Autism & Anxiety
I’m really struggling. I quit my waitressing job of seven months just last week. It became too much with the unpredictable hours, demanding and challenging tasks, extremely loud noises at functions and bright lights. One of my supervisors treated me poorly too. He grabbed me by my sleeve once and dragged me like a dog. He would also come and hug me from behind without my consent. And him and other workers would not take my autism seriously.
they even said “everyone has a bit of autism.” And “when you become a Journalist you can write an article about folding napkins.”
Eventually, I got the courage to leave. As I had to work ridiculously long hours and I found the socialising to be extremely detrimental to my mental health. Plus I would have to constantly mask my autism. It was deeply painful and problematic.
I’m struggling with my autism and my anxiety right now. I feel like I don’t belong. I have cancelled two social events that were over last weekend because I simply did not have the energy to attend.
I feel like such a failure because I quit my toxic place of employment and I did not attend two social events that I was meant to attend.
Plus my dad recently got involved with a lady who was insensitive towards his depression and anxiety. And I have been worried about how detrimental that must’ve been for his psychological health. Lucky he stopped talking to her.
And also my partner’s father said something really insensitive about my autism earlier last week. Which is making me feel uncomfortable and scared to speak to him now. I feel like I can’t go to him for guidance or support. My partner understands and says he will try to keep me separate from his father until I feel comfortable but I told him I didn’t want to make any dramas or hassles. I tend to not like confrontation or drama.
I just feel so lost and stuck. I don’t know what else to do.
We are sorry to hear that you have been dealing with so much recently, but we’re so pleased you have reached back out to the supportive community. From what you have described about the workplace and your employer, it sounds as though the decision to leave comes from a desire for positive change so please don’t feel like a ‘failure’. Although major life choices and changes such as this can leave us feeling nervous and fearful due to the uncertainty, decisions made to improve our quality of life or remove ourselves from negativity are usually a positive step forward and should be praised.
It is very upsetting to experience this lack of understanding regarding autism in both your professional and personal life. Although you can and have removed yourself from the professional space and you state you are currently distancing from your partner’s father. Has your partner discussed the issue with his father and educated him regarding autism and how he offended you? As you have described your partner as understanding and supportive would he be willing to have this conversation?
We are always available and here to talk if you feel overwhelmed or uncertain about stressful life choices, please remember you can contact Beyond Blue either via phone 1300 22 4636 or web chat: http://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support
As I said when we last talked - you're always welcome here. It's true and it's good to see you , though I'm sorry about what has been happening.
Actually I'm only partly sorry. You have suffered from a great deal of stress and unhappiness in unpleasant circumstances at work -that's bad. But you have coped, and had the courage ot walk away - that's excellent.
If you work somewhere you are not treated with respect it is no reflection on you, it is a reflection on your ex-boss and the others. So staying would not have been sensible. True one tries things for a while to see how they pan out, if they are going to improve, but if they don't then it simply is not worth staying.
As for those two social engagements it is not really surprising. A big thing like getting rid of that job is pretty emotionally and physically taxing, so it is only natural to want to recover.
Your dad is lucky to have such a caring daughter. I'm glad your partner is on your side and looking after you
BTW is Eleanor Rigby still your favorite song?
Hey Croix, how are you going?
Yes, Eleanor Rigby is my favourite Beatles song of all time! Still my ringtone on my phone.
I’m just stressing about feeling like I don’t belong because of my autism. My partner is also on the autism spectrum, so he is very very understanding about it all.. thankfully!
thank you PF.
keep well Croix.
Thanks, I'm doing OK except for physical stuff, but managing.
Actually I've always thought you are a very unique individual, with strong ways and a taste for music, clothes and other things that is not all modern, shallow and glitz. Your speech reflects that too. You've not changed and I'm glad you still relate to that song.
While I can well understand it can be stressful if you feel others have not entirety accepted you I think you have it the wrong way around. You are the one others need to respect, and you really don't need acceptance by any who do not see you for who you are and value you as a result. You judge them, then decide if you want them.
I'm very glad you have a partner who you can trust to understand. That's a very big thing.
I know at the moment you have reservations about your partner's dad, after all autism is not something to treat lightly, but - if you don't mind me asking - how are you getting on with your dad?
Hey Croix, thank you so much for the supportive and thoughtful words. It really means a lot to me. I hope you’re ok.
I’m getting along well with my Dad. He is a big supporter of my relationship with my beautiful partner. Both get along well. And my partner loves collecting vinyl records too.. just like me!
Yes, acceptance can be enormously difficult. However, I guess I need to just see who I want in my life and select those who make me genuinely happy.
Eleanor Rigby is still such a profound and meaningful song.. so special to me!
What have you been up to?
It’s getting really cold here in Melbourne. I have been watching loads of old British sitcoms on BritBox. It keeps me amused and content.
Yet, I still feel so awkward around people my age? I quit my previous place of employment because I felt like I wasn’t appreciated enough and I felt like they never listened to the fact that I have autism. It was debilitating. The unpredictably long shifts.. some going from 3pm until 1am in the morning. Too much mentally. So glad I left!
thank you again for your wonderful and kind words of encouragement.
Have you listened to any good records lately, Croix?
I'm realy pleased for you that your dad is good and also gets on with your partner. The three of you sound a pretty good unit.
I'd not worry too much about fitting in with people your age, as I said you are mature, and won't speak the same language as many. I'm sure you are going to find others scattered though your life on the same wavelength. Getting good friends does take a lifetime.
I too like British comedy, Yes (Prime) Minister is one of my favorites, another is Monty Python.
I've just finished reading a biography about Janis Joplin by Myra Friedman called "Buried Alive". I think that refers to her immense popularity on and off stage. It's a pretty realistic portrayal of Janis. Myra was part of the music scene, knew everyone, including agents, financiers and Janis' parents. She was Janis' publicity agent in the late 60's
Every-time the book mentions a song I go and play it, from Piece of my Heart to Mary Jane.