Me and The Crip ‘Piñata‘
As I’ve ridden over the vague ‘bump’ that was my 30th birthday, I’ve genuinely wondered just how I’ve survived this long.
The reasons why I wonder are as follows:
- For as long as I can remember I have worn glasses, and I have had double vision in my peripheral vision. Astigmatism. A myopic measurement of -6.25. I also now have to have ‘prisms’ put on my glasses. This is owing to my right eye who has recently decided that it gives no shits and wants to be an independent woman, it don’t need nobody telling it what to do…
- For as early as I can remember, the prospect of leaving my house/flat has caused me to feel physically sick. This is mostly because of what myself and fellow Autie Crips call Peopling, though it can include hypersensitivity to background and sudden noises and light. It takes me on average about an hour to pluck up the courage to walk out my front door; if I’ve forgotten something, well that’s BAD (see below about ‘punishments’).
- For most of my life I have had a love/hate relationship with food; I like eating out, for it takes less effort to consume the food; after all, in that instance I’ve not had to endure (horrible, bright, People-y) supermarkets to buy ingredients, spend energy preparing said ingredients, then spend time cooking. Let me tell you this: executive dysfunction and cooking do NOT go together well. (Of course, I can’t afford to eat out much, so I go hungry a lot)
- …cue resultant, stress-induced IBS. And cue more social anxiety surrounding the more embarrassing side of IBS
- For as long as I can remember, I would inwardly ‘punish’ any mistakes I made (socially, academically, or financially) with imagery of swallowing pills, imagining their taste and texture; or cutting my skin with a blade; would it be a serrated edge? Smooth? Bread knife? Paring Knife? There is a world of possibilities out there!
- …cue WORSE IBS, because stress.
- For as long as… well FOREVER, I’ve been treated like I’m an outsider by many, and for most of that time, I’ve been in complete agreement with them. That age-old joke, ‘I don’t deserve nice things’ was a simple truth for me. Even now it’s a novelty to think I can and DO deserve Nice Things.
As I’ve tripped and stumbled through my 20’s – in varying states of uncertainty, euphoria, panic, tentative self promotion, panic, bursts of outstanding creativity and yet more PANIC about who or WHAT in the blue fuck I am – I simply ignored that I clearly couldn’t cope the way normal people can.
I have even made myself ill to HIDE the fact that I couldn’t cope, because it wouldn’t do to ask for help… because remember, I Don’t Deserve Nice Things.
…I have decided enough is enough – I have to ask, otherwise, something has to give. If you know me, you will also see a marked difference in me in that I will rock, backward and forward mostly.
It is called stimming, and I need it more to help me when I encounter problems in my life. (Stimming is why I love Jazz so much incidentally – NOBODY CARES if you move like I do, in fact, it’s taken as a compliment).
There is, however, one problem: actually, I don’t always bloody KNOW the problem until it’s too late.
That’s the problem.
The Pinata is cruel; just imagine that you have been watching me beat the shit out of it to get to The Secrets I Need to Sort Out in order to Function, only to realise that there is a LOT more where that came from.
I just have to wait for the Pinata to spill another ‘Me Secret’, usually when it’s least appropriate for me to realise I have a difficulty.
Now that I’m allowing myself to ask for help, it seems that every other week, I’m discovering YET ANOTHER FUCKING THING that trips me up that makes me need that help. You see, Autism is not just one thing – it is comorbid with many conditions.
Bear with, Y’all…