For possibly the first time since I was very young, I have almost nothing I have to do for the foreseeable future. I have very few responsibilities, little external pressure, a minimal amount of in-person contact and not very much virtual interaction.
Arriving at this place has not been pleasant, and it will take time to get past some confusing and traumatic events with people. I’m also not completely isolated, and that’s good. Total isolation, literally not seeing anyone, might technically work for me. But, I’m uncertain whether it’s sustainable, and, when I would come out of isolation, it would be a shock to my system. The COVID-19 lockdown proved that.
The amount of in-person communication (where I need to be speaking to someone physically present) I must have each week is less than one hour! Wow!
I have some obligations, namely to my children, but they are mostly independent. There are times to visit, but I can provide moral support and stay connected without being in-person. They also understand I’m doing what I need to right now. Then there are the dogs, but they assure me they are helping me, and I’ve found little evidence to the contrary.
My wife and I spend time together, but we’ve managed to make that feel less of an obligation than it used to. She is helping me focus on making that more fun and has concluded that engaging in dialogue on most topics with me is counterproductive for both of us. I’ve been resistant, but I’m starting to accept it, even though my autistic brain struggles to understand how that’s going to help. This is precisely one of the reasons I’m at this place, not being able to process, sort, or filter out social information as easily as the average person can. I’ve not been able to explain to her how I need time to “just be with her” instead of “doing” things with her, to just exist and not think about or do anything. My brain is taking time to process, rest, and heal.
This period of time is not easy, but it doesn’t have to last forever. I still frequently feel very lonely, sad, and rejected, and I feel like I should try to “fit in” with others. Many of my posts are about that. But, I finally have time to analyze this in a better environment. I have time and space to grieve so many things I’ve lost and create my new world, one I’ve been needing for a long time.
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