Reflections: Changing Behaviors

Being autistic comes with its challenges that is for sure. But when you constantly have a behavior that seems to never go away and you continue to work on it, having it go away after years of doing it, can be painstakingly rough at times.

I have some childish behaviors under my belt that I am never proud of. Around 80% of  the people I know, I can mask my childish behavior quite well, but when I am given the opportunity, I can open myself to the remaining 20% and make not only my life, but their lives in the moment miserable. It can be when these childish thoughts and behaviors cannot disappear from my headspace, because I am an adult, and there are things that must be done to live independently, yet I want to act like a big child and be free of having to grow up in life.

Many people can be this way in life, but in a good mindset, I know that it is not what is needed for me and even though my brain is delayed in developing, it should be at the point where I should fully understand the necessity of having to meet expectations of being adultlike. Being autistic or not, there are things that i am fully capable of and once I get to them, I can succeed quite well at them, yet when the brain is given time to ponder thoughts about what I think I want to run away from, anxiety comes into play and adrenaline and cortisol shoots up heavy and there are time I am unable to release it from my body on my own and as such thoughts rise and are vented to those that I feel can take the punch of words and I know they will not cut me off.

But what if they say that they have ran out of support? What do you do then? The feeling becomes mutual and is reciprocated onto you and you just feel so darn bad about the way you were acting because the behavior that has been taking place has been taking place for years and it is always a handful of people you know that you dish it out to. When you tell them that you are supposed to be supportive and they reply that they are all out of it, I guess it is time for you to realize that you need to be more serious about tackling these issues that you are facing head on.

Changing behavior is never easy because at times we as autistic people can be so regimented and programmed to respond in the same old ways that we are used to being that we just can’t let go of the old behaviors. I used to think that i got a “kick” out of acting this way, but I am starting to think that is not the case, because the primary issues are things that I have been saying for decades, it is being able to do things that are necessary in life. 

They do not cause any sensory or other issues that are problems, and they shouldn’t draw anxiety, but they are things that I just don’t want to do for one reason or another…it is called growing up and many people do it, but in my mind I can only see a way of my own comfort, even if things will be fine once I get to where I need to be and do what is asked of me.

If given the proper set of tools, behaviors can be changed, including having ways to properly communicate one’s needs in order to express what they are experiencing at the time. It is often said that behavior is communication, and sometimes it can be hard to see beyond all the unpleasantness of behavior to see that someone is trying to get a point across. However, at times it can be just needing to divert energy,as in my situation in order for me to refocus my energy to a better manifest so that I do not focus on the things that I cannot control and then the cycle of rumination begins to spiral out of my control.

Regardless, the only one that can change behaviors is the one that creates it. Sometimes the person may need help in understanding and dissecting what they need to do in order to make the change, but they should be respected for at least trying and continue to have support even if they do not meet the benchmarks that society has set for them, for at least they are trying.

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