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It’s the most depressing time of the year!

It’s almost Christmas. I wish I could fast forward to December 26th. 

The bombardment of ads, trying to get me to buy presents gets increasingly harder to ignore. I’m constantly reminded of how the holidays are apparently not about consumerism and all about family time spent together. I feel as if so much of that is a lie. I have to do so much masking to feel okay. Inside, i’m stressed out, anxious and feeling like seasonal affective disorder includes Christmas.

We celebrated Chanukah. It wasn’t until my Mom met my late Stepdad that life changed and we suddenly had a tree in our house. That was weird for me.

The most festive thing I do is making my own holiday cards for family and friends. I do not buy gifts for various reasons. There’s still a sense of guilt and uneasiness when I receive a gift. I never feel like my card is substantial enough. 

Malls are something I avoid for all the right reasons. I especially wouldn’t step foot in one right now — although, my emails keep reminding me I should GET ON THE CONSUMERISM TRAIN AND SHOP, SHOP SHOP! Old Navy emailed me today and said “( ❗ ) THE ENTIRE STORE IS ON SALE ( ❗ )” Yeah. No. I’m good. 

I’m pleased i’ve been able to separate myself from the corporate/retail world. I think that provides me some relief. There’s a sense of freedom I gain in which I can deal with the holidays because i’m not selling anything to anyone and with that comes not having to succumb to the annoyingly repetitive nature of Christmas music. I’m not surprised that “psychopathology tends to increase around the holidays”.  

Christmas is 15 days away! I know i’ll have to sit through meals that will make me feel like I will want to isolate myself at home and sitting on the couch with my cats. I’m not trying to make excuses for myself because I know it’s good for personal growth to do things that make you uncomfortable, but honestly? Seeing big pieces of animal protein on the table with really odd, pungent smells and being the centre of conversation with nothing for me to eat is frustrating. I usually bring my own food but beyond that I never know what i’m supposed to do. Maybe sitting at the table awkwardly, listening to the sounds of cutlery, chewing and sparse, topical conversation is just what the holidays are and will always be. I try to get distracted and in my own head. Mentally, i’ve already left the table.

Next year can’t come soon enough.

Almost there.

Reliving my (painful) past

I want to preface this post by saying that these are things i’ve experienced and at the time of writing this, I do not have a PTSD diagnosis. I, in no way, want to make those with a proper diagnosis feel less than or devalued in any way.

Often times I find myself in these dizzying spells with negative thoughts running rampant. They flood my mind: terrible, painful memories that I wish would vanish.

Discovering deceased pets, multiple instances of being bullied which included: thumbtacks, sharp side up- They would be left on my chair with an audience that consisted of my entire class, watching and waiting to see if I would notice and sit on it, purposely having dodgeballs thrown at my face, having friends-of-friends find out personal details about me and they would attempt to humiliate and berate me based on it, being excluded from birthday parties, having the whole class turn against me while the teacher was out of the room – that’s just some of the bullying that occurred during my elementary school years. Can’t forget the workplace bullying with all kinds of instances that included customers yelling at me, management making me cry or not believing things I say (I am very honest) and being fired – which was one of the most humiliating things i’ve ever lived through, co-workers being nasty to me for reasons i’ll never know.

I also can’t forget all the things my Father did: the daily verbal abuse, screaming so loud that you could hear him down the block, chasing me to my bedroom and holding the door closed so I couldn’t leave, yelling at me for questioning things he said and having friends witness his emotionally destructive behaviour which was embarrassing and continued to pile the stress on top of me. 

This is just a small portion of the hundreds, maybe thousands of memories that flow through my mind.

Even though I had the support of my Sisters and my Mum, I still felt so alone and depressed. I didn’t think I would survive so I failed to look after myself. I think sadness was one of the first emotions I remember experiencing.

I want these painful memories to subside. Easier said than done. I can’t seem to shake off things that happened as far back as I can remember. 

People often say things like “Forgive and forget”, “don’t dwell on your past”, “move on” and “live in the present”. It’s NOT THAT EASY. Diminishing the valid feelings of those who often have to suffer in silence is not something that sits well with me. It’s hard enough to allow those feelings to come to the surface, let alone feel comfortable enough with anyone to actually allow the words of pain to flow out of ones mouth. It’s a PRIVILEGE to listen to such agony. I don’t think it’s okay to interject comments telling someone to forget, move on and live in the present. It makes things worse.

I have reached out to some people that have caused me pain and forever haunt me in my memories and I was unsuccessful. I also was left feeling as though what happened was my fault. I do my best to cope.

Forgiveness is so much harder than its made out to be and it has stages that are very similar to grief. I would say that one of my biggest faults or personality flaws would be the severity of my anxiety. Many thoughts continue to haunt me, not only during my waking hours but even during my sleep.

I’m talking about those nights where my mind and my heart feel like they are racing in unison.

Trying to fall asleep, I toss and turn. Sometimes, I wake up at 3am and lay there, trying so hard to go back and sleep peacefully when my mind is at war with it’s self. My body becomes warm, clammy and my night sweats are the worst. I try to find something to think about or something to do. If one of my cats happens to be awake I will gravitate towards them; their soft hair, their therapeutic purring – it helps me stay mindful, it’s calming, it puts me at ease.

Every day is a new chapter but my story starts with pain and my book is still being written. There’s still a chance for happiness.


Sippin’ hot drinks!

I have been enjoying a lot of hot chocolate and teas while frantically entering Christmas contests. It’s that time of year again and it happens to be one of my most enjoyable hobbies. Seriously. I do this…!

I did some more background work on film where I was dressed up all 80s and it was WILD. I didn’t realize my hair could get that big.

I also was featured on GEEK CLUB BOOKS and they’ve been so kind to post me on their social channels. I would love if you could read the article here: https://geekclubbooks.com/2018/11/impactful-blogs-navigating-life/

Lastly, I actually drew something that conveys my hyper-awareness & anxiety all at the very same time: 

I have been thinking of some articles i would like to write so i’m just kind of waiting for that BURST of creativity to hit me so I can get it done. I haven’t neglected my blog. I always fear people are going to think i’ve abandoned it. That’s just not the case.

My Autistic Voice & My News Media Experience

I am not sure if any of my readers or viewers of my videos saw me on tv, heard me on the radio or read my quotes (in various articles) but I wanted to talk about what it’s like being an outspoken advocate with a much wider reach. 

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It can be exhausting, exhilarating and rewarding.

On one hand, I feel privileged and fortunate to have that kind of platform but on the other hand it required a lot of masking and time to emotionally decompress. I also wanted to mention that I did not rehearse anything I said. Everything was on the spot and completely spontaneous.  

If anyone is wondering how this came about: Twitter. I get pretty outraged about things and I find that it seems to be a platform with a very receptive audience. I can’t recall what was the first media source that alerted me to the whole Laurie Guerra/AutismBC issue, but, as a member of the community where she is presently serving, I felt as though it was my duty, not only as a civilian but as an Autistic person, to throw my feedback in to the mix. I was heard. WE (the autistic community) were heard. It’s not okay to serve one group of marginalized people and then say negative things about a curriculum that is supposed to teach school-aged children acceptance and awareness for those who are LGBTQ2+.

Any time I see a pertinent issue, I try to get involved, amplify the message of those who are allies, friends & the Autistic community. I feel fortunate that I have found a purpose. There is hope and strength in our message that comes through our activism. 

This can not happen again. We will not be dissuaded.


On a much lighter note

These are my TOP FIVE favourite Cat videos. I figured i’d mix it up a little bit and infuse a little bit of humour on my blog. Enjoy!

Radio Interview & Update

Here’s the radio interview. A special thanks to Brianne for not only recording, but uploading it on youtube. 

I have also updated my ABOUT section so you’ll be able to see the links for all my press!

Thank You

This has been amazing!

Laurie Guerra has stepped down.

Here is the official statement issued by AutismBC

NO one is taking accountability for Laurie Guerra’s actions.

Read below as I dissect each paragraph and give my own personal opinion on what has been said.

Continue reading

Laurie Guerra/AutismBC + Anti-Sogi Update

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Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

 

As the petition grows and the word is getting out there, the interest from the public has also increased. I was interviewed for News1130. I was featured on the on-air broadcast as well as the link below. I was also interviewed for CityNews and that link will take you to a video.

My original post is here: Laurie Guerra, AUTISM BC + ANTI-SOGI