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

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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

What does my autism mean?

It’s worth revisiting this subject every now again. It’s no secret that I’ve struggled to understand and accept my diagnosis. But I am making progress in this direction.

All I have done since the diagnosis is to bravely push myself into overcoming my difficulties, proving to myself that I shouldn’t let it hold me back. And the happiest period of my life was when I was around people who didn’t make me socially anxious.

There’s a life out there for me somewhere where I can be happy and free. My autism doesn’t mean I’m doomed to struggle forever. But I’ll never find that place until I truly know who I am and how to manage my life in a way that is actually beneficial to me.

I question everyday what is truly autistic and what is merely my own refusal to look myself in the face and stand up for myself. I only just met the threshold for diagnostic criteria. I imagine I was masking quite a bit during the process. All my life has been spent chained to the neurotypical world and I’ve always tried to blunt my edges to fit in. Well actually not always.

Life has been a balancing act between doing what makes me happy which involves being true to myself, and doing what I need to do to survive which is never the stuff I actually want to do but instead am forced to do.

I think I always made a choice wherever possible, to do what I want but never what I need. More often than not it’s the wrong choice in the end.

When I say life is a balancing act, that actually means that I oscillate sharply from one extreme to the other. Never been very good at shades of grey, that’s just not my world.

Talking how we neurodivergent see the world differently, I don’t think there’s ever been space in my world for anyone other than myself. The hardest thing to deal with has always been how self-conscious I am around other people. It feels like the world is somehow on hold because everything now revolves around what might happen when my brain registers someone else in vision.

At a simple level, the brain goes into fear mode. Fight or Flight or Freeze. I’m not sure if there’s much adrenaline going on, it doesn’t feel like a rush. But it does feel like everything is magnified. And it doesn’t result in actually taking steps to escape any danger because my rational mind knows there is no real danger. But my brain just hypes up everything anyway.

And I have to go certain lengths to calm myself down but it feels like my brain never turns off this fear response. I’m always tired because my brain and body are always agitated.

It’s generally always Flight or Freeze for me because confrontation is truly what I’m most frightened of. I’m in self-preservation mode where my brain is anxiously scanning for all possible things to wrong. Always frozen while I anxiously await the stimulus until I just react.

And yet there is the craving for stimulus. Life feels so empty without it.

I can’t really do small talk and I can’t really ever sit down and talk to someone without fully determining how it will affect me. And truthfully, if it doesn’t affect me then I’m not stimulated so I’m not really engaged.

All of this adds up to strong notion that I am quite narcissistic deep down. Certainly among what some psychologists would call “vulnerable narcissism”. But I would say that I am who I am for a reason.

Everything happens for a reason, meaning cause and effect rather than any spiritual interpretation. I am who I am because I lack something that allows me to engage with the world in the normal way. I do care about people but then, like everything else it’s for selfish reasons.

Ultimately I’ve gone to great lengths to compensate for this selfishness by trying to act unselfishly. But putting the cares of others before my own leaves me more vulnerable.

I’ve been pondering the question of whether it was really in my best interest to be diagnosed with autism. It was important to be diagnosed with something because I was headed down a long, dark road at that point. No job, no friends, no life, had struggled to readjust after graduating uni at the age of 33.

Was it useful to be diagnosed under the wide umbrella of autism? It didn’t really answer any of my questions. There was no path forward, no treatment, no real idea of anything. There was a general support available which really consisted of signposts for services and general information about autism.

The true good it does is to find a community of people like you, they have a drop in session once a week to provide a safe space to talk to people or be by yourself with plenty of activities. And there was the old monthly socials to give us safe social engagement.

I was never truly interested in being safe, I was always looking for stimulation. In that way I think I was always looking to defy the idea of being autistic, that in a safe environment I was itching to break forth and be confident and badass.

There is a certainly a gaggle of demons inside me that likes to subvert social expectations but knowing that all my friends and acquaintances were autistic there was a natural tendency to repress myself around them. I threw myself into the autistic community and became more sensitive and empathetic as a result.

Did I end up becoming too sensitive? Too meek? It was a wonderful place to be when life was opening up and there was so much potential. As I write now, that feels like a million years ago.

It makes all the difference to be in a welcoming environment where you are accepted but I was still the same guy I always was. Hunting for another fix so I could escape myself. I wasn’t learning anything about life, myself or others.

Everything in my life is and always has been about myself because I have always been trying to answer the question. “Who am I?” And I build up the ideas of who I am from others, only in terms of how they see me.

I could say that I’m self-centred for the most important reason. I’m lacking a functioning ego and therefore, the most fundamental insecurity of all. That I’m not in any control of myself. That I’m basically an autonomous, mindless machine that sees everything but can do nothing.

When I’m around people I automatically relinquish free will. When I’m alone I’m crying out for someone to show me I exist.

And so the crux of the issue. I was constructing a false sense of self from those I was close to. In the end the relationship I was trying to build with others was really just trying to build with myself. Everything I did to support the one I loved was my way of supporting myself. I was trying to cement a relationship between us in a way that fused us together, made us inseparable.

Everything I was looking for in her, I was looking for it in myself. I was living my life vicariously through her in every way. Everything I did to help or hurt her was to help or hurt myself.

All of this came from the fact that I had subordinated myself to her so totally because I’d given up on myself. All along I was at the mercy of my heart, to give control of myself over to her and put her in charge of defining my identity, of determining my fate.

I projected everything onto her when things were too difficult to face up to because I’d lost the ability to really empathise and accept that she was different.

It’s extremely difficult for me socialise with someone who is different. To talk about their interests and stuff they care about that I don’t. I’m not good at it and I don’t feel comfortable. I don’t really understand people who are different. Of course that’s probably cause I’ve only got my own shabby internal model for understanding the human mind.

And mine was always so skewed away from the normal mode.

To attempt to summarise and find a useful conclusion, it’s fair to say that I have to, first and foremost, build my own identity and become independent by finally respecting my need to be alone. To give myself a home where I am master of my own destiny. Where I have the space to always put my own needs first and look after myself.

I hope to become a more balanced person so that I am able to be less black and white. I won’t want to shut myself away for too long, inevitably I’ll want to be social again and I’ll put myself under much less pressure. I hope to be less single-minded so I can balance the seeking of stimulation with the calling of calmness. I really need to spend more time relaxing and I’ll be freer to balance my life when I finally gain some control over external influences.

Ultimately I need some say in my own environment so I can actually have control over the forces that cause me stress and anxiety.

I’d very much like to take a break from constantly talking about myself, frankly I’d have gotten bored of reading if it wasn’t me writing it.

I appreciate very much those who do read, you must have the patience of a saint.

I have no idea how visible the blog actually is so I don’t know how anyone has actually found it but it’s a nice feeling to receive likes and subscribes.

I hope it brings something even though the only thing I have to offer is to share my thoughts and experiences.

Time to regain some balance by spending time with people, I’ve been too isolated. I’ll be doing it on my terms from now on hopefully. Don’t want to feel so out of control ever again.

Kindest regards and thanks

Jamie x

Addiction

I’ve been engaging in learning more about myself from a neurological perspective. Focusing on something I haven’t spoken about much yet.

I believe that I have plenty of signs of attention disorder such that I tend to get hyperfocused on anything that brings me the most pleasure. My mom used to say I was like an absent minded professor.

Dopamine is the main brain chemical involved in addiction. It is the neurotransmitter that reinforces the pathways leading to habits and routines.

Chemical addictions from drugs are associated with spikes in dopamine levels.

So what does dopamine actually do in the brain? It links memories to motivations. It lights up the brains associations and signals of pleasure and it is the anticipation and expectation of pleasure.

It also trains the brain to pay attention to something, telling you that something is important and salient.

I don’t know to what extent my brain lacks dopamine or overcompensates by flooding itself with it. I suspect that through hard times my brain is wired to only motivate myself to avoid. But when the good times come? Well I was a total junkie.

I’ve always needed an element of predictability in my life so I know I can engage myself without fearing that dopamine crash. But at the same time.

My life is frequently a yoyo between seeking the pleasure of stimulation to fill the void and burning myself out through overstimulation.

The discourse around addiction is very similar to the discourse around neurodiversity. Many still see addiction as a disease but I don’t see it that way. It certainly can be problematic but ultimately it is exactly that which drives me.

It’s only ever a problem when I have to deal with loss and change. And it can be so very destructive. Like everything else it’s up to me to figure out how to deal with it in the best way.

At the moment I have so little in my life that satisfies my craving for joy and I’m surrounded by anxiety and fear. Things will get better if I can push myself to find new opportunities.

I’m shutting myself away from the hurt and have ditched Facebook for now so I can work on myself again and carve a new path in life.

I guess I’m relying on society becoming open once more which will make it so much easier for me to open up myself.

At some point soon I aim to fully document all the pain, sorrow, anger, heartache and torture that I’ve felt since the world abruptly lost its mind over the last 2 years of germ panic. Because I want nothing more than to finally draw a line under everything and begin to move on.

My next blog will probably be about my job as there are plenty of autistic anxieties that come with employment. But there’s a lot of positives coming from work at the moment.

Today is Holocaust Memorial day so I want to leave a quick quote here.

Thanks for reading and kind regards as always

Work in progress

Finally relaunching this blog after 2 years. So much to talk about.

It is after the most painful year of my life that I begin to realise how important is to be honest with myself and be comfortable expressing how I feel and how I experience the world.

I was diagnosed with ASD formerly Aspergers at the age of 35. I’m understanding now that my diagnosis was important but it shouldn’t define who I am.

A lifetime of hiding behind coping strategies has meant that I was hiding from myself and hiding from living my life itself. I was controlled by my anxieties rather than taking control of them.

Living your life ultimately means learning about yourself. Who you are. Why you do what you do. What works for you. What helps you. What hurts you. What gives you meaning. What you are capable of. Who to share your life with.

My autism and social anxiety means that every social interaction carries the crushing pressure of a life or death situation where the worst case scenario is something much worse than death, an intolerable pain that must be avoided at all costs.

I’ve been through that pain recently and have been thinking a lot about the fear associated with it.

Pain and fear exist in us for a specific reason. To avoid that which harms us. The brain rewards us for escaping harm as it should, but as long as the perceived threat remains, avoidance becomes addiction.

I don’t know if I’ll ever fully overcome the fears that I live with but the brain is the most powerful weapon we have. I’m doing the work now to fully explore and ask the most fundamental questions.

What am I afraid of.? Should I be afraid? How far can I go before it’s too much? I need to learn so much about living and I need to live so much to learn.

The best advice I can give to anyone who struggles is that we are all a work in progress, that learning life’s lessons is always the best path to take.

Always go easy on yourself, give yourselves as much time and space as you need to process and heal.

Most crucially of all, don’t force things. Don’t pressure yourself because pressure reinforces fear.

I’ll be writing about all that interests me in my own Byzantine style as I become my own psychoanalyst.

Thanks and kind regards to those who are reading.