Somehow gender keeps coming up and every time it does, I wonder about who I am.
I know I kept up persona(s) to present to the world that are Not Me. I know I’ve started to question the necessity, started to break down walls around The Real Me(TM), trying to figure out where I start and end.
But again and again I wonder how much of what I tried to hide from the world has to do with being autistic and how much with my gender. Why am I so often male in my dreams? I’ve been building my personality from templates – characters I admired, people I met. A lot of those were male – in my childhood female heroes were very, VERY scarce. Is that it? Have I identified with so many male characters that my subconscious mind adopted the looks of a male body together with the personality traits? Or a neutral, childlike body like the 2 sole heroines Ronia Robbersdaughter and Pippi Longstocking?
Holy …, wait a sec. Is my mind trying to rebuild The Real Me(TM) from before I started masking – as a child? And now completely freaked over the fact that the child-mind-me is stuck in an adult body with sexual feelings? Fuck, that would explain this weird duality towards sex lately, feeling so very asexual but still realizing that my body and psyche do their everyday job better with occasional sex; seeing sex like a chore I have to do to stay sane.
Uh oh. More processing.
My therapist raised the topic of connection of fear and anger and the link between these two and my binges. I tried to explore feelings when I felt a binge coming after that session, but… meh. Nothing. Or, more correctly: the usual “Something’s off.”
But today I read something about meltdowns and the connected fear to hurt someone. This hit home, almost literally. My guts felt like I’d been punched.
Soooo… sometimes I CAN feel tension rising. And it scares me, because I know if it reaches the point of no return, I’ll be out of control. Which raises the tension. So I stuff all the feelings down with food until my body hurts and I’m in too much pain to be a danger to anyone.
Well done, salix, well done. [cue head shaking and eyes rolling]
How about trying to alleviate the stress by… I don’t know, exercise, stimming or – gosh, what an idea – sleep?
I still struggle with finding words for feelings or moods. For 3 days I could communicate them in my mother tongue. Flapping. Jumping. Vaguely gesturing. Rolling my eyes. Moving my face.
And people understood. English isn’t my native language, but apparently the translation autistic german to autistic english feels a lot more natural than autistic german to neurotypical german.
And I learned that I truly am an introvert. Even if everyone around me communicates in a way I can understand easily, meeting people is tiring and I need alone time. Quite a lot of it too, which made me so sad; mourning the precious, limited minutes I had with these ~200 wonderful people, my tribe. Not enough to talk to everyone. Not even enough to talk about all I wanted to with the few I did manage.
I spent some time in the stimmy room and thoroughly enjoyed being with a few adults, quiet and just exploring, sensing, playing.
I talked to SO MANY people! I voluntarily sat with different people at every meal, just so I could meet more! On the second day I stopped myself for a second and wondered who I really am, doing all those things I’d never liked before.
And I wondered again about how different my life might be if I weren’t married. Felt the connection of my sub-tribe in the tribe, felt my queer little heart jump for joy of being acknowledged.
A lot to process.
But as a quick review: You english people do some weird stuff, like driving on the wrong side of the road and eating dinner for breakfast… but you’re doing at least one thing very, very right: Autscape.
I hope I’ll see you again next year.
I was doing alright, and maybe I will be again soon, but right now I’ve overdone it – again.
My reports for my ASD-diagnosis finally arrived, so there’s one thing I can check off, one tab in my brain I can close. I got a spot in a therapy program for binge eating, so the waiting and wondering about that is done too.
Felt like a good time to think about changing career. Again. I’m doing good enough at work to realize I miss being challenged intellectually, while being completely exhausted from sensory bombardement every day. Not a situation I want for the rest of my life. I’ve always had a tendril of fascination towards maths, a deep appreciation for the beauty of a well-done proof, a hidden pattern revealing itself or a geometrical representation of calculations. But going back to university when I failed so miserably before? I contacted an online advisor service for career and education and got myself a human sounding board for my thoughts on how, what and if of different options. It might take a while to think it all through and it takes up a lot of mental energy to do that.
I just forgot, that the end of waiting for a therapy spot meant therapy starts. Lots and lots of mental energy needed for that…
And so I’m sitting here, wondering again how someone so smart can be so stupid.
Every once in a while I get the urge to ask:
What does a gender feel like? How do I know which one I have? Does the fact that I’m asking mean that I don’t have one?
And I never get an answer. If the people I ask answer anything at all (instead of staring at me like I completely lost it followed by walking away) it’s something like:
“You just know. Like feeling hungry, or sad.”
Uhm. Yeah. Did I mention I am alexithymic? I have NO IDEA what I feel. I feel weird. Most of the time at least. Sometimes I feel good and sometimes bad. When I feel bad, a snack, a glass of water or a nap often help. Sometimes a firm hug does the trick. I’ve learned to recognize angry – it’s when my shoulders and jaw are tense and my hands are in fists. Anxious is strange tickles in the neck and shallow breath. So… how do I recognize feeling female or male? And give me something CONCRETE. Is it more like the weird numb feeling in the belly that tells me I should go take a dump or more like the dull pain in my brain that tells me I should go to sleep? Do you have a list I could go through and check off? No? Too bad, I like lists.
“Well, do you like your boobs?”
Are you insane? They are almost as much in the way as my arms, legs, torso, head, all the doorframes, tables, open cupboard-doors, … having a body sucks. If it’s not hurting or stupidly in the way, it’s loud and annoying. Heartbeat, bood rushing through ears, movement vibrating all through the body up to the skull, breath getting caught in nose hairs… why can’t I live as the pretty, everchanging pattern of lights I see when I think of myself – little spots of light, blinking in and out of existence, flitting about from invisible point to invisible point in those short moments, tireless and in silence?
Hugs are nice though. I’d miss those, probably.
I wouldn’t have noticed you’re attracted, if someone hadn’t told me. I’m pretty oblivious to such things. Ever since they told me, I’ve been a mess though.
Men like you, the ones with the innocent, loving gaze; the ones whose first thought when I try to keep them on a distance is that I just don’t like them that way… I make them suffer. It’s not that I don’t feel attracted. Not by a long shot. If you could see my daydreams lately…
I break their hearts. Always. Because I’m falling hard for you. My brain already made you the focus of my life and if somehow we end up together, I will make you feel like a god. I dissolve myself in the bliss of being newly enamoured. Until my brain finds a new interest and you’re done. Centre of the universe to a speck of stardust in a split second. I try to slow down the process of breaking up but it only makes me resent your mere existence until even your smell is revolting to me.
I don’t want to hurt you but I can’t stop myself if you approach me. I’m already crying for the pain I’d be causing you, but still… I don’t know how to stop.
So please… stay away and let me desire you from afar.
I’ve struggled more to recover enough for a work-week over the weekends again. Almost a year at the new job, it’s my time to feel the exhaustion growing.
So when my husband said he’d be away for a few days, I took those days off to have some time to be completely me and get some deep relaxation.
Hubby was gone when I came home from work on Wednesday and on Thursday evening I caught myself thinking I’d have to go to work the next day because I FELT MORE RELAXED THAN ON A USUAL SUNDAY EVENING.
One night and one day alone with no obligtions and my batteries are fully charged. I had no idea that the amount of energy it costs me to live with someone is that high… and I almost forgot how amazing life is when I’m really well.
We’ll have to think of ways to get me better relaxation.
And I have to find ways to lower my energy-expenditure at work too, otherwise I’ll just end up burnt out and looking for something else again.