I can’t grieve

Possibly you find it strange that I post just after my mum died. But I’m not doing that for attention – I don’t get much of that from the blog. The purpose of the blog is to record how I feel and think but also to unload my emotions. Before I started blogging I used to email The Friend when I was going through difficulties. I’d email her several times a day and then, when I got better, I was joking she doesn’t have to read those emails. But because they were for her only, I never put much effort into organising my thoughts into sentences that would be comprehensible. As a result I felt out of control. I felt like I wasn’t coping because what I was writing didn’t make any sense and yet, I couldn’t stop myself from writing more.

Now, when I have a blog, I know my writing needs to make sense so I put effort into organising my thoughts. The proces of organising my thoughts is already helping me, I also think that because I managed to organise my thoughts I’m not in such a bad state, so that makes me feel better too, and then I think I created a content, which is a real bonus.

Also posting every day or almost every day gives me a chance to properly record how I am thinking and feeling. Hopefully one day someone will find my blog and use it to work out how autistics really think.

So basically at the moment I find it difficult to grieve. When my dad died, I felt intense grief straight away, even though I didn’t have a relationship with him. Or maybe because of that? Now I just want all of this to be over. I mean I want the funeral to happen as soon as possible and I don’t really want to think too much about it.

I ate supper, like every day and even had some ice cream after. I was briefly in touch with John (The Boyfriend), today and yesterday. I told him that I love him and he said the same thing. We didn’t discuss getting back together, however, if there’s still love and desire between us I can’t see why that wouldn’t happen but maybe not this week.

The Boyfriend

Ok, so I didn’t comment on that properly yet. Yesterday The Boyfriend said he didn’t want to be in a friend with benefits situation with me, he wanted a proper relationship. But earlier on I told him that something that he has done earlier really upset me and I’m worried it may happen again.

What he said for that was: I’m really sorry if I given you trauma. If you feel like that then it’s possibly better if you stay away from me so that you have the opportunity to recover.

And I’m wondering what he meant by this? Either that he doesn’t want anything to do with me – but then he just said that he loves me two days ago. Or possibly he thinks that I decided I need to sleep with other guys for a bit – that’s what he meant by ‘recover’. And this is not what I want to do at all! Why would I? Other guys are not fun at all.

So I now feel like I need to work out if that relationship has any potential for the future, but then if I try to do that straight away he will not take my other concerns seriously. And my other concern is that I want to keep blogging about everything that is autism related and that includes him. OMG, what have I done? It really feels like my brain is going to explode in a bit!

Oh well, I guess I’ll just keep blogging.

But if you see him around somewhere, tell him that I love him.

Something silly (notifications again)

I need to admit to something really silly here, I broke up with The Boyfriend because of notifications. I got myself into similar situation before, when I made decisions based on what appeared on my mobile phone screen. It was silly and rushed but I didn’t actually regret it later as at least it helped me deal with a problem that I was avoiding dealing with for a long time, and found very tiring. Still, it’s a bit silly of me to do that this way.

I’ll give you an example of notification here: yesterday I was thinking about me and The Boyfriend and was getting rather sentimental, although I didn’t cry any more. Perhaps it was because a little while before I reached out to him and he responded. It turned out he reads my blog btw. So I guess there is some hope there.

So I was getting sentimental and then those two messeges appeared on my messanger chat, that I’m part of, a chat for autistic people in Swindon. The first one was a quote with an image and it stated: ‘You must master new way to think before you master new way to be.’ And someone responded to that with: I approve the sentiment but thinking is dangerous.

What it meant to me at the moment was: no sentiments, no thinking! Really strange because, when I looked at it later it’s not what it says at all! It looked really like if someone switched words when I wasn’t looking!

So what I mean here is that first I twisted what I saw to mean it what I thought I needed at the time and then I was just about to let that twisted information to influence my decision making process.

Luckily, I managed to shake off that feeling and told myself that I’ll be sentimental and I’ll be thinking when I decide that those two things are good for me. I managed to do that because I was dealing with the problem. It’s when I don’t do anything to deal with problems that I let those random bits of information to influence my thinking. So if I didn’t feel like I’m dealing with the problem, those two messages would probably make me decide to contact The Boyfriend again and tell him it’s definitely over. Do I say that someone put those messages out there for me to provide solution? No, not at all. But they seem to be like those missing pieces of information that I need to make my puzzle complete – they just fit in the moment!

This is, I suppose, because I try to solve complex social problem by logic. And that is not the best way of dealing with it. And what is the complex social problem? It’s that the relationship with The Boyfriend doesn’t bring me happiness any more, even though I love and respect him. It feels impossible to actually say what is wrong there. We never argue and he always says the right thing. How he loves me and wants to support me. Never brings any issues up. Never once complained that he’s tired of my problems. I didn’t think much about it till a few weeks ago, when we had a friend over for lunch and she brought us a present. When John opened it, it turned out to be a plush toy and he was so happy and grateful! And I thought, that cannot be right: a grown up man, an engineer, getting extatic about a plush toy? That doesn’t seem right, does it?

I of course tried to be polite when I received it, and anyway, it didn’t matter what it was as I didn’t expect anything, but I didn’t act like I was immensly grateful and he did. It then made me think that the fact that he says the right thing doesn’t mean that he means it. But if he doesn’t, what it is that he really thinks?

I felt for a while that our relationship is not going well, but I couldn’t find words to explain it. I can however find an image in my head that describes exactly what I sense: our relationship was like overstreched chewing gum made of that strange material that if you stretch it even further, to the point that it breaks, you will never ever be able to make it into one piece again.

But we didn’t overstrech it. I cut it suddenly with a sharp razor blade.

As I said earlier John admitted yesterday that he reads my blog. But, just in case he missed this post, then please tell him, if you see him, that I still think about him. He’s 6ft tall and has black wavy hair.

There were things happening lately…

That is what neurotypical people say when they had something going on but don’t want to discuss that. So that is what happened to me. I didn’t sleep the entire night thinking about what I should do.

I think I may need to break up with The Boyfriend. It’s difficult. I still love him but all the excitement is gone from that relationship. When we started dating I really felt like this is it. I don’t know if I misinterpreted the situation, we won’t know that now, but shortly after that my problems with Home Group got really serious and I could not enjoy the dating process any more. He’s been through a lot of drama with me but continues to be supportive. However, it feels like something is wrong. Possibly he got used to the fact that I was miserable for so long and can’t see me as an exciting partner any more? I really don’t know. If I ask him, he says things are fine, but maybe he can’t imagine them being any different now?

Last week, when he came here, we were lying in bed and he took his mobile out while I was still holding his other hand. It looked like he was uncomfortable so I said, oh sorry, I’m making it awkward for you by holding your hand and he said, no, not at all. And I knew he meant it. He still wanted to hold my hand so the intimacy was there. But something else is certainly missing.

I don’t know how to tell him, without blaming him. As I said, all of our relationship was full of drama that was not his fault.

He doesn’t read my blog, unless prompted, so I feel that it’s ok to post but finally I’d have to tell him. I also don’t know how he is going to react. Is he going to try to keep me? Is he going to say that he loves me? But I love him too and yet, it isn’t working.

Croissants and yoghurt – continuation

Ok, just a quick post as I’m really tired today. I barely had any sleep last night, that’s how bad the mattress in the previous hotel was. Now I’m in Weymouth and trying to rest but I feel like the whole idea of blogging about autism specific communication is suddenly overwhelming me. Possibly there is no such thing? Who knows? The idea of a blog came from meeting my diagnostician, who, I noticed, was really skilled in communicating with me, which then made me want to work out how she was doing it so that I could improve communication with my autistic boyfriend without being too direct.

I did even wrote a post about how I decided to turn mine and The Boyfriend’s dinners into ‘surprises’ which then in fact made him more relaxed about what’s for dinner, yes, but after a while the pressure moved to breakfast. I did think recently that possibly the issue here is that surprise means something special, not just something unexpected so possibly he is ok with the unexpected bit when he eats dinner and then he is like: wait a minute, what’s special about it so he wants something special for the next meal.

It did come to me also that technically me and The Boyfriend never agreed that I’m going to feed him when he comes over so he is anxious if food is going to be available at all? I’m not sure, just guessing. The problem here is that, even though I’m also autistic, I find it impossible to imagine what he is thinking. Partly it maybe because we, autistics, fit everything into patterns that we already know and my and his patterns are different. Food seems to be a big part of a dating game in the UK (‘is he taking you out for dinner?’, ‘I’ll cook for you’) while in Poland people eat whatever when they date, first dates are usually cinemas and actual eating out usually only happens when you’re in commited relationship, and still not too often.

It’s possible then that The Boyfriend feels confused about my relaxed attitude to food and he thinks that means I don’t love him enough? Again, that is just a guess, but I am beginning to see that instead of trying to hint him I need to speak with him openly.

Anyway, what I wanted to say here was that when I went for breakfast today in my previous hotel in Portland there was nothing cooked but croissants and yoghurt were there. Exactly like the receptionist hinted two days ago. My first thought was, ok, I did get this right then but then I immediately thought something was wrong. Like you know, if she was only hinting, why the things are there exactly how she said? If she wanted me to know exactly what is going to happen, she would have said ‘we are unable to serve cooked breakfast on the second day of your stay but croissants and yoghurt will be provided’.

If she was hinting then croissants and yoghurt were only symbols of ‘something simple that doesn’t need cooking’ so why not cheese or ham for example? Did shop not have any other choices that would make the hotel staff inspired? Or possibly they had some croissants and yoghurt sitting in the pantry and needing eating but then if the cook only went off sick with covid recently and before that cooked breakfast was standard then croissants and yoghurt shouldn’t be in pantry… Can you see where I’m going with this? It looks like it makes sense when it doesn’t.

What I wanted to say was that seeing the food items like in the hint (I mean brioche was also there, but it’s almost the same thing like croissants) really freaked me out. I even though for a bit that someone read my blog and wanted to let me know I’m getting things correctly. But then, wow, I am not that popular let’s be honest. If it continues like that however, I mean me overthrinking the communication I’d need to close the blog for my own mental health.

Although I can, I suppose, write about how I got sectioned in 2019. I promised it and never got down to do it. Maybe we’ll find a way though. I have too many posts to delete them. I can always take a little break, I suppose.

One more explanation: what the receptionist said (Please see previous croissant post) meant to me that yoghurt ad croissants are always available but because sausages were meant to be offered on the first day, I thought I’d just eat sausages. Andon the second day sausages weren’t meant to be offered, therefore I’d be left with croissants and yoghurt. She didn’t say a word about breakfast for the second day, it was just how I interpreted her words.

End of! I’m fed up with autism specific communication skills!

Work training (and dodgy Booking.com host)

Finally I’m going for my work training next week. The training is in Portland which is a small town in Dorset and the closest train station is Weymouth. It takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday so I have to go there on Monday as I wouldn’t be able to get there on Tuesday morning, it is around 4 hour journey. I am quite excited I must say, finally being able to start a job and I’m really glad I chose live in care over working in a care home.

As I suddenly got Booking.com discount code for my email yesterday, I had this idea: why not stay in Weymouth on the way back for a night or two. Probably two as I noticed, if I only stay somewhere for one night, I end up doing loads of running around and not much relaxing. The Boyfriend really likes Weymouth so I asked him if he can join me, even though it’s a bit tricky as he’s having some major home improvements being carried out right now. He said it would be nice to go but he can only confirm closer to the time so I thought, as the discount code runs out today, I’ll book double room as it will be similar price to a single room without a discount code.

I don’t like staying in hotels, I prefer guesthouses, B&B, hostels and apartments. Hotels feel so impersonal to me. I didn’t really have many choices for a smaller budget but I found a guesthouse that was offering double room for 106 pounds for two nights. The same room for a single person was 80 pounds and what I think I should have done would be to book for a single person and then say that my partner may join me but he’s not sure yet and I’ll confirm later.

But it felt to me that if I do that, The Boyfriend won’t be able to come. You could say it’s magic thinking but for me it makes more sense to say that I imagine that I live in a system where everything is connected, so if I don’t make space for The Boyfriend, he won’t be able to come.

Just a few minutes after I confirmed my booking I received a long email from the host explaining all his rules and stating that if I have any request, I need to contact him directly as he sometimes don’t get the emails sent through Booking.com. From the general tone of the email I had the impression that he’s a bit fed up with Booking.com but obviously doesn’t have any other choice than to be on the website. I found this communication a bit unusual but also quite refreshing and what I did was, I contacted him on the email provided to ask if I can change the booking to one person only and then change it back to two when my partner knows if he’s coming or not.

I even stated in my email that I found his direct communication really refreshing. Oh well…

I didn’t get response to that and after a while I started wondering if I didn’t make a mistake by contacting him directly. If something goes wrong it will be like I don’t have any evidence.

The booking was non refundable but I had three hours to cancel it, so I did after two and half hours. And then, guess what, the host answered my email almost immediately! That was a bit strange already but then the words he used were really scary: ‘It’s really quiet next week. Why don’t you call when you know what you need?’ And I thought, yes, right, I’ll go there and he will be sexually harrasing me. Or the room won’t be ready. Or he will not be in at all. I don’t know, it all become obvious suddenly to me he’s doing something dodgy and I didn’t want to have anything to do with him any more. So I ended up booking a single room somewhere else. The Boyfriend won’t be able to come, I don’t think. I’m much more spontaneous than he is and I wouldn’t want to go away during the time when I had work being done around the house – at this time you just want to be in to make sure that everything is being taken care of and to resolve any emergencies.

I do wonder though if neurotypical person would react differently to that first email that the host sent me? I suppose taking it on face value was a bit naive, but then I am naive, I suppose. Autistic people are naive. But somehow I don’t end up being taken advantage of (except of the fact when the mortgage advisor applied for a mortgage for me behind my back) and a lot of autistic females complain about exactly that. I guess what I do is, I behave naively but as soon as I see the slightest sign of someone treating me like if they want to take advantage of me, instead of being understanding and supportive, I back off. I guess my naivity is part of my coping strategies. I don’t know why not everyone can cope the same way though.

Happy New Year!

So, yesterday at 9am I realised it’s new year already, 2022. Before that I thought it’s the last day of previous year! How strange, isn’t it? Perhaps the new year parties are not such a big deal like they are in Poland, that’s why I was mistaken about the date.

I must say I do miss the atmosphere of the last day of the year in Poland. A couple of years ago, me, The Friend, and The Friend’s friend met in Krak√≥w and we had a fantastic time. I was depressed at the time – that was the last new year before my employment tribunal claim and my first psychotic episode – but I managed to have a good fun.

I sometimes wonder how come I managed to get myself out of that misery and come back to a normal life where even relationship with The Boyfriend hasn’t been severely affected (obviously we had some arguments on the way, but not many at all). Perhaps I really am a lucky girl. If that’s true, however, I need to remind myself occasionally that luck shouldn’t be pushed.

Yesterday I set up an etsy store for my patterns but I found it really daunting – preparing a listing takes me more time than actually doing the pattern. Surely, it shouldn’t be like that? I created 6 listings and they’re not even described properly, I will update them when I feel like it but to be honest I doubt to have loads of sales from that. Etsy has so many items for sale that being discovered this way is very unlikely, but then, at least I have a shop there so I can now say I’m a digital artist. Well, I guess I could call myself digital artist even if I’m not selling my work, but it just doesn’t seem right to me – I guess that’s my autistic self trying to fit everything into the pattern that I already know.

I’m worried a bit about the resolution of my images. If it was higher I could create more effects, but then Redecor is a game, not a digital art tool and high resolution is not what most players look for while it would certainly eat more online data.

I managed to pay my service charges on time. I think I mentioned it here, how I am always late with this particular bill – all other bills are paid by direct debit but service charges are payable every three months only and it doesn’t make any sense to me that they can be paid by direct debit. They apparently can but my mind doesn’t want to accept it, and then when I get a bill, I never get to pay it on time.

During the last year I was getting the same bill twice. I guess it’s some kind of error in the council? But who knows, maybe it’s the council hinting me that I really do need to pay it. I guess, as I’m autistic and focused on patterns, a single event doesn’t make much sense to me (bill being sent once only) so I used to wait till I get a reminder. Since they come in pairs I somehow pay on time. It’s really strange, isn’t it? I knew that it has to be paid and yet I wasn’t paying it.

I think I’ll go to my bank and ask for direct debit to be set up for that too. I mean, I could probably do it myself online but I’d then end up worrying I set it up incorrectly, only because it’s not going to be paid monthly.

Oh, and did I say my DBS came back? Eventually! I’m going on training on the 11th. I can’t wait! I hope, after all this time when I was being left to my own devices I’ll be able to adjust to a work environment again.

I had this idea lately: I’m making effort to write about autism specific communication skills that I noticed my diagnostician, Oriana Morrison-Clarke, using with me as I found them really effective, but I didn’t realise they could be used to take advantage of us! It is said that we, autistics, can be gullible and naive – well, I don’t think that applies to me, on most occasions (however, I need to mention here at some point the situation with a mortgage advisor who apllied for a mortgage for me behind my back) but who knows, if someone was using all the correct communication skills, possibly I’d be much easier to be deceived? It’s so difficult now to decide if I should talk about those techniques. But then, if I don’t, I could pretty much close my blog. Well, I don’t know, but at least I have some awareness of the issue.

That’s it for today, I suppose. Since I started creating patterns writing become more difficult. Hopefully with time I’ll adjust and I can do both. I really like having a blog.

Punishment – a bad idea

I had a lovely Christmas with The Boyfriend – I will not be describing how our Christmas are different from neurotypical people Christmas as I think it would not really add much to understanding of our needs, but possibly, when I become an established blogger I may add a few words on that, if somebody asks.

The Boyfriend left yesterday morning and I spent pretty much the entire Boxing Day playing with patterns in PicsArt: I found it really fun and obviously the more I do that, the easier it gets and I am now starting to believe that every Redecor design can be turned in a nice pattern, depending on what tools I use.

Before Christmas I promised I’ll write a post about why I believe punishment shouldn’t be used to get autistic children (or adults for that matter) to behave certain way: it is because we, autistics, fit everything that happens to us into patterns that we already know and also, we instinctively believe that everything around us is connected in some way. I say, instinctively – logically we are perfectly aware that it’s not but our instinct tells us otherwise.

So, as you may remember, I did some shifts in a supermarket before Christmas, it was hard work but I really liked working on groceries when it got busy, which is strange because as a client I hate busy supermarkets.

On 22nd after work I did my own shopping and bought a few items to treat myself. It wasn’t much but I bought things I really fancy. After the checkout I put mulled wine and apples into my rucksack and marinated artichokes, cambozola, lactose free yoghurt and mini courgette in oil went to a canvas shopping bag. It would all fit easily into my rucksack but the glass would all bang with every move and I’d find it annoying.

The entire journey home I kept telling myself to remember about the shopping bag, especially that it was navy – almost the same colour as bus chairs. I could have hold the bag straps actually, but I didn’t. Oh well…

When I got home I realised I didn’t have the bag on me. Can you even imagine how that felt? It really wasn’t about the couple of pounds that I lost, it felt like the entire Christmas has been cancelled for me! It’s been good few months since I don’t have permanent job so I stopped buying those fancy food items and now, when I bought some to treat myself for Christmas, I lost them! Those items were a symbol of having good Christmas and they’ve been taken away from me by the Universe – that’s how it felt.

What is punishment? In its more civilised form is an act of taking away something that one values as a consequence of bad behaviour – as I stated above, we, autistics, fit everything that happens to us into the pattern that we know. And we instinctively believe that everything around us is connected somehow. I was running around a busy supermarket for the entire day so that other people could get what they wanted for Christmas, while I didn’t get have what I wanted!

What was the conclusion that I came up with?: it was the Universe punishing me for not working hard enough. Of course I knew it wasn’t true but that’s how it felt, so please don’t say I shouldn’t be thinking this way (which is an expression a counsellor used once with me) because this is how I think. And why I said the punishment was for not working hard enough? I was really trying, but the truth is, with our black and white thinking it may sometimes be difficult to establish what is and what isn’t good enough. I can possibly say that, if I didn’t pass out at the end of my shift I could have work harder – I guess you can see some logic in this thinking.

So the result of punishing us by taking things or activities away from us could be that we decide that we need to always be on our best behaviour to succeed in life, our intentions have to always be pure and we can never put ourselves first. And then we see neurotypical people who are not like that at all and they get what they want. How does that feel?

Let’s take the example of Home Group again. If you only just started reading my blog, I’ll quickly explain what happened: Home Group is a large housing association and disability confident employer. I worked for them between 2015 and 2017. I was bullied by a colleague and, because bulling happens to autistics people more often than to neurotypicals, I asked my GP for autism referral diagnosis and then the diagnostic centre to bring my diagnosis forward due to work situation, which they agreed to do (big mistake!) and, as that didn’t stop the bulling, I left and took Home Group to employment tribunal where they claimed my diagnosis was private and they paid for it. I could have won easily, if I didn’t end up in psychiatric hospital. Oh well…

I realised that I’m autistic in September 2015, sometimes between my interview for Home Group job and the starting date. The job was meant to require loads of contact with people and, as I applied for it I was hoping to use that to learn how to be more social – which is not unusual expectation for undiagnosed autistics. When I realised I’m autistic, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. But I needed a job and also, I was hoping that maybe, with better understanding of myself I’d be able to apply some coping strategies that make working there possible for me.

At the time I didn’t want a diagnosis and if I wasn’t being bullied I’d probably still not have it till now. But believe me, I used to wonder so many times that possibly what happened to me later was a punishment for the fact that my intentions weren’t pure and I didn’t reject the job offer on realising I’m autistic.

The person who was bulling me got promoted to a manager position and now, Mark Henderson, the CEO of Home Group, doesn’t even bother to answer my emails and I never even heard ‘I’m sorry’ while Home Group continues to take government money to support people with mental health problems.

Yet, it was me who believed that I deserved to be punished. Does that make any sense to you?

That’s why I really do not think punishment should ever be used as a way to deal with autistic people. I don’t know what can be used instead but possibly there are researchers out there who can answer this question.

Being autistic is so tricky sometimes

Over the weekend Ashley Peterson, the mental health blogger who commented on loads of my posts when I just started (thank you Ashley) asked if we follow back bloggers who follow us. Why asking this question she explained she does if the blog interests her as community is very important to her and my first reaction was to comment that I don’t because, as autistic, I don’t do community. Thank god I managed to realise that could look rude – like if I made an effort to reject her.

Let me explain here, I’d love to be a part of a community, it’s only that it doesn’t work for me. Not only I need to be careful about what I am saying, which takes extra effort, and even if it’s not too hard, now, after I keep practicing for a few years, I can’t be spontaneous and that is a big problem for me. If I was spontaneous with people I’d certainly alienate everyone, although I can be ok when I just pop in and out of different settings. I used to be a part of a meet up group before lockdown, when I could just join events that interested me (it was eating out usually, lol) and ignore the rest and there didn’t seem to be any tight knits there and everyone seemed to love me and find my jokes amusing. So that worked for me, but I knew that if I kept seeing the same people every day or even every couple of days it would stop working. At least I now know that this is because I’m autistic – it was so hard when I was younger and didn’t know what it was that I was doing wrong that people who I know for a bit longer stop liking me. My strategy now is to keep social contacts superficial and at least no one will tell me again to ‘open up’ – which was common in my 30s. What was also common was that when I did open up, people used to get disappointed with me.

I guess autistics who are introverts may actually have it easier because there is less social expectations on them. Oh well.

I spent several more hours doing my images. I’m now much more aware of what works and what doesn’t. Check patern doesn’t work, the same multiple chairs (because legs end up looking funny). Vintage wardrobes work well, unless distressed… it looks like I may need to adjust the way how I do my Redecor designs as loads of patterns also doesn’t work. But then that’s not a problem as I’ll end up with a pattern (and totally abstract one) when I process it in PicsArt. Some issues can be corrected while processing but some are easier to deal with than others.

I only just realised that I never posted about my attempts on painting in acrylics. I always wanted to create patterns while painting but was put off with all the mess that I made along the way and the fact that when I made a mistake all the painting was ruined. The Boyfriend was telling me to keep on practicing but with the commitment of full time work it was too much.

Now, when I see that I’m going in the right direction and I’m worried I may mess the image up, I’ll just save it so that I can start over. I am also having a bit of a problem with overdoing it, I guess this is because I find it so much fun that I want to see what else can be achieved. Hopefully in a few days this problem should not affect me any more.

In short: I got totally obsessed! I’m so glad that I’m going to work today. That will be over 10 hours without digital images – otherwise I’d never take a break. I actually woke up at 3am today… I tried to fall asleep at first but the urge to create turned out to be much stronger.

Feeling defeated

Yesterday I was planning to go for an employment open day to a certain care company and later for an appointment with my job coach from a disability service. Those were going to be my opportunities to talk about my blog in a context of employment. And what happened was, first thing in the morning the job coach cancelled the appointment as she wasn’t feeling well, and then, just a few minutes before I was meant to get ready to go for the open day, the fire at my downstairs neighbours started.

I did discuss yesterday how I wasn’t willing to go and check if they are ok as I was trying to see the situation from their perspective: ‘they probably just can’t silence the alarm and if I go there they’ll think I’m complaining about the noise.’ For my defence, there was no other noises there, that you would expect during the fire – they only started at the same time when smoke started coming out from behind my fridge!

So the results are: I lost the opportunity to talk about my blog with strangers, didn’t get out of the house at all, except of that hour when I was told to wait outside when fire brigade was checking what’s wrong, my fridge is in the middle of the kitchen now as an electrician was meant to come and check whether I have any cables coming to my property from downstairs and so far they didn’t and my kitchen still smells of smoke. I had the window opened for like 5 hours yesterday and finally had to close it as it was raining, later on I sprayed with febreeze a few times and the smell of febreeze is now gone but the smell of smoke isn’t.

I’m not a fan of air refreshers at best of times – I have the impression they just mix with the smell that you want to cover and I can smell both of them at the same time, which is much worse than just having the offending smell. This is apparently due to sensory processing dissorder. I have the same problem with radio being used to cover the traffic noise, which some people used to do in my previous jobs – I just end up having two noises, nothing is covering anything, I can hear both of them the same. I was really surprised when I found out that most people doesn’t have that problem, I thought they’re just making excuses to have the music on.

However, I found that white or pink noise is better at covering the noises I found annoying, or possibly it just makes me relaxed? However, can you imagine suggesting your colleagues to listen to some white noise instead of the radio? I’d like to see their face expressions.

So, I didn’t have the opportunity to talk about my blog, but I’m thinking, if I left before the fire started, it would end up being much worse. Either no one would notice the smoke in my property and it would spread to every room and make everything smell really badly and I’d probably be unable to stay in for the night due to that, or someone would notice the smoke and the fire brigade would have to break in.

Ironically, that was exactly two years after my door had to be broken to section me. It is rather unclear for me how that happened if it’s against the law to section somebody in their own property, but it did happen to me. I was going to discuss that on the blog one day, so far I haven’t, I do apologise for that. However, what I was meant to say is, the door could possibly not survive another similar action. So I’m glad I stayed in but I feel defeated as my plans for yesterday were rather different.

The Boyfriend advised not to talk about blog with employers, but the problem with this approach is, if some care homes provide care for autistic adults and they ask me how much I know about autism, what do I say? ‘Well, yes… I know a little bit’? It just doesn’t seem right, does it? At the same time blog is an achievement, we talk about achievements during the interview, don’t we? Whether they are at work or outside.

Oh, and I didn’t manage to finish the post about the cat and the systems. I’ll go back to that as soon as practically possible, that means when I have nothing better to say instead.

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