it. This would happen a lot in group situations, and some people would treat me like dirt because I wasn’t able to move on to the next topic of conversation because I guess it was too quick for me to catch up with them. I like to think that I think about things more in depth, than actually being slow. But maybe that’s just a way for me to think more positively about it so I don’t hate myself for the way that I am.

All I know is that this has to stop. I need to be allowed that time to process conversation, even if it takes me a few minutes to think of one simple response. I need to be able to pause without allowing my anxiety to get the best of me. And if people get pushy I need to stand my ground. Now that I’m aware of this I keep thinking maybe it will be easier. But it’s just awareness, putting it into action is another thing entirely. You can say that you will do something next time or try harder. But in the moment things don’t always go as you plan. I definitely know that from all the times I tried to figure out exactly how a social interaction will go so I can be prepared for it mentally. I hate the unpredictability. And I think it’s pretty obvious why that is after just reading what I wrote in this blog alone. If you don’t know what people are going to say, then there’s more of a chance you’re going to end up in a position that you weren’t able to get ready for, and that can lead to oversharing. But there’s actually a ton of reasons why it bothers me, that’s just one of them. It feels good to get this all out in the open, but it also feels like crap because I feel like people just aren’t going to get it. But I’d rather not bottle all of this up inside of me, because then I’ll just end up in an even worse state.

Written by : Ashley

 

Beautiful Disaster (Rainy Night) (Violet)

How can something be so beautiful yet terrifying all at the same time? Right now it’s raining really hard outside and the sounds scare me. It sounds very overwhelming. I also know that when the rain hits me it causes me so much pain. It feels like I’m being stabbed and tortured by water. But I’m safe inside right now. At least that’s how I feel I should feel, but I don’t feel safe. I still feel like it’s going to get me. That somehow the rain is going to find it’s way to me no matter where I hide.

It also has this calming effect at the same time which feels very contradictory to me. It’s like a calm explosion of madness. I love the way the light is hitting the window screen as the water makes all sorts of lovely patterns on it. But I also hate that the light is blinding me. I start to feel like I’m going to get a headache quite frequently from the street lamp right outside of the apartment. I accidentally broke one of the blinds when I first moved in here and it still hasn’t been fixed so it’s always shining right in my face as I sit here in my bed. I feel like I’m going into sensory overload, yet I want to keep experiencing the beautiful part of all of this. The pretty lights that create the patterns, that calming effect, the feeling as if someone is there watching over me and keeping me safe.

I was listening to Mazzy Star’s “Five String Serenade”  while all of this was happening and the song fit perfectly. I love when you can find the right music that just fits with the moment. Music is one of the few things that makes me happy in this world but even that seems to be forever fleeting. Sometimes I feel like I’m making too much of a big deal out of things. But then I realize that’s probably just how certain people have made me feel. Like the way I feel isn’t valid and doesn’t matter. That I’m just complaining to much, and even when I’m not, no one really wants to hear what I have to say. Even when I know this is probably not true, it still digs at me.

Maybe I just need to be present with this for awhile. Or maybe I need to just lay down and try to float away to somewhere else. Either way I don’t think I’ll be satisfied.

Written by : Violet

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

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