Well I have neglected the blog for a while , the last post I wrote was in October & I don’t even know why I haven’t posted 🥴 anyways , we’re still in lockdown , it’s still driving me crazy , but I’m doing okay. I mean I’ve had my moments & I’ve cried quite a lot , but that’s totally fine. I’m healthy and I’m managing so that’s all that really matters. I still haven’t managed to find a disposable mask that doesn’t make me want to rip my skin off as soon as I put it on until the moment I take it off & being a keyworker , well let’s just say that doesn’t help with the how I feel at the end of the day. and what about the covid vaccine , I’m so on the fence about it , one part of me wants it just so covid can be over with it, but another part of me thinks what are the long term effects , will it interfere with any current health conditions I have & there’s such a pressure to get it when it’s available and quick rather than actually having the time to think about it and make the right decision for myself. I mean I totally support anyone’s decision on this because we’re all different , this is just what I think. But at the end of the day I’m happy in my home , with cal & buddy & that’s all I try to think about right now , keeping myself sane and focusing on not working myself up to much about things that I can’t control.
To 14 year old Me,
Things do get better , you find love & you learn to love yourself. There are so many bumps along the way and that road has so many twists and turns & a lot of delays, but you get there in the end. You pass your GCSE’s even though it took 4 times to pass English , you applied to college & then had a melt down and didn’t go. But you went to sixth form & you passed all of your A Levels, & hey you even went to university. You’ve worked with children , you’ve made a difference in their lives and helped them to better themselves. Every job you’ve done you’ve helped others, you work hard all of the time , you’ve been tired , you’ve had so many dark days , but even more light days. You’ve fallen down but always got back up & you’ve learned to not hold onto things that upset you or stress you out. You’ve learned to make sure your happiness is always first. You’ve built a home & have done the best you possibly can , so when your thinking to yourself that giving up is probably the best option , trust me it isn’t, you have the best life with the best people around you & you won’t always feel like you do now at 14. You can and you will manage , it gets easier and you learn to cope.
Love 21 year old Me xoxo
Now I have nothing personally against people , the title may be a bit misleading but oh my god it is the most tiring thing being around so many people daily, in shops , in the street , at the doctors. You kind of have to put up a imaginary shield , and hope that this shield is going to work because it takes one tiny thing to break that shield and for you to lose your shit. But no one understand that , people don’t understand why you have a meltdown in public they just stare at you and give you dirty looks, because they’re not educated on autism , they don’t always understand. I mean here’s an example , I was in Aldi once and I screamed at the tills because they go far to fast , now I didn’t scream at the women at the till , I just screamed. I couldn’t handle how fast she was going & now I avoid Aldi like the plague , which isn’t easy when it’s the cheapest food shop 🥴 I also had a huge meltdown once because i wanted a can of pop and my mam said okay you can go and get one, but I didn’t want to go by myself , I didn’t want to go and buy one from a stranger in a shop , so I didn’t get the can of pop. I was to anxious and in fear of the worst possible thing, all over a can of pop. And I look back now and think yeah that sounds a bit strange because I’m able to do things like that now , but it’s still extremely hard. I keep it to myself a lot of the time and then it just builds up and builds up and makes me snap at the people I love and I don’t mean it but my god it’s so hard to explain these things face to face. Going out everyday is a struggle , and I enjoy going out all of the time but it takes a lot of energy to prepare myself to go out and sometimes I don’t even realise I’ve prepared myself or that I was anxious before going out because I’m so used to doing it my whole life that now it’s a second nature. I will plan everything I’m doing & if I want to go out somewhere I will go o it as soon as I’ve thought of it , whether it’s going to b&m or walking the dog , I need to do that as soon as I’ve thought of it or not at all , otherwise I won’t ever do it.
So just a note the next time you see someone who’s having a hard time in public , or it’s a grown adult having what looks like to you a tantrum , they’re struggling & dirty looks , tutting , whatever you decide to do isn’t making it any easier for them. It’s making it so much worse.
Now one person who has been by my side through childhood, school, and now adult hood is my right arm. My Big Sister. And we fight like cat and dog, I have been verbally and physically aggressive towards her throughout our lives and do you know what her response was? She would just take it, she would never hit me back, she never said anything nasty to me. She could see through me , she knows when im upset, angry , distant and even extremely happy. She knows how my mind works , and yes my mam knows me inside out, back to front knows what im going to do before I even do it. But Gab knows how im going to do things, she knows how my mind thinks and even the small things like something that might irritate me a material or texture, she knows why.
And sometimes I feel like I should apologise to her because growing up a lot of things were about me and thats because I couldn’t put the world together alone, I needed that help. But she understood, she never displayed that she was angry with me because of this, she always kept this to herself, she would put me first even when she needed help herself. She knew what I was struggling with and wouldn’t even think about herself for one second. I struggled a lot through school and she was always there to hold my hand, to make sire i was okay and to bribe me with chocolate when I point blank refused to get the HPV Vaccine, she would leave her lessons to come and help me if I was having a meltdown. Because she was the only one in the school who could get through to me, who could focus my mind through any of the stress and overwhelm I was feeling. And for that I will be forever in her debt because without this I honestly dont think I would have made it through school. I honestly am so grateful to have a sister with such a close age gap because going through all of this alone would have been so difficult, I wouldn’t have managed.
She has been there when ive cried at night and not known the reason, she has been there when ive achieved my biggest accomplishments, passing my GCSE’s , passing my driving test, graduating. She’s been there through it all. And I go on and on about being the middle child and what a stereotypical middle child is like but honestly im glad I am because without a big sister to help me through all of this , I wouldn’t be me today.
Now this is probably the most lonely and daunting time in your life when your transitioning from teens to adult hood , especially when you have ASD. And there isn’t anything more routine crushing than being told you won’t get help from CYPS anymore but if you need help go to your GP , which doesn’t sound too bad , but they then have to refer you onto someone else & that takes forever , then you have to get to know a new person who doesn’t know you , or how you deal with things & then you go through the trauma again of retelling your story & let’s be honest that isn’t easy , at all. So I’ll tell you how I done it & this might help you or it might not but there’s always someone that might take even one word from you that will change their life.
So I was told at the age of 17 that it was nearly time for adult hood , now a little back story.. if you’ve already read the other posts I have done you’ll know I was only just diagnosed at 17, so your thinking ‘what?’ How are you already being discharged , well I started going to appointments at CYPS at 16 & didn’t get a full diagnosis or help until I was 17 , after 3 different psychologists seen me & I had to repeat everything to each one of them , about 8 months after I was diagnosed I was told that because I was coming up to 18 years old that I would be discharged and any help needed would have to be through my GP and into adult services. My whole body just sank into the chair , a huge black hole , that I seen as adulthood. So as you can imagine I dreaded turning 18 and was not looking forward to being classed as an adult , I didn’t want to retell my story or even go through the struggles I have always done , so when it came to being discharged I just kind of tried to manage my life myself. And I’ll tell you it was hard , I wouldn’t answer the door when a takeaway was delivered , I wouldn’t order my own food at McDonald’s or a restaurant & I relied on my mam a lot. But I was doing my A Levels and had a lot of support from the school which was such a bonus , and I was focused on my life and doing what was best for me , but that wasn’t easy. I cried a lot at night & I didn’t want to leave sixth form because I was comfortable , I felt safe , and I enjoyed it. But reality hit that I had to leave and I couldn’t just stay at home , so I applied to college & started a foundation degree , I decided on the foundation degree because if I didn’t want to do 3 years of university then that was fine I didn’t have to , I could just do 2 and have a level 5 qualification. Which is what I did , I achieved the level 5 in children and young people. I graduated. But the process was difficult , you see I struggle with academic writing , but was too scared to ask for help and support so I would just figure it out I suppose , my lecturer knew I was autistic & specialised in autism so she knew when I was anxious or on edge & she knew when to ask if I needed help , so she was a saviour , that’s when I learnt not to hide it from people who can give me help , yes I hid that I had autism from many people when I was getting older & not because I was ashamed of me but because in this day & age it seems to be funny for people to use ‘your so autistic’ as a insult to their friends , who aren’t autistic. And when you see that happening it makes you feel dirty , like you belong in the gutter , like you should be ashamed of who you are. Anyways , I started to tell more people about having ASD & at first I got some funny looks & some people would just blow it off asif I was lying to them. I just got my head down and focused on my study’s. now during these 2 years I needed a part time job , I had put it off for so long until I was offered a bar job at a caravan site my grandparents lived on , the owners of the site have known me for 16 years so they knew who I was and the struggles I had & decided that they would give me that chance to better myself & I know that not everyone can get something this easy but there are people out there who will give people like us a chance & wont discriminate against us for being who we are. so I done 1 season of working on this bar & then didn’t work for a couple of months , I then got another job at a bar in Alnwick & this was a huge step for me because I didn’t know anyone there so it hit me that I was going to have to be vocal & confident , and I did just that. It was hard going into this specific job , because everyone knew each other there & Alnwick was a while away from where I lived so I wasn’t part of that community , I was looked at like I was just someone to cover when they all wanted to spend time together, anyways that job didn’t last , I left after I got back from my holiday & then wondered for so long what job I could do next , I was still a full time student so needed to have something flexible & not as time consuming. That’s when I went into home care & it wasn’t the field I was studying in , but it helped a lot , I became a lot more independent and I was able to thrive with my confidence , I don’t really want to make this all about my jobs so skip forward a bit I was in home care for about a year before I got a job at the end of my degree in a children’s home , I loved this job when I started and it made me realise that even though I struggled over the previous 3 years I was still able to give myself the most normal lifestyle I possibly could. I have a driving licence , my own car that I bought , an amazing relationship, a stable job & my own home , and honestly it doesn’t seem possible when your in such a dark lonely place but trust me it is so worth the struggle in the end & yes I stop struggle , daily in fact , but that doesn’t stop me & won’t stop me.
I hope this has been some help to some people , I will also try to do a follow up post at some point so keep an eye out ☺️
I sympathise with every girl out there with ASD or who is struggling to get help with ASD, because it is so hard. That in fact that boys are 4 times more likely to be diagnosed than girls because it’s easier to notice their symptoms , where as us girls , we’re good as masking them & trying our best to fit in with ‘normal’ society.
So when you get the usual ‘you don’t look autistic’ or ‘really it doesn’t seem like you have autism’ I totally get the feeling that comes across you because it gives you that thought of ‘am I just over reacting?’ , ‘what if they’re right?’ , ‘is it all in my head?’ & that honestly is a horrible feeling , because not only are you already struggling but your then made to doubt yourself as well , all because of one persons ignorance on the condition.
I mean how many times do we need to hear the words ‘it’s her emotions’ , ‘after puberty settles down she should feel better’ , ‘she’s a young girl they get like this’ & that’s from a licensed Doctor 🥴 , or even how difficult it is to get referred to CYPS ? , like are doctors now educated on the signs of autism & that it is possible for a girl to have autism , it’s like whatever is said goes in one ear and out the other , your sitting in their office literally crying out for help & you just get sent off home & told you can manage. Even now at 21 years old I still get the ‘you don’t look autistic’ , is there a look ? If so could someone please tell me what it is , I’m intrigued, honestly I am.
So this was just kind of to get it off my chest , because I know all too well how difficult it is to be a girl with autism , so if you know any girls with autism please don’t say these things to them , they hurt & they will make us doubt ourselves & the struggles we deal with everyday , we are here & we still have feelings , please just be kind.
So it’s rather obvious as to what this post is going to be about, i personally think that one of the most difficult things about growing up with ASD is making friends. So lets start from the beginning…
Now im not exactly sure how i made friends when i started nursery because i wouldnt speak to any of the teachers or children in that matter but i had friends, four close ones from what i can remmeber so it wasnt that hard when i first started school and up until year 2 i remeber it being a really good experinvce and i say experince because it gets worse as i grow and try to fit into a friendship group that suits my personailty. Anyways when i got to about year 3 i moved schools, i moved to a school closer to our house and to the same one my older sister had recently moved to. So it was so comforting knowing that my sister was there, but it wasnt long before she moved up to middle school and i didnt have her again. i met some of the most amazing friends and of course you say that in first school because we were kids, we were all so kind hearted and innocent and we hadnt yet discovered our own personailtys yet, so we all loved bratz dolls and not meaning to flex but i had a bratz bedroom, after telling everyone at school i did and my mam then had 24 hours to decorate it before they came over for tea. Anyways so first school was okay, there wasnt very many difficulties for me and teachers pair you up with other kids when your new so i was kind of given a friendship group anyways. But going up to middle school thats when it starts to get a bit hard, My Dad was away all the time , spending months away at a time in Afghanistan and my mam was working and lookign after 3 children , with the stress of her Husband away in a war zone. So i would kind of keep my own things to myself, but this was hard because when you go into middle school thats when friends find new friends and you all get jealous of who is bestfriends with who. Honestly you couldnt oay me all the money in the world to go back to middle school, my mind would never be ready for the chew on and stress of that. Overall we were a bitchy group but we were friends and im not going to say anything bad about these girls or dish dirt on them becasue we had some pretty good times together and honestly i probably wouldnt be me now if i hadnt of had this group of friends at the time. But i did seem to stand out, i would say things that to me sounded find and it was perfectly logical to say, but to others they would laugh. i got called embarrising , a freak it goes on. moving on up a bit and i started puberty like any pre teen and when i say i got spots , i mean i really got spots, not just a few here and there. loads , my face was covered and i got called a spotty freak so much , to top it off my nose wasnt exactly a normal size so that kind of just added fuel to the fire. And the funniest part of all of this was i would just laugh it off, but when i was alone nothing hurt more than knowing people i considered my friends would say that, i was called pinnochio throuhgout school and someone would always mention my nose, regardless of if i had said anything to them that day. i would just reply with what people wanted to hear, i would always try and please them so that i didnt have to be alone , and it got better when i went up to high school but only for a little while. And for a few years everything was fine , fast forward to year 10 and for some reason everything was just gping down hill, i truely belive it was just we were all young and finding our feet and i dont really blame anyone for that, because everyone has their own persoanilty and it was just about others finding who they were and who they clicked with and unfortunately i didnt click with anyone, it was by far the loneliest time of my life. i physically had no one. Everyday i would finish school, go home and cry. it got to point i couldnt take it anymore and made the descision i wanted to move schools. so in the most important time of my education i got up , moved and started fresh.
Now i was scared, and i mean really scared. A new school, New people and they already had friends. so as you can imagine it was anxious and i had my worrys. but i went in on my first day and put on a brave face to start fresh and find who i was. Now my first lesson was psychology and i had never done psychology before and was a year behind so i was on edge thinking i would be by myself trying to find my way. But lucky for me i was sat next to one of the girls who at the time i didnt know would make such an impact on my life. And that was our Courts, along with meeting Chloe and then Beth , i finally found girls that were so kind and caring towards me and welcomed me in with open arms. and yes over the years we drifted apart but we are closer than ever now and if it wasnt for them i wouldnt be who i am today, so this one is for the girls, i love yous all with my whole heart and more and i cant thank yous enough for making my life so much more brighter.
I Love you’s !
So I’ve been doing some thinking on what to write about & I have so much but ,thought that a post on why I’ve started this blog would be something worth the read.
I’ve explained a lot in the welcome post , so if you haven’t already seen it & this is the first post you’ve seen go and give it a read and it will explain a lot. Anyways , I’ve also mentioned before that I struggle a lot to get my feelings across & to put my words out there , whether it’s an idea I have or even just something I’m struggling with , somehow the words dont come out & I then realised I’m able to write it. And I’ve found out since writing these posts that I am a lot more comfortable with writing things rather than talking about things. But then there’s the type of people who will say but why put it online? Because believe me there is a lot more people out there that are struggling with the same thing , and yes every post I put up may not be about My Autism but it’s my life and how I deal with things & I think personally if when I was growing up or even still now at 21 if I had someone’s words to go by and follow the hurdles that they have been over when dealing with autism and trying to grow up in such a judgmental , bitchy generation I could have managed a lot better. Unfortunately growing up with Autism & not being diagnosed until 17 years old & then being discharged from CYPS at 18 I had to help myself and teach myself how to manage , so yeah , that’s the reason behind this blog & I hope that it brings some sort of help or even just takes someone’s mind off the struggles that are similar that they might be going through aswell.
So by the title of this blog your probably thinking , what? Well i thought i would make this post about one of the most important women who was in my life and for those who really know me can probably guess who. Ladies and Gentlemen, My Aunty Shirley. What A Woman.
i have so many amazing memories with my Aunty Shirley , she was so warm hearted, always put anyone else before herself and would always comment the most lovely things on my photos.
Bit of a backstory, My Aunty Shirley lived in Australia and she wasn’t blood related ( which i only found out when i was 11/12 years old maybe ) but that just shows the kind of women she was that i thought we were blood relatives. Anyways she was actually my Aunty Joan’s best friend and they were inseparable, she would come over the England with my Aunty Joan to visit us and we went over to Australia too. i remember staying at her house when we visited and i honestly wish my home was as amazing as hers was, and why … because everything was Pink and im not even exaggerating , every bit of furniture, piece of clothing. you name it , she had it and it was pink. And honestly thats what i loved the most about her, she was so unique and wasn’t even scared of what others would have said , she was my very own pink lady. She gave the best hugs and had the most comforting voice and its weird because usually when someone passes you sadly forget their voice, but hers is still as clear as day to me and im so grateful for that, i get to hear the sound of her voice because i can remember it and that gives me so much comfort.
My Aunty Shirley passed away a little over 2 years ago now and its not been the same , not having her comment on photos or message every now and again and she used the speak on the phone with my nanna often. and now we cant do that it just doesn’t seem the norm , thats not our reality. i always seen myself being really close with My Aunty Shirley and it was a bond that not many people get to build in their lifetime and when i look at that i see something that i am so lucky to have had and will always cherish that. One thing in particular that i will miss forever is the handmade birthday cards i would receive every year, they were so carefully made and were always made with so much love and care. i had one made into a photo frame of her handwriting with the last birthday card i received from her and it is the most special thing i have in my home, something i will never be able to let go of. its hard when i look at the reality of it that i wont ever get another card from her, and this gets to me but i take a page out of her book and always be proud of myself, ill always show a happy face. And even though i do have my days when i cry, ill cry with her and only her.
And i’ll always remember, Pink Makes The Boys Wink xxoo
I never really thought about how much my autism effects me until this pandemic , because In fairness I don’t have high functioning autism but that doesn’t mean I don’t have autism.
Change has always been such a struggle , and all of a sudden we’re stuck in this fear of unknown, following stickers on the floor , queing absolutely everywhere & wearing a mask everywhere but your own house. And let me tell you , wearing a mask has probably been the hardest part , it might not seem like a big thing , but when you have heightened senses it really is. Firstly the smell of masks , disposable masks have such a weird smell that I don’t even know how to explain but it makes my stomach turn every time I have to wear one & most of you will say , why not get a fabric, reusable one ? I did & I’ve lost it , so disposable ones it is. Anyways back on track , next ..following one way systems & the social distancing , I don’t mind this & totally understand the guidelines , but when your so used to going about things your way and in your routine it is so so so difficult to try and adjust to the rules , instead of having something already planned out in my head like the way I’m going to go around a shop & then having to scrap all of that and just follow the arrows, it throws me completely off balance and that’s when the anxiety comes in , I forget what I need , it stresses me out and eventually I will leave without what I was meant to even get.
All in all I totally understand that everyone is stressed and frustrated , especially during this time because it is so hard to try and adjust to all of this , but honestly from my own experience , If you see someone and they are going the wrong way in a shop or they have been slightly too close to you, please don’t tut at them , or mumble things under your breath because , they’re probably struggling with it & they will hear you & they will sit and stew about it for hours after , it will completely off put their day and it will hurt.
So back to the question how am I doing during covid-19 , honestly it’s hard & stresses me out almost all of the time , but I’m managing with myself and yes I have days where everything gets on top of me & I will just cry and little things , but I’m okay , I’m doing alright.