Letter about technology, loneliness and not being ready to share

5th of May 2020

Dear whoever reads this

I miss A. I miss my friend of cause and wonder if there will ever be a time in her life where there is room for me. And a part of me is insecure enough to wonder if she’ll want mere there when that time comes. These aren’t exactly fair thoughts and I do my best to keep them at bay. What ever happens to my friendship with A I hope she is OK, I hope she finds love for herself and realise she is as amazing as I know her to be. I wish her all the best, and hope I am allowed a sting of sadness if that doesn’t involve me. That sadness will not take any of my good wishes away.

When I write I miss her now I guess I selfishly miss her in this writing process. It feels so lonely. Like so many other things in my life. I feel more vulnerable than I would have felt if we were doing this together, if this were a way for us to share things. Instead I am fighting to keep myself writing and struggling to share my life and thoughts.

The internet scares me. I have seen glimpses of the hate and harassment that happens there. And I do not want to put myself at the mercy of that. Not ever. And that is why I chose not to have a comment section. Why the email connected to this account isn’t my regular one. Even when no one is reading along, even though I do nothing for this blog to find an audience, I am so aware of the public nature of this. Nothing here is private. Nothing online is really private.

These months of no work, of not seeing friends, of being isolated, has shown me just how much I do not want any part of my life to happen online. I do not want communities online or friendships that exist primarily online. I guess I knew this before the pandemic, but this has shown me how much I feel that. How much even now when I have been locked away from the few friends I have, I do not want or try to search for meaningful connections through the very amazing technological tools at my disposal. I am so fortunate that I live in a time when all this is available too me, and yet I so often shy away from it. Nothing about social media feels social to me. It just seems stressful and like a source of too much information I do not know what to do with. Like an ocean of small talk and surface level interactions that I try to avoid at all times. And the addictive nature of apps, the way they are designed to keep any attention they can get for as long as they can get, doesn’t work for me. I find myself scrolling through feeds but getting nothing out of it, yet unable to turn the thing off.

I am so amazed that I have so much knowledge at my fingertips at all times. I can learn almost anything I want from the smart phone in my pocket. That is a gift. It is wonderful. I can take pictures and send it to a friend far away in a heartbeat and share what happens in my life with them. But I have found I learn better with a teacher, when I can ask questions and be corrected. I feel more connected when I am in the same room with a friend and I can feel their energy and feel what happens when their energy meets my energy, and I can’t do that through a phone.
I find phone calls less stressful than video calls. And though I can see the other person with video it just feels like more is demanded of me, more attention, with nothing added for me to want to give that extra. I see something similar with my nephew. He is five. And when I call he loses interest in talking to me very quickly, whether I call in the phone or with video. I’m not there. In the room with him. So I am not really real to him. He forgets I am there and that he is talking to me, because it’s just a voice or an image on a screen. So he walks away or just does other things. His parents tell him to focus, but I feel like he is being so honest. And when I visit he is so present with me, so there, so Here. And that forces me to be Here as well. And I love that. The way he asks me to be in the moment with him, and the way there is nothing more precious I could give him than my time and attention. And that the time I have with him will always be limited and that makes it so easy to choose to be in present in that time. He grows so quickly, and so does his little sister. I feel like if I am not careful the time when they are kids and want me to play and want to share those moments with me will disappear in a flash and before I know it they’ll be grown and I could spend the rest of my life wondering why I missed these precious moments with them. I still wonder a little too much if they’ll like me later. But he likes me now, and my niece is still too little to have an opinion, but she will soon enough. My autism and my weird and my being me is things I am proud of and that I wouldn’t change for anything. But I do wonder what these kids will think of it when they begin to see it and maybe understand it. I keep thinking they’ll either love it or hate it, and whichever it is I’ll take it when it comes. But it’s on my mind.

There have been so many things lately I have been thinking of writing or sharing here. This week a big thing happened that I might have written about if A had been a part of this. I would have trusted her to read it and be here with me in it. I would have known she was there and that she was being her own kind of vulnerable with me too. And I wouldn’t have been alone. So sharing those things wouldn’t have been so hard. Because I would be sharing them with a friend. If I write or share it now I am just giving it away to the internet, to no one. And though I am so fine being vulnerable and sharing so much of myself, I have been working on understanding I am allowed to keep things private. They are not secret, but private. Something I felt like I never had a right to. Too much blame when the therapists couldn’t fix me, it was always my fault, because I hadn’t cooperated or been honest enough. So I learned to tell them everything from such a young age, and nothing was ever private or secret or mine. And now I am beginning to claim things as mine and be more careful what is shared. But I also know when I started this blog, these letters that was supposed to be for A, that if she had been here, if she was writing back, I would have wanted to share so much more. And a part of me is sad that I have these things I am not ready to share, when I also struggle so much to find anything to write every single week.
I’m not going to push myself to share. But a part of me hopes I can share it some day. I think it’ll have value. It does to me and I believe it’ll have value to others if I can give it away. For now it’s mine. And that feels kind of nice too.

Lastly an update on my reading. I just started book 28 today. I am completely off any kind of schedule. I’ve read a few short children’s books that I could read in a few hours or less. And maybe they shouldn’t could as haven read a book, but I have decided it my reading and my books and they are books and they count. Especially since I read them to keep up with reading and because I have been meaning to read them for ages but haven’t till now. And I am ahead of schedule which was one book a week. So even though my reading died completely for 2 weeks about a month ago the small children’s books got me back to reading. And in the past week I have read the new Hunger Games prequel and the first two Hunger Games book. I just started Mockingjay today. So I’ve been reading constantly. The trilogy is a reread and they are great to return to. I do worry a little that I will get stuck unsure what to read next, but reading a series really did make it easier for a while. I’ll try to decide on something before I finish reading Mockingjay.

I keep thinking I should start writing in advance and take time for editing and stuff like that. But it doesn’t feel realistic yet. I hope that’s ok with whoever is out there reading. For nor just writing this to no one and posting it to not let myself down is challenge enough,

If anyone is reading then thank you. Thank you for your time.


P.S. Got distracted before I posted, and almost decided against sharing just this. I am not ready to leave the text for a day and return to it to edit, if I hope to post anything. So I think for now unedited is the way to go. But I do hope to change that.