Society has dimmed my shine

I wanted to share with you what it’s like being autistic and also suffering with body dysmorphia

I hate my eyes but I’m not talking about the color. I’m talking the absence of sparkle. That sparkle was stolen by society that keeps telling me how I see the world is wrong.

I hate my smile because it’s a reminder of having to mask my happy flappy hands because society prefers quiet hands.

I hate the way I walk because society says it’s not “sexy” enough. I’m very clumsy and bump into things because I lack body awareness and I have poor posture.

I hate my body because society made me feel like my hanging belly, stretch marks and sagging breasts is ugly. I look in the mirror and pick apart everything and I cry because I’m disgusted.

I’ve spent all my life internalizing everything society sees as a flaw. But thinking about it on a deeper level, I now recognize that I actually don’t hate myself. I hate the person that I have become to protect who I really am. I hate that I’ve chosen to put myself down because it’s easier to tolerate hate from myself than to cry about the rest of the world hating me. I hate that I’ve had to mask a lot of my autistic traits so that I was protected from abuse. My fatal flaw is perfecting everything I do so the world has less of a reason to bully me.

As part of my self healing journey, I’m trying to find myself again and take back that power to love myself no matter what people think or how people feel about me.

Working on a Autism Documentary

I’m really so ecstatic to let you all know that I have been working on a autism documentary. I don’t have the money to get it professionally filmed so I’m filming it all and editing everything myself. My whole plan is to have this documentary finished and launched before I launch my autism poetry book. The reason is because I want to add a QR code in the book so the book buyers can scan it and have access to the documentary as well. I’m just looking for different ways to advertise everything.

This documentary will have raw footage showing you what it’s like being autistic for me. I will be posted on youtube and then I will link it here on a new blog post so you all can watch it too. I’m very excited about this and have been working really hard to get this done and make sure it’s as perfect as possible considering it’s going to be a home made film.

It’ll really mean the world to me if all if you watch it once it’s launched and let me know what you think of it. Also, I would love it if you all share it on all your social media platforms as well so it can reach the maximum amount of people as possible. Keep a watch out for that update blog post. I’m not sure exactly when this will be released. I want it released as soon as it’s put together so I will continue working hard on this. Wish me luck!

Autistic Meltdowns

As an autistic person, I’m going to try to describe to you what a meltdown feels like for me. This is my own experience and it may differ from person to person. Remember that autism is a spectrum disorder so therefore not all autistic people present exactly the same.

I’m going to start out with letting you know some of my triggers.

Too much sensory input

I don’t process or regulate sensory input very well. If my brain is receiving too much information, it causes a meltdown. Examples being too much bright lights, too much noise(even background noises going on at the same time), even too much touch when I’m already sensory avoidant. To resolve this, I prefer to hide in a dark or dim room away from any sensory input.

Not enough sensory input

Because I’m mostly a sensory seeker, I tend to feel like my body is floating away if I don’t have weight or deep pressure to keep me grounded. I always jump from feeling way too much to feeling nothing at all and both can trigger a meltdown. On days I need to seek sensory input, I may stim more, I love crawling in my sensory swing, I crave tight hugs and cuddles and I love watching my sensory night light glow and play calming sounds.

Too strong emotions

I can’t regulate my emotions so strong emotions can trigger a meltdown. Having to battle major depression also doesn’t make things easy on me.

Abrupt changes

Change is very hard for me especially if it’s in the last minute and no warning. If I spend days or weeks mentally preparing myself for the plan, it can’t just change in a blink of an eye. I need enough time to process the change so please give me fair warning way in advance to decrease any chance of me melting down.

When I’m having a meltdown, my whole body is literally in physical pain. My brain goes blank trying to process the thing and it being unsuccessful. My nerves in my body go haywire and I can’t tolerate any kind of input. I feel like I’m suffocating. I tend to hit myself in the head, I may violently squirm around, I’m crying and screaming, I can be destructive and this can go on for a few minutes or more than an hour. At this time, nothing really helps me. The meltdown just need to run its course and once I’m finally settled down enough to speak, that’s when my loved ones are able to intervene and make me feel comfortable and secure. This is the time when deep pressure works wonders. It is not a good idea to ask me any questions when I’m actively having a meltdown because my brain absolutely can not process conversation at that moment. I can’t hear you over all the background noise that’s excessively loud in my ears. Also don’t make it worse by trying to argue with me or saying something you know will upset me even more. Also, please don’t tell me to calm down. I’m trying really really hard and you can’t possibly understand if you don’t have sensory processing issues. My meltdowns are not intentional. I can’t just flip a switch and make it stop once it has started. Also, please don’t raise your voice at me, because I will get aggressive and fight off the trigger. As I already stated, I can’t tolerate noise at all during this time. Please be patient with me while I try to recuperate. Meltdowns are so draining and my energy levels drop drastically for the rest of the day. Sometimes it can take me a week or more to fully restore myself from a severe meltdown.

I absolutely hate being seen during these vulnerable times, especially by the public. I’m not a brat or defiant. My brain just receives way too much information and I can’t fully process it all the same way others can. I always feel ashamed and filled with guilt every time because I always feel like people have a negative view of me and I always fear abandonment from my loved ones. I was made to feel like a burden most of my life so I still have those past traumas internalized in me. After a meltdown starts to subside, I still feel afraid, lonely, dissociated and tired. I do tend to shut down, which I’ll go into further details about in another blog. I may or may not have a seizure. I also may or may not go nonverbal due to being burned out from that meltdown. It really affects me mentally and physically.

I really hope this blog helps you all understand what it’s like for me having a meltdown and also to let you know that even as an adult, I still do have meltdowns. Thank you for reading this blog.

What it’s like being autistic and becoming a mother

I know a lot of my followers have been looking forward to this blog post for a while now and I’m so happy I was able to get to it for you. In this post I’ll be talking about being autistic and pregnant and my transition to motherhood. I think it’s very important I talk about this because even though I was able to mask almost every external autistic trait about me, I still couldn’t unfeel the internal part. My loved ones may not know the whole extent due to me masking and I’m sure they would love to know my perspective on things.

I got pregnant with my first child back in July 2014. At the time, I didn’t even know it was possible for me to get pregnant in the first place. My doctors told me I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and even though it was still possible to get pregnant, they made it seem like it would take a long time to conceive. We weren’t planning to have a baby just yet as that was my first month living with my then fiance (now husband). So to have ended up pregnant in less then a month without even trying was such a shock to me. My mom and husband seemed to know I was pregnant before I even knew. I decided to take a test and sure enough, it came back positive. I sometimes do see double so I thought it was just my vision messing with me so I sent a picture to my best friend at the time and she confirmed it was a positive test. I was so happy but also scared at the same time.

My second child was planned but it took us almost a year to conceive her. Much longer than me fast unplanned firstborn. I started to lose hope and figured we would never have another child together. I did end up pregnant in May 2019 but unfortunately it ended as a miscarriage. I ended up pregnant again shortly after with my rainbow baby. It was bittersweet having to grieve the baby I lost all while feeling blessed and ecstatic about the new baby I was carrying.

I had some complications during the pregnancies that were completely unrelated to my autism. It was more medical related, like increased asthma attacks, seizures and fainting. As far as the sensory processing aspect, I feel like it amplified all the normal pregnancy discomforts. Pregnancy hormones combined with sensory processing issues is such a struggle. My emotional dysregulation was more intense during my pregnancies. With my first, I was excessively emotional and with my second, I was excessively irritable. Naps was my best friend and fulfilling my cravings were very crucial to keeping me content. I did enjoy the baby movements and really felt deeply connected to both my babies from the moment I realized they were in my belly. With my second, I was more hypervigilant and paranoid in fear of losing her too. I wasn’t able to calm my nerves down. I really fixated on keeping up with the movements and even made trips to the hospital every time I had a scare just for peace of mind. The miscarriage really affected me emotionally. I was so afraid!

I ended up with really bad postpartum depression after both babies. That alone was difficult to manage. I definitely feel like the amount of masking I had to do most likely contributed to the extent of my depression. All my meltdowns had to be suppressed to make sure I don’t injure myself and the babies in my belly. I had to try so hard to contain my emotions that I couldn’t even regulate because I needed to keep stress levels low. I honestly suppressed a lot of my stimming as well because I didn’t want the doctors to assume I’m mentally unstable and then I end up with my babies taken away from me. I’m living in a world where autism is not accepted as it should be and a lot of people assume autistic people are incapable of functioning. I shouldn’t have to fear losing my babies just because of my different neurotype. Some may feel I was just overthinking, but unless you’ve tried living life being autistic, then you can’t possibly understand all the struggles, stereotypes and stigmas that are attached to being autistic. There’s organizations that literally want to eradicate autistic people so I highly doubt they would be happy if we’re happily living life and procreating and possibly passing down autism to our children since it is genetic.

As a mother, I’d say I’m actually very patient despite people’s assumptions of autistic mothers. I’m not perfect though. I do have many days where I run and hide in a dark room where I have little to no sensory input. I get overstimulated very easy but I have never been a danger to my kids under any circumstances. I’ve always been able to make sure the kids are in a safe place where they won’t get hurt or where I can see them from a distance and take my break as needed. I still find myself suppressing meltdowns because I can’t always make sure the kids are distracted and away from me and my main priority is to keep my kids safe. I have many coping skills to offset some of my bottled up emotions. Those coping skills are my special interests which I’ll talk about in another blog post.

One of the biggest reasons I started to unmask my autism is because both my kids were diagnosed with autism as well. I don’t want them to feel like they need to mask who they are to please people around them. I have to set a good example for them so I had to go out of my comfort zone and find my true self again and be her which was very difficult since I’ve masked for so many years. I’ve noticed I’m much happier when I allow myself to be myself without holding anything back. It feels so great to see my kids be themselves while watching me do the same. While in the process of finding myself and unmasking, I learned all about which accommodations work best for me in order to live a more effective and functional life. I purchased a bunch of stim toys to play with to counteract all the triggering sensory input. I also have noise cancelling earplugs when I need to block out the sensory input from noise as I’m very sensitive to it. If I’m too touched out, I ask my husband to take over for a few minutes and I’ll take a break. Now I have a sensory swing I like to cocoon myself in which has been tremendously helpful for me. With the right accommodations specific to my support needs, I’m able to function with very little issues. I have good days and I have bad days and that’s ok. I’m a great mother and my kids adore me. I have a very deep connection with them that no one else has. I feel since I’m autistic and so are they, there’s no better place for them to be than with me. I understand exactly what they need to thrive. It’s my job to pave a positive and healthy future for them and I feel like for the most part I’ve done an outstanding job. I still have a lot to learn but we can all learn together.

As I continue my autism journey trying to find myself, I hope my kids NEVER lose themselves. I hope to someday completely be unmasked. That’s still a work in progress but I’m getting there little by little.

The next blog post I’ll be talking about what it’s like being autistic and married to a non autistic person so stay tuned.

I Have Autism by Jessica Jenkins (Poem)

I posted this poem I wrote on my Facebook author page back in August but I feel like I should share it here with you all too

I Have Autism by Jessica Jenkins

I have autism

I avoid eye contact

But I frequently eye track

I struggle to learn and often get things twisted

But I’m also smart and extremely gifted

I sit still and stare blankly into space

But I also have a brain wired to make my thoughts race

Sometimes I’m too shy to speak and sometimes I speak too much

There’s days I can hug everyone but I also have days I hate being touched

Sometimes I get anxious and scared so I run and hide

And sometimes I don’t even mind being outside

Sometimes I’m sensitive to loud and high pitched noise

And sometimes I can’t even lower my voice

Sometimes I rock back and fourth

And sometimes it’s not enough and I slam some doors

Sometimes I rather be alone and pace

And sometimes I rather be tightly embraced

Sometimes I climb trees higher and higher

And sometimes I’m overstimulated and tired

Sometimes I scream and cry

And sometimes I head bang and people wonder why

Sometimes I’m calmly humming

And sometimes my fingers are annoyingly drumming

Sometimes I want fluffy blankets wrapped around me

And sometimes clothes make me feel like I can’t breathe

Sometimes I have no filter and can be mean

Autism can be very mysterious with no in betweens

I have autism

Final Kitten Update 💔

It’s been a couple days and I’ve been dreading this post. With a heavy heart, I’m letting you guys know that the kitten didn’t survive. I really tried so so hard. With every fiber of my being, I hoped he would thrive and grow to be a handsome (yes it’s a boy) orange tabby. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned. We have come to a decision to cremate him and keep the ashes in a beautiful urn. We named him Pooh. And the urn will say “I tried to save you but God needed another angel”. I’ve been a complete wreck and was not expecting this horrific reality. I just hope that in the two days he was with us, he knew that he was loved.

A little memorial we set up for Pooh before we drove him to the animal hospital to set up cremation 🕯🐱

If you want to run to YouTube and watch the video about him, please feel free to do so. Here’s the link:

Thank you to everyone who prayed and wished us well because God only knows that I’m NOT ok.

I Saved a Kitten’s Life 👀🥰🐱

I didn’t think this would be what my first blog post would be about but this is something I just had to tell you guys about. So today, October 14th, 2020, my husband and I ran some errands while our son, Aidan was in school. He drove me to my moms because I had a 3pm therapy session and a 4pm psychiatrist appointment. When we got to my moms, my husband kissed me goodbye and left to pick up our son from school, so it was just me and our 9 month old daughter. I heard high pitched meowing. I assumed it was one of the 3 week old kittens that my moms cat, Luna had. I thought maybe one of them were caught up in something under the bed. Something told me to check, so I did. I looked under and they seemed fine but then I look over to the other cat, Booboo, and I see something moving. I thought maybe she stole Luna’s kittens again so I looked back at Luna and counted her babies and all 3 were accounted for. I looked back at Booboo a little harder and then it hit me that she had babies. I was shocked because no one was home to witness it. I tried to count how many kittens she had from a distance but couldn’t tell for sure. But there was one kitten that caught my eye and it was the one that was curled up alone and wasn’t moving. The rest were nursing and huddled together with mom. I moved the head board out of my way and reached down for that kitten. It was ice cold to the touch and for a second it made me jump back but then I quickly realized it needed some kind of intervention or it would die of hypothermia. I picked it up and wrapped it with a blanket and started huffing my warm breath to warm the kitten faster. He wasn’t moving or making any noise. At first I thought he was dead but I felt a faint heartbeat against my palm. I called my mom to ask her how far she was from home and to tell her what was going on. She was in disbelief just like I was. Meanwhile, my 9 month old daughter, MaKayla, was still in her car seat and started crying to get out. At that moment, I felt so overwhelmed because I was stuck between comforting my daughter and saving a dying kitten. I got ahold of myself and got back into focus. I took MaKayla out her car seat and breastfed her while I held the kitten in the blanket. He started to warm up and he started meowing and moving around slowly. The sound of him vocalizing was peaceful, beautiful music to my ears. At that moment, I knew he had a fighting chance and it was all because I was at the right place at the right time. My mom arrived and helped with MaKayla while I got Booboo and all her kittens out from under the bed. I was trying to see if the kitten would finally nurse but he was still a little too weak to latch on and Booboo didn’t seem to have an interest in the little runt of the litter. I tried to get another cat, Cleo, who recently delivered a stillborn kitten to try and nurse this kitten but she hissed and wanting nothing to do with it. I felt stuck and helpless. It was cutting close to my appointment time so I had to make a decision – either cancel my appointment or take the kitten with me. I took him with me because due to how overwhelmed I was, I figured therapy was a must so I could let out some steam. I ran up the hill pushing the stroller with one arm and holding the kitten in the other and arrived to my appointment 4 minutes late but it was all good. My therapist heard the whole story from me and was proud of me for my efforts in trying to save the kitten.

I had my therapist take a picture of me while holding my baby and the kitten

After my appointments, my husband was already waiting for me outside. We got MaKayla in the car and I hopped in and we took off to PetSmart so I can buy some kitten formula. I went in with the kitten and I asked these workers for help in finding the best formula. As I explained what happened, I started crying and they felt so bad. They helped me pick up the best stuff and then I paid, thanked them and went back to the car and we drove home. I filled up the bottle and tried to feed him but it didn’t seem like he was getting anything so we took a syringe and filled it and I fed him that way and he drank about 5ml’s. So far he’s doing alright and I hope that he continues to thrive and make me proud.

I weighed him and he’s 1.4 ounces which is really small. I’ll be weighing him every other day to check his progress and I will be feeding him every 3 hours. I’ll keep you all updated on his well-being. I hope to have good news for y’all. I hope and pray that he makes it and is healthy. We do plan on keeping him if he survives because I already got attached. Anyway, stay tuned for an update on this little fighter and for other blogs too. Thank you for reading this if you made it to the end. I hope y’all enjoying reading about this heart warming experience of mine.