After being beaten down this week (see my last two posts) and feeling absolutely hellish, I wanted to do something good, something creative and something NICE!
I have found there to be a severe lack of opportunity for my Art locally and I can only imagine that other people have felt the same so I created the Made By Autistics Marketplace on facebook to give people the chance to sell their art, wares and other things they’ve created to anybody willing to join the group. I coined the phrase “By Autistic People For Everyone” to really outline what i’m going for.
My Birthday was a couple days ago and I felt as though a new decade in my life deserves a tribute.
This past year I have felt like a lot has changed. I’m not sure if it’s for the better or if it’s just me being a persistent piece of work. I don’t feel as though i’m any different than I was as a teenager. Perhaps less of a social circle, more angry and frustrated. Less energetic and definitely more anxious. Those are not the most positive attributes but I honestly believe that i’m trying to live my best life and create some social change.
This year, I was featured in a local newspaper earlier in September. I also have multiple speaking opportunities coming up and I have done nearly 50 collaborations with various brands and attractions. My traffic to my website has increased significantly from last year (1,454 visitors in 2017 and so far 5,243 this year, apparently that’s a 260 percent increase!) which, I firmly believe, is a true testament to my hard work and fierce diligence.
I am able to express myself through art, writing, videos, and podcasts. I always said I wanted to start a blog and I feel that I am finally in the right headspace to contribute my voice to a bigger cause. I have only been diagnosed as an Autistic individual since I was 28 years old and now that i’m 30, the clarity and self-awareness continues to grow.
The hurdles I faced as an infant, child, teenager and now adult are just things I need to live with and I am so lucky to have some incredible people on this journey with me.
Older and wiser voices can help you find the right path, if you are only willing to listen.
Today I was told that I come across as “a bit entitled”.
I feel like that’s the farthest from the truth. I am an incredibly direct person who tends to include factual information and I ask a lot of questions. If a certain channel doesn’t yield any answers, I try another channel. Yes, I am an incredibly persistent person but that should not be confused with entitled.
I seek informative answers, I seek consistency. I seek an answer, whether that’s acceptance or rejection, I feel as though I’m worthy of either versus just being ‘ghosted’. Being completely ignored.
My story and my passion is one that is mixed with drive, acceptance, awareness and equal opportunities. I have a mission to showcase products, attractions, experiences and opinions with my wide array of different visitors–both Neurodiverse and NT.
I wish there was a general understanding that I am not doing this blog to get free stuff. I am creating content because I want to show the world a very unique point of view. This is a niche. This is my passion and I love to create media rich content—it allows me to be creative which is a huge part of my identity. I have been told by a very prominent local blogger that I should be charging for all the work I do. I have not made a cent.
Please don’t pass judgement. Education is key and incorrect labels do not help anyone.
I no longer utilize the term Aspergers in reference to myself as it is harmful terminology. I am maintaining the Aspergers tag on 3 of my posts so they are easily searchable, however I am not condoning the use of this language.
I have been suffering from some of the worst anxiety lately. Sleepless nights accompanied by cold sweats, tossing and turning and waking up repeatedly. I’m irritated during the day and I want to be silent at night.
I’m wholeheartedly frustrated.
I feel like I’m someone who can relate to a fuzzy picture on an old television. Sometimes it’s in focus and sometimes it’s just completely static.
When I reach out to corporations and companies I hope my time is valued. I hope that the work I put in to it is either offered with some kind of trade like being provided a service in exchange for a review.
So here I am.
I approached one of the largest computer/tech companies.
They are trying to create a resurgence in the marketplace with products marketed to Millennials in hopes that they will be converted from silver products to colourful cubes. Oh, did I mention their net worth is 200+ BILLION DOLLARS?
Naturally, I would have expected compensation for my time. Knowing a computer is an expensive and hefty piece of equipment to offer me, I would have been happy with money that I could use to reinvest in items for my blog (a microphone?!) to better my content.
Apparently this corporation does not have the budget to pay me to essentially borrow their item and spend time analyzing it and reviewing it. I am just entirely blown away and what I’m trying to do is show neurodiverse (and neurotypical) individuals products that would enhance life. I like to interject my own humour and thoughts. I love to interact with all of you and hear your precious feedback.
Brands: Please value our time as bloggers. If you say you’re going to cross promote us, please post our content on your website and channels as well. Please provide us some kind of incentive and show us that we are appreciated. Please WORK with us.
I’m not really here to knock the amazing work different foundations do (not all of them).
I just find it quite curious how voices continue to be silenced. I feel like there’s so many Autistic advocates who would be very interested in the opportunity to be heard by a room full of people who can make a change by donating funds.
I am aware that companies do this because, for the most part, it makes THEM look good.
Recently, a local Autism Centre had a lavish winter fundraiser with plenty of large companies and corporations who were quite pleased to contribute monitarily.
I was on twitter when my feed was absolutely bombarded with images of the event. My Boyfriend reminded me this was a BUSINESS FUNCTION and of course they are going to exclude Autistic individuals and that it’s more of a PR event.
I have been doing my very best to get the word out because I believe that people who are Autistic can contribute their voice to these kind of issues. When I found out about this event while it was happening I quickly sprang in to action.
Not only did I write each and every company that contributed, but I also wrote the board of directors for the Autism Centre that hosted the event. I did get one response which said I could BUY A TICKET for the event or I could become an “advocate” for this centre by making a $15 donation. Seems kind of backwards.
Please, Include us. Consider us as very knowledgeable advisors. Listen.
To those who have struggled or continue to struggle, I am there for you.
I know how hard it is to deal with anxiety/depression/loneliness/social anxiety etc. I deal with these things often and I don’t know what life would be like without struggles.
I am so saddened that there are people out there who feel like they can exploit other people’s pain for their own personal gain.
This is the first time and I hope the last time I hear of this inconsiderate and ignorant individual. I also hope that he becomes less ignorant and learns from this gigantic mistake he made. I still believe he knew what he was doing and what the outcome would be. Seems incredibly calculated. It’s definitely a way to make the national (and international) news media.
Defending his behaviour is minimizing the pain that people suffer on a daily, weekly, yearly, lifetime basis. This person had a family. We need to honour those living and those we’ve lost.
Please seek out your local resource, family and friends for help. (I know that they aren’t always the best.)
I was born near the end of the 80s. A time of plenty.
My entrance in to the world was a rocky one. I was born with a couple of birth defects and had surgery shortly after I was born. I had another surgery months (or weeks?) later.
I grew up in an upper class neighbourhood (in Vancouver, BC Canada) in a big pink house that wasn’t much older than me with my family being the very first owners. The houses surrounding us were mostly heritage homes, few of which are still standing today.
I attended a religion-based private/community school from Nursery 3 up until the 6th grade. It was horrible and I spent nearly every day crying. I’d start my day with a sense of dread, spend the middle of the day battling with my own self esteem as those around me diminished it any chance they got. I’d come home and have one of my parents ask me how school was or what I did. It was the last thing I wanted to answer and I would get scolded for being evasive.
I then transferred to a private school and the very same problems followed me there. 6th grade and part of the 7th grade. I wanted to vanish, forever. The kids were just as cruel but they didn’t spend 9 years of their lives growing up with me- not that it made any kind of difference.
I transferred schools again, this time it was a multi-modal program with another very high price tag for me to attend (yes, the last two schools definitely cost notable chunks of change). I had made a couple of friends, but I still felt like I wasn’t supposed to be there. I wasn’t sure where I would ever fit in. This time, it was a couple of teachers that I clashed with. Mr. H – he got mad at me through my ’emo’ years for wearing a spiked bracelet. He told me it was banned and that I was NEVER to wear it again. I kept asking why? What was wrong with it? I didn’t get a solid answer. I was very upset. I went to the office and the receptionists were talking about me right behind my back. I called my Mom and within NO TIME at all she came to the school and confronted the teacher. She asked him, point-blank, if he thought it was some kind of “S&M thing” and he wouldn’t say anything! She then confronted the receptionists and they admitted they were talking about me.
I love my Mom so much, she’s always been my #1 and ALWAYS been there for me. She’s my best friend.
The second teacher, Mr. F was the art teacher. He told me once that all my art looked the same and constantly excluded me from events that were meant for everyone. It was a struggle to KNOW that i was purposely left out.
This is Part 1 of my story. If you’re interested in knowing more, please let me know.
There are plenty of us who are able to express ourselves and plenty who can not. I always hope when I share my stories that I am able to speak from deep within. It’s incredibly humbling when I receive messages of support.
To know that there are people out there who find what I say relatable and comforting is wonderful.
With everything that has been going on in the Autistic community, primarily those who have chosen to speak for us/at us without being Autistic, I feel that much more compelled to share the experiences that have shaped me.
I feel fragile and lonely at times. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I am still growing, changing and evolving. I realize that the sentiment “be kind” can be so much more. Hold the door open, say hi to someone! Maybe even practice random acts of kindness? The simplest acknowledgement can really brighten a human’s day.
You never truly know the pain of losing someone who has been inspirational in your life until you no longer have the privilege of having them around. I believe that even after they have passed on, they are still there.
I lost my Step-Dad earlier this year, 2017 and it was difficult to see someone who was strong, bold, intellectual and had such a unique presence diminish so fast.
My Sister, Becky and her band mate Emmalee are the Vancouver duo known as Hollow Twin. The emotion gives me goosebumps. Their music is truly in a genre of its own.
The song “The Valley” is about the Chilliwack River Valley, the place where my Mum and Step-Dad spent many of their days together.