Another discovery that came from being diagnosed autistic

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Image: ActuallyDyspraxic on Tumblr

When I was a little girl of about three in the early 1970s, my mother took me to my first dancing class. Embarrassed by my total lack of co-ordination, she marched me out, never to return. I can’t remember what she said but my memory of how it felt is embedded on a cellular level. I have always been clumsy and I have always known it.

I excelled at some things at school but sport was not one of them. I’m still tormented by memories of missing the ball as I grasped for the air around it, twenty five sets of eyes burning into me. The laughing and taunting soon followed. …


It could just be the boring reality of human interaction

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Photo by Krists Luhaers on Unsplash

To recap, ghosting is when someone suddenly and without apparent justification ceases all contact with you. It’s fairly broadly accepted that it can apply to friendships and romantic relationships and they don’t have to be long term. The key is that you’ve had some expectation of ongoing contact that has been thwarted.

Along with other gems of modern dating parlance (hello breadcrumbing), ghosting provides recognition and validation. But sometimes using a concept like ghosting to make sense of a relationship that didn’t work out can be a blunt instrument. It obscures the detail. Sometimes the reality is just ordinary and undramatic. …


Maybe you just want to define it for yourself

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Photo by Harli Marten on Unsplash

For a long time I thought I wanted a version of happily ever after that I never really questioned. I never examined what I really wanted.

It turns out that when you stop and think about it there are other options. There are as many options as you care to explore.

You would think being a member of the LGBTQ+ community would make me more open to different ways of having a relationship. There are plenty of us who identify strongly with sitting outside the mainstream rather than wanting to be absorbed into it. But sometimes it can take a while to get there. …


The opportunity to re-think my life is irresistible

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Photo by Jeffery Erhunse on Unsplash

The second day back from my holiday leave and I’m like a cat on a hot tin roof. I struggled to find my way to the desk let alone sit still in it. I’ve made my second cup of coffee well before the effect of the previous one has worn off. It’s fairly telling that the one thing I’m giving concerted attention to at this moment is writing this piece.

It’s different this time. Returning to work but not returning to work. …


It can be a matter of survival

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

I first fell in love when I was sixteen. At least that’s how I now describe a feeling so intense that just looking at her filled me with the conviction that I would die for her. I’d had crushes on girls that tugged at me in varying ways but this was all-consuming.

Yet it never felt like something to celebrate. It felt like something I needed to shake off and get past even though I wasn’t even really sure what it was. My teenage years had been so far from typical that these indescribable feelings seemed just another hurdle in the ongoing quest to be normal. …


Using the Tarot as a tool for intuition and insight

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Writer’s own image

I can’t remember how a deck of Tarot cards first came into my possession. I do remember getting a Tarot reading from a vaguely charismatic reader who told me I would be good at it because I am intuitive. It seemed to be the perfect counterbalance to the logic-driven study of law that I had inserted myself into for the next three years.

I’ve been a lawyer for many years now and I still pull out the cards once in a while. Not that I use them with clients or anything but in my downtime they enable me to tap into otherwise untapped parts of my brain. …


Taking time out is an essential human need

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Photo by Keren Fedida on Unsplash

I felt my heart break as I read Eir Thunderbird’s piece in Modern Parent recently. It wasn’t just because of her honest and raw account of her struggle to find time for herself, but the judgmental tone of some of the responses. They seemed to be casting blame in the wrong direction: it was her fault for enabling her husband’s behavior; she gave a bad example to her son; she should have been better prepared for having children. My compulsion to respond turned into the story you are now reading.

My first impression? I was in awe of how Eir managed to keep it all together in such an even-handed and gracious way. It really seemed as though she’d turned her mind to everything, including supporting her husband to develop a relationship with his son. …


It’s infinitely fascinating

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Photo by Rebekah Blocker on Unsplash

It all started with a game my then partner and I played to kill time or perhaps to avoid drifting off during long road trips. Taking turns, we would give each other a person’s name from which we would guess their job: Barbara co-ordinates the non-fiction section at the local library; Lorraine works for a motor licensing authority; Candice has established a business running pole-dancing classes for new moms. The more detailed and random, the better.

The game evolved as I took it into subsequent relationships. It may well have been the high point of one of those relationships. Over a chilled bottle of wine we would weave an elaborate story around a name: milestones, relationships, tragedies and triumphs, hopes and fears. The plots thickened and the tension mounted as the level in the wine bottle dipped: Christine was never the same again after the accident; Terry had a secret that he dared not tell even those closest to him. …


The glorious ways in which my life fell apart this year

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Photo by Ivan Dostál on Unsplash

It’s that time of year again. Christmas has been tidied away and the new year is almost upon us. Internationally, nationally and personally, it’s been an extraordinary year.

More than ever I feel a need to take stock of the year that’s been before I see the new one in. I’m not one for new years resolutions as deprivation doesn’t sit well with me. Lists are more my territory and mine tend to have a flavour of abundance and possibility- things to achieve, explore and do more of. …


The child inside is screaming at me to stop

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

There’s a good reason I try to hatch a cunning plan to avoid Christmas each year. It’s because there’s nothing like it to reliably expose ancient fault lines in family relationships.

This year has proven to be no exception. The dance of polite conversation and carefully constructed boundaries I’ve cultivated to manage a relationship with my mother has fallen into a heap. This time she went too far.

I was careful not to get drawn into the ridiculous blinkered assertions of her world view. I stayed calm. I didn’t make it about me, I turned it back on her and challenged her. I suggested that maybe she wasn’t the holder of an objective truth and her interpretation of “facts” is coloured by her preconceived views. …

About

Justine L

A keen observer of life, here to put in my two cents worth. I write about neurodiversity, relationships and LGBTQ issues. justinetangerine999@gmail.com

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