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This is how I live most of my life now.

autism pathalogical demand avoidance pda Aug 13, 2021
Today I put aside a few hours to revisit my plan for thriving autistically.
Those drop-offs of the very things that support my wellbeing happen so subtly and quickly as time goes on that I don’t even notice.
I told myself (mentally noted) how much I miss my early morning routine of getting up and enjoying a long shower before the children, having a quiet coffee and doing some writing.
“Yesss, I’ll do that tomorrow!” I promised myself.
It’s late. I’m tired. And I can’t go to bed.
PDA means that the inadvertent and indirect demand I placed on myself was perceived by my neurobiology as a compromise to my autonomy and now I can’t even get to bed in order to get up early.
This is what people don’t understand about PDA.
When little PDA autistic people don’t go to bed, it’s because they truly *can’t*.
That fragile neuroception of ours means that even our own wants and wishes are often received as demands.
It’s not that we don’t want to go to school. It’s that we *can’t*. And the frustration and internal battle that takes place when we don’t understand ourselves and we’re under additional pressure from those around us to do and be differently have the potential to harm our sense of self from such an early age.
Most PDAers do speak the same language of the heart, though.
Lines like “I want to but I can’t”, “My brain/body won’t let me”, “You’re forcing me”, “I feel pressured”, “I’m an adult trapped in a kid’s body”...
The clues are there from early on.
People think that PDA is something we grow out of or overcome, but it isn’t.
We age, and with age comes more autonomy and freedom to choose for ourselves.
These days, the hardest demands I contend with are those I accidentally place on myself, like getting too excited about new roses for the garden and then the roses dying because PDA won’t allow me to care for them.
I don’t have a bedtime.
I just go to bed and scroll through my socials, watch some videos or read until I’m ready to sleep.
This is how I live most of my life now.
So, for now, as tired as I am, PDA says “NARP. NOT DOIN’ IT.”
I’ll continue watching television until the threat response calms enough for me to make my way to bed.
No demand.
- KF

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