I’m trying to get back into blogging regularly, so the current plan is to blog about feminism one week then autism the next, or maybe increase that to one post from each category per week, I don’t know. Either way, that means I’m due to write an autism post, and there’s something I’ve been meaning to write about for a while now. Except, well, I’m not really sure where to start. So instead I’ll begin by linking you to other relevant things.
- At the risk of shoehorning my special-interest-du-jour into my “serious” blog, Sleepsong by Bastille helped me recognise and at least vaguely attempt to describe the feeling I’m going to write about. Lyrics can be found here, that’s where the title (and entire structure of this post, as it turns out) came from, and I think it sums up the whole lonely-in-a-crowd thing quite well.
- There’s also this post by autistic blogger Alex Forshaw on obsessive relationships. The comments on that post are really worth reading too. I really recognised myself in that post and the subsequent comments. I’m also beginning to understand why my ex (who is also autistic) behaved in the way he did during the final months of our relationship; not that that excuses it, of course, but I can at least see the reasoning behind the possessiveness.
Anyway, time to attempt some words.
When you’re out, loneliness, it crawls up in the ground…
It’s, for want of a better phrase, the language barrier. I’ll miss most of the neurotypical body language, facial/vocal expressions and whatever else; likewise, I imagine most people don’t pick up on any of that stuff from me. It’s the rhetoric surrounding who’s to blame for the language barrier, because autistic body language is seen as weird and wrong and all the advice that gets thrown at you about how to make friends all boils down to “Have you tried not being autistic?”
It’s not just that, though. It’s also the memories from when I was younger and how horrible other people could be sometimes, often people who barely knew me, people whose names I never knew. It’s learning not to trust people straight away, if ever, because they’re probably either laughing at me behind my back or about to start laughing at me to my face. It’s learning to assume that if people are whispering or laughing near you, they’re whispering or laughing about you; to this day I even assume this about friends, because, well, you never know.
“It’s funny when she gets angry.”
It’s never quite being in sync, even when you realise that not all people are going to push you into meltdowns for fun, and some are actually really friendly and supportive, in fact that probably goes for the majority of people. That’s nice to think about, but it doesn’t really solve the problem.
It’s showing up, saying “hi” and barely saying another word.
It’s being the awkward third person walking behind the other two, unless there’s four people, in which case suddenly there’s room for three people in a line and I become the awkward fourth person.
It’s all the worrying about being clingy and possessive and jealous, all the actually being clingy and possessive and jealous. It’s bugging people with either far too many Facebook messages or one that’s far too long. It’s freaking out when that silly Facebook messenger “seen” thing is removed only by a completely unrelated message from someone else, and when that actually gets some sort of response.
It’s the feeling, probably unfounded but still there nonetheless, that I’m in the group but not actually in the group, just sort of tagging along for the ride. It’s the realisation that this sentence applies to basically any group of people I could ever have vaguely been considered a part of.
…It’s what you feel, but can’t articulate out loud.