On the side line 

Hey readers,

When I was a child I did this thing called masking, aka faking it and what this means is that I learnt the behaviour of others. The problem being is that if something changes that I can mess up badly because I can’t be flexible with my thinking. That is the one of the characteristics of autism is we manage change and see things  black or white especially when it comes to learn.

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I think it’s really hard being an autistic girl growing up because there is so much more pressure to be sociable then a boy. That all the boys got away with not getting noticed there for less social pressure. I used to absolutely hate being a girl because of this reason and I thought boys had it a lot easier or more relaxed attitude with regards to social and communication which suited me perfectly.

Now that I’m an adult I find it a bit more easier because I have more experience and knowledge but I still frequently mess up. If I am feeling anxious or if there is too much going on in my head can’t seem to focus on the rules. There are times when stressful factors cause me more brain power than normal and it is like I regress in my behaviour. That is why it’s so hard to measure autism, as it is not something that you can say x y and z it’s constantly shifting depending on the environment and mindset of that individual.

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Since being a parent I have learnt that there are so many other social rules involved when bringing up a child.

I first it’s lovely when my children where new born as there is less pressure on me to be sociable but since my child has started school last year I noticed that there’s a hell of a lot more interaction going on.

Me being an autistic parent does affects my self esteem. A lot of the time I feel inadequate,  especially as my husband is very good at communicating and engaging with others. It leaves me feeling really angry and frustrated. I know comparing is the worst thing to do but it coincides with me learning of other people.

I think  one of the hardest and upsetting things is when  people don’t see you as an individual but some sort of invalid because you’re autistic. They don’t look past the label or they do but then they just talk down to you in a condescending way. The thing is I am aware exactly what is happening, I just I don’t have the skills to communicate and express myself as clearly as other people do.

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It has really made me feel quite low at times because I feel like I can’t give my child everything that a typical parent has to offer. I suppose that is why I enjoy the school holidays more because I don’t have to worry about the social things. The only downside is that when I return I have to deal with the social side of education and what not.I feel rubbish and I have felt very very low causing me to struggle to get up in the mornings. I have also learnt to avoid situations and tend to get my husband to do them tasks because it’s too upsetting at times to have to face the discrimination against me. I think that’s one of the saddest things about being an autistic parent is the fact that you deal with a lot of rejection or misunderstanding. I like my voice isn’t heard and again that familiar Outcast feeling appears.

Cheers for reading X

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Autistic Feet

Hey readers,

My feet hurt today as a result of over using them yesterday. I know so what?! Here is the think why I am talking about my feet is the fact I am autistic you see and my feet posture is not very good. I have always had problems with standing and the way I coordinate my feet.

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I am so clumsy as well when I walk, I am guaranteed to trip up even if there is nothing there. The amount of bashing my toes into stuff and cursing under my breathe is unreal. My husband affectionately finds it funny.

I also shuffle my feet, especially when I am stressed. I am constantly getting told stop shuffling your feet like I am some kind of child.

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You don’t realise how hard it is to put one foot in front of the other. It can be really challenging. I never really thought about my physical problems when I was younger and now as an autistic adult I am still learning.

It is my arms I struggle with – not really knowing what to do with them when I walk, I find them painful and just frustrating. It is like I have to train my mind to swing my arms when I walk. It is so difficult as I am rubbish at doing two tasks at the same time.

One of the major problems that I struggle with as an autistic person is using my spacial awareness skills and navigating around objects and people. I am not good at forward planning especially in a busy place where I am over stimulated with the sensory information. Sometimes, I get so overwhelmed that I need to sit down and take a moment to take a break because of how mentally exhausting it is.

If I don’t think about my walking and focus on it, I really struggle with bumping into things or trip up.

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We as a human are meant to learn this skill at an early age and it to be developed. Therefore not having to think about it as it is a long term in implicit memory. It is wired in the brain so you don’t have to think about it, it is second nature.  Being an autistic person we miss out on this opportunity and I do wonder before language evolved how many humans died due to lack of ‘natural’ skills due to having a different way of thinking.

So, therefore if you do wonder why do us autistic people get SO tired this is a little insight, because we have to constantly work our asses of and remembering all these ‘natural’ rules that people take for granted.

Cheers for reading X

Best of Worst
Cuddle Fairy
Bringing up Georgia

Half term tiredness

Hey readers,

Today I slept for so long, it was what I body so needed, time to rest my brain and body.  I feel like I need to have a break every now again and shut down to help me compensate for all the pain and work that I put it through.

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I think during half term school holiday I am working harder to socialise and be with others for longer periods of time. Don’t get me wrong I adore my children but being autistic it is challenging to spend so long with individuals.

I feel us autistic folk need time to hibernate and re-charge our batteries more than neurotypical people. I think one of the reasons is because I am working that harder to apply social skills that may not necessarily come naturally to me.

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Then there is the emotional side where I beat myself up over my shortfalls to ridiculous amount. One of the reasons because you can’t help but compare yourself to other random people, even though you don’t know through social media.

I always view my autism as a battle, something I have to get up and deal with every single day. On top of that I have to deal with the internal battle of low self-esteem and dealing myself as a parent.

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Most of the time I feel like I am blagging a this whole parenting thing and I put so much energy in to trying to function like everyone else  that I burn myself out, hence the breaks and shutdown.

So, that is one of the many struggles I have as an autistic parent, it is never easy but I am thankful for my blog. It is true what they say that writing things down may not cure my situation but it is a place to clear my mind of the many thoughts that are buzzing around in my head.

Cheers for reading X

Autistic Blogger!

Hey readers,

I hear this term branded around a lot through the bloggershere called ‘tribe’, to me it feels like we are back in the playground. Maybe because I don’t really connect to people the same way others do because of my autism. It makes me feel maybe a bit isolated or that I am missing out on a better support network.
The big question is, do you need a tribe of people to connect with to empower and motivate you? does it make you more successful? these are the kind of questions I think about. I suppose it depends on what you really want and need from people, I guess. For me the whole tribe business makes me feel like a failure yet again at life, it is another point score if you are in with the right crowd and for me being autistic that will never be. Yes OK if your autistic should you be worried about having such feelings of loss and for me yes it does get to me at times. It would be nice to bounce ideas off with others but the fear of rejection is much stronger. I don’t really have an answer. I think it is really down to my state of mind having an influence when I am engaging in the social media platforms.

Sometimes you get a feeling to be a successful blogger you have to be in some kind of tribe with others. It is a real shame I feel as you not always getting merit for your work but in who you know instead. Fairplay to people that do, because it takes a lot of additional work other then just writing content to making a blog successful. A major factor is engaging in social media as a form of communicating with the audience or attending events that help achieve recognition and achievement statues. Sadly, I don’t feel I will ever truly get to grips connecting on such a level, but that is ok because I do have a disability that limits me. Whether I like it or not, somethings I can improve, somethings I can’t but having the knowledge to accept that is a milestone for me personally.

Sometimes, you get what you put in and for me I can only do so much before I have pushed past my threshold and want to collapse with mental exhaustion.

Until you start a blog and work on social media, you really don’t realise what hard work it is with keep plugging away and reaching out. As they say nothing comes for free.

One major attribute that influences my performance or connecting to people is communication. It is like the backbone of autism. It plays such a huge role on and off line. My brain is overloaded as it is with all the rules I need to remember. I stick to the rules that I can follow and it is not the ‘norm’, it’s controlled and I don’t feel I am being rude but maybe I am being very rigid and not flexible with my thinking but then again that is an effect of my autism interfering it’s ugly head.

It would be wonderful to have someone to connect with but I don’t feel it is important right now but maybe next week I may different about the whole thing. But sadly autism is selfish and it hinders you. It never leaves you or lets you forget that there is a big influence there right in your brain controlling your interpretations on everything that you are exposed to. It really sucks at times but other times it is the fuel that keeps my fire burning inside of me.

OK, I have bitched and have been a moany cow so I am going to focus on a positive here. People aren’t aware of how much I have come along in my improvements in myself. Blogging has given me a voice to express whatever I feel I want to share. When I am having a meltdown it has been a tool to distract me from all the things going one and stops me getting overloaded when I can simply focus on just writing. It has calmed me when I have been so angry I have wanted to explode. It has helped me to understand myself who I am and try to take on board other people’s perspective (which is a real struggle at the best of times). It has taught me on a basic level how to have simple conversations and it further help me develop as a person with autism.
So, what is the point of this ramble, well I am just trying to find away to accept me with my disability. I want others to understand particularly what it is like for female adults with autism.
Who knew blogging would be such a learning journey to think about yourself and where you are in the pecking order even though I don’t really know what I want. I think if I look internally I want to feel accepted from others, though I don’t know whether that will ever happen. Maybe I just feel really lonely and a bit sad today when I see others in the world can just make friends and excel verbally. I seem to fall over at the first hurdle. It is hard as blogging is so social and if you want to grow networking is crucial I feel.

For me personally most of the time I go about my days winging it and trying to keep my head above water whilst others speed pass by me.
That my readers is what my personal take is of an autistic blogger in a social climate in the blog world.

Cheers for reading X

Spectrum Sunday
Run Jump Scrap!

Ten misconceptions about anxiety 

Hey readers,
I am autistic and anxiety seems to go hand in hand with the condition most of the time. So I have had some personal experience of the condition.

But we all suffer from anxiety in various degrees. In actual fact it is natural and at times very helpful. The downfall is if anxiety is prolonged and has a significant impairment on your mental health it can evolve into a anxiety disorder. Therefore being a REAL condition.
A lot of people seen to have an opinion on the common condition of anxiety. I want to breakdown some of them myths associated with anxiety.
1) Over acting – I know there are some people out there who think people who suffer with anxiety are being over the top in dramatics. I can tell you there is nothing more hellish then suffering with anxiety and feeling like you have lost control. I don’t know anyone who would want populise anxiety. I do my best to run away from the situation and shut down. I feel embarrassed and don’t want people to see me being so weak. Not to mention how exhausting it is mentally and physically.

2) Having anxiety is nothing – trust me it is your own worst battle and so hard to keep up what is the truth. You self doubt everything and feels like a constant battlee with your thoughts inside your own mind that you can not run away from. It is very scary at times and feel like you are stuck feeling like this anxious state will be with you forever.

3) Relates to childhood – OK anxiety can be down to childhood experiences partly in some causes. Though that does not always have to be the case. Personally I can get anxious over the situation as a result of how my autistic brain is wired. It responds different to new situations  and I automatically get anxious regardless of how many times I have had successful experiences trying something new. I still go into pilot mode of fear.  I was born with Autism and it is something that wont go away but I can make small steps to change and try to manage better my anxiety.

Also people develop anxiety when they are older maybe from bullying or stressful situation and causing anxiety. There are so many reasons why people have anxiety that you can’t possibly pinpoint it on one theory.

4) Just forget about it – well if only it was that simple. I mean don’t get me wrong distraction techniques can help but it can take time to manage anxiety that it is not a simple case of forgetting it. For me my anxieties happen when I am sleep so even though I try to sleep to escape, I still can’t run way from it in my unconscious state. 

Sometimes it can take a long time to recover depending on the situation. I am not always aware I am anxious and just have the physiological symptoms rather then the classic thoughts.

5) Anxiety is a choice – this to me seems a crazy thought. Though at times it can be scary to adapt new changes. The prospect of trying something new especially when it comes to therapy is is daughting. It can be so easy to stay in the situation as it is safe and even though it is hell you know what is happening. That doesn’t mean you want to live in the hell, it means your scared. Especially if you have lived with anxiety for years it is hard to visualise changes when old habits have developed abd formed for so long. Which kinda links with point four where it does take time and sometimes can’t sort the problem our straight away.

6) Just take a pill and get over it. No if only it was that easy. For a fact it doesn’t cure the anxiety. It helps take the edge of the feeling and can help make you think more clearer bur you still have the anxiety. You still have to work at it and it takes time for medication to kick in. Also as we are different with different genetic makeup what works for one person might not work for another when taking medication as we are all different.

8) Illogical people have anxiety. Ok with anxiety it does distort your thoughts but it does not mean to say that the individual is an illogical person. You could normally be brilliant at balancing out reason but one area of your life is unevenly balanced. You can be brilliant at giving alternative explications to friends problems but totally unrealistic about your own.

9) Anxiety only affects anxiously natured people. False like anything anxiety can strike anyone regardless of background, personality or wealth. Just because you are socially confident does not mean to say you don’t experience anxiety. That person maybe be just better at masking it.

10) You pass out when you have a panic attack. Actually you don’t because you have an increased heart rate due to the panic therefore you will not pass out. Even though at times I have wanted to your body is in such a state of alert it doesn’t want to shutdown. It wants to be awake to protect you from any danger.

 

I hope this has helped people get a better understanding of anxiety. As you  can tell it is a very complex disorder that experienced by many different people and in different ways. That is why there are so many different anxiety disorders.

 

cheers for reading X

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