Dear 12 year old me,

Dear 12 year old me,

I am writing this letter to inform you that things will get better. Those angry scars across your thigh will fade, and your wrists will stop being a canvas for your pain. I promise. I know things are Goddamn awful for you, and I’m so, so sorry. You haven’t done anything wrong, I promise.

I know the Bad Man made you scared, but please don’t believe a word he says. You are beautiful. You are strong. You can keep fighting. This is the year he goes away. I know that seems impossible but it’s true, he will never lay a finger on you again. So keep going. Cry into your pillow, it doesn’t make you weak. Get out of bed, I know it’s the hardest task of the day, but you can do it. Talk to your parents, please, you’re scaring them.

In the future you’ll ace your exams (A*’s in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics!) and you’ll go to an amazing college. There will be a boy in the hallway, the one looking dorky and cute, the one smiling at you. Go talk to him. Or just do what I did and get really nervous and make a stupid joke…then run away awkwardly. But it’s okay, because your paths will cross again! You’ll go on a school trip, where you’re sat in a “train crash” so the emergency services can practice rescuing you. You’ll be covered in fake blood, wearing hospital scrubs, surrounded by smoke, and screaming people… and he’ll be sitting next to you making even stupider jokes and being just as awkward as you are.

This boy will make you realise how amazing you truly are. He’ll kiss your scars. He’ll hold you all night to keep the nightmares away. But most of all, he’ll be there for you. He knows your past, he’s intertwined in your present, and you’ll plan your future together.

Your future is filled with love, and hope, and opportunities. So please put the razor down, untie the rope, and look around you because the World is so beautiful. Just like you.

Lots of love,

Amy

(Written for Teens Tell Their Story)

I’m back from my holiday!

I’m home! I have been without internet for days and I was starting to get withdrawal symptoms! My boyfriend and I have just got home from our holiday, and I just wanted to say thank you for all the lovely comments and emails wishing us a happy holiday. It was brilliant! I had no work, no responsibility, just tons of food, it was perfect.

We went to a theme park where I discovered my boyfriend is fearless and I’m such a coward! And we spent approximately 48 hours in the arcades on the 2p machines where I spent a week’s worth of wages, but it was totally worth it 🙂 Do they have 2p machines in other countries? If not, you guys are missing out! Basically, they’re machines where you put 2p’s (money) into the machine, it falls down and falls into a pit of other 2p’s, then the machine pushes the money along and the toys that are on top of the money end up falling down. I explained that so badly, but that’s the best I can do. So I basically spent £30 to win a bunch of keyrings, stationary, and other random junk I will never use. But it was fun 🙂 I also may have unknowingly flirted with a guy who works there because whilst I was talking to him he winked at me and handed me a tub of free stuff (don’t tell Kyle :P)

2p Machines!!

Three days without internet let me do a lot of thinking, and I realised I complain a lot!! So I’m thinking about doing a series on here just ranting about things. Don’t worry, they won’t be too serious, but I think it’ll be very therapeutic (especially whilst I’m at University) so keep a look out for that 🙂

I avoid the elderly.

That makes me sound like an awful person, right? And it is awful, but unfortunately it’s true. If I see an elderly customer I will be polite to them, but I will finish the transaction as soon as possible. I visit elderly relatives as little as I can. And I absolutely refuse to go to funerals. Why? Because I’m terrified of death and everything that reminds me of it.

When I look at someone so fragile and tired, it just makes me so sad. I’m sure they’ve lived such a wonderful life, it’s just not fair that it has to end. I have quite a few elderly relatives. (My family seem to live forever.) I have two great nans who are still alive, but both of them are very ill, and can hardly walk or eat by themselves. For the past year I’ve made so many excuses to avoid visiting them- I’m sick, I’ve got coursework, I’m seeing friends etc. Anything I can do.

I have never been to a funeral. I want my last memories of my friends and family to be good ones, where they were alive and free and happy. I would hate my last memories of that person to be cold, and filled with sadness. But sometimes I feel so guilty too. I’ve missed out on so many of my loved one’s funerals, and although my parents haven’t said anything about it, I’m so scared they’ll think I don’t care when really it’s the opposite.

It just scares me so much that every memory I have, all my hopes and dreams and achievements will one day not matter. How fair is that?

So, what can I do? Is there any way to get over this fear? Is there anyone out there who feels this way too? I know I can’t keep going on like this forever.

Thank you for reading, and as always I encourage anyone reading this to get in touch with me if they need someone to talk to.

How to deal with being ill, like a pro.

My immune system is a piece of junk, so if someone even sneezes within a 100 mile radius of me I know I’m going to get ill! Yesterday I woke up with a sore throat, but that’s fine I can handle it so I babysat as usual. But last night I just felt like crap, so tired and my throat was burning. Then when I woke up this morning (at 5am) I was not a pretty sight. So here I am, laying in bed surrounded by pillows and three blankets, coughing, sneezing, and feeling like I’m going to be sick. But the worse thing, the thing that makes me so sad, is that I don’t have enough energy to make myself a cup of tea. It’s 3pm here and I have only had one pathetic cup of tea which was begrudgingly made by my brother, and the only reason he made it is because I recorded myself saying “Please bring tea” on my phone then played it at full volume  about 300 times until he made me one. What can I say, desperate times call for desperate measures!

So here’s my top three tips on how to deal with being ill, like a pro:

  • Make sure everyone around you knows how ill you are. Cough loudly and dramatically, especially during crucial moments of people’s favourite TV shows. Call up all your friends and let them know you won’t be available today, because you are ridiculously ill, it would also be helpful to make your voice as deep and hoarse as possible and cough as much as possible during the phone call.
  • Neglect all personal hygiene. You’re ill, and the shower is so far away! Take my advice, keep a pack of wet wipes near your bed and you won’t need to shower for days, even weeks! Plus, the grosser you look (and smell) the more sympathy you get!
  • Watch DVD’s. You know those movie’s you’ve seen 1000 times, the ones where you can quote every single line? Watch them. Watch them all! So far today I have had a movie marathon consisting of Mean Girls, Mrs. Doubtfire, Beauty and the Beast, Frozen, and The Princess Diaries.

Good luck! And if any of you could send me some love, it would be much appreciated! Thanks for reading 🙂

Gratitude…

A few days ago I was contacted by a lovely new blogger, Autumn Accepts, and was asked to write a guest post for her. I liked this post so much that I want to share it with you all on this blog too, but if you could go check out Autumn’s blog too that would be amazing 🙂


Dear Autumn,

I had this whole idea of what I was going to talk about, it would be tragic and heart-warming and honestly it would have been an award-winning performance… But it would have been just that, a performance. You see, I write a lot about my past and all of it is true. From the sexual abuse, to the death of a friend, to the depression, to the anxiety I am still dealing with now. And I was going to write about that again. Until, for once in my life, I looked around me instead of looking over my shoulder.

And do you know what I saw? Well, I saw my bedroom walls to begin with. Painted dark brown, pretty cute right? Then I thought about everyone who doesn’t have that. Some people don’t have four walls, let alone four walls they can call theirs. Then I remembered the reason why my four walls are painted brown. That is because this was my brother’s room, and that dark brown was the result of countless pots of paint and hours of work by my parents. Then I remembered all the people who don’t have their family with them, or they don’t have parents that will drive to the paint shop three times just so their child can pick the perfect colour.

I looked to my left. I see books, and a whole lot of them at that! Overflowing, scruffy, and unorganised, but then I remembered the people who can’t afford to go to school, let alone those who can’t afford books. On top of the books I see a photo frame, the couple inside are awkward and dorky and it’s definitely not their best photo! But I am so grateful that I could be present in that moment, the first party my boyfriend took me to, the one where we drank a little bit too much and we danced badly but we were so in love. Then I remember all those people who can’t show their love, who fear walking down the street with their partner, who cannot get married because a deceitful government says it is immoral.

I looked to my right. I see a window, looking out upon the beautiful English countryside. Okay, my window actually looks out onto a carpark. But then I think about all the people whose windows are wrongfully blocked with bars, the people whose only crimes are standing up for equality, or falling in love.

Lastly, I look right ahead of me. And I see the World. I see all the information known to man, I see my friends who live thousands of miles away, I see infinite opportunities. Then I think of all the people who cannot afford computers, or those whose corrupt governments say that the internet will corrupt their minds.

As I look around I think of how lucky I am to be here, and how lucky I am to have the support of family and friends to help me. Maybe today you could take a look around and, just for one day, think about all the things you are grateful for.

Thank you for reading,

Amy

Blind Love

A little while ago I saw a video on my Facebook page. Its an advertisement for Coca Cola where 6 strangers are put in a dark room, and they get to know each other without seeing what they look like. I think almost everyone reading this judges people on their looks, whether they mean to or not. I wanted to see what it would be like to get to know someone, but without judging them on their looks. Of course, I called my boyfriend in (you must get sick of hearing about him!) We sat opposite each other and closed our eyes, and I asked him to tell me about himself.

He told me about his passions for reading, and animals, and he told me about his struggles with autism and ADHD. He’s trying to write a book. He’s going to University this year to study Psychology. He has a wonderful girlfriend he loves. All of this I already knew, but it was strange, after he’d been talking for a while I started to form a picture in my head of this man. His deep voice made me think he was tall, and strong, perhaps muscly? His love of books and phycology made me think he was dorky, perhaps he looked like a University professor with glasses and a suit. The way he spoke about his girlfriend made me think he was older, he just sounded so mature and he sounded like he honestly thought she was one of the most beautiful and incredible people he has ever met.

Firstly, I now know how my boyfriend talks about me to strangers. And I love it. I think how you speak about someone when they’re not around says a lot about your relationship with them, so it was nice to hear how lovingly he spoke about me.

Then, while my eyes were still closed, he asked me if I would still date him. Honestly, yes. If Kyle had introduced himself to me like this, and I couldn’t see what he looked like, I’d still go on a date with him. His personality was amazing, and I think this made me realise how great a person he truly is. The way he seemed so excited about his passions, and he just seemed so positive about everything. I think I fell in love with him a little bit more that day because I realised that looks were nothing in our relationship. Someday we’ll both be old, and wrinkly, and now I know that even then we’ll still be in love because I’m with someone who is so great to talk to it won’t matter what we look like.

If anyone reading this would like to do this, I definitely say go for it! And if you do, please let me know so I can see how you found it. Thank you for reading.

What is it like to be in love with someone who has autism?

20150620_161412[1]Wonderful. Challenging. Beautiful. Frustrating. But so worth it. My boyfriend, Kyle, and I have been dating for around a year and a half now, and he has been diagnosed with autism, ADHD, and dyslexia. I’m often asked if that makes a relationship difficult, and my honest answer is always yes. Of course it does. So why am I still with him? Well, he makes me happy for one. He is also an incredible person whose personality I love. My dad always said to me, if you’d be happy with your own child dating someone like your partner then you’re with the right one. Honestly, I would love my future children to date someone like Kyle.

However, our relationship faces struggles that some other couples might not face so in this post I’m going to list all the good points, and the bad, about dating someone with autism. Everyone with autism and ADHD are different and so this will be based on my own personal experiences, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. And before I start, I’d like to say that I’m not blaming my boyfriend for the things he does and I’m not judging him on these things- I understand that some habits he has make him more comfortable and I’m not putting him down in any way. I love him, but I want to give an honest view.

Bad News First

  • His view on right and wrong can be child-like. When my boyfriend gets upset or angry he can sometime resort to very child-like thinking. For example, while we were sleeping I took all of the blanket. He woke up and then decided to elbow me until I woke up, in his mind it was the only way he could think of to fix the problem, and if he couldn’t get to sleep why should I? To try and help we have a chat and we talk about what else he could have done, I do try and remain calm (even if it’s 4am!) because he doesn’t do it out of spite.
  • He obsesses over little things. He can’t eat baked beans unless he cooks them himself. Is he like that with any other food? Nope. Just baked beans. If his bus is a minute late he panics. He worries if he’s playing on his PlayStation too much, or if he’s reading too much, or if he’s on his laptop too much. But he doesn’t worry about the big things, like University or money. To deal with this I just get over it, he’s not affecting my life so it doesn’t bother me too much. Plus because of my anxiety I worry about everything enough for the both of us!
  • He struggles to read my emotions. Obvious clues, such as me crying or me laughing he can figure out my emotions. But sometimes if I’m just sitting on the sofa watching TV, he struggles to tell if I’m being quiet because I’m sad, angry, or if I’m just content. This can often lead to him asking me if I’m okay a lot, or asking me if I’m angry or upset at him. I’m not going to lie, this can get frustrating sometimes but it is sweet that he cares about me so much. So, to help with this I tell him outright if I’m angry or sad because it’s just easier for both of us. I think all couples should do this! It saves so much time because none of us are mind readers!
  • He finds it hard to put himself in others shoes. Kyle struggles to view the world from anyone else’s point of view. So he might do or say something without considering how that might make someone feel. Unfortunately my anxiety means that if he says something to me, I find it extremely hurtful and my brain often exaggerates it. As our relationship has gone on he has gotten a lot better at this, and I’ve learnt to let him explain what he really means and to talk to him if I find things upsetting.
  • He can’t process sarcasm. I am an extremely sarcastic person, but Kyle takes everything literally. This can make our conversations difficult, and can make for some awkward explanations.

But There Is Good News!

  • He can’t lie to me. Kyle just cannot lie. This means that if he tells me something I know he’s telling the truth, and I think this helps my anxiety a lot.
  • He’s very affectionate. Kyle’s ADHD means he’s very hyper and once he got to know me and trusted me he’s so sweet but very excitable. This means I get constant hand holding, hugs, and kisses which I love!
  • He knows so much. The amount of random information Kyle knows is astounding! I tutor a young boy, but he was struggling with History so I offered to do some lessons on it (although I know nothing about it) so I enlisted the help of Kyle who managed to teach me everything about castles, Medieval Times, and The Battle of Hastings. And my student got an A on his next exam 🙂
  • He’s excitable. When Kyle finds something he’s passionate about, he gets obsessed over it and it’s so cute. He gets very excited, and it’s so nice to see something simple making someone so happy.
  • It’s easy to tell how he feels. Some people struggle to read their partners emotions, but Kyle is very predictable. He has very specific behaviours for when he’s happy and another behaviour for when he’s sad. This means I don’t have to be a mind reader and I can help him out quickly.
  • He doesn’t judge. He bases his opinions of people solely on how they treat him and how they act. Kyle is one of the least judgmental people I know. It doesn’t matter if you are 10 or 110, male or female, black or white, gay or straight, Kyle will be friendly towards you and that’s such an amazing quality of his.
  • He is so positive. His personality is so upbeat. Although he has struggled he always has a positive outlook on life and it’s so nice to be with someone like that. He is so kind and sweet and he genuinely is a nice guy.
  • He just gets on with life. Never has Kyle complained about having autism. He knows he has it and he just carries on with life, there’s no moping around or feeling sorry for himself, and I love that about him.
  • He’s brave. His ADHD means he doesn’t fear dangerous situations. This means that I can send him to deal with big scary spiders, or loud noises in the night and he doesn’t even flinch! This means he’s Superman in my eyes!
  • He’s a good listener. If I have a problem I know I can go to him and talk about it, whatever it is. He’s also good at giving me advice, and putting my problems into perspective, and he helps motivate me 🙂

I wrote a list of so many more good points but I realised this post is so long already! I hope this post has given you a better insight into what it’s like to date someone who is autistic. No relationship is ever easy, and autism does make a relationship extra challenging. But there are so many reasons why Kyle is a wonderful boyfriend and no, I would never take away his autism because without it he wouldn’t be Kyle. I love him and I hope he never changes who he is. Thank you for reading!