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A Letter to my 14 Year Old Self

Dear 14 year old me


I hope you are doing well in the memory of my 35 year old self. It's been 21 years, can you believe it and let me tell you it's been a journey you would never believe.


I know we are stressed right now because we have our GCSEs coming up. I know we miss our dad after he left for his mistress and wonder if we'll ever get on with our mum. I know we are exhausted and I know we are pushing through to try and make sure we give ourselves every opportunity we can to have a better life.


We have friends. Only a few but they do support us and accept us for who we are. I know we have tried to change our personality and we will do this until our 30s when we find out we are autistic. There was nothing wrong with us after all and it's ok.


We pass our GCSES and are actually one of the top performers in the whole school and we make school history with our A* in sports studies. Sixth form is really hard and we have to work harder here than we ever will in University or any job we have had since. Levels teach us, we can do anything we put our mind to, even when support is lacking and all seems lost we get what we need to, to give ourselves a chance of a new life in a new town.


We fall out with sport whilst trying to impress our boss after getting sacked from our first job. Yes Luce, turns out good grades and work ethic are not the only things needed to maintain a job. We are only 16, we will learn that we need those social skills we always have and will lack to truly get recognised in a job and if we stand up for ourselves, we will learn very quickly to start looking for new things whilst keeping our head down as much as possible to not get into unnecessary trouble. 


University in 1st year is hard for us. We don’t like being kept up late at night but we learn to embrace napping in the day. We will struggle to stay awake in lectures in the first year, we are so exhausted no matter how hard we try we can’t. Don’t worry though we still pass and we stick it out despite struggling to fit in because we find friends that remain with us till we graduate. We will struggle to make friends on our course and over try to fit in. It's ok there is nothing wrong with us, we will learn this in our 30s.


We don’t grow out of the noise thing. Whatever you do, do not get a job in an office because it is the worst thing you can do for career growth. We will be limited because the sound of keyboards will turn our head spinning and this will quickly exhaust us and managers will start having an issue with our attitude. We will be top performers in all our jobs and the go to people. However, this will not be recognised with promotions and pay. 


The noise thing is not hormones. Don’t worry though, noise canceling headphones are invented and phones start to have apps like spotify. Hand in hand these transform our lives.


We will have 3 exceptional managers in our career that make work bearable and give us opportunities others won't. We will do more qualifications and become a qualified accountant and personal trainer but we will decide the jobs are not going to suit us. We realize the 9-5 is not for us and we start advocating for autistic people. We start to put time into a website and videos and get confident. People will try and take this away from us, but we are used to this. Keep going, we will do it. We have a vision and a goal now and experience and support. We have got this.


We really enjoy buying things low and selling things higher and we do this often. Keep doing it. We get to a point in your 20s where we feel we have wasted time in our career but keep going because all of the things we are about to experience will make us the person we are today in 2024.


We do end up dating an older man who has kids. We move in with him and become a step mum. This is stressful but we persevere with it. Our new man helps us reconnect with our dad who we sadly watch pass away unexpectedly. Speak to him more because there is so much left unsaid. We survive this but it takes 3 years of therapy and lifelong medication to get through the devastation it causes.


We don't need to worry about money. We make good decisions in our 20s and it sets us up nicely in our 30s. So stop stressing about not having enough. We always have enough. 


Our mum becomes our best friend in our 20s. We help her get through things she thought she wouldnt like breast cancer. We speak to her regularly and see her as often as we can. Our relationship with your mum is invaluable. 


The relationship with our little brother is up and down. It suffers trauma when dad passes but we rebuild and end up stronger than ever.


The relationship with our sisters becomes stronger with mums cancer diagnosis and dads death. Both will be at your wedding looking on with pride


We marry the man who reconnected us with our dad, because our dads death taught us life is precious and time waits for no one. We make the decision that family is what we want and means more than anything.


We get our autism diagnosis aged 31. Our employer is very dismissive about it so we eventually quit the job realizing our mental health is more crucial than anything. Prior to the diagnosis we get back into sport aged 29 but when we are 32 the world shuts down because of Covid. We get put on Furlough getting full pay for 3 months. Don’t worry about not having a job and yes they will call you on your birthday to ask you back in although we asked them not to do that.


Once we get diagnosed there is no help or support we are on our own to figure it out. We think our employer will have a list of accommodations or know what they can help us with, but they don’t. Friends tell us when applying for new jobs to not mention autism until we get the offer. We find this hard as we learn we can fake it massively in interviews. When we do disclose, again don't expect a list of what accommodations they can offer, we have to tell them what we need and hope they can accommodate. 


Work is hard for us. We are very good at our job but terrible at being too honest or wearing our heart on our sleeves. But don’t worry, keep your self belief. I am working hard to change this for us and others like us.


We got married and absolutely love being a wife. It is honestly awesome. We are lucky to marry the man we have and he is an awesome husband who will do anything for us. Keep communicating and keep things fresh. 


We are about to go into another phase of life and it's going to be awesome. 14 year old me yes, I know you are stressed, sad and lonely but I promise you, it will all be ok. We have got this.


Love always


35 year old me xxx


P.s.


We also have 2 amazing little westies; Ted and Diesel. 






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