Around 3 hours ago I realised I need to get myself out of that rabbit hole of mental health deterioration and guess what? It worked! I’m much better now.
I did suspect that we, autistics, have more control over our mental health that people think. And I’m not saying meltdowns are not real but I think I choose my emotions to act out. It’s probably difficult to understand that so bear with me: let’s say that I know I’m a bit low and would like some support, but it feels weird to me to ask for it as it’s not that serious and also my attempts of asking for support were ignored in the past so what I do is, I make myself feel really miserable first and only then ask for support. I believe this is learned mechanism and I think this is the reason why my dad never recovered from his mental health breakdown.
He was put on disability in his 50s and he then started to behave even worse. Part of that was probably because he used to be hardworking man and was resentful about the fact that he can’t work, but partly, I believe, he just behaved as a person who is doing really badly regarding his mental health as this was the role he was allocated.
I’m not saying he didn’t feel bad and was only pretending. I’m sure he felt horrible but, up to a point he made himself feel this way so that he could demonstrate it to people. It’s possible he wasn’t aware he was doing that, and even if he was, there was no way other would understand it and help him. I think, in a way, we wanted him to be unwell because at least we knew what was going on.
I remember I was very confused every time when he felt better and tried to talk to us in normal manner, possibly even in a caring way. I never knew how long this is going to last and he never commented on his previous behaviour, when he screamed at us.
I think we all needed family therapy, so that everyone could see other people perspective but things like that were not available at the time and I guess they still aren’t.
So when my dad felt better we were rejecting him. No wonder he had no motivation to feel better. I’m not sure he understood why he was getting rejected.
I hope he can read my blog from heaven and he knows that I love him. And I feel it’s such a pity that his mental health and lack of support took him away from us.
What I wanted to comment on here is how we, autistics, can sometimes really not understand people. When I realised I’m autistic, and that meant my dad was too, I made a post on Wrong Planet, an online community for autistics, about my dad. And what happened was, someone recommended me to get him a book about Asperger’s to read. But my dad wasn’t interested in psychology, he was interested in planes and ships, he wouldn’t read a book on Asperger’s. And even if I would somehow be able to make him, I was sure he wouldn’t realise he fits the description. His mental health was so bad that I doubt he even knew who he was underneath.
It seems to me, in a way, that I should have a breakdown, the same like him. It just makes sense to me. We were so similar it really feels like I should have one too. And preferably now, after I lost my mum and have nothing to hold on to.
It will be possible that I will choose behaviour consistent with that intention, but it won’t be merely pretending. It’s much more complicated than that.
I really am so lost. I have no one.
I want people to take care of me but there’s no way for this to happen in any sensible way. The only way this may happen will be, if I make myself unwell so badly that I have to go to the hospital and then be sent to a care home.
Oh, you see? I started this post saying I’m feeling better and now I feel bad again. But I don’t know what to do with myself, now after my mum died and I have nobody else? I think this is the first time that I actually realise the impact her death has on me. Just after she died I didn’t really feel much.
So in a way I know I have the ability to make myself feel better and to work on things, but I’m not sure I want it. Why would I? There’s nothing there for me. I just need to pay my bills and have money for food. There’s nothing else outside that I’m looking forward to.
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