🦋👑Princess Peach [Super Mario RPG remake]💐 Work update, more reflecting on autism & more!

Subtitled art process timelapse rambles! A bit over a minute ;P

Princess Peach with flowers and a butterfly!

Just felt like making a lot of Peach fanart lately since Mario games are happening!

I’m just reminded of all the Mario RPG fans’ reactions at this initial scene at the game’s announcement trailer hahaha

Oh Tetris 99 Super mario RPG theme & background!!

Belated update on (publicly known) things I did for work/Hipster Whale since I last talked about it:

I mean better late than never! I mention them so that I don’t completely forget what I’ve done.

And also add them to the sidebar of my past projects/shenanigans :’)

Unfortunately it’s all twitter embeds but I included the instagram versions too :S

I forgot to post I helped with making decorations for Tower 10/Windup Workshop whoops :’)
Yes I created those toy blocks, pipes, ivy leaves, cogs and whatnot in the background
(as usual the current art lead was the one who did the hard work, put them in the game and levels!)
Helped with making the crossy UFO chicken + much kudos to the team for feedback, implementation, marketing as always!
Helped with making the 2023 Halloween Crossy character for this update with the team’s guidance

Leonie rambles about…

Gender Expression in Shoujo Manga

  • I was torn between dresses and pants in the past because it’s always “not girly enough” or “too girly”
    • I don’t like this internalised male/whomever/external people gaze to be visually pleasing/desirable/fashionable :/
    • I used to worry about not being feminine enough but now I just juggle between practical, comfortable and what makes me look good (in my own eyes and with my terrible fashion sense)
  • dresses definitely felt performative, I was much more self conscious and knowing that doing for it laundry is a hassle
    • it’s not as practical, convenient depending on the design
  • now I’m just fine not having to wear dresses normally
  • but dresses are great for super hot summer :0
  • I wear dresses if I feel like it (rarely) but it depends on what activity I’m doing and if I want to wash it ;P
  • I’m not comfortable with short dress/skirts at all because I don’t want to stress/worry about it nor creepy looks
  • if I wanted short bottoms, I’ll go for shorts ;P
  • anyhoo I do appreciate the more softer, cool and stylish non gender conforming range of presentation in manga
    • made me feel less bad wearing masculine clothes and generally pants more ;P
    • and that I don’t have to perform femininity for anyone as the default – especially as I get older

TWITTER SINS by mia cole

  • Twitter is a toxic, complicated mess + doomscrolling + “person of the day” + Elon
  • twitter is where I still get the most “impressions” overall but it feels empty
  • I guess I’ll keep waiting for the ship to sink and disappear…
  • I still see bits of the devastating tweets about the world and art sometimes
  • striving to keep away from it again for my mental health ahhh

The Yatta Song Now, with subtitles / Happa-tai Green Leaves [context from wikipedia]

Reflecting on autism & my own experiences continues (I’m always learning about it and it is who I am)

Internalized autistic meltdowns notes (Thought Spot)

  • yeah I feel this (keeping meltdowns in) though I’m getting better at guilt and shame since my little blog acts like a journal
    • helps me process my emotions and thoughts (as I am reassuring myself)
    • I don’t have people to talk to about these things as I do get repetitive about it, don’t want to dump/burden such things on people and so I reflect on it at my slow pace since I don’t have therapy
    • I try not to suppress it and let it out in some other ways since I can’t always seek comfort in the moment
    • I have to hide it way if I’m around people
    • I do verbally vent things out to myself when it’s too much and to not “scare people”
    • it does feel lonely though because I can’t fully be myself – even this blog to some degree (because my and other’s privacy!)
  • gosh I have brain fog after going outside and I think I have had meltdowns
    • I don’t want to talk, get tense and end up dissociating
    • I need time to let some of the tension and feelings out
    • managing the chronic pain of all the stress after the fact too – winding down
  • alone time and exercise are so important
  • friendships involve skill and practice and is hard work
  • advice from other neurodivergent peeps:
    • find other neurodivergent people (for common ground) and address sensory and safety needs early on
      • hmm what’s too much information though?? What’s appropriate? I’ve had people just not address/respond and move onto the next thing when I brought it up while others opened up a bit too so it’s a mixed bag
      • I guess if people actually consistently support each other and not ignore each other then it shows who matters and/or cares enough ;P
    • get excited with your interests and hyperfocuses and make friends though that?? Well games is still too broad it seems ;P

Can high-masking autistics have social deficits too? Notes! (Thought Spot)

  • yep when you’re masked to act and present in a certain way – especially in a professional versus friend role I can’t just switch easily to the other mode with the same people
    • struggle to adapt between roles
    • can you really be friends with someone higher up in power than you? It depends?
  • social situations for autistic peeps – we memorise social patterns, figure out social scripts and kind of know how to understand what’s happening (after experience)
    • but when it ends up being/changing into something else later then it’s hard to process and adjust
    • when people are fickle I get stuck on processing and trying to understand which conclusion to go with and what the conflicting social patterns mean
    • people don’t tell you what their intentions are!! I often get stuck guessing all these possibilities :’)
    • example: there was times when people were indifferent, rude and/or ignoring me and then later on they act nice, friendly and polite with me which made me super confused and on guard
      • (there’s probably more complex examples I can’t think of right now)
      • especially when people start off like they hate, don’t care and reject you and turns out they like you later?
      • Or when people start off super friendly and considerate and then they act like you don’t exist and ignore you (grown distant from you or rejection only happens when there’s other people around) :S
      • I don’t know how to approach these different sides of people and if they’re genuine, assumed I was a bad person, felt I was rude to them first, are trying to use me or they just had bad days when they were rude to me :’)
  • (looking at this blog) yes I do get hung up on details, overanalyse social situations while other people may/may not have been paying attention or care :’)
    • Yes I do prioritise regulation over socialisation (with my personal time)
    • “high masking over social deficits and consequently have energy deficits too” yes that’s me!! I end up not really having the energy to process things and express myself in the moment in social situations
    • It’s just overstimulating and exhausting with different/new people, environment, interactions, social patterns, sensory overload and analysing :<
    • I can get into deep topics…if I want to and want to warm/open up and connect with people (1 to 1 quiet catchups if I wanted to be able to talk longer) ;P
    • yep I use my personal time to recover from survival mode and get comfortable again
    • on the outside I just act like a quiet, boring zombie haha
  • “only able to fully unmask with romantic partner” – well not applicable for me since I never had one ;P
  • someone has seen me switch masks and they got weirded out between the me they know and the super friendly mask haha
    • I don’t do much of that anymore because it’s not sustainable and I shutdown
    • it’s saddening if I start off that way because people don’t know the real me here and they assume I “turned bad/rude” when I act more like myself and unmask
  • I don’t understand banter / “play fighting” and I get blunt too
    • it’s not funny to me and it can be taken seriously, hurtful and abusive ;P
    • I can’t tell if they’re serious or joking when it’s contradicting
    • “people say mean things and then laugh” – agreed I don’t get it nor the nuances either
    • when the tone changes and people get louder like they’re arguing (but contextually they’re joking) – I’m on edge
    • I don’t like banter because it’s just confusing and hurtful if I do it and when it’s done to me
    • fine let’s say I can’t take a joke but you were being mean and brutally honest under the guise of “joking” 🙁
    • self depreciating humour is another thing that I do actually do sometimes but more in a self aware way :S
  • overshare versus undershare
    • yeah I do get worried about oversharing but I’m caring less in the moment ;P
    • like she said when I do overadjust and not share, I’ll undershare and people will assume things about me, put words/intentions in my mouth, I don’t speak up, I don’t know when/how to share and I need to be explicitly asked to know what and when to share too :/

Neurodivergency and having fine-tuned pattern recognition notes (Thought Spot)

  • I relate to this so much where over time (with my slow processing), I notice the social/behavioural patterns of underlying/unsaid truths, predicting people’s reactions and behaviour but I can’t talk about it because the person in question didn’t mention, acknowledge or isn’t even aware of it
    • I get hypervigilant because I don’t know how to best behave within someone else’s boundaries and so I end up second guessing and dancing around topics, insecurities, traumas, secrets they feel vulnerable about – it’s not appropriate too!
    • people aren’t comfortable when you notice/guess how their actual internal roadmap is and go deep into topics about their internal world – agreed
    • it definitely makes me overly cautious and bad at small talk (as in I say nothing)
  • or where people are high masking and I feel like I’m interacting with a barrier and not an actual person
    • so when people say “just make friends with neurodivergent people”! No that doesn’t mean friendship will happen when we’re all different and may be incompatible/uninterested also
    • and some are putting up a fortress of a mask/persona
    • there are many who don’t even have the safe space to be themselves or they aren’t even aware of it (this was me many years ago where all my life is all about masking, hiding, go with a social script (attempts at least), freeze up and acting “normal”)
    • but if friendship happens, it’s super likely that they’re neurodivergent too :0
  • out of survival, neurodivergent people are analytical and observational – yes agreed :’)
    • lots of interpreting and figuring out what someone’s roadmap is so I can figure out how to behave
    • neurotypical people don’t seem to do, care nor want to learn about other people like this
  • “neurodivergent people (who are comfortable with their uniqueness) catch off the cuff things that is said and will respond while neurotypical people will judge, put up a wall and get on guard”
    • conversations flows easier when we keep responding honestly and openly to each other and deep honest conversations happen – we go down winding paths of topics together everywhere!! :0
    • Gosh this “constant inquiry and curiosity of each other” and explore certain topics is rare :'(
  • neurodivergent humour is often about humanity or themselves? Observational and more laughing at the situation and not the person
  • yeah a lot of juggling our own truths and other people’s truths + the differences and then learn about it
    • people can’t be the same and like minded and fit into a group/mould/society/bubble after all
    • open minded to other people’s lived experiences, differences, values and truths
  • “neurotypical people give a sense of stability, reliability and predictability” – yeah it’s comforting in that sense!

Ways Ableism towards Neurodiversity can be missed and how it’s just as harmful (Thought Spot)

  • articulated so well – I struggle so much with workplace/social dynamics and just don’t have the energy
    • then some people see me in the worst possible way because I’m not performing like a friendly, talkative, proactive person and take it personally and alienate/outcast/leave you out even more
    • I guess that’s why I also struggle with friendships
    • people who rudely demand you to give them eye contact, they won’t leave you alone or they take it personally
    • most people are ignorant and indifferent to different people’s needs :/
    • Or people just don’t like me
    • but to do what’s socially acceptable all the time – then I’m masking, burning out and killing myself and sense of self like I did years ago to survive!
      • It’s exhausting trying to guess what people may be upset with or what people want but don’t actually say what they mean (subtlety and assumptions)
      • I hated being pressured to talk on cue and perform like a different person :’)
      • And all the chronic pains/anxiety and stress due to all this and trying to survive day to day! And I never manage to fit in anyway!
    • I don’t like how it all equates to social difficulties when it’s more about how things are not accommodating for people who are different :’)
    • Masking is needed in new environments/people to survive too – but I can’t do it all the time as it’s too draining to keep up with all the sensory overload and energy to keep up the persona
    • I’m tired of being misunderstood (or whatever social mental gymnastics/dynamics/social hierarchy people do) so now I end up being upfront and started telling new peeps I’m autistic now, warning ahead of time my awkwardness and that I need time to process things :’)
    • unmasking is great in that you are putting up boundaries to protect your own needs and be more yourself
      • that is a wonderful way to put it!
      • I don’t have to be as burnt out, stressed, anxious and depressed anymore :’)
      • learning to just be okay not talking to people if I don’t feel like it – this can be so hard
      • I just need to learn not to feel guilty about it as I figure myself out and learn all the time – I will make mistakes as a flawed human being and that’s okay
  • some people may say they accept neurodivergent people but they don’t actually accept their neurodivergent/autistic behaviours (whether you know or not someone is neurodivergent)
    • the “good” behaviour vs “bad” behaviour – then making rude, unfair assumptions from this
    • what I deal with all my life :’)
    • I’ve been told I’m rude, sensitive/insensitive, unfriendly, reserved and unladylike (whatever that implies/means!) Yeah emotional abuse and neglect is not fun)
  • I also need to manage it better when most people don’t want to interact/be friends either – I’m not entitled to it!
    • Trying to be more aware of my own internalised ableism (especially the act of having to mask/hide myself in itself is implying that unmasking is not okay and the horrible “suck it up” thing I have to unlearn all the time)
    • but then again I usually just blame myself, assume they need space/aren’t interested and distance myself away further instead (and save my energy since I’m petty + they’re also saving their energy, effort, time and interest away from me ;P)
    • I keep to myself a lot too because I don’t have the energy to socialise by default when I’m too busy, hyperfocused and anxious about what I’m doing in that moment
    • again I struggle with speaking up, doing the jokey banter stuff when I need slow processing time
    • struggle with talking about feelings in person as that tends to be TMI or emotional dumping so I end up doing it at my blog here ;P
  • yeah I am also done chasing friends or second guessing whether people like me for too long – I do feel hurt and upset mind you!
    • Ultimately I got other things to worry about while they don’t even care nor have a clue about my feelings (and they are also worrying about their own things and closer people in their lives) :’)
  • I stim and move about a lot, have sensory issues, zone out a lot too (which makes people who need constant conversation uncomfortable)
  • I do miss social cues but I don’t care as much anymore since I either allow it (no mental/emotional energy to clear it up assumptions in that moment) or actually correct the misunderstanding

Dispelling some Autism stereotypes • We CAN make eye contact • We CAN empathize (Thought Spot)

  • yeah agreed high masking doesn’t mean I am “low support” it means I don’t get support at all or get treated like a baby or a mix of nobody knowing what to do
    • now I just communicate what I believe are common points of misunderstandings and clear that up upfront
    • I’m sure I have blind spots
    • relating to this – you’re expected to mask all the time just to make others comfortable but you’re disregulated, drained, always with a tense/stressed nervous system (survival/performance mode all the time), you’re dying inside and mental and physical health deteriorates
    • (for me it’s anxiety, chronic pains and probably other things)
  • stereotype 1: we do not make eye contact??
    • yes I can do eye contact and may do it randomly
    • I don’t enjoy doing it often or staring though – because I zone out and get into my headspace ;P
    • when I’m processing, I’m staring intensely on the outside (as I struggle to focus on verbal things) so you don’t want my deadpan, death stare or darting intense eyes right back at your eyes! It scares people ;P
    • it’s true!! When I’m forcing myself to do more eye contact I’m in fight or flight (flee or deflect)/freeze (dissociating)/survival mode just so struggle even more to process things + all the overstimulation just for normal interactions :<
    • masking self to be normal is taxing to my mental and physical health yep
  • stereotype 2: autistic people can’t be empathetic/ don’t have emotionally intelligence
    • no we just show up and exist differently and have different strengths
    • yeah I’m more of a problem solver and I don’t know to articulate words to comfort
    • if someone is emotional I feel affected and stressed and get quiet (bystander behaviour where I’m trying to self regulate)

I healed my abandonment issues by learning emotional permanence notes & thoughts (Anna Akana)

  • time consuming practice and hard and not fun
  • honestly, openly communicating and clearing up things, reassurance, validation, ways to calm the nervous system (breath, walking, meditating and journaling), accepting abandonment can happen too
  • oof yep I have inconsistent parents; I do have abandonment issues…
  • value does not depend on opinions of others; not let fear rule actions and self sabotage you
  • striving to have connections where I feel mutually safe, acknowledged and celebrated – how do you even build this when it needs to be mutual??
  • this is hard – when people are out of sight, not putting effort (neither am I) and not in my life nor interacting with me I default to thinking people don’t care, are distant and I don’t want to expect/hope for anything :’)
  • I also strive to give benefit of the doubt, depends on how consistent the indifferent/vague/subtle/distant/confusing behaviour is, if they really do/act on what they say or promise (so I’ll trust them more) and if I feel comfortable around them
  • I don’t want to emotionally attach myself too fast nor too intensely – ah the insecurity and fears…

Why Autistic People Can’t Work by Dana Andersen (where Leonie talks about past experiences)

  • gosh I relate to having to wake super early in the morning 5/6am if I need to go out for something or for work to emotionally prepare myself and take it at my slower pace :’)
  • I hate impromptu phone calls and generally hate phone calls but it depends on who and how well I know a person
  • yes the interview environment is horribly draining – I essentially mask super heavily and force eye contact and struggle to juggle my focus
  • finding work that doesn’t require socialising/talking with customers/clients is hard and it depends
  • apparently you get promoted depending on how well you socialise, do activities, gossip, contribute to the “fun culture”, how you make friends with coworkers and it’s not about how hard you work at many places
    • but I can’t even deal with the sensory overload / context switching / chaos of being around people while I am trying to do work so I just tense up, hyperfocus on work and shut down at open office environments :<
    • It’s not just about being nervous – not fitting to the status quo and consequently the constant anxiety, resentment and rejection just breaks you down; how does one even survive, let alone thrive?
    • I don’t really care or know about social hierarchies or dynamics or the popularity contest
    • I do agree that in the past people have seen me as unfriendly and rude because I can’t keep up friendships or conversations (if I do I am masking as a persona everyday and exhausting myself)
    • trying to mirror/act like other/neurotypical people – it’s just not how I function/work in the long run
    • I’m not comfortable with drinking culture nor bar hopping (sensory overload, don’t like alcohol and I can’t converse anyway)
    • agreed that many neurotypical places are intolerant of neurodivergent people who don’t have socially acceptable behaviours, struggle to keep jobs and get outcasted
    • employment is terribly difficult, involves luck, backup, support, network or “conform or just perish I guess”
    • I also do agree that to have a “career” you have to have superhuman social skills to survive (whelp I’ll keep struggling) otherwise you burn out
      • and apparently people turn on you to get competition out of the way in many profit driven industries – I’d rather not work in such a stressful, toxic environment
  • yeah I don’t know what’s TMI at times too and I worry after the fact

Autistic Babes by Rad Chad / how autism is represented

  • no we are not superhuman, super powered people, all super intelligent, nor animals without autonomy and we’re not necessarily aliens/robots with no feelings (oof with all of these negative stereotypes)
  • I’m slow, sensitive and stress/tense out easy – my deadpan face hides it well unless you can tell from my fidgeting/stimming/behaviour
    • we have our own individual struggles, flaws and positive and negative life experiences indeed – as with any other human
  • I wish I had better memory but I depend on reminders, emails and alarms that don’t always work :’)
  • I don’t know the mentioned good autistic characters since I didn’t watch/read them
  • oof yeah relating to overthinking, frustration and processing what I did wrong after a social/planned thing :’)
  • do agree with treating characters as characters with depth and autistic experiences and not caricatures

Dispelling Autistic Stereotypes pt 2 (Thought Spot)

  • Infantilisation – yeah…I think I experienced that (definitely dehumanising) when I tell someone and then they dance around in how they speak
    • I just ignore it and I talk normally and then they talk normally again (but slower for me thankfully) ;P
    • if they keep degrading me and taking my agency away then I just lose all respect
  • when they say oh “your autism is not that bad/is mild” or “ah you mask really well”
    • well I’m not sure about that since I mask it; I am not bothered thinking and listing my struggles on the spot so I move on 😛
    • unless it’s one of my healthcare professionals since I’m stressed out and not relaxed all the time + my chronic pains
    • though my physio calls it “super sensitivity”
  • reassurance support and understanding are great, we all struggle and how things and regulating feelings are hard
  • I don’t want to always be a loner either; I do want connection but agreed it’s exhausting to keep masking
    • to have private space to keep myself regulated then I can get in the extreme fight/flight/tense/survival mode to socialise (ie why I run away from people/crowds at social events at times to recover and calm down and I struggle to connect with people and feel super lonely, sad and anxious while I look like I’m aloof and deadpan butt on the outside)
    • huh maybe in my future social interactions/things I can explicitly ask if people can get used to me not making much eye contact with them! Maybe I won’t feel as stressed out too :0
  • As always I can’t speak for everyone who is autistic either; I’m just reflecting and talking from personal experiences and noting others’ too

Personal updates

  • I do wonder if I’ve been pouring my heart, thoughts and soul here too much – 5 or so peeps do read/visit at least!
  • I am glad that I didn’t do this in video format as that’s too exhausting and not how I best express my thoughts
  • this is the kind of thing you’d put behind a paywall nowadays but I have no present plans to. I may do it one day when I am in dire of need of financial help but even then I don’t have much confidence in reaching people in the first place…I feel not enough :’)
  • social media has been difficult and becoming intentionally more horrible to use as they attempt to monetise their worsening services (the mainstream ones)

Please note and reminder that I won’t have the capacity to write and ramble lots for every blog post I do as I (attempt to) reign myself in, because some posts are impromptu, because more of my time is focused on learning and making art and at minimum I’ll have my rambles at my short, subtitled commentary videos? I need to stop and not write so much again because I’m losing more sleep here :’)

As much as this is my online home where I’m not at the mercy of other platforms I get more views at my youtube videos and elsewhere than my blog posts :’) At least I get to ramble much, much more at my blog when I can afford and/or desire to.

One of my knees hurt (nooo I thought I can squat but I hurt myself again??), my jaw pain is not fully going away (nooo), having horrible stabbing cramps and my back is aching.

Whelp. My body is yelling at me for being unable to relax 🙁

Gosh I woke up late this morning since I stayed up late to do my blog post…I really need to reign myself in and I’m tired & sore + uncomfortably warm weather :’)