Families are a headfuck.

As are people in general. I just don’t understand humans.

I wish I was an actual human, but that is a completely different post.

Fantastic show last weekend. I love my mediaeval life, it is so much more suited to me, less based on socialising, more skills based and more structured. I am a competent woman, and a confident one when in my medieval garb.

I am respected there. I have useful skills, people ask me what to do, or how to do it. I am part of life there, rather than the freak on the edge trying to participate but tolerated not wanted.

It was my birthday last weekend too.  Friends made it a very good birthday.

As they say, friends are the family you choose for yourself.

We got back from the show monday night. Our leader had some bad news as we left the site, so a few of us stayed with her to give her hugs/feed her mugs of tea.

~~~

Tuesday, my regular appointment with CC, she comments on my ‘glow’, how obviously good it is for me, and I explain why. “You need to do it more often” she says, and I agree.

~~~

Tuesday afternoon I find something out. This is where the headfuck truly begins. A few weeks ago I found my mother (to whom I havent spoken in three or four years) on twitter. I obviously did not follow her, but I do look every so often.

Tuesday afternoon I learn that my mother is in hospital. I learnt by luck via the internet. Two weeks before she had tried to kill herself. So she is in the psych ward.

She was in hospital a lot when I was younger. But I wasnt aware of it. I didn’t understand it. All I noticed was that perhaps our weekly time together that week didn’t happen. Our one hour.

She tried to explain it to me when I was 17, when I visited her up north where she had moved to  with my siblings. She showed me the poetry she had written on scraps of paper. I read them and kept quiet about the fact that I understood the things she wrote about more than she could imagine.

I’ve sat in the living room when her CPN came round.

Her being ill is normal to me. I am used to it.

~~~

But before I didn’t quite understand.

And before it wasnt my fault.

I’m a bad daughter. I don’t have the cope to talk to her.

And before my (not so) little half sisters didn’t have to deal with it. They think I hate them because I don’t have the cope to talk to them.

And before I had people around I could talk about it to had I wanted to.

~~~

Headfuck

~~~

Tuesday evening a friends gives me a present from her housemate. A chap who is lovely and like me. A chap who didn’t speak for eight months, who spoke his first word in eight months to me, but that is an irrelevance to this post.

It was a beautiful present full of my favourite animal and favourite cider.  And a little hand folded card. With words on it.

“In my dreams is where you’ll be, through my head you’re running free, longing for the day you can finally see just how much you mean to me, x”

Erm what?

Ack. I’m bad with people finding me attractive. I’m scared they will want to touch me.  More than one person has requested to be intimate with me, and ewww. But it’s not just that. I don’t like strangers touching me, friends, people I know I can hug continuously. Strangers go and kiss my ears, wtf? *shudders*

~~~

Headfuck

~~~

Wednesday morning when the post arrives, the usual bumf, and what appears to be a card, I don’t quite recognise the handwriting. It appears to be a mix of two hands. Addressed to my full name, nobody has called me by my full name for at least three years,  I open it with trepidation. A pink, flowery “To a special daughter” card. From my mother. Full of soppy sentences we havent used in a decade. She asked my dad to forward it to me.

Wow, he can forward stuff just fine, hasn’t lost my address again. Why then won’t he forward the stuff I asked him to.

Whatever.

~~~

It’s because I’m a bad daughter

~~~

Headfucked

~~~

And everything is working to remind me what a bad daughter I am.

What a bitch I am.

Where I came from.

~~~

I can’t escape the monster.

~~~

All over the local newspaper. A man from this town, dead in my old river. And many more. Stories about suicide ans attempted suicide.  The film I watched with friends, based on siege at my old local castle. Sewing and the chap who’s kit we were sorting keeps talking about his ex girlfriends time in the psych ward.

~~~

Last weeks, and this weeks appointments with CC cancelled because she’s had a bereavement.

I killed them, as did I kill our knight’s relative. And as I made my mother attempt suicide. Locked in hospital, all my fault.

~~~

I really need to talk to someone, but I’ve not seen CC because of  her bereavement. I tried to talk to someone at AG, only I find it impossible to ask to talk. To many years being told to squish it all down. Being told I don’t deserve to talk or be listened to.

The one person I could talk to who I know would understand about my mother, well I killed her father too.

~~~

Bitch.

~~~

Need to stop killing people.

~~~

Going to a show this weekend.

If I wasn’t doing so, I don’t know what would happen.

Re-enactment has saved my life so many times. I think it is doing it again.

“Don’t tempt me anymore” as I hug a friend goodbye.

“huh?”

“you were flirting with me earlier”

“was I?”

~~~

I really don’t notice when I apparently am. How the fuck does one tell?

~~~

“you could have me anytime you want me.”

ummm

~~~

And so ther perrenial argh raises its head again.

I’m an Asexual Aspie.

This is arghful

People find me attractive. I joke it away. pretend it doesnt terrorfy me.

Sometimes I just wanna pour acid over my face to stop people finding me attractive.

~~~

I find attraction a very confusing thing.

The idea of sex.  Ew.

I just want hugs.

~~~

All the confuse.

~~~

*whimpers*

 

Show Prep and Limited Cope.

The big show is in a week.  Historical reenactment show. I love the shows. I get to geek out, to make stuff, to do practical craft skills, make food, dress up in armour and fight my friends, to sing medieval songs.

There is a downside. There is a lot of kit to make, clothes, shoes, shields, weapons. I am one of the cloth kit people, I’m pretty good at it, so I do a lot of the stuff. We have been having kit sessions nearly everyday for the past few weeks, and will be doing so for the next week also.

It is taking its toll. Hours daily with people, having to cope. Having to be human and keep it together.

I have limited amount of cope. It is all going on kitmaking.

At tha AG (aspie group) and woodland group I have come closer to arghing/melting because those are the safer places. I have come closer to self harming than I have for a while.

The computer has me in tears, the fridge is shouted at, the kitchen is beginning to stink. Panic attacks over brushing my teeth.

But the shows are so important to me.

I try hard to look after myself. Take breaks when I need. Make mugs of tea. Do some sewing or braiding in the quieter room.

Three weeks of a few hours a day with the ability to take a break whenever I need one and I am struggling. I’m scared that I’ll be told I’m fit for work, that I have to get a job and cope with it everyday. I can see where that path leads and it’s not good.

I’ve only not damaged myself and actually managed this stuff because my friend and the head of our group understands. Gives me time to reboot when I need it. Makes me mugs of tea. Cooks extra dinner so she can feed me, so I have one less thing to worry about. Has taken the organisational and people heavy tasks herself so that I can concentrate on the practical things that I am good at.

Last year I was making the kit for a lot less people. But I was doing it alone, no help, tears and SH and failure to get any of it done ensued. And a gigantic meltdown when we eventually reached the show.

But the show is an awesome feeling. To geek out about history in a place where no-one is going to tell me that I am boring them or repeating myself. A place where people respect me as a competent human. A place with set timings for the happenings. A place with order and logic. A place where my practical skills are more important than my lack of social skills.

Just for a few days though.

Unfortunately.

Someone build me a time machine?

I’ve got a sentence in my head, won’t stop repeating.

The way my brain works, when I read or research something I don’t stop. I read and read and read, I follow all the patyhs to their exhaustive ends, I will not stop until I reach them.

Wednesday night I accepted and decline a few facebook requests. One from a relative (hah, no!), but follow a few links, inquisitiveness, my half-sisters page, Oh my, she has twitter too, a tweet to her mother, eek, my mother too, Oh Eek, my mother is on twitter, I scroll and scroll and scroll, and then I find this….

aspiemum2

 

Oh. My.

And she said other places about her diagnosis.

My mother is an aspie too.

MY MOTHER IS AN ASPIE TOO!

It keeps repeating in my head. Will not stop.

MY MOTHER IS AN ASPIE TOO!

For hours after I read so my brain couldn’t form any other sentence.

I can’t explain what it means.

A year and a half ago I found out that the older of my little half-sisters had been given a diagnosis of aspergers, after many years of misdiagnosis and failure of  people to help her. At around that time I was learning about aspergers and realising that it described me to a T. And my mother too.

I suppose it makes sense.

It makes all the sense.

The bits of me which are saw in her, and in my little sister. The bits that scared me, that I was becoming like my mother, that my sister was becoming like me, so many of the bits that aspergers explains in me, it explains in them too.

We are not crazy freaks.

We are Aspie.

Our lives are full of struggle. But full of awesome too.

And the sentence repeats in my head.

My mother is an aspie too.

Accomodating Myself.

A few weeks ago I had to travel in a minibus full of people, for a four-hour each way journey, with six hours at a trade fair int the middle. It being a re-enactment trade fair made it easier, but still an unpleasant prospect.

I can remember every occasion I have taken a minibus or coach journey. Every single horrible time. Each of those journeys had a similar outcome for me. I have ended up in tears, or close to them,  digging my nails into my palms. Brain full of panic, fear, and general argh, wanting to hibernate, fall out of existence just to make it stop.  I could describe each trip in detail, but that would get boring.

I hear every conversation, I cannot tune out, the conversation at the other end of the room is often as loud in my ears as the one I am having. In a minibus or coach there are usually many conversations going on, sometimes singing or music too, my brain just can’t handle it. Bombardment with noise is used as a form of torture, but it is what I must cope with on a regular basis. In most situations I can get a break from it, but there is no escape in a minibus. In a pub or similar situation I can go outside or to the toilet for a moment of quiet and solitude. On the train I can wander to a quieter area, or sit in the vestibule if I need it. But in a minibus I am trapped, a chaotic, painful, noisy cage.

It is only a couple of years since we worked out why I am so peculiar. Since then I have read a lot, Before I never knew why these things were so hard, why certain things went so wrong. As I read about Autism/Aspergers I saw myself and I began to understand why things were difficult.  Why certain things are so difficult for me but easy for everyone else. And as I understand I learn to cope. Not in the old way I coped, squishing it all down and hurting myself, trying to act the way they told me to, pretending to be normal drove me crazy. No, learning to cope in a new way, now that I could understand what was going on, I can cope without damaging myself.

But back to the minibus. Ish. Through school I was taught to be a vague wonky version of normal,  I learnt that I was wrong, I learnt to hate myself, to punish myself for the way I am, all under the guise of “Helping” me (Hah).  So I situations like the minibus I just suffered in silence, hating myself for not being able to cope with it like everyone else.

Now I understand, I can let myself off. I still try, but do not punish myself if I do not manage it.  I make accommodations for myself, the opposite of what I had been taught to do by those trying to fix me. I explained and asked to sit in the front of the minibus, where it is quieter and less chaotic, where I managed the whole journey with much less difficulty than ever before.

Learning to be, not how society wants me, but how I am.

Lost Confidence.

I have lost my confidence to blog. To tweet. To comment. To converse. To interact. To move. To think. To plan. To act. To do.

I struggle to make a cup of tea. To wash up. I have a panic trying to brush my teeth or hair.

I want to craft, or write, but I can’t cope. Everything drives me to tears and panic.

I am scared of everything.

I have ideas, things to draw and write.

But even breaking it down into tiny tasks I can’t handle it.

And the of course it spirals. Guilt at being unable to cope. Guilt which makes it all harder.

But these few words spewed here are a small victory. An achievement, however small. I am not useless, Just struggling to fit and function in a world I am not equipped for.

The little fimo penguin made. The few things tidied into the recycling or bin. The few pages of a book read. Each cup of tea. Each brushing of teeth. Each item washed up.

It feels bad that these little things are such an achievement.

But as CC says, It IS an achievement for ME.

Discovering

Just over a year ago I met a group of people. A lovely but slightly odd group of people. A group of people without whom I still wouldn’t even half understand why I am like I am.

I shall tell the story of how I met these people, and what has happened since. On the first of August 2011 I was made homeless. I then spent three months living in council emergency accommodation, a lonely and frightening experience. I am a solitary person. I curl up and hide. Soon I was only leaving my room to buy food, meet my support worker or meet my CPN. This was ungood. So I decided to go along to the drop in sessions at my local Mind so I would at least see some people. I sat quietly in the corner drinking tea and doing jigsaws, I started going to the art group, I made friends with a lady whom I shall call Koi.

Koi mentioned something she did which was not ‘normal’,
“But that’s perfectly normal” I cry, “Well I do it all the time.”
“Yes, but you’re on the spectrum too.”

Doing Jigsaws with the lovely lady who usually does them she asks “Are you going to come to AG?” “AG?” “Autistic Gathering, meets here on a tuesday night”

The kettle boils painfully loud in the art group. I have to leave the room. On my return the lady running the sessions says “I understand, my partner is autistic too.”

It wasn’t the first time it has been suggested. Everybody has always known that I am different. People who knew me had suggested the I might be autistic many times, people who knew me well and knew a little about autism. I had read a bit about it, thought it fitted me, but dismissed it because surely someone would have spotted it before now.

In a way they did.

The other children knew I was different. “Freak” and  “weirdo” were the first term used. As I grew so did the words applied to me. “Loner”, “geek”, “oddball” and “loser” were quickly added to the list in secondary school. And so many more. Those in sixth form were more precise in their insults, “She’s not a girl”, “the Man” “IT” “not human” accurate  observations of the weird girl in the corner. While in sixth form I volunteered at a youth club, the young people there teased me and called me a freak too. At University nothing changed, the freak on the edge.

School too had known I was different from the start. They said I had “Emotional and behavioural difficulties”. They gave me a S.E.N (Special Education Needs) statement at age six. They tried a myriad of way to ‘fix’ me without really figuring out how and if I was broken. They convinced me I was broken, something which damaged me greatly.

I tried hard to be the normal they wanted me to be, but never could achieve it. Believing that which I had been told, that I was broken, innately flawed, I sunk into depression. It was joined by disordered eating and later suicidality then psychosis.

Complicated happening brought me to the group of people I started this tale with.

I nearly dismissed the suggestion again. But Koi is forty and only just been diagnosed, Dwarf was in her mid twenties when she was diagnosed. These were people who knew about autism from first hand because they have it.

So I read a little, I went to AG, I read a bit more. I did as I always do when presented with something I can learn about. I read everything I could find on the subject. As I read an understanding grew. The more I read the more made sense. As I talked to those at AG I saw how similar their difficulties were to mine. Koi handed me her copy of Tony Attwood’s “Complete Guide to Aspergers”, I browsed it and everything I read described me. So I bought my own copy, read it with a pencil in hand, underlining and annotating everything that was apt to me. I marvelled at how well this described me. The pages filled with lines and notes and the occasional gasp as I realised that that oddness of mine or that quirk or that difficulty is explained by aspergers.

I almost felt the cogs clanking together as things fell into place. Heard the pennies dropping as suddenly I understood things that had happened in my life. As I understood myself.

I am still reading, and listening. Every new thing I learn causes another penny to drop. Sometimes tearfully, sometimes cheerfully, sometimes excitedly.

I recently visited Dannilion and we accidentally stayed awake for hours just talking. A cascade of pennies dropped as I listened to her stories and told my own, as my understanding grew.

It a funny thing at age twenty-two to finally figure out why you are weird. Why you don’t understand. Why you feel Alien. Why things went wrong. Why you are awesome. Why you struggle. Why things always seemed easier for everyone else. Why you have some unique and amazing skills. Why you seem to struggle with the most basic things.

Why you are You. And not defective, just different.

Previous Older Entries