Autism and just ‘get more hobbies’

I am haunted by a past I hate. I hated art school at Calarts, I hated the Pixar internship filled with skeevy people, I hated everything now that my mom has passed away. Everything reeks of filthy judgemental shallow shit-sucking people.

If I talk about self loathing, someone will come along to say I have issues, despite it being one of my most popular posts which obviously other people have trouble with. Otherwise, why would people cling to some random talking about the subject? Because it’s juicy and exciting.

People also seem to engage with my Autism opinion posts, maybe because they have their own experiences with being Autistic, want want to seek solidarity? I’ll talk about this in a bit.

The reason I hate my past life is the people. Oh god the people. People that will never look at this. People who constantly said snide remarks about each others art, who were always on the make looking for someone to scrounge off of if they thought they could get something out of them. There was something rotten about art school that tainted the whole experience for me.

Of course, I learnt things, mostly about the fact I could never expect to find friends in a brutal environment such as this.

With time, I found my stride at work, and began to heal from the toxic world of Calarts, I began to feel competent with my art, which helped my self esteem and working bolstered me up into feeling like a solid member of society. Little did I know, it would all come crumbling down when my mom died and a supernatural entity decided to mess with me aka. psychosis.

‘Psychosis’ has tested and broken my limits for what is humanly possible for someone to endure. Pride breakage that everyone can see. The emotional toll and strain is unbearable, being unable to communicate with art even one ounce of what I’ve experienced in my ‘psychosis’ and ‘mania’. It has been unbelievably dehumanising but nobody in my family agrees with me. Cheer up. Do something else. Get more hobbies. All are the usual retorts. Because they don’t feel this anguish in my head, how could they? It’s such a freakish thing to have happen, the most anyone knows is freakin’ anxiety and depression and—holy shit—don’t get me started on how lame those two are in comparison to what I’ve felt. 😡

Still, I’m driven onwards by a infinitely positive cosmic force that I don’t comprehend, I’ll leave that subject by saying, something has been here for me. Call it spirituality or a God, it goes by no name, but has provided comfort in the face of absolute misery.

Of course, I know hate is bad. It’s been so long since my Calarts days, why am I still traumatised by it? Well, I experienced social ostracization which hurt my feelings, boo hoo. I experienced embarrassment by never drawing the right thing and feeling slow in everything related to love and sex, but that is a whole new can of worms. The situation with art was it was something I turned to to escape from emotions I couldn’t control or understand fully. With ‘losing my art’ (obviously I haven’t completely, due to these hard-worked for drawings in this post) I have learnt a bit more about the origins of my feelings. How I turned to art to hide away but also to provide relief in every way when life got too tough.

I’m not ashamed of how I turned to art all these years. My therapist now understands what art meant to me. She has pinpointed it as being soothing, comforting, a soothing expression where complicated emotions can’t be expressed with words and whatnot. Due to her experience with Autistic people, she has also identified drawing to be an Autistic stimming habit, which I could turn to religiously to calm and re-center myself. She couldn’t be more right, although I am not so keen on identifying with being Autistic all the time.

I went to a Autistic meetup group 2021 and this year. It started out well enough, but with time, became oversaturated with piles of loud people playing board games the entire night whom I couldn’t relate to. Not to mention some of the men were hideously rude or weird to me in one way or another, I just lost my temper and patience. I couldn’t relate to my fellow ‘Austistics’, but is that my fault? No, being Autistic does not mean you have to bond with other people, especially if they don’t share your values,*cough* intelligence or any hobbies whatsoever. Thus, I have become isolated from the Autistic community, despite one friend insistently telling me to go. (he runs it so of course he wants me to go -_- )

You don’t say ‘just get more hobbies‘ to someone who made art their pride and joy, especially a career. It is undeniably insulting that my aunt and grandma have said that to me, but they will never fully comprehend the ecstasy of drawing, so the joke is on them. My autism may be a reason why losing my ‘stimming‘ or at least, loosing the ability to do it so well, has been life shattering destruction. Annihilation of my soul, basically, but hey I’m being melodramatic, just ‘get more hobbies‘. -_-

I remember I got into Autism research when my mom sent me a WordPress post on female autism. It’s a list and is probably the most popular post on the matter so it isn’t too hard to find. I remember I cried upon reading it, because something deep down said, ‘this is you‘. The slowness, awkward taste in fashion, obliviousness to so much, obsession with one thing, most happiness found in being alone, social goofiness and mistakes etc. All the little things that I’d been shamed for during my time at Calarts, Pixar and beyond! Things that made navigating life so damn bloody difficult. Can I learn to cast aside the hate, to move on and accept that art may be hard to do for now, but every now and again I do something I like, as evidenced by the drawings in this post?

It was only in 2021 that I received my Autism diagnosis for real, instead of just going with gut instinct. Not exactly late-life or anything, but something I wish I knew about when I was a tad younger. Drawing is not this thing I can turn to so easily, but it is still very much as obsession, because you can’t kill the heart of an artist. I just hope people realise that. No matter what has inflicted this upon me, I am drawing and will always draw. It’s a more than some Autistic stimming thing I do to calm myself down, it’s a deeply passionate display of my emotions, whether I’m drawing cute liddle Toohoos or not. Over and out!

By vela

Just your typical temperamental yet passionate redheaded. Experienced in insanity, art, writing and life.

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