So… a LOT has happened in the 2 year gap on the blog. I’ll attempt some chronologicality… but this covers the past 12 months.
- I was referred to an Adult Neuro-developmental Services Centre…
- …and was formally diagnosed with High-functioning ASD (fka Aspergers).
- My job got scooped out from under me and I was shunted into a previous role.
- Myself & TheChimp separated.
- I was involved in a minor car accident, with major implications.
- My grandfather died.
- TheChimp moved out.
- My cat died.
After much a kerfuffle trying to get a handle on the ongoing battles with depression / anxiety (which involved the realisation that CBT simply wasn’t working as I couldn’t relate to the emotional bases on which it seemed to be founded) myself & TheChimp headed to my GP to probe deeper. This resulted in a referral to SAANS, 50 minutes drive away. I think there was about 9 weeks between the referral and the appointment… as I was out-of-area for SAANS (although they are the nearest specialist centre) they would have to apply for funding from my regional consortium which resulted in the delays. Turns out apparently this would be necessary for each appointment.
SAANS is a pleasant place. Set up specifically for folks on the spectrum – comfy waiting room, help-yourself catering… all designed to help you feel as unintimidated as possible. The process was a one-on-one discussion lasting several hours between myself and the specialist. TheChimp came in also to assist where I was unable to verbalise a response.
At the end of the process the specialist went away to review everything whilst we went for a coffee. Ultimately I came away with a formal High-functioning Autism (fka Aspergers) diagnosis, an information pack, a follow-up appointment (subject to funding clearance) in case I had any questions, instructions to continue on current medication, with a full diagnostic report to follow by post.
That was about the size of it. It looks like the process may have changed nowadays however…
Time to sit back and let it settle in and decide how to handle things from there… then…
I’d been seconded into my role at work and had been doing it for 2 years. A change of senior management occurred and they decided to advertise it out. I applied, interviewed, didn’t get it, and was shuffled quietly back to the role I’d been seconded from in the first place. Since then, I’ve effectively worked partially in both roles, getting hauled back and forth mentally & physically on-demand. Then the replacement left, and I was back in the role to plug the gap whilst they recruited AGAIN. This time I didn’t bother applying. Wasn’t subjecting myself to the stress again. I’m now just finishing the handover process to the n00b before returning back to my former role. Fun fun fun.
TheChimp has her own set of issues, which were basically incompatible with my set of issues. I’m not going into the details, thinking about it hurts physically. We separated but stayed living together in the short-term. If you’re a follower of hers you’ll have read glimpses of it on her blog. If you know is both you’ll have seen it play out on social media.
I can’t go into details on the car incident either. Suffice to say I was suspended from work pending investigation, and subjected to a Facebook lynch mob calling (quite unnecessarily as a result of someone posting utter bollocks) for my death. The outcome was that I had done nothing wrong and was cleared of everything… however, because a technical assessor had to come and look at my car, which took him all of 4 minutes for a brief visual check, that counted as a second claim on my car insurance in a year, wiped out all of my NCB, and resulted in the premiums going up by a factor of 10.
My grandfather died. His children fell apart fighting between themselves over funeral arrangements & handling of the will. Their children (my generation) glued ourselves together to deal with it.
TheChimp moved out. Heartbroken, both. The cats stayed with me as she couldn’t have pets at her new place. Practicality: household income halves, and the debts distributed. Partnered with car insurance rises, my outgoings now exceed my incomings. I play a dicey game with prescriptions to juggle the finances, resulting in prolonged periods of crapness.
My experiences with long-term relationships can be summarised thusly:
“It’s all good at the start but after a while when the meltdowns and shutdowns start and the literal thinking takes it toll, lack of spontaneity is boring and ridgedness to routine is frustrating and the inability to get empathy at critical emotional times they forget who they fell in love with because they think you can change. Then they (can’t help but) think your an asshole, weird, uncaring… and leave you (for their own sanity)” – Bryn Graves (and me)
Fortunately, myself and TheChimp have remained friends. 13 years is a lot to just forget.
The worst. My precious beloved Noodlecat, partner in crime for 11 years… cancer. Myself & TheChimp reunited to handle this. The process was dragged out over about 3 months. Finally we decided the best option was to have her put to sleep. She died with her head in our hands. It was, and still is, the most painful heartbreaking experience I have ever endured, and continue to do so. As an added kick, this sapped up another grand of finances. Her ashes currently reside in a box in the back toilet so TheBoy doesn’t try to eat them (again). We’re still waiting for a suitable opportunity to scatter them (which will probably be tomorrow!)
…and that brings us more or less up-to-date with present day. The dust is settling. I’m hoping for a trauma free few months so that I can actually find my feet, work out where my head is at, and decide how to handle things for the future… what I am and where I should be. How to handle loneliness & living after 20 years of consecutive long-term relationships working as a duo.
Options for getting out & about are limited by my own mental issues, and severe lack of funds for the next 2 years minimum… if I’m to stay living where I am I have no choice but to cut back everything where possible to make ends meet. Money left to me by my grandfather has been eaten up fairly rapidly as a result of outgoings exceeding incomings (don’t get me wrong, it didn’t ALL go on this, I did make sure I treated myself with some of it).
This HAS to be my focus for the immediate future – I must find a way to turn things around so I break even at worst, but preferably come out with spare cash at the end of each month to buy a spontaneous bag of Starmix or summat.
The upsides… I’m still in the same house. My environment around me hasn’t had to change (yet), so I still have the benefit of a home I feel safe in with familiar things surrounding me.
Time to reflect.