So it’s been forever since I’ve written anything here. Between being my sister’s maid of honour and trying to get ready for school, I’ve been too busy and tired.
I’m taking a reduced courseload and it’s only the second week but I’m still so tired. I’ve talked to a total of one person in my classes. I’ve had two sensory overloads. And I’m not sure I can do this. Between the work and the noise and trying to keep my hygiene at a socially acceptable level, I have no energy to eat or water my plants or spend time with my family. But I’m gonna talk to my psychiatrist and my accessibility councillor about getting a pressure vest, which should help.
On a different note, it’s my birthday soon! I’m Turing nineteen, which is the drinking age in Canada. Even though I don’t and won’t drink, at least now I can go to the social events at the pub/restaurant on campus. Maybe I’ll meet some people. Speaking of people, tomorrow the LGBTQ centre is having a meet up thing for queer women. Even though I don’t want to date this year, I’m gonna go and hopefully talk to some people. I’ve never had any queer friends.
It’s finally cooling down to seasonal temperatures, so I can wear my comfy sweatshirts again! I’m wearing a huge blue one right now, and flopping the sleeves around is like the best stim. Also sucking on the hood strings. But that’s apparently gross.
Hopefully now that I’m in more of a routine I’ll blog more regularly. But for now I gotta go eat something I guess.
I had a conversation with my mum yesterday. It was about how she insists on saying I “have autism” even though I’ve asked her just to say that I’m autistic. She said something along the lines of, “well, I don’t think if you as autistic. You’re just my daughter.” And I tried to explain that autism is a part of who I am, that it can’t be separated from me. But she refused to listen. She kept saying “but you’re more than your autism!!” Which, while technically true, isn’t really the point. People like to say that we shouldn’t be defined by autism, but it’s a neurotype. It’s how my brain works and perceives the world. And honestly fine with that defining me, because it does. I’m a woman, not a person with womanhood. I’m gay, not a person with gayness. And I’m autistic, not a person with autism. I know this has been said on much better ways before, but I just had to rant a bit.
Well, today was shit.
I saw Ghostbusters in theatre yesterday, which was awesome but draining. So today it felt like someone turned the volume and brightness up on the whole world. Then I had to go have dinner at my aunt and uncle’s house, and it was Hell. There were 11 people crammed into a small living room, yelling and laughing and eating very loudly. So of course my brain said, “fuck this, I’m gonna go light myself on fire”. Sensory overload is not fun. Meltdowns are less fun. Meltdowns in the darkened bathroom of a relative’s house where you punch the floors and walls and yourself are the least fun.
At least my family seems to understand that I can’t control meltdowns. My sisters seemed embarrassed and my dad snapped at me when I started hitting myself, but he didn’t mean any harm. And I’m trying not to care what my sisters think of me.
Well, words are hard and I’m tired. So bye.
So I start college in less than a month.
Today I registered for classes and on Monday I go to (yet another) appointment at the Office for Students with Disabilities. I’ve already been three times. Once to register, once to meet with an advisor, and once to meet with the assistive technologist. Apparently the advisor I already met with only had the ability to give me temporary accommodations. So I have to go have an hour long meeting talking about all the help I’ll need. Again. Ughhh.
The assistive technologist was nice though. She let me pick from a bag of stim toys to play with while we talked, and she made sure to clarify something if I didn’t understand. Also, I get to use this cool pen called a LiveScribe pen that records lectures as you take notes and lets you skip around in the recording by tapping on your notes. I think it’s gonna be useful for me, given that my organizational skills are terrible and focusing on two different things (like listening to the professor and reading the PowerPoint) makes it almost impossible for me to work.
I’m still a bit stressed about some things, though. Like if I can handle the workload and the cost of buying textbooks and literally anything to do with a social life. Also, my therapist is on maternity leave until October, so that’s upsetting me a bit. Also my sister’s wedding is coming up and I’m the maid of honour and I have stuff to do and I’ll have to talk to people and wear a dress and and and. I know it’s selfish but I don’t want to do any of that. I don’t even want to get out of bed most days. And these days especially.
I know I’ve been kinda absent lately. I’m sorry. I know I spend too much time by myself. I know it seems like I’m avoiding you because I barely talk anymore.
The thing is, I’m burnt out. You think I’m acting too autistic. You think I’m faking it. But I’ve been playing neurotypical for so long that to stim freely and avoid eye contact is like flying. I know that 17 years is a long time to pretend. But remember when I was little? Remember the way I’d list out random facts about animals or cry when I had to eat tomatoes or hiss like a cat when I was angry? Remember how I read by three but didn’t know how to ride a bike until I was 13? Remember?
But all you seem to care about is how ‘normal’ I was until last year. You think my autistic traits are the problem. But I was trapped inside a mask that everyone seemed to love. And I was so lonely and depressed. Remember how I nearly died from it?
I’ve always been autistic. I always will be. And even though I seem to be getting ‘worse’, more autistic, I’m the same. I’m just too worn out from a lifetime of acting. So be patient, please. Be patient when I stutter and fall silent because words are too much. Be patient when I have to leave the room because I’m getting overwhelmed. Be understanding when I rock or flap my hands or purr or squeak. And please, can you just let me be me? Can you love me without my neurotypical mask on?
I’m happy. That’s a weird feeling for me. And I was motivated to do shit today. I cleaned my room and did laundry and Drew and wrote and I’m happy.
How to do the friend thing?!? How t0 people and not die??
Ugh ugh ugh. I’m so grossed out.
I was talking to my mum about how I love the feeling of tight hugs and tons of blankets and she mentioned how my little autistic cousin has a weighted vest. And do I thought, hmm sounds nice. I want one. So I googled “weighted vest” and got a whole bunch of weird fitness stuff. So I clicked on the related searches thing that said “weighted vest autism”. Because what could possibly go wrong.
I guess I should know by now to never Google autism. Because every site I went to was for parents looking for stuff for their kids. And so many were like, “hey! We love Autism $peaks!” Also one said “children who suffer from autism”. Also one linked to a page for online ABA “therapy”. Anyway I’m grossed out and trying to to have a panic attack. Fun.
You know what I hate? Cleaning products and their smell. Unfortunately my only source of regular income comes from my weekly cleaning of my uncle’s house. Normally, I’m not too bothered by the smell, but today I had to use this new cleaner that smelled Terrible. That and the fact that I couldn’t sleep last night has really thrown me off. I feel raw. Even soft, warm light and quiet sounds irritate me, and anything brighter than my phone screen is painful. Also fuck eating. Seriously, I can’t even eat rice or potatoes, my go-to foods. I didn’t eat lunch and had half a bag of stale popcorn and a spoonful of peanut butter for supper.
Ok ok ok. So. Today was a good day! I was happy! I even happy stimmed and my family didn’t try to stop me!
I went to the library with my mum and got a shit ton of books about my primary special interest: biotechnology.
I love love love biotechnology and its subfields. Like so much. Ok so one book I got is called The Gecko’s Foot and its about biology-inspired technology. So while it’s not technically biotechnology, it’s really cool and I love it and it has awesome facts. Like the fact that there’s a sea creature called a Venus lily that has long neutrons that act like fiber-optic cables or that according to physics butterflies shouldn’t even be able to fly or that the whole Library of Congress could fit inside one strand of Hunan DNA. I sat on the couch and read it and spouted off random facts to my mum and got so happy I rocked side to side and couldn’t stop. I tried to make myself stop before my mum noticed, but I couldn’t. And she didn’t care!
Also I got books about molecular biology and bioinformatics and genetic engineering and I’m! So! Happy? Like I love science So Much?! I wish I could feel like this all the time.