Just me rambling, in real time.

Yeah. So, my brain right now. Stayed up too late again. Lots of energy. Feeling good waking up. Wife home today after working in the morning (on Saturday). It’s fine, good, really.

Again, lots of energy, brain going well. Well, I’ve yet to take that medicine that slows by brain down some. Helps socially, but dulls my mind to creative things. Self-care for others more than me. But, even then, jobless and no real friends anymore.

No amount of medication and therapy can fix everything. Plus, meds wear off, usually at the worst moments. That’s when I make mistakes. Wife could help, but doesn’t. Maybe wrong to “blame” her, but for someone who doesn’t want me to wash dishes, when I request she does something I think is fairly simple, it’s often met with resistance. Improvement, though.

We are about to walk. UV index low, good temperature. Nice day. I’ve always liked walking with her. Now I can talk about how I feel.

It will be negative today, and I hope that’s not too confusing. It was one of the more horribly depressing moments when I realized my wife had concluded that all my problems had little or nothing to do with external events. Instead, she had decided that they came from some inner emotional turmoil. These issues—just a rough way to say reactions—didn’t, in her mind, change based on things like, oh, losing a job, not seeing any empathetic friends in five months, and surviving the insane family drama that won’t go away. That’s another story, but I still am scarred by the thought that all my years in therapy, by my choice, with all the testing, could be invalidated so easily. As best I could tell, allowing her to feel like all she could do was ignore me.

I know it won’t last, probably. Then, it will be on to more mistakes. That’s the downside of trying.

Someone on the autistic Twitter thread took offense to a tweet I wrote that most “successful” autistic people would not even be reading the tweet. Apparently, they thought I had no awareness of time zones and work schedules. But, I assumed that everyone would understand I was just feeling bad tweeting while my wife was working, that’s all.

Often, it’s what I assume people know that I am thinking that gets me in trouble.

And, that brings me right back to my currently sucky life. Well, the walk is coming. God, I’m so tired.

But, I’ve had a horrible year, and I know why in part, but the—OMG text message vibrations.

The extra layers upon layers are too much. I’m OK, I think. However, someday I may not be. My fear is that if everything comes together in the wrong way, I won’t be able to make it. I’ve been close too many times this year. It’s at those worst moments when you feel alone, and now I truly feel alone from the world. I’m lucky to have a wife who takes care of me, but that comes with a lot of guilt and invalidation. My kids are great, but I worry about them. I can’t dump all my stuff on them. I messed that up the other day, and one of them pointed it out. I apologized. I can’t do that again. So many apologies this year for just trying to make it without losing people I need. Well, effort doesn’t always produce results. But, my kids. We are OK, but it’s so hard not to worry, not after this year, even though I’ve been trying to hold it all together.

Siblings help, but they are all very busy. Parents have f’d up so much, and it makes it hard to see them. They are the ones who truly ruined my year, I think. My life, possibly. It didn’t have to be this way, but they kept ignoring their children trying to help. I did, especially for almost two decades.

What do I get? Well, I’d do it again, it’s ok. Maybe I was always going to suck. Perhaps I’m just a horrible person. That would make the most sense. Moreover, it’s easier than thinking other people hurt me on purpose or carelessly. I’d rather be wrong in thinking I’m bad than thinking someone else is. But, that sometimes comes out the wrong way. Possibly, it’s my way of pushing back on myself, my knowledge that it can’t always be my fault. I don’t know. I don’t have this answer.

How can I upset someone so badly they want to ruin my life? I don’t get that?

Why can’t I show anyone I like them? I try, and they get mad. Eventually. No upside to having me as a friend. None, unless you need something from me, of course. Namely, something in my profession.

It would be like being a plumber who only gets treated like a friend because people want their services. I’ve thought this for years! Now, at last, I know the truth. People don’t like me. I knew it when I was a child. I know it now.

Maybe I should be thanking the person who helped me figure this out. It’s like putting me out of my misery. Except, it’s not.

When I explain to people why I’m stressed or upset, I’d think they’d be more empathetic. But, it works in reverse.

It’s like I’m a person who cannot see but doesn’t quite have enough help to navigate a world set up by people with vision. Then, when the people with vision see this person making errors that would be expected without any help, they are ostracized because the other don’t notice there is a problem with vision, just a problem with the navigation. Some people are nicer than others. Many just ignore him. He’s lucky he has a talent people find entertaining and will throw him some food.

There is—or was—one person who seemed to understand me. I know she did. But, I had to find a way to mess that up. Yes. Good job, f’ing idiot. It’s frustrating because it didn’t have to be like that.

If I start to think of the reasons, then I’m some horrible person not taking responsibility even though I’m certain I have, in many ways.

It’s hard to sort out everything, so I need time to do that. I’ve made many mistakes, and I tend to over apologize, if anything. At least, that’s what I’ve been told. I’ve been told numerous things by numerous people, all of whom I trust. Or, at least I did. That’s part of the problem: too much information.

My last big apology failed, and I have no idea why. Actually, the dumbest thing was how badly misunderstood the reason behind the apology was. I was apologizing for not understanding several things and, in my confusion and anxiety over what someone might do, I made a mistake to avoid conflict between two other people. It was a disaster. I’m working on a post about this, how things get miscommunicated, but this was on multiple levels.

I feel like—rightly or wrongly—so many people have failed me. The easy starting place is my parents, and my siblings and I face enough similar challenges there to know it’s not just me. Besides, people who knew our parents have made remarks about how bad they were or how they are surprised we turned out OK. I guess we did, by some standards, but I’m not convinced how OK we really are; I’m obviously not doing that well.

These were observations by people who were close and knew my family very well. But, not even they really knew. Nobody ever does know what exactly goes on in a home. To be sure, and I’m not minimizing my experience, people go through much worse than I did. I mean that, undoubtedly. My sister did, for one. But, it affected me, and it probably upset me even more than it might have other people because of my autism. Then again, a therapist did say what my mother did to me was “evil,” and another person called it “cruel.” If nothing else, I can always fall back on twenty years of nightmares and therapy as some evidence it wasn’t good. And, that’s just one thing from one parent.

In fact, my parents had the ultimate target-dummy, since I accepted what they gave me. I didn’t understand. My brother would have refused or fought back. I just would hide and cry, wondering what I had done wrong, why I was so bad, never to speak ill of them until years later when I basically had no choice, when all options were gone, hope destroyed. That was how life was going in the Spring for me, having to relive all of this.

Oh! Years later, as in this past year, as in a year of what can only be described as one full of terrible timing and people ignoring what I was telling them. The people who were supposed to help me would not, and that took out at least two people. But, nobody cares about that. Nope. I’m sure it would not be considered a proper defense, even though that’s not actually true. It’s whatever people are willing to accept or not. And, they don’t accept me or my attempts to explain. So, I apologize, believing I’m a bad person and clueless on top of it.

People hurt me because they can. They laugh at me because they can. They act like I’m a bad person because they know I’ll take it. I do. Every time. I can’t help it. Partly autism, partly my personality. Maybe I’m just a natural-born asshole, as I’m sure some are wanting to call me. It’s horrible. They say they will help, then treat me like a mouse infected with the latest strain of COVID. Over and over. Fine, I am bad. There, are you happy?

I go out of my way to not think of people being bad. I push back from it. But, when I’m told there are bad people, I sometimes can add that to my vernacular, so to speak. It’s like using the word “bad” specifically back to a person who understands the reference. It would be saying someone is a so-called bad person, and it doesn’t mean you believe it. However, I’m not confident that I use that word unless in a specific context. It’s like “fake” friends. It’s a label I didn’t create, but use as a reference. I assume people know that; however, it becomes all too confusing for them and me. Too many people on Autistic Twitter talking about “fake” friends doesn’t help. It’s actually rather ironic.

I can’t convince people I like them. They just think I’m being dumb or weird. I’ve spent months creating something for a person and not even getting a thank you for it. Stupid me. I am a creative person and like to create things to share. It’s what I do. Well, I don’t feel like it so much now. Except, I do, but what’s the point if you can’t share it? I guess you keep breathing with nobody around, so I can keep creating something. This blog, at least for now.

“At least for now.” That phrase really stings and reminds me to keep perspective. I’m uncertain if it’s unreasonable to get confused and nervous when someone says they will be your friend, at least for now. It’s like telegraphing the impending doom of your friendship, and difficult for an autistic person with low self-esteem to handle.

I guess I can retreat unto my own self-centered little world. That is, after all, what I’m predestined to do, right? And, if some day, someone wants to get me out long enough to use me or abuse me for something, then I’ll be happy for that! Thankful. But, maybe no longer. This time was different. Too many people, all at the same time! It was the worst sort of betrayal from my parents. A horrible kind from friends—multiple friends. For what? Years of trying to help. That’s what. Years of defending people only to be proven wrong? I can’t comprehend it.

It’s too overwhelming. If they cared at all, they’d reach out to me. They don’t. Well, my mother did, kind of, so there is that. But, then she had to go screw that up again. And, then it was better, kind of. And then, again! Potentially, she fixed it once more. I don’t know. I still don’t want my mother touching me, and that really is a horrible feeling to have. At least I’ve gotten it figured out with my wife, how to give me the autistic-style hug that feels wonderful. I need those to have a chance at surviving, more than ever, for so many reasons. Perhaps, I’ll finish my article on hugs. I’ve been researching hugs since before the pandemic. It’s a long story, but it started with my physician after a serious illness.

I’m tired. I keep getting knocked down and just want to sleep and be left alone. Maybe I’ll dream of not waking up. That’s a pleasant thought right now. That way, I can’t upset other people, and they can’t upset me. I truly believe some people would be happy—possibly even laugh—if they learned I had died. And, I don’t understand why they feel this way, but it’s pretty obvious they do. Possibly, that’s a good enough reason to die—if that’s what people want, even if they don’t know it yet. But . . . I can’t. I’ll just suffer and sleep until I die. Others can be happy that way. I’ll be glad for that. They’ve had chances to help, but have not.

Why don’t people try to help? You’d have to ask them. They’d rather be on social media, as I’ve pointed out numerous times to people before. My psychologist agreed. The pandemic didn’t help. I’ve turned to Twitter—of all places—to connect, but I know that won’t last and is superficial. I had—or thought I had—friends, actual ones, who understood me. And, they think I hate them or don’t like them or something, when it’s the opposite of what is true. They just don’t know so much, and I don’t want to tell them. That would hurt them or someone else. So, everyone else can ignore their mistakes, and I’ll take the blame. I was trained for that, and my brain is atypical enough for me to not know what is really going on. That’s all I know—that I don’t know. I get too much information from too many people.

Of course—the people who won’t accept blame do so by making others feel guilty or by pitting them against each other. I know this dynamic. It’s how my father has pitted his children against each other for our entire lives. My wife buys in to that. My mother does too—or has until recently. So, the children end up blaming each other if they are not careful while the real manipulator sneaks away. While I’m in the corner crying, someone else is in another corner angry, but another person is walking around smugly, having controlled it all. And, the worst part is that those of us in the corner are scared to death that we have caused the problems. At least, I’m the one who thinks that. It can take a lifetime to sort these things out, and, with friends, you don’t get that chance.

We need to walk. My wife is a great person, although that doesn’t mean she accepts or is willing to accept some things like abuse and trauma. She knows my parents only as people who give her stuff and are nice to here. They are the people who point out the flaws of their children because the children are ungrateful. And, that invalidates me and my siblings, and makes everything I do harder.

This invalidation took yet a crazier turn a month ago, stunning not just me but our children as well. I won’t go into that other than to say my wife just can’t comprehend certain things, and that leads her to validate the wrong people. If she doesn’t lack in comprehension, she would have to be extremely uncaring, and she is far too kind for that, I think.

Honestly, it thought it was a very autistic-like moment for her, but she gets furious if I suggest she has any autistic traits, even when I can show them to her in various autism books. That hostility towards autism is yet another invalidation, in my opinion, not just of me but two of our children. Perhaps, she’s right, and she thinks I’m shifting some blame on her. In reality, I’m giving her an out, a defense, an explanation that would allow for more understanding from others. But, I’ve tried this before with people, and it seems to backfire. My defense of people usually comes out as an attack, and that doesn’t work out well for anyone.

And, there are those calling others bad, me defending, then getting pushed aside. Cool. At least I now know. It’s not worth it. I want friends, but not if it’s like this, and I don’t think I’ll ever learn how to fix it. It has never worked with my parents.

I’m tired, but I need to walk. I’ll feel better after that, long enough to build up the next mini-dream to be shattered. However, that dream probably belonged to one of my parents, and I’m not even sure what I want out of life anymore. I’m not confident that I ever did. I guess other people have helped narrow those choices down considerably. Many people. Thanks, everyone, for helping me realize how bad I am. Good work, although it was easy work since I do most of the work for you.

Now, back from our walk. It was good, and I have energy. We had a good conversation, now that she is open to discussing my feelings and all that “psychology stuff,” as she likes to say. It’s too much for her to handle at once, as she’s begun to tell me. That’s fair, though I wish she would have been listening twenty years ago.

Near the end of our walk, she brought up the dreaded Christmas plans. No matter what, it will be bad. This year, worse than ever. I have to accept that. She is so big into boundaries now, good except for the fact she’s hurt me badly in the past by not having or ignoring mine. That’s a trend I’ve noticed in my life. I think autistic people really struggle to set their boundaries and notice others. There has to be an element of trauma as well, but when you have trouble with communicating, it’s hard to communicate about boundaries.

In some ways, these issues, at least with my wife, are not even about boundaries. They are about what obligation one person has for another, as a couple, as parents, as family or friends. Realistic expectations and boundary-setting are connected, and I’ve found my wife’s boundaries to be very unfair until recently. Thankfully, our counselor helped her to understand that I really needed to be able to talk to her about autism, my health, and my emotions.

Yeah, I’m about to go off on my wife, and that sucks. Hmm. I’m tired of everything being my fault when I know that can’t be true. But, she’d say she feels the same way. I guess that makes us both half right? I don’t know. Other people seem more confident about these things, and I just know how it appears, but it makes me feel bad.

Here’s a thought—people who go to therapy on their own are more likely to admit they have problems and faults than those who don’t. Is that true? I don’t know. But, . . . omg

See, my friend. I hate this. I really do. No way to explain. Most people don’t understand her or me. They don’t get it. Some do, but they are also misunderstood.

I’m just tired of some people trying to control me and costing me friends. They may or may not know what they have done, but they don’t admit mistakes, and I pay the price. So do my friends. The insane, or doubly insane part, is that everyone ends up confused. I really don’t dislike anyone, but everyone gets upset with me. Sigh. Autistics like to sigh, by the way. Sigh, again. OMG. I just had a flashback to my father doing that to me, in an exaggerated way, mocking how I did that. I had forgotten. Wow.

Nope, they don’t tell people information that would have been important to know. Why? It’s just easier to be done with it, to be done with my questions, to be done with me.

That is one thing we all might agree with. It’s easier to just leave me alone. I’m not worth it, especially if I’m not providing you with something you want.

OK. I’m back now, after almost exactly twelve hours. How has the day progressed?

After the walk, I briefly considered going out for a few hours to something with my wife, but I realized I was in an overly critical mood, and it seemed like that wouldn’t help anything. Instead, I think I just kept writing some articles not yet posted. I don’t even remember. Oh, yes, I probably played some games alone to decompress before she got home.

When she got back, we watched part of the first episode of some Netflix series, but neither of us liked it, so we stopped. We don’t watch much TV anyway, and I ended up hurting myself by sitting in a certain chair a particular way. It’s a long story, but major surgery can have long-lasting effects. I don’t know the last time I watched a TV show. It maybe has been six months, thought there are some I’d like to see. We have cancelled Netflix and other things recently.

We are OK, thought her optimism view of things is not always reality. I have no clue, though, since she manages the finances. I’m not even sure how much money I was making. If I tried to keep up with that, I’d go insane.

But, I know we are frugal, and we can cut back if needed, and I think we will be fine. I really don’t know, but I never did. I just hope my wife outlives me.

Now I remember what I was doing at about 3am this morning! I was responding to an email from a former colleague about something he’d put on Facebook. It was a question he was curious to know who could get. I knew it right away, but he would have assumed that. It’s a part of what has been my life’s work, in a sense, but fine-tuned into my particular interest. So, I gave him about six more examples, off the top of my head.

This man is more clearly autistic than I am. Well, at least I think so. He got married at an older age than I was, and maybe that kept him from masking more. Furthermore, he grew up in a different environment and culture than I did.

He and I got along so well, and autism must be why. When we first met, we said almost nothing to each other. Our wives even laughed about how much we were alike as they chatted away. But, after a while, we would exchange random thoughts with each other, and that was always fun.

Maybe I should get back on Facebook. Oh, dear. That’s probably a bad idea. Social media tries to kill me. Did I post that article yet? No, most likely not. I see a statistic that says I have 490 paragraphs written, spread out over many articles. That’s fifty-eight pages, it tells me.

This post is getting too long. That’s fine. It’s almost 3am again. The great part about not having work right now is that I can go to bed when I want. I typically enjoy as much time alone when people are asleep. But, I am eager to go curl up next to my wife. She gives the best hugs when she is asleep! Well, I just hold on to her like a marsupial, and it helps me relax. It’s good to end the day that way, and we usually do. It’s been one of the good changes this past year, now that she understands more of what I need.

I think, after I post this, I’ll end the day with some mindless gaming for a while. It’s so peaceful. Even the dogs are sleeping, and I can go run around in a world where there are not real people, but the people behind the fake people are probably mostly autistic anyway.

If I stay up long enough, I can be asleep at the time I normally would have been at work today, a Sunday. It’s now 3am. It’s funny to think I’ll be asleep when other people will be where I used to work. Actually, it’s sad, but I like to try to use reverse psychology on myself, even though it doesn’t work.

We’ll see what happens, but, in terms of overcoming social and employment challenges for autistic people, I’ve done OK in my life. But, in many ways, I’ve been a failure. My biggest concern is how my autistic children will view this, but I try to explain what I’ve gotten wrong, namely in communication, to hope they avoid the same mistakes. They have that advantage if they will take it. I’ve been almost on my own in attempting to figure autism out.

And, while I’ll be sleeping, I hope, all of those friends an autistic person is, in theory, not supposed to want, will be together. I’ll just act like that’s OK, even though I think about many of them every day. At least in my world, I can imagine them happy and not mad at me. That’s better than what reality was, as it turned out.

I’ll just go with that for now, even though I have no idea what’s actually going on with people any more than I ever did. Objectively, very few of them have contacted me, and in my heart, I always felt like the moment I quit doing something they liked, I’d be forgotten. That’s one thing I did get almost completely right. It’s like I was never alive, and that’s probably for the best. The very few exceptions make it so that I can’t quite have that pessimistic of an attitude. That’s nice, but it reminds me of all the ones who don’t care, the few who did, and those who chased them away.

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