Self-rediscovery

Well it’s been quite an epiphany light bulb moment but I feel like something has clicked and I sense I’ve finally hit that mark and now I’m back into the real me.

Been late for work a couple of times recently and I had to admit that I’m struggling to organise myself and keep on track.

It felt good to admit and it allowed me to readjust my thinking. Opened me up to new ideas which I hope to explore this weekend.

Now I’ve got a better idea of how my brain works I can begin to form a plan to live the right way. I’ve been doing it so wrong for so long.

I absolutely shouldn’t feel any shame for who I am and what I want. I should feel ashamed at being so ashamed.

So what can I say about how and why? Social anxiety – it plays hell with me because it prevents me from being everything that I should be in accordance with my deepest desires.

I’ve always felt I was trapped in the wrong mind. That might be true quite literally. That I couldn’t be myself and was forced to become someone else out of fear. Fear of myself maybe. Fear of others certainly.

And you might well say that only other people can influence us to fear and hate ourselves. We would never see ourselves that way without falling under the spell of believing others instead of believing ourselves.

I hope the time I spend alone can strengthen my inner beliefs and inner resolve so I can can stop giving a fuck about what other people think of me.

So I believe now that my personality type is actually ESTP. I thought I was INFJ but it seems that was actually my subconscious.

I’m an INFJ when I’m depressed. They say that depression comes with a personality change. I’ve got the same tools but I use them in the opposite order.

Without the anxiety I would be well and truly extroverted, living life to the max, seeking and spreading love while not caring about anything.

I love physically interacting with the world and I feel like a hero when I give pleasure to others.

I use my rational brain to solve problems and I feel like a healthy adult when I can figure out how to do something.

I blindly seek love and harmony from others to please the selfish inner child.

I’m stubbornly singleminded in how I see and interpret the world but my will is the weakest link. My own intentions and those of others are probably the real cause of my social anxiety and insecurities.

And to quickly dip into the shadow.

I worry deeply about loyalty and need to test the loyalty of those around me to keep me safe and give me routine.

I get actively defensive when people criticise me as it feels like people are trying stop me from growing and developing.

When I’m rejected and unloved the inner child does what children do when they’re scared and runs away. I hide my true feelings where no one can see them.

If I’m being watched and observed it feels like I’m being controlled my mind is filled with intense loathing and hatred. This is my biggest demon and biggest hypocrisy.

To sum I realise how much I’ve internalized. So much negativity directed towards people like me that I had turned on myself for my own detriment.

I have become woke in the true sense. I can now admit that I’m much more vain and shallow than I had thought. I wanted to think of myself as deep and soulful because I had been led to believe these were the desired characteristics. I’m interested in people who are because they represent something that I lack.

I’ve tried to emulate people like that to fit in and feel accepted but it was at the highest possible cost. That I had abandoned myself and lived a fraudulent existence.

It’s going to be a wild ride to start living the life I want without anxiety and maybe I’ll always be rusty. For the first time in my life I’ve got a genuine reason to get myself physically healthy and strong.

Getting mentally healthy will always be the acid test. I simply don’t and never have seen any worth in living this pointless non-living existence.

Plan for the weekend is to actually plan things. Plot a course towards following my dreams. Also to develop a healthy routine so I’m actually taking charge over the little things. It would be nice to actually prepare myself for every tomorrow instead of waking up as a hostage of life’s demands.

So many opportunities now, different things I like doing. I’ve never been very good at making decisions. I think there’s scope here for giving each thing a turn for a short time.

Honestly never thought about things this way before but I’d like to make each day more variety based.

What I can actually give to humanity is only my own particular flavour of humanity.

I can sum up anxiety by saying that it’s the feeling that things aren’t going to be ok. And if I’m not doing what I do and love, of course things aren’t going to be ok.

So why the fuck am I not doing that already? I’m so out of practise. Lived my whole life under my own shadow.

The lesson to learn is that you should never be afraid to admit when things aren’t going well. Just be honest with yourself and those around you.

Life is a series of lessons, don’t ever think you are perfect the way you are. Ask yourself what you’d rather be doing and how you can be doing it.

Love of humanity only comes when you learn to love yourself.

Thanks for reading. All my love to those who do.

Jamie

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More honesty I guess to motivate

Some thoughts to share tonight, some progress has been made towards being able to move on and finally put the old hurt to bed.

It comes with being able to look myself in the mirror and say this is who I am and this isn’t where I want to be. But beginning to understand that I was looking for someone to fill the void and, the slightly creepy expression, “complete me”.

Yet I was always just following my heart and I always did what I thought was the right thing to do. And I shouldn’t have compromised who I was to fit in.

I was immature in terms of how I approached trying to get what I wanted and I couldn’t see the long term implications. How the relationship I was seeking was just the cheap and lazy solution to all of my problems.

I understand now that I was deluding myself into something to avoid dealing with all my deep issues. I’ve come to understand that we were too different and we saw the world differently and we dreamed of different worlds.

I was the one who was dependent and so I was the one who abandoned my own needs and put myself last to the point of martyrdom. I was the one who had to hide my true self like a chameleon to make our friendship work.

I’m no longer ashamed of anything I did with the exception of the things I did in desperation where I had totally lost track of who I was.

I get told regularly by people who see the world differently that it’s wrong for me to try to change people. I never forced anyone to change, everything about me is that I see so much potential for growth.

That is the story of lives that our lives are constantly changing and we grow as we experience more of what life has to offer.

What I always dreamed of was to inspire people to be better. To push people around me to question who they are and what they do.

I don’t feel like there’s anything I’ve ever done that has actually inspired anyone else. Really the story of my life has been as a lowly springboard, for someone to jump on so they could leap higher.

It inevitably hurts when others go through a growth period, that it’s never with me, more like in spite of me.

To turn to what I really need to talk about, and it’s the important issue of how I see autism in myself and others. More pertinently how I interpret the meaning of it.

I should be honest and say that it will always be a disability to me and it will always be a harm that should be a sore point. It represents so much loss of potential. That I could have been so much more.

I consider my autism to be something that damages my competency as a human being. While this is a very touchy subject, I can be very touchy about being criticised for being incompetent. It’s not something anyone wants to hear.

It’s not the criticism that hurts, it’s the lack of understanding that hurts.

I had a talk with an old friend from the hub and she shares the view that we should never look at autism as a negative judgement. We’re not bad, were just different.

We’re not disabled, we live in a world that doesn’t play to our strengths but our weaknesses.

The truth is that I find it very invalidating to be told there’s nothing wrong with me. I’ve always sensed the black hole that exists in my conscious and my recent experiences have really felt like actual brain damage.

I’ve looked at the way others behave and I think to myself that the part of my brain that would have given me the ability to behave the same way must have been ripped away in a catastrophic event.

For others, the path towards being mentally healthy means accepting and loving who you are. But I see so much further within myself to see who I could be if only I didn’t have this autism.

I don’t wish to hurt anyone by saying this and I still want this blog to be helpful to anyone who is autistic. For me though, I’m here to support those who are disabled. If you’re not disabled then you sure as hell don’t need my help.

This is the thing about being naturally introverted. We really on ourselves to make decisions so we need to be independent. It’s a matter of pride in saying I don’t need help.

Also we can avoid situations where we may be expected to reciprocate helping others when they don’t see or respect our own hidden disabilities.

No one is perfect as the saying goes. It’s a useful defense to trot out when facing judgement. I judge myself and others to a higher standard and that is part of who I am.

What has helped me come to terms with things is that I can recognise better that people shouldn’t be judged by their weaknesses but I’m no longer invested in people who aren’t willing to improve themselves.

Self-acceptance is good but it shouldn’t be taken as license to say that I shouldn’t be challenged on anything. That I can’t be so much more than who I am now. That I can’t learn ways of compensating to overcome weakness.

There’s a cultural divide between those who don’t want personal change and those who do. Some who see outside agents of change as hostile malevolent manipulators. Some of us see the necessity of outside agents in learning about the world.

I think for the first time in my life, I can appreciate how people see the world differently and that I’m not to blame for every personal conflict. People just have their own way of dealing with things and the truth is that few people will ever be on the same page.

I always had a vision of a better world and what truly broke me was how everyone around me took the world in the opposite direction. They can do whatever they feel is best but I’m not going to follow them. What actually saved me was the fact that I didn’t follow them.

I lost hope because I had sacrificed so much only to be discarded. Now do I see how important it is to believe in myself and I understand how important it is to not care about how others judge me.

I never really listened to anyone who said I was a good person, no, reality is the ultimate arbiter and the reality was that I couldn’t live up to my true values and judgements.

This is my gift, what I have best to offer the world. A vision of the world where we live up to our potential and we give of ourselves to improve someone else’s lot in life.

We seek connections to each other because we have so much to offer each other. We understand the world can be godawful to face alone but we can find strength in numbers.

The more I look at how the world treats autism, the more I see a selfish predator, seeking to keep us in our bubbles to make sure we don’t stand up for ourselves. People see our naive, vulnerable nature and seek to ensure we don’t grow into healthy adults.

Because I see the future in which we merely accept everything and question nothing. When we are encouraged to look only at who we are now and persuaded that we must be happy with our implicit identity.

There is a reason why we psychologically develop demons within us, they are the force that says no. They are what we unleash when someone has wronged us. That includes when we have wronged ourselves.

The thing I need people to understand is that I need learn how to help myself before I help others. I’m being selfish now because I need to reconnect with myself and reengage my heart and soul.

I need to meet my own demands before I even think about meeting the demands of others. But that is what is expected of me. To keep churning out that nice guy image.

When I needed to care about myself, that is when I stopped caring about others. I’ll care about you again, when I actually start to care about myself and not look into the abyss of martyrdom.

I know how everyone seems to be struggling at the moment and everyone seems to be retreating into selfishness. I can see but I just can’t care.

Not until I’ve regained my ego and relearned to trust myself. There is a purpose to everything I do and I want to feel the deep euphoria of actually hitting that sweet bullseye of overcoming some deep adversity.

You know what it feels like to achieve something you never thought possible? This is the deep unlocking of your truest potential.

This is the Godlike feeling that exists within every flawed human being. What can I say except that it feels good beyond words.

Why wouldn’t anyone want to feel like this? There’s a natural anxiety about it but this is why it’s so good to face anxiety head on and fuck it off.

This is how I think I can ultimately inspire anyone who shares this painful anxiety. You don’t have to live in a predefined box that limits your potential and admits defeat.

But I can’t really inspire anyone until I’ve actually lived it and done it for myself. Oh how I wish to break free.

Thanks for reading. If you’re going to fight, fight to win. Kindest Regards.

Jamie xx

Game of Thrones/ASOIAF – Some spoilers included

It’s about time I started talking about something other than myself. So without further ados, yes I’m a big fan of GRRM’s work in particular.

I got into the show first after season 6 aired. Bought the first 5 series on DVD, then read all the books before series 6 came out on DVD. It’s fair to say that books (source material) is the key to it’s success.

The books are magnificent and the first few series were magnificent when they were faithful to the books.

When the source ran dry it became increasingly clear that the showrunners had given up on plotting a coherent story and just gave towards spectacle and writing for their favourite actors to look cool.

It’s been 11 years since the last book was published, the same year the show first aired. I live for the next book because I’m desperate to see how the proper story develops.

The original pilot was dogshit by all accounts. It is plain that Benioff and Weiss were charlatans who conned GRRM into believing that they knew what they were doing.

I’d recommend Dragon Demands YT channel for an expert expose on the showrunners and their shallow, narcissistic approach to writing.

They totally subverted the real message of the work and besmirched the arcs of many beloved characters.

Prime example being the case of Arya Stark. She’s a big fan favourite because of her strength of will and determination. Also a real rebellious tomboy streak who dreams of becoming a fierce warrior.

Her story in the books is of horrific trauma for a young child to face and she falls under the influence of other traumatised, violent people.

There is huge potential for her story to develop as   she has the most potential for redemption.

What did show do? Turned her into smirking killer who does everything badass. Everyone cheered when she took her revenge and there were no consequences whatsoever. No follow through. No logic at all.

The show which killed several important characters through a single infected wound had Arya survive several stab wounds to the stomach and a swim through a canal, then to perform superhuman feats of endurance and kill her more experienced trainer.

Arya’s series 6 arc has to be the most nonsensical thing I’ve ever seen. Benioff and Weiss showed their true colours by casting Ed Sheeran as present to Maisie Williams. And because she’s a fan favourite everything she does is brilliant and has no bad consequences.

She murders villains in a room full of important characters purely to conclude a plot with no further consequences. Oh and of course she kills the Night King out of nowhere despite having no connection to the whole White Walker/Long Night storyline.

The way the Long Night was concluded was a total copout. It should have been the finale and the actual resolution of the whole story. Alas they weren’t the real bad guys after all and they were defeated by the most ridiculous ex-machina.

The show writers love to “subvert expectations” and the cheap, lazy way to do that is to descend into nonsense.

Needless to say they’ve cut so many things from the books that will ensure the books play out very differently. It’s not clear how much GRRM told Benioff and Weiss about how the books will end but I’m betting that it will be so much more interesting and rewarding.

I’m hopeful that the 6th book will get published maybe in a year or two but I’m not going to stake my life on it. The 7th and final book may very well never reach the shelves.

GRRM’s writing has always seeked to highlight the terrible consequences of war and the folly of revenge and how self-destructive it is to turn to violence. The big difference in the show is how the violence is often glorified. The spectacle is the big draw and the show fans love the big battles.

Of course we all love the drama and the high stakes, but in the show the hindsight always reveals the stakes weren’t that high because the consequences are of no value.

I recently watched a YT reactor watch the whole series and all the real emotions are genuinely earned. It’s funny how during the final 2 series there was just… “wtf that makes no sense”

Truly by the end the emotional payoffs are not earned. The series descends to a series of stupid plot points, unconnected in any way that makes logical sense.

And let’s not forget we have a character who can time travel who can see any event in history but seems to do nothing about it and is then crowned King for no reason despite consistently saying he couldn’t be a ruler.

In fact all the time travel scenes are only to reveal the biggest mystery of the series, the real identity of Jon Snow, which has no meaning in the end.

That’s what really annoys me. You build something up in order for it to pay off in a meaningful way. It has to mean something doesn’t it? Has to be important. Has to be relevant to determining the outcome of an important event.

Like so much in the show it’s there to create the sense of importance but is just abandoned basically.

I put this down to the fact that Benioff and Weiss were given the keys to part of the Star Wars franchise and they completely checked out, stopped caring about the show (if they ever really did) and insulted the intelligence of every show watcher.

It heartens me to know that their Stars Wars project has been shelved and I think people are more aware of how crap they are.

I won’t say too much about the new prequel series which is midway through airing but I’m enjoying it. Some of it falls into the same trap as there are many time jumps that feel disconnected but on the whole the new showrunners obviously care a lot more about it.

To sum up the show squandered so much potential. The books have so much going on and I’m confident that every chapter will be immensely satisfying.

My own writing aspirations have been heavily influenced to create a full, immersive world where every action has meaningful consequences whereby the true drama of human life is explored and and ultimately I want to create something that is truly meaningful.

I’d love to write something that is a metaphor for me my autistic struggles. Something that is unabashedly honest but can be a form of inspiration.

I’ve had to find that inspiration from within myself and I haven’t found it yet but I should make this my next objective.

This would be me finally escaping my own head and start to externalise again in a way that makes me feel good about myself.

I’ve started to reorganize and tidy my environment to help tidy my mind one step at a time. Time to pursue the meaning of my life and stop letting things hold me back.

Thanks for reading and kindest regards.

Jamie

MBTI INFJ

Well I’ve rather gotten myself hooked on this. Been thinking about constantly. And this classification actually gives a good explanation as to why.

It’s a fascinating system to model how the brain works and what it does best. With that being said I’m not of a fan of those who wield it for mechanically explaining everyone’s type. Typing is what they call it.

But it popped up one day thanks to the YT algorithm and I gave it a look. Straight away I was introduced to the INFJ. Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging. It sounded like me from the get go and every vid I watched described me perfectly.

To understand what it means you have to dig deep into the definitions and the hierarchy it represents.

Cognitive functions and their place in the hierarchy. That has been really engaging and has really fired up my brain.

The first slot is where your ego begins in the conscious mind. They call it the hero and it’s the goto function of choice. The big man.

Next is the auxiliary support function. Often called the parent function, this gives your hero back up like a sidekick. It is also completely different to the hero function.

Next is the tertiary child function which is the innocent vulnerable part of you. It exists as another tool in your belt when you need to rest and play.

Next is the most interesting. The weak inferior function. It exists to give you a weakness to improve and actually gives you drive and motivation. What is also does is complete the set and if used well can get you your wildest dreams. It’s potentially a superhero function but it can be also be your fears and insecurities. If not used well it will be the biggest bane of your mind. Well maybe not quite the worst.

For this represents your conscious ego, there is the shadow side which I think represents your unconscious personality. The complete opposite of your conscious.

This has the same order but all the functions face the opposite direction. The theory is that all the darkness and pain that you avoid is pushed into the lazy unconscious mind and thus poisons the unconscious. It may be that we have this in order to defend ourselves against the forces of stress.

The hero becomes the villain, the support becomes the critical punisher. The child becomes the mischievous prankster. The motivator becomes the poisonous saboteur. Most terrible of all known as the demon function.

So here’s what I look like under this system;

Hero – introverted intuition

Supporter – extroverted feeling

Playful child – introverted thinking

Dreamer – extroverted sensing

Villain – extroverted intuition

Punisher – introverted feeling

Manipulator – extroverted thinking

Demon – introverted sensing.

Ni Fe Ti Se – Ne Fi Te Si. These are my two personalities. It’s important to make clear that this about how I deal with the world in terms of cognitive functions. It says nothing about the content of my character.

But to make a start with my Ni Hero, this is really when I’m at my best. How I interpret this (ironically through my Ni) is that I perceive the world through what I intrinsically know already. It can mean that I maintain fixed assumptions and rarely question them.

So I didn’t actually take the MBTI test, I have essentially typed myself based on the fact that it was telling me what I already knew deep down.

But it gives me a ready made framework to hang these ideas on and hopefully a complete understanding of who I really am.

The issues I’ve had to face this last year and a half, they did break me well and truly. I see a bigger picture of why I’ve tried to become someone else. Because all of my strongest cognitive functions broke and I was left with only malicious demons guiding me.

I needed to reverse the directions to undo the damage. I’ve been cautiously exploring the demons in a more healthy, beneficial manner and that has helped. Because these demons can be angels if used willingly and for the good.

Writing this blog helps me because I use Ne to externalise the internal. It’s good to get that expressive creativity. To bring new ideas to the table.

To give my overworked and over tired hero a break.

It’s not good for me, or anyone for that matter, to spend too much time internalizing. You need an outlet. Spending time with family helps to bring in new sensory information and it really changes my perspective.

So what is what the conscious ego actually for? Do I work to rebuild my ego functions or to cleanse my shadow functions? I feel like I’m becoming a different person in some areas but it’s tiring using your shadow functions and I’m just permanently tired these days.

Some life advice I’ve received is that I really need to sort out my Si Demon because this is what seems to undermine me at every time. This is the part of me that wants to fail and I am still failing at the end of the day.

Depending on the definition of introverted sensing, this is probably related to self care. Looking after myself and getting physically healthy. The good news is that I don’t need to go overboard, dont need to become Charles Atlas.

Just a little here and there to show the demon I’m not afraid and that will boost my Se Dreamer.

I’ve got so much to say about all this and I will continue in my quest to refine the model to regain my ego.

I plan to make my next blog a vlog. Tried about a year ago but got frustrated with the video editor and gave up. I felt very alien and uncomfortable watching myself talk.

Planned to do it last Monday during the day off not grieving the loss of the royal parasite. Felt like shit the whole weekend. Didn’t go out for a drink or anything. Didn’t do anything worthwhile. Lots of plans that didn’t work out.

Talk will be more about this stuff but I want to connect it to my autism as well because I have lots of hypotheses about how it affects my cognitive functions. I still need to be alone to film myself and it may take a while to put it together. This is a promise I will keep. Hopefully.

Thanks as always for reading xx

Restless

Been a while since my last proper blog. Plenty going on in the meantime. So much so that I had for a while taken my mind off the usual issues. Had some more stuff to take my mind off things.

Hard house night last Friday was funnish. Got off my face and danced a lot. It’s true though, hard house isn’t quite my thing these days and I was praying for some more techno stuff.

The best part of the evening was the 2hr walk home at 5 in the morning. Nice and quiet and peaceful. I let the remaining hyper energy slowly dissipate as the sun rose.

All day hangover Saturday, family party on Sunday which was a nice time though I kept myself in the quiet area.

Cinema Monday to see a secret horror film which was recently good. MOT Tuesday and then tiredness through the rest of the week.

Getting back into things I used to for fun. Started watching HotD which rekindled my love of the game of thrones books.

Pushed away the darkness for a while and felt like I was doing stuff for myself again. Relearning to actually do things I enjoyed.

Somewhat distant from all that there’s been some reflection on how I’ve changed since everything that happened.

My lifelong shyness has become more focused now. I think now that I find it harder than ever to be myself around other people.

Or actually instead of that, I’m much more myself but life has become so much harder. Trying to be more social but I’m just less connected to people and more of a lone wolf doing whatever I do.

Trying to be my unashamed and true self really meant that I’m just completely closed around new people and I’m not charismatic enough to actually attract anyone inside the walls.

The more time I spend alone the more I realise how deeply I just want the right people in my life. I get so bored and restless on my own because it’s just not much fun to be in my head.

I spent so much of my life masking and repressing myself exactly because it was better than the alternative. Better to have fake friends than no friends at all.

It’s been an important step to find my old self again but I don’t feel I can get any sort of life back until I reinvent myself. I’m still looking to do that but I don’t really believe that I will manage it.

Who I am deep down is the real me and I’m not going to change without outside help. From someone or something else that forces me to change. And even then I’ll stubbornly resist.

Emotional time at work this week. Part of my job is calculating death payments for life insurance. I’m pretty detached from the thought of death and generally most claims are from natural causes.

This week however I had my first claim for a murder victim. And the circumstances were pretty shocking. And so this person wasn’t a faceless name and a policy number but a known person.

Hadn’t had time off for a while and probably won’t get any soon. Still waiting for authorisation for my birthday week as we are losing another 3 members of the team.

The lad I’m training at work has got an accreditation, so maybe my training has been quite effective.

I feel a little isolated at work sometimes. I sit alongside some colleagues but don’t quite feel like I belong in the circle. I feel sad when I feel I’m not being fully included. Times like these I wish to shut myself off to take control and preempt being alone.

Haven’t felt very creative recently. Probably just too tired.

What’s my plan for tonight? Drinking but probably not too much. The weekend? Fuck knows.

Spent time with my younger brother recently, we might it a regular thing, walking up the Wrekin. Impressed that we did it in half an hour with it needing a rest.

It was great to talk honestly about what I really needed to talk about but had kept quiet about. My bro is a great listener. I’ll let him talk more next time.

So it’s doing me good to aim for, and do stuff. To choose to do something and do it. Just do it however I can and not let any anxiety stop me.

I’ve not magically become fearless or anything but I’m not beating myself up about anything.

I don’t know if I can ever achieve what I really want in life and am still plagued by many doubts and fears but I’m feeling more like I’m in control of myself and more patient with myself.

Events have left me in the nasty position of needing people around me while I’ve stopped trusting people in general. But I keep on. Keep going.

Continuing to work on myself and to keep connected to people as much as I can.

It’s time to kick start the process of loving myself by actually looking after myself and reparenting myself. Doing stuff that’s good for me. Looking after my physical and mental health.

Muster up the energy to properly tidy myself up. That’s something they teach in CBT. I struggle to do things because I don’t have a tidy personal space. I feel oppressed by the mess I’ve made of myself.

It’s no good dreaming of doing stuff when I’m trapped by my own personal clutter.

Does the messy mind cause a messy room or vice versa? The environment I create to keep people out is unfriendly to myself as well. I keep people out more when I don’t feel good about myself. So why do I do things that make me feel bad about myself? To keep people away.

A vicious circle if ever there was one. Also it gives a rare sense of control to actively sabotage yourself. The funny thing is that I kind of enjoyed not being in control because life felt more interesting that way. Not good though when things go badly.

Life will be a long, perpetual quest to find things to do that I actually like doing. And to perfect the art of keeping myself safe while I throw myself into whatever comes along.

It really sucks to be me sometimes, but I do it as well as I can and I don’t think anyone else could ever be me and keep their soul like I do.

Thanks as always for reading.

PS I’m not shedding any tears for the royal parasite. The only reason I’m not celebrating is because the new king is far worse. I’ll dance a jig when they’re all removed from this Earth.

Getting back

There’s no denying or escaping the fact that I’m feeling increasingly lonely at the moment. I’ve no desire to spend the rest of my life alone. This isolating was with the aim to be more secure around people by being more comfortable alone.

The place I’m in now is not a good place to be alone. I do need someone to talk to and offer a distraction.

So tonight I’m back out for drinks. It’s a been while but probably not that long really.

I’ve been through something taxing today and I probably should be resting but I committed myself to getting fairly drunk and felt like staying open to some company.

Had a first at work. The first time I’d had to report a breach due to a policy being incorrectly administered.

It was nerve wracking because it’s the sort of thing I don’t like dealing with and to be honest after 3 years I was worried there might be questions asked as to why I haven’t done one before.

But yeah I asked for and got help and it’s something I know I can deal with now.

We’re a regulated industry and our breaches must be reported within 72 hrs. There was no putting off until Monday.

That didn’t happen until mid afternoon so I took my extra half hour dinner break and popped in to my local autism hub.

I was hoping to be a bit more social again and it was nice to see an old friend who I haven’t seen for ages. We had a quick catch up and I’m pleased to see she’s doing well.

I got to ask how the others are doing which put my mind to rest a little.

I mentioned that I’ve been spending too much time alone as I learn to be myself. It got me thinking again about how the real me is so difficult to find.

The real me is someone who is friendly but at the same time I’m doing it because I need other people around me to feel human. Without company, what exists deep inside doesn’t really feel very human.

It is totally part of who I really am that I don’t feel safe alone because if I have to isolate to protect myself I’m already trapped in a place where I don’t feel safe.

I am such a different person when I’m around people who make me feel good. The 2 sides of me don’t recognise each other.

That’s the reason I have pursued the Jungian ideal of integrating my 2 selves. To become a balanced person.

During the bad times I had unfriended my old friend which i immediately regretted and fully expected she wouldn’t want to talk to me. But she did.

It made me think that she was so casual that she didn’t even notice I had disappeared which kind of sucked in a way but I was ultimately really glad that she was still friendly.

I’m going to continue pursuing building bridges to being friends again with the old group but I also want to just keep going to new places and begin to meet new people.

Perhaps now I’m becoming more like my old friends by staying open while not really doing anything to cement friendships into demanding relationships.

I still want to pursue relationships of course because I find it easier to trust people when I know they’ll stand by me and stick with me.

It’ll help to spend time around people again but at some point I’ll want more and become unhappy again. But better to be unhappy than to repeat the experiences of the last 18 months.

And so the burgeoning creative inside me really wants to start writing something. To create a world that I can lose myself in and hopefully provide me some alternative to the loneliness.

It’s a big deal and I’m still so hesitant to give it a proper go. I can tell myself that it will be some thing worthwhile that I can be proud of. Maybe it can be what I dedicate my life to instead of seeking out the company of real people.

One fear is that it will make the isolation worse and I’ll ultimately get lost in the dark forest again. But it might be the sort of thing I need to give myself the belief that I’ll be ok.

At this time I can reveal that I finally deleted my Facebook and it’s too late to reclaim it now. I’m already plotting how to relaunch myself by creating a brand new account but only in order that I might have better control over how much I share of myself.

I’m returning to some good advice, to take things one at a time and make slow but steady progress. Trying to rebuild myself but it has to be done right. And it needs good foundations.

I think that I need to apply myself in such a way that I can win one small victory at a time while making sure that I get as much rest and healing as possible.

It’s truly a great feeling when you finally deal with something big but there’s an energy cost and things don’t sink in until you’ve rested and recovered. Feel that weight lifted from your shoulders.

Getting in touch with a better self-image now. I’ve been trying to hold onto the various schema that exists inside myself.

The demons who are covered in spikes to hurt people who get too close. The harsh taskmaster who demands I do better. The child who always want to play and won’t listen to anyone else.

There was even a brief dalliance with the archetype of cool. The unbeatable aloofness of the smirking figure who is above everything but whose eyes smoulder with the fire of warm charisma.

I know I’ve needed this tonight. To take a break from worrying and engage with the part of myself that is free to imagine something better.

So it feeling I’m getting my humanity back again. It feels like connecting with other people helped me connect with my better self again. That was probably always the case.

It’s no accident that all of my friends were autistic and it’s no surprise that I seek to keep them in my life and spend all of my time with them. It’s no surprise that I reacted so badly to losing that connection nor why I feel so bad for the way I reacted.

But tonight is a night for allowing myself to feel good again simply because I’ve reconnected with a part of myself that I love and have shut off the voice that tells me I need to be someone else to feel that love.

The pub is quiet but not too quiet and they’re playing some good music. I can sit by myself and blog or I can join some people I know.

What would the archetype of cool do? He’d do whatever the fuck he wanted.

Thanks as always for reading

Kindest Regards to those who do xx

Pathological Demand Avoidance

Having some tough times this week but feeling a bit better today. My research into autism and trauma has taken round to the subject of this blog post.

This is definitely something that affects me to a degree and I’m thinking about what it means.

Identifying myself as avoidant and have done for a while, certainly there is a struggle with meeting demands. Tying in to social anxiety very much, it’s about being put in a position where you don’t feel confident or comfortable. Taken to it’s furthest degree, perhaps not even feeling safe.

It harks back to what I’ve said before about not being in control. You might ask yourself “how does this benefit me to meet a demand?”, particular if it’s from someone else and it’s to benefit someone else.

There is an inherent good in doing unselfish acts to benefit someone else but at what cost to yourself?

I can and do demand things of myself and for myself. Probably too much at times. There’s also a lot of stuff I don’t demand of myself where I perhaps should.

It all comes under the same umbrella as pressure, expectations and such. I think the real crux of the issue is whether the person who makes demands of you actually understands you and if you trust them.

We all had the ultimate test forced on us back in March 2020. The demands were utterly unhuman but no one understood just how abhorrent it is to demand people quarantine themselves and treat themselves and each other as lepers.

And I sure as hell didn’t trust anyone who insisted they were trying to protect me from something I don’t believe in at the expense of everything that makes life worth living.

The trauma of the last 2 and a half years remains stubborn and hard to get over because I just lost trust in everyone and don’t feel like it’s worth trying to restart my life.

We in the UK haven’t had covid restrictions for quite a while now but the world just seems a total void empty of humanity. The memory remains but it feels somewhat like it is in the past now but the world was changed not for the better.

Got the house to myself for a few days again but this time I didn’t feel any sort of anticipation towards it. I am struggling by myself again and probably need to get out once more.

Yesterday after work was a dark time, ruminating over all the darkness. Reliving the pain of the past as I try to find the words to make amends. It hit me like a brick that I can’t move on until I’ve made peace with those I cared about and loved the most. Those who I stopped caring about when I was so deeply lost in the darkness and miss them dearly now I feel like I’ve lost them forever.

I can’t make peace until I can finally say that I’m free of all the deep fears I’ve developed over that time and exorcised a few demons. I know that I want to have friends again and I don’t want to live the rest of my life on my own, yet I also know that I need time alone away from the world to recover from the demands of life.

Yesterday I needed badly to shut myself off to rest and heal. I’m experimenting with Night Nurse and having took a couple to help me sleep early, I feel a lot better today because of it.

Also I came across another youtube vid helping to heal from trauma. The motto is “Be Kind, Rewind” which some may have heard before. The practise is to reverse the process of processing traumatic memories. Traumatic memories are the ones that leap into your conscious mind and take control of you as if you’re literally reliving the past.

Processing them properly so they stay in the past is what it’s all about. The idea is that memories are stored in the hippocampus rather than the amygdala, the fear centre of the brain.

It seems like an easy concept to grasp but it’s strange to think about in practise. Whether you’re actively travelling further back in time past the traumatic event to a happier place, or whether you just choose to look at the past in a backward way, I don’t know. It seems like zipping up a bag to close it rather than unzipping it open.

What I’m talking about it is trying to put the past behind me and close it off but I still wish things could back to they were before the trauma. Back to a time when we did what we wanted to without any fear or pressure of demand.

I think I know myself so much better than I used to and can defend myself better and I’m slowly learning the value of being kind to myself which will make me kinder to others again.

It’s got to be damn impossible for me not to have learned any lessons from all the pain I’ve experienced. Though truth is I like to push myself when it comes to something I really want, I’m not ever going to want to throw myself way over the limit again.

Feeling calm and safe is an oasis in a desert of pain but I’ll get bored of being calm and safe. Not going to give up looking for happiness and excitement.

They say that PDA is a form of control for those of us struggle to control ourselves. The burnouts and meltdowns are a reminder of what happens when we do lose control. Also I heard another motto. “Depressed => Deep Rest”. It’s hard for others to understand how often and how much we are harmed by the world and need time to heal.

I should have given myself more time to heal instead of aggressively pursuing something to escape the pain.

What I can say now is that I lost interest in everything and found joy in nothing for so long, all because I was constantly on a knife-edge, always seeking some sort of fix. My brain was crying out for a break and I just couldn’t listen. The blackness of trauma was spilling over everything I did because of the pressure I put myself under to keep fighting.

My obsessive, overthinking nature has seldom served me well and I think I’ll get mentally healthy when I can reign it in. It feels like I’ve had to stop caring and stop worrying to be able to deal with things. There are only a few people I care about enough to put myself out for and I always would do anything for them, only because I want, and in some cases need them to be happy.

The most hurtful time was when I felt my friends didn’t care about me enough to try to keep me in their lives yet, at that time I was becoming more demanding of them so I can’t blame them for giving up on me. In the end I didn’t have much choice but stop caring about them and shut myself away.

Ultimately I need them to understand that it’s taken so much time for me to come to terms with who I was and to build myself up again. I want to be friends again but I need them to be able to trust me and be comfortable around me and I can’t demand it from them. And I can’t be friends again if they don’t understand why I couldn’t stay friends at the time because I was so badly hurt.

It’s completely up to them if want to be friends again but I’m not going to pour my heart and soul into winning them back. No matter how badly I might want them back.

So here’s another reason why I don’t want to meet new people and make new friends. I’m just unwilling to care about anyone else, don’t think I have it in me anymore. It’s just too much to care about someone when they’ve got others in their lives who they care about more.

Caring is demanding. Except when it isn’t.

You can show you care for someone by doing things for them, if you understand someone so that you just do things without them needing to demand it. Is this really the key to it? I think it might just be.

Everything is a demand when no one understands.

Thanks for reading as ever

Kindest regards

Jamie

Trauma and Low Self-Esteem revisited

Some more on this topic that I’ve been chewing over recently. But first a brief mention that I am hoping to get a position where I don’t need to talk about autism and mental health. It’s probably a large part of why I find it hard to escape the issues. It doesn’t really do much good to constantly obsess over all my faults. But then it’s the only thing that I care about enough to get my teeth into.

With that being said there’s slow but definite progress being made and I look forward to the day when I can say that I’m happy and fine and everything’s great.

Watched another YT vid about trauma and this one really clicked with me. It’s not good to think you know everything and close yourself off to learning but it is a great feeling to be vindicated.

From a psychotherapist point of view, understanding how to treat someone with trauma. Not just that but any sort of painful experience. Words alone don’t matter. They can’t do anything. They can’t heal someone who has been harmed.

I’ve had negligible self-esteem pretty much my entire adult life, probably starting somewhere in childhood. Naturally the question arises as to what causes low self-esteem. The answer I suspect lies in trauma. How can any rational human being think so low of themselves and how can they be their own worst enemy. How can anyone hate themselves so much that they’re willing to hurt themselves.

There is danger in the world and people get hurt, sometimes badly, sometimes consistently. Trauma has always been the deep feeling of terror over the fact that I was powerless to protect myself and that I had no control over myself.

It’s important to note that the harmful beliefs we hold due to unhealed trauma correspond to an internal truth. These truths become self-fulfilling prophecies but they begin with a kernel of absolute truth. I was vulnerable and there was nothing I could do protect myself. I was at the mercy of something or someone else. No one is around to protect me or help me.

I don’t feel safe here and may never will.

And yet to go through life I will inevitably face a situation where I have to put myself at risk of getting hurt again. I can’t go through that again. I already know I will fail because I can’t even face up to the prospect of even trying. That big old wound just never heals.

The meat of the argument of how you can actually treat trauma is simply that the antidote is exactly the reverse of the traumatic events. To those who have suffered abuse at the hands of malicious evil, the antidote is true kindness. To those who have lost, the antidote is to gain. To those who are abandoned, the antidote is to be welcomed.

To those who have been betrayed, the antidote is loyalty. To those who have been rejected, the antidote is to be accepted.

Those of us who have hidden disabilities know how important it is to have our disabilities understood and acknowledged because those who don’t understand us truly aren’t talking to the real us. They are talking to some idea or false persona of someone that isn’t really there.

Words don’t mean a thing to someone who holds onto strong self-beliefs because they are inevitably bound up in real past experiences.

Someone who truly thinks they are unlovable will simply not believe the words “I love you”

But the antidote is still love. It’s very much show not tell. It has to be real and it has to be lived and it has to be unwavering. It has to be praxis not slogans. It’s all about trust, the type of trust that comes from consistent behaviour over time.

I do think that my own traumas are a long, consistent series of vulnerabilities that form a large, interconnected complex. Not that I’m really looking to diagnose myself with C-PTSD or anything, just trying to pin down where I can help myself.

There are obvious difficulties in growing up with undiagnosed autism. I was brought up in a world that didn’t recognise or make any concessions for my special needs, and instead insisted there was something wrong with me when I was struggling to fit in.

It’s clear as daylight to me now that much of who I am and everything I do is to overcome or avoid the feelings associated with trauma, why did it take so long for me to even understand?

Well that’s because I couldn’t see or accept my own hidden disabilities, felt like I had to be perfect. Had to hide my truest self away lest I be exposed as the loser I’ve always been.

Vicious circles all the way down.

If I’m really going to learn how to believe in myself I need a real reason for doing so. Being honest with myself has done so much work towards this, I feel like I’m ready, prepared to begin the next leg of the journey.

There’s only 2 things holding me back now, 2 things that hold the old wounds open.

Under the cover of repressing painful memories, that darkest part of yourself feels like it’s being controlled. But of course it’s not. When the trigger comes it leaves you in a state you have no control of whatsoever.

I would say at this point that trauma represents all of the horror of internalised experience that cannot be controlled, only repressed. It can’t be bargained or negotiated with, can’t be tamed, can’t be persuaded. Only when we begin to understand it and respect it can we begin to control it.

And so the real antidote to trauma is control. You have to know yourself to effectively take charge of yourself. Know what is truly good for you and bad for you. Know which voice in your head is truly yours and is taking your lived experience into account. Know what you want and who is on your side.

It seems that once you believe in yourself, trusting yourself will follow. But trust takes time and has to be earned. I always used to believe that deep down inside, underneath the mask, that I was a bad person. All the hurtful stuff was directed inwards to stop me from hurting others but I did so much harm to myself, it’s no wonder I didn’t trust myself.

The sad fact was that I was afraid of the darkness inside. I’ve been more scared of myself than anyone else.

Ultimately the trauma was simply too much for me to ever face up to. But I eventually found myself in a situation where I had no choice but to face up to it. And I’m so glad that I did now.

The heart and the head are in union once more.

Thanks for reading

Kind Regards

Story of a night out

I went out for my regular routine of going to the pub for a relaxing pint and blog post last night. Didn’t quite work out that way in the end. I was working on a post explaining how I was coming to the conclusion that I don’t really to go out so much anymore. Planning now to spend more time relaxing at home being by myself and taking a break from being around other people.

In what feels like one final fling before settling down, I was open to talking and socialising and got involved. It was quite a rollercoaster of emotions in the end.

It started off with the news that the pub kitchen was closed so I would be drinking on an empty stomach. I didn’t think I would stop out long or drink too much.

A friendly bloke I met a couple of weeks ago, always keen to get me involved, invited me to play pool. The table has been recently restored and is quite popular. So I got my pound coin out and put on the table, winner stays on style.

Only this bloke decided to go outside for a smoke and I was left waiting at the table while several others began to put their money on the table and they eventually took over it.

So I went outside for a smoke and chat for about an hour. Met a friend of this bloke and talked a lot about music. We were sharing the stuff we’ve made as he’s a local DJ/producer and he said my stuff wasn’t bad, which was nice. Watching his youtube vids on my phone completely drained the battery and without my phone I did feel a bit naked.

I got myself psyched up to play pool and I went over to ask if my pound was still on the table, which it wasn’t of course. But I spoke to the right people and someone put a pound back on for me and gave me the next turn on the table.

Played a couple of games and won both against a guy who was probably a bit of hustler. Halfway through the second game he started playing properly as if by magic he had remembered how to play. But then he sank the white and I was able to clear up.

Apparently no one had ever won 2 games in a row against him. I didn’t know the guy and I was a bit awkward trying to be social.

By now though I was locked into the idea that I was having a good night so I stayed for more drink. Back outside smoking with the blokes and we got chatting.

Talking with this bloke can be quite intense and I had to do a lot of listening. It’s the type of situation where I should be more assertive but I tend to let people go on rather than seem rude.

We got talking about politics which is always interesting. I was more comfortable being myself so I got a few points across, though it’s true I struggle to make arguments to support my beliefs and usually end up conceding.

When I am in full on argue mode I can say things that piss people off. I distinctly remember saying “you should” at one point which got an immediate reaction. I wasn’t really thinking about what I was saying but I was still sensitive to how it was being received.

I think at this point I was feeling a bit too open and sensitive. Should have taken more time to myself.

Things took a turn when the blokes went back in for another drink and I ordered one myself while I was still sat smoking away outside. Another bloke who I didn’t know sat outside listening to our conversation earlier. It was just us two and he said something that really touched a nerve. I got very defensive. Things might have gotten heated and I wonder now whether I might have got the shit kicked out of me if I hadn’t tried to calm myself down. I admitted I was being defensive and when the bar staff shouted me to collect my drink I finally gave myself time alone.

What turned out to be fifth and final pint of the night was drunk alone, in a far corner of the pub hiding behind a pillar, sulking. I drank as quick as I could and left without saying goodbye.

And I probably won’t go back for a while now, it gives me an excuse to do something or go somewhere different.

Maybe I’ve been striving all along to push myself to the limit to understand where my limit is and let myself experience what it’s like to actually be autistic instead of denying it and escaping it. I had put my Ipod on for the walk home and listened to some melancholic music and I had a good cry, sat in front of the garage smoking my last cigarette before going in.

In that moment I felt like I finally understood that, yes, I am very autistic and very prone to burnout. I finally began to empathise with who I fell in love and what she goes through and why it’s so important to protect ourselves. It was liberating in a way to connect with my autism rather than my mental health issues.

It feels like I’m finally accepting that I can’t fight my autism and that I can’t demand others fight theirs. A moment of triumph perhaps, that I can begin to respect the struggles of others and I can be kind where I wasn’t kind before.

I went to bed listening to some of my own music, the two tracks that I really like. And I began to imagine happiness again. To indulge in some old fantasies in a new way. There was a feeling of euphoria, having reached a good state after experiencing and releasing such tension.

That is kind of what I’ve been searching for and why I still push my forward. But I’ve reached a point now where I realise that being kind to myself means giving myself a break. And by that I mean actively stopping myself from overworking. I want to be calm and composed and it is within my power to keep out of harms way. To choose a gentler way of being.

If anyone is wandering what was actually said that triggered me, that’s a topic for another day. But suffice to say that there’s a deep wound that has always been a source of discomfort that I’ve never been able to accept and deal with but it’s not something I should really be ashamed of.

It’s something else that has made me unkind because the hurt has always been deeply repressed and just maybe it’s a whole new dimension of me if I wasn’t so damn scared of it.

Truly I think that being kind to myself will mean I will be kinder to everyone else without needing to please. It’s their inside me and besides, I’m just not cut out for fighting against the world.

And so there it is. Time to stop chasing the demons, time to stop punishing myself, time to stop analysing every mistake, time to stop digging through the darkness.

It’s time to feel and show profound love for myself while simultaneously acknowledging and accepting my many flaws and weaknesses. Humble confidence is the aim of the game.

Thanks as always for reading

Kindest Regards

Inspiring stuff

Been watching the Lionesses win the Women’s Euro 2022 final. It’s been emotional.

I do follow women’s football a fair bit and I’ve been to watch my local side AFC Telford ladies play a few times. It’s free to get in and it’s always a nice atmosphere.

There is something inspirational about their story. It’s the greatest form of humanity to do what you love and to fight for the right to do so. To make so many sacrifices and to dedicate yourself when there’s so little opportunity. And of course when so many in society would tell you that you shouldn’t be doing what you love.

It was a genuine shock to learn that 101 years ago, the English FA had effectively banned the organisation of women’s football, refusing to sanction the association of a football league for women. It took 50 years until the FA allowed it, 6 years after the men had won the World Cup in ’66.

Seeing the unrestrained, unabashed, unapologetic joy in the players reminds that this is what makes us human, what we are. The joy comes from the moment when a lifetime of hard work and knock backs finally pays off.

And it’s obvious that the Lionesses are living their dream, unafraid of showing themselves to the world, unafraid of what anyone else thinks. I don’t know if I’ll ever be that brave but seeing them celebrate has brought a few tears to my eyes.

Credit must go Sarina Wiegman, the Dutch coach who was brought in to win the big trophies. Her success really exposes the mediocrity of her male predecessors. Men who seem to have only been appointed as stepping stone for their own careers, exposing how little respect the FA had for the Women’s game.

The sports bra celebration has got a few people talking but it’s absolutely iconic. Chloe Kelly who of course scored the winner in extra time, her first goal for England and one all England football fans will remember for a long time.

And she’ll have that moment for the rest of her life. These are the moments in life that I have always dreamed of.

In that moment she truly is untouchable and nothing can take that away from her.

And one more iconic moment from the legendary Jill Scott

Thanks for reading as always, have a great week ahead.