Neurodivergence and political correctness.

I thought begin with a little addendum to the previous post. Speaking about what anxiety actually is and there’s much more to it than what I wrote. With that said though I haven’t made much progress on that front.

It is complex and the chain of logic goes deep into what makes me tick. I realise that to some extent, I just want things to be fantastic but I expect things to be terrible. The cognitive dissonance arises and things just don’t feel right.

I did go back to the last two times I went to the local autism hub to maybe check in and see if my old friends were there. And they were.

I can only go to the conclusion that my life was so wonderful with them that I could just never go back to that state having made such a mess of things. The new expectation of being snubbed and dismissed just cannot be tolerated having know what was and what could have been.

It still remains the aim to be in a place where I can begin anew and replace those extreme expectations with openness. But to go back I must do something drastic to be able to change my outlook.

Some disappointing news from the hub is that despite a previous intention to restart the monthly social evenings, the socials have now been organised in the Friday afternoon drop in slot. So for people like me who work the usual 9-5 we cannot attend unless we book time off work.

There was a shock change around Christmas as the 2 most senior staff members quit without much warning so I can imagine staffing issues prevent them from expanding back into evening socials.

I occasionally drop in on my lunch break for half an hour. Been meaning to go recently but work is extra stressful at the moment. I’ve grown into more responsibility in m y role at work, currently  just got my colleague his checker accred and training a new team member. We’re close to getting him signed off as well.

Work has been pushing daily productivity targets for several months now and I try my best to ignore them and just do what I can.

For the topic at hand, I’m taking some time to watch vids from the neurodivergent community. It struck me how the journey of self-discovery I’ve been on has never been far away from the political battle for better treatment of and understanding of us neuroatypicals.

When I say political I’m really talking about the morality and correctness of how society treats us and represents us. Are we a burden to be lifted? Are we a special snowflake that needs to be coddled? Are we just like everyone else in most ways?

Should we be discriminated against for our disabilities? Should we be singled out for special treatment? Should we be normaliased? Should we be raised the same way as everyone else?

Are we the archtype of advanced future Nu-Human? Are we making neurotypicals look bad? Should we care about any of that and just get on with our lives?

I think we can all agree it’s the height of evil to send us to the Nazi killing centres as Hans Asperger is now known to have done.

It all comes down to ideas of whether autism is an illness that needs to be cured or if its fine and doesn’t. I can admit there have been many times I  have wished I didn’t have it. Wished my friends didn’t have it. Or at least some aspects of it.

Separate from that though is how society sees us and the messages people send when they deal with us. Reductive stereotypes abound. Unhelpful rhetoric. And of course the common trope of claiming to be an ally while speaking for us and over us.

Beyond the fundamental axioms of good and bad I wonder if there is or ever will be a correct answer.

I don’t really believe living according to anyone else’s standards and systems is of any benefit to me now so I’m quietly digging in to living life my own way. I’ll find out for myself what’s good for me and bad for me.

Its hard going but I slowly learn to accept other people shouldn’t have to live up to my standards either. Though I will offer my own perspective I’m not going to insist on helping people and trying to fix every problem.

I know I’ve never wanted to force my opinions onto anyone else. I don’t do it and never have. Always sit back and say nothing. Its not in my nature to think I’m better than everyone else. In my own weird way I always respected individuality and I like people who are truly unique and different.

I don’t like change I never tried to change anyone I didn’t like. Quite the opposite actually, I ended up trying to maintain consistency and predictability while trying to stay interesting enough.

So meek was I that I viewed boundaries as a repressive force and so I never said no. The last two years can be summed up as a long overdue blanket of saying no.

It is and can only be from those authentic voices of neurodivergence that I build an understanding of how best to behave around us.

The mutual support and friendship I found was wonderful. I would do anything within my power for them to the point of love-bombing. It would have been great if I could do it forever without any conditions or expectations.

Alas I was doing it because I wanted something and when I wasn’t getting what I wanted, soon enough I was no longer acting with the same kindness. But at the same time I felt that I had been pulled in with kindness and pushed away without kindness.

My experience has taught me not to trust kindness anymore. Through the same eyes I can see my best friend had plenty of reason not to trust kindness and she always made independence the most important thing in her life.

She was diagnosed a year or so before me and I think she had done so much to help herself already before I came along.

I looked for friends and social excitement before I had really begun to process and come to terms with my diagnosis.

She continues to have a massive influence on me as I continue to learn my lessons in her absence. For so much we had in common we are still different people but I find myself finally following her footsteps in valuing independence above all.

Outside of those times I was completely in thrall of her I can appreciate how stubbornly I’ve taken the lonely path of living in my own world to avoid the demands of normal society and live for myself.

I pride myself on how few people could realistically live the isolated life I live and how fiercely I fight to be by myself.

More and more I see the neurotypical crowd devote their lives to other people. The people who see me sitting alone in the pub and think there must be something wrong with me.

I’d rather be by myself now. Rather sit here writing my blog. I could have stayed at home but I like being among people so long as I can just chill out and focus on myself.

It’s amusing to think now that the neurotypical crowd with all problems that could do with fixing. I’m not gonna tell them what they should or should not be doing. Let them figure it out.

What truly defines my social anxiety is knowing that my words and actions could change someone’s life but not really understanding how. Social interactions in particular have the potential to change my life. Recent experience confirms that 1000-fold.

And those who told me that i shouldn’t try to change people, well they’re right in a way but isn’t that why we socialise? To bring some new opportunity, to open doors for change? To meet someone who can provide what we can’t do for ourselves? To see another side of life?

My problem was always how I couldn’t accept any possibility of affecting someone or being affected negatively. My deep drive to be perfect can be the best thing about me but it leaves me totally incapable of handling tough times.

To play devils advocate here, maybe this is the cross for us autistics to bear. Absolutely not generalizing here but experience with my friends tells me that it’s better to be flexible with friends than become dependent on them.

I find myself regretting how deeply I loyalty checked my friends when the truth is that they had every right to do their own thing. They would and maybe still will always be my friend but I wanted to know if they would be sad to lose me as a friend.

I wanted to know if I was a good friend or bad one. What I know now is that I’d rather be the only friend I need than ever be in that position again.

I overhead some pub talk from the normal folk and I feel distinctly unimpressed and uninspired. This is why I don’t feel any urge to join them.

There is no objective answer to the question of what is the correct way to be human. I only know what I feel is correct. Though the balance between doing the right thing for yourself and for others is a delicate dance.

To sum up and come to some sort of conclusion, society is not set up to benefit those of us at the fringes of neurodiversity. We are the ones who need to ensure we do what’s good for ourselves and we need to protect ourselves from the demands of others.

We need only to trust ourselves. At the critical point of confrontation I asked her if she still trusted me. She didn’t say yes so that is the real reason I could not stay friends. She was either right not to trust me or she was wrong not to trust me. Either way it spelt out something awful. But I had stopped trusting myself and that left me a hostage to a horrible moment.

Always trust yourself xx

Explicit addendum in edit. Trust cannot be freely given but has to be earned. Trusting yourself is I think the most important thing you will ever do but you cannot just give it. It takes work and experience. I hope that those who read my blog know how fucking difficult it is.

Trusting yourself becomes slightly easier when you stop trusting others so readily. But then it comes from walking a lonely path.

We all crave understanding but some of us have to go without it. Then we will know how much we matter if only to ourselves.

As always thank you for reading xx

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Balance, Anxiety and Talking Shit

Going to start the blog off by saying that I’ve fallen into the usual trap of writing stuff from one perspective and ending from another. It feels like much of what I wrote last time will soon be contradicted or at least come in to some sort of conflict.

But yeah it’s a been a difficult day. Been anxious from the moment I woke up though I have been able to calm down this afternoon. Sunday struggles have become routine. And Saturdays as well let’s be honest.

You look forward to the weekend all week because you’re free to do your own thing in your own time. It used to be a case of putting pressure on myself to do something that I love and then just not getting into gear. Not finding the motivation to do much if anything until I find a place where I’m at least engaged.

It still is the case to some extent but now I don’t really feel like doing anything. Anything I do enjoy I’ve already been doing too much. Getting bored. Wanting more. More variety. All while being too anxious to try anything new. Can’t think well enough to plan to do something that needs planning and coordination.

These are the conflicts that I feel with everyday. Too tired to do anything that requires preliminary work. Just want to get straight in feet first.

Having a full time job means we good chunk of my week isn’t free but under the conditions of having to do something without much choice.

Under pressure to meet more demands now that I’m in a position of having more responsibility.

Times to knuckle down and do the real world stuff. Times to lose yourself in escapism. Both if those represent a functional need. But they’re in conflict. I wrote a long time ago about needing to find more balance in my life which is hard because of my black and white binary nature.

I need time alone to strengthen myself but I also need time with friends to lessen the burden and maybe have someone to share my life with.

So I started the day with a bad dream. The kind that leaves you shaken and fearful. It’s a dream I’ve had before and it’s impact hasn’t lessened.

Once more I dreamed of her. She was different now and I tried to talk to her but she dismissed me as someone who she had written off out of her life.

It showed me that I still want to be friends again and that she can still hurt me emotionally. I still love her despite everything that happened.

The same anxiety about being hurt that stopped me from staying friends with her.

But I’ve applied the useful advice I’ve picked up. No matter how hard or how long it takes, I sat down and digged deep. What is the root of what I’m feeling? What is the cause? What is the problem that needs to be resolved. How can I try to resolve it?

How far am I willing to go to resolve it. What will happen if it can’t be resolved?

So what it is that’s so important to me cause such anxiety? If the worst case happens, what do I have to fall back on?

I’m willing to put myself out there again so long as it doesn’t derail what I’m doing now which is to forge the relationship I’m building with myself.

Balance again. Balance the demands of caring for others with caring for myself. Doing both at the same time. Any conflict that would prevent that is either overcome or it isn’t.

In this virtual age there are alternatives to IRL friends. Its not quite the same but it’s better than nothing. I reminded of the main reason I fell in love with the Mass Effect video games.

Your squad of loyal friends. Facing up to existential threats with people by your side. People from wildly diverse alien species who share a common bond. They are a family, much closer than the family your born with.

They get to know you and trust you. They believe in you and they would follow you into hell. No matter how much we trust in ourselves having those people in your life makes everything better.

All along I’ve been preparing myself for returning to friend-seeking because I don’t really want to live the rest of my life alone. But I’ve needed to find a place where I’m happy alone. I’ve needed to find some way to deal with loss and that has come from being able to live with myself again.

I’m basically trying to learn how not to be afraid and that has meant dealing with being afraid. So I guess I ask the question what is anxiety anyway?

When I get anxious I get shaky, very shaky. Its like being hungry. I don’t know whether it’s a similar physical issue or not but there’s a sense of being too weak to stay in control. My body just decides to shake and there’s nothing I can do about it.

When I started going to the autism hub I read plenty of related material and the first thing that truly struck me was the idea that may brain goes into fight/fright/freeze/fawn mode. It gets stuck there. A physiological response that is not supposed to happen but does.

For many reasons I frequently don’t feel safe because I don’t have the experience of dealing with whatever sets my triggers off. Coping strategies have been there when really needed but they alone don’t let you actually deal with anything in a way that counts.

Historically, your rational brain goes AWOL in the presence of danger but in my case it goes in the presence of change and doubt. Insecurities and worries.

On to masking. I usually only mask when I’m around others because it was the first coping strategy I learnt and because well… it worked. There are many things that I can’t hide from myself. Its usually when I’m in social mode that the mask goes on forcefully enough to fool myself.

Any anxiety I feel is the first thing I actually hide from others because it’s always been a source of shame. In terms of promoting awareness of autism I shouldn’t hide this stuff. If people don’t understand me it’s probably because of how well I’ve hid it all from everyone.

I think to start with, I don’t need to stop masking entirely. Find the balance. Masking has kept me sane and protected me from a lot but it created too many problems.

It was a wild ride when I took that mask off and began to unleash my personal demons on Facebook. No one expected it and no one reached out to me as they were probably too scared about making things worse.

At that time I really just needed someone to reach out to me. I was craving attention to be honest because I’d finally felt the impact of having hid my true feelings away for so long.

Finding the balance. I’ll keep on saying that. Mask sometimes when it’s beneficial. Be honest when it’s beneficial. Don’t make either so routine to lock yourself in.

Of course don’t bottle things up. Easier said than done.

I’ve gotten back into making music and a new track will be done soon. A new concept for my next concept album. The concept is building/forging/finding/strengthening/being/living/loving/ respecting yourself. Putting yourself first. All the work I’ve done has been in isolation but there comes a point when you need to check in with others and have friends to talk to.

To deny that is to fool yourself.

I’ve got a lot to talk about at the moment which will probably be left for another day. Political rants will be forthcoming. Interconnections between mental health and personal politics, particular the identity kind of politics. Not why I’m here tonight though.

Just trying to make myself feel better. Finding the balance again. Sitting in a quiet pub, sipping the third or fourth pint, letting my thoughts into print. I never feel anxiety doing this. Blogging feels like a victory.

Though I still hold my writing to absurdly high standards and wish to do so much more with it, the act of writing feels like the best thing I’m doing by far.

I should just blog for the sake of blogging, even if its talking shit, just talking shit. At least I’m talking. Taking shit, talking shit, talking shit. Here alone it seems I can talk without anxiety.

Fuck those absurdly high standards, wish I could just write and talk shit forever. Don’t forget the balance though, balance the high standards with just talking shit.

Thank you for reading as always and I balance my love for you with love for myself xx

The Destruction of Reason

Been working on getting back in touch with my moral compass and developing the framework of how to approach moral life.

Currently reading this meaty tome. An exposition of the background and causes of the rise of fascism in 20th century Germany. The central role of what is referred to as irrationalism and how reason, reality and history are erased in favour of romanticism and fantasy of myth and mystery.

Everything happens for a reason and those reasons are cause and effect. It’s becoming common today to see people demanding the world accept their irrational and ideological calls for change while simultaneously not giving a shit about how other people are affected.

It is common knowledge that the devastating economic effects of WWI led to the rise of Hitler. It less well spoken of that Germany was late to develop economically and had not been through the same cultural revolutions that prepared the way for democratisation.

Germany was also late to develop a national identity and it’s culture was still heavily influenced by irrational superstitions, believing that moral authority was the product of otherworldly supermen.

A loose collection of diverse small statelets whose commonality was found in being left out and bypassed from the economic expansions of the time. They came together looking for identity and above all, looking for an ancestry, a history.

Dependence on their “betters” was the overwhelming philosophy of the era thanks largely to the ruling classes entrenching their ill-gotten wealth.

Same old story eh? Of course Russia was even less developed than Germany but they skipped the bourgeoisie revolution in favour of the proletarian revolution.

Just to be clear I don’t call myself a Marxist or communist but my political leanings have always been influenced by humanism and equality. I’ve always been in favour of that which benefits people in reality.

I’ve seen and experienced the way fear twists a persons mind away from reality. In the micro my own fears came from the fact that I became totally dependent on being valued and wanted. The fear of being rejected caused the worst feelings I have ever felt.

I’ve made sufficient progress to be able to talk about it honestly. But yes, the way I felt meant that I was becoming a possessive, bitter jealous loser. I have no doubt that if I did ask her out and started a proper exclusive relationship with her, then I would have been intolerable. I think I always knew this so I never asked her out but when I was struggling I opened up and told her how badly I’ve coped with heartbreak in the past.

How many things I said and did that ultimately gave away what I hid for so long. That I was completely infatuated with her but it was always going to end up in a messy and destructive self-loathing.

The sheer desperation I felt at my worst and hurt that came from even innocent things that made me insanely jealous, that made me feel like a terminal loser. That feeling is something I never want to experience ever again. I just can’t go through that again.

And I slowly begin to accept that the girl I fell for didn’t really exist. The girl who made me insanely¬† desperate for affection didn’t really exist. I know that the fantasy version of her I fell in love with was who I thought I was in a relationship with.

Its difficult to fully come to terms with how far from reason I had chosen to go in favour of an irrational desire to be irrationally in love. It was thrilling, exilerating and life-affirming. Until it wasn’t.

But the hope came from believing that in some small way the fantasy might meet reality. Everything changed when I had to face a reality where my deep irrational fantasy was quashed.

I never wanted to become dependent on her and I never wanted her to be dependent on me. I always wanted her to choose me. But I know there were times when I wanted to be the only one she looked to for company. I guess I wasn’t a very good friend to her and I don’t expect she would ever want to be friends again.

All of that is why I’m dedicating my energy to becoming fully independent so I never become that desperate again. Most of my life has been without friends and I think I at least feel independent and free to do what I want albeit lonely and sad.

Lesson learning time. I guess I never really learned how to deal with true heartbreak as I never risked it. Well I finally met someone who I liked enough to fall in love with. I learned so much from her but only when we stopped being friends did I learn how to say “never again”.

I don’t plan on chasing a romantic relationship and not sure I even want friends in my life until I’m in a place where I feel bulletproof, that no one can ever make me feel inferior. And for that I’ve had to readjust my hopes and dreams.

I don’t ever want to do stuff I don’t enjoy for the sake of spending time with someone. I don’t know if I really want to enjoy anything to the point of depending on it to be happy. I want to learn how to be able to do anything and not need to do it to be happy.

Ultimately the desire to appear normal and enjoy the social life that everyone else enjoys was a big part of why I became so dependent on her. What am I trying to do now? How can I be both happy and independent?

By forging my own path through life and living in accordance with my values above anyone else’s.

In some ways I value reason above anything else. My way of understanding the world and the people in it is to look for the cause that explains the effect.

I’ve learned that I shouldn’t take to too much stock of other people judging me. The only criticism I would entertain now would be those who can accurately link the harmful outcomes of my behaviour to a specific cause and offer a better way. It seems like this is something I’ll have to do for myself and I prefer it that way now.

In the hunt for the secret of how to provide something good for my fellow humans, what I have to offer may be just teaching the wisdom of reason and advocating independence and sharing the benefits of living life by owns own rules. And forever warning against the dehumanizing effects of fascism.

Contradictions are what drive social evolution and I’ve only evolved when forced to overcome the real contradictions of life. There are happy times when we don’t want things to change but they must and they will.

Changes are underway at work but I’ll probably write about that another time. In short a lot of my colleagues are losing their jobs and my own job status long term is uncertain but probably safe for a couple of years at least.

I’m thinking positively and if the worst happens it’s an opportunity for change and I’ll try to make the most of it.

But for now I’m just getting on with things, avoiding other things, just doing what needs to be done. Taking my time, not knee-jerking, not chasing fantasy but following my head and not giving a shit.

Thanks as always for reading xx

Row, row, row your boat

Returning to the blog for a little ramble. It’s nice to be back into it. Taking a rest from blogging in the pub has been good because I feel some things have changed sufficiently for me not to feel bogged down in my struggles.

Been on call for jury service this week though I wasn’t needed in the end. It was rough going day after day being told that I’m still on call. Glad it’s over and glad I didn’t have to go in and attend.

Things have settled now to some extent but I’ve been feeling the usual pressure building up to get off my head drunk and lose the inhibitions.

The next thing to worry about is that I’ll be training a new colleague at work and it will be full training from scratch. It means I won’t have much time alone to work by myself at my own pace.

Work has been stressful recently as we’ve had to rush things in preparation for my jury absence which never happened in the end.

I’ve been taking the pressure off by succumbing to tiredness and lack and motivation to do the usual stuff to keep my mind busy. Spending more time just lazing watching new stuff online.

Still wrestling over the same issues but I think I’m seeing things more clearly and am less conflicted. It’s about time that I restart digging deeper and confronting the emotional pain I still hold.

Ive got a plan now at least. Might not work in any way but it’s a tactic at least. From watch have learned from mental health advice, I am going to have to begin to be my own shoulder to cry on.

I’m going to have to parent myself and offer the support and acceptance and validation and love that I can’t get from anyone else now.

And I need to get a consistent code of behaviour that I can get fully behind. A guide to direct me in my decision making. A system that governs me and is in line with my true values and my conscience.

Recent news that has become a hot topic for debate, with a lot of emotion behind it. Touching on the unwritten rules of public morality or more pertinently, a complete upending of reality in favour of dodgy, narcissistic ideology.

My heart goes out to those who speak the truth at huge personal cost in the face of foul abuse and it’s inspired in me a desire to walk the path of authenticity. To never again hide myself away from social judgement.

Because I’m more aware now of how intolerant and unaccepting people are towards those who say no. Those who rightly refuse to bow down to ideology and rightly defend themselves against increasingly predatory demands.

And to the painful thought that I became very selfish, very narcissistic, very demanding at my worst. I’ve made many excuses, used my autism as an excuse, demanded people understand that I had no choice because of my inability to deal with loss and change. I was never very good at not getting what I want. So most of the time I just don’t ask for anything.

And I’ve never been very good at dealing with criticism. And I absolutely cannot deal with the thought that someone might find me unlikable.

Its a been long, slow process to finally think differently. To begin believing that I’m actually better off being alone than try to desperately please someone who just doesn’t like me.

I guess I’ve had to face up to the fact that I had gone from someone deserved support as an innocent victim of a traumatic neurodivergence into someone who was just perpetuating a cycle of traumatic abuse.

Always much easier to see it in others than to see it in myself. Much harder to take responsibility and admit it.

It was all the trauma’s fault but I wanted other people to be traumatised with me instead of working to heal it and overcome it.

I find it easier to be told no, now I’ve started saying it myself. But of course I’ve been humbled by the experiences of others who face horrors worse than my own. Those who face the worst kind of abuse just for saying no.

It’s no secret that my recent experiences have left me feeling disconnected if not oppositional and adversarial to other people. Times like these I feel like it just might be the wise decision.

I am ultimately using this lonely time to rebuild myself and forge myself anew as someone who can finally stop pretending to be someone I’m not and be unafraid to be myself. It may be the case that I’ll never truly be able to do that around anyone I really care about and want to spend time with.

My own wellbeing should be more important than anyone else’s for the simple reason that I’m the one who has to live myself and I’m the one who is responsible for what I do.

Right now I don’t feel like putting myself out for anyone else. I’m not yet ready to do it for myself let alone anyone else.

We’re all in the same boat but some of us feel the crashing waves affect us more. I’ve taken the path of rowing my own boat in calmer waters but I’ve had to row it alone. To stretch the metaphor I’ve been rowing in the opposite direction to everyone else so it feels like I’m a hindrance while I’ve been going backwards.

But at least I can say that I’m rowing in the right direction and I should only choose to row with those who are aiming in the same direction.

That’s an issue I think a lot about. We’re all told that we should embrace what’s different and we shouldn’t judge those who are different by own standards.

I can sum up now why I struggle with people who are different. Because I don’t really feel like I’ve ever had enough people in my life who were rowing in the same direction.

I always have clinged on to anyone who I thought was similar to me and yet I always end up feeling abandoned to row alone, to face the currents of life without help and with only one rickety oar that might just break at any moment.

And well fuck it, at least I get to decide where I’m going now.

But to get back on track I need to overcome that source of pain that keeps me afraid to row because I can’t see any further than the choppy waters.

Stretching the metaphor to breaking point I need to learn how to actually enjoy rowing enough to get back in the boat.

It’s usually my fellow rowers who make the journey worth taking, who make the rough waters tolerable.

I’m a social creature by nature but I don’t know how to row the boat the way other people do it. Do you know what? I never wanted to be like anyone else. But I don’t know how to navigate life and the only thing I’ve learned is how to pretend I know just by copying what everyone else does.

And yet I can’t help but note that maybe no one else knows either. The real reason that we humans look for company because everyone needs a co-pilot at times.

Spend too much time listening to your co-pilot and all of a sudden people start to ask why they put any faith in you and start to look to the one who actually has an idea of where to turn.

Social life is all about letting people into your boat and them letting you into theirs. On the rare occasion that I got invited to someone else’s boat I always chose to set my own boat on fire and then cry over being thrown overboard.

To take the metaphor to its conclusion, it’s taken nearly 2 years to build myself a new boat and to gingerly test the waters again. I’d give nearly anything to have my co-pilot back but I like my own boat now and it needs more time and energy to maintain before I ever leave it again.

The obvious social advice is that I should be proud of my boat no matter what and that not everyone will like being in my boat and that’s fine.

To sum up, I’ve never really let onto my real boat. It sails the darker waters and goes only where I know.

Thanks for reading and excuse the heavy handed metaphor throughout but I felt it was working xx

New Year New Perspectives

Happy new year to all. It’s not something I really feel like celebrating but it’s still a good time to offer that sort of thing.

About time I wrote a new blog, it has been a while. Blogging for me was as much about giving me something to do when sat alone in the pub as about anything else. Last couple of times I’ve just got distracted by actually talking to people and not bothering to go to back and finish.

But I’m doing other things now and don’t really take the time to reflect so much.

Spending much more time playing games, actually doing stuff for fun and enjoyment. Taking time off from worrying and not having to be productive.

On the road to recovery and if there’s anything I wanted to share that might be useful advice it would be to share how my perspective on mental health has changed. Hard to tell whether this is what happens when you heal or if it’s a necessary step towards healing. But I feel different about a lot of things.

I’ve taken this logic from physical health but I feel it’s beneficial to look at my long history of depression not as a sign of being broken but as a sign that my brain is healing, doing what it needs to do to recover from the many blows of life that cause emotional damage.

It’s hard to picture but thinking of the emotional devastation as a literal mental injury. Just as a broken leg causes physical pain that represents the body healing, does the mind heal the same way? Does the emotional pain of social loss and rejection represent a genuine injury to the brain and does the pain represent the brain healing?

With my brain being the way it is, it’s easy to understand the concept that I have no choice in how my brain reacts, and how long it takes to recover. No one chooses to be depressed, I feared the loss of any control over my mood and felt like I was trapped in a state of extreme negativity. I didn’t ever want to be depressed and don’t want to bury myself in darkness.

In the spirit of gratitude I now see the depression as something that protected me by shielding away from further pain and emotional damage, allowing me to heal. It feels strange to say that I don’t hold any anger or despair or sense of injustice over my neurodiverse condition. For the time being I’ve accepted this is who I am and I’m no longer looking in desperation to find some way out.

Long term goals for the new year are to finally find my own place and hopefully that will help me to quit the cigs and give me the space I need away from the stresses of life.

As for the future of blog I’m going to refocus. Want to talk a bit more about ADD in conjunction with Autism as I’m fairly confident I have both. Not been diagnosed with ADD, very self-diagnosing at the moment. I’ve been listening to the stories of those who have both and I see more of my own story reflected back.

I think that a lot of my trauma stems from the fact that I never really felt like I belonged anywhere, that I had a tribe of people like me. Had to hide my true feelings in order to make friends and feel like I fit in. I don’t think I truly ever fit in at my local autism hub. Felt like I was still too different. Had to put on the chameleon suit to blend in.

It’s the real reason I’ve shut myself away the last 2 years, to find the real me by closing off any outside influence. The path to mental recovery has taken me back to who I always was, doing what I’ve always enjoyed. Relearning to enjoy what I had stopped enjoying.

If I’m being honest I tried to embrace every new idea during the dark times, grabbed out for any idea that promised to help me. Watching all the youtube vids aimed at providing support for mental health struggles. Would have tried everything with only a couple of exceptions. Nothing really stood the test of time, nothing really felt comfortable about it. Since everything necessitated significantly changing my behaviour in some way it felt more and more like an imposition of someone else’s idea of beneficial behaviour that just didn’t suit me.

I’ve always had a smidgeon of internalised ableism and I’ve never felt comfortable at the idea that I might be disabled. These days the notion that I need help or that my behaviour is unhealthy and should be corrected just feels like a plain old insult. But I started following some disability rights campaigners on twitter and the dignity they carry humbles me a great deal.

The one thing in the world that truly angers and horrifies me is the exploitation of the most vulnerable in society by those who have the most power. My heart will always belong to those who work to even the playing field. More so to those who call out and oppose the exploitation.

My words have always rang a bit hollow because I never really did anything to stand up for anyone. Felt like I was too weak and vulnerable myself. I know I always needed to support myself better before I could support anyone else. Who knows, I may never get there.

Actually standing up for myself is paying dividends now though. I may always see myself as less able than others but accepting that I am just different and have different abilities, I don’t feel disabled anymore and I don’t feel like I need to make excuses and I don’t need anyone else to understand or accommodate me.

I do however need to support myself and do what I can to make life manageable. Over the years I’ve mastered the art of getting through the day with as little work or effort as possible. Medicated myself with caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. And who’s to say that I could have done it any other way?

What really is behind this new perspective? I doubt it just arrived spontaneously, like everything else there’s a reason for it.

I think it comes from an emerging self-respect. Actually now taking ownership of and responsibility for my daily struggles means I can put myself first. I can filter out the judgemental voices so I can hear the loving voice of support. In fact I think I stopped judging myself completely when I realised that I’ve only ever put 110% into anything worth doing and I only ever failed when I lost sight of my true self.

In fact most of the time failed at stuff I didn’t really feel comfortable doing anyway.

Writing this now I don’t feel afraid of the future, not afraid of being sad or bored, though I’d rather not be. Plenty out there that I am still scared of but taking ownership of my mind, my internal experience, being the boss man in charge of my own head. That is the way to keep the fear of other people at bay.

Thanks for reading as ever x

Heartless

Been meaning to post, it’s been a small while.

Plenty to chew on as always. Various thoughts about where to go now.

Quick update on what I’ve been up to, well not much really. Just completed a playthrough of Cyberpunk 2077. It’s been a lot of fun and it’s been great to spend some quality play time. Helped to escape for a time into another world. Can forget I’m me for a bit and take a break from everything.

Plenty of time has been spent reflecting still, I guess it’s not a long term strategy to spend all my time alone, playing games and avoiding the real world. Motions are ongoing to get me back out in the real world again. Relaunched a facebook page which, for the moment, is just another place to vent myself and it’s just for me. Not yet ready to publish that stuff to anyone again.

Trying to rebuild myself and come back stronger. But for the time being I’m doing stuff just for me and getting back in touch with who I’ve always been and doing what I’ve always done.

Through it all I still need to figure things out. Always trying to do the right thing and do it better than anyone else. My experiences have really shone a light on how I go about things and it’s been a tough thing to take.

I’m becoming more and more convinced that I’ve lived my life under the shadow of childhood trauma of just not being seen, not being reflected in those around me. Not feeling like I was ever a part of society but an outside observer who just can’t connect with the real world.

Not feeling like my true self was ever validated, accepted, understood. I can see so much of myself in the YT videos of Crappy Childhood Fairy, who talks a lot about Complex PTSD. And my hamfisted pursuit of a meaningful connection of a relationship was always discoloured by the way I always hid away my true feelings. I’ve always avoided the things you have to do to have a real relationship. Chased the safer fantasy version instead. It was always much easier than being real.

And the truth is that for all I desperately want and crave for a relationship, I’ve never been able to deal with the real. Part of this is the way I’ve never really felt truly loved, wanted or accepted and just don’t believe other people see me as anything but a broken man who people like but don’t respect. Everyone’s got advice, everyone likes to help. And everyone sees me as someone who isn’t doing what he should be doing and needs to be guided and corrected.

And so yes, who was I when I tried to maintain a connection with someone? Someone who tried to people please with as much force as I could muster, someone who clung on for dear life, permanently afraid of being dropped like yesterdays trash. Someone who chased the merest crumbs of affection. Someone who pinned all of my hope, love, positivity, time and energy on an escapist fantasy of someone who just wasn’t available in that way. And yet there was a reality there, when that crashed down I lost everything that I had freely given away.

That’s what I’ve had to reckon with, that my heart is just not there for anything anymore. My heart is not in work, family, friends, not in anything I do. It was for a while in the video game but that’s not going to last and nor probably should it. When I stopped caring about others I stopped caring for myself. I do care for myself now but I’m not feeling any real care for anyone else and I’m not motivated to keep looking for what I wanted out of life.

It’s quite calming in a way, nothing really matters like it used to and I guess I’m a lot less anxious now. But that’s come at a price.

Is it ok to not be ok? It depends what ok means.

It wasn’t ok when I was extremely down at my worst and had thoughts of not going on.

Where I am now? It feels like it’s ok for me to be unhappy. I’m not in any sort of danger of hurting myself, not in such pain as to lose control of my mind. Yeah I’m miserable and probably still depressed but I think now that the depression is necessary for my brain to heal. The unhappiness is the natural and logical response to what’s happened in my life.

I’ve always done things in such a way as to protect myself from getting hurt because nobody taught me any other way. Nobody saw how vulnerable I always was and nobody taught me how to have self-esteem, how to be secure. Any attempt at punching through the numbing wall meant I had to open myself up far too much and expose myself to feelings I don’t know how to control.

I’ve always known how much of a loser I look and how unattractive it is to be so desperate. I made peace with it and tried to do my best anyway.

What’s been a real shock to my soul was how much of what I did could be seen as abusive. That I myself was probably quite emotionally unavailable. That I had begun to get passive aggressive and manipulative. That I was loyalty testing in the worst way possible, making it clear that I was passively threatening to withhold my friendship to get what I needed.

Those events have left me in severe doubt about whether I can discern what is good and bad anymore. And that’s something that is associated with trauma. I always did everything I could to be as good as possible but yet I felt like I had done the very worst thing to do in that situation.

No one’s perfect of course, we all make mistakes and we all do bad things. The most troubling aspect for me is that I rarely have much choice in the way I act. Don’t have the luxury of freedom to choose. Everything has to be done a certain way. Everything has to be the right thing, everything has to work. Everything has to be known in advance.

I can’t actually pinpoint anything that would have been the cause of childhood trauma, just one long story of having been pushed into a life I wasn’t prepared for, having to struggle at every turn against forces I can’t defend myself from. And I’ve never been able to ask for help without exposing myself further, without feeling overwhelmed by the deepest shame of being defective. I begin to see the picture of course, that every social interaction I had was reinforcing society’s judgement. Everyone’s words and actions screamed “you must be defective”.

Not doing what people expect of you? You must be defective.

Not communicating with people at school? You must be defective.

Not playing outside with other kids? You must be defective.

Not eating a balanced diet? You must be defective.

Not doing your chores? You must be defective.

Not got a job? Not doing anything useful? You must be defective.

Spending too much time alone? You must be defective.

Why are you angry? Why are you upset? Why are you depressed? Why are you so stressed?

You’re not allowed to be angry, upset, depressed, stressed. You must be defective. How can I help you?

Well you can start by acknowledging and validating me. And maybe you could try not treating me as a defective human being.

This is the basis of it being ok to be not ok. Because they way I’ve dealt with life is to repress and hide my true feelings out of fear of being abandoned. My connections to other people are extremely tenuous. I cling on and cling on until the inevitable abandonment comes and then those are shut away forever in the darkest corner of my memory, never to be trusted again.

It’s ok to not be ok, but trauma makes everything seem like it’s not ok. It’s not ok to stay like this forever, I’ll do what I can to heal from the trauma and start living a life I actually want to live. For now though I’m really doing the prep work in a slow, gentle manner. Taking my time, building the foundation.

As mentioned earlier, I’m working on how to be a good person because without that I don’t believe I’d ever make it through life. What is the good, right thing to do? I still a feel a lot of doubt about whether it was the right thing to walk away and close the door. On reflection it was the best thing to do, the right thing to do. For her and me both.

The ability to walk away is probably the most vital ingredient of self-respect. I’ve walked away many times and it never feels worthy of self-respect but then maybe I actually have more than I realise.

I’ve struggled to know what’s right because I’ve failed to put the pieces together, failed to see cause and effect when it comes to matters of the heart. Maybe because I’ve just never found any logic to it. Maybe I just find healthy relationships too boring and sabotage to make things meaningful.

I only know now that I would prefer to live totally alone than chase like a loser.

There’s more to me than what I’m doing now and I’m going to need to be more to really love myself enough to be social again. There’s more of the dreaded old work to be done. I think now the solution is that the work you do should only ever be for yourself and your own betterment. It’s absolutely not worth it to be chasing something or someone outside of yourself.

I dunno, maybe I’m saying that best things in life don’t need to be worked. Life should be a lot easier than it currently is.

Perhaps also that the people in your life shouldn’t make your life harder but should make it easier.

Still very angry that my life feels so much harder than everyone else, still feel the unfairness of it all. But then I think that maybe my life has the greatest potential for supreme triumph over adversity. The only thing missing now is the belief that I will always be better off than those who would reject or abandon me and I can smugly chide them as the real losers.

Sounds a little childish maybe, but I think it’s the way forward.

Thanks as always for reading

A little more prep talk

One more post for this weekend. Still finding it hard to motivate myself to control. Still doing the work of understanding how and why things happen. It feels like a curse but I find myself unable to move on anything until I can 100% guarantee things will out well for me.

To that end I’ve reevaluated my personality again. 6th or 7th time now. But the latest model is interesting. It feels deeper and besides it’s telling me something I didn’t want to hear. But in a way it might still be a comforting lie.

So I guess I’m now typing myself an ENFP with an INFJ shadow. It makes total sense because I am attracted to the INFJ type. They represent my ideal partner I think. Normally this expresses the idea that they represent the personality within me that I don’t like using so I would benefit from them doing the shadow work for me.

What can I say? I wanted to be an INFJ because they represent everything I look for in someone else. But because they are so different and they represent the part of myself I don’t like, I have difficulty with what’s different.

So what I did in effect was to try to become more like an INFJ to fit in and belong with another INFJ. And for that reason I became someone else, someone who wasn’t really me at all. This is exactly what happens when someone loses themselves trying to seek a relationship.

And in a way I stepped into an alternate persona because I was so lonely and had to rely on myself to provide the company I needed.

And so my crush who I had thought was likely an ISTJ (like my own dark superego), she may well be the INFJ I was looking for. It explains why she still represents the dream partner for me.

To cope with the pain I began to see her as the hateful figure. I began to hate the qualities I saw in her which were similar to mine and consequently I began to hate myself more because of it. I was falling in love with my own shadow while falling into hate of my true ego.

I think im becoming less scared of finding the truth now I’ve started to be more compassionate but I’m still very afraid of putting myself back out there. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to keep my identity stable if I look for the happy life.

I’m slowly accepting the fact that I’m crap at talking because I tend not to be very authentic. My mind is too damn flexible. It’s useful to be flexible and the world needs people like me but I don’t want to do all the talking. I want to keep some things secret and private.

Sometimes I just don’t want to talk at all.

I’m slowly accepting that I am the shyest, quietist extrovert, that I need people around me but I get too overwhelmed by being around people. I’m having to consider the notion that I never will be mentally healthy enough to pursue a happy, healthy life.

I may end up lonely and miserable for the rest of my life or I may keep going further down self destructive paths to keep myself occupied.

My latest brainstorm has been curtesey of a CS Joseph YouTube vid. One truth I’ve been running away from is that I’m not actually very smart. I’m not naturally talented and have to work to get good at something.

Impostor syndrome is real with me because I think I’ve self-hated on this so much that I’ve taken pride in being smart. My brain just knows I’m not talented, waiting patiently for me to get found out.

The truth is that I don’t want to do the work. Don’t want to have to. And I must if I am to turn things around. What if it doesn’t get the results I want? What if its a waste of time and energy? I’ve wasted so much of my life already.

To finally solve my mental health, I’ve worked to learn. I’ve studied. Committed to the long game. Not gonna settle until it’s done and dusted. Though this hasn’t felt much like work. The real work is still to come.

When I actually believe in something I will become a workaholic, always sacrificing balance. Not looking at how my actions affect other people.

And so the work that I have done, I want it to be reflected in others. I want so desperately for people to see who I am, want I have to work with, what work I am doing now, and I want people to show compassion and above all respect for how much work I have to do and how hard it is for me to do it.

That I only have so much to give and that I don’t have any choice but to run away and hide when things get too tough to handle, which is a lot.

That I spend every hour I can trying to figure out how to be less scared of life and that maybe I actually do need things from other people to help me feel safe.

Maybe I’ll stop bitching about how hard life is when it actually makes things a little easier. Because if who I am, I will always make life harder for myself until I figure out how to get the best out of it.

I should use my extroverted intuition to see life’s opportunities. The problem is that I don’t see a path that takes me anywhere I want to go. But I should continue to rebrand myself and find the identity that really brings success.

For now I’m continuing to wallow in filth, not wanting to do the work of organising my personal space. It’ll come when I start to feel better. My wounded inner child still needs some attention and he just wants to play.

I’ve finally started playing Cyberpunk 2077. It has plenty of faults but it’s still my type of game and there’s been some really cool stuff. It’s rekindled my creative imagination a little and I have to be honest, it feels good just to dip into the futuristic fantasy world again.

We all need that space to play without having to worry about anything. To take a break from dealing with the world’s challenges.

In games like this, you can escape yourself in the virtual world and become someone else. A badass power fantasy that is invulnerable.

I can forget about all the real world problems and achieve things in the virtual, making liberal use of the save game function whenever virtual death occurs.

So to sum up, im getting closer to figuring out who i am but the work to do is how to be myself around others, how to be secure enough to hold onto myself without having to defend myself by hiding away.

How to find people who get me and like me for who I am? How to go out and find somewhere to be myself and get some happiness? How to not be afraid of the outside world.

Hopefully I can be empathetic and be able to connect with people but always to make sure that I be honest authentic when it comes to expressing myself. People can be so difficult to understand, it’s very easy me for me to just say that people aren’t worth the effort but they are.

They say that the healthy way to do it is to say that if people don’t like you it’s their problem and you shouldn’t take it personally. Move on to  somewhere else. Treat them as a stepping stone.

It not how I look at life. Maybe it should be but it’s not me. I had to move on but it was never what I wanted and I guess I’ve learned that I should have just been honest and said that I wasn’t happy instead of holding on and having my happiness taken away.

But then I understand better now that everyone has their faults and I need to embrace imperfection and always see an opportunity for growth.

F’king hell maybe that’s the secret that has eluded me for so long. Every fault, mistake, hurtful action, is an opportunity to grow. It is a potential for something better, wonderful even.

We all have so much potential, the question is how to unlock it. Yes I’m probably a little scared of how much potential we have.

I’m a great believer in the idea that we all are aiming towards becoming more than our selfish selves. To fulfill life’s potential by shedding the selfish existence and producing something that goes beyond selfish desire and brings something to the greater communal humanity.

We all know the poisonous influence of those who only live for themselves and take everything they can from others. If they have truly chosen the selfish path then they are not deserving of anything.

Those who have given in to fear can’t be helped. This is why I fight so hard to overcome what I can. And here’s the truth about how my social anxiety works. It speaks to real fear that I can’t be helped. That I will keep giving in. That I gave in yesterday and I will again today.

It killed me to see my favourite person give up on me but she did. People like me can be helped but we often need people to stand with us, to see we’re struggling, to acknowledge that we want to grow but have lost our way.

At the end of the day we have got to do it ourselves, to have that desire and drive. People will stick with you if you don’t give up, but they will ditch you in a heartbeat if you do.

My words speak of never giving in but my actions don’t. People aren’t mindreaders (well maybe some of us are) so they will judge you by your actions.

Compassion is everything and my experience has taught me that people can only show compassion to those who demonstrate their struggles visibly and openly. And who show their kindness when they can.

Thanks for reading. My hearts goes out to you

Jamie x

Self-compassion

It’s a been long hard journey hasn’t it? Trying to figure out who I am and who I’m supposed to be. Mercilessly chasing the answers to the question if how to be mentally healthy.

Finally reached a point where I’m just comforting and consoling myself. Going through the pain was tough but I had myself to show compassion and it makes confronting the pain somewhat easier.

Not feeling hopeless or sorry for myself but actually being the one to give myself the hug of compassion that I needed. Is it going to be ok. I don’t know yet but it start.

Compassion has done something for me. Understanding and empathy that I’ve just not gotten from anyone else. It’s made me feel justified in being angry and has helped make me more willing to stand up for myself.

I’ve been so hard on myself and everyone else because I had the compassion and understanding beaten out of me by the poisonous influence of those who have always treated me as someone who needed to be helped instead of hugged.

So I’m a vulnerable autistic adult who was taught to always do the right thing but never taught that it’s ok to do the wrong thing or that sometimes I need to defend myself by doing something others might find hurtful.

To this day I’m still facing pressure to be more considerate to others even when I’m clearly struggling to look after myself. Yes I need people around me to feel happy but I get overwhelmed and need time alone to recover and calm down.

Thanks to my autistic social anxiety I have no choice but to consider others at the expense of myself. Every time I’m in the company of someone else I’m always on eggshells, placing myself in their heads, trying to please them, or not pissing them off, or not scaring them away, or not boring them, or not worrying them, or not doing something embarrassing, trying not to be too distant or too clingy, not to look like an idiot, or come across as too knowing.

Where’s the real me in all of this mess? It ain’t where it should be, in the drivers seat of my mind.

I think self-compassion is the first step towards healthy boundaries and hence self-respect. I’m a natural born lover and I make decisions with my heart, not my head. My anxiety has always robbed me of the most important parts of myself.

And I need now to accept that it is what it is and hopefully I’ll learn how to live in a way where I can defend myself and feel like things are going to be ok.

But I need people around me to understand that I need time and space to do things in my own way and I need them to know and accept that my life is extremely difficult to live. That in itself would make my life so much better.

I’ll take responsibility for the crappy things I’ve done but I did my best under the circumstances of my situation. The way others see me and treat me is massive in terms of how I see myself.

I’ve been running away from the truth for so long because it is so painful to admit. I’m not the person people think I am and I’m not the person I tell myself I am.

I want to paradoxically apologise for always apologising. Time to stop blaming myself for every fault and say it’s ok. People worry about me because I always take things too far and go to very dark places. And when they do I absorb it like a sponge and start to worry about myself even more.

That’s when I really have to escape from reality.

Of course I’m still grieving. I’m grieving the loss of the life I could have had. I’m grieving every little thing, big and small, that could have been. I felt and still feel powerless against the force of my own sensitivity.

To put it simply I simply need compassion, more than most other people. I guess I’m probably capable of giving myself enough at the end of the day. I can’t really rely on others for it so I’m going to have to do it myself.

I only want to live by my own rules. Doing so may well hurt others and I will always try avoid hurting others. But it’s my life at the end of the day.

I’ve only got so much compassion to give and I want to be selective about who gets it. I’m giving it all to me at the moment and will continue to do so while I continue to grieve.

We all know this is a thing, some of us just aren’t allowed to cry in front of other people. To look weak or vulnerable, to be hurting in public. It is because of my deep desire to see people happy that I won’t allow myself to let go and cry.

All I want to do tonight is cry. I’ve tried a little this week but it’s just scratched the surface. Let the zealous mission of mental health take a break and be sad. Be ok to be sad. Yes I don’t want to be sad but I still need to because I haven’t fully expressed it.

And here’s the thing that still hurts. My autism is not a social ill that needs to be fixed. My issues shouldn’t make people worry. My need for solitude and relaxation is not a license for people to think I’m not doing anything useful.

Being different does not mean I need to be taken to see a professional counsellor. My struggles do not mean I need to be helped. I don’t need or want people to worry about me when I’m grieving in my own way. No matter how long it takes me to overcome.

Like every human being I need the same thing. Attention, company, respect, friendship, something to do, distractions from the emptiness of existence.

The correlation of autism and poor mental health should be understood as the result of being treated like you are broken and not being treated in a way that respects you are different.

Hey guess what, ever had a meltdown in public? Ever felt horrifically uncomfortable being asked to do something? Were you treated with compassion? Did anyone understand and acknowledge you were suffering?

What possible reason would any human being have to hate themselves and stop caring? Because we are all dependent others to shape who we are.

Kindest Regards and have a big hug from me

Jamie x

Eyes opened again

Well to start off I should say that I have recorded a vlog which was illuminating but I’m not sure whether to post as I had a breakthrough and am starting to see the truth.

On the topic of healing my inner child by reforming my inner adult and bringing them together. I told myself something I needed to hear.

My inner adult just wasn’t good enough and he needed to do better. No more excuses. I made a promise to myself to actually parent myself because my anxiety probably stems from the fact that I cowardly hid away from taking responsibility for looking after myself.

Lo and behold, what actually happened after that? I began to accept some unpleasant truths that I had not yet faced up to. Regular readers may have spotted subtle references to this fact. I have been running away from the truth for some time.

First off I began to consider the unquestionable. That in fact I’m not who I thought I am and my real personality type is actually all that I had hated.

Yeah so I’m really an ISTJ, the exact opposite of what I thought. Although I should stress that my super/alter ego is an INFJ. This is where I go to when I mask and hide the truth.

I believed i was an INFJ and I think I’ve spent so much time in this state that I have lost track of which one is the good and the bad. The simple truth is that I’ve always been a boring robot but I have this dark side to me and I have grown more and more attached to the dark alter ego.

My life was simply too boring that my mind needed to escape into the fantasy role of this mystical genius, all-knowing safe who lives on another plane separate from reality.

What I’ve read about the super ego is that it wants to take control from the regular ego but it’s not really in control at all. Just thinks it is. Like the caretaker manager who takes over when the boss gets the sack. Except this one thinks it can do a better job.

And so here’s the full story of what happened. I fell in love with ISTJ autistic best friend. Sounds very narcissistic to say I fell in love with someone who basically is like me in every way.

But I had self-hated myself so much that I had flipped into my darker persona. So now we were the exact opposite.

I fell in love with her as a way of learning how to love myself but that never would have worked because I was splitting further away from my true self and I was living a lie, although I began to believe it more and more. Until it crumbled.

Our friendship was based on the fact that I had taken control by giving it away. I was completely narcissistic in intent but my body surrendered and I put her needs before my own every time.

As ISTJs we both need honesty, autheticity and trust. We both need to know who the other person is in reality to protect ourselves from getting emotionally hurt. And to a degree I think we both protected each other’s feelings at the expense of our own while hiding the truth.

And so a relationship between us would never have worked because we were too similar. Had the same strengths and weaknesses. It’s painful because I still love her and I still want to spend the rest of my life with her but it would mean both of us settling for similarity and not pursuing more complimentary relationships.

I think I’ve developed this dual identity because of how unfathomly lonely I’ve become but I guess I can call on the more mysterious persona to provide a bit of excitement.

It feels too late now for me to ditch the demonic mystic persona, I think it’ll be a part of me forever. But the way forward is to make sure they work together and don’t hate each other as they have done.

I will probably need to make one of them the master. Probably better to concentrate on regaining my ISTJ ego and making it the boss. This means looking to find a new or old routine that makes me happy and comfortable.

In a similar way I need to recombine my inner adult and child because they too have grown to hate each other but they can make amends.

I’ve already started to apply a method of meditation that helps the inner child and adult to reconnect. When I feel the deep anxiety in my chest I place my hand and feel the anxiety as a physical sensation through my hand.

I can feel that anxiety turn from a knot of tension into a blaze of heat energy that feels positively affirming.

This is my way of letting the inner adult take the pain away from the inner child. Not that I’ve produced an instant cure for anxiety or anything but I genuinely feel less afraid.

I went to the autism hub today and my old friends were there including she. We didn’t talk or even acknowledge each other’s presence but some mutual friends came up to me and asked how I was and were pleased to see me and invited me out.

I was nervous and I felt it would be good practise to put some boundaries in place by not jumping in feet first. I wasn’t quite ready as I didn’t want to chase the first offer available and desperately grab on to the old bonds with them.

I’m unsure about pursuing any new or old friendship until I’m completely healed and can say that I’m complete secure.

I said earlier that I was nervous, that was an understatement. What I felt was the pull of the masking alter ego. I felt like my identity was being ripped away and I was left as an unprotected and vulnerable child. It felt and still feels as though I’m about to experience the same horrific pain all over again.

And so I’m putting some boundaries up just to prove that I can. I have to respect myself. That is how I can parent myself.

It’s true what they say about compassion. We have vulnerabilities precisely because they engender compassion and here is where you’ll find it. However the world has more than it’s fair share of psychos who see people’s vulnerabilities as something to exploit for their own gain.

Needless to say that I think these are the people who are truly mentally unhealthy. They are unable to address their own insecurities and hence they take from others what they cannot give themselves.

And yes I admit I have done this. I have been the villain in my own play. I fell in love with my friend for the wrong reason. Because I needed to take from her what I could not give myself.

My inner child has been my moral core and he stood so strong despite being neglected. I’ve been so zealous in fixing my mental health issues because I just knew that they made me the villain I became.

Selfishness comes from need and need comes from insecurity. We can become secure as long as we learn how to parent and protect ourselves. I can perhaps now approach the issues by simply being there to hold my own hand instead of ruthlessly analysing every move.

Talking to myself. Getting used to hearing myself speak my own truths. It’s ok to feel hurt so long as you tell yourself you are hurt and you listen to how and why. If we repress all the hurt to avoid being vulnerable we carry that hurt through life.

Getting hurt is how we grow as people. I think I pursued love in such a way that I was looking to get hurt, looking to fail, because I needed to learn how to deal with getting hurt.

And yet I took things too far, got too hurt to deal with. Why am I still obsessed with this? Because I’m having to learn the hardest way possible. My issues are so deeply embedded and complex and I always knew it would take a long, long time to sort out.

Because like everything, I’m having to do it all alone. Doing it this way though, my victory will be all the greater and complete. If it ever comes.

Is all this rambling going to help me become confident and secure? It’s helping in a small way. I’ve got to learn to deal with getting hurt and I need to forever be honest about who I am and be honest about what I want and don’t want.

There’s a wonderful line from The Expanse TV show. “The only choice we really have in this world is to walk away” It was the right thing to do for me and her both to walk away.

Respect is everything for us and I only began to respect her when she stood up for herself and walked away. Earning my own respect has been extremely difficult. How could I possible do it until I addressed my own self-abandonment and become more assertive.

Yes, it’s about damn time that I respect myself.

Why am I so socially anxious? People can and will hurt me but I refused to acknowledge the hurt and refused to defend myself, thinking that I deserved it. After all, everyone else is normal and I’m the defective one?

Alas no, everyone is defective to some extent. I can be better than they are because of the journey I’ve been on. I’m so damn self-aware that I can see all of my faults, it’s time to stop getting hung up over them and just be.

It’s time to dig out that empathy and understanding. Be aware of who is willing to learn and who is stacking all of their problems on something else.

I should probably put a long read warning on this one but what the hell, take it as it comes.

Thank you so much reading, anyone who does. I love you very much on my own way

Jamie xx

I should probably put a

Self-actualising

It should come as a surprise to no one that I haven’t done anything productive since turning 40. But I’ve reached a new level of understanding who I really am.

I understand now that I will always be a dreamer who lives only in the subjective world of my own reason and imagination, living only for the search for meaning.

It isn’t in anyway useful or important to me to live in the real objective world. My history has always been one of fantasy narrative and living a life that serves a deep purpose.

I was in love with my best friend for 3 years and I never asked her out or pushed for anything more than the friendship that I needed. All that time I was fulfilling the narrative that we were a family, the family that I had wanted.

Caring and acceptance and belonging. I was part of the real world by forging a personal connection. But in my head we were in a relationship of sort that gave my life meaning.

Upon hearing that she didn’t think of me as any more than a friend and she had pushed me away to send me a message, my whole reason for living collapsed.

I tried my best to stay friends but I doubt that either of us really knew if we wanted to stay friends and left it up to each other.

The truth was that no, I didn’t want to stay friends because being friends for the sake of it means nothing to me and I’m just anxious about being in the moment without dreaming of fulfilment.

I know that I was living a false existence and though I was being myself I wasn’t honest about my intentions and I had submitted out of fear to pretend that I was a loyal friend when I always needed more.

Ultimately when I was diagnosed with ASD and I made new friends at the hub, I thought these were my people and I belonged. It was only that way because I was masking and repressing to fit in. My autistic friends weren’t like me at all and that’s why I never fully actualized and continued to live behind a wall not letting anyone see.

A new theory I’m digesting is that behind all the social anxiety is that I haven’t self-actualised and I never learned how to apply myself in the real world.

I live in a world of my own mind that is not connected to reality because my inner world was never mirrored by those around me as I developed in childhood. I’ve never seen my inner world have any impact on the outer world so I don’t believe my actions will affect anything.

The real reason I’ve never believed in myself is that actually I don’t believe the real world reacts to me in any way that benefits me. My hopes and desires are just not reflected anywhere outside and everyone else seems determined not to let me have any effect on them.

How will I thrive when my brain is wired to only be good at the subjective understanding but not the objective action?

What do I have to contribute to society except for philosophising and imagining? Something that only serves escapism from reality as a unique and intangible vision.

I’ve gone into INFJ territory and have finally found people who are like me. One in particular who seems to share the exact same issues. Another who thinks the things I think but is not afraid to say them and be controversial.

Does it feel like seeing people who genuinely are like me sharing themselves and their thoughts will help me to finally see myself mirrored in the objective world? Maybe.

As of the present moment I’m learning that I don’t need anyone in my life who isn’t going to respond to me in a meaningful way.

I’m also focussed on doing what I want and saying what I want. Empowering myself to actually put myself out in the world and look towards getting what I want in life, never settling for anything less.

I’ve spent far too much of myself people pleasing and now I want to develop the inner narcissist that exists within me.

Yes, I’m either a narcissist or a people pleaser. Never anything in between. I don’t and never will be one of those guys that takes and takes and abuses and demands and controls others to get I want but I do want to become completely full of myself.

I guess I see the experiences of people like me and realise that the world will never see who we are unless we scream and shout for attention.

Doing the right thing has always been a prime motivator and I drive myself to be the best at doing the right thing. Ironically, I’m probably more secure than most when it comes to it. I don’t really need much from anyone and I can and do exist alone and will keep doing so if it comes to it.

I define the world I live in and I define success in my own terms. It’s only in the presence of others do I obsess over judgements and that’s because I don’t feel good in the objective world.

The important message to take home is that I don’t thrive among other people and my life won’t be a success until I learn it’s ok to live my own subjective existence.

I can be the wise man who sees things no one else can and not really care if anyone else agrees with me. To actually manifest myself in the world means making my own narrative more important than anything else.

This is what I do best, questioning and pondering the meaning of existence and humanity. Not merely doing stuff because everyone else says doing stuff is useful and important.

This is the journey I’ve been on my whole life. All the time I spend in my room not doing stuff has been to build the picture of everything. Every moment a paragraph in the story that connects to the next.

It’s all been leading to here. How the fuck can I actually connect with the world and manifest myself? What does it all mean? Why am I here? Who really cares? Who has the answers?

It’s all going to come from within, nothing anyone else can say or do for me will ever be the answer. I must find my own way and live the life I choose.

I hope that I can contribute by inspiring others to do the same. It’s the biggest gift I have to give, to help people find their own way, their own meaning.

I live in service only of those who can say that I mean something to them. They who demonstrate that I exist in the objective world by responding to what I have to offer.

I’ve made a lot of mistakes and done bad and hurtful things but it’s better to know you can rather than think you can’t. Trust me on this.

It’s about self-respect at the end of the day and without it I’m going to remain a sad, pathetic wretch who doesn’t matter. And if I don’t trust myself when I say this, then I am truly nothing.

Thanks as always for reading. Video blog should be in this week weather permitting. Until then x