Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Trial By Fire

Or, what happens when a 31 year old autistic chick finds herself living alone for the first time ever.



And somehow, entirely by accident and cruel misadventure, I find myself living alone. Clawing my way to independence. Stumble-bumbling my way along. Adulting like I have never adulted before (I haven't.) Learning, so much learning!

My independence is proving to be the Bear's greatest legacy. I will never risk losing it again. And it turns out I can totally do this! 

There is so much support out there (still not as much as would be ideal, true, but ask and you might just receive.) So I learned to ask. Via NHS support, crisis team, community mental health team. Currently waiting to be picked up by the Aspergers team. WHISC has been so so helpful! I now have yoga, self-injury and ED support groups, meditation classes and counselling via this awesome charity. So so much love! And of course, local knitclub/stitch and bitch/knit and natter groups. My planner is full of stuff I'm doing and it is amazing! I'm meeting so many lovely ladies who all bring so much to my life. It's basically like having fairy godmothers.

As an Aspie, I am very into structure/routine/control of my environment. And living alone means that I can have everything exactly my own way. Which removes almost all of my environmental stress factors. My dermatillomania and ED triggers are minimized as a result. It's pretty awesome!

I was initially concerned that being alone would create a breathing space for my repetitive behaviours to take over. Occasionally (mostly due to triggers outside my control) this does happen, but, in general, I am quite capable of my own self care. I am also very pro-active, getting involved in ED support groups and making sure I have an appropriate support system in place. 

I really appreciate the freedom to do what I need to do with no resistance or guilt (hard to explain this one, but as an Aspie living with others, I experience an overwhelming amount of self-imposed guilt all the time. I worry that my companion will feel neglected if I spend excessive time on my special interests), and my restrictive diet preferences and need for routine causes stress.

Bear was the only one who I ever felt entirely comfortable with. He just worked with me. We both had enough passion for our own projects to work harmoniously. And we could talk for days. My need for verbal communication on topics that fire me could definitely be a huge annoyance to anyone else. Compatibility, basically.

He gave me confidence in myself. Confidence to be the animal that I am. Raw and uncompromising. Made of love and light and fiery passion. I lived so much of my life crushed by the weight of an environment that made me miserable. A zoo animal in the wrong type of enclosure. And now I'm free to shine and truly be.

Things I need to do, and am doing... Being in control of my own home. The Witch House. I pay my rent. I have a TV, and a TV license! The dishes are always done and I always know what's for dinner. Generally at least four days in advance. I do not do spontaneity! (Unless my heart tells me too, then I can be just a little reckless ;) ). Meals are always my favourite foods. Pizza, nachos, chili, curries. I bake bananabread almost every week. I get through a ridiculous amount of peanut-butter and nutella. And I cross contaminate both! I drink mostly tea, coffee or hot chocolate. I dislike cold drinks, apart from with meals. I cross stitch, everyday. This is my main protective factor in my dermatillomania recovery. I keep my cross stitch stuff where I use it, and my journalling stuff where I journal, and everything just works! Routine! I walk everyday. Either to town or in my cemetery backyard. I read tarot most days, which helps me so much.

Do I miss human companionship? This is a tricksy one. I miss Bear. Straight up and simple. I miss the hugs, the intimacy, the shared bathtimes, the hand to hold. Most of all I miss the conversations and the songs. I miss having him to care for. Other humans though... I have a limited tolerance right now ;). I love seeing my knitclub ladies and other friends, but only on my terms, in time-limited sessions on pre-appointed and well planned dates. I'm awkward, unapologetically. I do miss intimacy, but I am terrified of being repressed or otherwise manipulated (in a way I wouldn't choose. As a lifestyle submissive, intimate relationships are difficult to explain.) I need to write more on this topic soon. There is a whole lot to say. My thoughts on sexual expression with disability in general. How my sexuality is linked to my Aspie brain, etc.

But yeah, learning, burning bright, living my mermaid life by the cemetery. You never know what you might be capable of.

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