What's happened to me? I wish I knew the answer to that question myself. For as far as I know, I've always been the very same and I've never changed a bit. But that's not what the people around me are telling me. They say that I've retreated even more in my personal shell, hardly letting other people in anymore. That I've become careless and anti-social. Or even that I've become very snappy at times. And when I look deep down into my soul... I have to admit that they're right. I don't want to participate in social life anymore, whereas I used to do anything in order to become "normal". It's like I've given up completely on the outside world and only want to roam in my dreams anymore. The infinite stars... flying around the world in Flight Simulator... my music... All the rest doesn't seem to count anymore. Oh, I still tell sweet Christine every day that I love her with all of my heart. And I do mean that. But am I fooling myself here? Would I not rather want her to be just an ornament in the house that can be activated only when I want it? Am I truly treating her with the respect that she deserves?
Oh, I don't know. Perhaps it's an amalgamation of things that makes me say all of these things, like the exhaustion after a heavy season of teaching, the financial worries, the courtcases, the B&B which leaves us hardly any time for ourselves... Between us, it's even come down to the point where I wonder if this life's really worth living. My psychiatrist replied that this world wouldn't be the same without such a nice person like me. I was truly touched by that because I had forgotten that there are a lot of people out there who still care about me. And after a double dose of medication and a lot of support from Christine, the lads of the Italian Astonomy Forum and all of my other friends I slowly started to climb out of this deep hole. Yes, today I'm already feeling a lot better thanks to all of you.
So I think that I'll have to see this as a warning. It demonstrates that it doesn't take much to turn me into a true "Rain Man" and that I'm still quite vulnerable. Or that I can't carry all of this world's misery on my back. Because I think that this is the main cause of this downfall. When I was diagnosed with autism, I wanted to become a light in the darkness for all other autistic people or for people who're close to an autistic person. I wanted to help all of them for as much as I could. Unfortunately I wasn't prepared at all for the infinite amount of sad stories which would literally inundate me from that moment. Suddenly there were so many people clinging to me as if I were their last hope of salvation. They drained my final energy reserves totally. or rather, I did that because I couldn't say "no" and believed that my "purpose" was more important than me. How wrong I was.
Therefore I'm terribly sorry, but I've decided that I'm done with the world of autism for the time being. I'll still keep in touch with my remaining friends of course, but I'll no longer actively participate as a so-called autism expert through personal experience. It's time that I finally start thinking about me, and more importantly, about the people who I really care for because I've neglected them so much. Obviously I'll continue to write on this blog and I do hope that my posts may still be entertaining, if not helpful. Again my sincere apologies to all of the people who I may have given such high hopes and who I have to let down now. But I hope they'll understand.