Feather Presents conquer all…

I posted something this morning on my Facebook page about anxiety. Anxiety is a real part of being Autistic. I am not sharing this for sympathy. I share in hope to elicit understanding. I share it here especially to illustrate how much searching for “feather presents” can make a difference, even in a life that is still – and will always be challenging. This is me. This is my life. Keep in mind as you read this, that this life is now a happy one, even as this is all still true.   
People tell me I seem normal. Well, let me tell you what normal is. This is all real. I have several conditions now I should see a doctor about. I am afraid to go to the doctor. I am afraid of the waiting room. I am afraid I’ll be looked at. I’m afraid someone will sit close to me. If they do, I often move. I’m afraid I’ll catch some dread disease when I’m there. I’m so afraid, I don’t go. I need to go to the dentist. I haven’t been in ten years. I am afraid, I am afraid of them poking around in my mouth. I am afraid of their waiting room. I am afraid of the questions. Fortunately, I’ve been blessed with pretty strong teeth. I just hope that continues… At least a while longer.
Years ago I was diagnosed with Autism. People ask me now if I’m seeing someone. I’m afraid to. I’m afraid they’ll tell me again that I’m autistic, but then I’m also afraid they’ll say I’m not. People say, “Well, if you’re autistic, why aren’t you getting support for it?” And sometimes I just feel like saying, “Because I’m afraid, of course, because I’m autistic”
I love Fernando Varela, and have gone all over the country to see him perform. I’m afraid of airplanes – not the flying part, so much as the people. I’m afraid of cities. I’m afraid of hotels. I want to be curled up in my own bed. I don’t sleep in hotels. I’m afraid of crowds. I stand to wait to talk to Fernando after a concert, and I shake inside. I wish everyone would go away. I love talking to him, but afterwards have to struggle to remember what he or I said, because I was too busy being nervous.
I love to eat lunch with people. To me sharing a meal is just something really special – breaking bread together. But I’m afraid to ask, and I’m afraid to go. I had lunch with a very special friend recently, found a booth where I felt somewhat protected while I waited, but my hands were literally dripping sweat by the time she got there. In the car on the way home, I analyzed everything I said. Was it okay? Should I have said that? I analyzed everything she said. What did she mean by that? Does she still like me? Will I ever get to eat lunch with her again?
I worry about what I post on FB. I worry about what I comment on posts. But then I worry about what I don’t post, what I don’t say. Do they know I support them? Do they understand how I feel? I worry that nobody likes what I write. I worry that it’s trivial and trite.
I just worry… It will never end, no matter how much I wish it to. But, I suffer all of this because it’s worth it to me. Because I love people, because behind the fear, life has so much joyous and wonderful. But when you tell me I seem normal, in a way that is a huge compliment – but in a way, it is also a shame… Because I could only wish people understood.


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