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Survival.

Maslow’s hierarchy

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I feel that some people focus on aesthetics and want a lot of money to create the perfect look for themselves or their home. Some people seek fame because they have a deep need for esteem and found their talents and honed them to get recognition. Some people focus on transcendence and seek to be altruistic and feed the poor or some other humanitarian cause. Some people focus on belonging and put all of their self into their significant other. Some people reach self actualization and appear to be a wild success with finding a soulmate, raising children, accomplishing goals that lead to a purpose like a career. Some people are always learning and stuck in a cognitive pattern. But I feel that as an autistic person, I never quite make it to any of those higher levels because I am focused on how hard it is to meet my basic physiological needs like preparing meals for myself, cooking, drinking enough water, getting the temperature right in my room so I am not overstimulated, cleaning, getting enough sleep, fixing my hair, brushing my teeth, putting on sunscreen and deodorant, picking out clothes for the day (which can take 3 hours every night), showering (I have a fear of water and faint from the overstimulation sometimes), making sure I have a roof over my head even though I can’t hold down a job for more than 3 months. So that once I finally meet homeostasis and get these needs met on my own, I can’t make it past the next level which is safety needs. The world is a violent place for my 5 senses. I hear too many sounds and it’s dizzying, I can’t control the temperature outside and it’s enough to throw me into shock and have me rocking myself like a baby. I can’t look people in the eye to know if they are friend or foe and I can’t always recognize by their facial expressions or sometimes their faces lie so that I don’t feel safe enough to be a friend. I desire belonging and sometimes I make it past safety for a sweet spot of time and it’s then that I desire companionship with another human. I would make another human my whole world if they would be patient with me til I could reach my sweet spot to be able to give back to them. But I am stopped short because I can’t communicate the language of companionship. I’m not versed in it and I don’t make it to the sweet spot often enough to practice it. Most of my time is spent simply surviving. Am I alone in this?

I also theorize that you could go down the pyramid and start at the top with transcendence (being close to God) and a lot of autistics are close to God. Orthodox Jews recognize this fact as well and see us as having a special relationship with God. I even think we can get through self actualization and have a soulmate, a career, and children. We could go all the way backwards but the challenge remains the same…belonging would be harder to get to because it would be almost at the bottom if we were going top down. We would have a soulmate but still feel a void like we don’t quite belong.

God first, then your career or purpose second, then working on your aesthetics which is the beauty you have and the beauty of your room and environment, then cognitive (play brain games), but I can't help with self esteem or belonging to a group or having best friends because I don't accomplish those two levels whether I go forwards or backwards because of my autism.

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Lilacleia16
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