It’s been business as usual: depressed, lonely, touch hungry. Beating myself up about things that probably aren’t in my control, and neglecting things that are. I’m pessimistic about the future, but trying not to think about it too much. I feel that autism is at the root of my issues (depression, work issues, relationship issues, friendship issues, community issues, maybe even God issues — see below) and that’s not something I can ever “cure.” The most I can do is get taught workarounds for it. While even workarounds would be something, I feel that autism set me up to fail from the moment I was born. Will I ever get a career (librarianship or writing)? Will anyone ever really be able to love me romantically? Will I ever be able to build the type of friendships and community life I want? It all seems terribly unlikely.
I also worry about not being diagnosed a third time when I feel so sure I’m on the spectrum. What future would that give me? Would it mean that I’m not on the spectrum and my issues are just in my head i.e. I’m just useless? Would it mean no career, no relationship, no life? It would certainly mean no NHS help, although I’m not quite sure what they can offer anyway.
Yesterday was one month since I broke up with E. It was the right thing to do, but I haven’t got back in touch with her from fear that if I do that, we’ll end up together again. Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t have broken up. There’s a feeling of, “Even if it wasn’t perfect, I’m not likely to get any better offers.” It is hard to know what to do with lonely feelings when there is no outlet.
I tried to work on my novel, but it was hard to get in the right mindset. I needed to write something related to a big mistake I made at work once, and I procrastinated because I didn’t want to revisit it in my memory. I made slow progress, but I did get through the difficult bit. It seemed like it wasn’t such a big mistake in retrospect once I confronted it. I am still worried about not having quite enough plot to last to the minimum word count.
Good things: my parents have bought a chocolate fudge cake as it’s my birthday next week. There’s a huge chocolate swirl thing on the top. This has cheered me up a little. Even then there was a problem, in that Dad ordered a square cake and they gave a round, which is smaller because there are no corners (the price is the same, so the square is better value for money). I wouldn’t have noticed if Dad hadn’t pointed it out to me. But I’m trying not to let that bother me.
The post also bought half of an indulgent “birthday present” I bought for myself a few days ago: an animated Doctor Who story from years ago on DVD (The Infinite Quest). It’s aimed more at children than most Doctor Who (it was an animated segment on the children’s spin off Totally Doctor Who), but I was curious to see it again and found a cheap copy on Music Magpie (one of the “anything other than Amazon” sites I’ve taken to using). To be honest, it wasn’t not great, much more obviously aimed at children than the average Doctor Who story, but it was diverting.
I was not abused as a child, but there were some things that happened to me which therapists have said could be trauma, and which could have stopped me believing that adult authority figures really cared about me and/or would protect me. I’ve also known that this is the probable cause of my difficulty in trusting God and accepting He loves me, God being another authority figure in essence.
The problem with knowing this is it hasn’t really taken me anywhere. I guess in a book or TV programme, this would be big revelation to the main character and they would suddenly achieve catharsis and closure and move on with their lives. In reality, it’s something I’ve known for years, even decades, but I still feel depressed and I still feel, at least some of the time, that God hates me and is out to punish me for real or imagined sins.
What I did find myself wondering today, and don’t really have time to explore further before Shabbat, is where my autism fits in. I didn’t know about high functioning autism as a child (the diagnosis didn’t even exist back then), but I was conscious of being an outsider both at home and especially at school, that people found me weird and didn’t like me. Do I assume that God is also going to find me weird and unlikeable? Maybe.
The mystics (in Judaism and other religions) teach that God is in everyone and everything as well as being beyond everything (panentheism, as distinct from pantheism where God is everything without having a transcendent Being beyond everything). Therefore it’s impossible for something to exist without God knowing and understanding it. Therefore God can’t find me weird and unlikeable. But I resist this, partly because I’ve never felt fully comfortable with mysticism and kabbalah, but partly — I don’t know what, just resistance to the idea that God loves me. That I can’t be that good. I don’t know. (Of course, a rationalist like Rambam would find the idea of God being in everything heretical nonsense. Maybe that’s why I struggle to accept it.)
I’ve noticed I’ve started using Oxford commas in my writing recently, despite being pretty set against them in the past. I’m not sure why this is.