Overwhelmed

(This blog was drafted on Monday morning)

I seem to have been bogged down in application forms and interviews for the last two weeks. I was offered a job working as a support worker for students with autism, but despite me having applied for a role in Manchester, I was offered one almost a 100 miles away on a zero-hour contract. Needless to say, I have declined the offer.

If this blog seems a little erratic, that’s probably down to the fact that I couldn’t sleep last night so I’ve been online all night completing more applications and now I have the cat sleeping deeply on my lap and I’m not wanting to move her. So, espresso and lack of sleep can be my justification.

Interviews are always a challenge for most people. Now, I am aware that some people on the spectrum struggle with meeting new people; this is something that I trained myself out of many years ago. I worked in environments which require interaction with a constant influx of new people and we can learn to deal with an awful lot. I’m reasonably OK with new people, but my personal struggle comes in communicating on a deeper level; I can’t read people easily and when I do, I frequently reach the wrong conclusion. I have taken the attitude that, in interviews, I tend to tell people that I am on the spectrum and explain that I may just be more specific in conversation and that whilst it might appear that I’m making eye contact I won’t be and if my eyes wonder slightly it’s not me being rude. (I try to look at a person’s nose or eyebrows, which gives the impression of making eye contact.)

So in all, it has been a stressful few weeks and I’m still waiting on surgery to remove the pins from my ankle, which will allow me to get back on the bike and running again, both of which help me to feel ‘normal and healthy’. My surgical appointment is booked for the 23rd of September and hopefully recovery won’t take more than a few days.

Watching the mountain bike racing on Redbull TV reminds me how much I’m missing it and that I was supposed to be racing in Switzerland this coming weekend. As I’m not able to ride, let alone race, we have decided to simply take a couple of days to get away, enjoy being in the mountains and relax; I’ve not had a holiday since 2016 and then I ran a marathon up the Jungfrau (great fun but not particularly relaxing). So, cat sitting services have been found and myself and my girlfriend are very much looking forward to a few days away. **

** Wednesday morning edit prior to publishing. 

I was expecting and promised the return of money from family which was going to pay for spending money to go on holiday. Said money has not been returned and I’m simply not able to get a reply from my brother (who is lousy with answering the damn phone anyway). I’m in two minds as to whether I cancel the trip, we really can’t go to Switzerland without money, I remember how expensive a bag of groceries or a sandwich is and I haven’t lived or visited in three years. 

As I cope with interaction with others and daily functioning by use of creating plans, routines and structure, I find myself currently wanting to tear my skin off, whilst trying to type whilst stimming with my head and feet.

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Things I can’t control

People with autism need and form patterns, plans and routines. I’ve always tried to plan everything to a high degree of detail. I meal plan, I plan my working day, I plan my training and relaxation time. Basically, I’m a logistic dream or nightmare, depending upon ones perspective.

I’m currently waiting on my girlfriend to arrive back in the U.K. from Sweden. She’s had a fun trip, visiting a friend and I’m very much looking forward to spending the weekend together; and, yes I do have meals planned.

However, the fly in the ointment takes the form of Norwegian Air deciding to change her return flight and no one thought to notify her of this change. Not the website she booked through or the Airline themselves. The flight was moved forward, by a matter of five hours. I’ve spoken to the website and been informed that the next direct flight to Manchester is at 07:00 tomorrow! Or she can get a flight tonight and have a nine hour layover in Heathrow airport.

I now can’t get hold of her to find out more information. I hate not being able to do anything more than I have done and feel utterly useless. I write this as a means of trying to avoid the alternative, which is simply to have a meltdown.

Transport

It’s not really a secret that I detest public transport; when I lived in London most recently, I choose to drive almost everywhere. I caught half a dozen trains during the three years I lived in Switzerland and then, only until I managed to get a car.  I cannot stand the smell that bus emissions give off, it makes me want to claw my own skin off.

I currently don’t have my own car, this leads to some things not being as easy as with one. I can’t often get to races, which leads to my not racing as much as I would like (although I am still out with injury, awaiting surgery at the moment). Also, I don’t get to see my friends, who, by and large are mainly in the South of England, whilst I live in West Yorkshire.

This leads me on to the subject of trains, I took my girlfriend to Manchester Airport on Sunday as she was flying to visit a friend in Sweden. The trains were, unexpectedly far more crowded than I had anticipated. Stuck in a metal tube with hundreds of other sweaty and noisy people, all of which have luggage was not a pleasant journey. Arrival at the airport was actually reasonably straight forward as was helping her check in and after a nice meal, I escorted her to Security and wished her an enjoyable trip.

Now to make my return journey from Manchester to Bradford, which was almost £30 for a single off-peak ticket. The ticket machine would only let me travel on a specific route, via Halifax, which in train times is a little like travelling via the moon. One train cancelled, three changes and being boxed into my seat by sheer force of numbers. The noise and smells of public transport combined with the stresses of having to determine a very convoluted route and cancelled trains all adding to the stress factor. At one point, I was so confused I asked a guard ‘How do I get to Bradford International?’ (which doesn’t exist). I arrived home in the end, just an hour and a half later than planned. Next time, I think that I’ll hire a car.