My social needs (plus a little digression about Home Group)

Believe me or not, the fact that I’m autistic doesn’t mean I have no social needs. I still want to be loved, appreciated, taken care of and have friends. My social needs may be lower than other people but I still have them. What is surprising though, is the fact that even though my social needs are lower than other people, I still have trouble meeting them.

I spent the weekend by myself again as on Saturday morning I got the text message regarding my coronavirus test from last week: there were some issues with how the tests were being handled and some people received false negative results. So I asked The Boyfriend if he wants to come and he said no. I mean, fair enough, better to be on the safe side especially as he has asthma but I don’t even remember the last time I saw him. Probably beginning of August, since that time I spent most of the time on my own. I even started missing my last job, I’d happily go there again, even if that meant dealing with all the politics that I used to hate so much.

I received the text about issues with covid tests as I was just queuing to the checkout in Polish shop, some of the food was meant for me and The Boyfriend date, yet, I did not panic at all, instantly deciding I’ll eat it during the next two days or so, that’s not a problem. So I could again confirm with myself that in fact I am quite flexible for an autistic person.

However, the next day, on Sunday, I had a situation where, once again, I had to admit to myself that I focus on obstacles a lot instead of on where I want to be. I had to repressurise my boiler and, honestly, it needed to be done a year ago. Well… it’s this type that needs a key to do that and for some reason the previous owners didn’t leave it for me.

So, last year, after I noticed that the pressure fell to zero I ordered the key online. When it arrived I watched a video of how to use it and panic completely. So I’d need to get on my knees to see what I’m doing as the mechanism I needed to use was at the very bottom of the boiler. And one of the bits needed to be turned ‘anticlockwise’. And what does anticlockwise actually mean if the part is placed horizontally?

I’m not doing it, I quickly decided. I found out online that boilers are not going to get broken if being used while pressure is low, they’re just ‘less efficient’. I wasn’t sure what that actually mean but I quickly decided I’d rather pay more for gas than deal with the issue.

This year, however, when I tried to use heating (and thank God, it’s still fairly warm outside) the radiators were barely warm on the same settings I always use. So I dug the key out of the kitchen cupboard and watched the video again.

It was all a bit stressful but I managed to do it on the second attempt. Together with watching the video it didn’t take me more than 10 minutes, and yet, I was still stressed an hour later, wondering why reputable boiler company came up with something like that instead of making it easy for the user.

I actually got stressed again now, while writing about it. That’s because I’m more focused on obstacles than on where I want to be.

But then, I’m thinking, I’m not always like that. Let’s take Home Group example: first I stayed in a job where I was being bullied, then I took them to tribunal and finally now, I write about them, and email The CEO, Mr Henderson, every time I mention Home Group on my blog. The Boyfriend was really worried they’ll take me to court for slander so I stopped discussing the issue with him (I hope he doesn’t read my blog) but I didn’t stop doing what I’m doing.

And I’m doing what I’m doing because I don’t want the same thing to happen to other people again. I’m not even quite sure how I’m going to achieve that but I keep putting myself through this stress: I’m really frightened of Home Group response. I’m frightened that one day they may in fact send me a letter and I’ll never open it. I keep remember how, at some point, every time I’ve got an email from the tribunal I had a panic attack (and actually why, it should be them who ought to be scared).

But I keep on keeping on. The obstacles don’t put me off at all. So sometimes I’m focused on obstacles more than on where I want to be but not every time. I’m not quite getting it.

So what is it that I want to achieve? I guess authorities to notice that the current approach to support for autistics is not really working. Telling us that harassment cannot be tolerated and that we should be making lists of every events that happened is not going to help us.

Who would believe that The Lady used to mention ‘slimy fish’ out of nowhere while looking straight into my eyes? But only when no one was around of course. With other people she was the perfect example of a professional. People like that can’t be fought with procedures, it’s never going to work.

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