“…And it’s preying on my mind

…That there’s nothing left in my hands but time
Time don’t really care if I carry on.”

I have a few things on my mind so I figured it would be important to get it all out in the open.

Sometimes people send me an image pertaining to Autism with the best of intentions and yet the imagery is so widespread that the notion of it being offensive fails to cross the mind of the person sharing it. I do my best to write about these things in my blog but not everyone takes the time to read my articles. 

I was sent an image of hands in a handshake position that had one of the hands being disgustingly adorned by a rainbow of interlocking puzzle pieces with words like “awareness” placed over top of the neutral/skin-toned hand. 

Autism Daily Newscast

Immediately, a wave of frustration with a dash of anger washed over me. I thought I had made it very clear how I felt about these words and images used. I had even posted this image a day prior:

I had responded with a numbered list of how generally we (Autistics) don’t like skin to skin contact, that the puzzle piece is offensive and that we do not need awareness. I also linked an article titled “the ableist history of the puzzle piece”. The response I got surprised me. It was not taken well. I had to explain that Autistic people are generally fact based and that my attempt to educate had no malicious intention.

I can not sit idly by and not say anything- that just isn’t in my nature. 

On another note, I am in the process of updating my sales terms on Etsy in as many places as possible.

I am not sure how many people know about print on demand but it is a service that I utilize for the majority of my offerings.

Here’s how it works:

I upload my artwork to their website and I configure it on a number of products. The website creates a very realistic looking digital mock up of said item. I add the price, edit the description and list it on my Etsy store. The item will say “ships out of the United States” or sometimes China, depending on where it is manufactured. 

I would say that 95% of my customers live in the USA. It didn’t occur to me that “ships out of the United States” is not enough information in regards to duty. 

I purchase a lot of things from online American retailers and I also live near the British Columbia / Washington state border. Duty is something I always consider and take in to account. I have even been sent promotional items for review and had duty slapped on.

I will be adding “This item ships out of the USA. I am not responsible for duties, shipping and exchange rate incurred” on each listing. I have nearly gone through two out of five pages of listings so far. My laptop can’t handle it. 

I also need to express that some people have perhaps attempted to reach out to me through various channels and I am not always quick to respond. This is because I am still going through a lot of personal things and I am doing my best to prioritize. However, I am under a significant amount of stress and I am having a very difficult time viewing things accurately because of how clouded my thought process is. Anxiety is not easy to deal with.

I am doing my very best and trying to cope in a way that I am still able to be productive. I just need a bit of room to breathe. 

Lighting woes.

I was so excited for my job, picking up where I left off and continuing to share my passion of all things art with customers. It’s a complete joy for me. My previous location with this same company, the lighting was excellent: round bulbs mostly of the halogen variety lining the aisles. This time, i’m exposed to fluorescent lighting in a wiry cage. I so badly want to be able to carry out the tasks required of me but it’s incredibly difficult when I am exposed to something so sickening, both mentally and physically. I am trying so hard to pull through but I just don’t know what to do. The depression and the anxiety set in real deep and I am beginning to feel like there’s nothing I can do anymore.

I’m tired. I’m full of anguish. I feel defeated and unreliable.

 

I made it through.

This week was particularly rough on me. The hours were long and my patience was waning. I don’t think people can understand what it’s like to have an Autistic Shutdown unless they’ve been there before. I am incredibly thankful to my partners at work who were supportive and modified my tasks to make them easier for me to handle. The positive affirmation and kindness goes a very long way and I am grateful.

I have a very long to do list and tackling it will be a challenge. I have today and the next three days off so there is time for contemplation, cleaning and mentally delegating tasks to where it becomes manageable. I often wonder what it would be like to have an active social life and friends but part of me feels like my Cats and my Boyfriend (oh, and family, of course) are more than enough for me.

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I find long messages intimidating and I have to be in the right head space to handle it. That’s not to say I can’t respond, I just have to find the correct mental state to breathe deeply and think rationally. Most of the time my thinking is quite abstract and lately I’ve wanted to put my pens to paper and just release the subconscious, colourful flow.

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There are parts of me that feel invisible and parts of me that stick out like a sore thumb. I’m a Libra, dammit! Where’s my balance?

Margaux