Why do I carry on ?

There are times when I ask myself why I carry on. What is it, after 50, frankly unhappy years on this planet, when I wish I didn’t exist, that keeps me here ?

It’s not a suicidal expresssion but rather wishing I’d never been born. Wanting to turn the clock back to a period of non-existence where I was nothing, felt nothing, knew nothing. 

People don’t get it. 

I suppose there are people out there whose capacity for understanding means that life, no matter what happens, passes by in comfortable ignorance or perhaps it passes in blissful unfettered joy. But for me, highly aware and tortured daily by my struggle to fit in, life is a nightmare. 

People say that’s my autism talking. Well of course it is!. It’s inextricably linked with me. I am autistic. 

And it’s killing me. 

I hate it. Not the fact I am autistic but the fact that nobody gets it. Nobody gets me. My lifes so utterly worthless. So utterly futile. So utterly pointless. 

I have zero special talent. Two strokes have robbed my brain of any discernible interest in anything. I live with a constant headache of brain fog, terrified of being asked a question and frantically blagging the answer. I can’t concentrate on anything, am instantly bored and just want to curl up and cry. 

My partners great but she deserves better. She deserves someone more in tune with her, more outgoing, more social, more lively, more family orientated. 

I know I let her down every single day. 

I want so much yet have the energy for nothing. I let everyone down because I can’t be who I want me to be, for them and myself. 

I loathe myself so deeply that I want to scratch my eyes out and disfigure myself so badly that nobody will ever look at me again. 

I can’t carry on. 

I hate my life, I hate me. 


Being ugly

I’m ugly. 

I’ve always hated my face. It’s just……ugly. 

And people don’t really understand how much I hate having my photo taken. It will be fine they say. It’s a special occasion they say. Smile and look as though you’re enjoying yourself, they say. The list goes on. 

But I know I’m ugly. 

Occasionally I’ll look in the mirror and think I look okay but the next second I’ll just loathe what I’m looking at, for a hundred reasons. 

Small eyes, cruel lips, big nose, big ears, crooked teeth, lopsided grin, big chin, bad skin…its endless. 

I see photographs of myself and I actually shudder. I feel repulsed at the sight. It doesn’t look like me and it can’t be me, it’s vile, it’s disgusting and it makes me sick. 

My smiles horrible. My eyes narrow and I look as though it’s torture because it is, my smile is so false it’s unnatural and I find myself totally hideous. 

I was at a wedding yesterday. I scrubbed up well. And I’ve seen the photos. 

And every one I am in I ruin entirely. 

Yes I look smart but that face, oh god that face, it’s hideous and loathsome. It’s like a toad, slimy and repugnant. It’s odious and abhorrent. 

I want to tear at it, rip it off, cut it, slap it and stretch it into something better. 

I hate my face. 

I’m so ugly! 

Standing out and blending in…

One of the hardest things to me, when it comes to my autism, is standing out but wanting to blend in. 

By standing out I mean that I want to celebrate me. My uniqueness. My personality. From my occasionally brightly coloured hair, to my jazzy shirts, to my Marvel superhero socks (yes, at 50) and to my wacky sense of humour, pun laden, dry and biting.

But then there’s the other side. 

The side that hates socialising, that wants to hide, that wants to stand in the corner, who hates social chit chat and small talk and who frequently just wants the world to swallow him up. 

And it’s hard to hide when your a brightly dressed 6’4″ guy! 

But I hate being one of the crowd. It’s not an ego thing, not a better than you situation, but a genuine dislike of social interaction. Even if I like the people I find it very hard to concentrate my efforts onto them, even for quite short periods. I don’t know what to say or do and, very frequently, I have zero interest in what they are saying. 

And I’m quite sure that if I suddenly started talking about Egyptology or venomous snakes, their interest level would be non-existent. 

But I just don’t do small talk. Who marries who, who sleeps with who (are you sure it’s just sleeping ?. We know it’s not so why call it that ?. ) who lives near who, how many bedrooms, how much for their house, is the school good…no, means nothing to me. Sorry, I have no interest. So blending in by indulging in small talk of a similar nature is both foreign and impossible for me. 

Believe me, I’ve tried. I have sat and really concentrated. I’ve listened. I’ve summoned my counselling training. And I’ve got a headache because no matter how hard I try, I simply don’t get it. 

So I can’t blend in when I’m listening because I can’t react appropriately. 

It’s a real conundrum. 

I’m off to a wedding tomorrow. I will know about ten people out of, potentially, a hundred or more. I’m dreading it. I can’t wear what I want, I have to behave, I have be good, I have to act “normal”…

I want to hide.

And I’m scared. Anxious. Frightened. 

I don’t want to blend in. I want to be invisible. 

Fat chance! 

Thinking Autistic

Being asked how I feel to be Autistic is, with respect, a question that I can’t answer. 

How do you feel being non-Autistic ?. 

The thing is, I don’t think that people understand that my Autism isn’t a life decision. It’s not like I woke up one morning, threw back the curtains and announced to the world, “You know what! Today is the day I’ll be Autistic!” 

My autism is as much part of me as my nose, my lips, my eyes and all my other strangely and disturbingly shaped body parts!. I had no say in them and I had no say in being autistic. 

I don’t think autistic. I don’t feel autistic. I think and I feel without ever giving my autism a second glance. I don’t double check whether an emotion or a viewpoint meets autistic criteria. Is that emotion typically autistic ?. Is the view one that depends on my autism ?. No, I just get on with my life and the views and emotions I express are my views and emotions, as natural to me as no doubt yours are to you. 

My reactions, good or bad, sometimes neutral, are instinctive. I react to whatever outside forces are in operation at the time. But I don’t stop to register the fact I am autistic first. 

And I don’t think about it afterwards. 

If my partner watches a soppy film with lots of subtle emotions and kissy cuddly bits and it goes over my head as she cries and tells me how beautiful that was, then my reaction, one of bafflement, a “why are you crying ?” And thoughts of “what on earths going on here ?” are me expressing, in the moment, how I feel. I am not conscious that my feelings about the film need to pass a test to be considered an autistic response because I’m just expressing, without thought, my feelings. 

I don’t sit there asking myself whether that was a normal response. After all, my partner might have acted abnormally. It’s a matter of perspective. 

So I don’t think autisticly. 

I think naturally. 

So, how do I feel being autistic ?. I feel genuinely, passionately and entirely normally. 

Because…. Isn’t that how everyone feels ?.