Hello, my friends, followers, and random passers-by! Today was my mum’s birthday! She turned (older and more ancient) today! She’s only old because she is Okaasan. Age is but a number. And my mother is old. We went over to my aunt and uncle’s house for supper and presents and I noticed, yet again, how they treat Book, my younger cousin with Autism. Honestly, I feel upset that they treat him so much better than they ever treated me and my mother’s excuse is that they didn’t know how to deal with special needs when we were living with them. I was always getting in trouble, especially for my tic that makes me smile and shit. I can’t control my facial muscles well and that was apparently enough for them to be mad at me. Oh well.
Something that has been on my mind today is that I really struggle with accepting the whole Autism bit for me. On one hand, what else explains everything about me? It’s the only thing that makes sense. And if Charon hadn’t mentioned it, followed by that Eating Disorder therapist I saw briefly, I wouldn’t have paid much attention to it. I probably would never have gotten myself tested again. I wouldn’t have done any research. This blog would be about the same, but I imagine that it would be more lost, if that makes sense.
And on the other hand, being Autistic is so mother fucking depressing. It explains why things are so hard for me that I feel should be easy. I mean, it kind of IS the reason why some things are hard for me. It’s a weird thingy in my head that makes the connections and neurons and all that sciencey shit be not like how most people are. (That was an atrocious sentence and I apologize. I’m not going to change it, though.)
So this week’s thing for DBT group is supposed to be Reality Acceptance. I want to remind everyone reading this that you can accept a thing and still want to change it. For example, accepting that you are a drug addict is the first step towards recovery. Reality Acceptance is looking at life and going ‘it is what it is’. (I still fucking hate the redundancy of that sentence.)
One of the things that I’ve liked about having Charon as my therapist is that she is one of the few people that ever believed I was capable of doing more. She doesn’t tolerate my bullshit self-pity woe-is-me stuff and neither does she really play into my ‘I’m so awesome and I’m the bestest most awesome fun sauce person ever and you should bow to my amazing self’ shit. I don’t quite want to say she’s down to earth, but she’s kind of down to earth.
However, and oh my various heathen gods this is so fucking confusing, she says I have limitations while still saying I’m capable of doing shit. Which is it Charon? Make up your fucking mind.
Okay, seriously though, I can see the Middle Ground on this. I’m neither the worst nor the best. I’m not super awesome and I’m not super lame. I’m simply the Sarcastic Autist. I have stuff I’m good at and stuff that I suck at. Part of Reality Acceptance is figuring out which is which and that’s something that I’ve been working on. I’ve been thinking really hard on what my limitations are.
And almost all my limitations are because of mother fucking Autism. Executive Dysfunction? Autism. Poor social interaction skills? Autism. Sensory issues? Autism. Weird thought patterns? Difficulties grasping new concepts? Meltdowns? Shutdowns? All Autism related. I get weird looks and shit from people all the time because of my facial tic/spasm thing and the random spazzing/stimming that I do that I am just now really paying attention to.
And if I tell someone that I’ve got the Autism so that they can understand that I need a little bit more direction and guidance, they treat me like I’m stupid. And I kind of am. I struggle with using words to describe things about myself. I find it almost impossible to complete any task without a step-by-step breakdown of the entire process. I have piss poor motor skills and it’s super hard for me to know if someone is being sarcastic or not unless they are over-exaggerating it. I should have adult supervision at all times because I can’t tell if someone is being genuinely nice, if they have some sort of nefarious scheme in mind, or if they just want me to bugger off.
And when I ask for clarification, when I say that I don’t understand something or that something is confusing, I get written off as being Willful or being a PITA (pain in the ass) or being difficult or a smart ass. I’m afraid to ask for clarification a lot of times because I remember telling Okaasan that my uncle had said thank you to her for something and I couldn’t tell if he was being sarcastic or not because my family is super sarcastic and he overheard and he yelled at me. I don’t like loud noises. It’s physically painful. (Although, nothing is as painful as listening to Adele.)
Mind you, sometimes I am being difficult just for the sake of being difficult. I find it fun. It also lets me hide behind humour and silliness because, deep down inside, I absolutely loathe myself most days. I find myself annoying. I mean, I’m insipid, fat, twitchy, repetitive, loud, inappropriate, and so much more that I could list but it makes me sad to. I’m constantly on my thoughts, telling myself to knock it off and to act like a normal human being.
I talk weird. I walk weird. I move weird and I think weird. I’m emotionally and mentally immature. I’ve got a little more shit together than I did last year, but my various gods damn it, I feel like a lost cause.
And, please ignore the redundancy of the following statement, it’s depressing to me that I’m not depressed right now. This isn’t how depression manifests itself in me, I think. I just hate myself as a person and I can barely tolerate myself. I know there’s that saying that you don’t have to like yourself, you just have to be kind to yourself, but I don’t think I even deserve that little bit of basic human rights. Compassion.
It’s totally backwards if you think about it. I have no problem giving everyone else in the world slack. I believe that most people are trying their gosh darn hardest in any given moment. I just don’t think that I am.
The only thing that I really remember from seeing that Eating Disorder therapist was this thing she said to me. She said,” What makes you so special that you get to hold yourself to a higher standard than everyone else?” I didn’t have an answer at the time but I have one now.
Because I can do better than what I’m doing and I’m holding myself back. Just because there’s something fucked up in my brain doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be trying. And I don’t see myself as trying because all I’m finding is more stuff I fucking suck at. You know that sinking feeling you get when you feel shame or disappointment in yourself? I feel that a lot, nearly every day. I try to hold myself to a higher standard because everyone else is already at a higher spot than me. I struggle to play catch up and I’m always five steps behind asking myself “why”. I have to have a higher standard because everything is harder for me. If I had normal standards I would be a lot more sucky at everything.
I often feel like I know I’m going to fail at anything I do, no matter how hard I try. I will give up and feel bad before attempting sometimes because trying my best and failing is so soul crushingly difficult to keep doing. It’s like there is this huge void in my brain where things that I should be able to do, where instructions on day-to-day living stuff and peopling skills and connections between thoughts and emotions are supposed to be, just isn’t. And so when I try to do these things, I find myself facing this void and I throw myself into it and hope for the best because I can’t keep asking for help and I can’t keep looking at others to fix things for me.
And I blame Autism. I hate seeing Autism used as an excuse for not trying or for terrible behaviour. Because it’s not an excuse. It’s a reason a lot of times, especially for the things that I’ve talked about today, but it’s not an excuse. An excuse is something people use to weasel out of trying. A reason is an explanation with responsibility being taken.
And Autism is my reason. My disconsolate, hopeless reason.
I think I need a hug.
-The Sarcastic Autist