A busy few months

A long time since the last post and a lot has happened.

I ended up being seen by another psychologist who arrived at the same conclusions but produced a report that was much more accurate and more suitable for giving to DWP and other agencies as a summary of my support needs. She also put me in touch with a local autism support group and referred me to a social skills course.

The autism support group is going well. It is a very diverse group. Some people who attend are more obviously on the spectrum than others. Not as many people into science and technology as I expected. The gender balance is 75% male and 25% female which fits with the gender balance at diagnosis. I found it a lot more difficult to start talking than I had expected, but luckily there were people there who had strong enough social skills to get me to open up.

The social skills course seems to be very much a “one size fits all” thing. A lot of it seemed to be about things that I thought I was already pretty good at, but I suppose at nearly 40 years old it would be odd if my social skills hadn’t improved at all in the last 20 years. Nevertheless some of it left me with a feeling of “Well I never knew it was OK to do that”, so it’s useful. There was much talk there about the forthcoming Integrated Autism Service and the facilitators asked us about what we thought we needed from the IAS. Hopefully it’s a sign that the new service recognises that we are a very diverse bunch of people and that what helps some of us may not be helpful to the rest of us.

In the last month I found out that I have made it onto the waiting list for supported housing in another county. The waiting list is short so the wait should be months rather than years. Hopefully moving away from this town will help reduce the flashbacks from my relationship with my ex. It should also make it easier to rebuild my life without constantly encountering my ex’s flying monkeys. (Flying monkeys can be anyone who believes a narcissist’s fake persona including the narcissist’s spouse, child, friend, sister, brother or cousin. Flying monkeys are usually unwittingly manipulated people who believe the smears about the narcissist’s victim although they may be another narcissist working in tandem. They differ from enablers in that enablers only permit or cover for a narcissist’s behaviour. Flying monkeys go further and actively carry out abuse on behalf of the narcissist.)

My drinking is now reduced to the amounts I was drinking before I met my ex so I’ve been discharged by the Drug and Alcohol Team with a letter to my doctor asking him to continue my Nalmefene. Still waiting for the mental health assessment after being referred over 2 years ago, but you can’t have everything.

I rise

This poem could easily have been written to somebody who used to abuse me:

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

The original is by Toni in the comments on this page at GoodTherapy.org