Letter about looking for communities, faith, love and the big picture.

7th of March 2020

Dear reader

I am not sure what to write today. This week as been hard and exhausting and I am just too tired.

My commitment to spending time with people who have more time and energy for me, is both good and bad. I am seeing people more and that is nice. But I am seeing people who drain me and who are more likely to me feel empty than like my needs are met. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. I am just unsure what the right cause of action is.

I also said yes to this fantasy book club and the first book we had to read was so bad I barely made it through it. I have no desire to read about a male protagonist with no personality who spends an entire book looking with both longing and lust at a woman who spends the story telling him she’s not interested and him trying to figure out how many chivalry points it takes to get her to love him back. Not a single character had personality and the love interest was every “I’m not like other girls”-trope thrown together with a bit of damsel in distress and only seeing her through the eyes of a man who only sees her as an object he can win and not as a person. The plot was thin, the language boring and there were so many inaccuracies that I just got frustrated.

I did spend 7 days not reading at all. So reading this one was a good thing. And it was the 12th book of the year, so I am not behind. But I am hoping I get to only read better things this year. No, actually, it can only get better, because this was definitely as low as it’s gonna get. I so hope the rest of this book club agree with me about this book. Or it might e a very short attempt at joining a book club. But if that’s the case I’m ok with that. I was hoping to spend energy both reading and being more social/look for communities I could join. But doing those two things separately is probably more my thing anyway.

I had also looked into joining a new autism group for teenage girls with autism, to get back to doing volunteer work with kids. But my first meeting with them left me feeling unsure and with a weird feeling about the whole thing. I was told they would write back to me the next day and felt almost relieved when I didn’t hear from them again. But last week I got an email about a new meeting and I honestly don’t know if I should go or not. I want community. I want to make a difference. But the weird feeling from that meeting makes me unsure if this is the place to do that.

And lastly I was invited to join a group at my local church, where I used to volunteer with kids and teenagers. This is a social group for adults and it feels too religious for me. Too much talk of all the answers being in the bible. I don’t like that. And the group leader, a very kind and caring woman, keeps trying to sell me this group as being something it isn’t. I think in part because we are very different people with very different understandings of the words and contexts we are talking about, and in part because she really wants me to join this group. And it’s such a nice group of people. Everyone seems so nice and welcoming and like a good community. And I need community and people and a place to belong. But the times I’ve been there I just feel so out of place and like I’m in the wrong room. And then the bible is brought up and everything feels even worse.

And that is part due to the fact that I have no desire to be religious or only find answers in one book. Another reason is that I recently discovered I lost faith. My faith was never really defined, as anything. I grew up chosing to go to church. I found a place I was welcome and being an autistic person who didn’t know why I felt so different, having people embrace me and make me welcome was important. And back then it was never about faith or religion. I learned some bible stories, but I felt free to question and disbelieve and never felt like anything was forced upon me. This group feels different. The way they talk about the bible and answers and all that makes me so comfortable.

I guess faith used to just be in some higher power, something I couldn’t name or describe, but just something more. And that was enough for a long time. I called this thing I believed in God because the word was as good as any word, and it was a word I grew up with. But I didn’t think of myself as a Christian or religious. I prayed sometimes and it used to be helpful. And then the unjustness of the world, the cruelty of what happens, the inequality, all of that was something I finally looked more into. I always felt it, like a splinter in my mind, but I had just enough privileged to not look at it all the time. But I have been actively looking to understand the world better and the cruelty of it hit me so hard. And I spend a few years being mad at God. Trying to be ok being in this state, so sure my faith would help me through to some new state after that. And instead I one day realised I wasn’t angry any more. The entire idea seem foolish because there was nothing to be mad at.

That feels so sad. A part of me is grieving, a part of me is empty. I do not think my journey with faith is over. I don’t presume this is the final state of things. But it’s my current state. And it might last forever and it might not. All I know is that I have to allow myself to stop and be inside the things I feel and experience and think. If I am always looking at the bigger picture, always looking to have a greater perspective, I lose what I am feeling and experiencing right now. And I need to be better at living in my life and not just thinking about my life. I have to get better at stopping myself from thinking ten steps ahead and allowing myself to live in this step. And in this step faith is dead. And I am sad. Because if I cannot believe in God, there is no God to love me, and then I am not loved.

Somehow love is a theme for me right now. How disconnected I feel from love. How I try to act from a place of love and with acts of love. And how I know some people love me, but their love doesn’t reaches me and their love feels like it’s about them and what they want and need and not about me. And that makes me feel very divorced from their love. Like I have nothing to do with it. Like my needs, my love language, my feelings and experiences are unimportant to their love, because their love is all about what they feel and not about what I am receiving. That makes me think very hard about how I act and speak when I want to give love, because the love I want to give is not about me. It’s about the one receiving it. To me the other person receiving the love is more important than what I feel. By which I am not trying to say my way is better, only that my way is my way, and that I am choosing it in part because of the things that aren’t working for me in the choices of people around me.

I am loved. But I do not feel loved. I am cared about, but feel like no one cares. I have people who want the best for me, but I feel so lonely. I am spending time with people who leave me drained because I cannot bear my own company or my own thoughts any longer. And am keeping busy because I know if I stop, even for a moment the world will crash and burn again. I am not better. My depression not cured, my traumas not healed, my autism not understood, my boundaries are still not up. And the world asks me to carry on and acknowledge all the good that is happening. And I do. I just can’t do that and be in my own body and my own mind or my own life without breaking. Because all the good doesn’t erase all the bad and the more I am only allowed to acknowledge the good, the more the bad weighs on my shoulders. The more alone I feel. The more life has no meaning and death feels like the only honesty left.

I am trying so hard to do my part. To not just be victim of my own mental health. I am trying so hard to pull myself out of all the darkness. But I carry the darkness with me. And there is no room for what I am in the world. There is no room for the things inside me. The parts that hurt. I want to rip them out, with roots and all. And the world tells me I want the impossible. I need space for what I feel, I need someone to look at it with me, someone who’ll be a mirror and help me adjust my thoughts, feelings and experiences of what my pain is.
There is so much I can do myself. And I do it. I promise. I do all the hard work. But there is only so much I can do myself. And even when I do all of it, there are still parts of it I need another human being help me with. That was the hardest thing for me to accept and to allow to be true. I cannot overstate how big getting there was for me. I think we all need a hand to hold through our lives sometimes. I just can’t seem to find a person who can be there for me. And that makes me feel lonely and deeply unworthy of love. I was told last summer that I think I am fantastic. I felt very called out, but had to admit it’s true. I do believe I have a lot of good qualities. My intelligence and kindness, my way of looking at the world, which mostly consist of a willingness to be wrong and an eagerness to learn. I pretty awesome. I have so much good I want to give to the world. But I do not believe I deserve love or that I should be loved. And I certainly don’t feel loved. Loved is probably the most empty thing I hear people tell me I am.

I happen to know one person has been reading along. A person who expresses love for me. A person with faith and with whom I have previously talked about God. To this person I need to say that I don’t need any talk of God for now. If that is the way I am supposed to go, I’ll get there when  I’m ready. That is not now. I can just hear you tell that even if I cannot believe in God I am still loved by him. But that isn’t helpful right now. Right now I need to find my own way in this. And it’ll take a long time, because I think I have a long way to go, and going is slow. Give me time to find out where I am heading. Give me space to find out what might be helpful.
I also want to say that I know this one is hard for you to read. But if I have to think of that I cannot write, so I have to not care. This is my blog, my space, my letters. And I need to allow myself to name what is happening. I need to write. I need to dig all this out and allow myself to look at it. Even when it’s ugly and not the whole truth. And I am sorry this one is hard for you. I am sorry you might be hurt or sad. But I am not going to censor myself even when I know you are reading. And we agreed I shouldn’t. I do hear the love you express for me. I am trying to receive it. And I am failing at that right now. Don’t think who you are or what you do aren’t enough or right or unappreciated. I am just a messed up person trying to navigate a lot of stuff, including a history that doesn’t make it easy to receive what you offer me. I don’t walk around taking other peoples words or actions personally. My intuition tells me it’s only about themselves. And therefore I always feel weird telling other people not to take what I do or say or feel personally, because for me that is a given. But I understand that not everyone sees the world the way I do, so even though I feel weird saying this, please know that me feeling unloved and lonely and all that is just about me. I know there is love out there, but right now I am not capable of receiving it. And just writing this brings be back to bigger picture and perspective and all that, so I’m going to stop myself there.

It’s good to remember big pictures, but I am beginning to understand that I cannot live in the big picture. I miss all the details and all the nuance and most of all I miss right now. I am so good at living in the meta where I think and talk about my life and my thoughts and my experiences and forget to actually be in them. I am dedicating energy to be in them.

It’s only been a few months, but I do feel like I am doing a lot with this year of being more intentional and having a few goals. I wish you dear reader the best with your goals.

I think that’ll be all for today. To whoever is reading out there, take good care of yourself. Thank you for your time.