I have a job… somehow

Hey…

Sorry about the absence… again. I really have no excuse this time, though I am working on a piece of art which I will put on here when I’m finished with it, which I hope will make up for it a bit.

However since I last blogged I:

  1. Survived Christmas
  2. Got my exam results (I passed)
  3. Got a job

The last one was the least expected out of the three. It was inspired by some pretty irresponsible uses of my student grant (which I will go no further into because I will die of embarrassment) and although I can still quite comfortably survive the semester I thought it best to apply for a job, or six. I had already been kind of looking for part time jobs, so I knew what was about, however I was (and still am to an extent) that I wouldn’t have enough spoons to be able to do Uni and have a job at the same time. But recent events *cough* I should not be allowed access to my student grant *cough* meant that I just decided to go for it. I applied to about three jobs, one of which wanted my CV and the thing is that my CV seems to hide every time I try to find it, so I had to very quickly write one using a CV generator (at least I have a starting point for one now). Anyway, one of the places got back very quickly and said that they wanted me to book a telephone interview online, but when I went online there was nothing there so I just left it. I told myself that would check back every day, but in reality I didn’t want that job. Especially after I went on Google images and it showed the workers there being robbed.

A few days later I got an email from one of the other companies (the one that I actually wanted to work for) telling me to phone and book an interview in February. For some reason I thought that it was still the start of January, but it wasn’t. It was the last week in January and the interviews were to be held this week. That meant I had to make a phone call (the horrors), but after a few days of putting it off I called and got an interview the next Thursday. Strangely, I wasn’t too nervous. I had expected to be chewing the carpet for days before hand and generally ruining my week with anxiety, but it didn’t happen (maybe I’m getting better at this type of thing). I went to the interview yesterday feeling alright but maybe a little under prepared (I wasn’t). It went well and after it finished the interviewer told me that I had got the job. Cue me singing all zip-a-dee-doo-dah the way back to my flat.

The job that I have is a stewarding job with completely flexible hours. I thought that would fit me better than one with fixed hours. Also I don’t think I could spend several hours in a shop without going a bit weird (the lights aren’t my friend). Hopefully I’ll have enough spoons to be able to keep this job, but if not I can always quit as I’m not yet about to starve even if I am living off ginger biscuits at the moment.

I hope you’ve all been well and as always feel free to ask any questions.

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Still alive…

Hello!

Yes, I am still with you, I’ve just been quite busy up here (really). As you may know, I started university in September, the University of Aberdeen to be specific! And I seem to be surviving, which is rather surprising. Granted, I am having about one meltdown a week, but I’m not dying in a hole somewhere so I think I’m doing quite well.

I have done a lot of things that I never thought I would, get drunk (yes I drink now), make a doctors appointment and go to a club (this really surprised me too). I have also met some very lovely people, two of whom are my flatmates. I managed to get such bad freshers flu’ that my flatmates had to call a doctor and take me to A&E (which I’d just like to say thanks again for, you’re awesome). I was okay, by the way, it was just a stomach bug.

Spinning Plates

What came to me earlier this week (which may or may not have been in a drunken haze) is that life is rather like spinning plates. Every responsibility or stress inducing thing is like a plate you have to keep spinning, so one or two plates are fine, but once you get, say, ten you start having problems. Twenty and you’re practically screwed. So, when everything gets too much and you break a plate, you have a meltdown. Currently that means I’m dropping one plate a week. Which got me thinking, what was happening at home? It turns out that I couldn’t even spin the plates at home, and I was just lying in a pile of broken plates. So, breaking one a week is a kind of improvement, right? I may have just got lost in a metaphor… However one meltdown a week is still too many, as it takes about a week to recover. In response I’ve tried to improve my ‘stressed out detector’. I think it’s actually called interoception (maybe?) and there’s a great post by Musings of an Aspie. Though it doesn’t seem to be working, but I’ll keep trying. I hope to be blogging more regularly but I have exams coming up so…

Anyway, I hope you’ve all been well and as always feel free to leave any questions or comments.

Have a good Sunday!

Hey, body!

I’m sorry I’ve been absent for so long. I got into university and have been preparing (read panicking).

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As I said in the post ‘The Body, The Brain and The Mind’, communication between the three things seem to be lacking. However, there seems to be a new development! Every so often, my brain starts saying ‘Hey body! You’re not breathing right!!’ To which my body carries on not breathing adequately. So then my brain then has to work out what is wrong. It’s usually something I haven’t done. I haven’t drunk anything, I haven’t eaten or I haven’t had enough sleep and instead of just making me feel thirsty, hungry or sleepy my body makes me feel like I can’t breathe properly. So I have to go all Sherlock Holmes on myself to find out the problem.

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It seems as though we need to do a lot more self analysis than neurotypicals do, which would contribute to us getting overwhelmed more easily.

How not to holiday

I was on ‘holiday’ this week. As you’ve probably gathered from the title and the previous sentence, it wasn’t particularly enjoyable. I really wish it wasn’t and I kinda feel guilty at having not enjoyed it. But I can’t say it was a surprise. Last year I had chest pains throughout the family holiday because it stressed me out so much. However I didn’t expect it to be worse than last year. Last year we spent a week in Italy (I know, poor me), but this year we spent three days in Whitby (a town on the coast of Yorkshire). Italy should have been more stressful because it involved air travel, a lot of heat and sharing a room with my parents. In Whitby there was no air travel, the temperature was nice and I had my own room, and yet I ended up throwing up from how stressed out I was after a meltdown.
Again, I feel guilty about not enjoying either holiday as I feel sort of ungrateful and I know how lucky I am to even be able to go on holiday, but they both really upset me.
The two main reasons for the level of stress were sensory overload and my sister. Sensory overload is a given when going anywhere, but on its own it wouldn’t push me over the edge. My sister is… well words fail to describe how awful her behaviour is. Though a lot of what stresses me out is her name calling and attitude towards me, the most stressful thing is how she affects the atmosphere within the family. She stresses everyone out and I seem to sense that quite strongly.
Anyway, on the day we got there I expected to be slightly uncomfortable at the change of routine and the two hour car journey. And I was okay-ish, or I thought I was, until after our meal at a restaurant. I started sensing something was wrong, I thought it was just anxiety but I realised that I wasn’t breathing properly. What happens occasionally is that I tense my diaphragm muscles when I get stressed out, but if I don’t realise I’m stressed out I keep doing it until I can’t breathe. Luckily I git back to my room before it could get too bad.
The second day was worse than the first because my sister was playing up and wouldn’t eat anywhere, because it’s fun to be awkward apparently. That was more undue stress, but the rest of the day passed mostly without incidence. The next day I just sorta crashed. By lunch I was exhausted, which didn’t make much sense as I’d had enough sleep. So, I went back to bed for a few hours. Later, my sister made my other sister cry because she refused to turn off the light and my other sister needed to go to sleep. That was the trigger for a meltdown resulting in my throwing up. So now i just feel ill and unhappy and it could take a while to recover.

I’m not really sure what the point of this was, apart from venting, so sorry about that. Hopefully, I’ll post more interesting/useful stuff next week.

Have a nice Sunday!

Excuses excuses…

Hello there! So, I’ve been umm… absent for a few weeks and I don’t really have any excuse, sorry! I just haven’t had any ideas that really grab me for a new post. I’ve also been trying to do all the things. By things I mean any idea (productive or not) that I have. That would be okay except I try to do them all at the same time and I get bored of them quite quickly.

I’m going away for the most of next week, so I probably won’t be posting anything new then, but I promise I’ll try the week after that. If you have any suggestions write them in the comments!

Bye for now!

What atheism is and is not

What it is

First, I’d like to start with what atheism is. Atheism is either a lack of belief in a god or a belief there is no god. There, simple. It is simply whether or not you believe in a God.

What it is not

  1. A reflection of a person’s morality. Just because we do not take our morals from a holy book doesn’t mean we have no morality. Most people seem to have an inbuilt moral code regardless of religion, which suggests that humans evolved it because it was beneficial to our survival. Being an atheist also doesn’t dictate whether we are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ people. Some atheists give to charity whilst others commit crimes, just like any other section of society.
  2. Satan worship. This seems kinda obvious; we don’t believe in a god so why would we believe in a god’s arch enemy? That said, there are Atheistic Satanists, but they don’t believe in Satan as a being, but rather as a description of human traits.
  3. An excuse to behave badly. The logic behind this argument doesn’t really work. It assumes that all atheists are really theists (and usually believe in the Abrahamic God) and just say they are atheists so they can ‘sin’ all they want. This means all atheists are in denial about the impending, eternal consequences of their behaviour. I highly doubt that a significant proportion of the population (about 30-40%in the UK) are happy to burn in hell forever just to do whatever they want. I’m not buying it.
  4. Synonymous with Stalinism/Nazism. I’m not going to get into the argument over whether or not Stalin or Hitler were atheists as there is a lot of conflicting evidence. What can be said is that both used the church to manipulate the population to their own ends and a lot of Nazis and Communists were religious. Again there are good and bad people in every section of society and it is not determined by whether or not you have a believe in a god.
  5. A claim that we know that a god doesn’t exist. This is an entirely different issue of agnosticism vs gnosticism. Agnosticism is the position that we cannot ever know whether or not a god exists. Gnosticism is the position that we can know whether or not a god exists. So therefore, I’m an agnostic atheist, I think we cannot know about the existence of a god but I do not believe in a god. There are also agnostic theists, gnostic atheists and gnostic theists.
  6. An automatic support of evolution. While many atheists do support the theory of evolution, there may be some who do not. All atheism is is a lack of belief in a god or a belief in no god and nothing else.

So there you have it! I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions about atheists and atheism. Have a good weekend!

Grade 8 Music Theatre and New Obsession!

Last week I did my Grade 8 Music Theatre exam and this Tuesday I found out that I passed with merit! This marks the end of my exams this year so I finally have time to relax…
Unfortunately I got bored after two days of doing nothing so I started searching round for something to do and came across polymer clay. I have been making small models ever since I got the clay on Yesterday!

So basically I’m in a very good mood and a lot of happy stimming is going on!

Sexual assualt between male teenagers

Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault

I was recently on my final weekend camp with cadets and I realised that there is a lot of sexual assault that goes on between male teenagers. Usually after the first night of the camp there are stories of boys ‘tea-bagging‘ one another and other similar activities. Now, this isn’t a new thing, but I’ve only just realised how odd/illegal it is.

Firstly, it’s non-consensual as it is usually done to someone when they are asleep, so it’s clearly a form of sexual assault. Secondly, most of these boys insult each other with gay slurs but they are quite happy to put their genitals into other boy’s mouths or on their faces (not that I’m suggesting gay people do this non-consensually or at all), which seems slightly hypocritical. This type of behaviour is generally accepted as normal, not just in cadets, but in most, if not all, teenage boys. So I never really thought about it being wrong, as I thought it was a weird boy thing. However I started to imagine what would happen if girls started to do this to one another. I’m sure that, if it happened on camp, the girl doing it would get kicked out of cadets at the very least and may also be arrested, which would be completely justified. But with boys none of this ever happens. It’s usually laughed of as ‘boys will be boys’, and nobody ever complains about it, but the fact remains that it is sexual assault. Just because the boys don’t complain about it doesn’t mean they’re okay with it. It probably means that they are under a ridiculous amount of social pressure to conform to the twisted norm of ‘masculinity’.
On the theme of masculinity (kind of), there is a lot more acceptance of gay/bi girls in cadets than there is of boys. There is a significant minority of girls who are openly gay or bi, but no boys that I know of. This seems to be because a girl being gay or bi is seen as more masculine, but a boy being gay or bi is seen as being feminine. Not that any of this is the case but it seems to be people’s perception of it
To conclude I think we not only need to teach teenage boys that it’s not okay to sexually assault one another but also that it is okay to tell people about it if someone has done something to them without consent.

Final note: I’ve finished all of my exams now so I should start posting more… If I remember…
Bye for now!

Diagnosis

Today I was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. While my first reaction is to be extremely relieved (I spent the car journey to the appointment imagining the worst possible outcomes) I don’t really know how to feel/react now. I am happy that the diagnosis finally happened after waiting about six months for it, but there’s also a feeling of ‘what now?’ My mum wants the family to go out for a meal to celebrate, which is nice but slightly weird. It’s a bit strange because one wouldn’t usually celebrate a diagnosis, however my parents have had me pestering them about it for half a year so they’re probably glad it’s finally over!

What happens now is I have to send stuff to my current school and my prospective university so they can sort support and accommodations, which I will need if I am going to survive more than a week living in a city. Thankfully, there is a really good student support team at my current school who are all amazing but the person who looks after sixth formers is going to be even more amazing. Even though she is on maternity leave she is still going to sort some of my uni stuff and I can’t thank her enough! If everything works out I should get there in September with a support system in place.

I think I was expecting something more substantial than just the verbal confirmation that I’m autistic (they are also going to send me a letter). I don’t know what I expected, but I don’t think the news will sink in until I get that letter. Maybe I thought I would get a badge! Actually that’s not a bad idea…

Anyway I have to get on with making a badge ‘revising’. Have a good week!

 

First A2 exam is done!

Yay! Finished my first A2 exam (I had an AS resit a few weeks ago). It went okay, nothing particularly spectacular on my part but I don’t think I crashed and burned. Unlike last year, this year I have extra time which made it a lot less panicky and my handwriting was considerably more legible. Also unlike my AS history I didn’t come out feeling so depressed that I went to buy a load of cheese (well I did buy a mozzarella and tomato melt for lunch but that doesn’t count). Strangely enough I seemed to have done more revision than a lot of people, who I assumed would have been revising for months but apparently haven’t. Anyway, I came home after spending the day revising at school with Elleni over at writerarelunatics et al because we have two exams tomorrow, *sigh*, and I went straight to bed for four hours… I swear I’m not lazy!

I don’t know what the point of this post was but I thought I’d give you an update! Good luck to anyone else who has exams!