Therapy, Quarantine, and Animal Crossing
Boy, it's been awhile since I wrote a blog post, hasn't it? I think the last time I was active anywhere was in February, then some posts recently with some screenshots and designs I've made in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Where do I begin?
As it's been archived, there were reasons I deactivated my Facebook page and Twitter for Autistic Lens, though stayed active on my main profile on Twitter and Facebook. The reasons, in the post that someone thankfully archived for me, were very vague, but spoke of mistakes I made, and I wanted to address those to the best of my ability, while still giving privacy to those involved in it.
First, the reason I deactivated:
This was actually a decision previously made between myself, my wife, and my therapist, before I even made that twitter thread, and before things really kicked off with it. My therapist suggested for my own mental health, and due to their opinion of the community I was interacting with not being the safest, along with the situation I was and am living in (more on that later in this post), along with things I'm still working through, it would be best to not be on my advocacy page while I took some time and focused on recovery and healing with myself, along with introspection.
As for what was stated in the thread, which I will link here, I mistakenly believed the words of others that either were influenced by their own past interactions, and/or past traumas as well, along with my own trauma, and a meltdown and mental breakdown, to believe someone I trusted, was not a safe person, and I shared a complete archive of their messages with me to some other people I thought I could trust at the time.
This was wrong of me, in every way, and I accept that. I am not going to sit here and try and excuse what I did, though I could explain it, but that would be difficult without going into specifics, but I will say, I reached out to that person, and have made amends awhile ago now, apologizing for what I did, and explaining things, and I am working with my therapist as to why I reacted how I did, so I never make the same mistakes.
I took a lot of time off to reflect on myself, what I've done, what I want to do, and I've made the decision to step down as an autistic advocate, in any sense of the word, and simply just talk about life for me as an autistic individual. That doesn't mean I won't fight for rights, or stand up for my community, it just means I'm going to be talking about my own experiences, and focusing on that, instead of the "Advocate" role. Nothing is really going to change in how I am though, or what I post and say, just that what I do will be more focused on my own personal opinions and thoughts, and instead, I'll be boosting the voices of those that I truly believe can make a difference in the world for autistic people, and people in general.
To that person, who I know will read this, I've said it a thousand times to you, but I'll never stop saying it, I truly am sorry for my actions and the harm it brought you. I am trying to do better, and be better.
To the people that reached out to me, and stuck by me, with everything that happened after, I love each and every one of you, and thank you so much for showing me that kind of compassion, and speaking with me.
Since that all happened, I've taken a lot of time to focus within myself, trying to understand why I act how I do, why I react with such ferocity at times, and why I spiral so badly. A majority of it, turns out, is trauma based, which shouldn't surprise me at all, but, well, I never considered it honestly. I never thought to think that the reason I have such intense reactions to what people do, is because it reminds me of what trauma I've been through, and what abusive people have done to me in the past.
You would think, with my other blog posts, and videos, that this would be obvious to me, but honestly, it really was not, and I am still learning more about how my past trauma influences my current behavior.
As for the situation I was, and am, living in...
I can not say much, but I can say it's not a healthy living arrangement for my wife and I to be living with the people we are living with, especially with the lock-down now, but we're doing what we can to keep going. My therapist is working with us to make sure that we're safe, and if anything does happen, we'll be okay as well, along with some friends who know what's going on that can help too.
Speaking of the lock-down... Around March 15th, I started to get sick, and when I say sick, I mean the sickest I've ever felt physically; over the next few days, my fever would spike to above 102 degrees, coughing, fatigue, muscle aches all over to the point of pain, you name it. Of course, with everything going on, and since my wife was not feeling well either, we tried to get tested, however, at the time, they were only testing people nearby that were in direct contact with a known positive case, so we could not be tested, but we did both test negative for the flu. It took about a month or so for all of our symptoms to clear up, the cough lasted the longest. We're not sure if it was *that* or not, but... It's very likely, considering other information we were later made aware of.
Now, that alone could be horrifying with what's going on, but, something I don't talk about, but everyone that's known me can attest to, I have SEVERE health anxiety. It's... really f***ing bad honestly. So of course, I was convinced I was dying, on more than one occasion, which of course led to a panic attack, which led to a meltdown at the same time. Fun times overall (sarcasm). Add that to the list of things I am working on in therapy.
Thankfully, 5 days later, Animal Crossing: New Horizons came out for the Nintendo Switch, and that game has almost literally been my lifeblood since then. I'm currently at 240+ hours at the time of writing this, and I am loving every second of the game. Back when I was in, I think, Middle School? Might have been Elementary school, but either way, that game was my escape from what went on in school and at home. I would always sneak into the basement, go onto my GameCube with the sound as low as possible, and be up till 6am playing Animal Crossing, making designs, setting up the town. I loved it. Then, it came out for the DS a few years later, and rinse, repeat; it came out while I was in High School, and I ALWAYS had my DS in my hands during classes (teachers were not a fan of that one). Same thing when it came out for the 3DS and college; which I still have today as well, and I'm curious as to how many weeds my town there has now... Video games have been my escape into a world where I can actually do things and accomplish things I could never do in the real world, and have saved me from facing reality at times when things were unbearable for my psyche, which, ironically, it turns out the human brain is good at already.
Something I don't think I have spoken about, though I might have elsewhere, is that I have Disassociative Identity Disorder (on top of being autistic, and having PTSD/C-PTSD). What this means, is that I have an alter, a separate personality. Something I've had since childhood, but didn't learn until pretty recently was even a thing within myself, as I just thought everyone had internal monologue and thought processes like me. My alter is, what people call, "traumagenic", which means my alter was formed in response to severe and continuous trauma, in order for my brain to survive essentially.
I'm not going to speak much about my alter in this blog post, or how that affects me, as I'd rather that have a separate post altogether, but, I do want to thank the people close to me for giving me the courage to be honest about it and come out and just say it. If it wasn't for you, I would have been afraid to talk about it my entire life, and never would have learned more about myself, so thank you.
Realistically, it's not that much different for me specifically, as I wasn't employed before the start of it, so the only real change is I can't see my loved ones, outside of my family and wife, and I can't see my friends either, well, I can, just in video calls. I also have not left the house since March 15th, and I don't plan on leaving the house for... well, quite a significant time honestly.
You see, it's not being stuck at home that's messed with me. It's what everyone else has been doing that has, and by everyone, I mean everyone. The news, the people living near me, my state, my country, the world... This situation is one we've never seen before, and there's more division and hatred and outright abuse I've seen towards one another than I even thought possible. I had hoped humanity was better than this, that if anything like this were to happen, yeah, there would be people that would go against the flow and cause more problems for everyone, but, nowhere did I think humanity would get this low. It's not to say that it wasn't expected, just... Not what I hoped would happen.
Originally, I was posting on my photography page, about resources, sharing news stories, while having daily panic attacks and breakdowns from fear of what's going on, and then I kind of realized I was doing it to myself. I stopped sharing the articles, I stopped checking news daily, I stopped updating myself with medical information on everything, and just... escaped onto my little island on my Nintendo Switch.
It was probably one of the healthiest things I've ever done in my life. I wasn't escaping abuse like in the past, I was simply choosing to focus my attention on something that brought me happiness in times of trouble. It was, and is, incredibly freeing. That doesn't mean I'm out of date on information, I still know what's going on, but I'm not drowning myself anymore in oceans of information and news articles.
Since then, I have been doing what I can to keep as much as of a routine as my wife and I can muster, two to three meals a day, showering daily, 6-8 hours of sleep (minus the times I spent too much time on Animal Crossing searching for "Tarantula Island"), and focusing on my relationship with my wife, along with my close friends. It's not easy, but it's a thousand more times less stressful than trying to focus on things I have no control over.
I guess that's pretty much it for this blog post.
If anyone's got questions for me, no matter what they are, feel free to message me or comment on the post this blog is going up on, and I'll answer it whenever I am able to. My only request to everyone, is to do that. Ask me things, if you want to know something about me, my past, things I've done, good or bad, just ask me.
And, as I said when I first started, if I made a mistake or make a mistake with you, or anyone you know, tell me, let me know, educate me on what I did wrong, because I want to be a better person, and I will always strive for that.
As always, I love you all.