I read an article in The Guardian recently that was talking about what people had in mind for and hoped to do this summer and apparently it’s a lot about sex and meeting new (vaccinated) people. Or maybe that’s because the article was written with that angle.
In my case it’s « the same as usual », since last summer wasn’t much different from the previous ones.
Borders should be open and family friends should be able to come around so we’ll get to eat together, 6 (and 7) around the table.
My partner and I will spend our traditional 10 days in July together and celebrate our 6 years anniversary – we’re not sure whether it’ll involve (grounded) planes again or not.
There’ll be a couple of birthdays, so a couple of meals – we’re French (and Swiss) after all.
Hopefully there’ll be waves and I’ll get to jump in them. I am not a major fan of going to the beach but I love waves.
There is one thing that I am trying not to fret about already, though: the holidays with my partner’s family.
I live a few streets away from my parents, and our friends rent the house next door to them, so I can come around when I want and retreat to my house when needed.
Holidays with his family means 10 people in a not-quite-big-enough house.
It’s quite hard and tiring for me to be with so many people.
I also get anxious and self-conscious. I try to behave appropriately, or rather the way I’m guessing others expect me to. I try to say the right things in the right way. In short, I try to be normal – whatever that means.
I have meltdowns afterwards, if not during, and need time to recover.
This is due to being autistic, and to feeling like I can’t relax and be my – maybe strange – self.
It’s partly due to not talking to the family right away about what being autistic means for me, maybe, and partly due to my fear of being made fun of, or even criticised, for just being myself and trying to look after myself in the best way.
I have been teased, just like almost everyone else is, as it’s part of the family’s communication and not done to hurt – I hope. But it brings back memories (and trauma?) of being bullied throughout my life and told repeatedly in many ways – directly and indirectly – that I am not like people expect me, or even want me, to be.
This crisis has confirmed, if it was needed, that it’s necessary for me to be able to retreat to a bubble of calm when needed.
So if I’m hoping anything for this summer, it’s that I find a way to keep access to it as I spend more time with others.