A Working Autistic Adult

It has been a long time since I wrote on here and every day I think about writing on here but then, life. There is a life update: I’m a working Autistic adult. I have a paid internship. I have earned my first ever paycheck on August 30th. I took the day off to celebrate because I definitely earned it. Also, on that date I finally earned my Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Cybersecurity.

Now back to the internship, I never thought it would ever happen but I met this awesome friend through my online college and she helped me get this internship. They really care about their employees which is really cool. I went to a summer summit down in Maryland and met everyone who works there. However, I was not prepared for what I was going to experience. I learned a lot about myself through this internship so far and this work summit.

Some things I am not good at: multitasking. I cannot do work while talking to someone. I have to focus on only the task at hand which is working. However, I can multitask in the work mode, doing work things.

Interacting with people I love but having conversations with more than 2 people at one time is not my favorite. Having 16 conversations to 16 different people in one day also not my favorite. It is really hard for me to work after the 2 hour company lunches unless Traci is there to help me put up that “front”. I get severely burnt out easily. I am happy these work summits happen every 6 months rather than working in a company office with people all the time. By the way, did I inform you this paid internship is remote? The best decision of my life.

I get a paycheck every 2 weeks. I still have yet to hit a total of 40 hours a week to work but the closest I got was 38.5. Having doctor appointments and therapy sessions with work is very complicated but I am doing the best I can. If I get a full-time position from this that will be another thing to adjust to but I can do it. I can do it from home and I needed this. I didn’t even know how important remote is to me. Before this internship I was adamant on working with people every day – never mind.

My dream was to get a cybersecurity degree but due to the college hurting my chances I had to deal with getting a degree in cybersecurity. I thought my changes of doing anything were over. Luckily, I had a concentration in cyber policy and a minor in Cyber security. I had a friend I met through online college and now have an awesome paid internship with a start up company. I am really enjoying this paid internship and I hope it works out. It ends November 30th.

This is my life update – a working autistic adult.

I’m a Statistic

I’m a part of the statistic of autistics who have never had a job. I have been on Social Security benefits for all of my adult life. I have been going to college since I was in the mid-twenties. It took me along way to get there. My life is not following a life that is normal in any way or another. I graduated high school but I went on for a few years to get my life together. I went to lots of psychiatrists, weekly visits to psychologists. Medications were my life and I took too many of them. I gained too much weight. My autism was mistaken for many different disorders. Either way, I made it through the madness.

I fought for where I am today and it took along time to get here. I am 30 years old and I am finally graduating with my bachelor’s degree in 3 weeks. I graduate August 30th. I never thought this day would happen. I never saw myself graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Cybersecurity. I never saw myself ever leaving college. I was terrified. But here it is, and I am finally saying goodbye to college. Honestly, I am so excited.

I am so excited to earn my first paycheck. I am so excited to be an adult and have a purpose. A reason to wake up. To have money to afford life. It’s really hard to live off of SS benefits. It’s terrible. A friend I met through the online college I am at and will be graduating with helped me get a paid internship that could turn into a job if they see I work hard and I like what I will be doing. Oh, I am terrified and excited.

My life is changing for the better so quickly. I thought it would take me months to find a job or maybe even have to work with vocational rehab to find something for awhile. But now I am starting this paid internship before I even graduate. Also, my first paycheck will be the day I graduate and I will be done with college, August 30th.

I know it’s no surprise to anyone in my life that I am here. I am finally here and I am doing it. But I still surprise myself. I know I am capable of many things but I just have wanted this since I was 16 years old. I just wanted a job. This paid internship will be remote. I won’t have to leave which is good and bad. Bad because I need to leave the house and interact with people but good because it eliminates the unnecessary chit-chat. I will get to focus on what is most important the work.

Soon I won’t be a statistic. But for now, I am still a statistic. I won’t be one forever. I will make sure of that. Every goal I have ever made I have hit. When I want something I make sure it happens. If I really want it, I will get it. So for that I will not be as statistic soon enough. I have high hopes.

Inconsistence & Other Crap

This blog is not consistent but neither is my life right now. I will always continue to come back to write some more but it won’t be a daily thing or consistent but I do hope you will come back and read!

Caretaker

I will do it for someone I love but it really weighs heavy on me. My fiance has been post-op from surgery 2 weeks out. It is getting easier and she is more independent but holy shit, this is stressful. I have to be able to do everything for me to stay sane, for her, for us and for our cats. I almost feel like I cannot handle it but I will continue, for her, for us.

Belonging

I don’t need to fit in but I want to feel like I belong somewhere. The only time I feel like I belong anywhere is when I am with my fiance. We are two weirdos who stick out from the crowd and never get included in any of life’s happenings. It’s normal now but it is better because I am not alone.

I will always be the outsider looking in. Wanting to be included and accepted for me but refusing to fit in to be included.

I know I am awkward. I cannot make small talk and it is hard to do but I try. Why do I feel unwelcome but loved? I know I am loved but I am not welcome into the fun. I observe it from the outside. Yes, I love the outside. Don’t get me wrong but sometimes it feels nice to be included. I guess it is time to create a club of weirdos and then only will we all belong in our own special way.

ADA Accessibility

When you know someone in a wheelchair or have a physical disability, it really stands how how unaccessible locations and businesses actually are. There are not enough wheelchair accessible bathrooms in rest stops off of the thruway in New York. There are not enough ADA accessible locations or areas that are large enough for wheelchair to go through and people to feel safe. This needs to change!

Oh life! Are you drunk?

Life can get quite overwhelming, sometimes. I have my own routine to a certain extent that allows me to have plans to change and not get as overwhelming as I could since I have a constant somewhere. My fiance had her knee surgery this past Friday, July 5th. I have taken care of her before the first few months we met and I stayed with her at her parents house all summer to take care of her. I have done it once before so I knew I could do it again. Right…?

Oh the overwhelming stress and anxiety that is surrounding my life right now. I am doing the best I can do. She is very grateful. I appreciate her being so grateful. I do appreciate it. It is just so hard. I don’t know how she does it. How does she take care of everything? So, she takes care of majority of our life. I am embarrassed to say it but she does. I help her whenever she needs it. I do the kitty litter and other household chores. But she really does a lot. Now I have all her responsibilities. I am overwhelmed. We are getting into a routine and a rhythm but I am in over my head. I know as time goes on it will get easier.

I get to marry her next year and I just don’t understand how she stays with me all these years while she does almost everything. I always had things handed to me. I didn’t grow up learning or being taught these every day life things. Traci taught me how to do my own laundry and I was in my mid-twenties. How embarrassing is that? I just wish I knew how to do all these things. I wish I could say I got this and feel confident. I am just stumbling along the way. I don’t want to let her down and I would do anything for her. It is just super overwhelming and really hard for me.

Oh life! I just wish I was not so hard on myself. I wish this wasn’t hard and overwhelming. I just wish I was as awesome as her. I know as time goes on these challenges will become accomplishments. I can then look back and feel proud.

Long Pause: Life

Since my last post my life has felt it is spinning out of control. Too much uncertainty and it is driving me upside down. I need a certain amount of certainty to balance out the uncertainty fears. The only certainty I have is my shower routine at the moment. It can feel hard to breathe during this time.

I picked up my bags and left late 6/9/19 to rush 2.5 hours to the hospital to be a coach for my little sister because she was in labor. Labor for 13 hours, with barely 30 minutes of sleep. I have no idea how I made it. My nephew was born at 6:01pm on June 10th his original due date. How amazing? My fiance and I were going to leave the day after he was born but my sister needed us so we stayed. We came back to the hospital every day and then the day she left the hospital got to the house before her. We allowed the animals to smell his stuff. My nephew’s name is Brayden and I love him to pieces.

We stayed at my mom’s whiling helping my sister from that Wednesday until this past Thursday one week and 1 day. We just got home Thursday and it’s been a week and a half since we last been home. It was amazing to help my sister. It was amazing to spend that time with her and my nephew. I do miss them both incredibly too much. However, it is nice to be home, finally.

Now we are home. Everything else that has to put to the side because I was focusing on my sister and my nephew, Brayden, is crashing down all around me. I wanted to write in this blog more but life is just getting too much to handle. I cannot wait for this 15-page paper to be done so I can be one step closer to this course ending.

Here’s why I have been having a long life pause and I just wanted to update for those who read this. 🙂

Traveling Panic & Airplane Sound Sensitivity

Traveling Panic

Thursday May 30th 2019 to June 4th, 2019 my fiance and I went to Portland, Oregon. We had a layover on the way there and on the way back. I have never done a layover, and I do not like the short 30 minutes. That panic set in too fast. Meditation did not help in any of that time.

I hate flying and traveling by airplane. I hate being an overweight person and the bathrooms on the plane being so tiny. I hate how close everyone sits in the airplane. I do not appreciate the closeness. Traveling by airplane over 2.5 hours is very stressful. Panic is no fun less in a traveling state.

Headphones and Noise Sensitivity

If I did not have my noise canceling Sony headphones I feel traveling would have been horrendous. The noise canceling option to be turned on without music was very calming because I could not hear the engine. It helped eliminate crying or screaming children and everything else. It eliminated a sensory overload. I kept them on to walk to the bathroom and back to my seat. If you plan to travel on a airplane and have noise sensitivity, I highly suggest buying noise canceling headphones it helps so much.

Masking Autistic

When I did a podcast interview with This Podcast has Autism, they asked me if I mask as an autistic female. I had initially said no. I did it more when I was younger. However, now that I have been more in tune with myself lately. I had lost it for awhile there, but now I sense what I am doing more than at that moment. Yes, I do still mask. I do it when I am with people/environments I am uncomfortable with. Sometimes I do it to feel safe. There are people out there who will make fun of you for being different, for not laughing, and/or for being too sensitive. These situations are when I will mask.

These situations are when my internal battery is sucked dry and drained completely. I feel dead. I feel like I cannot breathe, think, or be. I get drained by trying to go along with shit because that is what needs to be done. If these situations happen for over 3 hours… these situations break me and ruin me. Unlike my podcast interview, I do mask. I do it when I am not with people I am comfortable with like just meeting new people. I do it when I am uncomfortable with environment that I am in. I do it to attempt to protect myself but really masking doesn’t protect me later on just in the moment.

Masking needs to come with an extra set of batteries. Or I just need to not put myself in those situations often or at all. I need to respect myself. Not only am I fighting against my Autistic self. I am fighting against my chronic illness that drains my battery too. Sometimes it can just be too much, the world can just be too much. I just needed to explain this and say that I do mask, even if I once said I didn’t. I believe I did not put myself into situations that continually drained me to nothing and it took getting out and experiencing life to realize there are times I do mask.

What is wrong with 2019?

People read and believe everything they read without questioning it. What happened to finding out if what you are reading or being told is real? What happened to questioning it? What are you a robot? Follow the rules of the people you are close with. Whatever they say you go with? I do not understand what is wrong with 2019. Stop reading and believing everything. Start asking questions. Start making yourself see outside the box. Explore and fight against what others are doing to get a better understanding.

No one can have an opinion unless it is exactly like yours. What happened to being able to be civil with people you do not agree with? What happened to educational debates? What happened with free speech? We all have the right to have our own opinions, believes, faith or whatever you have. I don’t need to agree with you to be your friend or family. You do need to respect mine as I respect yours. It is a sad world to see people killing someone because they do not agree with your sexual orientation. It is a sad world to kill someone because they have a different faith or religion.

I do not believe anyones opinion should control what someone else decides to do. Where did this mindset come from? If you don’t like something that is okay but you shouldn’t get to dictate if someone can or cannot. We all have our own moral compasses. We are all individuals. We our own thoughts, opinions, beliefs, mindsets and more. Some people out there want to be like their friends and not think outside their own circles thoughts. That’s up to them but I will not agree with you if you say something.

Do not expect me to agree with you because you are my friend or family. Do not expect me to lie and tell you that you look good in what you are wearing. Do not expect me to follow what society is doing. Even if I agree with your opinion, do not expect me to agree that those without our opinion do not matter. That they should “die” or whatever because they do not have the same opinion. Do not expect me to not be friends with someone who does not have the same opinions or beliefs as me. Of course, there are certain lines I draw but not this immature way of handling it.

What is wrong with this world in 2019?

Little Ole’ Me: Real or not

I have been wanting to post on here for a few days. I started thinking about me when I was younger. Just two different aspects that I wanted to share.

Santa Claus, WWE, Movies, and what’s reality?

When I was in elementary school-ish years, I remember asking if Santa Claus was real? I remember my mom trying to tell me in the nicest way possible. I was heart broken. Why would someone lie about something so great? I tried to ignore it and still believe. Christmas was my happy place. I would go on for years longer after being told of his non-existence, still believing. Not in the man but believing in the mindset. What is true?

When I was a little bit older but still young, I used to watch WWE religiously. I loved it so much until the day my mom’s fiance told me it was fake. I was heart broken. I felt betrayed. How do I know when something is real or not?

Despite these two shockers, I used to watch movies, understanding that they were movies but believing they were real. I thought that is how families were. That is what love is like. It took me a long time to realize movies are for Hollywood not to be put on the same shelf with family movies.

What is a friend?

A friend is a person you have things in common with and enjoy being around. I have had friends and then they move on. I have had what I thought were friends but were not. As a young autistic kid, it was hard to understand what a friend really meant. It was hard to understand why people hated me so much. It was hard to even understand myself. How could I be confident and forget the haters when I didn’t understand why I was the way I was?

Friends, they are amazing they they are true friends. But when I was younger, I guess the attention no matter how negative or positive it was. I enjoyed people paying attention to me. As I grew up I understood the mean ones were bullies. People who took advantage of me and did not care about me.

Once I realized who the true friends were I learned to stick with them. There’s a part of my high school which is blurred out in memories, and friends I had I cannot remember why we were no longer friends. I think people grow apart. Friends, I have a few great ones I don’t know where I’d be without them.

Hostility

Passive-Agressive

I don’t know about anyone else, but I hate when people are passive-aggressive. I get that whatever this person is dealing with is deep-seated and complicated. The person is hostile towards another or a group.

Why can’t people be honest without being mean? Why can’t people say what is on their minds and talk to the person they have these feelings with? What is scary is someone who is being passive-aggressive can be all nice to people but be holding the grudge right behind their kind gestures?

It is funny that the person being passive-aggressive will always deny their responsibility and put the blame on another person. Sometimes they will even deny being passive-aggressive. Maybe they do not know they are doing it? Or they know but cannot speak the truth?

Only can something change is when the passive-aggressive person becomes more self-aware of their actions and behaviors. This type of person needs to mature, and it is not the receiving persons fault or job to change them.  

The only thing we can do is change or focus on what we have control of. We can only take charge of our own responsibility.

Communication is important in every type of relationship. If the communication is open, accusations and assumptions can be swiped away quickly before any deep-seated resentment begins.

I honestly wish everyone had the same moral compass with honesty. This would create better relationships.