The Best Therapy I’ve Had

There’s a lot of times where I just need to talk…most of the time, I’d rather be alone when I do that, letting my mouth follow my late-night thought tangents for 3 hours at a time is a major part of how I stayed alive and semi-sane when I was younger…but I haven’t been able to do that since the last time I drove to a job interview (late March), and it’s definitely wearing down the defenses I used to have against my autism.

I’ve tried to force it, never could make that work, that usually just ends with me drawing a blank and staring into space until I either fall asleep or break down in frustrated tears…and writing it down has always been a poor substitute for actually hearing my voice (if I hadn’t talked to myself for hours on end in my teens, I probably wouldn’t have really talked at all). My second (and most recent, before this) Medium post was basically this; a single line of thought lasting a bit more than two hours that would’ve taken a dozen detours if I’d actually spoken it, but took about as long to come to about the same end. (This is about where I realized that my Facebook post about my coping mechanism had become the mechanism itself, and I moved it here.)

Maybe that’s why old trauma has been replaying in my head since April…I’d gotten so used to just being able to talk through it whenever I needed to, that my brain had no damned idea what to do when I couldn’t do that anymore. My car doesn’t start anymore, I couldn’t afford to drive it now anyways…and I haven’t slept in a bedroom for more than one night in a week — 5 or 6 times total — since I had to leave my then-girlfriend (who I’d had to move in with 6 weeks earlier due to a lack of alternatives) in mid-March. I’ve been sleeping on a couch on the second floor of an apartment since then…nice place, great people (all AMAB trans people dealing with at least as much trauma as I have, in their own ways), but there’s six of them in a five-bedroom apartment, so there’s almost no time outside of the earliest parts of the morning where I have any chance of privacy (two other people up here, with a third frequently using the window at the top of the stairs to blow her cigarette smoke out of, usually not actually getting any out the window), and even less where I can go on my old-style ramblings. (Yes, that is the origin of my Rambling Gamer moniker.)

But then…there’s the competing fear of being left out of everything, which (of course) came from being the person who nobody ever invited to anything, and always being the last person to find out that some plan or other had been changed, and just not actually having any close friends between the ages of 12 and 24. Even as I’m typing this, there’s conversations going on downstairs that I really do want to be part of, know that I’m welcome to be part of, and hurting because I’m not part of, but I also know that I’ll never get this damned thing done if I leave it in midstream like this (after all, it took a week to finish my first post, and six more to get around to posting it). Drilling down to the root of things, that’s really the main reason why I moved to Chicago at all instead of back to Milwaukee, I was just that tired of being left out of everything that my largest (and oldest, by that point) group of friends was doing because I didn’t live down here.

And yet, here I am…finally writing the things that I used to have to split over 20 tweets before getting thrown off track by reply notifications and never really finishing, the things that I used to have to hide under three layers of coded language on Facebook and Tumblr, the things that I used goddamned Blogspot for back in 2004 and ‘05 (never did get used to calling it “Blogger”), before there was any real danger of a parent finding out about my online identity…and the things that I used to try to reason out aloud, for hours at a time in my bedroom or my car, because it was simply the only way I knew to work through the thoughts that were going through my head. That method worked for years…but it isn’t really available to me anymore, writing here is likely the best that I’ll be able to do for the foreseeable future. I’ll keep this Project going for as long as I can…but hopefully there will be a time when I don’t need it anymore.