The long old journey

Greetings once more, it’s time for another blog.

It should as come as no surprise but I can report this week I have done none of things I tried to convince myself to do. Nothing useful or productive in my free time outside work.

I have worked on my music but, as if often the case, I find myself tinkering only to make the track sound worse and I felt the same struggle to produce the quality goods.

To some extent I am still slowly feeling better about myself as the days go by. I still think I’m doing this blogging down the pub at regular intervals to stop myself from going mad.

Getting stuff off my chest into the ether of online blogging. I’m getting closer to getting back out into the real world again. In fact walking up to the pub I had a brief moment of empowerment, the type I don’t usually get sober.

The beliefs we hold so dear that they come to define our lives and determine our fates. For the first time in a long while, I felt the weight lifting as I finally stopped being defined by the way the world has treated me.

What is it that so defines me? The sum total of all the last interactions. And those are normally the decline of friendships and the retreat into loneliness. It can feel very much like the world has not treated me with much actual kindness but then these sort of things happen to many people.

It’s been a slow process of developing. Having the space to develop away from other people’s influence. I always thought there was no real me. A patchwork identity of external perceptions. A cog in the social system.

A man of and for the people in my life. When I can tolerate being around people. Now I’m just developing my own person away from everyone else. It’ll be better in the long run hopefully.

I’ve taken note of the UKs National Autistic Society and their big convention at the NEC in Birmingham next month. An old friend went last year and recommended it thoroughly. It will probably a case of getting the train there and back but it’s doable.

I don’t know whether it’ll be any good or if I’ll be comfortable there. It might be a waste of time and I expect I won’t talk to anyone the whole time. But it could be great and I’d like to try it out.

Something like that though, I would have to prepare for it a lot. Not make it a half-assed last minute rush.

Mentioning that I haven’t done much recently, I am still tired most of the time. The feeling of tiredness, at least in my experience, is the feeling of a force acting against my very will. But then again my will is usually restless and uncontrolled. Sometimes you do need to rest but it sucks to always feel tired.

Of course I can be much healthier physically, if only I wasn’t too damn tired to do anything about it.

I watched another video from a different autistic YouTuber. This person wanted to express the view that there is nothing wrong with being autistic but unfortunately spoke words to the effect of “I am faultless”. Upon receiving critical comments, she clarified with a pinned comment that she does have faults like everyone does.

It only reminds me how far away on the opposite end of the spectrum I am to these people.

Because being neurologically undeveloped has caused so many problems as I’ve tried to pursue a life worth living. I could say there’s nothing wrong with me if I lived in a vacuum bubble, safe from any conflict in a pure innocence of universal love and acceptance.

My experience tells me that these are the people who truly lack empathy and are the most intolerant. Do you know what? I’d love to live like that, really would. But that’s not the real world.

Of course we all need love and acceptance but we need honesty and truth. We need to be able to discern and make judgements.

You might say I’ve spent too much time listening to abled neurotypicals but, like it or not, this is how I had defined myself. We’re all human but my brain developed differently. What does it mean?

Other people always have given me the context with which to know and judge myself. Of all the gifts given by evolution to be a sentient human being. Why was I lumbered with so many curses? Why did I lack so much important stuff.

Why is not the real question. How else can I really know and judge myself without reference to something real and objective? What would it mean to be autistic if there were no one else to compare with?

Have trouble communicating? Well no worries because there’s no one to talk to anyway. But then what would you have to actually talk about?

No, we are a social animal and a social animal who hasn’t developed social skills is going to suffer.

I guess the point I’m trying to make here is this. Who is the real ableist here? There are some folk who would have you believe that autism is not a disability at all but a mere variation.

Discrimination against the disabled comes from those who rather not put themselves out for someone in need and there’s no better way to do this than deny someone’s disability. Particularly those with hidden disabilities.

And how to respect someone’s disabilities without patronising or making them feel very small?

Accommodating someone’s actual need while encouraging them to make the most of the abilities they do have. Treating them like a human being by acknowledging their struggles.

I was deeply in love with someone to the point where I couldn’t accept or allow her to struggle with what she struggles with. Had to fix it, solve every issue. A noble overly romantic gesture but a complete denial of her disabilities. A complete lack of respect for who she was.

But this is the sort of thing I’ve had to figure out in order to come to terms with who I am.

The long old journey.

Thanks as always for reading. I hope to make us all better people at the end of the day but the starting point is myself as usual xx