Monthly Archives: July 2011

What’s Up With Girls?

I recently watched a trailer for a documentary entitled Finding Kind. It was created by two young women who are filmmakers, Lauren Parsekian and Molly Stroud. The documentary is about how vicious girls can be to each other. I have not seen this documentary but as I watched the trailer for it, I felt that tinge of pain and had flash backs of many of my experiences. When it comes to girls and their relationships, I have been at a loss. I have tried to study their patterns of behavior over the course of my life but they seem so erratic and irrational. But I can pretty much guarantee that my behavior has looked that way to others as well. However, to me my patterns make logical sense while theirs seem based on emotion or fleeting thoughts. I could be wrong; it could be how I interpret things.

I find it confusing.

I admit I have found many kindred spirits with women in the internet world; it has been a very positive experience. I think this documentary has the potential of bringing some real change in many young girls’ lives. Hopefully producing many positive experiences and lasting changes. When I think back to my experiences I remember not understanding them at all. Why would one of my friends turn on me in an instant? What was the purpose of liking me one day and then the next discover that no one was “allowed” to talk to me?

In elementary school, this happened to me.

www.skooldays.com

Come to find out it was because I wore a generic Izod shirt. When one of the girls ended up telling me that, I came home and told my mom. She then spent much-needed funds that were supposed to be used on essentials, on new clothes for me that night. I got a real Izod shirt. My mom had encountered so much ridicule and bullying during her school years that made her sensitive to certain issues with me.

Later I learned that my mother had a similar experience as mine growing up.

Although, the Izod shirt did not change a thing and though for a while I would be accepted in an instant it would dramatically change. That was just one example, but there are many others that I could share. I would feel hurt, but the main thing I felt was confused. I think a lot of girls feel this when the group turns on them. I have watched girls sacrifice everything just to get back into the group. I have watched girls turn into bullies toward the group after being rejected. I have seen girls turn depressed, angry, hurt and then seek validation through guys just to feel like they belong. I never really did that; I would be confused and hurt and then spend hours trying to figure out what I had done wrong. The other thought that would flood my mind was “Why are people so mean?” I wasn’t only thinking of my own situations.

For me, I would just shut down and internalize, when it came to girls.

For others, I couldn’t just sit back and watch them be hurt. I would speak up and take the side of the person being badgered. It didn’t matter if the person had disliked me or not, if someone was attacking them I jumped in. Only to have it backfire with them being angry at me and then shortly being accepted back into the group. I didn’t care, I did the right thing. I have noticed this attacking and then best friend kind of pattern that makes no sense whatsoever. My sisters do this with each other. All of them, anytime I have stepped in to try to help, they turned on me. I have learned to stay out of it.

My message was always to think about the other person.

Where are they coming from? Why are they lashing out like that? What is going on in their life to cause them to be so vile? I have to admit my thoughts did not come from feeling empathy; they came from wanting to understand this odd system that girls tend to fall into. Over the course of my life I have noticed something about both sides, they are seeking something. They seem to be wanting their voice to be heard somehow, through might or conformity. They want to be seen. They want someone to recognize that they are there. They are willing to do whatever it takes to have that empowerment that they feel has been stripped from them at some point.

It could be at home, at school, in their other activities.

They need to be acknowledged. I see that is pretty much what we all want, to know we exist. We want others to know that we have something to offer this world. When the existence feels threatened it causes the feelings to fight for it or to find the group that will agree with it. It seems that way to me, I could be all wrong. These are only my random thoughts triggered from the 3:00 minute documentary trailer. It made me think of all the clubs and bars I went to when I was younger, my friends would get upset at me because I would wander all over the place and they would end up finding me sitting in some corner or table, observing. Well that is if I wasn’t off dancing or telling a guy he could buy me a drink while adding, “But even if you buy me a drink, you aren’t getting anything!”

That was fun.

I watched the girls giving dirty looks to the girls perceived as pretty. They whispered to each other, at times pointed or even heckled. I watched the perceived pretty girls walk around and give looks to the ones they thought were not. I watched the girls downing drinks, seeking a guys eye, putting everything they had out there for that moment of validation, from those guys? I observed in the line waiting to use the restroom, them using all of the gross used make-up, perfume, and lotion, whatever that was open to all. How many germs? Eek! Maybe that’s just me. They would get all catty in the mirrors with each other, it was strange. There seemed to be a competition of some sort going on in the place that I was oblivious too.

Frankly, I didn’t care I really just wanted to know what they were doing.

I have noticed a strange phenomenon as well that raises a question for me. Why does society have this strange fixation with thinking “cat fights” are cool? I am not about girl power, I am about people power, but I do see where girls tend to attack each other and it seems so wrong. I am an outsider looking in; I really have no desire to be around most girls in the physical because I never know if/when they are going to attack.

Despite my feelings, I think that it is important for girls and women to have positive relationships.

I still try to have relationships with women but I am very cautious. I look at all people as equals, children included. I see the value of input from sources others deem foolish. I think the lack of equality of voice seems to have an impact on the girls of this time. It seems the “girl power” has gotten shifted to “diva power” and has stripped away the value of being a girl. Even though we see daily, that girls should be proud of who they are. The unspoken rule is “Be proud as long as (fill in the blank).”

There are many women role models that we can look to.

I find many female role models from the past very interesting, the ones people do not talk about. They were writers, inventors, mathematicians, scientists, mothers, spiritual leaders, poets, artists, civil rights ambassadors, on and on. They made significant changes in our world; the women of other countries rarely get mentioned here. They are some of the most amazing pioneers for women. Not to take the place of man but using her gifts as equal value as to any man. I do not see a huge focus on the women of today, who also represent great role models like that.

It doesn’t have to be barefoot and pregnant or woman president.

The gender differences are of equal value. Women and girls should not have to feel like they have to go in extreme directions to achieve value in their giftings. Maybe if we spent more time occupying the minds of girls, teaching them how to embrace their own uniqueness and how to use it in a valuing way, possibly the girl fights would be a bit less. Women have the power to teach their daughters how to be strong in who they are. I am thinking if we spent more time on the individual on the inside, the outward focus wouldn’t be the main source for validation. It is true some women will never get along with a certain type of woman and it’s ok. (I may fall into that category.) Even so, there is no reason to attack them because you don’t understand them.

Well there you go my rant for the day. :-)

 


 


 

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Touchy Subject

It is no secret that I believe in God, I talk about Jesus and I have talked about my faith. It is part of me and it just comes out. It is no secret with people who know me that I have a lot of questions about God, I do not think that is a bad thing. In the past several years though I have had several challenging events in my life to wonder what it is all about. Why do I believe in God? Why when I sit and think about it can I not deny that He exists or is even intervening somehow in our world? I am not asking for answers to these questions, I am just sharing. At times I am perfectly fine and settled with what I feel and then other times I am thrown once again. I think part of my problem is the expectations of others. Those who expect me to believe in God the way that they do, and if I don’t, they try to convince me how wrong I am.

What is the point of personal relationship?

Doesn’t the statement “personal relationship” automatically imply that my relationship will be different? There are fundamentals to religions that cannot be left out but still shouldn’t there be freedom to have that independent relationship with God? I have been going over past thoughts, journals and blog posts where I have stated that I heard God or I felt like He told me to do something. What is interesting is that I cannot say with absolute certainty that it was truly from God. When I look back I see how easily I have been influenced by others. Their voices, ideas, interpretations have all had a strong influence on me because I had so many years of feeling wrong and unable to trust myself.

David and I have discussed the beginning of our relationship.

At that time I was doing pretty well at gaining my trust back toward myself. I was walking in my independence and I spoke my mind. I had anxiety issues but I was able to control them through taking my alone time. I really started thinking about what happened to me, somewhere over the years I have lost my voice, my independence, my trust in myself, and own thoughts. When I first spoke to David that one night and we went for coffee, I didn’t know what it was, as a matter of fact I was thinking platonically because I felt that I was supposed to speak what God told me to and then David was supposed to do whatever with that.

As I think about it, after that night I do not think David has left my side.

He contacted me the next day and the next. Slowly all of my alone time was gone. I started isolating myself from church and friends and I went on a mission to help David. Shortly after we moved to another state the roles reversed. It was clear that after the move I was completely derailed and became the focus of needing help. It has been that way ever since. We have been searching for all of my problems and how to fix me. Year after year I have called upon God to fix me. Asking Him why do I lack intimacy? Why am I disconnected? Why don’t I understand? Why are there so many things wrong with me? Why won’t my brain stop? Why, why, why? And every year we found no answers. Although, we did gain a lot of answers when I discovered and embraced my Aspie traits and sensory processing issues but it did not fix my lack of connection.

Again I am facing God and I am asking questions about the voices in my head.

I am not ashamed about saying that I may have been wrong in what I have heard in the past, thinking it was God. It is part of our spiritual growth. We see it for what it is and move on. I used to have a fear about being false and claiming that what I heard was from God. I have always been cautious with that but the thing is I have a 50/50 chance. Either I am right or I am wrong. It doesn’t change the fact that God is there for me. He allows us to mess up and even mess up in His name, even to the point of blaming Him for all of those speaking out of their own motives. I will confess now that I have been one of those people.

So what do I with this?

Here it is, I have learned a very big lesson. I have learned that I have been influenced and guided in my thinking for a long time. I have learned to be codependent on God and authority figures in an unhealthy way. I have learned that I need to think for myself and start trusting my instincts, while still being cautious. I have learned that my relationship with God is my own and no one can tell me what it is supposed to look like and I definitely do not want to tell anyone else what theirs is supposed to look like. My personal opinion is that God wants us to think for ourselves. As we grow in our walk with Him or even as those who do not believe in Him, the challenge is to be ok with changing. Discovering that it is ok if our thoughts, ideas and even beliefs change over time. I’ve written it before but I will say it again, I think that is what we are supposed to do.

I am ok with being wrong in this area…for the moment.

I will probably freak out a little later but for now I understand the many ways I have submitted to others thoughts and direction. I see how I could not discern what was right or wrong because I was bombarded with information and ideas. I wasn’t given the time or the quiet to process and work through my own way of reasoning. This is a pattern I have done my whole life. I see how at times I turn around and do the same thing to others because I have been shaken and I am seeking answers. This time around I am stopping it. I need to process on my own, find my own voice and think for myself. It is very hard but I know I can do it because I have done it before. The difference this time is that I cannot lock myself up from the world and sink into my own private world to do so. I have to learn to process while the other voices are hammering me but also telling them they are not allowed to guide my decisions or progress.

We’ll see where this ride takes me. :-)


 

 

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Richard Feynman Makes Me Giddy

I am feeling kind of down today. I am tired and just blah, I guess. So when I feel this way I tend to look for things that make me happy and will tickle my heart. For some reason when I watch Richard Feynman, I get a giddy feeling. I like his joy and excitement about science. I like to watch him almost jump out of his chair when he is explaining things. It’s contagious for me. I like how he makes me think and wonder. He is an interesting fellow to read about anyway but he makes me smile to watch.  I am sharing a link of 12 videos I have been watching today. It is from the BBC TV series ‘Fun to Imagine'(1983).  I hope you enjoy them too. :-)

Fun to Imagine-Richard Feynman

 

 


 

 

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Lego Bash!

Today we celebrated Joshua’s birthday. He officially turned 5 years old last week but we were unable to do anything until today. Guess what he wanted for his birthday? Yeppers! Lego’s…Big Surprise! We did get him some other things, a Marvel Heroscape with some dandy super hero figures to go with it. He also received some pretty cool gifts from his grandma’s, like a Joker Castle and some Toy Story 3 figures. His aunties got him an Iron Man car which I find extremely cool and since he asked us just the other day to change his name to Tony Stark and Daniel’s name to Rhoady , he was pretty happy with his new car.

He loves all of his gifts but his heart belongs to Lego’s.

So this year he asked me to make a Lego cake. I was very happy with that, hoping that I would be able to pull it off since they are pretty much squares. I am pleasantly surprised that I finally made a cake that turned out halfway decent this year, although it is not truly to scale or completely structurally sound. It worked for its purpose. I again had trouble with the icing, I am very particular with icing texture and taste so I try to make a certain type but I have not been able to figure out the best way to keep it stiff so I had to scrap it and made my own concoction of butter cream frosting. I am not a fan of butter cream but I did manage to make it not too sweet or too buttery. Happy girl.

More importantly, happy Joshua!

He loved the cake and the whole time I was making it he was telling me what a great job I was doing. :-) He’s a great kid. I will take his admiration because soon it will diminish once he sees the pictures of his lopsided wanna be Lego cake. Shhh! I have a few more years to soak it up. I am feeling quite at peace right now, it’s funny. Usually on birthdays or holidays I am a nervous wreck. It is quite normal for me to have a panic attack over the cake and get overloaded with my sensory issues because of touching all the sticky goo and what have you. I did not this year, I actually enjoyed making the cake, except when all three children crowded around me chanting “I love Lego cake” and I felt trapped. That was not fun for me but David helped guide them into the living room to give me some space.

Even though I am working through many things, I am at peace.

It is very surprising that I am so calm and that I am not having anxiety. In a way I am waiting for to hit me with a great big BAM! However, I don’t think it will, just writing out my thoughts even if they are just poems, stories or visions that pop in my head, it has helped me a great deal I believe. Don’t get me wrong my mind is still nonstop and driving me mad, the only difference is I am not panicking about the thoughts or questions. I was even calm enough to build one of Joshua’s Lego sets and truly enjoy myself. I haven’t been able to do that in a long time. I do enjoy Lego’s when I am able to focus and I am not overloaded.

Of course I will have some pictures, me and my photo fixation.

It is nice and peaceful right now, Daniel is doing amazing. He needed some alone time so he is off in the bedroom with the door shut listening to his recorder. His newest music obsession is a strange one but he loves them, they are called Viva Voce . I tried to find his favorite song but I cannot it is called “Plastic Radio” he has been playing it over and over again for over a week. He plays the cd on the computer in the front room, records them, then goes off and shuts himself up in one of the rooms so we will not disturb him. Here are two other ones that he has on his recorder Lesson No. 1 and Believer. (He did not see the Vampire Diaries that was the only version of this song that sounded ok, on YT that I could find.)

I am surprised how well Daniel has been doing, I am very thankful.

Ariel has been hilarious. She is kind of upset that she did not get any cool Ninja Lego sets since she was the one who really likes them and “has the Lego ninja ice dragon and loves skeleton bones” so rightfully should get all Lego’s that contain such items, not Joshua. Hee hee. She told me yesterday that she speaks whale, then proceeded to do so. Later she shared with me that I do not know things because I am mom. Apparently I know things because “you use your taste, smell, eyes, ears and touch, you know your senses” being a mother has nothing to do with any knowledge that I may have. She is so funny and seems to be quite correct, I must say. So we had a wonderful time everyone is relaxing and now we will hope that the food coloring I used in the icing will not cause major meltdowns!! At least we had the party early so it will give some time for the sugar and food coloring to work its way out by bedtime. I hope. :-)

Picture time! (Only a few…really)

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A Lot Of Pondering

My mind seems to be going in all sorts of directions. One moment I am coming to a peaceful resolve the next I am thrown in a tailspin of thought. I am not looping as badly as I have in the past, I think it may be because I wrote about it. I will probably share it later. I have several different things that I am pondering about and several of the issues are driving me mad because they seem to have no answers. Now, if there is one thing that gets my mind going it is something that does not seem to have an answer. I have been able to put some of my questions to rest about the universe, God, philosophy, different religions, politics, etc…because I understand that there are many different opinions and ideas. I can understand having some gray areas and be settled in my mind with that.

Although, this has really only happened for me in the past few years and at times I still have problems.

As I think about the puzzle of people, I get so confused. I try to understand that people are different and handle things differently but it is very hard for me. One of the reasons is because of the blankness that I feel. I look at people and have no idea what they are doing or thinking. I really hate that I have to ask sometimes, but if I don’t I can cause more harm. Sometimes my honesty is too much to bear and I don’t understand why. I read this last night and it at least made me not feel bad for being so direct and honest with others. (Click on “Other stuff” to read the whole thing.)

Other stuff.

  • Lying, deceit, or insincerity, even to oneself, is an extremely uncomfortable experience for AS folks, due to their being so literal and having limited filters (however, the high-functioning ones tend to be very good actors). If forced to attempt deceit, there will usually be some sign of awkwardness. Autistics often find the action of keeping secrets emotionally painful, as everything must be processed before it is forgotten or replaced with something else, and a calculation/patterning cannot stop halfway. This can often lead to people suffering from AS being the type of person who exhibits Brutal Honesty.

This is one reason why when I feel that another person is hiding something or not being forthright I start digging for information. I tend to back off if I feel that they are doing it to me because I have not trusted my instincts but when it comes to others I am a hound. I will not stop until I find the answers and I am able to discern their motives. It sucks. I lose friends over this and I have made family members upset with my honesty and directness about people in their lives. I find it so odd that I am able to discern this for others but for myself it is fuzzy and unclear. I will get “feelings’ and instincts but still I question and doubt.

I feel so unable to read what people feel about me.

I have misjudged so many times, for instance one of my bosses seemed to dislike me very much. I truly thought she hated me and as hard as I tried to do a good job, I always felt like I wasn’t. When I left that job, she not only gave me a full paycheck when I only worked for half of the time, she gave me a letter of recommendation and told me if I ever moved back that I would always have a job. I was seriously confused. I truly thought she despised me and my work. I have had similar situations with friends. I would misjudge and think that they truly liked me when they did not and vice versa. It is a strange thing. Since I have such a poor track record I continue to question and doubt people.

It’s not a ruling force in my life any longer.

While in school and in my younger years I would spend a lot of time worrying and trying to figure out what was going on. I do not do this so much but I have my moments. I have had several encounters with people this week that have triggered these past thoughts. I decided to write about them to calm my mind. What I am thinking is that a large part of the problem is feeling out of control. I have no control over what is being thought about me and the worse part is I don’t know what is being thought about me. It is very important to me that people have an accurate perception but the problem with that is, everyone’s perception is based on their own ideas and thoughts.

I have no control.

Ahhh! I have no control. Freak out! Ok, I am back. I am noticing that I always tend to think that people think the worst of me. I do not know why. Possibly because I have dissected and picked apart all of the things that I have seen as flaws, in preparation of others pointing them out. If I am already on top of it then it will not be a surprise to me. In the last week or so I have really gotten freedom from those thoughts but they still linger. It is from years of being told or interpreting what people have said about me in negative ways. It may take some time but I do feel largely free from the self-destructive train of thought. Just last night I had a situation cleared up for me that had happened several months ago. I thought that I had done something wrong but through totally different circumstances, I found out it had nothing to do with me. The other person was the problem, what a relief. It also gave me another instance where I was right.

I really do not know how to trust myself.

I have spent so many years doubting and questioning myself that I do not know how to deal with all of these things that I have been right about. I get freaked out thinking that I am right about something, because what if this time I am wrong? It is a devastating moment for me to be wrong, even with small things. I know this is something that I need to work through. I know that it is ok to be wrong but that feeling is hard for me to deal with. I find myself in a catch-22 though, if I am right I don’t like being right. It makes me feel bad for being right about the things that I am right about,  but I hate being wrong so it is a relief when I discover that I am right. However, the things I am right about are not always good, they are the things that others choose to think are not happening. I see the things others do not want to deal with and they do not like me talking about it. Hmm… I have no real point I guess, I am just babbling to get it out.

I will just have to ponder some more.

Addition of thought. (Update)

After having this post swim around in my head, I just got some clarity about something. When I spoke of seeing blankness, the reason why is because I feel something when I look at people but their actions a lot of times are not relaying what I am feeling. There is a disconnect with the emotions that I am feeling and the actions/words that I am seeing/hearing.  It can be a very confusing moment for me and I automatically mistrust myself instead of going with the feelings that are being projected at me. “If you are upset than just say it!” I have said that numerous times, why mess around with body language and hemming and hawing around? Just say it and get it over with. I understand that a lot of people cannot do that but it is incredibly confusing to try to figure out what this world is up to. I do not say things to be mean, I am just trying to understand people and I cannot do that when they are telling me one thing and then acting differently than their words are portraying. 

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