I’m come to the conclusion I am not a people person but I value the importance of sharing, community and helping each other.Going to Church was a sea change for me last year but I felt it was important to me to have a link with a church given that I believe in Christ’s teachings.
I sit at the back at Church. I usually go to the quieter 9am service as its less people and just the organ playing. I like to listen to the sermons but not really a fan of the music. I occasionally like to sing quietly to a hymn. I like participating in communion as well.
Although I have never been, the 11am service is more busier and plays more modern music. The Church has it’s own keyboards, drums and sound system – all the works. I’ve avoided going to this service because it is more noisier. Though I have streamed it from YouTube.
Since being diagnosed Autistic I have learnt that being exposed to loud noises, particular erratic sound causes me stress and agitation. I’m more happier and polite if I can manage this. I often wear ear defenders in noisy situations. Though I can cope well in safer spaces.
As it was New Years day they combined the 9am and 11am service into a 10am service. I wanted to go to Church but was daunted by the potential noise. Sure enough they had the drums and keyboard very loud for a very long song today. After a while I had to put my ear defenders on.
I felt a little uncomfortable wearing my ear defenders for the song as I thought it may offend people.Though they definitely reduced the volume. In the end the other option was to walk out. A few people including the Vicar in the Church know I’m Autistic and struggle with noises.
Afterwards I have tea after the service but there was so many people I just had to leave. I feel uncomfortable standing around places where there are lots of people talking. I don’t know why it just makes me anxious and overwhelmed. Yet it’s clear to me others thrive from noise.
Last night I tried to go to sleep at around 9am. Though I kept hearing fireworks from outside. Then my neighbour started playing music before and after midnight. Usually its very quiet here but I appreciated people want to celebrate the New Year. That drains my energy too.
I also feel as I have got older I have less spoons for noise and social situations. When I was younger I was more determined to not be put off and get involved. Now I just don’t have the tolerance or energy for it. Perhaps this is more common for Autistic elders.
Overall I think being Autistic can be a lonely life. Especially when you have no family left and don’t have many connections.Though I often see a lot of beauty in places people don’t. Wikipedia and the Encyclopedia Britannica for example, are brilliant fountains of knowledge.
I appreciate the architecture in my church and think of the generations of church goers that have helped maintain the Church over many decades. I often think the same about the inventors of the utilities I use in my home like electricity, boilers etc.. That is my community.