Fear, Day 3, 24-Nov-2017
Fear vs. Brave
I am intelligent, very logical and thanks to being autistic, used to my emotions coming out of nowhere.
That puts me in a “relatively” good place to write these blogs, but it does not mean I am OK.
I am terrified of where this cancer is taking me, and I am terrified of dying. Please don’t mistake what you see on the outside (what you read in this blog) for what is going on inside.
- Most of the time I manage to stay in control of my (logical) brain, being autistic, this is normal for me.
- Sometimes emotions hit me like a sledgehammer, coming out of nowhere;’, again, being autistic, this is normal for me.
- When Teresa (or anyone else I encounter) is upset, I pick up her emotion and it becomes mine even if I was OK; being autistic, this is normal for me.
I am not being brave.
I’d hate anyone reading this blog or our postings on Facebook, to think I was somehow brave, I’m not. I am autistic and that means my responses to things look different, but when you look deeper they are the same, they just look and sound different.
If you were to talk to my son (number 3 son) you’d think he doesn’t care, but he is also autistic and he understands me better than almost anyone. He understands why I am so logical and pragmatic about it, because that is where he is.
Most other people in my life are surprised by how I seem.
Autism can (and often does) make life very difficult, but there are a few circumstances, and this is one, where it gives us a coping facility not available to others.
So, I don’t want anyone reading this thinking I am super man (more accurately, super non-gender specific person). I’m not, I am very frightened.
What I do have is a disconnect between my ordinary thought processes and my emotional ones, the emotions run on their own timeline and appear and disappear without me knowing why. I could burst into tears right now because I am going to die, or because my eldest son (number 1 son) refuses to speak to me, or because I had a bad day 3 weeks ago because of what someone said to me.
Because of this disconnect, I am used to managing my emotional responses and not letting them drive my rational mind.
So, I appear, cool, calm, collected and in control. And, to be fair, a lot of the time I am. But underneath that I remain a very frightened Bean.
Typing makes it much easier than talking would. Indeed, talking to me face to face is quite likely to result in tears.
Because I can look at this calmly, it means I can describe quite clearly what is happening to me. However, the emotions are there too, even if I describe them in a logical fashion, they are very real and very present.
You can’t see on the page all my tears while I am writing or editing. You can’t see the tears running down my face as I read your comments, indeed as I write and edit this paragraph (but the rest of this blog was fine, no tears at all, go figure).
Having cancer that is survivable is incredibly scarey. Having cancer that is terminal is also very scarey. Knowing you only have a few days, weeks, months or years to live is scarey.
I’m not immune to that, but I hope that I can help shine light on that fear and the process I must go through and make it a little less scarey for others going through it, especially for their friends and family. Most of all, if there are autistics involved (on either side of the equation), please try very hard to understand just how different this can be for them and be quick to understand difference and slow to criticise what might seem like unthinking or uncaring or inappropriate reactions.
Tomorrow the dilemma of having high blood pressure and one of the many side effects of treatment with Pazopanib. I’m hopefully off to the GP this morning to discuss this.
The Bean, at home, Fri 24-Nov-2017.