I am more than autism

I got a new shirt that says that.  It serves as both a PSA to whomever I run into when I’m out and about (as in, when store clerks walk up and ask, “How can I help you?” and I never remotely respond) and as a bit of an announcement to whomever sees me, well, being me, that there’s a whole person in there.

In light of my shirt, I have a totally not autism-related story to tell you.  It’s just a vent, really, and it’s really vain and silly, but… well… just stick with me?

Today was Momday.  First, we went to Sophia and Sebastian’s birthday party (I’ll put pictures up from Mom’s camera sometime and show you how cute they are).  S & S are Perfect Fit Canines’ dogs, and they turn a year old on July 11th.  They are yellow English Labs, and they are sweet and adorable and really good dogs.  Sebastian is a little headstrong, and Sophia is a little rambunctious, but really, they’re incredibly well behaved and I love seeing them.

Then, we went to the bookstore and I had an actual conversation, unprompted and unplanned, with someone I ran into from church and her 13-year-old daughter.  That was really, really cool.  Now, I can’t promise I didn’t confuse them or explode with something inappropriate at some point, but I think it mostly went pretty well.

Then, to the mall.  As I was sitting in the food court drinking my drink, I realized that for the first time in ages, I felt somewhat in control of my surroundings.  I was hearing sounds and seeing lights, and the colors weren’t all running together.  I could track the people moving.  I could hear the noise, but I could also understand Mom.  It was absolutely, undeniably glorious.

So anyway, my story.  While at the mall, Mom suggested we go into Clarks, the shoe store.  Clarks makes really good shoes that I’ve worn for many years.  I saw a pair of the cutest, oh, so cute ballet slipper shoes.  They were silver with about a dozen strands of elastic across the arch.  They were the absolute softest leather I’ve ever felt.  And?  They were on sale.  (Click for photo).

Mom said, “Try them on.” 

Try them I did, and they were great.  Mom said, “Are you sure they won’t hurt your feet?”

See, I have stupid feet.  I took a long walk with staff maybe two months ago, and I got a stress fracture, blisters the size of quarters (that are STILL popping), and truth be told, my big toe on my other foot really hurts too, but I don’t want to fuss so I’m not saying much about it.  For the record, I wore tennis shoes.  Newish ones.  Good ones.  Not cheap ones, at all.

So these oh-so-soft slippers… they couldn’t hurt me.  They were SO soft.  You could rub all day on that leather and not blister, right?

2 hours later, we had to bring them back. 

My entire little toe is a blister.  The other little toe is bleeding and raw.  My heels are blistered.  Random places elsewhere are blistered. 

I exchanged them for these.

I know they’re cute too.  I know they’re practical and super comfortable.  I know they’ll last me in through October or November.  I know they’re “me.”

But sometimes, I want to leave “me” behind, and I want to try out being pretty and girly.  Kind of secretly, I do care how I look to others.  Unfortunately, I’m limited by being unable to tolerate synthetics, tripping and falling when I try flip flops, and… stupid feet.  I pretend like I don’t care because well, it’s hard to care when so many limitations come from so many directions.  Diabetes limits my footwear choices, autism limits my footwear choices and clothing choices… all about practicality around here.

And now that I’ve ended up bring it back to autism anyway, I’ll go do something that is totally, completely unrelated to autism.

Except, that leaves nothing.


5 thoughts on “I am more than autism

  1. Sorry to hear about your feet – ever thought of or tried Crocs? You can get some that are slimmer looking rather than the clog style ones now – I think they call it a mary-jane? – and you can decorate them with clip on features if you want.

    Happy to hear the sensory issues are settling down a little, even if it doesn’t last at least you got a break.

    • Amanda, Mom says I can’t wear Crocs, she thinks, so I’ll trust her judgment. Honestly, I can’t say I’ve ever had a fitting, comfortable pair of shoes that was much less than $100. I hate to be a shoe elitist, but…. well…

  2. ….and I forgot to say, like the slogan on your new shirt! I’m getting one for Bear that says “Autistic not stupid” because so many people take her non-verbalness as a sign of lack of intelligence and mental agility. There is also one I’ve seen that says “I get flappy when I’m happy” with a penguin so doubley suitable for her as flappy does mean happy for her and penguins are an all-time favourite :o)

  3. So, are the new shoes comfortable? I have a horrible time finding shoes that I can stand, and I desperately need some new ones.

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