And in I jump…

Well, hello there. My name’s Anna, and I’ve been grappling for quite some time with the decision over whether to start a blog or not. I love writing, and am pretty darned wordy, being a graduate of both English Lang/Lit and Information Management an’ all. You could say that language is one of my special interests.

But I’ve been wrestling with issues of authenticity and legitimacy. I have suffered a lifetime of ‘impostor syndrome’ – never quite knowing why I’ve felt like I’m always pretending to be something I’m not. I’ve done this academically, professionally, and socially. All. My. Life. Only now, I feel a bit of an impostor wanting to write about autism when as yet, I’m not formally diagnosed with it. I mean, I wrote an extensive essay matching up my traits with the DSM-V criteria to give to my GP in support of a referral, but I kind of like being ‘bona fide’.

But recently it all got a little bit too much.

It was the bloody referendum that did it. Now, UK politics is not a subject I intend delving into much on here. It saps too much of my energy to even consider it, and whilst I like being reasonably informed, the political structure of my country is not a subject I enjoy spending hours delving into, poring over articles, columns, blogs, academic papers, and so on. Unlike, say, feminism, or words and language. Or (my most recent obsession), neurology.

Because of the EU referendum, however, I’ve been unable to escape it. And only last weekend, the whole damned shebang left me so upset that I couldn’t stop crying. And then I realised, that the referendum result was merely a manifestation of a deeper feeling of complete, erm, overwhelmed-ness. Being the sole breadwinner for my family, with a beautiful, intelligent, brilliant four-year-old daughter struggling to negotiate the world as a (probably) autistic child; Β a very mobile almost-ten-month-old-boy getting everywhere and keeping me up at night; the financial worries of supporting a family of four on one income; a job I love that nevertheless exhausts me mentally and emotionally at times (and recently one which as had me surrounded by earsplitting, nerve-jangling construction noise); no bloody down-time. My poor, exhausted brain could no longer cope. Last weekend I burnt myself out. I saw my GP, got signed off work for a fortnight, and am now doing by best to rest. But my mind is not still.

For a long time, I’ve used Facebook as an outlet to express my feelings, and also to call for peace, love and understanding amongst my online friends. Many people tell me they enjoy reading my status updates and shares or worthy pictures, articles and stories. But the vitriol on both sides of the EU referendum debate, particularly that which I see on Facebook, has left me feeling downhearted and depressed, and I can’t take any more of it.

But I still need my outlet.

And now I feel ready to write about my autistic experiences; however legitimate – or not – I feel about them. I can’t ignore the overload any longer. I need to get it out there. Who knows, perhaps this might help me sleep better at night?

And so I jump in.

Who knows, with time, this blog might become a source of information, insight, even comfort to others. I hope one day to advocate openly for myself, my daughter and other autistic people. But right now, I’m just getting stuff down.

We’ll see where this takes me…

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20 thoughts on “And in I jump…

    1. I’ll try and find you on there! The problem is, I’ve had a Twitter account (personal, but used predominantly for work) for many years, but not everyone knows yet that I’m seeking an autism diagnosis. It’s kind of an open secret amongst some of my friends/colleagues, and I do work in the sort of environment (university) where there are a fair few neurodivergent types! 😊

      I’d actually really just like to be open about it. I think the main issue is that close family (apart from husband) don’t yet know. I get on very well with my family and they’d be very accepting; I just haven’t got round to telling them yet. So it seems unfair for wider work colleagues/people in my professional network to know before my family…

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      1. A lot of people don’t use their real names. Set yourself up as ladyananas and you’re good to go! I’m there as flojoeasydetox and I saw your post because outfoxgloved tweeted it. Someone’s already asked if you’re on there!!

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      2. It’s the headache of having two Twitter accounts that I can’t handle the thought of! πŸ˜– Sounds pathetic, but that’s where my head’s at right now! This might change the more I blog…

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  1. Hello, lovely to read your experiences, love the way you write. I’m on Twitter too, I manage two profiles for the reasons you mentioned, it’s much easier than I expected, phone app allows both to be logged in & easy switching between them. I have plenty of executive dysfunction yet haven’t screwed that up (yet…). No pressure, of course, but if you do come join us in the twitterverse you’d be warmly welcomed. I’m 36 & just got my diagnosis last year – it’s been a roller coaster but on the whole a good one!

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  2. It’s good that you decided to join the blogging community, I think it will really help. Just unload all that has been bothering you here on WordPress, and give yourself a break- that’s the least you deserve!

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  3. I completely agree with the “imposter syndrome”. I feel like anytime I put myself out there on social media I’m having to be this “perfect” mom that I see everyone else being, and it can burn you out. I’m trying to work through that but it sure is tough!

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  4. I’ve already read more of your posts but looped back to this one because it resonated so much. I’m at the “Am I Autistic?” self-discovery stage, as yet undecided, and all those blogs (including yours) are an absolute lifeline. Also for all those reasons you mention – for validation, to get my swirling thoughts in some order, to hopefully help someone like me in the future – I’ve just started my own blog about my journey. It’s amazing how many people like me are out there!

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    1. It’s great, isn’t it, when you start discovering all those other people out there! It’s a weird thing: you have this realisation that a lot of what you do, think, or feel isn’t “normal”, but then you realise that your “normal” is different from neurotypical people’s “normal”, and that actually you’re not so alone after all. It’s a hell of a lot to get through.

      Glad you’ve got something from this blog, and thanks for commenting. I’ll go and take a look at yours. πŸ™‚

      All the best with your journey of self-discovery.

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