You think you understand my autism but you really don’t

You asked me out for lunch tomorrow

Just a few of us, you said

But you see 5 is a few to you, 3 is a crowd to me.

If you really want to have lunch with me, why not just the two of us?

How can it be a few when everyone is out for lunch at the same time?

You see, it’s not a few at all when you consider the rest of the population and the queue in line.

These are the things you ignore.

These are the things I can’t ignore.

You said we’d go somewhere quiet.

But how are we getting there? I asked.

First you got to get on the bus!

During bloody lunch time!

So why do I want to put myself through all that trouble when I can enjoy my lunch in peace and quiet where I am?

People think they understand but they really don’t.

You go from A to Z the same as going from A to B.

As easy as ABC

But for me, the journey is full of hurdles you don’t see

For you, the journey begins tomorrow at noon

For me, the journey begins now

Cos when you say A to Z

I see

B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y


Thank you for listening

It has been a week since my presentation and it still feels so surreal, even more so now that I’m back to my humdrum routine. I have attended many conferences but never did I think I would be addressing myself to the public one day. The whole experience has been humbling, it didn’t matter that only six turned up for my break-out session, I felt sorry for them they had to sit through a 30 minutes talk from someone who was anxious and inexperienced, even inarticulate at times. However, each and everyone of them has been so encouraging and supportive, I didn’t think I deserve their kindness. I lacked the confidence and composure the other presenters possess but rather than adopting another persona, I confessed my anxieties, this was a mental health conference after all. I was ill-prepared and reading from script, at times I didn’t even know if I was making sense but still, they listened patiently to every word I said. And for the first time in my life, I feel empowered. I don’t see myself as an autism advocate, I was just there to represent myself, speaking in my personal capacity, and that in itself, was liberating. I was there to talk about stigma and the long-term negative impact of a deficit view of autism. And the heartwarming response I received at the end goes to show that a little kindness and encouragement can go a long way, which provides the further reason why we should stop viewing autism through an entirely deficit lens and work on building the strengths and self-esteem of the individual.

So what’s next? I’m not sure. It seems I’m back to where I was. Yes, I could do more but it comes down to the fact that I struggle to find time and energy to work on this personal project after my day-time job, and I’m miserable at work because I’m not doing something of my interest. I was recently looking at the Autistica website and they were inviting autistic researchers to apply for a grant to help them kick-start a career in research. This is the type of opportunity I am looking for. Unfortunately, the funding is only available to UK residents. So it seems I’m still back to square one. Even so, I have no regrets for making this trip and I’m indebted to everyone for your kind support. And to the six of them who were at my presentation, if you happen to read this, my heartfelt thanks to you. ❤

The Hounds 4 Healing is a not for profit organisation that helps to pair up suitable canine with veterans who would benefit from having an assistance dog. I’m so glad they were there at the conference to ease my anxiety!

G’day from Townsville, Queensland ❤️

Sending everyone my love and thoughts from Australia. Just a quick update to let you know I am well. It has been a great trip. I am returning home to my cat tomorrow and will slowly catch up with everyone after I am back. Take care and talk to you soon!

Coffee tastes better with cat hair in it 🐱☕️

Cat therapy time! These were taken in January 2018 at the Neko Cat Cafe in Phuket. I’ll be off for my trip, fingers crossed (do people say break a leg for public presentations?)😂  Enjoy your coffee or tea and cat! 😺

Wretched beauty

This scene from Good Will Hunting never fails to make me cry. I remembered 2o years old, watching this in the cinema, quietly shedding a few tears. Sometimes, we carry more than we could bear and we need that someone in life to tell us that it’s not our fault.

The heartbroken and depressed, the lost and abandoned

the hurt and weary, bleeding and wounded

suffering in silence

The pain behind the smile, the fear beneath the mask

invisible to all but the most sensitive of soul

Your guilty conscience screaming loud, takes the blame

the despair only a depressed soul would understand

Black clouds hovering over my head

I wish they stay forever so I’d remember what it feels like to be broken

and to remind myself to be kind and compassionate

This world I wasn’t meant for, the wretched beauty

don’t cry my dear, it’s not your fault

Black Cloud, Playwrite

Oh no it’s not your fault,
There’s nothing you can do.
If I were you, I’d start walking
You could make thirty miles a day.
It don’t seem like much,
But you’d be thirty miles away.

Oh no it’s not your fault,
No way you could have known.
But now it’s gone, you’ve got the choice
Do you stay or go?
There is a black cloud spewing from the earth.
It takes a while to work,
But you know just what it does.
Yea, you know just what it does…

I wish that there’ something I could do.
I wish that there’ something I could do.

Oh no there’s nothing left,
Nowhere that you can go.
Your life is all but underwater.
Way up in the air,
You see it on the floor, it doesn’t seem fair.
And this cloud has a curse, and you know just what it does.
It comes down from above, and settles on the earth…