Sometimes being autistic really does suck. It makes me cross to say that as I try my best to advocate and remind people of the awesomeness of autism but today I am reminded of why it can be so tricky, and that something that seems so small, so non important to some people can be so massive to someone with autism. In this instance I’m talking about food.
I have always been told I am fussy with food, and yes I am aware that some of that may come from my childhood as my mother’s favourite cuisine was microwave chips but my auntie and my Nan always provided good meals for me so I know this isn’t the only reason.
It isn’t just being ‘fussy’, oh I really wish it was, it would have prevented the meltdown I had tonight over dinner if it was just me being a fussy eater but there is so much more to it than that, and it makes me so cross with myself when I can not control it.
Let me give you some context, so tonight for dinner we had jacket potato and I wanted Tuna on mine, amazingly I love tuna but I am really particular about it. Now, Justin, my partner is so good at dealing with my little quirks with food (having to use a bread knife on a sandwich so the edges don’t get squished, not liking too many different things in a dinner, not eating any of the chicken in a meal if I find one bit that doesn’t look or feel just right to name a couple) but this one he completely accidentally did. Now he served dinner up and I just looked at it and knew. I’m not even sure how I just knew but I could tell. The tuna was just ever so slightly not fully drained, and I’m talking a very very small amount of the spring water left. I lost it. I really tried to rain it back in and just be a bigger person and eat it. It was absolutely fine and I knew it was but I still couldn’t bring myself to do it. I tried I really did. I was so angry at myself for being so weird about it too as I know majority of people wouldn’t have even noticed it it was that small a difference. I wanted so badly to just suck it up and eat the dinner as it would be fine on the potato anyways and wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference. But I couldn’t. I threw my cutlery in frustration over feeling this way and then just burst into tears. Ridiculous sounding I know, but I honestly couldn’t help it.
This is just one example and I hate it, people think I am being ungrateful for food they have done for me, or that I am fussy and just need to get over it. I really wish I could. I ate the potato but none of the tuna. Honestly it’s lucky I even ate that because of the mess I felt inside. It’s a waste. It frustrates and annoys people when to them it’s like I won’t even try it or act polite and eat it. I hate eating out at peoples for the first time, or people I am not comfortable with as I worry so much about what food they will offer me and whether I will like it, or it will be cooked just the way I need it to be.
I am so grateful for Justin, even tonight when he had every right to be mad at me or at least frustrated at me he was perfect. He let me be upset but comforted me when I allowed it, he didn’t make a fuss when I didn’t eat all my dinner and he understood me as best as he possibly can. He let me be mad and sad and everything else that I dealt with in that moment.