Bedtime, Again.

It’s pushing midnight, and I’m tired. Last night I was up until 3am. I don’t want a repeat of last night, so my hope is that if I get some things on paper (er, screen?) and off my mind, maybe I’ll be able to sleep.

So far, work has been going great with the actual work. Though it’s tiring and not easy physically, I’m already getting stronger. My legs used to hurt by 8:30. Now, I can make it until almost 10:30. It’s getting later every night before I’m ready to keel over. In time, I think I’ll make it through the shift without getting physically worn out, and I look forward to it. But that’s just physically.

The problem is the people. Now, I warn you in advance, I kind of expect that people won’t like me. Leigh says that because I expect it, I find reasons to support my belief that they don’t. That makes sense, and I’m sure that to some extent it’s true. But that’s not the whole story.

On Monday, one of the volunteers went to my boss and screamed about how I had overfed the cats. My boss quickly discovered that while I had overfed them, it was because I had been taught to feed them too much. She gave us a tablespoon to level off and use so that we fed them the right amount. On Thursday, the woman I was working with, D, was using the tablespoon but was vastly overfilling it and giving the cats several times the right amount. Not wanting to correct D to her face, being so new and all, I went to the shift leader, J, and calmly and politely expressed my concern, explaining that she probably just hadn’t gotten the message from the boss, and could J please discretely fill her in? Not a problem, said J, and thanks for letting her know.

Later, the boss came back and in her abrupt but kind manner told D that she was overfeeding the cats and to please use the tablespoon. D said, “But I did use it.” The boss said okay and that was that. I thought that was the end of it. I was wrong.

As I was cleaning cat cages, D was cleaning them in the other room. I saw J and D talking in there. When J left the room, I heard her say, “And she said you were feeding them like 4 times too much and she went to the boss and…” And that was all I needed to hear. J went behind my back and talked to D about what I had said. And now D is all bitter with me. It’s not like anyone got into any trouble, so I don’t see the problem.

I’m just so frustrated with myself at work. I can’t seem to fit in socially at all. Everyone talks and laughs, and then I say something, and no one says anything. Silence. I try to be nice and polite and sometimes funny, but they just think I’m weird. What I hate most is that my family doesn’t believe that this happens. My mom says, “Lydia, you’re not that different. No one can tell.” But I know– I KNOW— that they can. Sometimes, it’s pretty obvious. I can tell when I’ve said something wrong because people don’t know how to react to me. They’re uncomfortable, so they just choose not to react. Because work is such a taxing environment socially, I get worn out, and I get weirder as the night goes on. I just can’t control myself after a certain point, and whatever comes out, comes out. I think my family is just so used to me that they don’t notice anymore. But it makes me so very frustrated not to be believed.

I wish I could just stay quiet at work, but do you know how hard that is when I’m excited because I’m surrounded by cats? Maybe I’ll have to work on controlling my excitement and staying quieter so people don’t look at me funny. I absolutely hate the looks I get.

Oh, and I told my boss that I have autism. Her reaction? Nothing. Nada. Zip. She didn’t even respond. The context was that she asked if I was able to work 3-11 shifts. I explained that, because I have autism, it’s very hard for me to be out in the community, and 6 hours seems to be amount my maximum. She said, “Oh, well, so-and-so will be starting back at 3 again next week. I forgot about that. Nevermind.” So now I have no idea what she thinks. Great. Just great. Talk about awkward and uncertain.

Well, that’s all I got tonight. I’m going to try this sleep thing again.


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I'm 23. I love Jesus, my service cat, and my mom. I have usually-high-functioning autism, though it depends on the day. I'm trying to figure out how I can live the life I've dreamed of with autism in it.


I'm 23. I love Jesus, my service cat, and my mom. I have usually-high-functioning autism, though it depends on the day. I'm trying to figure out how I can live the life I've dreamed of with autism in it.

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