As I am becoming more stable as an independent autistic adult, I am realizing that I am being given more freedoms that for so long that I never felt that I had. Being under my parents’ house for the majority of 3.5 decades and now having the ability to make adult decisions seems surreal and at times hard to realize that I am indeed allowed to make my own decisions.
Yes, living on your own gives you your own freedoms, but there is also a fine line of responsibility that is flanked with living on your own that must be delicately balanced. From the time that I began to live on my own it was a very tedious line that I always pushed outside the limits of where I should have been. It caused conflict with those I loved, my mentors and my superiors and those that were providing me services.
I was not being honest about myself and in fact there were many things that never truly came out from those first few years when everything began to spiral. As things crashed, reality hit and combined with the COVID-19 Pandemic, everything came to a screeching halt. I had support from my family and they moved me twice in five months and when I first moved out. They didn’t have to do things I asked them, but out of their love, they did it because they knew it wouldn’t get done otherwise and I was of little help.
Now being almost two years since the last move, I realize that all that stress along with aging and the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on them. They are getting older and the things that they are able to do are lessening as time slowly creeps. I realize that I have to be the mature, sensible one and do what is needed when things are asked of me instead of being like a spoiled little brat and being childish. My parents have not only done so much for me, but they have taught me so much of what I needed to know to live on my own. Even as late as a few weeks ago they continue to fight for what is right along with being my #1 cheerleader and proud of how far I have come.
I have realized that it is my turn to live the life that I so longed for as an adult. Just as I have since coming of age accepted my challenges and what makes me who I am, I too have to learn that I have to do what is right for me. If I want to take a day to recharge because I know that I need it I have to be the one that is OK with it. When getting permission from the proper channels, I then had to seek the approval of my mother, as I often have to do. She reminded me that it is my choice to do as I need to.
Yes, it is my choice and I know that, but my need to seek validation from her comes from years of living under the family roof and feeling I had to adhere to what was the norm and that it was not OK to get some rest. Nothing should be short of the simple fact that I knew that I needed to take time to get some additional rest, I felt I had to explain myself over and over like I was some little kid that was continually doing something that was wrong.
I know that it stems from never being a true adult and never having a true sense of freedom. I had several opportunities in the past to venture that, but as I believe in a higher power and constantly believe that everything works out the way it does for a reason and that makes me feel a little better where I am today in my life. As being autistic, it can be hard to adjust to some sense of no issues on the horizon or where there is more freedom, trust and less of a constant need to seek validation from those I love. In reality, it is still a learning process of sorts that is changing every day and I need to continue to live life one day at a time and not constantly worrying or thinking into the future about things I want or think that I can control. I need to enjoy life for what it is and not be so hard on myself while giving myself some grace for all the challenges I have been through.