It’s all OK!

I’m slowly recovering from all the crap that life has been throwing at me.

I say this, because I’m sat in a Starbucks in Bath, tucking into a bagel and planning my study plan for the next month or so (on Tuesday I have exactly a month to get all my assignments in so I don’t fail first year… Such Fun).

Eating has proven to be very difficult for me, as during the time I was dealing with the aftermath of breaking up with my ex, and trying to get my academic life back on track, I started to get really anti-eating. I still hate the idea that I have to put food into my mouth, chew and swallow, but I’m slowly reconciling to the idea that I do have to eat in order to survive. At my worst, I was steadily losing weight, and weighed in at 9 stone (I’m 5’10”, to give you an idea), when I’d started university at 11 stone. After a while, I had to go to the doctor, who told me I had depression, as well as ‘an eating disorder not otherwise specified’ because I don’t purge, have any body dismorphia, but exhibit starving and binging (I try to have 5 starve days to every 3 food days), and gave me medication for it, which I’ve now been taking for a couple of months. I also start CBT next month, so I’ll see how it goes.

I was on my online dating account a little while ago, when a pink icon flashed on my screen. Turns out a guy I’d quite enjoyed talking to the fortnight before, before he didn’t reply for a while, finally got back to me. He asked me on a date! Now, I’d just gotten back from another date that wasn’t so grand, (I’ll write a post about my dating endeavours later), so I was a bit cautious, but then thought ‘capri diem, I guess..’, so agreed. We met for pancakes, he brought flowers, I brought a quaking shy girl with rainbow hair (wait, that’s me!). The pancakes were amazing, the conversation was smooth, and he was alright about my eating issues, and all my disabilities! Huzzah! We’ve been seeing each other every week since, and he stayed over for a night on Friday, before coming with me to Bristol Pride yesterday, and he said he was happy that I’m openly queer! Another Huzzah! He texts me daily to make sure I’m up and about, eating and drinking, and not smoking too much (yes, I picked up smoking, a terrible habit, but I find the ADD subsides when I do). I think I’ve fallen on my feet with this kooky, geeky filmmaker!

On top of this, my friends have been amazing, especially B and L. They are two of the bestest friends I could ever ask for, they come over to make sure I eat something, and encourage my crazy ideas and pursuits (I run a mixology blog with B now, liquorishgirls.wordpress.uk if you wanna check it out!). They were there when my ex sent abusive Facebook messages to me, and helped me deal with that, they assisted with collecting my belongings, and held me whilst I cried.    Obviously my other friends have been pretty darn wonderful to, even if it’s to listen to me whinge, or grumble, share a cigarette and a cocktail with me, and generally make my life so much more enriched and joyful for it.

The university have been lovely as well, I still see my mentor and study tutor from DSA, and will continue to do so until my assignments are complete for the year. I also see my support worker from Student Support as well, and she’s been a rock to me in recent times. Yes, I get chided for drinking and smoking, and attempting my English Literature essay whilst under the influence, but I still adore them all the same.

My foster mother was also pretty awesome when everything blew up, texting me to make sure I was OK, and also assisting me with my ex. She will always be a person I’ll love like I would a mother, and the one I’ll go to if I need an opinion on something, or if I just need a tea and a natter when I’m in Hampshire. Her character radar will always wow me, so quite often I run potential partners by her to see what she recons, and I’ll always respect her opinion and often follow the amazing advice she gives. It’s thanks to her that I’m the determined, stubborn woman I am today, and I hope I’ll make her proud one day.

Without all these people, I don’t know how I would of survived or coped with the past few months. I’m thankful for all of them, and will love them all forever. When you become mentally ill, for whatever reason, you do find out who actually care about you. And that’s freaking awesome!

This coming week is going to be crazy! Today I need to start an assignment, begin getting ideas for a screenplay that could become a film that I work on with my guy (we’ve decided to team up with some filmmakers in Bath that he is good friends with to make a film!), do more in the way of laundry, travel to Leister and back for a job with the Care Leaver’s Association (more about that in a post next week, so stay tuned), go to Bristol for the ADHD Clinic (I’ll update you all on how that goes!) and generally be a good writer/mixologist/student.

Until then!

 

Sex and AS – Can People with Autism/Aspergers be Sexual?

I thought I’d write a post about sexuality and AS. This is because of the fact that when I was younger, I remember little old ladies whispering at church whilst I served tea as a Brownie (UK version of Girl Scouts) about the fact that they felt so sorry for me as disabled people just don’t have relationships, and that it would be impossible to find me a husband. It was embarrassing, but I didn’t think any more of it. Now I’m a lot older, and really discovering sexuality for myself, it’s high time that I discussed sexuality and autism.

Not all people are sexual, regardless on disability or any other factor. I have non AS friends who identify as asexual (no sexual attraction to anyone, however, they may still feel romantically inclined), and I have autistic friends who do want to experience sex with someone, and even settle down and have children of their own one day. I think there is still a big problem where society thinks that AS people are incapable of having fulfilling, long term relationships of any kind. You pick up a book about AS in adults, and in the chapters involving relationships, you often see the experts saying ‘Don’t worry if your AS partner is cold/unsociable, etc. It’s in their nature, so don’t feel bad about leaving them and finding yourself a lovely non-AS partner and making sure you have kids with them so family life is easier’. I know it’s not this dramatic in the books, but that’s the message you get. IT’S NOT FAIR!

I’ve been in a happy relationship now for two years, two months. We’re engaged, and getting married after we graduate. It’s all good.

So, where does the sexy time come in?

Well, like anyone else, autistic people have all kinds of desires. We can be straight, gay, bi, pan, hetro-flexible. We can also be gender fluid, transgender and cisgender. Not all autistic people are sexual, or need sex constantly. One of my friends isn’t interested in sex, not until the right person comes along. I, however, love sex! Seriously!

I am a young, pansexual autistic woman who adores being intimate. I like how it makes me feel, the sensations, the excitement, the adventure. It could be seen to be unusual, as touch can be a big thing for AS people, especially in intimate situations.

I’m the one who will enjoy sex, but can’t stand having cuddles straight after. I need to recharge myself, fix my bubble. Sex is a really strong energy that can really sap it out of you. We joke that in bed I’m like the stereotypical man, wanting to run off after the deed has been done. But after a few minutes with a cup of tea and away from it, I can come back for the pillow talk, and it’s all good.

Every person, AS or not has experiences of their own that are completely unique. Just be assured that you are not alone, and that it is OK to want sex, or not want sex, be curious, be ignorant. Just do what’s right by you, and your partner/s if that’s what you want to do.