"Autie not naughty."

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Most evenings Carrie visits to look after me. She’s really good at it, with her support i am happier, healthier, and much more productive in my work life.

I know this, i can look at it as a simple, cost versus benefit and see that for a relatively small outlay i get a huge amount in return. The £150-200 a week it costs to have Carrie’s support is what is keeping me in work and making living on my own possible it’s still only barely working but it is working..

However, when i am tired or down i get quite upset. At these times i tend to adopt a more critical and judgemental tone with myself.

At these times i often feel stupid or silly. I declare myself to be an idiot who is lazy and just needs to "try harder". When i am really down i tend to declare everything "naughty".

For example, having a bath i didn’t run myself. Eating a meal i didnt cook myself. Enjoying a TV show aimed at kids, or doing something "childish" all feel naughty.

I think this comes from two things.

First, i still often feel like a fraud whos not autistic but simply pretending. Or I declare I not ‘that autistic’ as if there’s some leveling system and I failed a test.

Secondly for years and years of my childhood i was seen as naughty and always doing "naughty" things. I considered myself an evil being by the time i was a teenager. I assumed i was evil because no matter how much i tried i was still "naughty". Most of the time i didn’t understand why i was "naughty". I just was.

I realise the insanity of believeing both one and two above. You might observe that i cant be a fraud, if the autism traits go back into my early childhood… for some reason i can see the logical argument but not feel it emotionally.

When i feel this way i tend be very very harsh on myself. I talk to Carrie via iMessage and "Autie not naughty" is one of the common phrases she replies with.

This is not an easy internal battle for me and it is ongoing. Its all part of accepting that i am autistic and also accepting that i need help.

Over time I am finding it easier to let my gaurd down. To everyone around me is seems so obvious but I am still wary sometimes. The past leaves deep marks and I need to work through them and throw out what is no longer useful.


Spaced Out & Smiling is about exploring the fun side of Autism, and trying to understand what it means to be Autistically Happy.

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