This is a great perspective Vicki. I also think that by being respectful and not hostile towards each other they are messing with people's expectations of how separating couples should behave.

I've been wondering if I can outsource my executive functioning - surely there are people willing to take this on...

And peri-menopause magnifies it, along with sensory sensitivities and so much more!

Really informative and thought-provoking - thank you.

The 2021 Sydney Writers Festival from an Autistic Perspective

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I live in Australia and last weekend I went to the annual Sydney Writers Festival. I missed out last year: everyone did. The 2020 Melbourne Writer’s Festival was a little further along the Pandemic trajectory so the organisers were able to launch an impressive online version.

Attending a writers festival in person is a totally different experience and I jumped at the chance. Once you get beyond the sweet convenience of watching a festival online, you realise it’s a very solitary experience. You miss other people’s reactions and the interplay between audience and presenter. There’s an energy that comes from…

But it’s what it means to my daughter that matters

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My daughter loves mother’s day and at eleven years old, still manages to get excited about it.

She doesn’t see the hollow glorification of motherhood or blatant commercial racket that I see. She sees it through the prism of her own experiences which thankfully, are different to mine.

It never really resonated with me when I was growing up. It could have been because my mother fell so short of the loving, nurturing mother that lived in the mother’s day catalogues. I just never felt like I could own it.

Mother’s day has a particular significance for my daughter because…

I didn’t realise the relationship was abusive until months after

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I thought I was the last person who would find themselves in an abusive relationship. Solid feminist principles grounded in theory and practice, and a career in family law, meant I knew a fair bit about domestic violence.

Or so I thought.

This piece has been far longer in the making than anything else I’ve written. Usually, when I start writing I have a pretty good idea of where it’s going and it pretty much morphs into a shape I’m happy with in a matter of hours.

But a string of attempts over several months just weren’t getting this one…

What a bizarre complaint about a disabled parking space tells us about the invisibility of privilege

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It wasn’t a money grabbing landlord that water-blasted the universal disability parking symbol from the four parking spots. It was a state government provider of social housing.

And it wasn’t just any housing complex, it was one that included apartments purpose-built for people requiring wheelchair access. The Queensland Department of Housing told a wheelchair-using resident that the spaces were removed in response to a complaint from an able-bodied resident of the complex.

The undercover parking spaces were pretty essential to the wheelchair-using man so that he would be protected from the weather while getting in and out of his car…

You’ll probably have to figure it out yourself

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As I grew into my new identity as an autistic person, I quite liked the idea of a sensory profile. In my mind, it was akin to a snapshot of me from a particular vantage, kind of like a personality profile, an astrological chart or getting my colours done. It would be illuminating and provide a blueprint for living.

On a more serious level, I was in need of a resource to help me manage my seemingly ever-expanding list of sensory processing issues.

Sensory processing issues are what used to be referred to as sensory processing disorder. Rather than representing…

There’s no room for domestic violence and separation and the dire financial consequences

Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

The mainstream discussion about stay-at-home mothers is framed as a choice between a woman devoting herself to her children on the one hand and pursuing material gain and status through a career on the other. It’s a false binary that obscures the reality of the lives of many women.

There are so many assumptions bound up in this narrative. The first one is that the woman has a choice.

The narrative goes something like this: educated professional woman elects not to return to work but to take on the role of caring for children and running a household full time…

Turns out they weren’t talking about network drop outs. So what were they on about?

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“We need to talk about connectivity”, my manager said during a video-conference team meeting about a year ago. “Yes”, I responded, “the network connection is really unreliable and IT support needs to be a lot more accessible”.

But she wasn’t talking about tech issues. She was talking about staff members connecting with each other. Since then, connectivity has become a buzzword denoting some kind of social glue that binds people in the era of COVID-19 workplace arrangements.

I grappled with this strange new concept and realised that it meant something quite different to my idea of connecting with colleagues.


Living an ordinary life is an achievement worth celebrating

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Until last year, I lived under the assumption that I was living an ordinary life. Undoubtedly, doing ordinary was a lot harder for me, and I was never sure if I quite pulled it off. But I never thought there was anything that marked my life as significantly different from everyone else’s.

Then I realised I was autistic and I got diagnosed. The wave that washed over me carried validation, self-compassion and clarity. A feeling that I was failing at ordinary life gave way to a feeling of pride that I had managed to live one. …

Justine L

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

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