I’ve felt a bit discouraged today. My rough two weeks are finished, but they were followed by another week, which had some difficult surprises of its own. That week began with a pretty startling (to me) miscommunication. I had tried my very best to craft a clear, concise, informational letter only to receive in return a couple of sentences that appeared to have nothing whatsoever to do with what I had actually written in my letter.
So I had that weighing on my mind. It took me several days to process this unexpected response and determine that I will not be pursuing any further responses from this person. During those days a good friend and former colleague of mine had a health crisis, so I was also horribly worried about them.
Throughout the week I full-out melted or shut down over several trivial things and completely failed at effectively communicating with anyone allistic. During that week I also happened to be around a group of other Autistic mothers many more hours than I usually am. We had a day camp of sorts and it was lovely! Maybe I’ll write more about that another time in another post.
But every day I had to leave that lovely place and my masking was gone last week due to the worry and stress. Other people put so many assumptions on my words and actions that it was utterly exhausting. At the most basic level I started to doubt whether or not I’ll ever be capable of understanding allistic meanings or they mine. I still do doubt this.
I do not have these types of misunderstandings with other Autistics. Maybe I just haven’t met enough of us, I don’t know, but it was so lovely to be in that real life Autistic space.
I felt understood, I could be myself and not worry about how someone might jump to bizarre conclusions from things I didn’t say because that sort of miscommunication has never happened with any of the folks at camp even though I’ve known most of them for nearly a decade. I could move the way I needed to move and speak the way I needed to speak (or type) and I knew I could always ask for clarifications if I got lost in the discussion or was uncertain of anything.
That experience got me thinking.
If that’s what allistics have even just some of the time, no wonder they find it so difficult to extend the energy necessary to effectively communicate with us.
In addition to being worried and stressed last week, I was in a situation where I got used to communicating in a way that’s comfortable to me. A way that I’m not usually able to use because it will upset the people around me. A way that felt amazingly natural in a way I don’t know I ever remember feeling.
No wonder I’m finding it so difficult to effectively communicate with allistics after experiencing that.
I’m struggling with the fact that I will never have that easy communication with my husband, nor he with me. I’m struggling because if I am to allistics how they are to me then no wonder they don’t like to spend much time with me (or I with them).
Mostly I’m just tired. It’s so much work and effort and energy. I wish more people liked it when I try to be as clear as possible with my wordings and that my body language wasn’t so often used against me.
It would be so nice if more allistics would meet me partway, but even that isn’t always enough, so I’m discouraged.