I’m too busy for friends

I struggle with maintaining friendships and the biggest reason is because I’m too busy for friends. But I don’t mean busy as in not having time to be a good friend or to be there when they need me. I’m a really good friend. I am very passionate about friendships I do make and I feel connections very deeply. When I say I’m too busy, I mean I’m too busy isolating myself in a dark room because social interactions overstimulate me and cause me to shut down. I’m too busy wanting to be alone because it’s more predictable. I’m too busy cocooning myself in my sensory swing to stay calm. I’m too busy sorting some of my sensory toys to help organize my racing thoughts and keep myself from having a meltdown. I’m too busy being frozen in place because transition and initiation of tasks is very difficult for me. I’m too busy melting down because I can’t always keep myself together. I’m too busy balancing between under-stimulation and overstimulation and trying to find a middle ground. I’m too busy giving myself squishies and smacking my belly and thighs because I feel like I’m floating away. I’m too busy crying because I feel like a burden when my friends make a big deal about me being distant. I’m too busy repairing and healing the traumatized autistic little girl within me who grew up abused and neglected. I’m too busy teaching myself how to communicate in other ways when I suddenly lose my ability to speak because I never received speech therapy as a child. I’m too busy trying to follow a schedule and routine and by the end of the day, I’m too drained to commit to anything else. I’m too busy covering my ears because this world is too loud. I’m too busy with my special interests because it’s the only consistent thing in my life and I don’t want to disrupt that. I’m too busy giving my autistic children everything they need and getting emotional because it’s everything I never had. To all my friends, I’m sorry I can’t always be present because I’m too busy being autistic.

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.

Let those happy hands flap

I was 4 years old when I first learned that my happy flappy hands were “inappropriate”. I was in class and the teacher said it was snack time and I happily flapped my hands and giggled. She placed her hands on my hands and set them down on my lap and whispered “that’s not how we act”.

I didn’t have verbal speech fully mastered yet but I did speak loud and clear with my body. I would bite others when I didn’t want to be touched, I would bang my head when I was overstimulated and I would flap my hands when I was happy. But I still don’t understand why it was so wrong for me to express my happy emotions. Why do I have to suppress my happy stims? Why does it make others so uncomfortable to see me happy? Why isn’t the world more accepting of different forms of expression? I hear professionals pushing the “quiet hands” nonsense and I get sick to my stomach.

As an autistic adult who took all my life to learn to embrace my autism, after spending most of my life having people tell me the way I function is wrong, I want to be the one to tell the next generation of autistic children that it’s ok to flap your hands. It’s ok to be happy and to express it in a way others aren’t used to. It’s ok to flap those hands as much as you want until you feel enough of that happy energy has been released. I understand that regulating emotions is sometimes complicated and even happy emotions are considered BIG emotions. We regulate it the best way we know how and please don’t let the world stop you. Being happy and showing it is not a bad thing. It only means you experience it in a much profound way than anyone else and that’s a very beautiful thing, to be able to feel immense happiness. You don’t need to contain it. It’s a beautiful thing to hand flap happily over the smallest things in life that others take for granted. Happy flappy hands are so pure and beautiful and I hope that someday everyone else can see it the same way I do.