aspified

a blog by an autistic adult

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Random ramblings on feeling free

For me, freedom is more a state of mind than anything else; that’s the thing I’ve most learned recently from being trapped for the past year. Trapped by the fear of my mom dying and not knowing what will happen to me when it happens, fear of my own failing health, fear of potentially becoming homeless… on and on…

On top of the fears, it feels like everytime anything good starts to happen or I get a bit of inspiration to try to make my life move forward in some small way that something bad happens. Like life is trying to tell me “Fuck you. You are small. You will never grow out of this. You will always be trapped in this hell.”

pigeons-2362768_640

So for the past year or so I haven’t bothered with much of anything. Partly because I don’t have the time or energy to do more than it takes to survive each day. But also, trying seems pointless.

It’s amazing to me how much energy it takes just to survive.

But recently I got a bit of good news. Just a tiny bit, and one that could soon be fleeting, but for that small moment I felt peace. I felt free. And freedom for me, the feeling of it, is a funny thing. Because it’s kind of like giving up sugar for a while and then having a small taste. All of a sudden I want more. Chasing the freedom dragon, if you will…

So I started thinking about it during one of my insomnia nights when I couldn’t sleep and knew I would just be laying there thinking about something, so it might as well be this. I was thinking about how I felt years ago when I left for California with basically nothing – with about as little as I have now. And how I survived.

I started thinking about how liberated I felt then, although it was perhaps a delusional feeling of liberation because things were not good and I was not free and it spiraled (eventually) into the worst time of my life since childhood. But the feeling of leaving, of going there, of feeling free — despite having no clue what would happen to me — was probably the most free I have ever felt.

Anyway, somehow as I was thinking about this, I started to feel content about whatever is to come. Not that I’ll be happy, or comfortable, or even survive it. Because I know it will be hard, and I have no way of knowing what will happen to me, and I know that I could end up dead. But the odds are just as good of me dying now as then. And who cares, really? What difference does it make if I die now or later?

In some strange way, I don’t care anymore. I care, but it’s an odd sense of acceptance. Somehow this knowledge that the idea of freedom is all in my mind anyway made it better. Because what is freedom really? A delusion that makes me feel better? And if that’s true, then why not go ahead and feel free now?

This might not make sense to anyone but me, and that’s fine. But I thought I would share it anyway. Mostly because I haven’t been writing anything here lately and people have been emailing to ask if I’m dead. (No, not yet lol). I post more on my facebook page than I do here, simply because it’s become a habit. But yes, I am still alive. Strange, but alive. : – )

[Image is of pigeons, a free stock photo from pixabay]

Your Opinion

It seems to be a common thing that people think their right to their opinion about me, my life, my autism, etc., is more important than my own experience or opinion.

Sometimes it’s about something very significant, extremely personal, and none of their business. Other times it is over something more trivial. Either way… It’s not like I asked their opinion. But they still seem to think that they are entitled to express why I am wrong and they are right about something they know little to nothing about. Sometimes it comes from total strangers. I’m way past the point of tolerating it anymore.

If I don’t drop everything and comply with their bizarre need to school me on whatever it is they think they’re right and I’m wrong about, the common response is that they have the right to their opinion. Maybe that’s true. But I have the right not to listen to it. I don’t owe my time or energy to anyone, especially people like that.

You may have a right to your opinion. But I have the right not to listen to it.

You may have a right to your opinion. But I have the right not to listen to it.

Learning a thing about Internalized Ableism

Learning a thing isn't always fun, but it can help in the long run

Learning a thing isn’t always fun, but it can help in the long run

It’s amazing to me the things we (as society and individuals) can be ignorant about. Even when we are surrounded by these things daily. Even when they are things we are doing. Things that are making us (or the people we care about, or both) miserable.

A few years ago I had never heard the word ableism and didn’t know what it meant. I didn’t know internalized ableism was a thing or that I was causing myself or others damage by being ableist. I’m still learning about this every day. Learning a thing isn’t always fun, but it can help in the long run.

Today I read an article, Telling Myself the Truth: 5 Strategies for Fighting Internalized Ableism (via autostraddle), and thought “Wow. Yes. This is basically me. This is so good. I should share it.” So there ya go.

Acceptance should happen every day, not once a year

acceptance should happen every day not once a year

I’ve struggled with what to post, if anything, for April and Autism Awareness. Feeling very burnt out and struggling lately just to do the essential things like take care of my mom and stay alive. And as I found out last year, April being autism month is rather exhausting and triggering for me with all of the arguing that seems to result from it. I have taken a break from social media and not been posting as much lately because I am having a hard time with life in general.

So I don’t have the words or energy to find the words to express anything of much value at all right now. My main thought is that what I personally need as an autistic person is acceptance and understanding every day, not once a year. My life and all I am going through right now would be much easier.

“There is no disability in life except a bad attitude.” Really??

dear non-disabled people

Dear non-disabled people:

Telling disabled people that “there is no disability in life except for a bad attitude” is not helpful or inspirational. It’s insulting and harmful. Stop that nonsense. It’s like lecturing to a drowning person about how if they only loved the water, you wouldn’t have pushed them into it.

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