Verbal communication and actions are over rated.
For example, for the past 12 months while I’ve been in burnout, I haven’t heard from hardly any of my friends and barely any of my family, and I’ve got a lot of friends and family, so this isn’t usual.
This has been a true god send to me. Most of them don’t even know yet that I’m autistic and they certainly don’t know I’ve been in a burnout, they have no idea.
However, since I’ve started to feel better, I’ve had a steady but manageable (so far) stream of friends contacting me. Inviting me out for lunch, to go for a walk, to go nordic walking, cycling, one friend who knows I would love to go to Marrakesh has paid for and booked a holiday there for us in June, the same friend has also booked a hotel for us next week so we can go to listen to her favourite band who are coming over from America. None of her friends like the band so they won’t go but she knows I’d go to the end of the world for her if needs be so although I don’t like going to listen to bands, I’m happy to go with her because I know how important it is to her and she’s insisted that she pay for that as well. We might not see each other or have any kind of contact for months and months on end but she knows she can rely on me to the degree that if i’m able to help or be there for her in any way, I will be. She doesn’t have the same level of confidence in the friends she hangs out with all the time.
I have other invites coming in as well, as well as friends popping up to simply say hi, how are you. I don’t keep in regular verbal or physical contact with my friends or family but we are in touch constantly by something much stronger than our words and actions. They didn’t know that I need their friendships right now, that their friendships are what will help me on my next leg of the journey. I’ve decided to go back to India and Bali and some other countries so I’m going to be away for a while this time, maybe a few years, maybe forever, who knows, so it’s great that I get to see some of my friends before I go. And no matter where I am in the world, at least one of my family or friends (who are my family) will come and visit me. They have been to Australia, Bali, India, the Isle of Man, all the places I’ve lived in the UK, wherever I go or wherever I am my friends keep in touch with me some how. I’ve even had letters and cards arrive at remote ashrams I’ve been at in India ~ I wouldn’t even know you could do that!
I don’t keep in touch with them so much but they never let me out of their hearts and visa versa. They all encourage and support me no matter what I do. My dad is currently encouraging me to walk the Pacific Crest Trail, another friend bought me the book with the route etc and I just know that whether I want them to or not, at least one of them will come and see me while I’m walking the trail and either walk a bit of the trail with me or for me to have a little stop off with them. I know when my sister is hurt and in which part of her body and visa versa and she’s the least ‘spiritual’ person you could ever come across.
This is a few days later now and I have to admit that the messages from friends and family is starting to become a little overwhelming for me now. I’ll handle it. But what I’m saying is, if I had to rely on verbal communication, I don’t think I’d have any friends at all, but I speak to them in my language. They don’t use this language with other people and they have no idea really how it works with me but it does and I’m overflowing with gratitude at the love and friendship that’s pouring my way now, now that I’m ready to receive it.
Verbal communication hurts my head, sign language is a bit better but I much prefer to communicate in a non verbal, none sign language way. That way I don’t have to get past all your understandings and you beyond mine before we reach some level of mutual understanding.
This is why I love silent retreats and the level of friendships you form there go way deeper than the ones you make when you are verbally communicating or communicating through body language.
I love it when I go mute but that doesn’t happen very often so I have to accept that I was given the ability to speak for some reason. I have surrendered to this now so now I will be guided in whatever way I need to be and if it means using my voice, so be it. I don’t hate it like I used to. I accept I can speak and now I’m not fighting it I guess I’ll soon find out why I can. I still find verbal/body language to be a very crude and harsh form of communication though.
BlueRay said: In the end I also stopped going to the job centre. I just told them I’m not going in any more, it’s not helping me, I need to not leave my house at all. They didn’t sanction me and they’re making it so I don’t have to go in any more. When I need that time for total shut down, I am so committed to getting that time that I will not accept anything less but I also don’t put any conditions on it. If it meant living on the streets and eating out of bins I would have done it. And I think when you’re that committed to giving yourself what you need, everyone around you seems to cooperate without you having to verbalise it.
Golly! You really must walk an exalted path, BlueRay. How come you weren't sanctioned? When I failed my ESA assessment, following my suicidal breakdown, they stopped all of my benefits dead. I had nothing to pay rent or anything. I nearly went under. I appealed, so everything was reinstated - but then I had to go through all the stress of the appeal, and then later a tribunal. All of it nearly finished me off. I count myself lucky that it didn't, because it's finished off many thousands of other people. When the DWP were finally forced to reveal the figures on sanctions deaths, it was shown that over a two-year period between 2012 and 2014, 2,380 people on ESA died within a fortnight of being told they'd been deemed fit for work and would lose the benefit. An horrific proportion were suicides. But you're saying you simply went to the Job Centre and said 'I'm not coming in any more because it's not helping me', and they just happily went along with it? Even though we hear countless stories all the time of people having JSA sanctions simply because they were half an hour late turning up to sign on, or didn't go because they were ill. They clearly saw how committed you were to your shutdown, I suppose. I also find it remarkable how light you make of living on the streets and eating out of bins - as if it's a valid and wonderful life experience. Who are all these people, too, who magically co-operate when that happens? All these friends you have?
I didn’t even go into the job centre to tell them I wasn’t coming in. This is what I mean. I woke up one morning and something told me I had missed a job centre appointment. I checked and I had. I thought good, because I don’t want to go in that place any more anyway.
I had had a break of three weeks from the job centre because my work coach went on a three week cruise. They would never put me with another advisor, even though they had introduced me to one ‘just in case’ and they had helped me to get to know her. But that was ‘just in case’ my advisor dropped dead. I said I would only see another advisor if she dropped dead. So obviously they didn’t give me another advisor in her absence.
That three week break was like bliss. It did me so much good. I only went to my autism group once in that time and I didn’t go to the ancestry group at all. It was wonderful. I got a really good amount of rest.
So when I realised I had missed the appointment, I thought I’m just going to phone them up and tell them, the break has done me good and I’m not coming in anymore.
I phoned a number. I told them. The woman on the end of the phone said instantly that I wasn’t sanctioned, I nearly said I never thought I was, but I didn’t. She was then very apologetic that she had to make me an appointment though. She told me not to worry, she would make the appointment with my work coach (they do it there and then) but that she would also send a message to my coach, to explain the situation, so I didn’t have to, and she would make the appointment for only 10 minutes and she would ask the work coach to make the arrangements for me to go in the group where I don’t have to go into the job centre.
I never asked for any of that. I barely spoke. I said I’ll see if I can make it.
I went for the appointment, my friend came with me. Before I said anything, the work coach said straight away, don’t worry, I understand the situation, I got the message, you don’t have to say anything. She even apologised (which I thought was weird) and began to stammer a little bit, unlike I’d seen her do before, and she said I’m sorry, I thought we’d already requested a work assessment, I don’t know what’s happened to it.
I didn’t say anything, but to my knowledge and memory, we had never discussed a work assessment. So she said she’s on to it anyway. She said she will have to see me in a few weeks but we’ll make it as our catch up. She’ll tell me about the cruise and tell her what I’ve been up to. She said don’t worry.
The job centre coach doesn’t talk to me about details of the benefit either, like once she said they couldn’t accept my sick note. My support worker (arranged by the work coach) liases with her on my behalf so she can then explain things like that to me in a way that I can understand.
All of that happened and I barely said anything. I have heard and met people in a similar situation as yours. One lady at my group was supported financially and in every other way for months while she was left with no money. I was astounded at the generosity of the people in the group in the way they supported her. She wouldn’t have survived all that time without their support.
I don’t make ‘light’ of living off the streets and eating out of bins I simply see no difference to sitting on a street to sitting on a setee in a house. Yes, the setee might be more comfortable, but comfort is only one aspect of my life and there are also many ways to get comfortable, even on the streets. And if I’m sitting down, I’m sitting down, no matter what I’m sitting on.
What I’m trying to say is, if I’m on the streets, I’m on the streets. If I’m living in a mansion, I’m living in a mansion. I might have a preference for one over the other if I was given a choice, but in this life, if you want something you are not always given a choice as to how it will come about.
If I had been sanctioned, I would simply see that I’ve been sanctioned. If that lead to me sleeping on the streets, it would be that last night I slept in that house, tonight I’m sleeping on the street. If the only way I could have my shut down was by sleeping on the street, I would still go to sleep with the same smile on my face and with the same amount of love and gratitude in my heart for the ability to have my shut down and to be able to go to sleep. If I’m asleep, I’m asleep. What difference does it make if I’m in a mansion or on a street? Im still the one sleeping whether I’m in a bed or on a street. Sleep is sleep. What I sleep in doesn’t change who I am. It doesn’t change my happiness. It doesn’t change my gratitude or my adventure. I’m just sleeping here tonight. I don’t put conditions on how I receive what I want/need, only that I get it.
I didn’t think I don’t want to be sanctioned. That thought never came into my head. I thought, I don’t want to go into that job centre. I’ve had enough. I’ve enjoyed not getting washed and dressed and needing to know what day it is so I don’t miss the appointment. My mind has got clearer and sharper. I feel more energised, even if it’s only in my mind right now, my body will follow if I continue this freedom from having to do those things such as get washed and dressed and be somewhere I don’t want to go, somewhere that stresses me out. And that’s what happened after I told them. I didn’t ask them not to sanction me. The thought never came into my head.
They’re now arranging it so I don’t have to go in to the job centre. I’ve stopped making any kind of entries in that journal thing as well. I stopped that ages ago actually. Before she went away, she did ask me to make one entry, to avoid it going upstairs (whatever that meant) and she told me what to say.
I don’t think I walk an exalted path at all (whatever that is, but I’m sure I don’t). I didn’t know what would happen when I picked up that phone. Maybe they said you’re sanctioned. Well in that case, I would have probably said, ok, thank you and gone back to bed, as I did after she said I wasn’t sanctioned.
I would of carried on doing what I was doing. Talking on here probably and that’s it. I wouldn’t be angry or upset that they had sanctioned me. It’s not as if it was my money to start with. And I would have just carried on. I don’t know what would have happen after that but I did know, I was going to get my rest and that’s all that mattered.
So I guess, in this situation, the people who magically cooperated with what I wanted, was the woman who answered the phone, the job centre coach and my friend, who turned up that day, not knowing about any of this, and encouraged me to go because otherwise, I don’t think I would have gone. I didn’t want to talk to them, that was the whole point, I was improving more because I wasn’t going in there. . She said I’ll go with you and you don’t have to speak, I’ll speak for you. But it turned out that none of us had to speak, it seems the woman who answered the phone said something, I’ve no idea what, but whatever she said she made it clear I didn’t want to speak. I think that was the day my friend took me out to lunch as well.
When I told my gp that I wanted a sick note, when I first went to ask for the referral. He was a bit gobsmacked. He said I can’t walk into his office and say all that to him, I could be anyone walking in off the street. I said I was anyone walking in off the street and I had just said that and I asked him how he would assess my fitness for work in 10 minutes. He wrote the sick note, made the referral then kept me talking and saying prayers for me for another half an hour. We weren’t talking about the reason for the sick note or the regerral, we were talking about all sorts of things. My job, his faith, his church, my church, my trip to Australia, all sorts. I thought you were only supposed to get 10 minutes and I hadn’t planned on staying that long. I wasn’t well. I needed rest. I was in burnout. I just wanted to get the note, the referral and get out of there. He did say an incredible prayer though but when he offered me his bible I took it and ran. My energy levels weren’t up for any more talk.
Even with the benefits agency, I’m not really accustomed to having any problems with them in terms of getting what I need. I just seem to tell them and it just seems to happen. But maybe because I have no reliance or dependence on them. I see it more as a privilege. So if I ask for a benefit and they say no. I haven’t lost anything, I just didn’t get that privilege that day. Something else will support me. They don’t have to give me it. I found out today from my support worker that I can get a meal every week day, for a pound, literally round the corner from where I live, that I never knew about and 2 pound on a Sunday. That will help me as I’m starting to eat more regularly now. It will help me get into a regular habit of eating every day. I didn’t need to know that information before so I didn’t know it, even though it’s been there for years apparently. But the first time that I saw my support worker, after I decided I was going to crack this eating lark and eat something every day, she showed up with that info. The place has been there for years she said. I didn’t tell her that I had just realised that for several reasons I simply cannot cook or provide food for myself every day. I had no idea how I would achieve to eat every day if I wasn’t going to provide food every day, especially when I don’t want anybody in my house, I don’t want to go to somebody else’s, I would like to go out, but I didn’t want to go far. And then she came up with that! It’s nothing magical, it’s just that when we know what we want and we make a decision to get it, without any conditions placed on how we’ll get it or what it will look like, then we’ll get it.
Really? It’s ok to share when I’m experiencing the difficulties, the loss and the grief and desperation but not when I’m experiencing the effects of my hard work and how I’m feeling better??
Sorry, I missed that rule. You must only be miserable and share your misery? I’m clearly in the wrong place.
I will make my goodbyes and leave. I apologise, I admit I didn’t read the rules, clearly I should have done. I don’t want to be in a group that shares only their misery and difficult times so I thank you all for your support, I couldn’t of got this far without you, I wish you all the best and I thank you all once again for the invaluable support, information, friendship and guidance that you have all given me.
Much love X I’ll miss you all :(
Why would you laugh at people for having friends? I don’t understand? But it’s ok for you to have friends?
I guess the secret is, I love ALL people therefore I am friendly to EVERYONE I meet and I guess when you are friendly to people and you love them they’re friendly back to you and they love you. I haven’t got any other secrets, not that that’s a sectet. Jesus told it to the world a long time ago, but I was friendly even as a kid, even before I’d even heard the name Jesus. I was always friendly as a kid. I appeared to be shy and I liked my own company, which I still do, I didn’t understand the other kids and people around me then and I still don’t but it didn’t stop me from being friendly and loving people then just like it doesn’t now.
One friend is fiercely loyal and loving to me (they all are actually) even though I hardly ever see her and all I did for her, was smile at her and speak to her in the school playground. Apparently her son had just moved to my sons school from another school. My son didn’t start school until he was 6 so they were both starting round about the same time. I saw her stood by herself in the school playground while we were waiting for the kids to come out one day and I walked up to her, smiled and said hello. She told me years later that I was the first person to be friendly to her at that school. She said all the other parents had ignored her. She said my friendly act of saying hello to her gave her the confidence to not let the other parents get her down. Our sons became good friends and they were in the same football team so we spent time together at football matches etc and we’ve had nights out because I introduced her to some of my friends (because I learned she was new to the area) who lived near her and she has been best friends with them ever since, for almost 30 years now. So when I’ve had nights out or in or whatever with my friends, she is part of that friendship circle now and a good friend to me.
If I see anybody looking a bit distressed or something, I’ll ask them if they’re ok and if there’s anything I can do to help. That might turn into a lasting friendship. I sometimes, actually often, just go and talk to people while I’m out walking or whatever and just have a nice chat. That might turn into a lasting friendship. One of my latest friendships came after I walked into a shop in town on my way to the job centre for my first appointment, after I started to have a meltdown. I walked into the first shop and said I’m having a meltdown, I’m autistic and I’m on my way to the job centre and I just need to calm down. It turned out the woman who owned the shop said, my son is autistic, he’s stood there, go and talk to him. So I did. He calmed me right down, gave me the strength I needed to face the job centre and he told me about the autism group that I now go to every week. I love him so much and he makes me laugh. He’s like my best friend at the autism group and we both look forward to seeing each other every week.
I meet friends in lots of different ways but generally, I do it by being friendly, loving everybody and judging nobody. I don’t have any secrets but I do have lots of friends so maybe that’s the secret, being friendly. I like having loving kind people in my life so I am loving and kind to the people I meet. I have still got the friends who I grew up with from being a baby, several of the kids who lived on my street are still active friends of mine. But it’s the same for my brother and sister and cousins as well and all their friends are my friends as well. In fact, a lot of my friends have come through my sister and brother. I didn’t use to know how to make friends so my sister used to take me out with her, even though she’s younger. I was in my mid twenties by this time I think. Before that I had my brothers friends or kids off the street. I’m just a really friendly person and people are rarely if ever, not friendly back to me and if they’re not, I figure they need some silent love sending their way and to be left alone. I don’t judge people and if I do, if for example I get angry at someone for something they did to me, for example, that I didn’t like. I own that. I don’t blame my anger or hurt on them. I know they can’t hurt me so the hurt must be in me. And I deal with it.
So yeah, I guess it’s what Jesus said, although I don’t do it because he said it, but I love my neighbours as much as myself and I treat people how I like to be treated and they seem to do the same back to me.
I was thinking exactly about the same things.
BlueRay said:I phoned a number. I told them. The woman on the end of the phone said instantly that I wasn’t sanctioned, I nearly said I never thought I was, but I didn’t. She was then very apologetic that she had to make me an appointment though.
That situation is so rare as to be tantamount to a miracle. If you miss an appointment, you get sanctioned. That's the way they work. You don't turn up, so they stop your benefit. It matters not if your job coach is on a cruise, or whatever else. The system picks it up. They hammer people on benefits in this way. Which is why I say, and I firmly believe you, that you must walk an exalted path. You are very, very lucky.
But don't take my word for it...
BlueRay said:Why would you laugh at people for having friends? I don’t understand? But it’s ok for you to have friends?
Because who, seriously, has 849 friends. Or 1,445 friends (as one person does whom I've seen on Facebook). Interestingly, too, it's often the good looking women with lots of alluring selfies who seem to have the most. Even having 100 friends would require a form of social maintenance that would take up all of your available time. Such 'friendships' can never be more than superficial. Most people have one or two, at most four, close friends. A lot of Aspies, myself included, have none at all. As I said, it doesn't bother me. And I'm glad for people who have friends. They're not my concern, though. It's those who want friends and don't have them - for all sorts of reasons - that I worry about. It isn't just a matter of having more confidence to go out there and find them, either. It's about so much else.
BlueRay said:I simply see no difference to sitting on a street to sitting on a setee in a house. Yes, the setee might be more comfortable, but comfort is only one aspect of my life and there are also many ways to get comfortable, even on the streets. And if I’m sitting down, I’m sitting down, no matter what I’m sitting on.
I'm sorry, BlueRay, but I can't help it on this occasion. This is nonsense. Not only that, but many desperate homeless people would find it extremely insensitive at best and grossly offensive at worst.
It is nonsense to you because you have a belief that sitting on a setee is somehow better than sitting on a street. I’m not sure I understand how? Maybe you could explain for me please.
And what has the capacity of other people to feel offended got to do with what I say???? Please explain or maybe you’re some kind of spokesperson for homeless people or at least desperate homeless people and you’re relyaying my thoughts on life to them?!? I don’t understand but as far as I know, I’ve never offended a homeless person yet and I know a lot of them, some of my friends have been homeless most of their lives. Maybe the ones I know aren’t desperate enough and the more desperate a person gets the greater their capacity for feeling offended?!? I don’t know, I’m a little confused.