I did manage to salvage some of the day after my last post. I went for a haircut, which is one of my absolute least favourite things (because I don’t like being touched by strangers or spoken to when I can’t escape and because of my tremor issue). I wrote a letter to my doctor requesting a medical certificate for my depression so that I can try to apply for benefits, and I handed the letter in at the surgery. I walked quite a bit. I did twenty-five minutes of Torah study and worked for fifty minutes on my novel, mostly redrafting what I had already written of the chapter I’m working on because I wasn’t happy with the way it was going. I also cooked some plain pasta for dinner, to go with bought sauce.
As well as all of this, I watched most of the James Bond film Goldfinger. I will probably finish it before bed. I’ve watched three films in three days, which is unusual for me. It’s partly that winter makes me want to hibernate, but also that I really need escapism right now, from the election and from my life. Some of the things that turned me off James Bond years ago now seem like virtues: Bond’s smug complacency and amorality, meaning there are no major moral dilemmas; the improbable plots; the mindless action. It’s an escape from my own reality. James Bond never lies in bed feeling too depressed to get up in the morning, just as James Bond wouldn’t take and cr*p from antisemites.
I have all eight of these 8 Signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Women that are Often Missed. I don’t feel myself to be particularly feminine, but I know that women with autism are often able to mask their symptoms, particularly those around socialising and learning body language and eye contact. Like many masking women on the spectrum, I have learnt to consciously control my eye contact and body language, at least to some extent, as well as writing “scripts” or “algorithms” for appropriate social behaviour and conversation, which I can not cope with intuitively. This has, I think, impeded my diagnosis. As that list suggested, I became a workaholic in my teens partly from low self-esteem (thinking I had to work super-hard to pass my exams), but probably also on some unconscious (?) level to avoid socialising, particularly at university. I also have trouble at social gatherings where I don’t have a clear role. I could socialise when I was a child and socialising meant playing a game together with some kind of rules (or plot if it was more imaginative play), but when I got to my teens and suddenly people were just “hanging out” I did not know how to cope with that at all. I still struggle with these things. I do sometimes think about helping in the kitchen or tidying, but I tend not to know what to do and invariably just get in the way. I had most of the different eight autism symptoms here too, but it’s not a list that spoke to me so much, although I am definitely very territorial and don’t like people in my room and I do tend to do things one at a time in the order I want to do them and get annoyed if told to do them in a different order.