SuperLeonieMode 324 / Happy Love day with Kirby and me, adjusting my blog posts and patreon + LeonieUpdate!

In this little LeonieUpdate:

  • Happy day of love and friendship! Reflecting on relationships ;D
  • adjusting my blog posts & patreon (why and how)
  • reflecting about pain, guilt and loneliness as an autistic
  • interesting finds!

Rough sketch!

Close ups!

SuperLeonieMode #324 / Happy Love Day with Kirby and me! 💕

Happy Valentine’s Day with your loved ones and good friends (safely and with social distancing)! 😊

Because we still have each other! :’)

I was stumped for ideas for a commercial/capitalist, relationship-focused day that I don’t even celebrate so I’m focusing on what brings me joy instead: friendship, kirby, chosen family and many other kinds of love ;D

Yeah I don’t particularly care for Valentine’s Day. It’s a good reminder to cherish your loved ones and friends though on a regular basis! Life is too short and chocolate is great :’)

Personal reflection on relationships

This also does make me think about how I have given up on relationships, I’m juggling with things as it is, how I sometimes escape to fictional romances and how need to manage my silly, mixed feelings & loneliness :’)

The idea of dating gives me pressure, anxiety, insincerity and discomfort because you’re selling your looks, personality and way of life *and* it’s difficult to seek and discern for compatibility, chemistry, common values, lifestyles (and so on) so I have never done it. It feels like a pointless, exhausting, frustrating game when people don’t say what they really mean as we all show and perform the best version of ourselves.

Cues, body language, subtlety and social things are difficult for autistic people like me. Generally I automatically assume that I’m incompatible especially when masking and pretending to be neurotypical feels inconvenient and inauthentic; people need to accept me as I am (and I have to learn about and accept others as they are too), within reason. In some cases, I just manage my own mixed, one-sided feelings and let people go. There’s too much emotional stuff and vulnerability going on when you take the scary risk to let someone in! It doesn’t help when we don’t really establish boundaries nor give each other a sense of emotional security, honesty and room for open communication during the early stages :’)

I’d rather get to know someone as relaxed human beings as my top priority (with my guard cautiously up, at least at first). Finding someone or a friend who is genuinely interesting, reliable, consistent, honest, who makes time for you, is mutually interested, understands how you are and actually enjoys and feels safe being in each other’s company is near impossible already.

So far I don’t have someone who is worth compromising my freedom and life for (I don’t know who they are but see clip on how love is not the emotional rush but how it is a disruption and inconvenience to your way of life and you cannot help but make somebody else your first priority. Each person adds to each other’s full lives, building & resulting in a healthy partnership). I guess relationships feel out of reach for me but it’s super wholesome and sweet seeing other’s flourish and grow through thick and thin! I think most people I know are in relationships as I think about it! It’s heart warming to see (:

Since they’re less disruptive, I’m generally focused on friendships (depending on compatibility and mutual interest):
  • being honest with intentions, feelings and concerns when it’s earned, safe and appropriate to do so,
  • respecting each other’s boundaries,
  • how rejection is a gift (for boosting their ego and for you to not waste time and move on),
  • getting to know them as human beings (and as potential, ongoing, casual friends or acquaintances or stay as strangers),
  • be okay if they don’t respond and behave the way you want
  • be genuinely interested (only if you actually are)
  • going with the flow of the conversation
  • keeping distance, get some space and move on if they’re not as interested anymore (do what they do if they’re drifting away)
    • like most people, I’ve lost people a lot this way because our lives, values and interests drift apart (or we’re incompatible all along)
    • it hurts a bit every time you realise you’re not as important in your friend’s life as you thought you were
    • this is where I get some space, emotionally distance myself and keep busy with other things for the sake of self protection and to put things in perspective
  • sadly I don’t know if my current, few friendships would last so I’ll just cherish when they’re actually around for now :’)

Slow bonding and perhaps casual friendship is all I may hope for :’) I’m fine as is without a relationship and I don’t want to force, care or obsess about it right now. I don’t really need to be with somebody to feel whole as I live my own life. I don’t want to “sell” myself when I’m just trying to do my best on a day to day basis. Life is too short to worry about things out of my control.

Hey I’m just rambling and I probably don’t know what I’m talking about due to my inexperience :’)

Meanwhile I’ve been sinking into some romance webcomics! Shhh :’) It’s a nice break (of escapism) to go along with the emotional ride of various, sentimental, romantic stories because relationships don’t seem real nor possible for me in real life ;P

Life isn’t perfect, things are confusing and scary and I’m grateful and lucky for the things I do have! I do enjoy doing what I want as a hermit! As usual, I’ll keep doing my best and take things in stride!

Little personal LeonieUpdate rambles!

In the past week it’s been hot days, stress over work (my bad), Victorian lockdown and lurking on twitter much more. Whelp!

Adjusting my blog posts & patreon

After trying it out for two weeks and drafting lots of blog posts, I need to change some things back from my previous plan.

I’ve updated my patreon page. Fail fast and keep iterating as they say!

Why I need to change some things back:
  • I felt somewhat bad that the public can’t read *any* of my future LeonieUpdate rambles anymore; I feel like I’m building too strong a paywall :’)
  • I do want to share with everyone, some of the personal development things I’m learning
  • on the other hand I do want to keep some art learning thoughts and notes just for patrons as I figure things out in my private little blog space
  • only about 2 or so patrons actually read my patron posts so it’s clear that what I offer on patreon isn’t what people want nor is it substantial enough!
    • I do enjoy blogging for myself (hey I don’t care if nobody or few people read, that’s normal for me)
    • at the same time, it does feel satisfying documenting my journey out there for people to read or skim through too so I don’t want to hide away *all* of it
    • I don’t want to make everything inaccessible to the public so I’m trying to find the right balance and refining how I do things
    • I’m offering behind the scenes that many artists share freely anyway (there are some who do share behind the scenes behind a paywall but they’ve built up such a huge, engaged and exclusive community and audience too which I don’t have)
    • most people don’t even read my blog posts and I’m used to blogging to the public to a tiny handful of consistent ninja readers (thank you!!)
    • at least I know for sure that it doesn’t work for me with my little audience haha
  • people generally want exclusive livestreams, tutorials, videos, early access to comics/videos, merchandise, goodies, exclusive community, exclusive art content they can’t get anywhere else (based on what I’ve seen)
    • since I’m not striving to become an independent patreon artist as a job and focus right now (and I don’t have an entrepreneurial project with a huge audience either) it’s best for me to keep my patreon mostly as a support tip jar again!
  • finally I don’t want to keep drafting two versions of the same blog post; it added a lot to my workload and it became too much :’)
    • simplifying my life and keeping it sustainable to post things!
What I’m doing on Mondays from here:
  • public blog post+ LeonieUpdate with:
    • finished art, polished studies & process bits
  • when I’m in learning mode, I’ll do a patron-exclusive sketchbook post + LeonieUpdate with:
    • rough studies, sketches, experiments, timelapses & creative process thoughts
    • early previews to some tiny timelapses
  • bonus art posts may happen on other days of the week
  • a week off every two or so months

And LeonieUpdates generally include the usual reflective thoughts, feelings and summary notes about what I’m learning and interested in at the moment.

There have been a few friends and acquaintances who don’t read my posts and/or who have drifted off. It hurts when it happens but that’s how it is. My blog posts can be a lot and many will never read them (nor most of them) so I appreciate those special few who do read! It’s super heartwarming when people actually enjoy reading my blog and mention what I rambled about!! I believe most are quiet, casual readers and a tiny percentage actually says anything haha

So thank you so much for your understanding and patience as I continue to iterate, reflect, refine and figure out what works for me! Trying to find the right balance. Feel free to leave questions, thoughts or suggestions in the comments below! (:

Reflecting on pain, guilt and loneliness when you have Autism

Max Derrat’s Autism and Pain
  • learning from pain; usually it’s manageable, other times it’s horrible and overwhelming
  • hypersensitivity to pain and overwhelm for autistics so avoidance is usually the way to go :’)
    • 80% of pain and discomfort can get unmanageable for some autistics/autists
    • for me it depends on if I have regularly faced it before, otherwise I avoid it and/or am hesitant & need to get emotionally prepared to do anything out of my comfort zone
  • autistics cope when triggered or experiencing pain:
    • they let pain run its course and they cope with destructive methods
    • I personally freeze up in intense silence, become non verbal and bottle up my feelings as I process my emotions
    • In rare cases, I yell, grumble and/or cry just to release my distress, overwhelm, stress, feelings (or do so quietly with privacy if I don’t feel safe) ;P
    • I definitely struggle to express my mixed/overwhelming feelings in the moment
    • I’m getting better at verbalising my thought process whenever little bursts of frustration happen (with trusted peeps so they’re not confused and are more understanding)
  • I can’t read social cues or subtlety so it feels like a betrayal and I’m lied to when people don’t tell me what I did wrong to creep them out, disrespect me or disregard me as a potential friendship and/or conversation (which is most of the case when most people are subtle, fickle, confusing beings)
    • either I seem rude, deadpan, too quiet, zone out a lot or awkwardly trying to talk about what I’m excited about but they’re not telling me that they’re not interested
    • essentially I don’t act positive, friendly, talkative, proper, responsive, expressive
    • most believe it’s common sense but it’s not natural for me!!
    • I’m drained trying to read all of these mixed messages and rejection people usually give me (plus I’m hypersensitive to signs of rejection, especially when you’re feeling mixed). Just tell me to leave you alone!
      • and when I do leave you alone, don’t seek me out, act friendly out of pity; giving me hope/mixed messages again!
      • or you only seek me out as a last resort/option because you’re bored and doing it out of politeness. I’ve been in this cycle of hurt too many times :/
  • gosh I do relate with:
    • living like a hermit/ rodent
      • (oof that relates to me so much and hit me hard)
    • I don’t want to interact with things unfamiliar
    • I don’t want to go outside unless I have to
    • I’m always on guard
    • I do need considerable routine
    • I do have narrow interests
    • lots of social awkwardness
    • I retreat a lot
    • I struggle to get and keep a “normal” job because I have to perform as a “normal” person
  • talking about the lack of understanding and support with how autistics experience a lot of discomfort and pain more than neurotypicals; how understanding and awareness is needed
  • exposure therapy is not helpful and not for us
    • every time we face it, it is more or less the same struggle all over again :’)
    • it’s not about developing tolerance to the things we’re sensitive to and what pains us!!
    • what first comes to mind for me is socialising and communicating within groups
    • I relate to how I casually worked a while in hospitality; I was seen as rude when I was quietly stressed out, uncomfortable, functioning poorly and overwhelmed already and but I get: “deal with it”, “this is the real world”, “this is nothing” and “stop being spoiled”
    • I’m left with “what did I do wrong?”
      • now I’m better and learning to move on from people who are not worth my emotional energy and time
  • I do have my traumas of not being wanted, being rejected, being abandoned, getting disappointed, excluded, anxiety around people, not having a say, being ignored, being not told the explicitly what people expect of me, not being romantic partner material and the pressure of being “capable of smart things” when I’m just slow and trying to get by
    • they come to mind occasionally but when I do I remember, I feel embarrassed, hateful, resentful, frustrated, hopeless, hurt, pain, sadness towards the people who are uninterested, do not care to understand me, are impatient with me and push me away
    • either I cry or I feel indifferent, cynical, disappointed and dead a bit more inside
    • I remember them and I don’t want them in my life (as much as they’re cool and kind with other people I know)
    • why keep people who do not want to engage with you around?
      • they seem keen to misunderstand you too
  • I prevent and minimise all this pain by not being social too
    • Why bother when I’m striving to manage life as it is?
    • I feel less alone upon hearing this video
  • apparently I have a power I guess from living through this? Haha :’)
Max Derrat’s The Truth About Asperger’s Syndrome – 4.5 – The Female Perspective
  • goodness I feel like an alien too as I had no interest in the hard work of actually dating (aside from fictional romantic things and crushes) :0
  • I relate to finding it hard to connect to people emotionally and having intimacy & sensory issues too
  • inability of read emotions, social anxiety, struggling in cliques and dating did not seem to be an actual real option
    • so why bother? I don’t know how people do it!
    • it’s stressful and I’m overwhelmed already about the future so I don’t worry about it
  • now I’m being more open with feelings with people I trust and being more self compassionate if and when outbursts happen (without hurting or distressing others)
  • I notice that all of these autistic writers in this video have partners :0
Self-Diagnosis Of Autism: Is it valid?
  • I’m self diagnosed because I don’t need anything official, it’s too expensive, I don’t need to prove myself, don’t need external validation, and when I had one, my psychologist says I have it too
  • the paper doesn’t mean anything after all; sweet!
  • I understand myself better reflecting on my own anyway
Max Derrat’s Autism and Loneliness
  • I don’t fully relate to his experiences because I’ve been isolating before the pandemic while keeping in contact with a few good, casual friends sometimes :’)
  • individual versus collective
    • where you’re living together and compromising to get along with others and become more extroverted for them
    • rules of society are by neurotypicals
    • rules are done through unspoken, nonverbal cues and body language – autistics miss out and seems irrational and incomprehensible for us
    • it’s something we have to actually “study”. Years ago I actually had to read into how to dress appropriately and how to do social things and body language. I’m an alien, yo :’)
  • autistic peeps struggle to look at people in the eye but we’re forced to make eye contact to appear normal
    • Max’s eyes dance around a lot. And people thinks he’s uncaring, dodgy, insincere or disrespectful
    • YES I naturally don’t want to make contact, it’s too distracting and intense especially in conversation so I look and eye-dance at a lot of places too :’)
    • it all puts me on edge and exhausts me because I’m busy *performing* and eye dancing like I’m interested when I’m already trying to focus on the conversation :<
    • perhaps most people don’t notice or care but it’s exhausting; I just want to stare into space and focus on talking or listening ;P
      • but that makes most people uncomfortable when I’m not emoting my deadpan face :S
    • other times I stare at the floor or into the distance and don’t care if I’m not looking at the person because I need to conserve energy, I don’t care about compromising who I am and I revert back to what I naturally do when I feel comfortable
    • playing the social game is draining so I’d rather not.
    • I shall weird out people with my quietness and slowness
  • as much as self-isolating gives me the most peace and energy, we all need human connection
    • he questions how much his current situation is really his fault as he shuts people out
  • how being autistic is a lot of overthinking, despair, wanting to improve and change for people to accept and not reject you
    • asking what you did wrong, paranoid all the time as things don’t work out
    • painful and counterproductive trying to play this neurotypical social game and trying to apply basic social things all his life
    • feeling undervalued, people taking you for granted, how little they actually care, they act flakey, superficial plus believing that being treated this way was normal!
    • admittedly sometimes I feel and experience a lot of this, that people don’t care that much about you (people are their own protagonists in their own stories after all; you’re just a NPC!)
  • “I’m sick of trying to improve myself for neurotypicals so I isolate myself”
    • that’s me too!!
    • I do get out of my comfort zone sometimes but it’s not my priority
    • I want to live for myself (not for others), do what makes me happy
    • I don’t think I’m a lone wolf when I do have a few friends to ramble with
    • I like to think I’m trying to grow as I am rather than being stuck in life
  • “Loneliness is not always cured by the mere presence of another human being.”
    • it’s exhausting being around others but good company is needed every now and then
    • being misunderstood powers loneliness
    • accepting yourself is more important than worrying about whether others accept you
    • stop wasting time being who you’re not
    • we are all alone in our own heads so let’s get comfy with your mind haha
  • Max actually puts himself out there to say that he’s single and available towards the end
    • I feel a bit weirded out here because of the social dynamic between creator and audience
    • it’s a fine line between being bold and being desperately and understandably lonely and miserable :’)
    • some comments were saying that he needs to learn to accept himself and let go of his resentment first; I hope he finds ways to heal and accept himself
  • anyhoo I have much to learn, figuring out my friendships and who I actually feel comfortable around and get along with!

Autism traits in girls and women; Autistic traits I struggle the most with

  • I’m sensitive to some things but not all the things she says; every autistic person is different!
  • I relate to not having much close friendships with women
  • I have executive function challenges too
    • things just leave my brain as much as I want to do them and I forget :’)
    • that’s why I write/type things down!
  • Waiting Mode: The Curse of the Monotasker!
    • I have this curse too :’)

Interesting finds: shenanigans

Thank you so much for reading!

Goodness, I just rambled a lot about personal, sentimental things! Nothing new! :’) I’m pretty tired and the morning’s just started haha

Anyhoo, may you have a wholesome, heartwarming day and week ahead!

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