I should be writing!

And I have been. I’ve been working hard on an outline and rewrite. I’m very happy with the current outline, though I’m struggling a bit with the actual writing.

I recently finished editing a collection of short stories, well, except two. There are two rather troublesome stories in the bunch that I keep putting off. I need to make them a priority, but just have a hard time focusing on them. I open them up, see the extent of work they need, and am instantly overwhelmed.

I’ve also been working on art projects. This has been one of my most successful freelancing periods. I’ve just about wound down on all my projects, and it feels weird to know I don’t have a huge list of projects lined up.

Thank you so much to everyone who has hired me recently to do work. It felt good to know my work is liked and appreciated. If you are interested in learning more about my work, or need a graphic designer, stop by my other site: https://dreamingthought.wordpress.com/

Browse around, check out some examples of my work, and if you think I might be of use to you, contact me! I need to update with my latest work, so if you’re not sure if I can help you, ask! I don’t have an established price list, yet, but I’ve been told I’m pretty damn cheap.

I’m also planning on doing Camp NaNoWriMo in April.  I’m going to set up write-ins with my nearly nonexistent writing group, Rainier Beach Writers. Most the time lately, I’m on my own, or with my kiddo. The group went through a rough spell and I had to cancel every time my work put me back on the weekend shift. Now, though, I’m there every other Sunday, if not every Sunday, at 10 a.m.

If folks join me, then great! If not, oh well. I’m getting stuff done.

Updates out of the way, it’s now confession time.

I wrote the above out of guilt. I haven’t been keeping up on my blog.

I was getting hits to my Facebook author page, so I keep thinking: Huh, maybe someone is interested in what I’m doing. I should update.

But there’s this awful part of me that thinks the only hits I’m getting are from those hoping to see me fail. That they keep checking so they can say, look, she still hasn’t updated. What a loser.

That nasty little voice in my head is so convinced that people hate me.

And sometimes, that voice is not completely irrational.

I’ve had a number of people over the years who have taken it upon themselves to let me know they think I’m a piece of shit and an awful person. That I should be ashamed of myself, that I’m rude, manipulative, a know it all, a show off, arrogant, mean, an attention whore, that I work too hard so I can show everyone up (I’ve been told this at workplaces, and it annoys me every time), that I’m judging them (I don’t usually care what the fuck other people are doing as long as you’re not getting in my way and you’re not mean spirited), and so on.

And sometimes, it’s body language things, or my anxiety, my communication style, or my awkwardness that people like to focus on. And sometimes people are just shitty human beings and because I’m kind of stupid about people, I make an easy target or I just want to see good in people even when it’s not there.

It’s the kind of thing I’m used to, though it still hurts. I also know I’m not alone. Many people on the Autism Spectrum share similar experiences and just stories of how damned confusing and hurtful people in the NT world can be.

Though I toughened up after each one of these cycles, that mean little voice still haunts me. I still catch myself worrying about what is being said, about what people think of me.

Recently, though, I’ve managed to do a good job of telling that voice to fuck off. I’ve got shit to do. Feeling nervous and uncomfortable and worrying doesn’t get stuff done.

I armor up with love. With the kindness and patience of compassionate and tolerant people. With the knowledge that even though I’ve been torn down, I’ve been betrayed, I’ve been abused and hurt, some people actually don’t mind me. And even better, some of them actually like me. Appreciate me. Respect me and care about me.

I’ve got a diagnosis. And I’m not disabled. I’m not crazy, and I’m not ashamed. I’m Autistic, and this very fact is now part of my armor. I’m not going to feel guilty about myself because of narrow-mindedness or the assumption that I should just be like everyone else.

I’m not a special snowflake demanding special treatment. I don’t don’t have double standards, and I don’t think people should accommodate me.  But I shouldn’t have to accommodate others who don’t bother to try and understand or respect the fact that I’m not like them.

I’m fine being alone. I like my own company. I enjoy hiking by myself. I love people watching. I get a kick out of  random conversations with strangers. I carefully store away those interactions on the bus or at the park for later use in  my writing.

I don’t need to fill my time with noise and people and activities. I get enough of that with my kid. I don’t need to be pushed to interact. I don’t need to be more social. I don’t need to network constantly and do things that make me uncomfortable or do things I know I’m not ready for.

I am learning to be the best me I can be in order to stay mentally healthy and creative. I might fall again, but I’m learning. It hurts every time, but I keep getting back up, and I like to think each time it’s a little better.

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