Middle Age and Mindfulness…
This is a rant-filled, uncomfortable, unsettling, highly subjective and sometimes not even all that true journal of my way through my middle years, giggling whenever possible – especially at myself – and grunting at the sheer effort of it all.
Please don’t take it too seriously and please don’t worry about me, I’m fine, however otherwise I may sound.
It’s an incongruous mixture of delirious delight, attempts at mindfulness, excess hair management, and feeling miffed about stuff.
Plus the odd confession about leering at pretty young men.
Comment always welcomed.
I am an atheist. I am atheist. Whatever. Atheism is one thing only: an absence of any belief in gods. It is not a belief system, nor a religion: abstinence is not a sexual position; bald is not a hair colour; silence is not a type of music. You get the idea.
Atheism does not reflect a particular social or political bias other than I believe that the state, our laws and education system should be 100% secular.
I do not often blog about atheism as I am also anti-religion and I find it difficult to distinguish between the two in my views and emotions. I am more likely to find a belief in a god or gods than follow a religion invented by man.
Frankly, hell is more likely to burst into exist and then freeze over.
Autism and Motherhood
This blog sometimes reflects on autism, autistic rights, neurodiversity and related areas. I am not autistic, I am (at the eccentric end of) neurotypical.
My daughter and several other family members are autistic, as is one of my best friends, several other friends and acquaintances. Some are formally diagnosed, others self-diagnosed. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.
I provide nigh on 24/7 support for my autistic daughter who is home educated, we are very rarely apart; our family life choices are wholly focussed on her achieving her potential and our home is adapted and managed to her needs.
I believe this is right for us but it means that on a daily basis, I am a neurotypical person living in a mostly autistic-centred world. Sometimes I find this pretty tough: I am a naturally gregarious, massively social, fickle, disorganised, spontaneous person.
I have to frequently suppress my natural impulsive exuberance and go against many of my instincts and desires to give my daughter the steady, reliable and predictable, unwavering support she needs.
It’s an interesting perspective from which to contemplate things.
I don’t call myself an “Autism Mum” nor ride that stereotypical pity train if I can help it but sometimes it is really fricking hard and really fricking lonely. This is for the same underlying reasons that autistic people campaign about: lack of understanding, lack of support, lack of tolerance, lack of equality, lack of equity and more.
I know that many autistic adults are sick to the back teeth of neurotypical people having views about autism as they can often be misinformed, biased and prejudiced. I take that on board. I wouldn’t ever advocate for a cure or even ‘treatment’ for autism but I would shout out loud all the day long about needing an inclusive non-judgemental society and the acute need for serious long-term investment into better understanding and supporting the many debilitating co-morbid conditions: anxiety to name just one.
I’ve tried not blogging about autism but sometimes I’ve fuck all else to say. I feel that “autism” is almost as much my life story as it is my daughter’s.
Many disabled adults believe that it’s inappropriate to blog about life with a disabled child, maintaining that it disrespects their right to privacy, autonomy and choice; and that it also skews the debate towards the “poor parent”… I disagree that this always has to be the case.
There are shitty over-sharing blogging mamas with “normal” kids too, and great parent bloggers with kids of all shapes and sizes who challenge and inspire. I always say, and truly believe, that a world that considers autistic people and better provides for their differences and needs would benefit all of us but I do also believe that there won’t be an autism-friendly world unless neurotypicals are in on the debate. I blog sensitively, I hope, to keep this conversation moving forwards.
If you like some of what I write, please consider a donation to the National Autistic Society – thank you:
Please note that there are a few Amazon affiliate links on this site. It’s not my prime motivation by any means and doesn’t affect what or how I write. I’ve made feck all money, literally zero to date but, you know, would be nice if this writing lark paid a bill… ever.