Confidence

Am I Autistic?

This is the question I have been pondering for quite some time now. I wouldn’t be surprised if I am found to be on the Autistic Spectrum – not surprised one little bit.

You see, I’ve always been ‘different’ – at school, I marched to the beat of my own drum, was known for being an outspoken and opinionated person and my nicknames were ‘Witchcraft’ and ‘greebo’. From around the age of 13 I found my dark side and fell in love of Black Sabbath, Wicca and purple lipstick. I had an altar and I cast spells. All of this, of course, meant that I was constantly bullied.

However, none of that made any difference to who I am inside. I’m me. I’m different and always will be. I’m 31 now, and apart from having grown into my looks (and lost 3 stone in the process) I’m as weird or as ‘eccentric’ as I was when I was a young teenager. I’m normally found wearing black from head to toe, which I gather isn’t exactly ‘normal’.

I’ve dabbled in the vintage world, and for a good few years I was obsessed with the 1940s and 1950s and even started my own business selling vintage clothing and modelled as a pinup. Then, I got bored of everyone looking the same and I put my vintage wardrobe into boxes in the loft, where it’ll stay until I fancy a change again.

My biggest obsession now is my Victorian home that I share with my incredibly patient and laid back partner. I honestly don’t know how he copes with me and my quirks but 3 years on, we’re still deeply in love. Everything in our home is Victorian, because I like integrity.

Apart from my obsessions, I also struggle to empathise with people. I often put my foot in it and offend people – though with age, I’m definitely learning how to soften it a little. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still doing it, just not as often.

I also don’t like people, generally. I don’t know if this is because I’m a natural introvert, or because I’m autistic, but people annoy me. The herd mentality of most people irritates me and I just want to shake people and say ‘wake the fuck up’ or ‘shut the fuck up’ when you hear them talk about inane things like football or X Factor. I don’t want to talk small talk – I absolutely hate it. It makes me uncomfortable, so I tend to avoid people I know if I see them. It’s not personal, it’s just my own issue I’ve always had.

Facebook has been an interesting journey – especially when you look up people from school to find that they’re all still friends with each other, and most of them married each other too. I think to myself how odd that is – that they all left, went to university (I tried that twice, it wasn’t for me!) and then came back ‘home’ and married their school friends. I find that odd, and frightening. I am only friends with 2-3 people from school and they’re all guys. Most of the girls were complete bitches. I don’t like women very much, men are easier.

A few things about me:

I don’t like authority. I don’t like uniforms. I don’t like being stuck in an office from 9-5 every day and living for the weekend. I don’t like loud music playing in shops. I don’t like busy shopping centres. I like being indoors, I like being quiet. I like the company of animals. I like to read. I like routine. I don’t like busy pubs – I won’t walk in first. I don’t like plans to change, unless they’re being cancelled altogether. I don’t like big groups of people. Festivals are full of sheeple. I like the vikings. I like strong, independent women. I like feminism. I’m a conservative because I like money, but a socialist because I don’t have any. I’m a walking contradiction. I’m confident, but shy. I’m egotistical. I’m a grammar nazi. I’m a super-recogniser. I have watched the same movies over and over and know all their scripts. My best friends are Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda, Rory and Lorelai Gilmore and Lagartha Lothbrook. Fictional people are more interesting and relatable.

So, I’ve decided that I want to know, for sure, if all this (and plenty more besides) makes me autistic. There is ADHD in my family and my Dad is incredibly ‘quirky’ himself. I’ll eat my hat if I don’t end up diagnosed with something unusual.

I’ll be writing about my experience of the Autism Diagnostic Assessment as/when it comes around – it’s booked for 8th December, so it won’t be too long. If you’re interested in following my home renovation journey or my autism journey, please hit the ‘follow’ button and you’ll be emailed whenever I publish a blog post ❤

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Waiting, waiting, forever waiting

I feel like I’ve been waiting for something my entire life; waiting for an appointment, waiting for painkillers to kick in, waiting for the side effects to wear off…

We spend our whole lives waiting for things, but it never gets any easier, does it?

Some people are fantastic ‘waiters’ – they could wait patiently for hours, days, weeks or months for something they really want and are happy to wait. Others are impatient and they want it now. Instant gratification and all that.

What’s worse, is being one of those people who has waited, patiently, dutifully to oneself because they know the wait is worth it, but at the same time being one of those types of people who hates waiting and wants it  when they want it.

In this instance, I’m talking about waiting and love.

As a teenager, I was awkward, geeky and plump. I wasn’t holding the reins when it came to puberty and I wasn’t exactly admired (at least to my knowledge) by the boys. Everyone around me seemed to have a boyfriend or girlfriend or had at least, ‘snogged’ nearly everyone in our friendship group. I was always on the perimeter, watching, listening to their stories and the gossip about who snogged who at the last house party.

There, I remained on the outskirts of ‘love’ or at least, affection. I was waiting patiently for my turn – my turn to be admired by the opposite sex and waiting for someone to like me back. I spent most of my teenage years yearning for a male friend who I thought was beyond handsome and funny and so charismatic. If there was such a thing as the “friend zone” back then, I was definitely firmly in it. Every girlfriend he had, I hated. It tore me up. For years, I yearned for him, waiting for him to finally see me in the same way he saw the other girls in my year. It never happened.

I waited until I was nearly 17 for my first kiss. I won’t say much about it, other than it wasn’t with a particularly skilled gentleman and it was such a traumatic experience, I ended up waiting many years after to build up the courage to kiss another frog.

I’d gotten so used to waiting, that I made a name for myself. I entered college at 19 and became friends with a small group of girls a few years younger than me. I would be introduced on nights out to guys in the local nightclubs and bars as the Virgin of the group. Being known as a 23 year old virgin never bothered me, but I would cry myself to sleep every night feeling unloved and for being untouched by a man and the pain of having to wait for so long to have what everyone else was having.

My talent for waiting didn’t end there. I finally lost my virginal status at the ripe old age of 23 because I had stubbornly decided to wait for the right guy to be my first proper boyfriend. I was waiting for something that not many people I know had waited for – maturity, a sense of self worth and confidence. I wanted to be happy in myself before I gave myself to another and by then patience was definitely my forte. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be and a year later, absolutely heartbroken, I knew I needed to take the time to reacquaint myself yet again with patience.

Well, I’m definitely not 24 any more and interestingly, the older I get the more I lose my ability to wait; to be patient. I feel like I’ve spent so many years of my life waiting to be happy, or waiting for someone to love me… that now I have all that, I want to stop waiting and live my life. I put my love life on hold when I was younger because I wasn’t happy with myself… I changed what I wasn’t happy with and I no longer ‘had’ to wait.

The hardest lesson I’m learning right now, at the age of thirty, is yet again – patience.

Two years ago, I met a beautiful man with long blonde hair, a pretty face and a wonderful soul. Amazingly, he fell in love with me and I with him. Unfortunately for us (and unlike our peers) we don’t come from monied backgrounds and so we’re having to save up to move in together. We both decided after just 6 months or so of being together that we wanted to live with each other, and so we began collecting things for our house. We have tea towels and mugs. We have cutlery and pots and pans. We have a bed and a coffee table. We have lamps and light fittings. But we don’t have a home… yet.

It’s horrible isn’t it… the more you want something to happen, the harder it is to wait for it. I’m so tired of waiting. I feel like I’m being tested constantly and I don’t know why or by whom but I do. I feel like I became such an expert at being patient, that someone is now laughing at me, making me wait once more, purely for their amusement.

I don’t know how long it will be before we can move in together. I don’t know how many more Sunday nights I will cry myself to sleep because he’s not there. All I know is that I don’t want to wait any more. I am sick and tired of waiting, always waiting. I can see our life together in my mind and it looks wonderful. Just how long I’m going to have to wait, is yet another question that will remain unanswered. For now.

Yours Patiently,

Beth Von Black.