I don’t understand. But it’s okay.

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One of the hardest parts about being autistic is that I have very uneven skills. In areas where I do well I can be really good, but in the areas where I struggle I can be extremely impaired.

What tends to confuse people is when both things are occurring at the same time.

Hospitals are a great example of when this can happen. When I am stressed I often don’t understand what is happening or why. In the hospital I rapidly loose track of what is going on and why

For example. I might hide behind lion and have lion put his arm out for a blood pressure test because I don’t feel safe or don’t entirely know what to do. Then moments later explain to the dr how the spring works on the escapement in his mechanical watch.

We’re heading back to hospital tomorrow. My unequal skills and understanding is posing a big issues.

The drs and my friends want to run some tests. The tests are scary and involve needing to be very still. I can’t do it, so the plan is to put me to sleep for the tests. To them it’s really important, I logically understand why, but I have struggled to understand it emotionally.

This conflict is hard to explain. The logical part of my brain is working overtime to try and make the emotional part of my brain feel safe and agree to the tests. I don’t feel many emotions towards the test, the biggest emotion is that I want to be left alone by the drs. I want to be left to sleep in my own bed or play in my room. Everyone else seems more worried than me. I don’t understand why. None of this feels very real.

I’ve learnt over the years that when everyone I trust thinks something is important and I don’t understand why, it’s normally good to defer to them. I’ve long ago accepted that for some things I just never seem to understand. The concepts or language just don’t mean anything to me.

So this hospital visit is very strange. I am fighting with my emotions. I am going to try and get my body to let them do the tests even tho I don’t entirely understand why. I don’t know if what I can give is entirely informed consent as my emotions don’t want it to happen. However i am taking this as one of those situations where something is going on that I can’t understand.

Instead I will have faith and trust in my friends and drs and agree to it anyway. While I don’t understand what they want to do, I do understand that they want to help me.

Hopefully it will go well and they can give me good news when I wake up. I don’t know when I will be able to write again, hopefully it won’t be long.


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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Jamie: @JamieKnight
Lion: @Lickr