One of the ways that autism affects me is that it is almost impossible for me to cope with uncertainty. And, unfortunately, it appears that there will be nothing but uncertainty for a while, following on from the referendum result last week.
There will definitely be changes as a result. I don’t know yet how – or if – these changes will have a direct impact on my life.
But although I didn’t vote to leave, and I think it is the wrong decision, I will find ways to cope with any change that this will bring. What I’m finding incredibly difficult at the moment is all the speculation about what might happen. For my own wellbeing, I need to disengage with the ‘what if’ hypotheses; to not hear anything until a change is certain. And then I can work out how to deal with the actual change.
As well as finding the speculation difficult generally, I’m being made increasingly anxious by all the specific speculation about house prices and mortgage lending, as I’m currently in the middle of trying to buy somewhere to live. It’s part of my longer-term plan to get the stability that I so badly need at the moment. Assuming I can still get a mortgage, I intend to carry on with the plan – I can afford it, I need somewhere to live, and this is the first opportunity I’ve ever really had to be able to buy something appropriate for my needs. I don’t want to put that at risk because of uncertainty.
It’s still keeping me awake at night, though. I keep wondering whether I’m doing the right thing or not.
I assume anyone in my position would be having the same doubts. But it is perhaps harder for me to deal with those thoughts.
And I get to the stage where I think I’m coping OK. Then something minor happens and it’s clear that I’m not. For example, today I wanted to get out to the sea and have a walk to clear my head. I got to the car park, found the parking space I wanted… but couldn’t park in the space because as I was preparing to reverse in, the people in the next space decided to open the passenger door and mess around, telling me to go elsewhere.
I couldn’t think of another plan. I waited for a while, but they wouldn’t close their door. So I drove home again. A two hour round trip to go nowhere.
In hindsight, I should have just found another space – the car park was busy, but not full. But I literally couldn’t make that decision at that point in time.
I know I will be living in a very uncertain world for a few years. If the speculation dies down, I can find a way of pushing the uncertainty to the back of my mind; a way to pretend that it doesn’t exist. It’s not a matter of me being in denial: I know things will change. But I need to deal with the change when it happens, not try to deal with all the speculation and catastrophising that’s going on at the moment.
I don’t think the speculation is going to die down any time soon, though. There seems to be too much hurt; too many people taking the results personally. I’ve actually had to stop reading a couple of online forums because the personal attacks on posters made me feel so uncomfortable.
But if it doesn’t die down; if life can’t go on as normal until we know for certain what changes are going to happen, I am not sure how I am going to cope…