As any adult, there are responsibilities that must be endured if you want to survive. Granted, if you are autistic or have other challenges, they can be impossible or a struggle to do or complete. However, I had to learn in a hurry that being on my own comes with responsibility,
To even think that I am here writing this in my home would be a figment of my imagination when I was coming of age. There was little hope that I would ever leave my parents home. I was not given the opportunity to flourish into independence, not that it wasn’t provided. It was the dynamic of which I lived with my parents and their methods, we did not see eye to eye on things. That doesn’t mean that it wasn’t all bad, it was just something that I never entertained.
I would get the “independence bug” twice in my life, but both times, anxiety would cause me to put the brakes on the move. And while I did move out for the first time over four years ago, I didn’t really take it seriously. I really didn’t put in the “sweat equity” that it took being an adult that lived on his own, let alone taking care of my own self, mentally.
However, being an adult, many times autistic adults are not seen as such. In many ways we are expected to follow the laws and regulations of adults, however our comprehensive level may not be there and it can be challenging for some to realize that being an adult comes with responsibility.
It is often said autistic adults with complex support needs reach the cliff at adulthood, then things can regress or stay status quo. This can be a challenge when they have to live with their parents as they age and eventually somewhere they may not prefer. For me, it took me to work on many skills and try throughout adulthood to get where I am today. My journey was not perfect, but today, I am in a much better place than I was even before the start of the pandemic.
I had to come to terms and thankfully I could that I had to take the initiative to do something about my living situation or continually fight the dynamic that I was fighting, which, ironically I radically accepted for what it was, AND fear where would be my destination after it no longer existed, OR take the journey on my own and do what I needed to do to ensure that I could gain and maintain my independence as long as I can beyond the time my parents would be on this Earth.
When I had to close my last chapter in my life over almost three years ago, I had to accept the need to address my issues and do what I needed to do to be an adult who could thrive in this world on my own. On July 30, 2021, I had my last meltdown. After my peers noticed me in that state, I realized that others can see my reaction and that I needed to work on my mental health and coping skills, particularly when things do not go the way I want them to go. Today, I am a much better person mentally and in 2023 hope to improve my independence further, but right now I need to be the snowbird and settle in and relax for the winter in preparation for more adulting.
In my late-thirties, I have accepted the fact that you cannot be a spoiled little brat forever and have mommy and daddy come to the rescue as they often have done in the past. It meant that I had to use all the services that were provided to me and learn the skills necessary to be independent and live a fulfilling life. As mental health recovery is a ongoing process, I too fight it continually as I work in defining a new life, day by day, sometimes hour by hour..