Something can either mean the absolute world to me and I will hold onto it forever or I can be over it in a flash and show no care or concern for something people think I should. Once I’m done I’m done, it just takes me an awfully long time to get there. (maybe I am kidding myself maybe I am never done really). There are friendships that I have fought for in the past even though they were toxic to me and I should have let them go, these I still hold onto. Friends I have lost from when I was younger still float through my head and cause me a lot of pain and I wonder what could have been done differently. This is something I have been thinking a lot about recently considering how things stand with some people I never would have thought would hurt me or people I thought would always be there for me. People I may have messed up with and don’t know how to fix, how to make things better, I don’t know how to let go, and truthfully, I don’t know if I want to.
I struggle to move on and let go of anything really. I hold onto programmes that finished years and years ago. I remember this programme called peak practice, it ended on a literal cliff hanger (two characters literally fell off the cliff) they decided not to make another series. To this day this is something that plagues my mind, I cannot let go of never knowing what happened next. Of course it doesn’t effect everything I do day to day or I don’t constantly discuss it anymore, my obsession has moved on to other things but I do still think about it and mention it occasionally during conversations. This is the best example of how I am with everything. My best friend from primary school, I still think about her. Over the years this has only got worse as my feelings and emotions have evolved and I have greater understanding of relationships. The people I have close to me now are the closest I have ever been to any other people in my life. Thinking of my life without a single one of these is the worst feeling. Yet every day I know the chance is very real, given how difficult I can be to be around, or when I immerse myself, when I retreat into my own bubble, when I have meltdowns, when I don’t understand things the way others do or when I react in ways which they don’t understand. Yeah there are a lot of reasons for me to have no one in my life at all.
There are reasons to keep me around too. I am utterly faithful and will protect the people I care about. I will do anything and I mean anything to make them happy or to stand up for them, even when this isn’t the right response. They come first no matter what is happening in my life. This had lead to me being silly with money, buying presents I really couldn’t afford, putting myself on the line even though I knew it would end in arguments with people. All the things I would normally avoid I will do for people who are in my inner circle. The truth of the matter is if there was ever a really good reason I would properly kill for these people. I know that isn’t something I should announce, and I am honestly the most honest, caring, nonviolent person, I hate even raising my voice, but I know I would do anything for the people I love. Honestly, I just have to have enough trust in the people that I let in that they would never abuse this side of me, it’s a very scary concept. I am literal. Don’t ask me to do something unless its exactly what you want me to do. I remember one time I was at a restaurant with some work colleagues and one of the ladies whom I was close too joked that she had a set of salt and pepper pots like the ones on the table and one of hers had broken, she joked I should put one in my bag. So I did. I would never steal anything for myself, hell I wouldn’t ever still anything really but she told me to do it and I did. Moments like this are rare and this is an extreme case but it helps to explain how everything you say to me I will take literally.
I am lucky enough that I am able to understand social aspects such as sarcasm, and jokes enough that I now don’t take everything as literally as I could and I am more able to understand exactly what is meant of me but when I am particularly emotional or love a person deeply enough then this becomes worse. It’s a complete conundrum inside my head, the practical part of me knows exactly what I should do, what the rules and ‘right’ thing would be, but the emotional side has no filter and will do whatever it takes. I’m not if any of that makes any sense and it may be the only people whom will understand are those who have seen it but I hope it explains a little about the way my brain functions and why I do what I do, and possibly why others on the spectrum do what they do.
It is the most difficult thing in the world to listen to my brain and try to decide whether something should be taken literally or not. Sometimes it will take me longer to respond or answer or I will just slowly nod as if I have understood but really I am still processing and overthinking it all. Every comment someone makes, every single conversation that I have over processes in my mind. It can be overwhelming and exhausting at times, leaving me physically drained. Its one of the reasons I hate disagreements so much, not only because the whole thing makes me physically uncomfortable and over stimulated but because I cannot process quick enough to deal with everything which is going on. I don’t have time to think or to take the things people are saying in the right way. Trying to keep up and keep things together leaves me in melt down mode, fighting exhaustion and trying not to ease the pressure building by doing something people would classify as self-harming such as biting myself. I don’t do it for the same reason many people self-harm, I do it for the automatic release it gives me, I can literally feel the knot loosening and some of the built-up pressure to ease from me. Over time this has consisted of different forms of self-harm, another common one I feel is the want to just bang my head against anything, in the past I have cut, though not for years now, biting my nails and the skin around certain nails, washing my hands and body in as hot water as I can possibly stand, anything to just ease the pressure inside so I don’t start to sim too much or completely melt down. Thankfully moments which lead to these responses are a lot less now, I have learnt of other coping mechanisms which aren’t as obvious or physical but sometimes things still become too much. Putting this out there is a scary concept as self-harm has been an area which has been used against me in the past, it is not attention seeking in any way, it is not because I am suicidal, it is in fact quite common for people on the spectrum to respond in a physical manner such as head banging, etc. Please do not think any worse of me because of it. I am just trying to stay focussed and make things manageable for me. I am not crazy. I am trying to fit into a world which doesn’t understand me and which I don’t understand enough. I just want to be accepted, to be acknowledged and treated the same as others.
Its important to understand that sometimes these things will become more prominent dependant on peoples reactions and attitude towards me, if someone doesn’t understand and treats me differently or makes comments such as im using my condition or that I’m getting worse, or never used to be like this then it makes me more on edge and then although I am doing my absolute best to be normal or the same as you my body is so wired that I am then more likely to react in the ways which are seen as issues. Someone’s attitude or response will make me do these things more even though it makes the situation worse. The pressure I put on myself is the worst and I wish people would understand that the more understanding or normal you try and be with me the more at ease and therefore normal I will be. I am by no means saying this is any easy thing to do, I do totally respect the difficulty in being around me but all im asking is for people to try, try and see past the mess to the real me. The one who loves deeply, cares immensely, can be funny, will work hard, do anything to fit in.