I am still learning about myself and how my autism effects me sometimes I don’t see it until it is too late and it hurts.
I remember saying to my son that if there was a cure for autism I wouldn’t give it to him as his autism makes him who he is – it gives him his strengths and uniqueness. I still agree with that but if I could take away all the other issues out of the equation then I know it would make a world of difference.
Some days I watch people and how they interact and wish I could be like that. The ease of it without feeling sick with anxiety or appearing to be rude or stupid or not good enough to have the conversation with people. I know it sounds daft but I really feel like that, do I make eye contact or is that too much? shall I look away do I tell someone they are sitting too close and I feel closed in? Do I tell them they have something on their face or that I am late and need to go? I then think of random things to say because they might have triggered off a memory or a phrase that sticks in my head, and I then can’t think of anything else. Knowing how much to share in a conversation or wanting to leave but don’t know how to tell them. The thing is I struggle to read people but get it wrong I can see them looking at my shoes that might not be polished or my tights with a hole, and I fear the comments about it as I might get embarrassed or that I might then say a joke that’s it funny or I say the wrong thing and appear angry, annoyed or rude?! Or I think of what they are thinking and then don’t listen to what is being said.
Also the simple act of making a phone call too, how people do it without thinking. I can’t answer my phone if I don’t know who it is or if I am not expecting their call. I also have to prepare myself on what to say I get nervous sick to my stomach sometimes thinking how the conversation could go remembering the social cues how are you small talk etc.. I feel like a robot trying to read it out like lines in a play. I forget what the person is saying on the phone and can’t read their body language or second guess it, so it’s harder for me to guess how they are feeling or what they want to hear?
I personally struggle to read people I don’t understand the expectations in my head and why I do it to myself and naturally people let me down, but they don’t know and don’t understand either it’s just all in my head which is worse. I try to please people too but just get it wrong and end up annoying or upsetting people without wanting too. I can see myself interact before I act and can’t seem to stop myself it drives me crazy some days.
I have some really difficult days and I don’t know how to feel either. I need to verbalise or show my emotions it’s like they need to escape and then I feel better straight after as otherwise they are stuck inside my head and it hurts. I feel too much I have too much empathy and that hurts too. Over sensitive with interactions I get so very tired in trying to read people with too many thoughts in my head. The simple act of a hand on my shoulder saying that I am doing well or ok just makes me feel better that calmer influence from another person can really help at times as I just don’t know how to be I self doubt myself constantly. I hate the word normal but sometimes it would just be easier I feel like I am just treading water constantly and any minute I could slip under. I feel better in routines and structure and knowing what is expected of me and what is going to happen I plan everything and need to know what is going on.
My life seems to be all about empathy, expectations and emotions…