How Can I Help Me Succeed?

Hisashiburi, minna!  It’s been awhile since I’ve felt this good.  My throat is still kind of sore and I’m fully of random soreness and aches around my body at seemingly random places.  However, I am awake and I’m alive and I passed my permit test!  I am now the proud owner of an instruction permit.  I am in no way ready to get behind the wheel of a moving vehicle yet, but I am confident that by this time next year, I will have the ability to drive without feeling like I’m going to die.

I woke up at the wee hours of the morning, before the sun even came up, today.  I had an appointment with the gynecologist about the random pain and bleeding.  We seem to agree that there is probably some hormone fuckery going on because of my significant weight loss and that, once my weight stabilizes, the random pain and bleeding will gradually go away.  I also discovered that my giant blue evil retail store now carries bulk Kimchi Ramen for sale and now I’m in love.  With the large amounts of ramen that I purchased today.

I’m starting to force myself to get back into the swing of things, you know, get back into my routine.  It’s a bit hard because I want to sit and do nothing all day and it’s hard for me to put myself back on schedule without outside help.  Which brings me to the first bit of today’s rant: How can I help myself succeed?

Well, I need to first state that I absolutely hate asking for help.  I’ve gotten a lot better at asking for help when I need it, if it’s something I think other people need help with it sometimes too.  I still feel a lot of shame knowing that I had a pass to go to a quiet room to do tests in school. When I hit college, I refused to do it.  My thought process was that I was a college student.  College students don’t need quiet spaces.  I didn’t think I’d have a quiet space in work, so why should I continue to hold myself back?  It was terrible logic and I really wish I had known that there was transitional programs for high school students entering college who were in special education.  Even though I attended all my IEP (individualized education plans) meetings, I never quite understood what that was all about.

Keeping in mind that I knew I was different and that I felt different, I was mostly told that my behaviour was bad.  I am not going to sugar coat my behaviour. I was a little terror.  I would scream and hide under desks and at one point, I would throw shoes at people who came near me.  This was in elementary, before I was forced to transfer to a special school for kids with behavioural problems.  I was a little shit and I really wish we knew what was wrong with me back then.  I assumed everyone already knew why I was having problems.  They just thought that I could control it and my inability to behave was what made me bad.

Hell, my behaviour got me expelled.  I’ve gotten sent to juvie for punching a cop.  (I don’t remember any of this negative behaviour, this is all second hand information I’ve gotten from school reports and my family).  I’ve gotten suspended and sent home early.  When asked why later, I would respond with “I don’t know”.  At one point, because I had no memory of any sort of outburst, I thought that maybe they were sending me out because they didn’t like me or it was simply because I was ‘bad’.

I’ve got to be honest here, I still think that way sometimes.  I know it’s not exactly normally or socially acceptable to randomly throw things when I’m upset or to bang my head against things or seek shelter under the nearest desk or table if I’m getting overwhelmed.  I’ve stopped putting things on my walls because I have the tendency to tear down things in fits of rage or despair and not remember why later.

I was told that it’s like I’m a different person when I’m acting out like that.  I was told that by so many people and I had such a disconnect from my emotions that I started displaying huge symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder and I was convinced that I did have it.  I was also doing a lot of drugs at the time of the DID that I had lots of dissociation anyway.  Add in the frequent abuse that I’ve endured throughout my life and you have the recipe for a girl who had no identity but still had several personalities.  I was a mess.  A hot mess, as Charon would say.  I even had an actual diagnosis of DID, although everyone in my care team, including me, think that I was just in over my head and around too much abuse and trauma so I retreated into that.

This is relevant because I think you all need to know where I’m coming from.  Most of my life, it’s been me being ‘bad’ and ‘different’ or having all this other outside stuff going on that I could blame for my behaviour.  Things that could easily be fixed with proper treatment and could ‘go away’.  Nothing that could be blamed on me.  Being Autistic, having shed those misdiagnoses and working on accepting me for me, I have to acknowledge, accept, and take responsibility for the things I do.  I have no one to blame for my behaviour, nothing to point a finger at to escape the reality of I can’t take a magic pill to change.

In order for me to succeed, I have to accept the reality that I’m Autistic and that’s the core of my problems.  I’m not saying that having the Autism makes me a bad person or makes me a problem.  I’m not blaming Autism for anything other than how I process things.  I need to feel okay to ask for help on things that I don’t think other non-autistic people need help on.  Being a stubborn and willful person has only brought me more suffering than I need.  I need to let go of that stubbornness and willfulness and accept that there’s just some things that I can’t do without outside help.

There’s things that I can accomplish on my own too.  Remember when I went to the Social Security place and had a mini shut down?  I still managed to complete my objective in a way (go to the place and figure out how to get my thing).  I didn’t get it done in the way that I perceive the average person to be able to do things and so I keep thinking that I failed.

It’s not really failing if I have to ask for help.  There’s strength in admitting when you aren’t strong.  And I’m not strong.  I am very weak.  I can read and write and do maths very well.  Those are my strengths.  I have a lot of difficulties with things not founded in concrete evidence.  Abstract things like feelings and other people having their own lives outside my existence are hard things for me to grasp.  Reading instruction manuals and doing algebra and calculus are easy things for me.  Filling out paperwork and making eye contact is hard.  (Those things are hard as fuck, holy floppy disks).

What can I do to help me succeed?  I can admit that I need help.  And then I can ask for it.

-The Sarcastic Autist

PS, This was a rather hard post to write because I had to admit a lot of things to myself and ‘dig deep’ to figure things out.  I actually teared up and cried a bit.  I feel very vulnerable right now.

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