Amid the usual daily chaos of looking after my daughter, the dogs, the birds and the house, I had visitors on Monday and Wednesday. Family members who I am close to, mostly comfortable around and so grateful for, but that doesn’t stop me from needing down time to recover afterwards. It is strange for me because I love spending time with them and I wouldn’t change it, but it still wears me out. I know that this would seem like a non-event to many, but socialising is a big thing for me, AND it’s a change to my usual routine.
My family is very accommodating, but from past experience, I know how easy it is to be misunderstood, and that is something I worry about a lot. Just because I might be able to pass on the one day you have met me, doesn’t mean that is how I am all day, every day. It takes a huge amount of effort, and even then I get it wrong.
Today we went shopping and it was exceptionally busy. Before our daughter, we would always go at night, and before my husband’s new hours we used to go in the week when it was quiet, but we had no choice today and neither of us enjoyed it. My husband is equally as uncomfortable in crowds and busy places, so we were as quick as we could be and I think having each other and Lily as a distraction helps a lot. We made it through with no problems; so I am going to count it as a win. It’s the little things that people take for granted that can mean a lot to someone on the spectrum.
Most days after I put my daughter up to bed, I just sit in silence in the dark for a bit. My husband thinks I am a weirdo when he gets home from work and sees me like that, but it helps me come down from being overstimulated or overwhelmed. I find it soothing. I am not sad or depressed in those moments, I am calm, and I need that. I think we all do.