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Peace Comes At A Great Cost, And Is It Ever Really Peace?

Updated: Jun 27, 2020

This blogpost isn’t going to be very coherent, it’s combining a few different parts of a blog I’ve been accruing until it has reached a critical mass that I need to unpack.

For my whole life I’ve felt lonely, I’ve felt an outcast, quite frankly I’ve been one unless I’ve pretended to be a different ‘character’. So much so that, it got to a point when I was 11 I had an existential crisis, pushed all my family away and suffered the first time from depression which left me bed-ridden, eating dinner alone as I preferred and going to school for lessons and spending break times alone studying. I guess I’m undergoing a more severe one now? But I really do not know. So I’ll have to leave that there. On the topic of long-term miscomprehension on my part, perhaps or just existence as it is for me, I have always found doctors’ questions about having suicidal thoughts a stupid one, not meaning to be rude to those who need to be asked it or rude to doctors who are asking either out of kindness or procedure. However, for me the reason it’s a stupid question, is it’s never been one for me. My answer I always have in my mind whenever I’ve been asked has been “I’m breathing before you right now, so the answer is yes”. I’ve been thinking recently, maybe it’s the same for everyone, maybe it’s not. I’d assume not from what I see, but then again, an outside observer never sees the whole picture. But all I can say on the topic is, much like when people say “how are you”, in most cases the answer they’re seeking is everything’s okay or the quickest answer to resolve that question simply. I guess conditioning to a neurotypical world does that.

Loneliness, I’ve lost my closest friends when I’ve strived to get to know myself better, imagine looking in the mirror and seeing a familiar face but one you truly don’t know. I cannot point to a personality, a few consistent traits through observation of behaviour over time, I guess that will have to do. I saw my best friend, at least before we fell out, recently. I wasn’t very nice, I acknowledge that, I was a terrible human, but, I guess like an animal in pain, not knowing myself, anyone and not thinking I was deserving either I pushed them away. I have avoided a street near my house that they live on, everyday I walk any way around it to avoid the street, been doing that for months now. Seeing them briefly, I reacted better than I thought, thought I would have had a meltdown and gone overboard that I haven’t in months or even worse. But I didn’t, I know why, I was happy, simply happy that they are doing well, hopeful they’re doing well. I still care about them tonnes, how they’ve helped me. They didn’t understand me, but quite frankly I don’t really myself, even now having learnt a lot more. It’s a weird feeling, like looking in the mirror one morning and realising you’ve never noticed the colour of your hair before. Felt sad and ashamed seeing them, of course, but what overridden it all was happiness they were okay. Because for me that’s all that matters.

I was thinking, watching the sunset yesterday why is it I love watching sunset so much, I guess I could sum it up in a few words; meaninglessness, void, insignificance, loneliness, the world moves on no matter if we do. It’s peaceful, yet depressing, but also there’s some peace to that. Waiting, watching the sunset, and walking off back home after. It’s sad, and beautiful, but maybe that’s just morbid, or depression. It may be sad, or disheartening, but when that’s all you got, it’s all you got.

I’ve wondered and wondered, likening trying to learn ‘who I am’ rather than the constant pretend of ‘who have I portrayed to you’, for me, it has opened Pandora’s Box. Something it may sound obviously a good thing to have done, but really after all the loss, the greater depression, quite frankly the loss of everything, I’m wondering if it was better to pretend and never truly know. I have no answer, again, for I don’t truly know. One though that’s always occurred to me, myself, and more than likely partly due to my Autism among many other factors, have always been one for truths, I’d always liken, and prefer to be in place of George from Of Mice and Men, but always longed to be more like Lennie, content with lack of awareness rather than aware and constantly in agonising pain (on a good day), again as I’ve mentioned before, it’s why Rick from Rick and Morty is a character I’ve always resonated with from the first episode I watched, from the depth of the depression, alcoholism, escapism he shows, awareness, but also a hidden form of jealousy where Jerry in many ways, though useless, is actually content in a way Rick can never be. I can list examples I resonate with, from reasons he tries to kill himself, escape everyone, he catchphrase of “I’m in great pain, please help me”, his remarks and even digs at people. It all showed me a character I could relate to like, quite frankly no living being or character in my lifetime. So I still cannot decide, if I regret opening this Pandora’s box, I mean, I would say I easily regret it if it wasn’t for, I guess, the ‘obvious answer’ being that it was better to get to know. I still don’t see it.

I’ve been searching again for the reason for my loneliness, isolation, and I don’t mean to sound dramatic, so I’ll explain. Imagine feeling like if I was the last person alive on earth in a The Walking Dead style scenario I would be less lonely than in the world I find myself in right now. At least I know I’m not a zombie and the line is clear, while in this one, other people are living, with two eyes, hands etc. and very similar but in terms of a lot of my worldview and the way I see everything it’s more different than from me and a zombie, so much so I’ve just been assuming I’ve been wrong, or alone or more recently with my diagnosis chalking it up to Autism, which I don’t doubt plays a large role. The situation is like getting 65% you’re clearly in a grade 2:1 and can be content as it’s middle of the grade, but with 68% you’re so close, yet also a whole grade lower, so close yet also so far. This has always been what it has felt like, I’m not ‘clearly’ Autistic unless you have met lots of people with it (reframing from calling it a disease, still something I’m battling with) but no clear divide could also make it more lonely, isolating, I mean, even if you cite the whole definition change of Aspergers to Autism type 1, a whole definition change over between 13-19 years because the ‘lesser’ diagnosis wasn’t taken seriously, someone could be affected ‘less’ but have it take a devastating mental toll, so much so even the person who diagnosed me said people thought of Aspergers as “Autism-Lite”. Something it doesn’t take long to see what he meant. Even with other things, where I’ve gone to Uni, I’ve ended with good grades and lots of stuff so “I can’t have been affected that badly” even despite every night, sad or happy hoping you won’t wake up, and when I was a kid, praying that I would not. Sad so I wouldn’t have to face another day, or happy so I could end on a high note. But even with my Autism diagnosis I’ve found out a lot more, but not about the aspect most causing me direct harm, I can cope with small things, they may get too much, but I’ve made coping strategies, heuristics and ways of dealing. There has been always one aspect I hoped my diagnosis would shed light on, but it didn’t really, it helped with lots of things, but not for the 1 thing that has, and I know and have known always caused my depression from the very start. As I told my therapist, my achilles’ heel, give me a dissertation to write in 3 days and I’ll write it the best possible given the timeframe, same for an exam, or almost any other task but I’ve always had 1 thing that would cause me a lifetime of grief. Emotions, understanding and isolation. To explain, emotions, from my own experience, not that I guess people will understand my perspective both because of Autism and another part of my identity I finally realised a ‘label’ for last night. A label that explains my isolation, my loneliness, an explanation for the (and no criticism, just observation) ‘throwaway culture” not just of rubbish, but of emotions, meaning, feeling. Briefly I want to explain I understand it may sound like judgement, but in the same way as school kids (for some reason I have no idea) use “ginger” as an insult, I’ve always used it descriptively because I really don’t understand any other comprehension of that descriptive word. In a similar way, I do not mean throwaway in a bad way, I mean it’s been more than often I’ve wished I could experience the kind of no promises kept, freeing just open. But I have never been like that despite trying to convert my own mind, and I know how I’ve tried.

I can even list scenarios that have occurred showing my inability to understand/want:

One time with a colleague at a club they pulled me aside and asked if I was gay, I said no, and they said “we can leave whenever you want”, had to get them to repeat it because I was at first confused. Eventually I confirmed that I heard what I heard, then made up excuses that I wanted to club some more because a) it made me feel a bit uncomfortable and also I knew they had a boyfriend, later in the night, like 10 minutes after them grinding on me for ages they left and went to someone else, 15 mins later complaining at the person (another colleague) for trying to get with them because they knew they had a boyfriend, leaving me confused, to this day I told them they asked me my orientation but nothing more to save them any trouble. Despite most people saying “she was the fittest person at work”. Again. Yeah. Don’t subscribe myself to “lad culture” displayed by most humans I’ve ever encountered across my life, unless it’s satirically with people who know I’m totally the opposite.

Another time with two girls asking me for a threesome at my 18th birthday celebration, didn’t know either of them well and wasn’t interested, plus it’d be in my best friend’s bed when her boyfriend didn’t like me as he was jealous of me, anyway another time I declined. Such a weird occasion.

And even another more recent time out clubbing two girls were bumping into me clubbing for ages, I later realised that wasn’t an accident and on purpose as they kept grinding harder and I was totally oblivious and actually bothered, not even noticing myself tbh as to me it wasn’t obvious, even if it was to friends of mine. It didn’t hit me until the two girls said “oh god this guy’s boring, we better find someone else”.

Another time I walked a friend home from a party, and we lingered in her room, realising years in retrospect she liked me, and I was again oblivious. It wasn’t until later that year two of her best friends saw me out with her at work drinks and said I should ask her on a date because she really wanted to hang out with me.

As for proof of my unfortunate or fortunate memory, I can (but would never) name the people involved, where (like where I was standing) and what event it was or who I was with and in what club). These events confused me so I’ve saved them in detail to “analyse” and try to understand which has been going on for years. Finally I have some understanding and context.

For more proof, about my tendency to remember events I don’t understand I remember in ICT class in year 7 once, I finished all the work and extra work and extra extra work so I asked if I could listen to music and play games. The teacher said something that racked my brain for a few years after, “you can but I don’t know about it”. This confused me, I didn’t know could I? Could I not? I wanted an answer and was left with more questions. I now know what he meant, I could but he didn’t know about it if anyone else came into the class. But this wasn’t clear to me, not until I learnt the quite frankly illogical way people say or mean things. Even with this I could walk into that classroom and where and the face of the teacher in addition to what I’ve written above. Trust me, memory is rarely a good thing, but does come in useful sometimes, Autism comes with few but some benefits, guess I have to count my luck when it’s so few and far between.

Coming to the main reason inspiring this post, the question over meaning, understanding, emotions and isolation in this. I’ve come across “demisexuality”, something I read the definition of and thought “isn’t this everyone?”, until I thought why I thought that, an assumption everyone thinks like me, and when I looked back at people’s actions throughout my life, everyone, people in conversation to me, in the third person etc. Etc. A data bank going to relationships as far back as early secondary continuing to as soon as last Friday, the proof is actually of the counter. So I’ve investigated it further and see the meaning to be far different from “normal”. Yet it describes my outlook on friendship, and everything greater, my overempathy, care and even the loss of my closest friends in my time of greatest hardship. I remember the time I first came across the term. I was googling questions troubling me, what “I was like” and it came up. And I was gobsmacked. Looking it up occasionally ever few days trying to gain insight. It came to a head last night when I watched a video of linking it to Autism and my head exploded. So much understanding of everything throughout my life, everything, and more importantly, the explanation to my depression, isolation, feelings, perceived inadequacies and my own self depracation for not being “normal” (obviously I’m not saying everyone’s the same, like saying I’m autistic means I’m not saying people don’t share some similar traits to a certain extent).

I’ve been pondering it all day, and even into the night last night. It kept me up. Finally an explanation, but has left me feeling even more lonely. Even more alien to the world around me. It provided me a label, but no cure, a label but no solution, no direction and if anything it seems to more I’m more an isolated abomination, and that’s being polite and kind to myself. It’s left me broken and exhausted. Even writing this I’m too tired to, glad to have a few pints in a pub but still... left with no direction.

Demisexuality: A demisexual is a person who does not experience sexual attraction unless they form a strong emotional connection with someone. It's more commonly seen in but by no means confined to romantic relationships. Nevertheless, this term does not mean that demisexuals have an incomplete or half-sexuality, nor does it mean that sexual attraction without emotional connection is required for a complete sexuality. In general, demisexuals are not sexually attracted to anyone of any gender; however, when a demisexual is emotionally connected to someone else (whether the feelings are romantic love or deep friendship), the demisexual experiences sexual attraction and desire, but only towards the specific partner or partners.

It explains everything. Alongside my Autism. Explains everything. I can finally see. But in doing so, have been left without my closest friends, who I’ve lost trying to finally know myself. But has left me alone in a world I don’t know, I have never known, one that I know no one who does know. One I’m finally sick of. Disillusioned with. Feel alone and give up.

I’ll give myself 1-2 months, to decide if I will move back to Jersey, give up all I have or wanted, where my only thing was watching YouTube, or Brighton, the closest thing to home, but have lost so many of the closest people I’ve known. I’ve never felt so alone. Yet also, I’m not around those closest people who whenever I hung out with, I had a panic attack towards the end. Who I left the party to chill outside wondering if anyone would notice I disappeared, if anyone cared I was even there. I feel bad, but I felt terrible, and that doesn’t even cut it. Throughout my life, the answer was no, I may be a dickhead for this, I was, I am depressed, depressed because of who I am. Who I’ve always been but as I’ve not really known who I was. And as it would seem, having answers doesn’t lessen the loss, doesn’t heal the shattered pieces that was my mind, my heart, my reality, it’s early so I’ll be writing broken poetry into the night as it’s all I can write.

Even a small 2 minute conversation as I was in a shop, offering 2 elderly people the 2 seats, they thanked me, and the shopkeeper, it’s small things like this, like when many friends have asked me if I’ve been okay, and other I overhear talking about me when they think I’m out of earshot. Or the many people who messaged me ages ago thanking me and even mentioning when and how I helped them, one person I walked home to make sure they were okay, one person in a bar chatting, catching up but helping to make sure they were okay and many many more. Small things like all of this, I can never hope to explain, the empathy, feeling, kindness, it, for me, is like a small glimpse of the best aspects of humanity that can ever hope to be seen, aspects that show if people were united, empathetic, caring then the world can truly be a better place, through glimpses like this. I hope not to overexaggerate, but as I said, I cannot hope to explain it to anyone else and never will be able to despite how I sometimes try through poetry, through my blogs. But this is it.

This even explains my Project Empathy, my photography, my degree, my ambitions, my aims, everything. My morals and what I can call my personality.

Yet it leaves me more alone than ever.

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