I love my girlfriend so much.

Social isolation and reflection actualized my “default” state of mind, and love from her default state of mind seamlessly connects with mine. Love is simple, yet the most powerful force of life.

I’ve never felt *this* close to someone in my life. It’s unifying and revitalizing that true companionship is possible. We’ve been living together since August and I don’t ever wanna leave her side. She’s become my best friend and so much more. She makes life a lot more interesting and palpable. Her words puts things into perspective. She’s so beautiful and such a positive influence on who I already am.

I’m in love.

Chessbored

The pawns become rooks, because we’ve been mistaking
Neofeudalism for progress, rooks mask as Queen and King
To be a rook is to mirror royalty
To don a mask is to fake it all carefully
Law and business lied, demons personified, castrating enlightenment
Letting in again
A society that’s hell sent

They say there’s a place you go to when you die
Where you float away before asking why;
Why we celebrate such a life, why we live such in such dissonance
Heaven can be here on Earth, and it’s no coincidence:
The equivalent of modern life
Is taking a knife in, bleeding out, looking like accident

© 2019 Fish In A Tree Creations LLC

Why did my autistic mind go unnoticed until I was 25 years-old?

Because I was diagnosed with autism well into adulthood in 2016, people often ask me how I knew I was autistic. This is because I seemed so externally “normal” in hindsight. Since the markers of autism are by no mistake viewed from a non-autistic perspective, I feel it is of utmost importance to share my perspective as someone who actually lives with the condition. Below, I’m going to detail the five epiphanies and realizations that catalyzed a much needed autism diagnosis at age 25:

1) In 2015, my intuitive ex-girlfriend thankfully started noticing that my panic attacks resembled an autistic meltdown in a video she saw on Facebook (hitting myself, incoherent screaming, losing social abilities). Fortunately, I don’t experience meltdowns often anymore, but I now deal with “shutdowns” instead. Shutdowns are when the same exact disabling experience is happening from an internal perspective, but not an external one.

2) I realized that “I”, the person typing this, is actually another person inside, separate from the person the world sees. This distorts my identity from both society’s and my own perspective. I must note that very few people know my real identity in person because my identity is nothing more than my soul and thoughts. Any apparently social appearance is most likely consequential from the mirroring process.

3) I realized that the “me” who I presented to the world is merely a mirrored “mask” of my social environment. I can go from being antisocial and off-putting, to sociable and approachable with a simple change to a more comfortable and readable social environment.

4) Whenever I am socially uncomfortable, I realized that it is not because of a misdiagnosed social anxiety disorder, it is because I am unable to mirror my social environment.

5) I realized that I am ultra sensitive to the “normal” social world and was repressing that sensitivity all my life. Too much exposure to this modern world leads to a phenomenon called “autistic burnout”, and this is when I temporarily lose my ability to perform the aforementioned mirroring charade.

Those are the main epiphanies that led me to uncovering and getting an autism diagnosis in February of 2016, followed by a re-adjustment in routine, sensory needs, and life in general. But the most tell-tale sign of masked autism for me was feeling like an abandoned alien on a distant planet. I constantly feel like an impromptu actor and everyone around me was given a script for a movie I was never informed of.

Photo by Miriam Espacio from Pexel

Time

I’ve always wondered what people are experiencing when they state that time “went by fast”. I’ve never felt this shift in my own perception of time because I percieve time as nothing more than non-linear movement in a metaphysical 4-dimensional space. It’s genuinely interesting to me, because my own perception of time and reality is challenged when people claim that time can “shift” to a faster rate than I perceive.

Prohibition 2.0

Social exchange from the hopefully not-so-distant future…

Person 1: “Cannabis is great. THC and CBD are crucial in managing my mental health with little side effects so that I can live a prosperous and dignified life.”

Person 2: “It is truly an amazing plant, but did you know that our parents, grandparents, and their parents were considered criminals for doing just that?”

“Person 1: “What? Managing mental health with a natural substance? Why would anyone want to prevent me from doing that?!”

Person 2: “Remember how I told you life use to be all about money? Well, this also meant that a person’s “need” to profit was more important than the well being of people around them. It’s not that the government wanted to prevent people from using cannabis, it’s the fact that the process of legalizing would upset the people who lobbied Congress and other politicians who would in turn sustain legislature that kept cannabis illegal. Lobbyists would be upset if cannabis was legalized because it would’ve made it harder for their respective industries, like the for-profit prison system for example, to sustain business. In that case, this industry would lose revenue if they had no cannabis-related arrests with potential to fill their quotas. Tobacco and alcohol industries would also suffer in sustaining profits, as people would realize that cannabis can be a safer alternative to either substance. At one point, pharmaceutical companies even formulated their own “cannabis pill” while access to the actual plant was still prohibited. So throughout the years, these industries collectively lobbied, or bribed, Congress to keep cannabis illegal for the sole purpose of satisfying their self-righteous need to profit without intervention. On top of all of that, using cannabis to heal the mind prevented one from earning a livable income because any trace of THC in one’s system is grounds for denial of employment. Be thankful times have changed.”

Person 1: “O__O”

Photo Credit: Michael Fischer

Algorithm & Blues

For me, part of being autistic is recognizing that the majority of people are using the same “social algorithm” to socialize with each other. In order to fully understand this algorithm, I perpetually reverse engineer its contents so that I can continuously write and rewrite an “input/output social program” in my mind. This metaphysical self-programming assists me in social situations and furthermore, helps me understand society to its core.

This is also my loose theory as to why so many of us autistic people were diagnosed late. I feel like this is how we mask and blend in so well; in that we’re actually compartmentalizing what is to me, starting to feeling like a simulation of “normal” communication. I feel strongly about this theory because I never “feel” autistic when I’m socializing with other autistic people or with people who understand and adapt to my mind.

In those moments, I feel human.

At this point, adapting to neurotypical society feels like I have to run barefoot on a broken treadmill made of sandpaper.

I’ve been trying to get out more, but public appearance continues to drive and drag my body and mind to fatigue and numbness. I want and need to socialize and network so desperately, but my senses get overloaded so easily now. And when I’m overloaded, I shut down, dissociate, and become nonverbal. Shutdowns happen every time I go out now. And then I have to spend a day recovering for the next inevitable shutdown. This process has stolen precious time and energy from me that could otherwise be used for my hobbies and other reasons people find life worth living.

It is important to note that I do not experience social complications with other autistic or neurodivergent individuals. That leads me to believe that the cause for these increased shutdowns is trying and failing to survive the “non-autistic” world, which has depleted my brain’s natural ability to analyze social situations like I used to. My brain is irreversibly tired, begging for mercy coming up on its 29 years of existence. I feel the exhaustion coursing throughout my entire existence.

I’ve adapted to my predicament with the best of my abilities, but what if the means that facilitated adaptability, being my cognitive function, has become brittle and scarce? What will be my fate if my mind fails to return from a shutdown? I think about that a lot.

Traditional therapy has helped a bit, but therapists merely tell me what I already know. The fact of the matter is that success in therapy is based upon one’s ability to adapt. Me getting a late diagnosis in 2016 at age 25 was due to my astronomically amazing ability to adapt! I was a damn chameleon and I’m proud of that I already know how to “be social”. I’ve literally lived my life as my own therapist, intellectually reviewing, reflecting, and implementing my social techniques in order to adapt.

I always feel like I’m about to reach social contentment and as soon as I feel I’m almost comfortable in my own skin, I have to fight the forces of normalcy that continually challenge my intelligence and sense of self.

I don’t want to fight anymore.
I just want to live.

Photo Credit: Pixabay