Monday, 25 April 2022

On the side

Hey readers,

When I was a child I learned the art of a thing called masking, aka faking it and what this means is that I learned the behaviour of others. The problem being is that if something changes that I can mess up badly because I can't be flexible with my thinking.

 That is one of the characteristics of autism is we manage change to some degree but we only see it in a structured way that is black or white (through past learned experiences or what we have read up on the problem where we fail is that if something slightly different happens in the format then we screw up basically. It can lead to getting things wrong, saying something wrong, coming across as rude, not coping, having meltdowns or shutdowns, etc. 

on the side

I think it's really hard being an autistic girl growing up because there is so much more pressure to be sociable than a boy. When I was growing up I felt that boys got away with not getting noticed therefore resulting in having less social pressure. 

I used to absolutely hate being a girl because of this reason and I thought boys had it a lot easier or more relaxed attitude with regard to social and communication which suited me perfectly.

Now that I'm an adult I find it a bit easier because I have more experience and knowledge but I still frequently mess up. If I am feeling anxious or if there is too much going on in my head can't seem to focus on the rules.

 There are times when stressful factors cause me more brainpower than normal and it is like I regress in my behaviour. That is why it's so hard to measure autism, as it is not something that you can say x y and z it's constantly shifting depending on the environment and mindset of that individual.

Since being a parent I have learned that there are so many other social rules involved when bringing up a child.

I first it was lovely when my children were newborns as there is less pressure on me to be sociable but since my children are at school I have noticed that there's a hell of a lot more interaction going on.

Me being an autistic parent does affect my self-esteem. A lot of the time I feel inadequate,  especially as my husband is very good at communicating and engaging with others. It leaves me feeling really angry and frustrated. I know comparing is the worst thing to do but it coincides with me learning about other people.

I think one of the hardest and most upsetting things is when people don't see you as an individual but as some sort of invalid because you're autistic. They don't look past the label or they do but then they just talk down to you in a condescending way. The thing is I am aware of exactly what is happening, I just don't have the skills to communicate and express myself as clearly as other people do.

It has really made me feel quite low at times because I feel like I can't give my child everything that a typical parent has to offer. I suppose that is why I enjoy the school holidays more because I don't have to worry about social things. 

The only downside is that when I return I have to deal with the social side of education and whatnot. I feel rubbish and I have felt very very low causing me to struggle to get up in the mornings. 

I have also learned to avoid situations and tend to get my husband to do the tasks because it's too upsetting at times to have to face discrimination against me. I think that's one of the saddest things about being an autistic parent is the fact that you deal with a lot of rejection or misunderstanding. I like my voice isn't heard and again that familiar outcast feeling appears.

Cheers for reading X

 

3 comments:

  1. This is so interesting to read how you feel.
    I can relate to having a partner who is good at communicating and is really sociable. I am really shy in real life and find it hard to talk to new people but he chats to anyone. x

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  2. Aww Sam, I just wanted to let you know you are not alone. Its not just autistic people who have difficulty in being social. I find it really difficult and I often wish it was different. I was never social with the other parents in the playground but that didn't affect my children.

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  3. You are not alone Sam. I'm quite a sociable person, but I didn't want to mix with other parents when my eldest was schooled. I found them quite cliquey and extremely bitchy to be honest.
    You carry on being you Sam, sending big hugs. x

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