This was followed by a day of processing as I tried to understand what is happening to me. My days seem to shift from feelings of hope to feelings of inadequacy, with no in between. The confusion has my stomach in knots, causing my diet to run in weird directions as I alternate from starving to hating the sight of food. I hear vibrations, lights are bothersome, and my asthma is a mess. Despite a lower income this year, all is going fairly well – great friends, positive feedback from students, recorded a cd, and published a new book – so, I should be in a good mood, generally speaking.
Then what is happening to me?
I know these internal collisions of emotions are typical in people with autism. Despite my experience and many hours of very helpful therapy, I still get stuck in this vortex – and still seem to never see it coming. Since the general belief is that autistics don’t experience emotions, the training tends to focus on teaching us how to read other people’s emotions. There is no effective therapy to date that helps autistics recognize, accept, and regulate their own emotions – or at least there is no effective one for me.
This is when a flood of questions enter my mind. They are always the same questions:
- Why do I feel I am pedaling hard but going no where?
- Why do I believe that I am destine for greatness while at the same time feel too small to reach my dreams?
- Why can’t I escape this feeling of being trapped?
- What is wrong with me that I can’t have the job and home life I dream of?
Tomorrow I am going to ease my mind by taking a walk in a place that is familiar and full of positive memories. I wish I had a streamlined process that would ease this dark side of autism. There are days…..I just feel stuck.