I am torn constantly.

This is not how I think things happened, this is how I think I feel things happened and will continue to happen.  Intellectually it was a minor incident that is past.  Physically I am crying often and my head, back and stomach are clearly showing that I am not over anything.

This is not a pleasant read but I think it’s an accurate reaction of at least one autistic person to an everyday problem.  Read this for insight not for pleasure.  You have been warned.


Hiding at home is safe, easy and painless.  What are the benefits of going out?  Sure I enjoy talking to people, seeing things, hearing things; like the wind as I am sitting here in KSP typing.  But the cost is pain, anxiety and less energy for other things.  And that’s if everything goes well.

Recently there was an incident.  I was critiquing someone’s writing.  No not freelance, I did not walk up to someone and start criticising them. People don’t like that, and the etiquette books tell you not to so I had an early heads up.  I may have previously mentioned that Alex; yes Dafty Bat herself, and I are submitting pieces for inclusion in an anthology (in our writing group) so we are critiquing each other’s work.

I remember now I have talked about this in my series Why Was Everyone Criticizing Me?    .

So Alex starts; but I am over excited by the brilliance of the piece the guy had written so I was pushy and went second.  To cut a long story short I was interrupted, and a fellow member suggested I had spoken long enough and that it was time for his turn; he may have mentioned this about 10 times.  Interrupting in terms of elaborating or discussing the point just made is welcome but I felt this particular guy was getting off track and moving away from the section I was discussing in a way that was confusing for me and maybe for the writer.  I was assertive at first; I felt I understood the situation and it was appropriate.

It was difficult for me to concentrate with the constant interruptions, conversation about what I was saying was fine, but having to stop and discuss whether or not I was taking too long, whether comment for comment would be more fair , really put me off and lengthened the time I spent talking; finding my place etc. I reached the point where I was sufficiently agitated that I was concerned I may be aggressive; so I conceded.  The other guy started his critique.  I was so angry I began to cry.  I hate that weakness of mine but worse was to come.

I suddenly realised what I may have done!  I an isolated crazy person with no formal qualifications and incredibly little real world life experience had been going on and on about my opinions over 20 minutes and I was only 2 thirds through.  I had interrupted this guy’s comment, told him that he was too far afield and insisted he waited for his turn.  Without any authority or support I had made a scene.

This is the biggest problem I have with dealing with humans; when I am enjoying myself I get carried away.  So here I was lecturing one guy about writing, telling another guy off for manners and I wasn’t even the facilitator.

The wave of anger broke leaving me humiliated and confused.  I wanted to run, but leaving might be seen as aggressive and I didn’t want to make a scene, especially with Alex there.  So instead I cried, started to stim, couldn’t speak and was generally acting like a 2 year old throwing a tantrum.

When he’d finished I was asked if I had any more to say.  I shook my head and my Mummy told them ‘no’ for me.   He suggested I was being ‘grumpy’, which at first I was.

A woman was crying and acting like a baby so of course the others turned on the guy a bit.  He offered to get me a tea a couple of times, I refused.  He asked if he were forgiven a couple of times and I refused.

It’s not that I don’t forgive him, it wasn’t even his fault.  But I resent the way he asked; with no remorse and in front of everyone when I wasn’t talking.  He is a really nice guy but I’m getting scared of him.  He touches my shoulder and arm out of the blue which hurts and shocks me; autistic reaction, I’ve told him but he says he likes to see me jump.  He invades my personal space; he insists people pay attention to him even if you were listening to someone else when he started speaking.  He clicks and waves his fingers close to me; which makes me feel motion sick, even though I have asked him not to.  He insists on eye contact; I try to stop him insisting with Alex because eye contact is painful and disturbing for our family (common autistic trait), I say try because he still complains.  I have been told I have extremely good eye contact, years of fear drummed the lesson in, but it still hurts and given the length of time he seems to want to maintain eye contact even I become distressed and the pain intensifies too much.  I tell him but, eye contact is important.

And he gives us things; it’s a nightmare; reciprocity, rudeness in refusal, obligation in acceptance.  It is all too complicated and weird.

But the biggest problem is; he has a mental health problem.  Bang!  He needs special treatment.  I may bleat about autism & anxiety and depression but the truth is my serious suicide attempts are behind me.  A little light self harm and psychosomatic illnesses are the worst outcome for me.

I may have already been instrumental in bullying another person out of this group, only finding out later that she had problems.  If anything happens to this guy…

KSP used to be my sanctuary.  My psych has been encouraging me to write more, and to spend more time in this safe haven.  But I may have to rethink this whole thing.

Sometimes I forget how bad my temper is.  One of the reasons I have tended to avoid people is my fear of my destructive temper.  I am scared I will run people off of course, but more importantly I am terrified that I will seriously hurt someone.

I cry, it is humiliating and it brings people to my side even when I am wrong.  Now everyone has seen the crying, flapping baby how in the hell will they ever take me seriously again?

I cried again when I came on Friday.  Fortunately absolutely no one turned up for either group.  Hooray my first time facilitating my own group and they stay away in droves.  But my point is I have broken here, the flood gates are opened and they will never be entirely closed again.  This is no longer a safe haven.

But I have tangled myself up here and it is going to be difficult to get out.

The biggest issue I have is that I have absolutely no idea about what is happening.

Am I helping?  I volunteer, I bring decorations, I turn up so groups can go ahead & money can be collected.  But I am rude and talk too much.  I don’t put much cash directly in the place.  And my volunteering is incompetent.  If I am putting off others by my presence I am definitely doing more harm than good.

I need to know who was right and who was wrong.  To modify my own behaviour certainly but that would be easy; I could just pull my head in irregardless, problem solved.  Except I am going to be a facilitator and will need to intervene if this kind of thing ever comes up.  There are no hard and fast rules and my judgement is garbage; I can’t do the job.  And now they know I can’t, but it is too late and they are not game to tell the crazy, crying women to bugger off.

At home I have kids to traumatise, a husband I can push further over the edge and pets to neglect. There is nowhere else.

I am so sick of being in a world I don’t understand, surrounded by people that are incomprehensible.  If only I had never put myself out on this limb.  How in hell am I ever going to get back to safety?

Published by autistsix

An autistic woman married to an autistic man trying to raise 4 autistic daughters in a neurotypical world

16 thoughts on “I am torn constantly.

  1. youll be alright, person who is wonderful and dear to me. this sounds like a special case– the exact sort that you shouldnt over-apply to people in general.

    on the one hand, its pointless and counter-productive to be too hard on yourself about this. (and thats only reasonable if youre producing counters, yuk yuk yuk.) ❤ ❤

    but i do not trust this person. i know septics are over-litigious, but putting his hand on you when you when youve made it clear you dont want him to is legally assault here. you can argue its "minor assault" and thats surely true, but its definitely not cool whether youre autistic or nt or covered in feathers.

    there are things you can (and should) get away with, because of who you are. but if you went around deliberately touching people because you knew it made them uncomfortable, and deliberately baiting them emotionally just to get a reaction, people would (perhaps rightfully) turn on you, too– i do not like this person you describe, nor that type of person.

    of course im biased, and im getting the story from your account of what happened. and obviously im going to take your side. theres just one thing though– fairness matters a lot to me. if i thought you were bring too hard on this fellow, i would probably tell you. to be honest, it sounds more like youre uncomfortable with how long you spoke (been there!) and are willing to "compromise" by letting a kind of nasty individual off the hook.

    i believe in neurodiversity, and yet there are things i wont tolerate from anyone– it sounds like this person is actively trying to make things difficult for you. its personal, or its his problem.

    it shouldnt be yours. go ask cat what she thinks… heck, this is probably one that cat and myself *and* alex would all agree on. even if you take this irksome fellows side, you are outvoted. please dont give yourself a hard time… ❤ i mean you had 4 kids so they could do that job for you. let them take care of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Logically I didn’t go over time because there are two hours devoted to the talk, but it may have been too long if I was boring. Unfortunately he has Mental Health issues and that kind of gets him off the hook. And I wouldn’t like him if I were you he keeps telling Alex you are up to something and that it’s my duty as a mother to disappear and break contact. Which I am of course absolutely not going to do <3.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. i am definitely up to something.

        however, it is something far too noble for the likes of that bog-standard jerk. and no, i dont like him at all. (and i will take cats opinion over his on every occasion– even if/when she agrees with him.)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. As a person with anxiety, I can relate. When you wrote “Hiding at home is safe, easy and painless. What are the benefits of going out? Sure I enjoy talking to people, seeing things, hearing things; like the wind as I am sitting here in KSP typing. But the cost is pain, anxiety and less energy for other things. And that’s if everything goes well.”, I kept thinking :”Exactly!” — Honestly, I don’t understand people either. It can be tiring to not get it, but I don’t think hiding every day is the answer. It is defiantly the answer sometimes, but that’s not leaving much. Experience is the name of the game. I don’t get out every day, but I get out enough to live a life. Just trying to laugh some of it off helps. Plus, never going out means never learning who people are. – Just a thought. I could be wrong truthfully.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bugger me backwards and call me charlie!!!! If we were all the same we’d be clones!! Stuff that for a joke! You’re a great member of a very ” DIVERSE” writing group and you’re very much loved and wanted by this little black duck, and by crikey, I’m definitely not “everyone’s cup o tea”!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think you may be too hard on yourself. Mental condition or no; the man you had the “encounter” with is mean. And it appears to be intentional. I have been in many groups, and your behavior doesn’t sound out of line with what I have seen in others. And I am a “crier” too. I agree it’s embarrassing, but it’s part of who we are. I think you’re pretty amazing to be out there when it’s so difficult. Try not to dwell on what you don’t like about yourself. None of us is perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! After years of isolation I have fought my every instinct and gone back and I have been pulled further into the group. They like me for who I am and have reassured me. I just have to stay strong for a bit. This is so strange to me, staying in a group after incidents.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sure they would be extremely disappointed if you left. There’s nothing worse than having a long-time member of a group leave – there’s always a hole.

        Liked by 1 person

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