Saturday, February 6, 2010


I'm having a rough night. My tics are really bad this weekend, which makes me more anxious, which makes my tics works, which makes me more anxious... I think you get the idea. I actually called the emergency number for my doctor's office last night, realizing that tics aren't exactly an emergency, but I may have found my way into an emergency if I didn't find a way to calm them down. I hoped that the psych nurse on call would be able to give me some advice, but she just called the doctor on call, who told me to take a Klonopin. So, another day, another Klonopin tonight, and I'm starting to feel trapped in my head, which is never good. I start to lose the ability to communicate and interact with people. I don't know why it happens, usually. It always happens after I've been social for too long, but today, I've been snowed in the house all day. Who knows. But here I am. The only way out of my head is to write, so write I will.

I've been thinking a lot about what I want in my life. It was the last topic I wrote on in my book, so it had to be on my mind. I want a job, part time. I want my own apartment, away from my step-father. I want my cat, and I never want to be without a cat or two. I don't want to get married, as far as I can see it. But there's one thing that really, really stands out, even more than the cat. I want to adopt a baby.

The nature of autism means that I'm focused on myself. The nature of parenthood means that I would need to be focused almost entirely on another person. How to reconcile these two things so diametrically opposed to one another?

Growing up, and pre-diagnosis, I had a dream for my life. I was going to be a trauma surgeon, live in Florida, and adopt children internationally. What about that hasn't changed? After freshman year of college, I realized that I would never be able to handle the physical and social demands of residency in order to become a doctor. I developed a new plan for my life. I would be a teacher, live within a few hours of home to stay close to my mom who I love so much, and still adopt children, able to be home with them in the summer. And then I got the diagnosis. Since then, my plan has shifted dramatically. Now, I hope to work part time in the lowest position at a daycare, move into low-income housing, and just be able to take care of myself. Did my plan change because of the diagnosis? Am I selling myself short?

At this point, I think not. Growing up, I had no sense of... anything. My dreams weren't based in reality. My dream of being a doctor was a bit like dreaming of winning the lottery. Yes, I have the brains for it, but I never could have handled that type of schedule. When my professors mentioned, and several times, that they were worried about student teaching, I ignored them. I blocked it all out. I wanted to prove everyone wrong, that I could do it. I thought that simply because they thought I couldn't, that I had to prove it to them. Had I been smart about it, I would have asked, "And what if I can't do it?" But you know, the truth is that I probably wouldn't have believed I couldn't student teach until I actually tried and failed. I didn't want to hear it.

I still have long-term goals for my life. I want to go back to school and get my master's in either special education or psychology. I want to work with children with autism, whether in the context of school or home or educational research, I don't yet know. I need to do something that will allow me to work one-on-one with people, rather than in large groups. I also need to be able to leave my work at work, and possibly even find something that I can do on a part-time basis. I may never be able to work full time, and that's okay. You see, college is no indication as to how a person will do with full time work. College classes rarely go over 20 hours per week (and the one semester mine reached 21, I skipped classes weekly). So, yes, I did well in college. No, I don't do well working full time.

But that's just work. Where I live isn't of much importance to me. If I live in low-income housing (it's not near the city, so it's really not a bad situation), so be it. If I live in a studio apartment till I'm 40, that's fine. I don't need a lot, and as long as I have what I need, cat included, I'm happy. I'd rather not have the house and yard to take care of, to be honest. But gosh, that baby. I don't know if I'll ever be able to do it, but doesn't that give me something to really work for? Sometimes I get really strong gut feelings about things, like the fact that I don't think I'll ever marry. Other things, I'm just lost on. The baby issue is one of them. I have no idea if it would ever work, but I can hope. I can dream.


  1. I don't think you're selling yourself short, and I do think you're being realistic, especially as you have come up against reality hard in the past year and so.

    Yes, university does not reflect full-time work, except in certain ways related to commitment and goal-setting.

    And I think you will be able to do something with and about trauma.

    The "prove them wrong" motivation is a tricky one.

    Good to see you're taking care of yourself.

    And there are many parents on the spectrum, especially these days.

    Trying and failing is something.

  2. Lydia all your diagnosis did was give a name for how you already were. It didn't change anything about you, it just gave a lable which can open doors for you to get the help you need and deserve.

  3. I have felt the same way much of my life Lydia, realizing that my dreams wouldn't come true necessarily, after diagnosis, and having to scale down my dreams, it isn't fun, but you still have to have goals worth working towards, the only one I really have at the moment is writing,but it's better than nothing. Good luck, hope you feel better.

  4. And it would be decent if people would say:

    "One thing autism does not stop you from doing is hoping and dreaming."

  5. I am glad you are able to write out all your feelings. Writing is so therapeutic. We have no way of knowing what will come or not come to us in life. Hope is everything.