Getting back

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks as always for reading

Kindest Regards to those who do xx

Pathological Demand Avoidance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Caring is demanding. Except when it isn’t.

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

Everything is a demand when no one understands.

Thanks for reading as ever

Kindest regards

Jamie

Trauma and Low Self-Esteem revisited

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vicious circles all the way down.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The heart and the head are in union once more.

Thanks for reading

Kind Regards

Alexithymia

Thinking about this topic today. Something I can work on.

The trigger for this was that I’ve currently got the house to myself for 3 or 4 days. When I first learnt this I got a feeling of positivity. I was genuinely looking forward to it, having some good quality alone time.

2 days into it and what have I been doing? Not a lot really, not much at all.

So what have I been looking for all along to make me feel good? What can I do to feel good when I’m alone? I know how good I felt when I was with close friends, people I trusted and felt comfortable to be around.

How does happiness work?

I start from a point where I’m unhappy as standard. By default. I’m at my happiest when I’m getting outside of my own head. Overanalysing everything is not much fun.

So it’s for this reason I think that I never really embrace and appreciate the feelings and emotions of the moment. My happiness is tied to a projection into the future whereby I’m either living a life I like or I’m not.

What really drove me was a sense of hope and optimism with a degree of expectation, that life would continue to go well and give me what I craved. Fulfilling my psychological needs for security and freedom. And when I say crave of course, the addiction to these feelings is a measure of how strongly I feel them.

I associate these feelings with a black and white definition of good and bad and hence why they are so strongly positive and negative emotions. I don’t feel like I’ve ever struggled to identify the different emotions but I think that I have misunderstood the nature of them and how what they really mean.

And of course I’ve never got the hang of how to deal with them in a healthy manner.

I tend to think of them now as the spectrum between love and hate. These are the pure feelings of the moment and sometimes I can just let myself feel them. But only when I’m in a calm place whereby I can switch my mind off.

Love is a feeling that represents the force of attraction, hate represents the force of repulsion. Love is addictive and is harder to appreciate and to express. Hate is easier to express but less tolerable to feel.

And so what were the emotions that guide the motions?

I think in my case that confidence causes love and fear causes hate. And yet I’m not really in control of the confidence or the fear. Precisely because I’m not in control of my own future. More than ever, the world is becoming gradually evermore insecure.

The complexity of my emotions stem from the fact that they’re not governed by the moment, but the implications and the hypothetical consequences to be derived.

What should have been joyful memories of a wonderful past full of hope now become a bitter stain on the present without a hopeful future.

Anxiety is really the expression of doubt and uncertainty feeding back into the fear response.

What of sadness and grief? They emerge after loss, but I think they represent something much deeper. These are emotions that I hate feeling because I hate the fact I’ve lost. Moreover, the feeling is of profound hopelessness that I can never regain what I’ve lost. That I’m doomed to have lost forever.

Thinking about this now, I see a deeper connection between emotions and the fundamental insecurities I have about life in general. I can see the real reasons why I can’t get over some things, why I can’t forgive and forget, why I usually break contact, why I can’t deal with conflicts.

The best thing to do now is to spend more time learning to be in the moment and not to saddle myself with the full force of expectations that every moment will determine my fate forever.

Easier said than done though. I asked myself what is the best way to make the most of being home alone. Is it to seek maximal pleasure at all times? Of course not.

I still don’t know what I can do by myself that will make me happy but I set out to prove to myself that I’ll have more freedom and safety. That I’ll be more confident and less restrained, less inhibited.

What I actually want to do with my temporary free time and space is to do things that build my confidence and give myself a platform to feel love again. To do so in a way that doesn’t put too much pressure on myself.

Last night I ended up falling into the same addictive trap by staying up all night watching youtube vids. Needless to say that I felt like crap today and struggled badly with work.

Tomorrow will be a day for doing better things hopefully. Find a good balance between activity and rest. I like to be creative but I’ve been having nagging doubts recently that my artwork and music aren’t really providing what I need to be confident. I’m doing it for myself but ultimately I’d want to share it with the world and I don’t yet feel it’s good enough.

I need so much time, space and energy to create something in a way that truly feels worthwhile. I want to be more balanced in my approach which would mean I can’t pursue things so single-mindedly. But then again, I’ve learned that I have to take things one step at a time so it’s just more natural to me to work on something until I’m happy with it, then move on to something else.

Organisational skills I really lack and this is something I should work on. Taking control of my life means actually managing my life. Being the boss, making decisions. There’s little worse than having a crap boss who doesn’t know what he’s doing. So why do I tolerate the crap job I do running my own life?

If I’m ever going to achieve the dream of being independent, I’d better make sure I can do it well.

Thanks as always for reading

Fond Regards,

Jamie

Story of a night out

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks as always for reading

Kindest Regards

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

Venting more darkness

I felt good letting the darkness out last time. Had an epiphany that helped me come to terms with things. It came from the fact that I was being myself and that I wasn’t denying myself.

My mood dropped again today as there’s new doubts and fears leaking up into my mind.

To that effect, I want to dig very deep into my core anxiety. Share deeply personal stuff that I’ve never been able to share before.

A common stigma that affect Asperger men like myself. I am a sad, insecure, jealous, controlling, coward in relationships. A bitter loser who can’t handle not getting what I want. And I’ve always known this so I always walk away when things rather than stand up for myself.

I also know the causes, that I repress myself so much because it’s tied up with my autistic social anxiety and sensitivity.

All the romantic relationships I’ve had have imploded very quickly and I don’t trust myself not to ruin everything.

I’ve known for decades that women are attracted to confidence and humility. Men who are desired know they are desired and consequently can strut through any room knowing they don’t ever have to struggle to attract attention.

I read that women feel more secure about a man when other women are competing for the man’s attention. They feel safer chasing when others are doing it.

It’s a different world I live in whereby I must reek of desperation. I may try to hide it and that of course is a fools errand.

I’ve only opened my heart truly to one person but the way things happened ensured that I was destroyed mentally.

It feels like I’m in a permanent state of autistic distress because my anxieties keep exploding. I had to confront what I had become but I needed closure to be able to move on.

I see now that the way I was brought up had a massive impact on how I developed. My mom kicked my dad out when I was 8 years old. I was a happy kid then but one day everything changed. I’m sure it affected my brothers in different ways but I had more in common with my dad.

We look at our own family experiences when we engage in relationships. I think for this reason I didn’t trust that I could maintain a healthy relationship. I don’t trust women not to reject me or ditch me.

My mom ending up raising me and my brothers single handedly so I was left somewhat alone and I didn’t have anyone to teach me how to be in a romantic relationship.

There were opportunities when I was younger but I was too self-conscious, too scared of being embarrassed.

I’ve never been able to face up to and conquer those demons, but that is who I am. I’m a man who loves hard and doesn’t let go. Everyone has told me that I should move on, let go, because it’s unhealthy and it’s bad.

So the end result is that I’m not allowed to be myself. Not allowed to feel what I feel. Guess what? I have to repress myself further.

I know deep down the truth that I need to learn how to love myself before I can ever love someone else in a healthy way. Everyone in my life will tell me how much they care about me and how lovely I am. But I need to be able to unleash the real me which is something I can’t do around people who I care deeply about.

I don’t think I am the person others think I am. I don’t know if the real me is the angry hate-filled person I am now or if that’s just because of the trauma I’m going through.

The real me doesn’t want to be around anyone anymore because I see how unable or unwilling people are to see the world my way.

The real me wants to just not give a shit about anybody. Who am I now is a compensation for all the times I put others first and got nothing in return.

When it comes down to it everyone says they are who are they are and I can’t change them. When I tell people I need something from them to accommodate my autism I’m not allowed to ask something that will mean others changing their ways.

If I finally become who I truly am, it will mean big changes for me and for those closest to me.

I never liked change and to be honest part of the reason I cling on is because I need to appear consistent in my behaviours. What I’ve gone through were changes that were demanded by others that I didn’t want and couldn’t deal with.

I stuck the course because I believed strongly that I was doing the right thing and because I was at my happiest point. It wasn’t me that forced my fears on others.

There are no words to express how utterly betrayed I felt by those who supported the lockdown and mask mandates when I pleaded with them that it was torture for me.

My plan for tonight is to get drunk and take my iPod for a dance around the Town Park. This is when I feel most connected to myself. I like going crazy drunk. I feel powerful yet enlightened in a way comes from dissolving my inhibitions.

It’s always been my way of coping with being alone. I drink to be alone actually. It’s always been the main way I can escape myself.

I can say full well that all of my unhappiness is my own creation. What goes in my head is my own brain.

But it’s my sensitivity to others and how their actions affect me that are the triggers for so much pain. All anyone has to offer me now is very selfish advice which sums up as I should stop being autistic.

Just maybe this is why I denied myself and my autism for so long. If people really knew how badly it affected me they’d soon stop caring quite so much.

I know how badly I need to get away from everyone that holds me back. Can’t get away from myself obviously, but I’m telling myself how much I need to be free and I’m responding with kindness.

A lot of people will tell you how the demons in your head that tell you bad things about yourself need to be vanquished. In my case the demons are the only ones who understood that I wasn’t providing myself with the life I crave. They were the only ones who told me the truth that I couldn’t face up to.

That my life truly wasn’t worth living if I continue to let fear rule my existence. If I let myself be taken hostage to the forces of others.

I don’t know what I love now. I feel now that I only love the demonic side of myself. But it doesn’t feel like there’s anything concrete left for me to pursue. Only overcoming myself.

Since I’m trying to become more confident without losing who I am, what is it that I can anchor myself to and aim towards?

Because everything in my life has felt like an escape from nihilistic emptiness. I want to do something that truly makes a difference to someone. So at some point I will want to re-enter the social world equipped with bravery and competence.

Most of all I want to feel free to enjoy life. It’s become impossible for me to do this while I’m stuck in grief and denial.

For 18 months or so I’ve only been happy by getting drunk and letting the demons take over my soul, rising above petty humanity and becoming something closer to pure darkness of not giving a flying fuck.

It would be so wonderful if I can get this feeling while sober. That is the aim.

I need to be unique. To be like nobody else. Who I am now is a deviation from the moral norms and expectations of a society I’ve come to despise.

It truly feels like I have nothing to offer anyone. Nothing about me to inspire anyone. Just a waste of space. All I can do is be honest about my struggles.

I’ll be honest and say that I’ve been nothing more than a warning to others. A case study in mental health. Pay attention to my story if you want to know what happens when someone loses everything that makes them human.

Im looking elsewhere now. I don’t believe in any Deity and I don’t believe in humanity any more. I believe in myself now but not yet enough.

Thanks as ever for reading. You are why I’m still here.

Jamie x

Venting some darkness

I think this blog is going to become mainly about finding a safe space to explore and release some of my deepest demons. It’s where my journey is going.

I’m more convinced than ever that I want to draw a line between the old world and the new. To be well enough to defeat the depression I need to distance myself from everything that reminds me of my biggest psychological defeat.

I’ve binned my last post as I’m not ready to talk publicly about it and I still need to work on it. But in thinking more clearly and with a little advice I’ve had to admit that I did what I did because I needed to finally put up the hardest boundary around myself.

That it was about protecting myself. And it was the right thing to do.

The beliefs we hold about are what truly makes us what we are. I hold such terminally abhorrent beliefs about myself for certain reasons.

One factor I could never consider before was that that it is part of my hidden disabilties. I can’t fundamentally see myself well enough to actually recognise.

I can only see myself through the eyes of others. Even strangers have this effect on me. To pull my mind away from itself and force it outwards.

Everyone always tells me I should believe in myself but I just don’t, and why would I?

I can’t stop myself from masking because there is no true face to present. Only a mental construction designed to please others.

The real reason I’m dependent on others to make me feel good is because the only voice in my head is the mechanical explainer, telling me exactly why I’m alone in darkness.

It’s time to admit how deeply different I see the world compared to the empty individualist culture I live in.

My autistic sensitivity is exactly the full crushing weight of the effects others have on me. It’s because of this I understand we live in a deeply shared and connected world where we are shaped and made by each other.

Although I am much more connected than anyone else. And it because of this that I am so unutterably decimated by the rejection and exclusion of experiencing the lives of others.

And the truth is that nobody understands the massive effect they have on me. People still expect me to accept that bad things happen and that I should always accept my losses and look elsewhere.

What makes so special and unique in this world is that I can look so sharply into someone’s heart to see the humanity and the lack of humanity.

I hold a mirror up to the world so that it can see itself. Truly the society we live in is defined by lies and selfish hypocracy.

I’ve wanted to get round to the Autism research of Simon Baron Cohen. He who has identified that autistic children tend to be slower to develop the “skill” of not blaming people for unintended harms caused. He calls this “skill” empathy.

Isn’t funny how autistic people are bad people for not being empathetic to the inadequacies of others while those who don’t understand the harm they cause should be understood?

Who are the real empathetic heroes amongst us?

Is it those who struggle with communication but are sensitive to others or is it those who can communicate but are insensitive.

Theory of Mind, it is called. Baron Cohen himself appears to be quite poor at this judging by the reaction of the Autistic community to his project of harvesting Autistic DNA.

In my experience it doesn’t matter who you are, the culture is driving us to hate each other and isolate ourselves from each other. To fear each other.

I’m not strong enough to fight it because I was the most vulnerable to it. I needed so much more from those around me to stay with me but in the ends everyone else’s needs came before mine.

I can’t hide anymore from the fact that I need to become stronger in myself. That I need to be better so that the people around me become better. I’m never going lose sight of what I need to make life worth living.

There is an art to believing in yourself. For truly who we are to ourselves is just a narrative. Walking the path alone requires some extraordinary bravery.

The story I tell myself now is how to keep myself going. That I don’t care for the pointless pursuit of shallow self-validation and virtue-signalling acceptance. “Be kind” is the motto of those who only care only hiding themselves from being challenged or critcised.

I would love anyone who actually sat down, read my words, and called out any bullshit I espouse. Because that would mean they cared enough about me to see my faults and engage with me to improve me. And teach me something.

I can’t remember anyone ever doing this since I was at school. Or maybe a blazing drunken fall out with an old drinking buddy.

I don’t see myself as a human being because people don’t treat me like one. People treat me like a child. Maybe I needed to treated as an adult in order to become one.

Maybe treating me like a child is what stopped me from growing up.

I don’t want to blame all of my problems on others, but I see so clearly how my development as a person was determined by all my interactions with other people.

I can’t stress enough that the culture we live in demands every person is his or her own boss, master of destiny and responsible for everything they do.

When horrible things happens to you it’s all your own fault because you are an individual God of your own existence. Everything that happens to you is your own fault and your responsibility to deal with.

And everything you call evil is a projection of your own evil.

It is not hard for me to understand why our culture tells us this. Because they take everything everything they can from us and tell us to blame ourselves.

I’ll end this post on a cheery note. I’d happily see these people burnt to death.

This has been liberating.

Thanks for reading. Kindest Regards as ever x

Heart grows calmer but colder

Having a catch up with the blog tonight. Hard to describe what I’ve been going through the last few weeks. Some good but mostly very low.

Had a nice couple of evenings out. One with the work colleagues for a leaving do and a family birthday.

Both made me feel good for a while but it leaves me wanting to be social again. And I struggle to really fit in and feel like I’ll never get the true feelings of belonging that I once had.

Went to the pub Tuesday and was once accosted by someone who was determined to make sure I wasn’t alone.

I can see the good intentions but it’s honestly making me so much more like an a social freak. It’s paradoxically making me feel all the more like a complete reject.

In the darkest times I truly feel such deep jealous hatred for those who have friends so easy and natural.

I am still in a state of subtle but deep depression where there doesn’t seem any point to doing anything.

Spending so much time now just lying down with a video on. My mental strength only stretches so far and I’ve been stress testing it to see how much I can tolerate. And I’m tolerating less and less.

It feels now that I can no longer dig deep into the psychoanalysis without actually feeling nauseous dread.

I feel what I was feeling a year ago, that I need to burn my old life away, cut out the part of me that died and restart my life completely from scratch.

It’s been a long time since I could release my negative emotions. And the truth is I never did get any of the anger out of my system. Just dragging it along as it weighs down my spirit.

Giving some serious consideration to joining a boxing gym and taking up the gloves.

I’ve talked with my sister in law about doing something to get the anger out, but it’s something I have a fundamental block around. Just can’t express myself that way around other people.

I had a lightbulb moment earlier today. Thinking about how truly strongly I am affected by others. I’ve learned the hard way just how damaging it is for me to put myself out into the world.

I’ve earned the right to protect myself now that I know how badly I can get hurt. For the time being I want to be alone again and I want to distance myself from others and just forget about them until it stops hurting.

Shut myself away from the world again because every time I open up I end up feeling the same old betrayals and abandonments.

I need my own space now to be truly free within myself and to be able to unleash the dark energy that decimates my mind.

I’m slowly learning of the full extent of how my psychological make up is so detrimental to mental health and despite how hard I cling to it, my edges are beginning to soften.

I’m not fighting myself so much now to conquer every enemy but instead slowly putting myself back together and recognising that I have limitations that should be respected.

Life may not be so exciting for the time being but I no longer feel things are worth pursuing with the same old manic addiction.

Thanks for reading and kindest regards as ever.

Fantasy

Blogging tonight as part of my routine of getting our the house and writing.

As my blog was originally created to discuss sci-fi and horror with the implicit element of fantasy between them, along with the autism talk, it always was an escapism of mine.

The eagle eyed reader will notice that I remained the blog in reference to what I call my esoteric heart.

However it didn’t take long to regret the decision so it will probably change again soon.

Well the journey to defeat the mental health issues I’ve always been plagued with is based on the understanding that I needed to finally grow up and be independent.

Escapism into fantasy seems to be essential to the concept of play that we humans of any age need to make life fun.

I look at my autism along with my upbringing and see that I never really grew up. I remain a child at heart and have resisted all the trappings and responsibilities that come with adulthood.

But it is the core reason why I’ve never really respected myself. It’s the reason why I deeply loved my autistic friends but didn’t truly respect them either.

The concept I’m really addressing is Infantilisation.

The child is the most beautiful spirit of humanity, imbued with all the potential of the future while totally unashamedly living for the joy of play.

I remain a child heart because I missed out on so much actual social joy that I would always escape into fantasy.

The child is and always will be vulnerable and needs the parent. I find it fascinating that over the course of my current reading, that humanity in general can be interpreted as being in a juvenile phase.

The psychoanalytical view off Catholic culture observes the symbolic practise of consuming the flesh of the son of God.

The pagan culture symbolically practised the killing of the king and offered frequent human sacrifice to the gods of fertility.

It is in the spirit of subversiveness that I’m drawn to any fantasy that offers something interesting and original.

And so I return to Infantilisation.

Has anyone noticed what is actually being pumped into the cultural consciousness thede days in the name of Escapism?

The same old Nietzschian superman bullshit. All the evils of the world are only to be solved by the supremacist fantasies of order.

The everyday working class man and woman should look to the fantasy for salvation while your “betters” will determine the problem and the solution.

The abnegation of the human will is weaponised to it’s fullest by this nefarious dross.

If I offer any advice it is to fully investigate the agenda of anyone who authors such propaganda.

But fantasy still can be a force for good. Don’t ever stop dreaming of a better world where you are empowered to achieve a life you deserve.

If you’re going to fantasize, imagine a better world but ask yourself how you can achieve it without ever letting anyone else dictate their own warped fantasies in your place.

Adulthood is hard but a life subservient to someone else is repugnant and abhorrent.

Thank you for reading as always