My mind is fractured, broken into so many pieces that I can’t quite fix. I used to be able to do so many things that I can’t seem to any more. I used to be functional, and now I feel so incapable of even simple tasks. Writing used to be a joy, now each word is a struggle.
I used to… I used to meal plan. I didn’t even know it was a ‘thing’. Going food shopping without a list seemed strange to me, and how do you know what to buy if you don’t know what you’re going to eat? So of course I planned, why would anyone not?
Now… Now I rely on children having cooked food at school, and Mr Chaos getting cooked meals with his work. Toast or cereal for breakfast, cheese sandwiches or pizza for dinner. So very bread-based. So very unhealthy. And even then I can’t cope, and it will be take aways. £20 a time two or four times a month, and we can’t afford that.
I used to… I used to budget. I had spreadsheets for every account. I kept track of what the bills were, how we could cut them, where we could make savings. I checked every outgoing against my receipts, and I always knew how much money I really had left in my account, even if it showed higher because something hadn’t gone through. I had savings.
Now… Now I look at my bank balance and it’s lower than I thought. I have no idea what I have or what I’ve spent. Mr Chaos looks after all the bills because we started getting late payment charges and I couldn’t keep on top of it any more. I owe my children thousands of pounds, because I keep borrowing from their savings. I have no savings. I have no income.
I used to… I used to work in a technical job. I could competently code in T-SQL and VBA. I thought up new ways to solve things with technology. I kept to numerous deadlines. I coped with daily changes in requirements. I wrote technical guides. I earned a fairly good salary.
Now… Now I can barely keep the two hours a week term time only admin job I have at school. I often postpone the day I come in to work because I can’t manage, fortunately it’s really flexible. The concept of full time work is unbearable. My annual ‘salary’ is about the same as I would earn in a week if I did my last job full time.
I used to… I used to…
I used to function.
Now I do not.
What changed? Coincidentally, it’s been worse since becoming a parent. Especially since the second child. But it’s not fair to blame them (and I don’t, I hate blame as a concept anyway) and actually, things started to fracture deeper before my eldest child was even conceived.
The lack of space with having children may have speeded up the process. I feel like I need months of recharge time to recover, and that’s never going to happen.
I could say that I wouldn’t know I was autistic if I hadn’t had children. That may be true.
But I think it’s the build up of a lifetime of trying to fit in a neurotypical world without knowing why you were different. With being told constantly that you are ‘normal’ but not knowing what that means. With feeling so useless – lazy, pathetic, manipulative, antisocial, spiteful – because you really could’t do things other people did, and you couldn’t control your reactions.
I seem to be in a period of autistic regression. Being diagnosed helps, but not enough. I am trying so hard every day, and achieving very little for the effort. I will keep trying, and little by little I know things will improve. But now, now is hard, and blogging has slipped so much.
I am trying, all the time. But I am fractured.