I got back to Grantham this morning after spending 2 nights with K. Miraculously, my fish survived the journey to their new home and despite how anxious I was driving from here to Runcorn and back, I returned the rental car unscathed. and got my deposit back. She’s taken my fish, fish tank and houseplants and I’m sure she’ll take good care of them.
It was good to stay with K and her son. I always feel like I’m part of their little family unit whenever I spend time with them and I’ve largely accepted that K sometimes says triggering things, but she only does so because her autism is such that she has no filter and she doesn’t always know how to express herself. The 4 of us (me, K, K’s son and their dog Ivy) took the car to Walton Hall and Gardens on Monday evening, which is located roughly half way between Runcorn and Warrington. We did quite a bit of walking and her son did most of the talking, but I actually didn’t mind that at all. We ended up getting lost, but thankfully her 12 year old son showed his maturity and got us out of trouble when he helped me find the car (I would have panicked otherwise). He and I went ahead, but we managed to find K at the entrance to a nearby golf course.
K had a hospital appointment in Liverpool yesterday (Tuesday), so I went with her. Unfortunately, my anxiety seemed to get the better of me and I started getting bad chest pains and I felt very ill while we were in Liverpool, although I don’t think that was registering with K. Fortunately, the chest pain went away when we got back and after I had a lie down. I’m pretty sure it was just anxiety due to the fact that I’d lost my earphones and I was struggling with both sensory overload from noise and fear of verbal abuse. Liverpool is a city that I’ve never really felt threatened in and I’ve always found the locals to be genuinely friendly. I know I should make a doctor’s appointment to get myself checked out as an EKG I had done in Rochester revealed that I had a sinus pause, but I don’t really give a fuck if I drop dead and I’m too young to have heart disease anyway.
K doesn’t drink (good), but she smokes and she smoked me out while I was there and I slept really well, as a result. She sold me £20 of her own stash, which was nice of her. I didn’t drink at all while I was there, but I smoked, which is much better than alcohol anyway.
K has 6 cats and an insanely cute dog called Ivy, who is a cross between a chihuahua and a Yorkshire terrier. I even got to walk Ivy on Tuesday morning, which was not only fun, but it helped with my anxiety because people noticed the dog, not me. In fact, one lady in a car let Ivy and I cross the street and commented that Ivy was cute. These are the kind of social interactions that I actually don’t dread.
One of K’s cats is Xena, who is Lily and Madge’s sister as she came from the same litter 3 years ago. Like Lily and Madge, she seemed to almost instantly comfortable with me and spent a lot of time on my lap. She’s basically a quieter version of Lily, but just as sweet. Since I’ve fallen out with my mum most likely for good, I’ll probably never see Lily and Madge again.
The only time K triggered me a bit was when we were talking about me getting a rhinoplasty and she kept saying “I think you’d look better” and she kept going on about it, even thought I was visibly upset. It brought me down and suddenly made me feel extremely self-conscious. I know she didn’t mean it though, but it’s just something that affects me as this thing on my face feels like a benign tumor.
As for driving, as much as I’d like to be able to, I don’t think I could do it for a living. I find it hard to drive on the left and my spatial awareness is awful, when it comes to parking a mere compact car. Maybe I could have done it 15 years ago, but the idea of driving for a living in this era scares me. Like many aspects of 21st century life, it’s become too complex. I couldn’t even face driving to Liverpool yesterday as I was scared of the toll system on the Mersey Gateway Bridge. If I can’t parallel park a tiny Ford Focus, what hope do I have of doing the same but with a much bigger vehicle? It’s a shame, because truck driving or coach driving would be an ideal job, in many respects.
The thing that worries me about K and the notion of living with her is that she’s oblivious to many of my triggers due to her own autism. She will walk past groups of kids and teenagers without a care in the world, even if they’re a potential threat to her. If I did live with her, I would have to hide my depression. Case and point, she should know that I’m terrified of kids and teenagers, but I found myself in a very scary situation yesterday while I was waiting for her to buy whatever she needed from the shop:
Anyway, it was nice to feel like part of a family that I’ve never had and will never have for 48 hours. Now it’s back to shitty reality here in Brexitshire.