Numb. Or atleast for now.

Tired. Sluggish. Ahh, I don’t even know what’s up anymore. I’m just about to consider throwing everything away.

Numb for the past few days. Just sitting and staring into nothingness. Suppressing the urge to violently recoil from touch. I’m tired. Everything feels heavy.

I don’t want to go through this anymore. I’m just drowning in apathy. How much longer before it stops?

What is “normal”?

I tried to write a post on what is normal but no idea what happened since I derailed so badly it hurts to look at the thing I left in my drafts. I can’t even get myself to rewrite it and I feel starting fresh might be a better idea.

So what is “normal”? How do we get to the decision on what is “normal” and what isn’t. Why do we decide that what isn’t “normal” is not acceptable? How does our brain make that weird jump? And why are we so intolerant to that which isn’t “normal”? When did we get so judgy?

Where I’m from people are usually more the type to go “not my life, not my business” so I grew up fairly tolerant. Obviously there are always people who seem so set on putting their nose in other people their business but the majority like to keep their nose out.

I grew up with the saying “each house bears their own cross” and I was raised Catholic (I’m atheist since my views don’t match with religions). When I was little I couldn’t comprehend why people complained about the differences of others. Does it even matter? Do you care that your neighbour prefers to wear a poncho? Or Crocs? Wouldn’t you just scoff at it and let it be?

Does it really matter that you don’t agree with the life choices of a person you don’t even know? So what if eating a pancake at breakfast isn’t “normal” to you but, maybe it’s normal for your neighbour? I grew up eating pancakes at either breakfast, lunch or dinner and it’s also seen as a desert so I can’t comprehend why people would insist you conform to what they think is normal.

Each culture has their differences. Each religion does. Each household. Even each person. Isn’t “normal” just “that which we know and are used to”? Since when is trying or seeing something different “wrong”?

Isn’t that just the same as saying “but it’s tradition”? Are we all going to keep being perpetually stuck in the past? Confirming to old outdated rules made by dead people? Isn’t life constantly changing? Aren’t people constantly changing? Isn’t science also constantly improving?

Change is inevitable no matter how much you try to stick to the past. Wouldn’t you just regret dying while hating on everyone and everything that don’t conform to your view on what’s “normal”? Why would you even want that?

Even the things that are “normal” will slowly change and you can try to stop it but how far can you really go to stop change? How far will you go to force your “normal” onto others?

I think we’re all tired of living according to other people’s rules. We’re all tired of this box called “normal”. Everywhere there are traces of people who are tired. Exhausted. Worn out. Frustrated at being forced to conform to a “normal” that they inherently reject.

What is “normal”? And who decided that?

Thoughts come and go, some stay while some won’t.

I’ve tried to make a few posts. Trying to vocalise my thoughts. It didn’t work. I started a point and I just side-tracked so hard I ended up on the other side of the continent.

Sometimes life is just like that. You try to get somewhere but life won’t have it. Or you brain won’t let you. Sticking to a cause is hard when your mind is running overtime, trying to think and process all the thoughts. At the same time.

Having a mind that won’t stop running at all times is tiresome. When you can’t let go of a thought, it’s exhausting. When you can’t stop it from going into a spiral, it’s frustrating because feelings are involved that bite down like a pitbull, stubbornly clinging onto the feeling of injustice or a mere perceived slight.

And, if you don’t hear the whole story, your mind makes up it’s own (I watched BrenĂ© Brown on Netflix, this lady is a gem. She mentions this saying in a Ted talk called “the call to courage”).

Thoughts aren’t something I’m always in control of. Thoughts can be intrusive. Thoughts can be all-consuming. Thoughts can take over everything while you’re just going through the motions. Your body is doing the thing but your mind.. your mind is somewhere else.

I’m tired of thinking. I’m tired of confronting myself with my thoughts every single day. I don’t want to go down some stray paths, I don’t want to feel too much of certain feelings. I just want to be ok. I just want to feel emotions in a normal, not overwhelming way.

I don’t want to drown in uncontrollable feelings because then I lose control. How do people just “let go”? How can they just let themselves soak in those feelings and then shake it off and move on with their lives? How do you separate yourself from such a thing?

You shouldn’t hide from your thoughts and feelings but it’s hard to accept and process some. Sometimes the only way to keep moving on is to just not think about this things. To refocus your mind on other things. To avoid the confrontation. But, you can’t keep doing that.. that’s just leaving the damage for future you.

And it’s hard because, in some places, the current society doesn’t care much for mental health. They don’t care you’re disassociating because the pain is too much to deal with. They don’t want to hear your struggle. They don’t care for your pain. There isn’t really a sense of community even when there is a community.

Overwhelmingly overwhelmed.

Due to my last talk with the psychologist I came to a realisation that my plunge into a full blown depression was probably the effect of not being aware that I’ve been stuck in an autistic burn-out from being overwhelmed for years. I never realised it until she pointed it out. I can really only focus on one thing only. I either keep myself healthy, or my house clean, or work a full-time job, or care for my son. I might be able to do 2 on a good day but that’s the absolute limit. Right now I’m still numbing myself to avoid a meltdown in-front of my son. Focussing my attention on other things so I won’t have to face said frustrations.

I’m realising that I can’t handle constant loud sounds, crowds, most foods or even movies because of being overwhelmed all the time. I’m pretty sure it started around the time my pregnancy began to affect me or maybe even before that. Now that I’ve had an actual depression I can say, with 200% confidence, that I never suffered from a post-natal depression (I was already 100% confident before).

How does one actually deal with being overwhelmed all the time? How do you even know you’re overwhelmed all the time without falling into a depression? How can you make sure that you don’t go as far as to lose yourself in the act of pretending to be fine? At some point, aren’t your body and mind going to say “Now it’s time to stop”? Oh right. That’s called a burn-out/depression.

Now that I know about the autism. About the constant state of being overwhelmed. The burn-out. I finally understand the reason why I can’t do the things I could do in the past. Being overwhelmed all the time is just exhausting. I never learned how to deal with any of this. I was never taught to recognise the signs. I was never made aware that autism can have such an effect on a person because I didn’t even know I had it. I never received the help I needed because my diagnose was kept from me.

No wonder I’ve shut down and cut off almost everyone I know. No wonder I broke down. No wonder I can’t stand the idea of going back to work in fear of diving straight into another depression. No wonder I don’t want to see anyone because everyone and everything is exhausting. If I could I wouldn’t even set one foot outside. I feel like I’m about to burst and I can’t stand losing control of myself. I don’t want to break down. I don’t want to be in pain all the time anymore.

I don’t want to be that depressed again. I don’t want to lose my sense of self. I don’t want to force myself through the motions every single day while feeling like I might just jump in-front of a car or something. I don’t want to feel like being alive is hard and impossible. I don’t want to feel like I’m not worth it or as if there’s no use to me even being alive.

Having to pretend you’re fine and not overwhelmed when everything is just loud and oppressive and painful is literally killing people. And it’s not okay.

Why is being on the spectrum so hard?

Being a mom is hard. Being on the spectrum is hard. Learning to live with it is also hard. Being a mom is hard when you need to learn about autism and having to get to know yourself all over again. Being autistic with an autistic child.. I don’t think I need to say this out loud but.. it’s damn hard.

I love my kid more than anything but I’m glad that I can leave him with his grandparents from time to time so I can force myself to face all the feelings I’ve been avoiding. So I can let go of all the negative emotions I’ve been holding on to because my baby doesn’t deserve me yelling at him because I can’t take it anymore.

I’m tired of trying to do what people expect me to do. We’re not all the same. Some of us can’t “just do the thing” like others can. It’s hard, I’m so tired, I just want to cry but life doesn’t pause for me. I can’t just stop.

I’ve had a lot of time to think but, I’m not entirely there yet. I haven’t figured it all out. I did figure out though that I’m definitely in a burn-out mixed with a little depression. I’ve been holding on for too long, pretending I can do it for too long. Trying to make myself believe that I can do it while I actually can’t because society dictates that I must be able to do so.

Why is it so hard though? Why is living in this society so hard when you’re on the spectrum? Because it’s too chaotic. It’s too loud. It’s too concentrated on being extroverted. Too concentrated on being close. There’s just too much going on for it to NOT be painful. You have to be open, social and always ready to do things.

When you’re on the spectrum your need for boundaries is so much more rigid because everything is so overwhelming. And some can handle a few things and others can’t handle any of the things. It’s hard because you’re not allowed to show your struggles. You’re only allowed to deal with them, on your own, in private. They may not say it out loud but we all know it’s true.

It’s hard because certain parts of society want to stick us in rigid boxed that don’t fit us. Because it’s easier to put the faults on others. It’s easier to pretend there is no problem. It’s easier to make it “next generations” problem. But why is it a problem to be different? Why is it a problem when people don’t want to struggle in silence?

Why do we have to pretend we’re fine when we’re not?

Who gets to decide all this?

All these years I’ve been pulling myself apart, trying to put myself back together in an acceptable way. Trying to figure out how I could make myself “normal”. Trying to figure out how I could function “normally”. How I can make myself “do the thing” because obviously everyone else can do the thing.

But how can you put yourself back together in an “acceptable way” when you’re different at the core? Who decides what is “normal”? Why gets to decide whether you’re “wrong” or not? Who has the right to decide that you need to “change” who you are at the core just to be accepted?

Why would you expect another person to tear themselves, who they are, to pieces to accommodate your feelings? Why do people need to “change” who they are? Why can they only behave one way? Why is there only one acceptable way to live? Why can’t I live life like a hermit, locked in my own home? Why do I need to be social? Why do I need to look you in the eyes? Why do I need to let you into my space and let myself be touched?

Why do I have to accept you when you’re obviously making me uncomfortable? Why is my comfort “unacceptable” but I still have to behave in a certain way so you can be comfortable? Why do I need to change? Why can’t you change? Why can’t you accept me? And what makes you think I should accept you?

Why should I want to be standing in the spotlight? Why should I want to have so many friends? Why do I.. need to stop being me? But you still get to be.. you? That.. doesn’t make any sense.

Because, you wouldn’t change for me. You wouldn’t make things comfortable for me. You wouldn’t consider my feelings or the fact that being near strangers makes me anxious and overwhelmed. You don’t care if I can’t make the phone call because “Just call, why are you scared?”. It’s not just fear, it’s more than that. But since you don’t care for my comfort you also don’t care for my reason.

So, who are you? Who are you to decide how I should be, how I should live, how I should act? Who decided this? Who decided the norm? Who ended up deciding that there’s only one way to be when there’s so many of us?

Who gets to decide all this?

What the heck is going on?

I’m frustrated that I can’t figure things out quickly enough. I’m lacking the knowledge, the words.. My heart keeps feeling heavy and I don’t really know what the exact problem is. It has been 11 days since I somehow broke through the depression but I still don’t really know what to make of it. I’m struggling to figure things out and I cannot stand it.

There’s too much information yet there’s so little of it. Normally I don’t have any problems with that but this time it just gives off a different feel. Perhaps the decision that I need to face my emotions instead of playing ostrich is what makes it so difficult. I feel stuck and I don’t know how to progress.

I feel so uncomfortable in my own skin today and not even a shower helped wash it all away. I’m so confused..

Oh hello.

Is that a meltdown I went through? Am I forced to face reality after all those years of losing myself in daydreams? I mean, I sure as heck do NOT remember feeling suffocated out of absolute nowhere for no apparent reason. Have my triggers finally caught up to me? I’m surprised I managed to go through childhood and teenage years without throwing myself in front of a bus. Did this depression leaving make way for my sensitivity to certain things?

It’s hard to explain, in words, how that even felt.. There’s still some pressure left on my lungs and it’s still a bit hard to breathe.. I cried. Or atleast my body tried to make me cry but my husband walked in mid meltdown so I refused to let go. Please.. Let me have my meltdowns in peace.. Having snot and tears run down my face is embarrassing enough as it is..

It’s been several hours but I still feel like I’m suffocating.

Why, oh why, did I never learn healthy coping mechanisms as a child. WHY did I end up being untreated and did NO ONE TELL ME I HAD THIS THING GOING ON. WHY. NOT. TELL. ME.

AHHHH MY BAGGAGE IS BACK TO BITE ME IN THE ASS AND I CANNOT DEAL. The price I pay for AVOIDING EMOTIONAL TURMOIL because EMOTIONS ARE HARD AND INTENSE AND ah.. So that’s why they said I disconnect from my emotions and events.. The daydreams are.. the disconnect… huh.

So after that train wreck of an emotional roller-coaster from hell I ended up crying and then we went to the store in the evening since no one goes shopping THAT late and it was sort of relaxing. Or I might just be a bit numb as an after effect.

I’m tired. Adulting is hard. Emotions are hard. Living is hard.

Questions.

I wanted to write a list of questions for the psychologist since I didn’t ask many during the session last time. After the session I only felt it was very chaotic and messy and not at all how I had hoped it would go. I still feel a bit lost on how to approach this. What am I even trying to approach? What am I even trying to figure out?

The process to expanding the knowledge you have of yourself definitely isn’t a short trip. And now that I have know I have this label called “autism” I can obviously see where the reactions in my life have come from. Yes, I was weird. And yes, I was bullied for being weird. But, I was never able to pinpoint why until.. now.

Because, what person would slam their head on their desk in frustration? What person would start screaming when things were too much? What person would freeze up when there are too many people staring? What person would wreck their room or break things when they can’t keep in the anger? Obviously someone who can’t understand what they’re going through.. Or someone who never learned the correct way to express emotions.. Someone who doesn’t receive the right amount of security or understanding from their caregiver or others?

I honestly don’t understand much myself but I can see why the things that happened happened.. I wish I could have received therapy to help me understand myself. Children are so full of emotions they don’t understand and don’t have names for and I think it’s very sad that some of them don’t receive the guidance they so desperately need.

Children don’t come pre-installed with a way to recognise emotions or a certain set of behaviours. They don’t have a pre-installed set of how to be a responsible adult. They are a blank slate that are slowly filled with things they learn from their parents, their caregivers, teachers and other adults, even other children. Not a single one of us is made for the exact same set of experiences.

Some like chaos, some don’t. Some like the quiet, others will be driven crazy. Some bask in the attention of a crowd and then there’s people like me, who prefer to be alone. Both overstimulation and under stimulation are real things and it’s sad to see that society doesn’t seem to value the individual alone as much as they value the individual in a group.

Children are encouraged to play together, to share, to learn at a certain pace, to communicate in a certain way.. We are taught, from a young age, to conform to a certain set of behaviour, words, actions, feelings.. I don’t remember which video it was I heard this in but it was something like.. “Society doesn’t conform to the people living in it, we are expected to conform to society”.

Those with autism are seen as disabled. But it’s not a disability. It’s just that it’s a disability due to how society has been set up. Someone in a wheelchair can perfectly manage just fine as long as society conforms to their unique situation. It’s only a disability when you’re restricted from caring for yourself. Atleast.. that’s my own personal view. Because, I don’t feel disabled even though autism is seen as a disability.

I am me. This is just.. Who I am. Having autism as a label only helps me accept that my brain just works differently. I just can’t thrive while constantly surrounded by noise and people and constantly being touched or thrown into a group and expected to socialise. Having autism as a label is really only a medical term to me that helps me asses what exact help I need so I can thrive in my own way, specifically designed to help ME and not everyone else.

Just as depression is a term that will give my doctor and psychologist the correct tools, or atleast a direction, in which to go to so they can offer me the help I need. Just as with PCOS. In my eyes these are just medical terms so the specialists know how to help me. So I know where to go to and who to talk to.

In the end, does it really matter to me that I am labelled with autism? No, not really. It just gives me a general direction on how to approach this so I can learn the right way to thrive. And I’m fine with that.

So what the heck is a depression anyway?

How come you don’t actively realise you’re IN a depression? You don’t feel any different.. Maybe a little dead on the inside but, otherwise nothing is different.. You’re still living. And.. Actually that’s basically it. You’re living. Living from day to day. You’re alive and that’s all that it really is. You’re just riding that tidal wave called Depression. It happens slowly but steadily and before you know it the massive wave just smashes into you and wipes away all resistance. And probably any remnants of positive emotions you still feel. And you feel like you’re drowning in apathy and sadness..

Like, who cares anyway, right? That’s right. Nobody. But.. That’s the depression talking. Because somebody does care, not necessarily someone you expect but, it could be a teacher. It could be the neighbour. Maybe your cat. Or dog if you’re not a cat person. It could be your kids, even though you sometimes just want to stick em behind the wallpaper because you have zero tolerance for anything and everything is frustrating and exhausting. And kids ARE exhausting. But you signed up for it (normally) and you’re stuck with those little gremlins. And part of you obviously still cares because you drag yourself out of bed every day to tend to them. Feed them. Clothe them. Drop them off at school so you can go home straight back to bed.

You don’t know what depression FEELS like.. Until you have an actual GOOD day.. And you realise that you.. forgot.. what it feels like to be happy. What genuine happiness feels like. What it feels like to love.. What it feels like to be YOU. What it feels like to.. feel. Being able to get things done.. Being able to sit tasks through. And maybe.. You just sit there all plant like, basking in this feeling of.. being able to FEEL or maybe you desperately get to it, trying to do as much tasks as possible while you feel good and energetic and motivated.. And maybe, you decide to listen to music and you’re so filled with the emotions that you receive from said music and you just.. start bawling like mad while going all “???” because you don’t feel sad or dead inside but actually happy.

And you end up so filled with words and feelings and, because you’ve basically offed all your friendships with all your friends because your depression just made you cut off everything and everyone, you have nowhere to go and your talk with the psychologist is far too far away (only 4 days here, really) you can’t really go anywhere else BUT here to talk to no one in specific. Because. Words. Need to GET OUT. Somehow.

Somehow.. I’m unsure what broke my depression. It could be either the fact that we managed to get my son into a school (specific for children with autism/ADHD and so on) with a good reputation. It COULD be the housekeeper saving my depressed ass and cleaning up my house, making me feel a lot less overwhelmed by it. And it COULD also be the fact that I apparently also have autism and I’m not hopeless and I just function differently and that’s why, after not being able to choose whether to scream in rage or cry with fury (or both), I just.. accepted it. And told myself “I’m going to rant to the psychologist SO BAD because I AM RAGING because NO ONE TOLD ME, EVER, THAT I WAS ALSO DIAGNOSED WHEN I WAS LITTLE AND NO ONE FUCKING DID ANYTHING ABOUT IT OR DECIDED TO GET ME FUCKING THERAPY.

Ah. Angry childhood that I’ve repressed. Suicidal thoughts that I fleetingly felt. And this whole ass fucking DEPRESSION that I had to suffer through for WHO KNOWS how many years and I’m just.. Disappointed. Angry. Sad. Mourning the childhood I COULD have had, NOT feeling like an absolute FAILURE or being punished for things I had NO control over. And deciding that my son will have a childhood that he doesn’t wish to forget. The mere idea that my sunny happy baby will no longer be sunny and happy just makes me want to hate life and stab everyone that is the cause of it.

I think I got most of it out. Today is another good day. Yesterday was so so. Not great but not too depressed either. I’m afraid this is temporary. I don’t want to feel empty inside. I don’t want all those negative emotions just sucking the energy out of me. I just want to FEEL and DO things. And not forget feelings or lose people or even myself.

I want to stop feeling like there’s no point in me living because I don’t measure up to anything. Because I am worth something. I CAN do the things. And I want to be a good mom to my son and watch him grow up into an adult that doesn’t have to fix his childhood trauma on his own. I just.. want my baby to be happy and not hate himself. Like I did.