I’m 23 and Finally Free

Hi all,  

Today’s post is going to be a ramble because as of today, I have now turned 23. Subsequently, what was one of the hardest years of my life has come to a close. Now I can actually look towards my future.  

I am finally making progress in solving my homelessness situation – and at the time of writing, in more suitable temporary accommodation. I am also able to start thinking about employment and reaching out to the community properly.  

That said, one other thought that comes to mind is this realisation. I should have been in this position last year. Let me contextualise it with an anecdote I haven’t discussed before – my 22nd birthday day the previous year.  

That day, I got up really early for a job interview that I attended via a long train commute. I didn’t get the job, but it was a good experience nonetheless. At the time, I was still stuck at my abusers’ home and believed that getting a job was my only viable way out.  

My situation was deteriorating, and it was only a matter of time before I was kicked out. Hence, I had to get a job as soon as possible because nobody would house me. I also had no presents nor cards from my abusers as they refused to get me anything – as did the family members that they manipulated against me. So not much of a birthday.  

Some reasons why this is significant to me is that last year:  

  • I wasn’t able to think properly about my future in any way, nor access the right support to do this, such as mentoring.
  • My focus was forcibly narrowed to getting a new place to live in any way possible.
  • Nor was I able to work out precisely what my support needs were. This is due to the toxic negativity I had, that assumed I could never work or live on my own. 
  • I also wasn’t able to work out what would be best for me regarding careers. All I knew is that I would need to move to a more accessible area for the best jobs and support. 
  • I wasn’t able to access mental health support for what I was going through, nor access any form of peer support.  

I wasn’t able to have a life, basically. I was trapped and disabled by the toxic environment around me.  

The difference between then and now is that I can now adequately address all of the above.  

This is because I’m free. I can finally get all of this addressed and more, such as: 

  • Medically transitioning
  • Reaching out to other people in the local community
  • Rebuilding my career
  • Working towards my long-term ambitions to migrate out of the U.K. permanently 

I am also accessing support and have developed a thick skin and matured as a result of my experiences. 

So today, I’ll be spending the day to myself and probably play games, do some writing and catch up with some friends online. And honestly, I’m OK with that. Compared to last year, this is far better. It’s better to be alone and happy than surrounded by people who don’t care about your wellbeing.  

My life is so much better now.  

I’m 23 and finally free. Here’s to a year of freedom and finally finding my feet as an adult.  

Milla xx  

P.S. I recently set up a crowdfunder so I can start my medical transition privately. Please consider donating to it if you have something to spare. You can view it here.

A World of Possibilities

(Featured image description: Image contains a view of Planet Earth from outer space. Most of Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East can be seen during the day. The rest is in darkness.)

Hi all,

Today’s post will be more of a life update post and if you follow me on Twitter you’ll likely be able to work out what this is about. This blogpost will discuss some of my thoughts regarding my life after I graduate as well as discuss some of the research I have done already. Maybe you will learn something as well.

I have been worrying about what I am going to do after I graduate for a lot for the past year. This worry is something that I am struggling to deal with because I feel like I am running out of time. I am due to start my final year of university soon and there is of pressure on final year students to decide their next path in life. There is a world of possibilities out there for young people hence there is the expectation that university graduates will continue their path in life into the workplace or further study.

For me, making this choice has been very hard due to there being too many possible routes I could pursue hence it has been very overwhelming for me. Furthermore, the lack of detailed guidance for people in my situation has made it very hard for me to decide the best course of action.

My research and self-analysis so far have led me to the following conclusions:

  • I will require accommodations due to my disabilities – which includes working from home.
  • I don’t know what career I want to pursue that could feasibly earn me a living.
  • My disabilities limit what careers I can pursue.
  • I do not wish to continue education just yet as I need a break from the education system and would like new challenges.
  • I will have to relocate but will also need some level of support.
  • I also realised I am a woman while I was in Japan and would like to start transitioning in my final year (I am still mostly closeted at the time of writing hence did not want to talk about this on my blog prior).

As you can tell, I am in a pretty complicated situation. I am trying my best to get answers but it has been exhausting. I managed to get a careers appointment for instance but the advice I got left me with more questions than answers. This includes the confusing idea that I may be restricting myself too much. I am trying to pace finding these answers so I do not overdo it to the detriment of my health and education. I only have so much free time and the answers are not going to come to me as soon as I would like.

Due to being autistic, I struggle to focus on other things (including relaxation) until I have the answer that I am looking for. This especially applies when a dramatic life change is the subject at hand. Self-discipline and getting a work-life balance are important skills to learn as they are required in order to work from home. I am getting the hang of this slowly but it isn’t easy.

Some things I have learned during my search have been interesting though. For instance, I have been reading up on UK law thanks to some of the research that has been done and there is legal protection for all my marginalised characteristics. There are also various sources of support out there for me whom I can go to advice across the country including services I was not aware of before. Furthermore, there are also job sites that are specially geared towards disabled people in the UK such as Evenbreak.

Additionally, there are a lot more UK regulations surrounding working from home than I first thought (as outlined here). For instance, an employer would need to conduct a health and safety check on the proposed working from home space before any home working is allowed. Furthermore, planning permission and tenancy agreements may need to be made or altered depending on what the circumstances are. The employer’s needs also need to be factored in just as much as the employees which means the employer needs to see benefits of me working from home too. This genuinely surprised me and will only serve to complicate my situation as many employers will decide to retract job offers when I ask for this accommodation.

I do plan to seek further, more detailed advice in the future due to my very specific situation from a variety of sources. Until then, I will try to enjoy my free time before I head back for my final year of being a student which will be my toughest year yet. I am hopeful that I can find my way in life.

That’s all for today.

Best wishes,
Subtle

(@subtlykawaii)

PS. If anybody has any links/stories/advice to share written by people like me that were in my situation (preferably people who are trans + autistic + disabled), please share them in the replies! Thanks 🙂

Featured image source