On New Year's Eve morning, after talking to you guys on here, I set off to pick my friend up as planned. When I got there, I remembered what you said Ellie, and when my friend got to the car, I sat there and told her exactly how I felt. I was crying, of course, and my friend reassured me that we didn't have to do anything or go anywhere I didn't want to go.
After getting it all out of my system, I reassured her that I wanted to go and that I'd be fine. And we set off.
With my friend with her eyes and fingers glued to her mobile phone, as usual, my spirits began to lift as we got closer to Whitby. The phone thing is completely normal for my friend. She's undiagnosed/in conscious denial, autistic, and her phone helps her cope in the world. It used to be games. Then 'plenty of fish', POF, for short, and, it seems, it's snap chat now. It suited me perfectly. I could enjoy the scenery, enjoy the drive and talk to my little hearts content. And it doesn't matter what I say, because if I say anything that needs a response, she always gives me the perfect response. I'm not always that nice to her, but somehow, we get each other and she's such a loyal devoted friend, even though we rarely see each other, that I could never deny her my friendship, as hard as friendships are for me.
We arrived at Whitby, in plenty of time to check into the youth hostel, the one next to the abbey. We got the last car parking spot right outside the doors to the youth hostel doorway and we got our keys to the dorm. We then had a lovely leisurely walk into the town.
Neither of us changed. She hadn't even changed her underwear for a day. She didn't have to explain to me why. I understood. We went to a beautiful cafe and she had her favourite cheesecake. I had a delicious pot of tea. Then we made our way, slowly, to the fish restaurant for our reservation.
It was wonderful. My friend had her eyes glued to the phone. I was revelling in the atmosphere. The place was crowded, but it didn't feel like it. People all around, were happy and done up to the nines, in fine clothes and updo's and such. It was wonderful.
I had the best oysters I have ever tasted, to start. Followed by some of the best scallops I have ever had. Followed by the best ever mini fish, chips, peas and scraps. It was delicious and I enjoyed every bite and every moment of it.
I was in my world. my friend was in hers, and everybody else was in theirs. And we were all getting along just fine. I loved it. My friend had straight up fish and chips and nothing else.
Although my friend wanted to do her usual dine and dash, I was taking my time and drinking in every moment.
We finally left and went in to the most gorgeous pub. It had two rip roaring coal fires belting out terrific heat and there were two seats, just waiting for us. So we took our coats, hat, scarf and gloves off and sat down. Wendy of course wanted to leave. Before we even sat down. Her phone was running low on battery and she wouldn't put it on my charger as it would mean putting it out of her sight and reach. Which was not happening.
We met the most gorgeous couple. I think the lady, and possibly the guy, are autistic. I loved them so much. My friend was far too busy wanting to leave, [and almost laughed at the lady at one point] to appreciate this couple. But I appreciated them. I appreciated them so much. I thought of all you guys as well, and about how much you help me, and I was feeling very blessed indeed.
It's hard for me to get a grip on nt reality and these last few months, I think I would have gone crazy without you guys. You showed me that my autism is real. It's hard to tell sometimes for me, because I don't frame myself in the nt world, so it can appear sometimes that I have no grip on reality. But I have always known my former life wasn't 'real', in terms of the nt world view. And since finding this site, you guys have helped me realise that my world is real. My reality is true. It's just different to that of nt's. And my wellbeing officer said to me today, who's to say mine isn't the right one?
And she's right. Just because most people think a certain way, it doesn't mean they're right. They used to think the Earth was flat and that man could never fly!
You guys, my work coach at the job centre, my wellbeing officer, and a few others, are all helping me to see the reality of who I am, who we are. And not only accept that, but celebrate it. I'm not at the stage of celebrating too much yet, but I did celebrate and send a loving wish out to all of us, on New Year's Eve.
After one drink at the pub. Me and my friend took a beautiful walk through the town, back to the youth hostel. I adore the cold weather, and always dress well for it. My friend on the other hand, detests the cold and never dresses correctly for it. And of course, her only concern was getting back to the youth hostel, to charge up her phone. But although the town was alive with such wonderful energy, with lots of people, it wasn't oversubscribed. It was perfect. It had just as many people as it could host, perfectly, and most of the people were either in a pub or in a restaurant, so the streets were fairly empty. It was such a treat, to walk through the streets of that beautiful little old fishing town, on a cold winter evening, looking in the shop windows, feeling as if I was back in the late 1800's. I was in my element.
We got back to the youth hostel at round about 9 pm. We sat in the reception area. Wendy on her phone, with it plugged in. And me, giving Wendy my full attention. We didn't speak much, and although I was talking to you guys in my head, my heart was with my friend and that present moment. My heart was with you guys as well. That's how I could sit there, with my friend, letting her be who she is, while I simply enjoyed the moment.
Just before midnight, I went outside, to have a walk in the church yard, and see if I couldn't see some of the fireworks they were letting off on the beach.
Bonfire night has always been the only 'holiday' I have ever enjoyed. I would sit round the huge fire in my aunties huge garden, after all the family and friends had gone inside, and I would be so happy.
I haven't celebrated a bonfire night for many years. I just haven't managed it, so the thought of seeing a few fireworks made me happy.
As I got to the church, I walked down several steps, until I was looking out over the entire town. It was wonderful. It was all lit up, you could just about hear all the celebrations and after a while the few people who were around, all made their way down into the town.
I was breathing in the beautiful fresh cold air and enjoying the solitude, the quite, with the gentle sounds of laughter and music in the background. And just then, in that perfect moment. The church bells started ringing. It was magical.
I thought of a young medical student, who was in the bedroom opposite me for a while, when we were living at the nurses home when we were working in the Isle of Man. She was a church bell ringer and I was fascinated in how much work goes into it. I had never met a church bell ringer before.
I thought of her, and all the other lovely people I met while I was working over there, in the Isle of Man. And I thought of how fortunate I've been, in many ways. I thought of all of you and how lucky I am to have found you. To have you in my life and to call you my friends, and family. As the bells were playing, the fireworks began, and I'm not just saying this because the evening was so good, but they truly were the most beautiful fireworks I have ever seen and the most perfect ones for the occasion.
There was cheering in the distance, coming from the beach. The bells were ringing right next to me, to my right. Bag pipes played. The fireworks were lasting as long as the bells. I had the most spectacular view over the town and my heart was overflowing with love and affection. For not only me, but for every one of you and for all of us. All of us neurodiverse. All who has ever been and all that ever will be. I had hope and love for all of us. And I thought to myself, this is going to be a good year.
I looked to my right and all of a sudden there was a coppa stood there. He was in only a tshirt and his police vest thing, on his top half. No hat or gloves and not a shiver in sight. My kind of man ;) Did I tell you I love the cold! We had a beautiful moment together as we both enjoyed the view. We were drinking it in and he told me how lucky he was to get to see this view every day. He said he was from Middlesbrough and had been working in Whitby for the last two years. He pointed out his station to me, and the view he enjoys every day, at lunch time. Definitely my kind of guy!
Then he was gone. And I found myself drifting down the steps, towards the town.
I went into the first pub I came to and bought myself a drink. I swear to god, it was like being in a Charles Dicken's novel. I had the most delightful chat with a guy at the bar. Such a joly chap. He told me how he had seen a spectacular firework display in London once, over the river Thames. Then we both wholeheartedly agreed that it wasn't a patch on Whitby, and we toasted the new year and wished each other a good one.
I sat down and enjoyed my drink while I soaked up the moment once more. It was wonderful. I didn't feel out of place at all. I was in my world. They were in theirs, and it was perfect. Then the free grub was brought out. In what looked like their very best crockery. It was exquisite and modern for such a homely, old fashioned little pub. There was so much love in there, amongst the young and the old. It was beautiful. I finished my drink. Went to the loo, and had a beautiful walk back up to the abbey.
I walked through that dark and deliciously cold church yard without a fear in the world. I was slightly afraid, but I said, I know you won't hurt me, if you want to show yourself, I don't mind. I love you and all my family. I love everyone, but that night was dedicated to you, and me (you guys). I love all the others, the nt's, but that night was for us. It was special. Because we're special. Every one of us and I truly value, love, respect and need, each and everyone of you.
You guys got me through that night and it turned out to be truly magical.
It hasn't suddenly made my life magical. Every minute of every day, when I'm not in my own little world, is a struggle. It's so very hard. My 'profile', is one of pathological demand avoidance, and it's severe. It always has been. But despite that, I have achieved so much in my life, while not even knowing what the hell was going on. As soon as I open my eyes in a morning, the horror begins. I have studied, intensely, the nt world and its inhabitants, for 50 years. And I will say, without shame, that I am a world class investigator. Sherlock Holmes, is in my league. So I know a thing or two about them.
But in the last few years. In fact, since November 2012. I have seen another side to nt's. Which culminated in me not only witnessing, but experiencing (as in, I could feel it) the most tender, pure, unadulterated gentle love, I could ever imagine. It was beautiful. I honestly never knew it existed amongst nt's. I never knew that kind of love existed at all.
People look at me with pity. I don't mind. It's not their fault. To the outside world. I have been abused, neglected, raped, beaten, battered, held hostage at knife point, I've been in prison, been homeless, in and out of the courts for many years, I had my son taken off me, I was violent, I walked the streets at night when I was homeless and slept during the day, because I was scared of getting attacked by someone like the Yorkshire ripper. I was a heroin addict who became mute. I spent many many years alone, doing my absolute best for my baby. I loved him so much. He was my guardian angel. But he was also a child. A person in his own right. He wasn't 'mine'. My job was to love and protect him and do everything within my power, to empower him to be a beautiful human being.
He's a child of this world. But he's a beautiful young man. He's kind and thoughtful, loving and honest. He works hard and plays hard. He gives and he takes. He's surrounded by the most wonderful support network of very loving loyal friends and family. He's loved very much and he loves very much. He's got the most outstanding integrity and I couldn't be more proud. I could write a whole book about him.
But he's an nt, and I'm not. I hope one day, he'll understand me. Although I have experienced his world, I'm not of it, but I'm working on nt's understanding us and visa versa. Because we really can live in the same world, because in reality, we do. And when they realise this too, when that happens, we will all be living in an autistic world :)
NT's look at my life and think they know what they see. They haven't got a clue. None of those things they think they see are true. I was just a little girl, getting through life as best she could. And those things they thought they did to my body or to my 'life', were simply fantasies in their imaginations.
Nobody raped or beat me or locked me away. Like the guy from the German concentration camp said, nobody can take away our freedom.
I was always free, but after 50 years they had me beat.
I surrendered. I couldn't get them to see who I was and I couldn't live in their world.
But that Sunday afternoon, a few weeks back, when I was thinking about killing myself. I found my way to this site. And by the end of that day. I was laughing. And I understood the reason for my distress that day.
I thought my diagnosis would help my family see that I wasn't this horrible person who dominated and ruined their lives (their words not mine). But it wasn't happening but you guys came in and made me realise. I don't have to live in 'their' world. 'Their' world doesn't exist. How could it?
Because I'm in it and so are you. And if it was 'their' world, we wouldn't be in it, because as much as I witnessed their tender, loving side. I'm certainly not of their world but I am in the world, so that makes the world as much mine as it is theirs. It’s not ‘their’ world, it’s just the world.
I don't have to be bound by their world and I won't be. I will live in the world, which means I will have to have some interaction with them in some way. But it will be on my terms. Not theirs. But I will give them unconditional positive regard. As I do all of us. It's just that I connect with you guys in a way that I don't with them. They think we're in our own little worlds, but the truth is. It's them who are in their own little man made worlds, stealing from what was theirs to begin with and doing whatever they can to hang on to what they steal. It's all a fantasy in their heads. It's not possible to steal that which is already yours. They just tell themselves stories. And believe them.
My name, apparently, a retired vicar told me the other day, means victory.
Well, this New Year's Eve certainly marked a victory for me. I realised, I don't have to live in 'their' world, because their world doesn't exist. Other than in their heads. And I won't get them to see that by talking to them. We speak a different language. We live, in different worlds. Metaphorically speaking. But I can cultivate my world, our world, or rather, build on what we've got here. A support network that is not only wonderful, but essential to our existence. They have their support network. Now there are enough of us with a voice, we can cultivate ours. With the absolute vision of one world. Peace and harmony don't have opposites. It's not a world of duality. Nt's have got a place in the world, like we all have. But it's not 'their' world and I refuse to recognise it. With respect.
I'm not rushing this. I couldn't if I tried. Exhaustion puts paid to that. And that's just perfect. Because I've spent 50 years in the wilderness. Finding my way though 'their' world. And we all know how difficult that is. I don't have to go into detail here. I need this rest. But rest assured. I'm thinking of you all. Often. I just may not always be able to come on here. Which I know you all understand.
Let's see how understanding nt's can be, as I take my much needed rest and take my place in the world and help others, like me, find their place.
Just because the majority think a certain way. It doesn't make them right.
Oh, and I’m thinking now that that coppa in the grave yard could have been a ghost/an angel. It wouldn’t be the first ghost I’ve seen. And I hope it doesn’t sound like I was creating an ‘us’ and ‘them’ mentality, between nd’s and nt’s. It’s just that, that night, felt special, for us. I had been talking to some of you before I went, I was dreading going, I didn’t want to go but I’m so glad I did, and it was talking to you guys that gave me that extra something I needed to get me there. So the whole day and night felt dedicated to us and it helped me start the new year off with love and peace in my heart and hope for the future, for all of us.
It’s going to be a slow process for me and I’m learning how to do the go slow thing as I go along, but my outlook on life is also slowly changing and I like what I’m seeing. I feel like I’m slowly getting back to me and I like what I see. This next year is simply about looking after my body and getting to know me and discovering what my needs are and how to meet those needs so I never have to go through another one of these huge burnouts and I never have to mask again. I believe we all have a place in this world by virtue of us having life, and we all have intrinsic value and a right to live a life that expresses who we are and it’s looking like I’m devoting my life to doing what I can to help us all achieve that aim. Happy New Year everyone, nt’s included, of course :)
Did you climb up all 199 steps to visit Dracula's abbey?
Yeah, the youth hostel is right next to the abbey so I went up and down the steps a few times :)