Reaching a new Height

On the weekend I attended a camp run by the I CAN Network, where I work as a mentor, Network leader and speaker. I was privileged to be given the opportunity to be a group leader of a few mentees who came on the camp too, to make friends and learn how to embrace who they are and accept that being on the Autism spectrum doesn’t have to be a big negative.

 

Even though I was on the camp as a leader, I still had some experiences that I would have really loved had I been a mentee. Many I Can employees discovered the magic of I Can by attending a camp as a mentee themselves, and then being trained as a mentor. I wasn’t one of those mentors, but all the same I took my first teen camp experience for Autistics as an opportunity to not only show the mentees that embarking on a challenge doesn’t have to be scary, but also to contribute to the growth of myself too.

 

We could do numerous activities on the camp, one of them being rock climbing. Now I’m not particularly fond of heights and I can have issues with trusting people, but for some reason prior to my rock climbing experience I had this feeling in my gut that was compelling me to take on the challenge.

 

I have done rock climbing before, but I’ve never gotten too high for a lot of reasons. One, I didn’t think I was strong enough and two I was afraid that I would fall and the person responsible for the rope would screw up and drop me.

 

I Can made me realise that reaching a new height is not just about physical ability, but belief and support.

 

19598459_1502292973127036_5110065420817068255_n

 

I climbed passed the half way mark and had about less than a quarter to go until I reached the top. I can’t tell you how emotional I was after setting that new personal record of mine. You see, the whole experience was symbolic.

 

I would not have gotten to the top if I hadn’t had my network of friends down there cheering me on and reassuring me that I would be safe and looked after. I would not have reached the top if they hadn’t believed in me, and understood that my anxiety could pose as a challenge. I would not have reached the top if I hadn’t had trust in myself and the friends below.

 

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that having a personal support network, and a positive attitude can lead you to accomplishments that perhaps previously you would have never thought possible.

 

I didn’t just do this for myself, but I did it to be a role model. I wanted the mentees to see that there is no threat in pushing yourself, and that if you have the right network of people by your side you can accomplish so much more than you may have ever believed.

 

I’ve never been this happy in my life. I’m so glad my aunty told me to apply for the I Can network, because had I not done so I would be a mess embarking on purposeless adventures in the hope of finding some fulfilment that would never leave me fully satisfied.

 

I love my I Can friends, and hope to be their friends for the rest of my life.

In What Other Ways does my OCD affect me?

I have posted on my ocd before, but I don’t think I’ve explained how it impacts my life in more subtle ways one would not initially be aware of.

 

By nature I am a perfectionist, and because of that my OCD is rather pronounced. It means that I can never make a mistake without ruminating on what I’ve done, and being utterly confounded by guilt. It means cleaning the bathroom is a particularly stressful task, because I’ll always feel like I’ve missed something.

 

Now I don’t enjoy cleaning the bathroom, and no one really does. But aside from not being bothered to do so, at times I just dread it because I know I’ll just be obsessing about how efficiently I carry out the task, and it creates dissatisfaction within myself.

 

Not only does OCD mean that I carry out internal and external compulsions/rituals in an irrational attempt to ‘feel better’, but it means there are days where I live in fear for my life.

 

I know that sounds dramatic, but I’ve had MANY irrational fears that I have fixated on for an extended length of time. So even though it seems a little self-absorbed, when tragedies are reported on the news to do with murder etc. it can trigger a whole new fear that even though I know is ridiculous, I still can’t stop thinking about it.

 

My new ritual at the moment involves literally knocking on nearby wood, and if there is no wood around I just tap my forehead. For some reason it feels like if I don’t do that, then something bad will happen.

 

Here’s the thing, I know its very illogical, but that’s the torture of OCD. Even though you are aware of how silly your fears, thoughts and feelings can be, you still can’t seem to escape it all that easily.

 

Something else that my OCD can impact is my relationships. I have had horrible thoughts that are quite morbid concerning my loved ones, and so in the past I have been so worried I’ll act on them that I avoid the person whose image in my mind is being perverted by my relentless obsessive thoughts.

 

It does come down to perfectionism too however, and so sometimes its hard to differentiate between the two. But due to my struggles with my mental health I suppose my perfectionism has often subjected me to a lot of self-doubt and overly high expectations.

 

I expect too much of people sometimes because I expect so much from myself, and that is something I need to try and work on.

 

My goal for the future is to try and be more kind to myself, because sometimes I think I am my own bully.

Learning how to Learn

One of the things that I’ve seemed to always struggle with is knowing how to learn. I have difficulty accepting feedback, advice or ‘advice’. I didn’t like to plan projects/assignments for school because I thought I should just be good at it, and I often would do stupid things under the impulsive impression that “it would be ok this time”.

 

I like to think that now I’ve matured for the most part, and have overcome a lot of those barriers, but I would just like to explain why I was that way for so long, and how I realised I needed to change.

 

Regarding feedback, I always knew that when people gave me advice on how to improve, and ‘do better’ that they were coming from a place of love, but sometimes people didn’t come from that kind of a place, and that was called criticism. In other cases, people would criticise under the false belief that they were actually providing me with advice, and would come from a place of love but lose track on the way and just spout out their best intentions via the route of anger. Because I found it so hard to differentiate between the subtleties of expression, I rarely understood whether someone was actually trying to help me or they were just putting me down, so I just assumed the worst.

 

This made me obsessed with always achieving. I was scared to accept help because then I would have failed, and would be reminded that I wasn’t good enough. Hearing what I was doing wrong made me really upset, and I didn’t always know how to react to it. So I guess I was really just frightened of that feeling, so it was better to just use cognitive dissonance and pretend that everything was going great.

 

I wish that I had been able to accept advice, even if there was a risk that it would be a put down, because then there would have been an opportunity for me to improve in various areas and perform better.

 

It’s only in the last year that I have learnt to take advice (most of the time) and dabble with different methods (regarding uni and work) of learning, to better improve my performance and therefore my wellbeing.

 

I would say that overall I am a fairly bright person with a decent amount of insight, but in most cases I’ve had to put in an immense amount of effort to do really well. I’m not one of those people who can just throw an essay together in one go and ace it. I have to work hard.

 

One of the reasons I struggled to write essays at school was because I barely looked at the criteria sheet. Or if I did, I’d just have a glimpse and then put in the back of book, or just let it get lost. Looking at the criteria sheet was like looking at a list of what I couldn’t do, and I didn’t want to accept that.

 

I was scared of building on my strengths and difficulties, because the challenge would also challenge my wellbeing, and to me it felt really fragile. This might sound like a cop out to some people, and that’s what I sometimes told myself as well in the past, but I honestly didn’t know how to try, to some extent. I was afraid to, because I just expected the worst.

I’m thankful that I was somehow ‘good enough’ to get by school without failing, but I was hardly a straight A student. My marks were very inconsistent, and were often a reflection of my mood or level of confidence that I possessed at that time.

 

It was hard to accept that there was always room for improvement. I think a lot of this was because of the sterotype that Aspies had social issues, but were brilliant academically. I felt like I needed to fulfil that notion and accommodate to everyone’s understanding that that was the case. But it just wasn’t so. I was very good at drama and literature, but apart from that I was pretty average-or history too, but not under pressure.

 

But I believe that if I had explored different learning styles in more depth and gave every method of information retainment a go, I could have performed extremely well, but I didn’t want to try and improve because then that would confirm that I wasn’t good enough.

 

Perhaps you’re wondering, when did I change, why and how? Well, it first started with my strengths. When I found the I Can Network I found something within myself to like and be proud of for real. I Can encouraged me to showcase my strengths, and they identified them for me. They always gave me advice as well as compliments, and then I learnt exactly what good advice is and it didn’t seem so scary anymore.

 

And no, it wasn’t “you’re so amazing at everything! Wow go you!” it was more like “You have a lot of potential, you could use your humour to engage people more in your talks!” A few years earlier, if I had been told that I would have immediately felt like I hadn’t been funny enough, and therefore wasn’t good enough, but because they acknowledged the positive I felt empowered and determined to show people my stuff.

 

I know, not everyone will give advice that way, but at least it gave me the confidence to be more open to listening to people, and accepting what they felt and thought about how I could do something different or better.

 

For the sake of other I Canners and mentees, I also did some research on the various different learning styles and did a presentation on it at one of our workshops, and that also helped me personally in identifying my own learning style, and then experimenting with it to see if it helped.

 

And it did. I discovered that I am a kinaesthetic and text based learner, and perform much better when I utilise those styles. I also realised that studying, and doing readings was an opportunity for learning and that doing them did not mean I wasn’t smart enough to just write an essay, but it meant I was willing to build on my knowledge and master what could become a strength.

 

Advice is important. Sometimes it is really difficult to hear it, and still at times, automatically I’m tempted to justify my mistakes and go on about what I did right. But there is nothing wrong with wrong (in the subjective and objective sense). Being wrong or different creates room for learning, and learning is fundamental part of living.

 

I want to thank a few people for teaching me so much in the past, that I wasn’t brave enough to listen to in the past:

 

  • My big sister Louise. You always help me and explain to me what I can do better and how to keep myself safe. Thank you.
  • My Mum. She always honestly expressed to me where I might’ve made a social error, and told me it was ok, but still encouraged me to learn
  • My Dad. For giving me work advice, and tips on following procedure.
  • My brother. For acknowledging my positives, and being kind to me whilst at the same time encouraging me to try something else
  • My little sister Georgia. For also advising me about social errors and being honest with me about things such as talking to much and when to shut up, and kindly reminding me to stop freaking out.
  • My friends. For always supporting me, and letting me know where to improve but also reassuring me that its ok to make mistakes.

 

Thank you to all those people. I would not have grown as a person without you in my lives. I’m also sorry for getting angry when you tried to help me, because I know you just wanted to help. I love you all.

 

 

My Life Was Saved by Whiteboards

The day the giant whiteboard I purchased was finally delivered, was the day I took full control of my life.

 

That may sound dramatic, but believe me, sometimes it’s the little things that can make big differences. You see, I’ve always been a pretty disorganised person. I used to get so overwhelmed with all stuff I had to remember that I would just ignore it all.

 

I basically would just become completely immobilised and pretend that everything would be ok, and that thinking of a way to manage everything wasn’t necessary. Call me pretentious, but one of the ways I used to reassure myself that I didn’t need to get my shit together was by saying “I’m a creative person, so my mind is meant to be chaotic”. In hindsight that is an absolute silly cop out.

 

I am a creative person, but still for me having a perfect and organised structure and arrangement was the only way I could function successfully. When I was at school, I used to try and be organised for the first couple of weeks by just buying all the books I needed them and assigning an exercise book to each folder, and labelling them nicely. But then after that stage I didn’t know what else to do, so I’d veer off the rails and sooner or later my school diary would be ripped and torn, school forms would go missing and my books would just be stacked up like a pile of trash in my locker. I just didn’t know how to keep organised.

 

I was lucky enough to be able to get by. I passed every year even though for some subjects I half arsed everything. I realise now, that I really did want to succeed and do well but I just didn’t know how and didn’t have motivation to do it.

 

I’d had a few experiences that really made me feel low about myself, and a bit stupid. This didn’t make it true, but all those things built up so that I couldn’t really care less about my work. There would be times that I would try really hard, and do what I thought I should do in terms of studying for tests and what not. But then I’d only get a C and would take it really hard.

 

I didn’t cope very well with poor results. Because of all the other additional struggles I had, the bad marks were just the cherry on top to my perceived failures.

 

When I ‘failed’ I didn’t always know how to get back on the horse so to speak, but rather I just accepted it and ruminated on how crap I was at everything in my own silent world.

 

Right about now, you are probably wondering what the hell any of this emotional ‘feel sorry for me’ blab has got to do with whiteboards saving my life. Well, the organisation was a link to all the struggles I have shared with you, and was a fundamental factor to how I learned and remembered best.

 

Only in the middle of last year did I realise that I am a kinaesthetic and text-based learner. How? Because I had been thinking of ways I could be more organised, as I felt like it was becoming a bit of a concern. I started by getting myself a little cabinet to put my folders and documents in for medical stuff, my car etc. and later down the track I heard from one of my I CAN friends about these amazing whiteboards that you can purchases that don’t take up space.

 

You can just stick them on the wall and they don’t fall off. I decided that spending over $100 on the white board was totally worth it based on the research I’d done, so I took the risk.

Photo on 5-5-17 at 5.09 pm #3

And now. Let me tell you. I am so on top of shit.

My whiteboard was enormous, so I cut it into (uneven) threes and put them all in different places. Each white board has its own purpose. For a while the third piece was just behind my TV building up with dust, but then I found a use for it. It became my I CAN Mondays board, to keep up with my Network Leading duties.

 

Photo on 5-5-17 at 5.09 pm

Basically, by simply having a million reminders slapped on my wall, I can survive and I know what I need to be doing at all times.

 

When I’m not at home, I’m not in danger either, because I also rely on my notes app in my phone to remind me of everything, and jokes I’ve thought of for upcoming stand up opportunities.

I can feel the reminder as I write it on my board. I see the reminder every morning I wake up, and every night I go to sleep. Nowadays its very difficult for me to forget anything, and I can start assignments early.

 

By simply learning how I learn and remember I have saved myself a great deal of stress.

Being Positive

Being Positive

 

Positivity is one of the most misunderstood concept in society, and often people can be misled by what they think it means. Given that life is not always a picnic, I think its fair to say that sometimes, being completely positive, without acknowledging certain issues, challenges, struggles, barriers-however you want to put it-can be dangerous and useless.

 

Everything is about balance. That’s how I see it anyway. Maybe I just see it that way because of certain experiences that I’ve had-like losing my Mum. I mean, even though I’d give up my job and my left arm to have my Mum back, I have to say, that my experience of losing her has strangely impacted me in a positive-ish way. By saying this, I don’t mean that after losing her I became super happy and started making amazing achievements, but I mean that the general trauma of losing her actually gave me some resilience.

 

But still, every day I miss my Mum, and wish that she was still here. Because after all, she was my sole support in my life and gave me comfort and security. She was an amazing, extraordinary Mother.

 

But back to the point I want to make. Sometimes as people, we like to focus on what is good, because we feel better about ourselves. Of course, happiness is a lovely emotion, and we all like to feel it. But its one of many emotions, and we can’t rely on that one blissful feeling alone, to be great at who we are.

 

By being constantly optimistic without recognising the barriers we had to climb to get to where we are, we fail to address what can hold some people back. Dwelling on the negatives. In order to fully recover from something difficult (and we all go through something difficult at some point) you need to face it, acknowledge it. See it as a reason to build on strengths. Its easier said than done, but in the right mindset it can be achievable. And if you find the right time to face those struggles head on, you’ll find yourself a much stronger person on the other side.

 

I’ll give you an example. I have been suffering OCD since I was about ten. I have experienced awful intrusive thoughts that have paralysed me, and at one point even made me question whether it was even worth living. I would wake up in the morning, and want to go back to sleep, because I’d remember what my mind was like, awake.

 

Now, even though today I cope pretty well with these thoughts and compulsions, I still have my rough patches. And here is the important thing.

 

You don’t want to forget those rough patches, because there always will be struggles to deal with in life.

 

This shouldn’t come as depressing news to you, because if you are prepared and accept the fact that life can be a bit of a jerk sometimes, then it won’t be as awful when you are going through what you do.

 

The more  that difficult situations come as a surprise to you, the harder it will be to manage. That’s in my experience anyway.

 

It’s great to have a positive attitude to life, and be prepared for whats to come. But don’t get stuck in a knot of glee and think that the key to living is to find absolute contentedness, because its not.

 

If you have an issue, you should address it in a positive way. If you can’t do that alone, then do it with someone who cares, and pick yourself back up with that support.

 

I suppose I’m specifically addressing the perceivably happy chappy people here, when I say; don’t feel pressured to conform to what you think you should feel or need to feel. Be honest about your emotional condition. Say you aren’t great, if you aren’t great. Share what you have put up with if you’ve copped a lot of crap. Because its more relatable, and a more powerful way to find a means to success (in whatever shape or form) and fulfilment in life.

 

That’s my opinion anyway.

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

For most of my life I have had the tendency to twist the truth a little bit, in order to please others. So yeah, I’m one of those Aspies. It is more well known that people on the spectrum always tell the truth, and find lying extremely difficult. Well yeah, that is true. But for some Autistics; particularly females, lying is a tactic for survival.

 

But its not technically lying. It could just be swaying from the specific truth. For example, I once went out with a girl who was a fully certified lesbian. Ok, more seriously, I mean that she was confident that she was gay. Very certain of it. But because I wasn’t sure exactly what label I fitted at the time, I never actually mentioned that I was gay, bi or whatever. I just let her continuously assume things. Like, she asked me a question once; “have you come out to your Dad?” and because I didn’t want to lie, I just responded very vaguely and in the most truthful way possible “Well I just do stuff and my Dad doesn’t mind”. And thankfully she didn’t question my response further, so I didn’t have to be even more vague.

 

So why did I do this? Because I was afraid she wouldn’t want to see me anymore, because she’d think I was just using her, when as a matter of fact I wasn’t and generally wanted to try a relationship with her, like I would if I liked any person. Guy or girl.

 

So maybe that’s not totally lying, but it is certainly an avoidance of the truth. I did it all through high school, and even to make myself feel better I would convince myself that a lot of what I was saying was basically true, so I would even start believing my own partial lies.

 

I’d imply things too, and be suggestive so that people could formulate their own conclusions. For instance, I had done extensive research on a lot of sexual terms and slang that a lot of kids in my year level seemed to pick up on naturally. So when they did utilise them in a sentence I would get it. But it made people wonder if I had, as they referred to it; ‘lost my cherry’. I had to google that too by the way, because it made absolutely no sense to me.

10382529_844926085530398_3237188173761918347_o
Sofie and I at year 12 formal

 

Anyway, when a girl asked me upfront if I had, I didn’t want to say no because I thought they’d laugh at me, so I just smirked cheekily and let them decide for themselves. They concluded that I had. Gossip for them, woo!

 

But even though I would twist the truth, avoid responding to questions requiring honest answers and made cheeky, exaggerated implications about things, I still felt extremely guilty. Because in other situations I could be honest. Deep down I was a very ‘give it to them straight’ sort of person. All the decisions I made seemed to heavily contradict my natural instincts.

 

My extreme efforts to conform to the rest of the people in my year level caused me to feel so empty. So evil. Like I was some kind of sociopath. But what was I supposed to say to them?

 

“No, I haven’t lost my cherry. I find the idea of sex very scary, and uncomfortable. Even kissing is scary to me.” They would have just laughed at me, or patronised me by awwwing at how cute I was.

 

I just wanted to be like everyone else.

 

482114_444456318910712_71849231_n
Sitting awkwardly in the corner at the tamest year 10 formal after party available.

 

So reflecting on all that I have splattered on paper right about now, I realise I probably wasn’t a total liar, but due to the fact that I value honesty and believe telling the truth to be one of the most moral things you can do; avoiding it just made me hate myself.

 

Nowadays, I don’t do it very much at all. There are occasions that I still do if I’m afraid of being judged, but I do make a conscious effort to just be straight up. I’m even more honest in how I express myself. Showing off my Asperger’s feels so wonderful and free.

 

I am glad I can finally be myself.

And so she returns….

So I haven’t blogged in a while. For a few reasons. A few reasons that are all interconnected as a branches from the root that is self-criticism.

 

I know I may seem like the happy chappy let’s all ride unicorns and sprinkle hundreds and thousands over everyone type of person, but the fact is that is simply not the case. I do not in fact ride unicorns, as they are a mythical creature. We all know that. Nor do I sprinkle hundreds and thousands on fellow humans either, because it would only contribute to the rising in numbers of the diabetes pandemic.

 

You see? That’s pretty cynical of me to say right? But you, it is my belief that it is ok to feel shit about yourself every now and again, because you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t. That being said, it shouldn’t dictate a large slice of your life decisions. Its important not let yourself be contaminated by mean feelings targeted at your self-esteem and self-worth.

photo-on-23-2-17-at-9-47-pm

I haven’t been blogging for a number of reasons, as I mentioned before. Firstly, I have made attempts to put writing together and failed, thinking it wasn’t coming out right, when usually I can just whip out a blog post in the first go. That’s what I like about it. I don’t have time to criticise my ability. It just comes out naturally, flows like a waterfall of confidence out of my brain and onto the laptop screen. I like to write accompanied by that easy feeling.

 

So since I’ve been in a bit of muckyspot in my life, and for various reasons, I haven’t really been able to just spill words and share with you guys what I want to share.

photo-on-23-2-17-at-9-51-pm

 

I mean, I have basically been unemployed for four months because my job as a speaker and mentor only works during the school year, but getting another job hasn’t been an option. Because I CAN is the only job I’ve ever had where I feel truly valued and good at what I am doing.

 

So I haven’t been earning much money, and have been eating into my savings which is actually not just my savings, so I feel a bit shitty right now. But at the same time, in my gut I know that quitting I CAN and just getting a job for the sake of a more regular income would be a dumb decision, because I just know that if I stick with it, it’ll be a gateway to many more amazing opportunities.

 

For goodness sake, I mean, I’m already off to Tasmania in April to do stand up on behalf of I CAN, and in November I’m flying to Fremantle in WA to do a talk!! What 21 year old gets an opportunity like that on a regular basis? Man oh man!!

 

So I’m ranting. Sorry. But I’ll get to the point.

 

I’m a bit flat right now, and therefore have the time to think about stuff that makes me sad, angry etc. and when I feel like that I just give up, which leads me to neglect my many passions, which includes writing, comedy and other random special interests I have.

 

In the next few weeks I should be getting back on track again, and I hope to start blogging more again. I also hope my case of moronic technology person syndrome is cured, and I can figure out how to get rid of the random icons (that all lead to the same page) in the top right hand corner of my blog home page. That’d be nice.

 

What I want you to take away from this, is its ok to feel shit sometimes. Absolutely. Honestly, I really hate life sometimes, and just wish that I could sleep in bed for the rest of it. But then what the hell would I be achieving?

 

Even though the idea of bed is almost always enticing, I’m also not a big fan of fluffing around. I want to make every moment of my life count-on the side of my occasional Netflix binges-so just remember that. Make it count.

 

Bye!
See you on the flip side!!

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

My Little Sister (Georgia)

I’d say that my little sister Georgia is the one that gets me the most in my family. Or even if she doesn’t get me, she still makes an effort to understand and just laughingly goes along with my quirks. That’s not to say mind you, that the rest of my family suck. They all rock in different ways, and I love them all. I am just particularly close with my little sister Georgia.
 

In some ways she is a lot like me in the sense that she seems to have adopted some rather ‘aspie’ characteristics that I myself tend to display. Then again, I did some research on it, and it turns out that that can be quite common in families for siblings to exhibit similar behaviour at times. Then again, she is very different to me in the sense that she is nowhere near as awkward as I can be.

 

I mean, I take pride in my silly awkwardness and use it to my advantage, but I do admire Georgia for being able to carry a conversation without seeming like she needs to escape to the nearest toilet because she is busting. She is a good talker.

 

Stereotypically, it is the role of the older sibling to be the guardian and teach their younger sibling how to go about certain stuff. Well, our relationship is unconventional in that sense, because I’d say 50% of the time, Georgia is taking care of me.

 

Today for example, she helped me vacuum some thick as shit webs in my wardrobe, as I was worried that a spider would drop on me if I did it. I know, it’s a bit silly, but I have a bit of a fear that I am slowly trying to manage. Besides, she wouldn’t give a rats behind if a spider dropped on her face and did a dance. She’d just calmly take it outside.

 

I also happen to have a problem with Daddy long legs getting in my room. They just love this one random corner which they always go to. Even if I put them out, the next day another one will appear. I know they are harmless, but I just don’t like them being there because the idea of one being all active in the evening and running along my face freaks me out. So of course, without question she always collects them for me and puts them outside.

 

Its not only this kindness that makes it easy to get along with my little sister, but its her accepting nature. She has a lot of different friends. One of them are on the spectrum like me, and another has ADHD. She doesn’t seem to care how different someone might be, she just goes with it and has fun with whoever seems to be a good and fun loving person.

 

She is a bit silly herself anyway. We are often a bit silly together. We attempt to do accapellas together (fails inevitably) and we’ll make dumb jokes and put on comical voices. This almost always results in her laughing hysterically and smashing about  like a lunatic in the process. She is a bit nuts.

 

I can tell her anything. She is very trustworthy. Then again, I have to remember how old she is sometimes and refrain from telling her some things, because as she is a fragile teenager, I don’t want to affect her development.

 

I can always count on her to light heartedly pick up on my social errors. I have a bad habit of analysing the inadequacies of jokes and sayings, and when I do this she’ll often tell me to “shut up” and say “ok Carla.” And pat me on the back. Then she’ll laugh, and just correct me the next time I do it.

 

She is very honest with me. She’ll flat out tell me if something that I do is probably socially inappropriate, and will advise me to try not to do it in social situations. She always does so in a nice way though.

 

But I don’t always just rely on her. She relies on me too, and that makes me really happy. Because in the past I would not have thought myself to be a good role model for anyone really, but since she enjoys my company and confides in me when she herself is worried about something, I feel good that I can be there to help her out.

 

Mum actually planned to have three kids, but when Georgia came she was a beautiful surprise. I’ve never thought about it this much in depth, but after some reflecting I’ve realised how much of a blessing she has been in my life. Without her, I would not be the person I am today. Even if she is 6 years younger than me.

 

Love the little bastard.

Sex and Sensory (rated R)

 

 

If there is one topic you can’t discuss at schools with mentees, its sex. The reception, at rare times may be remarkably mature but otherwise there will mostly be giggles. I know that when I was at high school, the old ‘and then this goes in that’ talk was rather humorous.

 

But I guess I’ll just assume that mostly adults will be reading this, and not my countless Aunties at all. If you are related to me please continue reading this, because you will love how not-awkward it is (reverse psychology).

 

I guess we Auties are all different, as we are with most things, yet we do bond over some generally shared characteristics. We can be cast off into categories I suppose. I know Aspies that have been down for sex, and others where it isn’t of the slightest value to them. Either way, Auties are AWEsome.

 

I happen to be the kind of Autie who is rather oddly hypersexual. I love sexual intimacy. If you think you’ve already crossed the line of awkward, then perhaps take the time to recover by Youtubing cute puppy or cat videos.

 

I once read somewhere, that special interests can come out in otherwise ‘normal’ behaviour and experiences that neurotypical people might be able to relate to. I’ll explain.

 

So, teenagers are quite commonly interested in sex, boys, girls, My little pony porn, you name it.

 

Ok, so the last one was false, apart from the select few mentally disturbed individuals who might take a liking to it.

 

Anyway, sex is a popular topic of conversation at high school, and given that Auties can have the tendency to be rather intense about things, they might just go the extra mile about talking about the stuff that’s talked about.

 

I do not mean to say that this is the case for all Auties, but it would definitely make sense because I can relate to it definitely, and a friend of mine from school who I strongly suspect is on the spectrum, was also a little obsessive about the arguably crude culture of teenage life.

 

For instance, in both an effort to be a cool and with a complete lack of filter for what came out of my mouth, I used to openly express how sexually aroused I was at the sight of certain individuals in absolutely unnecessary detail.

 

Yes, youth tend to compliment significant others for being “hot”, heck even some people dared to say they would “ride someone” or “jump on them” in a fit of sexual attraction.

 

I used to get a little overexcited, and basically shout that I wanted to “bang the sh*t” out of someone. I never meant to be rude, or degrading, I just said what my mating instincts or whatever told me, even though some of the individuals I was referring to would not be possible to procreate with.

 

I loved the idea of sex, I wanted to kiss someone, lie butt naked on top of someone!! Just get on someone!! Woo!

 

 

But hey, sometimes fantasy doesn’t fit with reality. When I first shared physical intimacy with someone, it was amazing. We didn’t get as far as penetrative sex because she was bloody sick for four weeks and didn’t want to spread germs. In other words, she probably didn’t like me all that much after all.

 

Oh well, her loss I suppose. Anyway, it was the best!! Until some moments….when there was light exhaling of air on my body and stuff involved, it was awkward. It made me feel strange, and overwhelmed and I wanted to push her off me.

 

I started to realise, that maybe there would be some sensory issues for me in the bedroom.

 

The tricky thing is though, that yes. When I later found myself playing wrestling naked with an attractive man friend, I loved everything apart from the penetration. When it happened all I wanted was for the guy to ‘pull it out’. No pleasure was felt, just discomfort.

 

All I could see in my mind, was this massive thing scraping my insides and the idea of it just freaked me out and felt incredibly odd. I also didn’t want to bleed out of my set of doors. Having a period once a month was enough!!

 

But here’s the thing, I wanted everything else!!! I’d still fantasise about it, and desire certain dudes (ladies too) and keep willing myself to try again, but even to this day it is hard for me to get passed that sensory challenge.

 

Certain touch bothers me, dirty talk is not my strong point-I prefer casually delivering a formal compliment to someone mid-sex;

 

“pardon me for being so vain, but you are really lovely”

 

I have class. What can I say.

 

Otherwise, I just giggle like an idiot or lie there silently enjoying myself while the other person is trying to alarm the neighbours.

 

So I’m a bit of an awkward and fussy turtle when it comes to ‘bed sheet wars’ but I guess, either its an Autie thing or a me thing, if you can relate to it, now you know you are not by your lonesome.

 

Also, to the confused coming of age readers, please don’t confuse tactile issues with sexual attraction. It can make things seem a little unclear, but there is a separation (especially for Auties) between not liking the physical sensation of something, and not having that natural attraction to someone. I know when I like someone, I get all tingly and jumpy and want to shout how much I’d like to-well, I hold it in nowadays.

 

I hope this helped and didn’t freak anyone out!!

 

Clean the sheets afterwards everyone!!

 

 

 

My Personal Gender Identity

When I was a kid, I used to want to be a boy. After all, they did have super cool hairstyles and were allowed to wear pants all the time. I loved the idea of being a boy.

 

Even though I acted a bit like one, wore masculine clothes in spite of my Mother’s desire for me to look pretty, and hung around with boys, I didn’t feel so much like a boy that I felt wrong in my body. I’m not transgendered obviously, but that didn’t mean that I felt like an ultra-girl once I started growing up.

 

Sure, I did go through a phase where I started having my hair down and wearing dresses. But like any teenager I went through all sorts of those brief attempts at being rebellious, or just different to everyone else.

 

Now I’ve read somewhere that some Aspie women can have a more ‘male structured’ mind. So some of us may be alternative in expressing our gender, be trans or just be like a ‘typical’ girl I suppose too. I only started thinking about this two years ago, but without labelling myself I think I’m caught between two genders.

 

Some people reading this may be surprised, or perhaps not, but reflecting on my past experiences and behaviour I have exhibited a lot of ‘masculine’ type behaviour, and honestly, within myself, have forgotten that I’m a girl at times.

 

I mean, I used to open doors for girls like a gentleman, and not always because I was attracted to them. I’ve also wanted short hair since I was young, and finally got around to it after high school, and for a great cause as well.

 

When I talk to girls, I feel like I’m a guy talking to a girl. Then again, when I’m talking to a guy I might be attracted to, I become more feminine just automatically.

 

This has been happening for a while, and has never felt strange. I have only just started to really reflect on this since I’ve learnt more about the varying gender identities that exist in society today.

 

I have googled numerous terms such as genderqueer, androgynous and many more. I tried to claim the genderqueer identity but for me personally, it just didn’t feel right. That doesn’t mean that for other people it’s wrong, but for me it just didn’t fit.

 

Interestingly enough, I don’t mind being referred to as a girl, and nor do I mind going into the female bathroom. After all, I am completely comfortable with my body. There was a period where I was in a state of deep questioning, where I stood in front of the mirror naked and just looked at myself to see how I felt.

 

I didn’t do this because I thought I should get a sex change, but because I wanted to try and fully understand what I felt I was inside.

 

It shouldn’t really matter what you identify as, but just having that solid understanding of yourself can make things a little easier.

 

In my life I’ve travelled a quirky path. I’ve cross dressed, tried being ‘girly’, shaved my head and commonly written stories from a male’s perspective. All these occurrences have eventuated in me realising that I am most comfortable as a person.

 

You can call me gender neutral or whatever, but because I tend to fluctuate between femininity and masculinity (whatever that means anyway) I am fully comfortable as a identifying as a human being.

 

You can refer to me as a girl, and I won’t mind. Calling me a boy wouldn’t bother me too much, but because biologically I am comfortable being female I’d rather be called a girl, so not to dishonour the trans community.

 

But best of all, I like to be called by my name, or as a person.

 

“She is a nice person”

 

“I like Carla”

 

“ That person is a bloody mongrel!”

 

“Carla doesn’t ever fricken shut up!”

 

You get what I mean. For some people, labels are fantastic. I do wear the label of Autism, but that is so I can educate people about its varying types. I don’t however, like to claim any labels in relation to my sexuality or gender identity, because all those labels would be too much to remember anyway. I don’t feel like I need to say anything. Some people might like to use a label to explain to people how they are, but because I invest so much energy in doing that about Autism, I’d rather disregard the other opportunities to flaunt my sexy orientation and gender identity.

 

Word.