A New Life & Depeche Mode
Feeling thoroughly depressed at the events of the last 48 hours, I needed a distraction, so went through some paperwork at my flat. I realized that it’ll be six months next week since I got the keys. So whilst watching the post election Question Time, my mind started reviewing how the six months have panned out.
For me, it has been a weird experience and its only been in the past couple of weeks that I’ve started to get used to it. For months, I saw myself as living two lives – my life with Steven and my life on my own in the flat. And each time I went from one to the other, I found it very unsettling. Not good or bad – just unsettling. Now I just see it as one life and that is how it is. I’m now able to do things that were impossible six months ago. I can have a long uninterrupted bath. I can watch a whole DVD without having to engage in a commentary. On Monday nights, I have a choice to cook something for myself or walk along the towpath to the pub. I usually chose the latter and don’t have to worry about hurrying back to relieve the support worker who’s shift has finished. Even though this is great, it has taken some getting used to.
Steven has adapted, although I don’t think he likes it. It certainly makes the time we are together more intense because he stores up all his conversations that would previously been spread throughout the day. Yesterday morning, for example, I was nearly late for work because Steven wanted an in depth conversation about the history of Depeche Mode. As Steven loves a back story, this includes a whole narrative about Dave Gahan’s wardrobe in the Personal Jesus video.
Steven’s old social worker saw everything about our relationship through a negative prism. Steven was “too clingy”. I was ” over protective”. And we were “too close”. Too many “toos” for my liking. Since I’ve been around less, Steven does engage with the support workers more, which is great. But he’s never going to have the Depeche Mode conversation with them because they don’t get all the references. They never will and that’s not a criticism – it would be impossible because they don’t have the shared history. My move to the flat has condensed those conversations into a shorter time and that can be tricky. I think it is part of having autism in that Steven has to complete everything to its absolute end. A DVD will be watched, through the end credits until the screen goes black. Nothing is left on a plate. He won’t get out of a bath until the last drop of water has gone down the plughole. Incidentally, this led to another of the big disagreements with the ATU. They saw Steven as being “greedy” or “unboundaried” when he ate a whole tube of Fruit Pastilles in one go. They wouldn’t accept it as a “completion” thing. Anyways, I now have to check if there is enough time to do something until completion before I leave for the flat. Time is more important.
So much has changed for both Steven and me in the last six months and I guess its going to take longer than six months for us both to get used to it.
From → Social Care