Acceptance, please?

I’m laying in bed right now, trying to desperately turn off my active mind. It’s nearly impossible to do.

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As April 1st comes to a close, i’m already struggling to come to terms with this month and the ignorance i’ve already encountered. Twitter is the place to go when you desire controversy and i’m no stranger to that.

I reside in British Columbia and we are synonymous with the NHL team, The Vancouver Canucks. Many people find them to be a source of pride and optimism, even to go so far as to say they represent Vancouver. I believed that for a long time until I became aware of the Canucks Autism Network.

It’s a great thing to want to support Autistic people but it’s another thing to utilize the puzzle piece and incorporate material sourced from Autism Speaks. They also use strange language like “families with autism” in their marketing materials. I feel like the #1 resource for those who organize these events and create the foundation for these networks and charities should be an Autistic person or even a group of Autistic people. To me, that simply is common sense.

The way these events are structured, there is a strong emphasis on family and children. A lot of the time Autistic adults are left out and not even considered. It’s as if they believe Autistic adults don’t exist. Hello! We’re here. We exist. We have opinions, thoughts, feelings that we would love to share with you. We’re human too!

I also saw that they are working with Microsoft’s Vancouver Office. For a while, I wanted to reach out and collaborate with Microsoft and I couldn’t even find a viable way to contact the right department. I was given a telephone number, I tried to exhaust internal contacts and I couldn’t get to the right person. I wonder if it’s purposely inaccessible? Microsoft has a program to hire Autistic people and yet the company is virtually unreachable.

Between Canucks Autism Network, Autism Support BC and Surf’s Up For Autism, amongst many others, we continue to be coloured blue and puzzled. I feel as though they don’t know the negative connotations or simply don’t care. If you want to help us, ask us. Put it out there on twitter. Have a focus group with Autistic people of different ages. ASK US FIRST. If you’re running a contest with a colouring page for Autism, hire an Autistic artist.

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The Crippling Severity Of Mental Illness

I have always been very open about the mental illnesses I have dealt with for as long as I can remember. I’m not trying to plan a “pity party” or attract negative attention to myself. I’m just trying to find a way to decompress, even if it’s just temporary.

The tension in my chest feels like a bubble that you can’t pop. It sits in my chest, nestled right above my breasts in the centre. it’s below my neck. I am tense.

I can’t think very straight. Recently, I made a very abrupt, irrational decisions to approach a person from my past and said things I don’t mean. Just today I was working in a poor employment condition and I blamed it on myself. I quit the work I was doing because I started internalizing everything that was going on and felt that if I resigned, that was me taking the blame for what was going on and being responsible, even though what was happening was mostly beyond my control. I don’t feel very good. I also feel as though i’m lacking any intellectual value.

I wish I had the option of having an “away from keyboard” moment for my life. I just need the opportunity to disconnect and relax. I can’t seem to do that. The sound of a text message, the sick feeling I get when I anticipate a negative response through an email or even just how I feel when people are impolite towards me – it makes me physically ill. I’m talking about: blurred vision, profuse sweating, vision distortion, light sensitivity, a feeling of dizziness/wobbliness, nausea and headache. I used to cry a lot as a child. I had a reputation for it and looking back, it was my body’s coping and defense mechanism.

It emotionally hurts me when I try so hard to communicate and clarify things I am saying and the response I am met with is an eye roll. I already feel like just speaking and having to “think on the fly” is the worst way for me to get my thoughts out. Whether it’s in person or on the phone, my mind hits in to overdrive and I start flapping my lips. The thought process is skewed and the results are not always becoming.

I spend time at home, hanging out with my cats. I sleep a lot. I’m trying to do positive things that will make a difference, but the worry is always still there in the forefront of my mind. The obsessive tendencies I have, like checking/looking for things, thinking about misplaced items and other repetitive thoughts are worsening. The flashbacks of my traumatic youth interject themselves in things as simple as self-care routines, which is a detrimental setback. The fact I can’t take a bubble bath without these visions of being verbally abused is a really painful reminder that I still have so far to go. I am not hesitant to find a professional to help me through these things, I just don’t know where to start. It would be nice to have that chance without being reprimanded and grilled on all the things I discussed.

Even if I don’t have a visible wound, I am still badly hurting inside.

Time for me to boycott.

If I say I don’t want to be on the phone then please respect me.

I have been dealing with some of the worst customer service I think i’ve ever experienced in my life. I visited a popular shoe store that is geared towards youth with popular brands like Vans and Converse, to name a few.

It takes a lot out of me, energy-wise to even get out of bed, get ready, and leave the house. I decided to go to the mall – which I rarely do and it was a huge mistake.

I walked in to this store, the teenage sales associates were standing around, three of them, conversing. I actually had to interrupt their conversation to ask a question. No one wants to have to do that. It also was a Sunday and I was the only customer in the store. The last time I went to this mall and walked by this store, their sales associate was sitting on the cash table, legs dangling down towards the entrance. This should have been a red flag, but it wasn’t.

I wrote both their social media and their email and received form email responses. Nothing says “I don’t care about your patronage” by copying and pasting a pretty generic message – especially after spending the time to actually file a complaint and give them room to rectify the issue. From what i’ve read, it seems like their customer service, generally speaking, is pretty awful.

There was a few other issues, but i’ll spare you the details.

What really gets me from all these interactions is that someone from head office called me and our conversation went sour, fast:

  • Her: Hi this is __ at Journeys , who am I speaking to?
  • Me: It’s Margaux calling you back
  • Her: So I know you’ve spoken with Ryan, or social media team etc and i’m just not sure…(i can’t remember the rest)
  • Me: Yes. I don’t feel comfortable on the phone, can you email me?
  • Her: I’ll be short with it
  • Me: I’m on the Autism Spectrum, i’m really not comfortable on the phone, can you email me?
  • Her: I’m sorry, i’ll do that

Well, that email never came. I decided to contact the highest-up person I had been corresponding with through email and I was shocked at the response:

This was the response I received back

I was already visibly upset and after receiving this response I feel even worse now – but that’s not the first time they have refused to respect an Autistic Person:



I’ve also read cases of racial profiling, emails being ignored, product fulfillment gone wrong and a lot of customers vowing to never shop there again.

This makes me pose a pretty important question, If you are getting NEGATIVE feedback from Customers, wouldn’t you want to address them personally, rectify the issue, LEARN from it and improve? I don’t think it matters because their quarterly profits increased and in the end that’s all that is important to them.What you can do to help:

What you can do to help:

Bold opinions and unnecessary apologies

I added to my anxiety today and it was my own fault. At this moment I am waiting for a bus and the sun is beaming down on the back of my legs. This long awaited warmth is not eclipsing my overwhelming feel of regret and embarrassment.

I learned a very big lesson today: I don’t ever have to apologize for offending people in regard to my strong, personal beliefs. 

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#Puppetgate

Please Support Autistic People and STOP misrepresenting us.

Our voices are so incredibly important and we should not be invalidated. If you are a Neurotypical representing Autistics, please consult with us first. Consider our voices. Don’t exploit us for profit or speak about us in an incorrect or disrespectful fashion. If we call you out, don’t utilize it for your own personal gain. Listen. Respect. Consider. Consult. There’s plenty of things you can do to show us that you care.

Influential enough for you?

Consume Media or Create Media?

I have been seeing the term “micro influencer” used more frequently and I have come to realize it’s the perfect label.

Micro Influencers have a smaller reach and are focused on a specific topic, which perfectly explains what I do. I have been trying to build up my audience but it’s slow and steady, not as fast as I thought it would be.

I always have the hope that someone will reach out to me and offer me a great opportunity without me being the first to contact and in the last couple days I have received emails for 2 potential collaborations.I got frustrated about those messages. One was in regards to a business that is run by a Neurotypical person who used all the wrong language about Autistic People and it seems to be based on that whole inspiration porn format. The other one is a supplement that apparently helps adults and children “with Autism” and they want to get in front of my audience. Regardless of the efficacy, it’s not something i’m comfortable peddling. There’s no financial agreement I would make to sell you all something like this. With that being said, I am NOT seeing any monetary gain from my website.

I felt like I hit a dead end yesterday. I contacted one of the largest tech companies around and I had a great idea to pitch. I received an email back from the PR company representing them and was told they only deal with the press. That made me feel very defeated and frustrated. The first thought that popped in my head was “do I need certification to prove i’m press?”, I posed this question on my facebook and A fellow blogger said it’s all about building those connections and that specific press certification does not exist. I’m confused that none of my collaborations that i’ve successfully initiated are worthy of me being considered press. I attempt to find other ways to contact different companies and I end up reaching their customer service support and they don’t know where to direct me. If they do direct me somewhere, it’s a telephone number, which is not an accessible option (that’s a whole other problem) and I can’t form proper thoughts when i’m speaking on the phone. I’ve been called “honey” or “sweetie” in a condescending fashion before, i’ve called and been told they don’t know what to do with my questions or requests or I end up catching someone completely off guard and I get very confused. I still have a hard time with regulating the tone of my voice and having “normal” conversations.

I believe when given the chance, I can create pretty engaging content. I’m getting more comments on my YouTube channel each day and it really lifts my spirits.

I’m Neurodiverse, I’m AUTISTIC and I think differently. I just hope people take note that if someone wants to talk through email or text messages that it’s not an inferior form of communication. This is who I am. I don’t want people to get the wrong idea about me, although i’m very used to it.

Whether I influence you or not, that’s okay. If you’ve interacted with me, thank you. If i’m feeling low–writing, creating art and connecting on social media are things that are vital to my wellbeing and personal expression. I hope you continue to join me on my unique journey.

My list of “rules”

This is a pretty personal list. I haven’t had the wherewithal to actually create a decently written post so instead this is what you get.

What rules would you have on your list?

Etsy Store>>>Art Sale

I’ve lowered my prices on my etsy store because I would REALLY like to generate some sales! That has not transpired yet.

My etsy is: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/retrophiliac

Furthermore, if there’s something you see and you like but you don’t want to use etsy, just contact me on here and I can process you through paypal.

Please share if you can. Thanks!

Confident?

There’s been times where I have had my confidence mistaken for cockiness. It’s not intentional and I feel as though a lot of it has to do with my tone of voice. My tone of voice has to do a lot with an attempt to mask and be like everyone else when I speak. It’s apparent that I don’t do the best job.

Photo by Mikes Photos on Pexels.com

I had this one instance, about 8 or so years ago where I was getting interviewed for this live painting thing and it was on camera. One of the other participants from another team kept looking at her friend, wide-eyed and probably threw in a couple eye rolls as well. I’m pretty sure this was because she thought I was conveying myself in a fashion that made me seem as though I was very full of myself. Of course, that wasn’t my intention. I just felt confident at the time.

How does an Autistic Individual convey confidence and not seem self absorbed? Honestly?! I don’t know. Maybe I need to change my tone, change my walk, change everything about me? It’s an assumption, clearly. I believe neurotypical people will perceive me in one way and neurodiverse people will perceive me in another way and there’s nothing I can do about that.

There are times I feel really down on myself and feel like I missed an opportunity. My Art went viral on imgur and I didn’t make a single sale on my etsy store. It wasn’t my intention to sell art, I didn’t even include the link initially, but I do have to say that it was a bit of a blow to my confidence level. I still haven’t sold anything on there, this time around.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It’s one of those things where there’s such a fine line and you have to teeter between the two to figure out where it is you stand. Sometimes, I have to remember to remind myself that it doesn’t matter what people think of me and that make sure to stay true to who I am.

The Hustle, The Grind

My latest piece!

I never created art with the intention of sale. I create art because of the natural process and the welcome distraction it brings. Although, the more interest I get, the more i’ve felt like it would be the perfect opportunity to put some pieces up for purchase. I am a terrible closer. I actually have sold some pieces through instagram, but I am having a difficult time getting any finalized sales through my Etsy store. I will fully admit that pricing my work is a difficult feat. I want it to be accessible for people but I also don’t want to undervalue the work and materials i’ve put in to each and every one. With that being said, i’m completely willing to work with any budget if someone truly desires to acquire some of my art.

I’ve e-mailed different venues and now i’m waiting to hear back. Not only physical venues, but print as well. There’s no “one size fits all resource” that can tell me of places to submit my art or local cafes’ that display it, i’m completely reliant on google at this point and some kind people on reddit who have given me some great suggestions. I’m very thankful.

I want to mention I have seen the call to artists on Opus’ website and Alliance for Arts, but a lot of those are juried shows and/or require a fee and that’s not something that I am financially able to do. I just paid Etsy six dollars and change in fees – with no sale to recoup those funds. (Fingers crossed)

If you have any ideas for me-I would absolutely love to hear them!

I did hear a suggestion to have prints for sale but it’s kind of hard to scan my art. If you see the image in this post, that’s what a 9×12 looks like scanned. You can see all the bumps from the canvas board and it’s not attractive. If I take a physical photo, there’s always lighting problems and issues with the dimensions or taking a perfectly straight photo, where the canvas isn’t warped.

I would love a mentor or an artistic partner but right now I am pretty self-reliant. I wouldn’t even know how to go about that.