- Welcome to a blog about an autistic adult woman in her late 30's using words and images to advocate acceptance as well as awareness of those with life-limiting sensory processing issues and resulting social and behavioral challenges. I write about inclusion ideas for those who remain in isolation due to their neuromakeup and share how my Christian faith keeps me going. Thank you for visiting.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Lonely vs. being alone
I call this "Dancing with herselves"
Being lonely is different from being alone. Being alone, for me, is when I have had enough sensory input from a person and/or environment. It is a choice. Being lonely is something I have little choice over. Due to the severe limitations of my autism spectrum disorder, I don’t have the simple luxury of calling up a friend to see if they are free for coffee or a walk in the park.
My only friend lives 45 minutes away and due to age, can’t drive long distances on a constant basis. I cannot drive. What support and socialization that does exist is for disabled people who can go anywhere and be exposed to everything as long as it is
I am alone in my home without human contact 6 days a week for 90% of my day. My sister does her best, but she, like my aunt, has a life that includes shared experiences with other people. Mine doesn’t. Nobody else in my family or community is interested in relating to me.
I notice that when I have a little more (not a ton) of stimulation going on with kindly people who don’t see me solely as a burden, I feel more relaxed and less depressed. I naturally want to participate in life more. When I don’t get this interaction (and there are times that it is inevitable), I fall behind.
Depression descends. I am irritable. Exercise and most anything else is a chore. I curl up in a ball and sleep a lot.
I can try to distract myself for a while, but like the dancing hula girl in the photo, the reflection in the window tells the real story; one of a person fading into lifelessness, mere existence when left to her own devices for long.
The internet is of no use to me socially. Everyone is either out to play the hate game or to promote his or her lives, but not to make a personal connection.
I know autistic people stereo-typically aren’t viewed as wanting what I crave (in much smaller amounts than most NTs do), but I think that is mostly due to feelings of inadequacy, which I certainly have in spades. It doesn’t help that we have a culture that thrives on selfishness and speed.
God actually designed us to relate with others (Genesis 2:18) whether platonic or romantic or both. Due to sensory issues, church is out of the question for me. I don’t get to discuss my faith very much unless my Christian friend wants to talk about it. What I can’t obtain from the Bible, I get from online Christian websites.
I find it (probably because of the autism) harder to relate to God, as He is Spirit. I so need to have someone in my physical presence, but God already came in the flesh. He made His creation to fellowship with one another.
I was originally denied case management services due to having the Asperger’s diagnosis (too high-functioning to need support), but due to my severe sensory issues and need to have a safe person out in the community with me, along with my generalized anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, I was approved.
After 14 months of case-management services, my caseworker left for another agency.
I've decided to forego any more services for the time being. My soul is worn out and I need to focus more on my relationship with God and address some medical issues before I proceed further.