Frequently Asked Questions

We all ask questions of people every day, and most of the time we don’t give it much thought. There are some questions I’m asked repeatedly, and it can often be a little frustrating to repeatedly answer the same things over and over again. Hence why I’ve created this page.

If I’ve sent you this link, chances are the question you just asked me is somewhere on the list. I understand you might think this is passive-aggressive and I’m sorry, but being asked these things can trigger my anxiety, or depression, or anger issues and this is easier than having a panic attack, crying, or yelling as I try to answer them.

Can I give you some advice?

I’d really rather you didn’t, unless I’ve explicitly asked for it. Thank you for respecting my wishes on this.

Okay, but have you tried mindfulness/calling the Samaritans/speaking to your GP/etc?

I don’t want advice. I’ve heard it all before, nothing you’re saying is new to me. I know what works and what doesn’t, you’re only making me agitated.

Have we met before?

I mean, it’s possible, if not probable. I go to lots of events for a lot of different causes, so chances are we have met at a conference/protest/AGM/other. I have difficulty recognising and remembering faces though, so it’s nothing personal if I’ve forgotten yours, and I’m sorry. If you’re using this as a chat-up line, however, I’m not interested and I do not want a relationship with anyone, it’s not personal.

Why don’t you wear noise cancelling headphones at night if you can’t sleep?

It’s very uncomfortable, especially since I move in the night. I end up with big red marks everywhere. They also have a flashing light that it quite irritating right next to my head, and it’s so noisy during the day night is the only time I get to charge them.

What about earplugs then?

Still uncomfortable if I move in the night – and the movement often knocks them out of my ears, then they stop working and I jolt awake. It’s also expensive and bad for the environment to constantly need to buy more since they generally can only be used a few times.

Why don’t you just get a job if you need money to move out?

Yeah, because it’s that easy – not. When you don’t have one, it’s harder to get one because you have no current reference, lack of experience is an issue – not to mention discrimination based on disability or gender, because that’s still a thing. I also have employment related trauma which makes it harder, and there’s some things I’m just unable to do because of my disability.

But the Equality Act forbids discrimination based on…

Yes, I know. Laws aren’t always followed – look at how many people drop litter, drive faster than the speed limit, do drugs, drink underage every day. In fact, it would be rare to find a law that had never been broken. It’s hard to prove it was discrimination if they lie and write a different reason on the paperwork.

Maybe you can get some support to move out from [agency]?

I’ve researched this in great detail. I am not entitled to any support from any of the various agencies because my specific situation does not fit under any of their remits. Yes, I’ve tried this one. That one too. All of them. I know what I’m talking about

Why do you never try new foods?

Part of my sensory processing disorder, which is linked to my autism, is a strong aversion to new tastes and textures. Trying new foods is a massive ordeal for me, and if something goes wrong I can quickly have a meltdown. Given how unsafe it is to do this in public, I generally only try new foods when I’m alone at home.

How do you know you don’t like [food item] if you’ve never tried it?

Sometimes I don’t, but it still isn’t worth the risk to me. Other times, I can be fairly certain using logical extrapolation – if something mildly spicy causes me pain (and it does), I’m not going to like something even spicier. Another way I judge it is if I don’t like the smell, I won’t like the taste – I’ve yet to find anything that breaks this rule.

You say you don’t drink but I’ve seen you have alcohol before! Why are you lying?

Yes, I’ve had alcohol before. I’m not a pure teetotaler, but I don’t like it and I always feel terrible after I have it. Due to family issues, it’s a tricky subject and I’d rather not drink at all but often I feel too much peer pressure and it’s sometimes hard to resist because I’m reminded of when I didn’t have any friends to pressure me, and that was much worse.