For some reason this has been harder to write than much of my previous posts, maybe its because it is recalling more of my past but it has also helped to reflect back on everything and signs that I missed, that everyone missed with my autism so that hopefully I don’t miss them in someone else.
When I was younger I had the most amazing imagination. I loved taking on a role and pretending to be a mum and play with my dolls. I would create stories and events based on these and I could talk for hours about what we had been up to, what the 10 imaginary children and I had been doing. I remember walking to my nans and literally talking the whole way there as we walked, about this imaginary family I had invented. I was so invested in my game that to me it was almost real. Problem is I really immerse myself in these games, and this wasn’t the only time. All throughout my childhood I would enjoy playing the same games, especially imaginary ones, over and over, and I couldn’t work out or understand why my friends didn’t want to play the game constantly too. The game would be all I could think of at times and in the end I suppose I became too over the top that people didn’t want to play them anymore, Also if they just got bored or grew out of the game this was something I found very hard to understand. I think this is an important aspect of autism to me. Most people wouldn’t assume that a child with autism would be able to play imaginatively very well and this would be an area they struggle in, which makes perfect sense considering autistic individuals tend to like literal, practical and things which are logical to understand. I believe that this imaginary play is more common in women and girls with autism than boys. Girls have a more social desire, they want to be like everyone else (okay I’m generalising but I know this is how I felt.) and as I have explained with my job, it’s a role. I can mimic a role, I can be and try and understand many of the things that I struggle to deal with. For me this was a way of fitting in, to understand the world the way everyone else seemed to; until I became too much of course.
As I developed the understanding that not everyone wanted to play the game quite as intensely as I did I would often create my own little worlds to delve and submerge myself in. This was a way of escaping and I could do this on my own and not worry about the world around me for a little while. I know part of this was due to my loneliness and abandonment I felt from my parents too, which just enhanced these worlds of mine. I would be someone else, whoever I wanted to be. As I got older this evolved into being characters that I was addicted to such as Sara from CSI. I could be her, I had studied her enough on the show to know how to be and what things might be happening in her life. This was my biggest coping mechanism at times. When I couldn’t handle the real world then I could retreat to my little bubble and be safe in my little world, mimic being someone whom I classified as ‘normal’
The more I progress into adulthood the less I feel the need for these little worlds of mine, there are times when I am particularly stressed, emotional or destressed about something when I can feel these creeping in and my mind wanting to take me into a little world where I can escape these feelings. This often occurs in the times when I am most tired, in that space between being awake and being asleep submerging into someone else and not having to process everything my brain is dealing with means I can fall asleep easier. This doesn’t happen often and writing about it fills me with panic, as I know how crazy it all seems and how difficult this idea is to understand, but this blog was all about being open and honest and sharing my personal experiences so here we go…
Next time round I am going to delve into an area that is difficult to me and difficult to discuss, physical relationships and finding love.
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As always thank you to everyone who takes the time to read xx