Today I am frozen….
It's the only way I can describe it… I've been in bed for the last almost 24 hours. Unable to do much apart from scroll through social media, chat to friends and flick through Netflix aimlessly.
I didn't even feel it coming! Genuinely. This morning, I sat in my bed, catching up with two of my closest autistic friends as we do every morning, completely perplexed by the level of demand avoidance I was experiencing. I knew SOMETHING didn't feel right, but it was just a general sense of oddness rather than any kind of emotional feeling.
You see my brain doesn't register anxiety, fear, or stress very well at all. It's probably due to being so over-exposed to those feelings that I just don't feel them unless they're ridiculously heightened. No doubt it's a kind of trauma response. I haven't had the easiest life, but that goes for every late identified ND person I know.
I said to my friends this morning, "I didn't sleep well last night at all." I took them to point out to me how hyperfocused and productive I've been lately. You see, many changes are happening for me at the moment, lots of great things are coming. This is a massively positive thing!! My friends/colleagues/community have embraced me and lifted me up over the past few months too… I'm also super grateful for that and love every one of them. They are genuinely my biggest cheerleaders and I don't know what I would do without them. None of this is negative… the issue is I don't feel deserving of it because I have imposter syndrome.
I suppose you could describe imposter syndrome as never feeling good enough, no matter what you are told or what evidence there is to the contrary. I get waves of feeling like I am an imposter! I'm surrounded by the most wonderful, interesting, intelligent and inspiring human beings…. And I'm just me? I don't understand what they see… that's because I have trouble understanding how I am perceived or present. It also probably comes from years of microtrauma regarding my neurodivergence. Communication and sensory invalidation, being told you are bad, never amount to anything, lazy, must apply yourself, a disappointment etc etc etc… it goes on I'm sure you've either had this said about yourself or your kids. Not forgetting the very real trauma left behind by my own poor educational experience…
The result is when good things happen, you feel like you don't deserve them, or someone made a mistake or you are an imposter, and everyone will figure it out soon.
Now I see it, everything makes sense… I've been following the same daily routine. I haven't slept well at all. My stomach hasn't been great. I've been eating the same foods every day. I feel a general sense of restlessness. I'm kind of shaky. I haven't left home for a while unless I've had to.
Then I remember a conversation I was having with another friend last night. I talked about feeling like you didn't know who you were, feeling like you were creating a mask, fear of not living up to expectations, feeling out of control, feeling like things are going at 1000 mph, and you can't stop. I was adamant that I was empathising with them…. But I was talking about me! Hyper empathy and alexithymia can be a real pain sometimes, unable to tell if a feeling is your own or someone elses because you feel them so clearly but you are in some way detached from your own.
IT TURNS OUT THEY WERE MINE! DOH #FacePalm
So here I am …. In bed for the 23rd hour…. Now aware of what's happening and why. I am feeling anxious and overwhelmed, feeling out of control. Not because of anything wrong. Because of good things.
I am frozen.
The flood gates have opened now I've figured it out. I literally can't move. I swear I've needed a wee for the past 2 hours but I just keep ignoring it in the hopes it will go away. I will move when I have to, but it's a real internal battle. I wish I had the words to explain why it isn't as simple as "just do it," and maybe one day I will. But not today, today I have to be authentic. I have to listen to myself. If I fight the resistance, it gets worse… then nobody moves for at least a week.
Today I need to process…In whatever way my instincts are telling me when it's telling me to… because I haven't been listening and THIS is the result..
If you message and I don't get back to you immediately, don't take it personally… but also don't feel like you can't message
Taking it easy for the rest of the week.