This is how the world is (nonfiction)

The world is too much, and routines make it just enough. Safe enough, quiet enough, just enough, but break my routine and the muchness comes back, overwhelming, exhausting.

My life might seem boring, but it keeps me safe, stable, functional. Wear the same things, eat the same things, do the same things. Even the variations are routine: do this thing on this day, this week, this month.

Spontaneity is… difficult. I need to work myself up to socialising, and too much anything is tiring. And the world is lights  sounds people, and sometimes I can’t. Sometimes the anxiety I always thought was impatience is too much, and I know it seems rude but I just have to get out away NOW.

Sometimes my feelings leap up into my throat and choke me into silence. Other times it’s all I can do not to scream. Sometimes other people make my skin itch. Some days I just can’t, and yet I have to, have to get up and get dressed and go to work and people all day, and when I get home I’m done. Some weeks all I can do is work, and it takes everything to manage that.

And it’s hard to explain, hard to say that today all my energy is going into being good at my job, and I don’t have any left to be polite with. That I’m not chatting because I can’t, not because I dislike you or because I’m angry, I. Just. Can’t.

Sometimes I want to crawl into a dark corner, under a table, and just hide. Just be away from everyone. But I can’t, I don’t. I have to go to work and be productive even when it hurts. Even when it means I go home and I’m too exhausted to do anything. When it means I buy crap from the corner shop to eat because I can’t even manage to think about cooking, never mind actually do it.

This is how the world is. I have to fit to it, because it won’t fit to me. This is how the world is, and I hate it. I hate how hard it is, how hard it insists on being, even when it could be easier, could be better. I hate that I get to be the one with the problem, when the problem is other people’s expectations.

(Not entirely, of course, but a lot of it boils down to people expect certain things from you, which they never fucking explain, but they definitely judge the hell out of you if you fail to meet them.)

And I’m tired. I’m tired of having to fake normal, I’m tired of people saying one thing and meaning another and assuming that I’m doing the same, I’m tired of having to hold it together until I get home and I can fall apart safely.

I’m tired, and I’m angry, and I want it to get better, I just don’t know how. Which I guess is why I’m writing this post. To get it out, and maybe someone else will get something from this. But mostly because I can’t keep it in any more.

I’m autistic, and I’m angry, because the world sucks in ways that it doesn’t have to. Because I keep failing the tests that I don’t even know other people are setting. Because I’m pissed off that people keep acting like being different is a moral failing, and it’s not. Different is different, it’s not wrong.

I’m angry, because making eye contact and small talk are considered to be deeply meaningful skills, and I have to spend too many of my spoons on trying to remember to do these, and how often, and how much, and when (not if) I fail, I’ll be judged. I’m angry because I’m supposed to give you the benefit of the doubt, but yet I never get that. I’m angry because the world is not fair, but I have a deep need for it to be so.

I’m angry because I’m always the one who’s supposed to change. I’m angry because my first instinct is to be open and honest so I always get taken advantage of. I’m angry because I’m always wrong, difficult, weird.

I’m angry because sometimes I just can’t, but I have to anyway.

But mostly, I’m angry because I want it to be better, and it isn’t.

© bardofupton 2021

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