Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Safety Guide
ASERT has compiled resources for those with autism and those who care for people with autism relating to the current COVID-19 outbreak.
I’m not very good at communicating, especially with the people I’m close to, such as my friends and family. I spend so much time trying to find the right words that won’t hurt other people’s feelings that I often end up not saying anything. This leads me to “stuffing” my emotions and thoughts.
Keeping in my thoughts and feelings is not really the healthiest coping mechanism since it often leads to me getting physically sick or causing me to have a meltdown. When I was a young child and teenager, I would often have emotional meltdowns. Now that I’m an adult, I’m likely to experience my suppressed emotions through headaches or just in general not feeling so good.
I’m afraid of being too blunt, being too outspoken and “speaking without thinking.” I have trust and abandonment issues that makes it even harder to be honest with anyone. I have experienced firsthand the uncomfortable feeling of being in situations where a person didn’t think before talking and it made me mad and sad. I have personally experienced having a sibling screaming on the phone because I respectfully texted that I had limits and how stressful family reunions were for me. I know I have a lot issues with feeling safe enough to express myself and I’m sure other people have had similar problems. I have worked so hard on learning how to think before I speak but I never learned how to effectively say the harder things without losing control of myself.
How do I quickly realize someone said or did something I disagree with and come up with an fast, appropriate response? Especially when someone has used a subtle put-down, insult, or they use sarcasm or teasing. Unfortunately I’m not very good at responding with a subtle reply that lets them know I won’t put up with their behavior. I used to respond by saying something hurtful back which never worked out since I would come out looking like the bad guy.
How do I respectfully state my own opinion when someone else has a different one? Most importantly, how do I make myself heard? This is important because I find myself fuming a lot of times because I want to be heard and I don’t feel like I am a lot of the time. Neither silence or exploding has been helpful. I’m frustrated with where I am right now in my life in regards to this.
I honestly wish I had useful tips or strategies to share but this is something that’s a very difficult issue for me to tackle and fix. The good news is I’m not alone in having a hard time with this topic. There are lots of people struggling to express themselves to other people. I find comfort in knowing others struggle with this and I will continue to try my best expressing myself to others in a more honest, communicative way.