I suppose I should start by clarifying that change is not a bad thing, chance is something that will always happen and life doesn’t really progress without it. Our ability to deal with change is a completely different matter though. Some people love it and some people will avoid it like the plague but it will eventually happen.
There are some people for whom change does rarely happen. Some people stay in the same job from 16 until retirement, marry their childhood sweetheart and stay together in wedded bliss for eternity and live in the same house their whole life. These people, to me, are incredibly lucky. I do not, like a lot of people on the autism scale, deal with change well at all. I will try and control change as much as I can and it only tends to happen on my terms.
Everytime a relationship has ended I have usually been the one to end it, or it has been mutual, but the end has always taken a long time to get to. I have to be completely done with the situation I’m in to get to the point, a point of being utterly miserable and fed up with how things are going.
I have been in the unfortunate situation were I have been left by someone, suddenly and with no warning that it was going to happen. I have never felt so overwhelmed in my life. This was someone I spent every possible waking moment with, did everything together for 3 years, lived with, was building a life with and they were suddenly gone. In hindsight it was one of the best things that happened to me as it was a toxic relationship and I became such a more independent, stronger person because of it. It was a hard road to travel but I got through it (with the help of tablets from the dr and some fantastically supportive friends).
It did have a knock in effect on my whole life though as it damaged working relationships beyond repair, I had to move as I could no longer afford the bills on my own, I had to give up on changing my career into something I loved. On the positive side it gave me a sense of purpose and I finished a college course I had just started at the time, found a new place to live that removed me from bad memories and give me a fresh start (which lead to my current, loving, supportive relationship) and transferred to a different store with more hours to make myself more financially stable.
As usual, I have diverted away from the subject matter of changes.
Autism and changes don’t go hand in hand too well. A strategy that does seem to help is making changes gradually. If someone doesn’t react too well to small things being changed for example a hair cut, then try to do it in stages instead like cutting a couple of inches off every month or so and the change won’t seem as drastic to the person in your life. Don’t just throw a change on an autistic person with no warning, we like our routine and the things in our life just so and that includes the people in our life. But exposing people with autism to change is also a good thing as it is necessary and it is needed and, even as adults, we need to be reminded that change is ok. It’s only during the change that it seems like the world is about to end but afterwards all is ok again.
change is good and change is needed.