That’s what I started wondering about after my training yesterday. There were only 3 of us and the trainer. The trainer was was very energetic and passionate about what she was doing but also rather eccentric. And I started wondering, if it’s ok for her to be eccentric, can I also be eccentric and work in care or is that not allowed? Does being eccentric mean that I’m not caring or at least that’s how people would see it? Is the persona I tried to put on while working in care is entirely my choice or was influenced by my mum’s moaning ‘why are you not like other kids? Can you not behave like everyone else?’
So I’m wondering, if I allowed myself to be eccentric, would I be accepted by other people who also work in care or would that still be not good enough?
On top of jobs that I managed to secure (subject to checks) yesterday I was also offered a job in a care home not too fat from where I live and I must say I really liked the hours: for 30h a week contract I’d need to do just two 12h shifts one week and 3 the next. However, I told them I need to think about it, and I will either refuse or just won’t contact them again. I feel that if I accept this job I will probably get stuck there for the convenience instead of looking for what’s good for me, plus, staying in the same place all the time would prevent me from trying all the personalities I didn’t try yet and see which one suits me best: if I stayed in one place I’d probably quickly end up ‘behaving like everyone else’, or at least how I see it, while it would never be good enough for others.
Did I ever mention here that I often feel like I don’t have personality? Personality is something displayed for the sake of others and I’m only truly myself when I’m on my own.
The communication bit:
At the end of the training yesterday I’ve heard the trainer saying to another lady that she needs to go to talk to staff about where her application is, I mean stuff like references and DBS, and then, after she finished checking my test, she said the same thing to me. And suddenly it became so easy! I mean, I’d do that anyway, after I’ve already been there but I always found it very stressful to talk to people in those situations and I never knew why exactly. Even if the conversation was nice I’d walk away feeling like if I just committed massive act of abuse on myself and if like every time when I am in contact with the same staff I’ll remember it, so I’d try to avoid contacting them later on – that’s how bad it was.
So as I was going towards the bus stop I was wondering what was different this time that it felt so effortless. I quickly realised it was the fact that I’ve heard the trainer saying twice (twice is already a pattern) that we have to discuss the application progress with the staff after speaking with her. I realised I was always getting so stressed about ‘disturbing other people order’ by speaking with them when they were already doing something but the trainer’s comment created an order that had a priority over individual’s staff orders. It was like a procedure that we have to follow as a part of the training, instead of our individual endeavours, so it was easy, because we, autistics, love following procedures.
It’s funny that I think this way though, ‘disturbing other people order’ seems to be high on my ‘avoid’ activity list, but possibly other people are not at all bothered about me disturbing them.
One thing worth mentioning here is that this type of avoidance is usually explained by us being shy (I’m not!) or ‘not being good communicators’ which also, I don’t think, applies to me, as I’m very focused on passing messages. I’m just really so focused on ‘other people order’ that ‘shouldn’t be disturbed’ so I’m ready to sacrifice my own order of things. So please do not tell me that I don’t think about other people! Possibly I don’t think about them the same way neurotypical person would but I usually think about other people the entire day.