I was emailed last week by a job agency asking to put my name forward for a library assistant role.  I didn’t want to apply.  I am over-qualified for the job and am afraid that once I have non-librarian roles on my CV, it will be even harder to get trained librarian work.  I already have had two jobs that did not require librarian training; one more and I would have more non-librarian roles than librarian roles.  Plus the work would have been boring and I don’t think making myself bored is a particularly clever thing to do, in terms of stoking depression.  So I asked the agency not to put my name forward.

I felt that my parents would want me to apply and I didn’t tell them.  I’ve had this conversation with them before; they feel that I should just get a job in the library and that might lead on to promotion to a librarian position.  I keep telling them that library work does not work like this; it’s like saying being a caretaker at 10 Downing Street is a step towards becoming Prime Minister.  Library assistant and librarian are completely separate career tracks.  I feel guilty about this.  I’m not sure if I feel guilty for turning the application down (although experience suggests that I would not have been called for interview because I’m over-qualified) or for not telling them.  I tell my parents a lot, not least because I have so few friends, and none I really speak to in depth regularly.

***

I had a weird dream last night.  I can only remember a fragment of it, but Donald Trump wanted to appoint me to his Cabinet.  I turned it down, reasoning that Trump would be even worse than my previous difficult boss.  It was probably an unemployment anxiety dream.

***

It’s hard to challenge my depressive thoughts as I am supposed to for CBT.  I have thoughts that “I will never have a job” or “I will never get married” and I’m supposed to find evidence to prove that they are untrue.  I can sort of accept that the not having a job thoughts might be untrue.  But there does seem to be evidence that I will never get married, even if it’s circumstantial.  I can tell myself that most people end up in a relationship at some point (although these days many of those relationships don’t last, which is a whole other anxiety), that there is nothing intrinsically unlovable about me (or so I’m told)… but some people do never find a relationship and people like me, with treatment-resistant mental illness and autism, are highly likely to be in that group of permanently single people.  That same group figures highly for unemployment and under-employment too.  I don’t care whether a jury would convict on these odds, as per CBT, it’s enough to upset me and worry me.  Similarly, while I’ve had brief relationships, most women I’ve asked out were not interested in me at all, and the ones who were quickly decided I was too frigid or socially anxious or other criticisms related to my depression and autism.

I increasingly wonder whether I could have a successful marriage even if I could find someone willing to marry me.  I am something of a loner, even if I’m a loner who is surrounded by more people than he cares to realise.  I worry autism makes meaningful close relationships impossible.  Lots of marriages between neurotypicals fail, so I’m not quite sure why I think I could marry successfully with autism.   I doubt I could have made a success of any of my previous relationships or crushes, except maybe with E., and my difficulty finding frum (religious) women who like me seems very real.

Dating would mean either going to a paid shadchan (matchmaker) or dating site or else going to Rebbetzin D, the woman who someone suggested to my Dad as being someone who could help find a match for a person with depression.  I’m scared to do it.  Partly it’s fear of rejection, of being told by Rebbetzin D that I shouldn’t be dating as much as being rejected by women, although that is part of it too.  Part of it is anxiety about using the telephone; I’d be more willing to talk to her if I could find a way to email.  But it’s also that dating seems a big thing that I’m just not in the right state of mind for right now.  If I thought I had a realistic chance of meeting my partner it would be another question, but I really can’t see anyone falling for a depressed, anxious, unemployed, autistic freak.

***

Lately I seem to be taking time out to lie down after lunch because I feel too depressed and anxious to get on with things.  I’m not sure if this is better, worse or just different from spending ages procrastinating online because I feel too depressed and anxious to get on with things.  I did eventually drag myself out to do some shopping and related chores, full of dread because I was going to have to talk to people at the doctor’s surgery (to get a form for my blood test – I have to have regular blood tests because I’m on lithium) and when collecting some shoes that were reheeled.  It all went OK in the end, but while I was waiting in the surgery there was a tense conversation, bordering on argument between one of the receptionists and a patient.  The tension in the room did upset me.  It was hard to disassociate myself from it.

I hope to work on my Doctor Who book later and to try to do a few minutes of Torah study,  no matter how hard that seems.  It is hard to do anything today, though.

***

I still can’t get through to the Citizens Advice Bureau to find out about the National Insurance conditions for new Style ESA.  I’m not sure if I’ve paid enough NI in recent years to qualify because of part-time work and unemployment.  I think the fact that I’ve paid any NI at all in the last two years is enough, but I’m not sure.  Plus, I would have to prove that I’m unable to work because of illness, which I probably could not prove, given that I’m looking for work.

***

More telephone issues: my previous dentist (before we moved) used to encourage us to book a new appointment at the end of each visit.  The new dentist seems not to do that, and I had a confusing conversation with the receptionist about booking one for January, the upshot of which seemed to be that they haven’t got a 2020 diary and aren’t booking appointments yet.  However, I don’t think I entirely understood properly, but I was just feeling weird and unintelligible and desperate to get out of the conversation and politely hung up.  I don’t know why using the telephone is so hard for many people with autism, including myself, but it is.  But I still beat myself up for not coping with it better.

***

I’m supposed to limit my worrying to twenty minutes of daily “worry time.”  As I express my worries in writing, I will see if I can limit my writing time to worry time.  So, posting now and hoping that I don’t feel the need to write again later tonight.

4 thoughts on “Worry Time

  1. In terms of autistic people having relationships, Maranda Russell and Christa from Neurodivergent Rebel are a couple of bloggers that come to mind who are autistic and seem to be happily married.

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  2. I have four friends (2 couples) who have Asperger’s and are happily married (i.e. both members of the couple are on the spectrum). These friends married late — in their 40s. I always understood that those on the spectrum tend to do things later than their neurotypical counterparts. I know that in your community people tend to marry young and so you feel more left behind. But outside your community 36, especially for a man, is not considered particularly old for marriage. I would encourage you not to give up hope even if, as you say, the odds seem to be against you.

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