Monday, August 29, 2022

Every day...


Every day I worry if this will be the day other’s will see through my chameleon ways. It’s one of my greatest fears. Every day is a battle to ensure I’m always in a position of safety; a position that will prevent a sensory issue, or an unexpected social situation.

It’s difficult for me to understand how other’s not on the spectrum go through their day fearless and not calculating all the possibilities that could lead to the situations I want to avoid at all costs. The liberation of that concept is impossible for me to conceive. So too, I expect that those not on the spectrum can’t fathom or appreciate just how draining it is.

Truly, it’s the essence of my being. All that I do in most situations every day is aimed and keeping the proverbial ship afloat. If you see me in person in an open environment, you can probably witness the magnetic repelling that goes on. As I walk near a person, my eyes as repelled from their eyes and my arms will naturally fold away from them. As I walk by my neck will lean away from them as I try to slither by unnoticed.

Every day I worry about the unknown. If you can, watch my eyes in a situation that may involve a sudden loud noise. When I walk past a fire alarm, my eyes focus in on it with a sense of dread awaiting the blaring of sensory knives to my body. Or, if a semi-truck drives by slowly, I’ll await the sudden blast of the horn that is an adrenaline tsunami inducing event.

Yes, I don’t know if you can appreciate the courage it takes to leave the front door, nor can I imagine living in the world without this constant albatross of pure dread awaiting the next time my autism becomes obvious.

I know with every day that passes people become more and more understanding of the autism spectrum, but if I retreat from a loud noise with haste, I still worry how that will be perceived. Will it cost me a chance, a friendship, or most of all I fear having to have a conversation about it. In these situations, the last thing I want to do is explain what happened and why it happened. Every day I dream of the day there’s no need to. I dream of the day that I don’t have to look at people in fear on how they might be mad as my body is metaphorically magnetically repelled by them, or the fear of the random sensory event.

Every day I’m exhausted by trying my best to hide what my body wants to do. No matter how much I write, you will more than likely never understand the level of exhaustion experienced by those on the spectrum unless you live it. However, I keep going. As dire or catastrophic as my words may seem in this post, every day I keep going. I put myself in situations that surprise even myself. The world is just too grand, too awesome, and too interesting to not. That’s why every day I wonder how to increase the world’s level of understanding. There are millions of others like me out there that will look at the sensory element they loathe. There are others that will do everything they can to avoid any social encounter. I’ve had awful social encounters due to autism, but I haven’t let it deter me from seeing this world and continuing onward. With no understanding, another person may think that every day is impossible and that each day they leave home they will have nothing but heartache and pain. It doesn’t have to be that way though. Understanding is the foundation for hope and yes, there’s a chance a person can be nothing short of a jerk, and there’s a chance that fire alarm will go off, but understanding of sensory issues, and autism exhaustion/burnout, may just be that little bit to keep a person motivated in seeing all there is to offer in this wonderful world and avoid the pit of thinking that every day is hell.

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