This is a dangerous time of year for me.
Unfortunately, Halloween, Bonfire night and Christmas are three loathsome “events” that bring a shudder to my spine.
Halloween I’ve always looked on as an American tradition. I just don’t see the point in it and people knocking unexpectedly on your door is not exactly Autism friendly!. Bonfire night, an old tradition, is a mixture of frightened pets, crowds (the inevitable firework display) and loud bangs, again not Autism friendly. Oh, and have you noticed how it rains on the night of the firework display so you’re damp, miserable and having your ears assaulted!.
Christmas is my nightmare.
What to buy, how much to spend, will it be liked, will I like what I’m given, do I have to show gratitude or pleasure, where will we be on Christmas Day, are we staying home or going north ?. These, and more, cause me nothing but anxiety in the build up to, and on, the big day.
What with the clocks changing as well when the end of British summertime is heralded (hah!) and the effect that has on my body clock and the inevitable winter blues that assail me and drive me into deeper depression, you can probably tell that I already long for the first buds of spring and those first welcome rays of new year sunshine.
Unfortunately I am alone in my views on these events. My partner loves all three and we are to be surrounded by grandchildren for at least the first two.
Yes I appreciate these events are for children. Although that said, none were high on my enjoyment meter as a child. The loud bangs of fireworks have ever been painful to these ears. I suppose I enjoyed Christmas more when I was a child and could ask for what I wanted and avoid any surprises but these days I have no idea what I want or need so any present brings with it unwelcome pressure to “like it”.
My partner is easy to buy for. However, as she wishes to give in return I find myself asking for things I neither want nor need, just to give her something to to give me on the day.
I don’t think that the pressure we feel under is appreciated. I think it’s just the way that we are expected to conform to a neurotypical standard of enjoyment surrounding events such as these and join in.
And that is upsetting. To be forced into a place where it is dangerous for my mental health is something I wish to avoid but it is even harder when you’re in a relationship with a partner who is neurotypical and loves these events.
Its a dangerous time of year.
I just want to get through it.