Winter is Coming

Winter is my favourite time of year, it’s when I come out of hiding and actually feel happy after the nightmare of summer. Not so this year, forget about getting over this summer I feel like I’m still getting over the one from the previous year. September has come and gone and I didn’t get a new special interest, January will be the next test. I should be pleased, that all of my favourite Germans are still in place. But I’m not, I feel sort of restless. It’s not that I’m tired of this interest, that I miss an old one or even that I want a new one. It’s more that I don’t want one at all. I don’t want to have one thing that I focus on to the exclusion of everything else, one thing that I build my entire universe around. I’m not upset that it causes problems with other people, but that’s only because I can do a perfectly fine job of that all by myself. I don’t need an obsession or a special interest of any kind to screw that up.

Though it’s not always my fault, but I end up blaming myself anyway which I know is totally illogical but then little of what I’m thinking or doing right now is logical. It’s not my fault that people don’t say what they mean or that they say one thing and then do another. But I still punish myself for not working it out, for getting it wrong. I guess I’m used to being the one who makes the mistakes. In two out of three of the problems however it is almost all my fault. It’s not the mistakes I made which make me so angry, it’s the fact that I still don’t get it. All this time spent thinking about it, all this obsessing over it and I still don’t know or understand what exactly I did wrong. Except for the obvious, that I shouldn’t be talking to other people at all. Not in real life and not online. And there are actually people right now who are encouraging me to make more friends, to try to meet new people. Why, what’s the point ? I’ll just ruin that too. I think I should stay well away from other people, at least anything beyond superficial conversation anyway.

I can’t help but wonder what their motives are in encouraging me to meet new people, the thought lurking at the back of my mind is that they want me to do that so I’ll spend less time with them. That probably doesn’t make me a good person to question their motives in that way, to think such things. Regardless it’s what I think. But then when it comes to working out why people do what they do I can’t even make sense of why I do half the stuff I do, so why should it be any easier to work other people out? It’s just so confusing, if you crossed a line why wouldn’t they tell you? Why wouldn’t they tell you that you said something you shouldn’t have?

It frustrates me that not only do I make the same stupid mistakes over and over again but that other people understand this better than I do. That they understand what I did better than I do myself. Not only that but they seem to have a better understanding of my feelings than I do. They knew before I did that something wasn’t right. That was the reason for their questions a few weeks ago. For asking how much sleep I’m getting, whether I’ve eaten or not and if I’m planning on getting dressed today. No doubt they’ll start asking them again now seeing as I’ve done so little. Especially seeing as I didn’t make my own lunch and that I haven’t gotten dressed, but then what’s the point in getting dressed when you get up so late. I didn’t know myself until Saturday night. I knew something wasn’t right when I gave serious thought to not getting up to see Freiburg’s game. I haven’t missed a single game since last November so missing one would be a big deal. I did get up, but only with half an hour to spare. But I couldn’t pay attention to it, I didn’t see most of the second half and even though it was just yesterday I can barely remember it.

It’s all very strange, I shouldn’t be feeling like this. There’s plenty of stuff to look forward to and I have plenty to do. Yet I don’t feel happy about any of it. Not even the international break which is coming up and should in theory be a real treat, not least because there is a game on my birthday. It’s just impossible to feel happy about anything. I guess everybody else is more than aware of how I feel, at least the question I was asked last night suggests they are. I asked someone to read my latest story and the only question they had is “why are you writing such sad stuff at the moment?”

Did they already know the answer and they just wanted to see how I would react and what I would say? I bet it scared them, that I would write about autism in such a way. I imagine it would have done given that we’ve never talked about self-hatred before and wanting to be normal. Because as far as they and everybody else knows I have no interest in being normal and have no such feelings. That isn’t true, I’ve just never talked about them. Before reading that they had no idea how angry I was about such things. Truth was before writing that chapter, I didn’t know I was that angry about it.

But I am. It makes me angrier than I could ever put into words. People online and in real life who say that it’s ok, it’s only mild autism” and you’re “high functioning.” That both those things means you don’t have real problems, or in some people’s eyes that you don’t really have autism either. Some people see you as just a quirky, socially awkward but really smart person. Because they don’t get to see all the work that goes into putting on that front, they only see you for a short amount of time. If they saw you the rest of the time they would think twice. And they would understand just why my mother is so overprotective and why she hates letting me go anywhere alone, why on some level she prefers me being stuck in my room playing Playstation because at least then she doesn’t have to worry about me. It’s strange that I’m the “high functioning” one and yet I’m the one she worries about the most.

It’s not that I want to be normal, I have no idea what normal is. I just don’t want to be me anymore. I don’t want to be the helpless one, the one who always screws up and the relies on other people to step in and fix my mistakes. I’m tired of being the one who’s afraid of everything. Of being the one that can write 150 page stories, that can lecture people to the point of boredom about my current special interest, could tell you more than you ever wanted to know about the Nazis and yet I can’t even tell someone I’m upset. And even if I could tell them I can’t let them comfort me. I can’t stand people touching me, even less so when I’m on edge like this. And I can’t deal with verbal reassurance either. Which means I can’t let anyone help me at all. Talking about this won’t help anyway, it won’t make me feel better and it won’t change anything. I’m sick to death of endless conversations about how I feel, of them trying to pry it out of me. It’s not like I need more people bothering me anyhow. Besides they’ll just think I’m depressed again. I don’t think so, I’m not depressed, I’m just tired. That’s always their answer. Maybe’s it’s not that, maybe it’s just a perfectly logical reaction. I can see what the problems are and I can see they’re unsolvable. I’m tired of having to deal with the same problems over and over again with no success. Thus I’m tired of it all, of having to do so. Like I said logical.

I know what the answer to that will be, that my thinking is faulty. That it’s the depression making me think this way. What if it’s not, what if what I’m thinking is correct and makes perfect sense?

Getting back to the topic of special interests, one thing  I’ll never forget is what one of my friends told me, that they admire my passion and the way I completely devote myself to a particular topic, even though they are often baffled why.

If they had to deal with me more often they wouldn’t admire it. If they spent more time with me they’d quickly get sick of it. I find it interesting that they think there’s any degree of choice involved, that they think I choose to devote myself to something. It doesn’t work that way, possessed would be a better way to put it. I say I want to be free of this obsession, but what then? What do I do then? I get a new one and the same thing happens all over again. But what if I didn’t have an obsession, what would I do then? Except I can’t choose not to have one, I always have one. A few weeks ago I was worried if other people would get sick of me. Well right now I’m sick of myself.  I’m sick of the fact that everything is such hard work. That I put all that effort into interacting with other people and still get it wrong anyway. Clearly it’s not worth it, I work hard at it and still screw up, so why should I bother? I can live with making mistakes but not with not knowing what I did wrong.

Not that it really matters because nothing is really real anyway. From one obsession to the next, from one kind of craziness to another. I quit this obsession and dismantle my collection, there’ll be another one to follow it. Though I have to admit I’m tempted to take it apart just to see what will happen. Because I have no other interests right now. I’m curious, if I don’t have an obsession and I can’t find a new one, does that mean I can finally quit? That I can stop pretending to be human at all? That I can stop pretending that I have any interest in life, in doing what I’m meant to do and what everyone wants me to do? That sounds like a very tempting prospect, to not have get up and go through this madness every day.

There are games to look forward to, I have films to watch, plenty of games to play and stories to write and all I can think is, it’s pointless. All of it is pointless. I don’t want to do anything. I keep dragging myself out of bed but I’m close to the point where I think why bother, it’s so late you may as well not bother. And so what if you miss a game, so what if you don’t show up, you’re just bringing forward the inevitable. Because they just like everyone else will discover what an insufferable idiot I really am. I’d be doing them a favour, this way they won’t have to find  a way to get rid of me.

I feel a little better having written this all down but no less enthusiastic about the prospect of getting up and doing all of this again tomorrow. Nor am I anymore enthusiastic about the prospect of spending time with anyone else but it’s too late to do anything about that now. I would say I should just get through it and try not to say anything stupid. However I don’t feel like doing that, I don’t feel like lying or pretending to be something I’m not. If I say yet one more stupid thing, so what? It’ll just mean one more person I’ve annoyed or alienated. And what difference would that really make? If I make them all go away then it’ll be one less thing to worry about, to be stressed out about. I would have eliminated the major source of my anxiety. You can’t say stupid things to people if you don’t talk to anyone.

I can’t stop thinking about a new show I started watching called River. Stellan Skarsgard plays a tormented police officer who’s dealing with the murder of his partner. He’s a very strange character in lots of ways, not least because he talks to his dead partner. Whether or not he’s suffering from some kind of mental illness or he’s seeing ghosts isn’t entirely clear. I suppose that’s for the viewer to make up their mind. Something he said stuck in my mind, “If you’re lonely when you’re alone, then you’re in bad company.”

I suppose he was talking about people not being comfortable in their own company, that if you can’t be alone with yourself then you don’t like yourself very much or aren’t happy with who you are. I think he may have meant something different, but I can’t quite explain it. One thing I do know, I’m not lonely when I’m by myself. I only feel lonely when I’m around other people or am thinking about other people. Because talking to other people or recognizing their existence is just a way of making me feel miserable. It’s just a reminder that I don’t really belong here, that I’m trying to be something I’m not. That it’s wrong that I have to do that. I’m fine until I have to talk to other people or confront reality in someway. Which of course means I’m not fine, because you can’t have any kind of life without doing either of those things.

But then who says I want one, who says I don’t want to keep hiding out in my room and pretending the rest of the world doesn’t exist? Because either way I’m not going to be happy. That’s not negative thinking, that’s not depression talking, that’s a fact. It’s just logic. Go out there and pretend to be something you’re not, make lots of mistakes and try and fail to fit in and you’ll be unhappy. Stay inside and think about what you could be doing, how you’d like to do something, to be a part of something, to feel connected with someone and you’ll still be unhappy. Either way it’s all a lie. I’m confused, I don’t know what anything means. I see the facts but I can’t make sense of them. On Sunday there was a segment in the pre-match show about Darmstadt player Marco Sailer, his girlfriend wore a t-shirt with this slogan “I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I’m not.”

It seems so simple doesn’t it, but life is rarely as simple as a slogan on a t-shirt. Things like that are easy to say but a quite a bit harder to actually believe. Especially when the few things that other people do like about you are actually things you hate about yourself.

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