What Is… [Hopeless Autistic]

Pages published in the range of Fall of 2015 for The Hopeless Autistic

Something that you were taught as a child has a different meaning as an adult. The problem is as a child, you were potentially lied to or mislead. What is being preached as the “real world” may or may not be relevant actually by locale; may or may not be tolerated or enforced and what happens is you’re practicing something that may not be taking place in this said Utopia called the “real world”

Community Based Services

The great leadership in Concord wants the entire Granite State to believe that the state is so tolerant, so accepting, and so willing to allow people of all developmental, mental and physical disorders and disabilities to live in the same community like their normal peers.

Well that’s great. If you live in Jefferson. But what about Londonderry, Dover, Nashua or even Keene?

I feel Concord is living off an ideal playbook of what the state should be to enhance their “progressive” agenda of what is now becoming “regressive” policies for people with developmental disorders. A source at my local area agency has told me that they go to Concord often to explain that whatever they are doing isn’t working well closer to home.

I appreciate the effort, but the reality is what it is. Some communities don’t want us, some families feel their child is better fit in an “institution” like environment. Isn’t this basically a cookie cutter plan backwards? It sure defeats the purpose of individualized-based services.

The ideal community starts with the people in the community having (or willing) to be tolerant to people on all ends of the developmental disabilities (in this case autism) and starting at a young age and to their graduation in high school. If there is a good relationship between the child, the individual, their peers and friends, then they build “natural supports” that could put less of a burden to the state’s system.

That obviously didn’t work in Londonderry, where I once grew up that I don’t call my “hometown”. Many of my peers avoided me after leaving the middle school and many have left the state with zero intentions to come back. The only thing closest to a “friend” was on Facebook. Other than that, who else can I connect? There aren’t that many 30 year olds living in the affluent part of New Hampshire (unless they are married with children, which I am not.)

Do we have a problem Bureau of Developmental Services? We sure as hell do!

Love?

Of all “What is…”, love is one of the most confusing and vague elements I can’t understand. In my generation, I’ve seen more people love bad people (like marathon bombers, and other evil people), love the wrong types of things or people; and be absorbed in themselves. (Remember the days when people actually looked at the lenses for “selfies”?)

People are more aggressive and more angry so how can I blame them? There is so much hate to men, to boys and even worse to autistics. If people would love the right types of people, then maybe love would make the world go more round.

I will say when I went to middle school, my romance would disappear. Multiple parties did a lot of damage. Some (like the then-13 year old woman* shown to the left) may or may not be aware of the damage, but people like Teresa Bolick did. And she to this day continues to make love more complicated for autistics, such as doing a workshop on Saint Valentines Day of 2013, not only doing that, but clearly stated the workshop wasn’t intended for individuals themselves. And a PDF has circulated on the Internet since.

* I call a 13 year old girl from 1999 a “woman” because she looked very mature for a 13 year old. Not saying I “look at 13 year olds” today but the ones I see did not have visible breasts, wearing 40 pounds of makeup and already was at a stature of a 5’4″. Her voice at the time was very striking lower octave…do I need to say more? From memory, the appearance of her hitting puberty could’ve been as early as 5th grade. (But I know she’s a drinker, which could explain why she looked so much like a woman then over now.)

I have kissed some ladies, but barely touched them, haven’t had sex, and haven’t had any close relationships. But that might be because I carry a badge requiring 3′ distance because I’m sensitive to touch.

Relationships?

Love + Relationships = Confusion? Relationships – Love = Anger?

I don’t understand this equation. The reoccurring struggles as an adult with a progressive case of a hopeless autistic is the extreme level of mixed messages of this subject. The problem is I am unable to troubleshoot if it’s autism specific or it’s just the case of bad luck or just bad people I’ve run into. The delay of resolution is just making the situation worse.

Regardless, My relationships professionally have been unstable. My family has eroded. My mother can be somewhat of a challenge to deal with (she could say the same about me.) Relationships with her has been rocky in the last few years. Romantically, it’s been worse, very worse, and the future is more bleak on that subject. I’d love to talk about this subject, but I don’t want to because then I get latched onto a touchy subject. I must have learned the best about “healthy” or “unhealthy relationships”.

My teacher (that same high school teacher I wish she was on Death Row) probably had done the worse damage in regards to the entire subject. Her teaching and preaching was mostly rip-and-read, basically photocopying health textbooks and basically just reading everything in verbatim and not making the subject her own. Personally at the same time, she was in her mid twenties and wanted to relive her junior year of high school. Meanwhile my brain wasn’t growing fast enough, the brain was developing with content worth of Nickelodeon goo and sadly this goo wasn’t what I was looking for. While sex education was more discussed in my last school program, the problem was there was heavy negativity. When leaving school a couple years later I just struggled on relationships.

Professional relationships were rocky as well. Many paraprofessionals would come and go every two years. I would call my school Boston’s Channel 7 where that station was known for constant change in personnel. It was a revolving door. The staff would leave, then come back in 6 months to a year. (Much like how Michelle McPhee came and left WRKO or now at competing station, you know?) This was how bad the talent pool was at my school. The management didn’t care about it’s staff and of that, isn’t that “unhealthy relationships”?)

Bonding with staff is important, especially a male figure. However the best “big brother” figure was too good to be true. He’d be there for 2 years and would be gone of my life. I was so broken after. I would doubt myself of how that all broke down.

WHO IS A “FRIEND”? “WHOSE A BESTIE”? AT WHAT POINT CAN I CALL SOMEONE MY S.O.?

Another example of perpetual childhood (that was frowned upon for us to live by, but practiced by such staff) was this constant, drilling, reprogramming, manipulation of the subject of “relationships”. While many autistics clearly don’t know the boundaries, some were on the mild side but in the sake of universal treatment, people like me were treated more on the severe side, like having an X on your back. While there might had been a case when I was 14 to be scared of (because in retrospect, I did have questionable social skills) I was unable to prove myself upon a reasonable doubt, and of such this is the great American tragedy of professionals lacking the ability to forgive the individuals’s wrongdoings by the said group

I never could relate to other peers of my type (i.e. other people with autism, etc.) I am comfortable and safe to lower functioning, (whether it’s Down’s or Kanner’s Autism or other LDs) just I am more nervous when I am around more verbal or intelligent types. I am very aware of my surroundings while the rest of them ether don’t really know or really don’t care.

In relationships, for me, it was wasn’t uncommon to treat everyone as a professional class, and then refer to the relations by the professional title. For a long time I have refrained from referring to some people as “friends” because not only it takes years to understand me, but I just am too afraid to take such risks. Some others say “friends” very loosely, but I don’t. And of such, this is the reason why I feel I’ve struggled to move forward in Relationships.

WHAT DOES LOVE REALLY MEAN OTHER THAN A WORD STARTING WITH F?

One of the major issues was the inability to understand the most deepest subject called romantic love. I’ve not had a real girlfriend and I’m almost 30. Women are ether not available to date me, because they are already taken, or they don’t want to lead me on or they think I am misunderstanding them like they are showing interest. Other than autism, women are the second most puzzling subjects. I have not grasped the concept of grabbing a woman that I really love, out of the bottom of my heart without fear of being charged for sexist crimes, or the fear of repercussions. Oh my god, don’t get me started with the latter. Yup, we autistic types have to be treated like we are all criminals! It’s not to say there are a few, but it’s not the largest bunch of them all!

I’ve longed for years to settle with a woman, not a girl, but a female with strength, who isn’t jumpy, whose calm, loving, gentle, caring, sweet, etc. And someone whose downright cute, because if you look lovely and pretty, then love will return back because you are in theory projecting love. I think there used to be a time and place where females would evolve to women, but since the acceleration of the Millennial generation, women are decelerating as girls are just partying later in their twenties while complaining about men. If I say or do such things, I’m labeled as misogynistic, but if a woman does it she’s speaking truth to power.

The case of psychological gynophobia began in the fall of 1999 when I was attending the Londonderry Middle School, when a girl that once lived up my street was verbally attacking 13 year old woman. Rejections from peers would occur over the years into 2000-2005; and indefinitely from ’05 to present.

Another time I had a near death experience with the opposite gender was that I was checking out a cute girl at the local Hannaford grocery store. It was like a double look, non creepy ether. The man would stare at me at about 40 feet away and I feared for my life, literally went the other direction with my cart and panicked for several minutes. At that point, that woman and her man made me look at females never in the same way again.

I had a break in 07-08 with a girl that I liked in school but blew that. I’ve only dumped 2 girls, one from 4th grade, and one from high school, but yet I was rejected by a spinning odometer of females since I was 16.

The fear I have is the longer I am single, the longer it would be able for me to adapt to a coexisting romantic relationship. I am so used to being a bachelor, would I be able to change?  And would I be able to go from a date, to boyfriend, to a husband in a timely manner? Would someone be willing to really, seriously “take it slow” especially in their 30s? What if someone has heard bad things about the disorder? Well then I think the answer is clear. There’s just no hope. So yeah, I am a hopeless autistic that is also a hopeless romantic.

– – –

People often complement how intelligent I am, and how aware I am with my social surroundings. I think the reason why is that I’ve gone through so many downs over ups, that I’ve learned the harsh realities as well as being aware at such a young age. Intelligence is all about gathering what is going on around you. I am like a human gateway, listening to all the social traffic coming in and outbound in my little world north of Boston.

I feel very concerned that I won’t be able to understand the concept of relationships outside of the professional bounds for the rest of my life. Excuse me while I cry…

WORK?

When I was about 18, the IEP team at the time wanted me to look at a school to work program. Essentially it was a sunset from learning academics to life skills and learning to get a job and to retain it.

However all of those lessons were biased of everyone being a “creep.”

As mentioned on many occasions, I wanted more than to “just work.” I wanted to be happy and healthy and learn as much as I can because college would be the worst place for me to go.

It didn’t turn out that way.

Several years after I finished school and moved to my new community, there had been some new startup programs. I, was always a Guinea pig, and didn’t want to be a lab rat ether. Several of these programs began with “Project” and an acronym. I mean, come on, what is it you’re trying to code up?

In the substance factor, a lot of these programs were more intensive than say the school to work program. There was a lot of studying, and then there was these “internship programs.” At the time, a couple of years ago, I was like “why should I have to show up and not get paid?” And this is because a lot of companies are getting free labor. Now allegedly, this would build up ones resume.

What’s more troubling is that many of these individuals are higher functioning, they put these individuals into high standards, and require them to basically go through drug testing, probation and all but yet they won’t be able to get minimum wage? I’m sorry for sounding a little entitled, but why should these individuals get nothing and a company in the area free work?

Even more disturbing is when the program completes, the individual themselves will have to get their job on their own, with the hopes the company/organization will hire them. They make this very clear that these internships won’t necessarily mean a job will be guaranteed following the workshop.

I keep stating myself that I am in a day program where I “need” these services but these programs are temporary and why be in permeant system if it only lasts a year or less with no guarantee that you’ll get a job? Meanwhile these 6 hour a day programs will often conflict with other programming, so you can’t enjoy life, you’re working like everyone else, hustling and bustling. Of which, it can bring down morale in the workplace.

In 2015, I was so desperate, I was going to volunteer and do anything. At this point, I don’t care anymore if I get paid or not. I am so confused of what to do, other than hearing “work” at an early age started my road of being hopeless.

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