That was different, and I welcome more of that!
My child and I were with their other parent at a market. It was surprising because my child hasn't attended a social setting like this in 3 years. There were loads of people, lots of noise usually too much for them since the trauma of school. We had our assistance pup with us and did well there also!
And here comes the ‘different’.
The other parent offered to stay with both our child and pup while I go and grab some food. Now in the past, that's the only information I would have been given. For some, that's enough information to work out what to do. For me. No. Going into a new space where I don’t know where anything is, what to order, how things are done, freaks me out. [My moments of "intolerance of uncertainty – IU" according to the pathology. Intolerance doesn't resonate with my experience – especially when I understand why I fear the unknown]. Where I feel I'm expected to read the unwritten, unspoken, invisible rules and I can't.
I go into masking my autism – hiding my difficulties and diverse needs.
This time the other parent explained step by step with hand gestures, pointing, where to go, what to do and how to do it. I looked at them in amazement. I felt good having explicit instruction. I knew what to do. There’s no way I would’ve been able to work out to go inside and grab a wooden board from the shelving. Firstly I would’ve thought they were for sale and not used by patrons.
I would have left them there.
[My anxiety would have risen from uncertainty. To reduce the anxiety/panic it's easier to walk away. When I'm panicking it's hard to think in a clear and rational way. I feel really immature in these moments]. Once choosing a board, I was to go to the fridge and pick whatever food I wanted and put it on the board. The refrigerator looked more like the kitchen’s spare fridge so I wouldn’t have opened those doors.
I would’ve just stood there staring without a board or food.
Freaking out while masking my diverse needs, not knowing what the 'flerken' I should be doing. Then I was to go to the counter and tell the person behind the counter to put the bill under the other parent’s name. Done! What a relief to know what I was to do. I looked at the other parent and thanked them for explaining all of that for me. I became very present to my diverse needs.
I felt very diversey [made up word!].
Now, this is going to be hard to put into words, but I’ll give it a crack [a go]. Being treated with that kind of understanding and compassion brought me to an awareness that I do have diverse needs. They are real. I am one of ‘those’ humans who require extra help. I don’t look like one of ‘those’ humans, yet I am. I love ‘those’ humans, I always have. I’ve always been an egalitarian, but not everyone is.
And some who aren’t can be very cruel.
I felt seen. I felt respected. I felt protected. I just felt a weirdly wonderful feeling. I’ve been hiding my needs for extra help my whole life. The best way I can describe this is I think I have been able to fool myself to believe I don’t have additional needs. It’s a bit like believing I am a frog when I’ve been a fish the whole time. And I think when the other parent treated me like a fish instead of a frog I become aware ‘holy shit! I’m a fish, not a frog!’ Fish can’t climb trees!
I can’t read or navigate social spaces!
When I thanked the other parent for their help, they even looked at me like ‘yeah, you’re a fish’. I don’t know if I’ve explained this very well. Imagine what it would have been like to have been treated compassionately in this way throughout my life? I would have felt okay with myself rather than experience panic, pretending and despair and self–hate and rejection.
I wonder if they’ve worked out how to help with my diverse needs?
I noticed for the rest of the day there were many moments where my difficulties were showing. I saw I instantly felt silly for having these particular difficulties because I know many people these things come easily for them. Without conscious thought. Their brain just works that stuff out automatically.
We come across an intersection, and I couldn't understand the road sign.
[Another moment of IU]. When the other parent explained the sign to me, I told them the sign was in the wrong spot. It was confusing for me. Look I still don’t understand the sign or the intersection. When we arrived at this junction, I told the other parent I didn’t know where to drive. To them it was simple.
To me, it was a puzzle I couldn’t figure out.
I’m so glad there were no cars around. I could've driven into someone. I know most people could easily read both the sign and intersection. I know I look intelligent. And I am. However, in these situations, my brain can’t work these things out and it happens often. I’ve hidden these kinds of challenges because people who have a low intelligence can be treated poorly.
Which is super sad.
To avoid being mistreated by others, I’ve gone to extreme lengths to hide my struggling intellect or cognitive functioning. In some areas, I’m switched on, however, with some simple tasks my brain doesn’t work. I believe these are characteristics of the twice exceptional human [or a PDA Autistic]. The other parent, again was patient and talked me through the situation and explained what the sign was communicating.
That kind of kindness is gold!
STRETCH _ EMBRACE _ SOAR
Whether I accept this or not,
it is still true,
moments of uncertainty can cause anxiety and panic
where I try to hide them and other challenges I have.
INTRAPERSONAL CREATIVE QUEST
To love, trust, revel and lead with our beautiful autistic minds
through knowing and acting on our Roarheart
the inner inexplainable knowledge and truth
~ our intuition ~
Reflect and create a picture or journal the answer to;
Have I thought, felt, done or experienced things like this?
Share with another anything discovered in the Sacred Writing/Creating.
Do I identify with feeling fear, anxiety or panic when there are moments of uncertainty that cause great distress and try to hide my difficulties?
I pause with quiet reflection upon those moments where I hide my challenges where I would benefit from being helped or given accommodations.
TODAY’S THANK YOU
I am willing to THANK all my regretful, angry, fearful and negative thoughts I may have.
I will trust, even if I don’t want to, all that I am aware of now, is how it is has meant to be – to be open to something new.
I am willing to put aside everything I think I know about myself/child, my life, my past and my future, to have an open mind and a new experience with accepting how moments of uncertainty affect me and other challenges I may have.
I am open to the possibility of embracing my child's and my own mind individual diverse challenges accepting we require extra assistance and accommodations, receiving new thoughts to love, trust, revel and lead with our Roarheart [our inexplainable inner knowledge and truth – our intuition] learning how to know, direct and master our individualised lives.
PDA Autistic - IU Intolerance of Uncertainty