Categories
Autism

Christmas, overwhelm and toxic people

Christmas is a time to spend with family, friends and loved ones in general, but unfortunately, for some this might mean spending time with toxic people that hurt them, for several reasons.

It is also a time for a lot of socialization, a lot of noise, a lot of touch. I always struggled a little bit with Christmas because although I absolutely love to be with my family, there is a bigger demand for energy and coping than other times. It is very rare that I don’t have a meltdown in Christmas (although since I didn’t know I was autistic, I always made-up random excuses why I did them). It happens also that for me as well, I have someone close to me that is very toxic for me and it is deeply painful for me every time I try to make contact.

At least in Portugal there is the idea that since is our blood, our family we need to make the effort. We need to be there. But something I learned for many years of struggling is you don’t.

Toxicity, being in any form, can be very difficult to handle. Obviously is important to be there if they want help, but some people are like moving sands, bringing everything with them, and had no intention to work on themselves. In my case that person complains I don’t contact him, that I don’t care about him, and cry to other family members about how mean I am, but when I do, it is to pay his bills. In 5 years, I believe he asked me once how I was, and truly wanted to know.

For many people it might also have to do with prejudice, like homophobia or racism. In that case, I hope you know there are people out there that appreciate who you are and are happy that you are here.

I understand that family is family, but if you do have toxic people in your life, just be aware that it is ok to protect yourself this Christmas. We had a difficult year. It was exhausting and hurtful and life changing. Our energy, mental health and wellbeing is very important, and you deserve to spend the holidays with the people that truly love you and support you, as you are, and not spending it exhausting your mental health making accommodations for someone that does not actually want them.

To the neurotypical people, be aware that Christmas is a time of overloading for autistic people. Make sure to try to integrate them more into your family celebrations, respecting if they need some time to recharge. It does not mean they don’t love you.

Some tips for the holidays: make sure there is a room they can go that does not smell like food, which might be very overwhelming to some autistic people (airing the kitchen also helps). Avoid too many lights inside the house if they are hypersensitive to light, instead you can add Christmas toys, balls, and flowers. Avoid putting music in the background if you are talking, that can be very overwhelming and too much information. Now with the pandemic there is less touching but be permissive of the autistic person to not touch/hug/kiss people if they do not want to, if we do, we will let you know.

Finally, do not push autistic people to connect with toxic people in their life if they don’t intend to connect back. It is very taxing and exhausting, way more than you think it is for us, since a lot of us are hyper empathic and absorb everything around us.

Have a very merry Christmas/holidays and I hope 2021 brings you everything that 2020 did not.


Natal, sobrecarga e pessoas tóxicas

O Natal é uma época para se passar com a família, amigos e entes queridos em geral, mas, infelizmente, para alguns, isso pode significar passar tempo com pessoas tóxicas que os prejudicam, por vários motivos .

É também um momento de muita socialização, muito barulho, muito toque. Sempre tive um pouco de dificuldades com o Natal porque, embora ame absolutamente estar com minha família, há uma necessidade maior energia e gestão do que em outras ocasiões. É muito raro eu não ter um meltdown no Natal (embora, como eu não sabia que era autista, sempre inventava desculpas aleatórias para isso). Acontece também que para mim tenho alguém próximo que é muito tóxico para mim e é profundamente doloroso para mim cada vez que tento fazer contato.

Pelo menos em Portugal existe a ideia de que sendo o nosso sangue, a nossa família temos de fazer o esforço. Precisamos estar lá. Mas algo que aprendi por muitos anos de luta é que não temos.

A toxicidade, em qualquer forma, pode ser muito difícil de gerir. Obviamente, é importante estar lá se realmente quiserem ajuda, mas algumas pessoas são como areias movediças, consumindo tudo consigo, e não tem intenção de trabalhar em si mesmas ou nos ter em consideração. No meu caso essa pessoa reclama que eu não entro em contato com ela, que não me importo com ela, e chora com os outros familiares sobre como sou ma, mas quando eu contacto apenas fala pagar suas as contas. Em 5 anos, acredito que ele me perguntou uma vez como eu estava e realmente queria saber.

Para muitas pessoas, também pode ter a ver com preconceito, como homofobia ou racismo. Nesse caso, espero que saiba que existem pessoas que apreciam quem é e ficam felizes por estar aqui.

Eu entendo que família é família, mas se tiver pessoas tóxicas na sua vida, esteja ciente de que não há problema em se proteger neste Natal. Tivemos um ano difícil. Foi exaustivo, doloroso e mudou muito a nossa vida. A nossa energia, saúde mental e bem-estar são muito importantes e merece passar o Natal com as pessoas que amam de verdade e apoiam como é, e não esgotando a tua saúde mental a fazer acomodações para quem não as quer.

Além disso, para as pessoas neurotípicas, esteja ciente de que o Natal é uma época de sobrecarga para os autistas. Tente nos integrar mais nas comemorações de família, respeitando se eles precisarem de algum tempo para recarregar. Isso não significa que eles não vos amem.

Algumas dicas para as férias: certifique-se de que há um quarto onde eles possam ir e que não cheire a comida, o que pode causar sobrecargas para alguns autistas (arejar a cozinha também ajuda). Evite muitas luzes dentro de casa se forem hipersensíveis à luz; em vez disso, pode adicionar brinquedos de natal, bolas e flores. Evite colocar música de fundo se estiver a falar. Com a pandemia há menos toque, mas seja permissivo com a pessoa autista em não tocar/abraçar/beijar as pessoas se não quiser, se quisermos nos avisamos.

Finalmente, não force os autistas a se conectarem com pessoas tóxicas nas suas vidas, se elas não pretendem conectar de volta. É muito desgastante e exaustivo, muito mais do que pensa que é para nós, pois muitos de nós somos hiper-empáticos e absorvemos tudo ao nosso redor.

Tenha um feliz natal/celebrações e espero que 2021 lhe traga tudo o que 2020 não trouxe.

Categories
Autism Equality

Shops owned by people with disabilities or chronic illnesses

Christmas is coming and COVID made a lot of people, especially people with disability to lose their jobs or to struggle due to the risk for their own health. I decided then to only shop from small business made by people with disabilities. People with disabilities, and specially autistic people, that are also added to the list, gave me so much this year, that the minimum thing I can do is give it back.

I made a biiig list of incredible and beautiful business with everything that you might wish to give during christmas.

Since this list was made also to share into UK, it is divided into UK/outside UK, but most business ship worldwide. Check it below.



Lojas pertencentes a pessoas com deficiência

O Natal está a chegar e a COVID fez com que muitas pessoas, especialmente as pessoas com deficiência, perdessem os seus empregos ou tivessem dificuldades devido ao risco para sua própria saúde. Decidi então comprar apenas em pequenas empresas feitas por pessoas com deficiência. As pessoas com deficiência, principalmente os autistas, que também estão na lista, deram-me tanto este ano que o mínimo que posso fazer é retribuir.

Fiz uma lista enoooorme de negócios incríveis e bonitos com tudo que pode querer oferecer durante o natal.

Como esta lista foi feita também para ser compartilhada no Reino Unido, ela é dividida em Reino Unido/fora do Reino Unido, mas a maioria dos envios para o mundo inteiro. Em Portugal gostava de sublinhar o Atypical Handcraft por uma autista portuguesa, e os livros de Joao Carlos da Costa, um autista não-verbal.

Outside UK

Atypical Handcraft (Portugal)Jewellery made with crystals and accessorieswww.instagram.com/atypical.handcraft
Joao Carlos da Costa (Portugal)Book written by a non-verbal autistic personhttps://www.wook.pt/autor/joao-carlos-da-costa/3167928
Byindeko (Australia)Clothes, accessories, JewelryByindeko.com
Fused with Love Co USClothes and accessorieshttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/FusedWithLoveCo
Laura Babiuk USClothes, accessories, art, miscellaneoushttps://laurababiuk.com/
Purl knitting (Canada)Scarves andhttps://www.etsy.com/shop/purlknitting/
Qc ceramics USCeramicshttps://www.instagram.com/qcceramics/
Soft and Fierce (Germany)Stickers and badgeshttps://www.etsy.com/shop/SoftandFierce
Spoonie Sister Shop USClotheshttps://www.etsy.com/shop/spooniesistershop/
Strength In Stitches USJewelleryhttps://www.etsy.com/shop/StrengthInStitches
SunshineWitchery USJewelleryhttps://www.etsy.com/shop/SunshineWitchery
The good bunny club USClotheshttps://thegoodbunnyclub.com/collections/shop-all
The Lockwood (Canada)Wood disability toyshttps://thelockwood.ca/ 

UK

A Budding Green WitchTarothttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ABuddingGreenWitch
Abigail’s Bead CompanyGemstones and silver jewellerywww.abigailsbeadcompany.com
AbiStevensIllustration, Enamel Pins, jewellery, and Stickershttps://www.etsy.com/shop/abistevens/
AdaptedJamesDisability Aidshttps://www.etsy.com/shop/adaptedjames
Alex Flower ArtPrints, postcards, and arthttps://www.instagram.com/alexflowerart
Alex SicklingCeramicshttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/alexsickling/
All Things Nice CraftsJewelleryhttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/AllthingsniceCrafts
Ananya PaintsPaintings and artworkhttps://www.etsy.com/shop/ananyapaints/
Anchors Aweigh VintageMiscellaneoushttps://www.instagram.com/anchorsaweighvintage
Annie’s Canna MagicBath bombs and saltshttps://www.instagram.com/anniescannamagic/
Art by TansiePrints and arthttps://www.instagram.com/artbytansie
AureliolaukJewellerywww.aureliolauk.etsy.com
Bear Hugs GiftsGift boxeshttps://bearhugsgifts.com/
BethEastonArtArthttps://teespring.com/stores/betheastonart
Caitie Met SodaJewelleryhttps://caitiemetsoda.com/
CakeHead LondonCakeswww.cakeheadlondon.com
Christine CrochetCrochet giftshttps://www.numonday.com/shop/christinecrochet394/
Chronic CreationsJewelleryhttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ChronicCreationsGB
Chronically DivinePinshttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ChronicallyDivine
Clay by the SeaJewelleryhttps://www.etsy.com/shop/claybytheseastudio/
Confetti WeavesWeaveswww.buttonedbears.com
Conscious craftiesCraft marketplace for people with disabilitieswww.consciouscrafties.com
Colourblind Zebra USClothes, stickers, badges, and postcardshttps://colourblindzebra.com/
Craft The RevolutionEmbroideryhttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/CraftTheRevolution
CrohnieClothingStoreStickershttps://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/CrohnieClothingStore
CultCreations TeesPop-culture clothes and giftshttps://www.facebook.com/CultCreationsTees/
Dandy doodlezArt and portraitswww.dandydoodlez.com
Dellies designsGifts and accessorieshttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Delliesdesigns
Dina HassNutritionist for people with disabilitieswww.vitamindina.com
Disabled MakersMiscellaneoushttps://www.instagram.com/disabledmakers
Doodle PeopleSocial justice accessories https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/doodlepeople
Elles BakeryCakeshttps://www.ellesbakery.com/
EvabooChildren’s clotheshttps://www.instagram.com/evabooclothing/
FairycakesClothing, accessories, and homewarehttps://www.etsy.com/shop/fairycakes
Farmstead shepherdSheep cheesewww.farmsteadshepherd.com
Freaky Puffalump RebornsHorror dollshttps://www.facebook.com/Freaky-Puffalump-Reborns-705973632862950/
Gender gemsGender affirming apparelhttps://www.etsy.com/shop/gendergems/
GlenouthercraftsWood craftshttps://www.facebook.com/glenouthercrafts/
GlitteratiResin homewarehttps://www.facebook.com/Glitterati-by-Sophia-101126561779381/
GrobblenotsPop-culture craftshttps://grobblenots.bigcartel.com/products
GroundandGrowHandmade toyshttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/GroundandGrow
HowlitesMiscellaneoushttps://www.redbubble.com/people/Howlites/shop
HyprnrmlJewellery and clotheshttps://www.etsy.com/shop/hyprnrml
In a Box DesignClothes, postcards and miscellaneous https://innabox.co.uk/
In Twos and ThreesEmbroideryhttps://www.etsy.com/shop/intwosandthrees/
Jem stitchesEmbroidery and accessorieshttps://www.etsy.com/shop/jemstitches/
Jesse Irwin artJewellery, pins and miscellaneoushttps://jesseirwinart.com/
Kelzo JewelleryJewelleryhttps://kelzojewellery.com/
KerritcosFace Maskshttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/kerritcos
KillrbangzJewellerywww.killrbangz.com
Kindness Handmade ShopMacrame giftshttps://www.etsy.com/shop/kindnesshandmadeshop
KittyStrandDesignsArthttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/KittyStrandDesigns
Laura Charley DesignClothes and accessorieshttps://www.etsy.com/shop/lauracharleydesign/
Lemon CraftsEnvelopeshttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LemonCrafts1
Little pensil digitalStationaryhttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Littlepencildigital
Made by JinksDog related productshttps://www.madebyjinks.co.uk/
Made by PenguinsYarnhttps://www.instagram.com/made_by_penguins
Made by PenguinsYarnhttps://www.madebypenguins.co.uk/
Mayhem CollectionsPop-culture collectibleshttps://www.facebook.com/themayhemcollection/
Meg Scarbie ArtEmbroidery and accessorieshttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/megscarbieart/
Mermade handmade treasuresDisney inspired craftshttps://www.instagram.com/mermade.handmade.treasures/
Mily Rose MakesJewelleryhttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/millyrosemakes
Miss Salt Bae ShopClotheshttps://misssaltbae.teemill.com/
MoonlitjwlryJewelleryhttps://www.etsy.com/dk-en/shop/Moonlitjwlry
My recovery doodlesBadges and miscellaneoushttps://myrecoverydoodles.bigcartel.com/
NiniprytulaWooden kitchen toolswww.niniprytula.com
Not Your Grandmas UKClothes and accessorieshttps://notyourgrandmas.co.uk/
Old Maiden AuntYarnwww.oldmaidenaunt.com
Pacing pixieClotheshttps://teespring.com/stores/pacingpixie
Paper StoryArt Supplieshttps://paperstory.co.uk/
Pixie CraftHandmade embroideryhttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/pixiecrafthandmade
Plus10KapowGaming stickers and jewelleryhttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Plus10Kapow
Positively AliveMiscellaneoushttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/PositivelyAlive
Pretty Sick ArtClothes, homeware and accessorieshttps://www.redbubble.com/people/prettysickart/shop
ProteasePrints UKArtwork and giftshttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ProteasePrints
Punky MamaPrints, stickers, and badgeswww.thefeministmother.etsy.com
Queen CoyoteHerbalist and doulawww.queen-coyote.com
Rana awadallahArt and printshttps://www.ranaawadallah.com/
RangiChangiShopJewelleryhttps://www.etsy.com/shop/RangiChangiShop
Rebecca H JewelleryJewelleryhttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/RebeccaHJewellery
Rhl CreationBags, postcards and accessorieshttps://www.etsy.com/shop/rlhcreation/
Rosie Cakes boutiqueResine art, acessorieshttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/RosiecakesBoutique
Sarah Cate CreationsJewellery and arthttps://sarahcatecreations.storenvy.com/
Sarah SteeleSilversmith and jewellryhttps://thebritishcrafthouse.co.uk/shop/sarah-steele-silversmith-and-jeweller
Sew CharmingHand crafted giftshttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SewCharmingbyDawn
Sew Sew CraftyArt and Handmade Craftshttps://www.facebook.com/SewSewCrafty1/
Shimmer and SewAccessorieshttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ShimmerAndSew
Silver SmithyJewelleryhttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/EmmaSmithJewellery
SkullbagJewelleryhttps://www.etsy.com/shop/skullbag/
Sophie HinesSensory-friendly underwearhttps://sophiehines.com/pages/hello
Spoonie boxUplifting surprise boxes for people with disabilitieswww.spoonie-box.com
Spoonie Survival kitsSelf-care kits for chronically-illhttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/spooniesurvivalkits
StimologyFidgets and sensory toyswww.stimology.co.uk
Stitches and pixelsHandmade Embroideringhttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Stitchesandpixels
Submarine StudiosArthttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SubmarineStudios
Sugered Tea DesignsJewelleryhttps://www.etsy.com/shop/SugaredTea
Sunsine Soul and MindHypnotherapy and Medicationhttps://www.instagram.com/sunshinesoulandmind
T2KreationsCraftshttps://www.facebook.com/T2Kreations/
TeawithhbBadges and stickershttps://www.instagram.com/teawithhb
Tender fleshPlant potshttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/TenderFlesh
The Beauty VaultCosmetics and self-carehttps://thebeautyvault.co.uk/
The Chronic IconicClothes and Badgeshttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/TheChronicIconic
The Dizzie Blonde StudioArthttps://www.etsy.com/shop/thedizzyblondestudio/
The Kerratorium Handmade craftshttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Kerratorium
The LockwoodWood disability toyshttps://thelockwood.ca/
The Reluctant SpoonieCrochet toyshttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/TheReluctantSpoonie
The Virtual Christmas market by Women with ADHDMiscellaneoushttps://www.facebook.com/groups/thevirtualchristmasmarket/
The wonkyartistMaps and artwww.thewonkyartist.com
TheVintageBookwormUKVintage books and craftshttps://www.etsy.com/shop/thevintagebookwormuk/
This thing they call recoveryGraphic design, clothes, and printshttps://thisthingtheycallrecovery.teemill.com/
Thomp 2 SocksSockshttps://thomp2.com/
Threador Dead ClubEmbroidery arthttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ThreadorDeadClub
Tiding of magpiesJewelleryhttps://smart.bio/tidingofmagpies/
Tiny Treat BoutiqueJewellery and craft kits for kidshttps://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/TinyTreatBoutique
Tutu HullabalooChildren’s clotheshttps://www.tutuhullabaloo.com/
VE CosmeticsCosmeticshttps://www.ve-cosmetics.com/
Velvet Galaxy BathBath bombshttps://www.facebook.com/VelvetGalaxyBathnWax/
Velvet VolcanoClothes and accessorieswww.velvetvolcano.co.uk
Wear a RainbowJewellery and accessorieshttps://weararainbow.bigcartel.com/
Yarn and BlarneyYarn patternshttps://payhip.com/YarnandBlarney