Monthly Archives: February 2012

Boundaries For Giving

I have a serious problem putting limitations on myself when it comes to people asking for money, or my time. I have since I was a child given things away if someone said they needed it. When I was a child though, I still would have connections too deep to certain items, like my Strawberry Shortcake figures. No one was getting those they were too close of friends to me. I had one of the normal dolls with the hair you could brush, but my favorites were the small little figures. They felt rubbery and smooth, they smelled good, they were small, and I kept them in a nice storage case. The case had little notches on the shelves, and the figures had a little hole on the bottom so they fit perfectly and would not move around. I liked to keep them neatly stored in their case — I did talk to them and look at them.

It was enjoyable to me to look at their order.

I must be thinking of that because of the treat from the other night. :-)  I had a mix of toys some I had no problems getting rid of others I could not part with or else I would surely die of a broken heart. My stuffed animal turtle I received when I broke my arm was one that I kept well into my early twenties. I left my Strawberry Shortcake figures at my mom’s when I moved to another state at around age 24 or 25, they were ruined in a water pipe flood in the storage room. Those and several other of my childhood collections, and various items were ruined. My mom felt horrible for me. I lost my E.T. collection as well. :-(

I am still sad.

I speak of “toys”, but my definition of toys include my collection of rocks, sticks, and bones of dead frogs that I found around our home. I kept the bones outside by the shed in case anyone was wondering. I also had Barbies, books, and my portable record player. My mom would let me get some pretty awesome “toys” that I would never let my kids play with, like the portable vintage hair dryer that came in a case, and a portable nail buffer. The nail buffer was very dangerous and I used it to sand wood…and rub off sticker, and buff rocks. I tried it on my nails one time but it burned my fingers. I was fairly careful about what objects I used it on. I used the hair dryer as a weather source for my stories — my stuffed animals would go through some rough tornadoes. I also used it to put on my head because I was always cold so it would warm me up.

My mom loves vintage items and used to collect them when it was not the “in” thing to do.

She also refurbished everything we had. She went to school for interior design, but was unable to finish being a single mom in the 70′s she had to work. We would drive around to small cities close to us to antique shops and garage sales on her days off. We got our furniture, decor, books, clothes, (She made our clothes too, she would reinvent used clothing items.) and my cool toys from these places. I used to get things like travel alarm clocks, (My favorite came in a brown square case, with fake gold trim and the numbers glowed green in the dark.) old pictures, whatever was odd, or interesting to me basically I loved. I went completely off topic into nostalgia. My point? Those types of items I would never part with, I can tell you now no one was getting my frog bones, or my awesome travel alarm clock. :-) Back to the giving. I have given tons of things away because people needed it or because I was sweeping out my life. If I felt like I was starting over anything that I was attached to I would force myself to throw out because I didn’t want to remember any memories ever again. It would hurt too much.

Those are for things that I care about.

I do not care about money, it stresses me out. I hate thinking about it, dealing with it — I don’t want to ever have cash on me. I have one card, a debit card and that is it. I carry it and only it. I lost all boundaries when I went to church. I took the giving thing very literal. I would give the shirt off my back and sometimes I did. (If I was wearing two or had an extra one with me…I like to be prepared.) I would give people I did not know a ride that were standing on the corner in the cold. I would give money to people in the parking lot of stores telling me they needed it.

Church was a huge source of my irresponsible giving.

I will not go into detail, but people in need would melt my heart. I thought that if people went to church, then they were honest. I was not brought up in church so my church experience was very eye-opening. I thought that anyone who said they believed in God was honest. I was able to help a lot of people in need, and there were some caring people who helped us as well there is just a lot to what I have to decipher. Long story…processing. (I am not church bashing, or faith bashing it is my own experience and it was not all positive.) All the while not thinking of the consequences of not being able to pay my bills or be able to buy food for myself. I figured they must need it more than I did, and I didn’t need to eat. I would be fine. I did this for a very long time — I do not feel bad about it. It is who I am however, I had to set boundaries.

I had one instance when a woman and her young son were in the parking lot of a grocery store trying to sell a small TV.

She said she would sell me her TV for any amount they just needed food. I didn’t have cash on me, but I had a car full of change. I told her I didn’t want the TV and I gave her all the change I had. I left the store, but could not shake it. I knew that I did not have money to spare, but I went to the ATM and got $20 out anyway. I went back to the store to track her down. I saw her at the cash register — she had a bottle of Jack Daniels, and was buying cigarettes. I was devastated as I looked at the boy. At that moment I had flashes of him in the parking lot, he never said a word and he had the same somber face that he had in the check-out line. I didn’t know what to think or how to feel. I was upset for days. I was 30 years old when this happened.

I did not learn my lesson until last week.

Yes, I have continued to give without a thought, after having children I have become a bit more cautious. It wasn’t until last week though that I felt like I was doing the right thing by saying no. In the past if I had to say no to someone I would feel sick, I would cry, I would feel horrible for days because I wanted to help them. I didn’t think that they were deceiving me, and quite frankly I didn’t care. My “help” trump card takes over my reason. I was able to find a balance last week. It was about 7pm and it was dark because of winter, I pulled into the Wal-Mart parking lot and noticed a woman walking in and out through the cars. She practically chased one truck down, and it looked like she knew him. She didn’t he ignored her and walked off. I had a familiar feeling and warning feelings in my gut.

She did not come to me, and I went about my business.

When I came out she snuck up on me while I was putting things in the back of my car. She told me a story about her car being out of gas, and she couldn’t get hold of her daughter. There is a gas station in the parking lot. It did not feel right. I have never done this before, but as she was giving me this story that seemed to be growing by be minute she said something that triggered in me and brought about flashes of my kids. She said: “I need money.” There was no hesitation in my voice and I said: “I don’t have any money on me and I do not have money to give.” I thought about my kids need’s, we do not have money to spare for me to go off on one of my giving rants without thinking of the consequence. My children gave me reason. I stopped her. I looked straight at her and asked “What do you want me to do for you?” She was confused by my words and said: “I guess drive me over to get gas and pay for it” I asked how she was going to bring the gas to her car, she hadn’t thought about it. I told her that I was not going to do that.

I had to get home to the kids.

I also felt like it was dangerous for some reason. It just did not feel right and I felt like I needed to get out of there. I told her that I had some change in the car. I gave her what I could, and told her I hoped that helped. It was all I could do. I watched her go after several other people as I drove away. This is a huge accomplishment for me. I did tear up in the car and was overcome with guilt. I did feel terrible and hoped that I had done enough, but I also knew that I had to listen to my gut instincts. I knew in my core that I did the right thing. In the past I would not have been able to shake the guilt feelings off and I would have looped. I would have prayed and prayed for forgiveness for being selfish or something. I am not a selfish person, and I am not prideful for saying that. I need boundaries and I need to trust my gut because I am naive and gullible at times. It does not make you unspiritual or uncaring by setting boundaries.

And that my friends has been a hard lesson for me to grasp, but I did it without feeling like a horrible person…at least this time. :-)

I found a picture of the Strawberry Shortcake case that I had as a child it’s not my picture though. I had a lot more figures. I also found some pictures of the vintage torture devices…I mean toys that look similar to the hair blower, and nail buffer I was referring to.



 

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Social Frenzy Week

This week is packed full with social events. I am not anxious at all! (At the moment that is — it can change at any time.) Although the entire middle of my back is getting stiff, it is moving up to my neck, and my right shoulder is hurting. My body could be protesting. :-)   All of the things that I am doing I want to do. I think that makes a difference. I can hardly contain my excitement for tomorrow. The movie The Artist is here!! I am taking my mom to see it tomorrow afternoon. I had not given up my search to watch this movie in a theater. Even though I am not a fan of theaters nowadays, this movie MUST be seen in the theater. It is only here for this week and tomorrow is the only day we can go.

When I discovered that it was playing here I did jump up and down and got very excited.

My mom responded the same way when I told her only instead of jumping she clasped her hands together shaking them with excitement and clapped. She is more reserved than I am. :-) We had a hard time deciding which day to go because we are booked this week. What? Yes, we are quite the socialites. We have been out and about a lot more lately, but my mom has been out of control. She even went to the play “The Rat Pack” with one of my sisters Friday night. It sounded great I wish I could have gone, but it was too pricey.

It was amusing listening to us yesterday trying to make plans to go to this movie.

Several months ago we had noticed how we basically trapped ourselves in our houses only venturing to “safe” places. When my mom came back from her cruise she was rejuvenated. She remembered how social she actually is. I was rejuvenated as well because I got a bunch of words out of me that needed to come out. My mom shared with me about my sister being very upset with me — not exactly with me there are other factors that play into this, I will not share. She has been upset because I have not been myself. She has made comments about me being a social person, and how I like to go out and do things. I have cut myself off from the world for several years. Both of my sisters here have been upset with me because their words “Sissy is not being herself.” They are right. I am social, I like people, and I enjoy doing new things and venturing out. I also have had other things in my life to cause me to stop being that person.

I do have my own anxiety about social activities, but it is because of the unknown.

It is mainly because I never know how people are going to respond to me, or if I have never experienced it I can have overwhelming anxiety because I don’t know what to expect. It’s not that I don’t want to go out and do things I do — it is that I can talk myself out of doing them. My mind will come up with every scenario that could possibly happen, and then the thoughts of “What if I have not thought of something?” It can throw me. I am able to hide it well in front of others, but it can be weeks before I am ok again. It wasn’t this difficult when I was able to take time by myself. I have not been able to get the downtime I need to process after a social event since having kids. That is not a complaint in the least, it is a fact. It is hard to process on a daily basis for me period — I am now responsible for helping three little ones learn how to process for themselves.

I will say it has been much easier to be a shut in instead of even attempting to deal with other people.

This week will be a challenge for all of us, but I think it will be good as well. Tomorrow I am leaving, and going to the movies with my mom. Yea! Tuesday we are going to a da… ta…da…da…BARN WEDDING! Ha! I cannot wait. I really like saying that I am going to a barn wedding. It sounds hilarious to me. I have so many visuals and I am afraid the wedding will not live up to my great expectations. Sigh…I am bringing my camera in hopes of some great barnage wedding footage. We will not be staying for the reception it will be too much, but I think for the kids to have an experience like this is great.

On Weds. David is taking Ariel and Joshua to see Star Wars: Episode I.

Yeah…I am not sure how that is going to go. David’s birthday is coming up and that is what he decided he wanted as his gift. Daniel cannot go to a theater. I am not sure how Ariel and Joshua are going to be able to handle it, but they are bringing their noise cancelling headphones. The 3D thing is a concern for me, and that they will be about half an hour away from me! I am not a helicopter mom, it is not that I do not trust David with his own children — it is just that they haven’t gone out with him before for that long or that distance away. It’s new for me and they are my babies. I hope someone understands what I mean.

On Thursday I am going to Bible study at moms.

This went really well last week. I was late and that threw me, but my friend was there and she got a new job working as a counselor with children/adults with ADHD, on the autism spectrum, as well as people suffering from depression and various issues. She feels overwhelmed because newcomers to these parts of the city are never welcome! Sometimes it feels like Deliverance around here. Oh, I kid! Well…kind of. Seriously, she was thrown into counseling sessions with adults that need serious help. She has all the schooling, is naturally able to talk to people, has spent two years being my friend and listening to all of my autistic issues, but when it is in real life situations with people you do not have a relationship with it is completely different. I feel for her because it is a new experience to actually meet people with the issues that she has learned about.

I am a good faker with that stuff so she never knew when I was really upset, or depressed.

I didn’t hide it on purpose it was the only thing I knew how to do. I was more open with her about my issues though, and I know that she will be great with helping others because she cares and sees the responsibility of her position. She also told them that if they did not talk to her and help her learn about her job, then she needed to quit. That changed their tune. Maybe her interactions with me will help see things in others. She is a counselor who will make a huge impact in people’s lives. I digress!! On Friday I am going to a play with my mom and sisters at the community theater. They do have art and culture on the island around here, though very small and limited still there is some. The play is Into the Woods.

And then Saturday we crash.

In celebration of crazy social week I made Homemade Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcake with Airy Fluff! I even gave the kids a WHOLE one because I didn’t put much sugar in it. I made my own recipe for the shortcake biscuit like things — I forgot to write it down. I hope I can remember it because I even ate one and it was G-O-O-D. Indeed. I have a weakness for strawberries. :-) I did sneak some puréed zucchini and squash into that shortbread. No one could taste it. My little secret. Hee hee I had to show pictures.

 


 

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Unexpected Moments

Yesterday was a fairly productive school day. Although, we were a bit out of sorts because I was leaving for a little while in the evening, and Joshua was obsessively excited about being able to be with Daddy, watch Robotech, and play Batman on the Wii. Daniel doesn’t show the same interest or excitement with those things, but can be off or show signs of anxiety when I am going somewhere. Ariel has a settled kind of excitement, but it also can be hard to read her at times. She has the same type of “poker face” that I have — it can be difficult to know what she is feeling. Most of the time she seems very much at peace, when she is upset she does let us or whoever know. I think it’s all good. I am in the middle of writing a post about the poker face thing because I have been told that my poker face makes it hard for people to know what I am feeling or thinking. I didn’t realize that I have that face often, I thought I was expressing my emotions on my face.

I do not do it on purpose — it’s my normal face!

Don’t get me wrong Ariel shows her joy and happiness all the time. She is a very silly girl. She calls me out all the time too, which I find very amusing. I was being silly while making breakfast yesterday. I believe I was dancing and making up a song at the time or telling the cat how wonderful he was while rolling on the floor like a cat myself, and petting him. I can’t remember pick one — I will not share the other multiple silly things I did. She ate her toast and said: “You are a crazy mommy!” She tells me things like that all the time. She likes it, but she makes it clear that she knows I am different from other mommy’s. She says that it is a good thing, though if someone heard her tone they may not be sure.

She doesn’t show much affection either — in a “normal” way.

It is a very rare occasion when she comes up to give a hug, never a kiss. She never gives kisses — she does not like receiving them either. She does like to rub her face or head on my face. We are like a mommy cat and a kitten. I understand it. We do butterfly kisses (rubbing our noses) and she will curl up like a little animal on my lap while I pet her hair. She likes to pretend that she is an animal a lot. She acts like a dragon, a house cat or a wild cat most of the time. Her outward affections are limited at times, but she will show her love by drawing or painting a picture, or sitting next you. Normally she is quite busy doing her own thing, like “working” on the computer or reading a book. She likes being alone, she says that at times she HAS to be alone in her room for a while.

I give all of that information to bring understanding as to why yesterday was an unexpected moment.

After we finished school, I felt like I should hang out with the kids. I did have a movie that I was waiting to watch “Bright Star” it’s about John Keats and Fanny Brawne. (I did enjoy the movie very much.) I sometimes play movies in the background while I play with them, but I did want to focus on this movie a little more since I was very interested in the story. I asked the kids if they wanted to watch it with me, sometimes we get into some good history conversations when we watch period pieces. They do enjoy them a lot of the times and I try to tie in history about inventions, scientists, artists, or interesting things to them about the era while we watch. The boys were not into it, and they were playing very well together so they did their own thing. Ariel wanted to watch the movie with me. She asked me what it was about, and I told her. I was surprised by her interest. Her excitement was directed toward Fanny’s stitching and the cooking that was going on.

A little bit into the movie she sat next to me on the couch.

She grabbed a blanket draped it over her legs like me, my hand was resting flat on the couch, and she put her little hand in mind. We watched the rest of the movie holding hands and she talked and talked and asked question after question. There were many things in the movie that moved me, I have my own personal connections and even commonalities with the films story as well as John Keats real life story. Ariel is very interested in how the body works and disease, when the symptoms of tuberculosis started in the film she had all kinds of questions. I am not usually a big movie crier, but there are certain movies that can draw tears from my eyes. This one did a few times — it was the added emotion of words that were flowing. Poetry can draw great emotion from me — when I have connections to it I am fragile.

As we sat never uttering a word about the hand holding, I looked at her and seared the moment it in my mind.

She told me that she really liked the poem Bright Star. When the movie was over she did not leave my side. I went to check my email and she stood by me as I typed she read. I had written something about my blog and she asked me about my blogs. Since we were talking about John Keats I asked her if she wanted to see my poetry blog. She did and got so excited at all the images I had on it. She loved every image, and I laughed. She told that she wanted to read every one of my poems, and my regular blog too. I asked her if she knew why I wrote this particular blog. She thought that I just wanted to, she is correct to a point. I explained to her that one reason I write this blog is for them. I write it so they can go back and connect things from their childhood.

I have had so much confusion wrapped around my childhood.

My mom and my dad’s life seemed to be separate and disconnected from me. I want these guys to know what was going on the summer that I was crying all the time. I want them to be able to see what I was working through. I want them to have the connections of the times I was so excited and happy. I want them to know how proud I am of them, and hopefully my words will show them how much I love them. I fall short and will fall short in expressing myself to them. I want to have these words on here because when they get older it will most likely feel too hard to talk to me, but they may be able to relate to my words on here. If they feel like reading it, they could read about similar fears, angers, anxieties, and see that I am not an overbearing, unknowing mom. It may take years, but at least one day they would know. :-) Of course, I write this for other reasons as well, but I do hope that my children will find it a helpful source and connection to their life. It made me feel very happy that Ariel was interested in my writing. It was like she knew about it all along but had not connected why I write.

There is a really amusing thing about Ariel.

When she spends time with you she confesses. She talks and asks questions, and then confesses. She begins to confess everything she has ever done wrong, or gotten in trouble for. It is a very short list because she is only 7 years and she doesn’t really do things to get into trouble. Yesterday she brought up the time she threw action figures in yogurt, tossed them all over the boy’s room, and then said that Daniel did it. It was about two or three years ago.

Her confession: “I know this was a long time ago, but you remember when I put the action figures in the yogurt, and blamed it on Daniel? Yes, that was really wrong. I understand now that I was lying and I do not do that anymore. Well if I do I will tell the truth because if you tell the truth it’s better.”

I do not know why she feels the need to confess, she cannot lie at least for the time being.

She tries, but then throws her arms up and says something like: “Ok, that is a lie!” she then spills the truth. I can relate completely! I think I may be babbling here. Sorry. She wants me to read her Keats today. I am overjoyed to do so. The moments yesterday were all unexpected, and it felt very special. In one scene of the movie Fanny turned her room into a butterfly farm, Ariel looked at me and said: “I want a butterfly farm — I know you would love it!” She is correct, I would love a butterfly farm. :-) Now I have to share Daniel’s unexpected moment. I am sure Joshua will give me one today because he is full of Batman Lego obsessive building this morning and something great always comes out of that. Or if I make him a treat he will tell me how he will: “Never leave me because I make the best food.” He is awesome.

The other night I asked Daniel if he was ever going to sleep alone.

He said: “No”. Basically he told me that he was going to find a replacement for me when he got older. At first it was a bald man that he was going to sleep with. I asked him about this bald man because I was very confused. He couldn’t tell me much, but he was a nice guy… like Mr. Clean I guess. Ok?? I asked him why it was a bald man and he said because I like bald guys. Ok?? We do not know any bald men around here. :-/ Then he shook his head and said: “No, when I grow up I will have a woman.” There is some transition in his mind from getting older to being a grown-up that I am not able to quite understand, but he thinks I do. Kids say the funniest things. I really am not sure what he means by all of it, but he went on to describe the woman for me. He said that she is his wife. His description: “She has longer hair than you, the color of daddy’s. She has brown eyes like you mommy. She is tall like daddy. She has a man’s voice.”

Um…a man’s voice?

I was confused so I asked him what he meant. He clarified: “She has a man’s voice because she is as tall as daddy.” It was hilarious. I decided to see if anything had changed last night and asked him the same questions in front of David. He said the same thing. He described his future “woman” the same way. We asked him what he was going to do with her and the most unexpected, sweetest words came out of him. He said: “Love her and play with her.” He then sighed a little happy sigh, and had a small smile on his face. I was not expecting that at all. He later told me again about how he likes bald men, I asked him why he likes bald men and he said: I just do, ok.” Ha ha ha I hadn’t noticed until then, but he always points to bald men on TV or out in public and says: “They are bald.” He has a different kind of like for bald men as he does for his future woman. (wife) I don’t know I wish the kids would write out a blog for me so I could connect all of their connections and understand what is going on in their thoughts. :-)

Aww…good times.


 

 

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Words For The Day Felicific And Grief?

Felicific [ˌfiːlɪˈsɪfɪk] adj making or tending to make happy

I am quite chipper today. I had a moment of realization about my emotions. They are not sneaking up on me like they used to. I am working through some anger issues — I have a lot to be angry about. I have years of bottled up anger I was not even aware of because of the other emotions that had kept me tied up. Many of my loops were actually caused by me trying not to be angry. In order for me to deal with my upsets I first had to deal with the hurts. Let me be more specific — I had to understand how terribly hurt I was. Once that was cleared out (Not that I am completely recovered I am just in a far better place.) I could see with clarity what some of the true issues were.

Unfortunately, it has opened years and years of hurt.

The hurt has now turned to anger. I am not really sure how to deal with it all, but I am doing much better with managing my emotions. I had a moment of tears yesterday, but they did not last long they were not as painful as they have been in the past. I was able to bounce back quickly. Granted I have been in a slight shutdown, but it has been a good processing shutdown. I am feeling pain, but it is different. I am not sure how to explain it. I have noticed as well that my anger emotions have been popping up. In the past if I got angry it was usually an outburst, like my last meltdown or it was a complete shutdown to hide anything I was feeling. Then, I would later explode through a meltdown of some sort. (I am not saying that I will never do that again, I may.)

I have not been suppressing them the last few days.

I felt the anger, I told myself that it did not have to ruin my day, and I let it go. This is huge for me. I have never been able to do that. However, I still feel the tinge of it in my heart because it was not completely resolved. I am not looping though. I am still feeling a mix of emotions from last night. I am currently filling out the necessary paperwork to have Daniel reevaluated. He will not get in until May, but I have to get everything all put together and in as soon as possible. It brought back all of the emotions I felt during the time that we started evaluations. I looked at the dates, and I was so frustrated. I was telling people that something was not right from the beginning. I knew that he needed help, but no one seemed to believe me.

I voiced my concerns to the doctor before he was even two years old.

I had forgotten that when he had his eating clinic evaluation they commented, “possible autism” and suggested occupational therapy. It brought a rush of emotions that were mixed with failure and anger. I felt like I had failed my child, I felt like I had not fought hard enough during those first few years, I felt like I had been abandoned and my voice didn’t matter by family, and authorities. BUT it was right there in front of us all. It also brings a mix of emotions for me with people who are resolved with all of that. I was not able to resolve anything including my emotions toward the people who I felt did not listen to me. It brings a baggage of emotions. It fuels rage with certain people. It reminds me of people saying awful things about why Daniel had autism. It flooded me with the fears, the doubts, the hurt, the frustrations, it brought everything back. I felt like I was drowning alone trying to help my son without a voice. The louder I screamed the more they drowned me out, even after we found out he was autistic.

It revealed how much I have not dealt with.

I am going to have to process all of that. I do not know what it will look like. The positive is that it has not caused me to go into complete shutdown. I am processing in a healthy way, with my new coping mechanisms. It is also making me very happy to feel this freedom. I have not allowed myself to be angry for a very long time. Part of the reason is that I was confused as to how I was supposed to deal with anger. I had a lifetime of hiding my anger and other emotions until they were unbearable and would burst out in some way. I did not allow myself because of how people responded. After working through some other emotions these several months, I accepted that I am allowed to be angry, feel anger, and express it in a constructive way.

I could not let the questions flooding my mind go.

The process that I have been going through felt too familiarnot because I have gone through it, but because I had read about it. This morning I recalled the process that I have been going through — I wrote a poem about it months ago. I hadn’t made the connection that I have been in a grieving process completely. I could very well have said in past posts that I was grieving I do not remember, but it did not make a true connection until today. I may have felt like I did grieve things and processed them, but I truly had not because I didn’t understand what that meant. I thought dealing with things meant you stopped looping about it until it came back around again. If/when it came back around I would stim, meltdown/shutdown until the loops stopped. They always came back sometimes not as intense sometimes they have been more intense, but I convinced myself that I was dealing with them.

I was dealing with them, I was not processing them.

I did process certain things I must say, but I also only dealt with things as well. I did not understand what grief was for a long time. Grief is normally connected to the extreme of loss, a loved one or a cherished pet passes away. It is not limited to that, and I would guess that Aspie’s tend to have more traumatic experiences when losing something important to them. I say that not based on the comparisons of trauma, but because we do not really understand what we are feeling at times. It could cause more trauma not understanding what or why we are feeling something. I would also guess that we grieve a lot differently than others at times. (Guessing based on myself, movies, and others I have read about.)

I believe everyone does actually, and I think it is horrible how there is a blanket of expectation how one should grieve.

Everyone needs their own way to process and deal with emotions. I express all of my emotions differently than other people. I had always assumed that grieving only went with major loss — I didn’t realize that many other things can fall under the grieving process. I have never gone through the process fully. I am at the anger stage with some things. I will add here as well that there is no formula to the grieving process the mind will process according to how it needs to. If you do not allow yourself to go through the process the emotions still manifest only through different means. In my opinion, what I have witnessed some people do instead of truly grieving is take the pain on as an identity and it becomes their new purpose in life. They now become advocates of whatever they are grieving. This can be a good thing if the person is grieving properly, it can be a bad thing if the person is hiding behind the identity. They begin to live vicariously through their made up persona of the “healed” self when they are not healed at all.

They feel they are healed because they are living on the “rush” of helping others.

These people can never be alone, they are usually evasive about feelings, and do not express any negative emotions. If they do, then the façade will crumble so they have to keep up appearances not just for others, but mostly for themselves. Maybe I did that who knows, (probably) but I am not now and it is making me feel very happy to look in the mirror and deal with myself. All of this has been and is painful, but it is also the feeling of felicific. (I just like that word and wanted to use it again.) I think it is important for people to understand what grief is and that it can be turned into a positive. Creativity can be at an all time high during a grieving process, and many great insights can spawn out of it. It is scary, it can be a long process, it can be overwhelming, and hurt like mad! Personally, after working through several things I have found so much peace, and positive things come out after the storm.

I am hanging on to that as I work through anger.

I found this to be very helpful Coping with Grief and Loss Understanding the Grieving Process. What truly helped me the most was this section:

What is grief?

Grief is a natural response to loss. It’s the emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you love is taken away. You may associate grief with the death of a loved one – and this type of loss does often cause the most intense grief. But any loss can cause grief, including:

  • A relationship breakup
  • Loss of health
  • Losing a job
  • Loss of financial stability
  • A miscarriage
  • Death of a pet
  • Loss of a cherished dream
  • A loved one’s serious illness
  • Loss of a friendship
  • Loss of safety after a trauma

The more significant the loss, the more intense the grief. However, even subtle losses can lead to grief. For example, you might experience grief after moving away from home, graduating from college, changing jobs, selling your family home, or retiring from a career you loved.

I went through seven of those losses from years 2000 through 2002 a few of them more than once in that time span.

I never processed any of it. I completely shutdown. My sense of loss was enhanced by confusion — the confusion of rejection from multiple people who claimed to love me. I had all of that before I ever moved with David to another state, a state that I really did not want to move to. I then was hit with another round of losses that I never dealt with, to move here and add another round on top of those. I think part of the reason was that I had no idea what I was feeling, and I did not know how to process anything. I am not exactly sure how the sense of loss affects autistics, but I do know that we feel it, and it could be a lot more intense than what others feel. Yesterday Ariel was irate — she lost her temper and then got incredibly concerned. She had found a caterpillar in the backyard, she made a dirt hole for him, and sat on a blanket feeding him grass and leaves.

The boys accidentally mauled over it with the pretend lawnmower.

She was devastated, and had to go to her room for a while alone. She was not able to get over it so we explained that maybe he was ok, he could have made it and dug a hole or something. She calmed with that, but David did explain to her that the birds in the backyard may eat him. She seemed fine with nature running its course it was the unjust death that brought such devastating feelings of loss. She is fine with the bird eating it because that is what is supposed to happen, but to kill the caterpillar on her watch was too much to bear. It may seem odd, but in our world it makes perfect sense. She seems to have grieved her caterpillar. The moral of the story? Sometimes explaining things logically can help us grieve properly. Suggesting ways of dealing with loss instead of telling us how to process it could be very beneficial.

Understanding that we may go through a serious shutdown/meltdown at the loss of an object/people we love.

I was depressed for years at the loss of my parent’s relationship, and didn’t even know it. I went into a complete shutdown when my parents got divorced because they did not explain it to me in a way I could understand. It brought about more confusion by them saying that they still loved each other, but could not live together. It also was not the full truth, I didn’t find out the full truth until a few months ago. It cleared up so much and made it possible for me to move on. It’s been something like 35 years that I have been holding on to confusion about it, as well as feeling guilt for things I never should have. I was depressed for days one time when my computer shutdown. When I gave away my stuffed animals from childhood I cried. I didn’t let anyone know though. (I was 30 something) Anytime, I give books away I go through a grieving process. I am attached to them all. I have memories, people, music, letters, numbers, colors all connected to them.

I am intertwined with things that I love.

If they go I feel a loss that I have to be allowed to process without being criticized or ridiculed. When it came to those things I didn’t understand what I was doing, I just thought that I was upset or depressed. I see now that I had to process the loss, and file the memories. It can be alright as long as the process is not hindered or made more confusing by people trying to force their ways of coping onto me. There is a movie that I liked very much, I cannot recall if I have shared it on here. It is titled Snowcake (Warning: There is a collision scene with a truck and car that freaked me out when I saw it the first time. It still startles me.) Sigourney Weaver plays an autistic mother, who loses her daughter, and does not display the “normal” ways of grieving. I saw it a couple of years ago, and it touched me greatly as a film. It was painful to watch, but good for me as well. Here is the synopsis. I am currently at the stage of anger with things that initially were causing me anger when I first started this blog in 2009. I am ready to face them and bring some more peace to my mind.

And also learn better coping mechanisms for anger.


 

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Valentine’s Day Gives Me The Red’s

Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?

Paul Varjak: The mean reds, you mean like the blues?

Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat and maybe it’s been raining too long, you’re just sad that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?

~Quote from the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Original quote from the book can be read here.

In the book the reds are compared to angst. Yes, that would be a good way to describe what Valentine’s Day has always been for me. It all started when I was but a wee little lad back in the hills of… Oh, wait. I mean it started in grade school. First off this “holiday” celebration has never made sense to me. It didn’t help that my mother thought it was ridiculous as well. I shall say it is ridiculous to us as we know it today, and the opinion is solely based upon the demand of cards with hearts, candies, or jewelry or whatever people do. I don’t know this is one of those times when I have been called cold and a BEEP! :-) I love reading about the history of it though. At History.com they had a good quick read on the topic.

I do not mind if others enjoy it and get all the lavish, lovely gifts they want.

It’s not about that at all. I will go back to my childhood. While in school starting from Kindergarten up to 6th grade we were required to get valentines for the class. This was a huge source of anxiety (angst) for me. I had several reasons for this causing such a panic. I would completely forget about it, and then the teacher would start talking about it the beginning of February. We would begin to do crafts, and talk about the party we would have on that day. I would begin to get panicky when we started the crafts. I would get so nervous because my mom would ALWAYS forget to get the box of valentines that I needed. I would have to remind her every night. I cannot think of one single year she remembered. On occasions because of my complete anxiety freak outs she would take me to pick out my own.

The majority of the time she picked them out.

My mom does not put as much importance into words as I do so the cards she chose always fell short. Plus she would forget what the “in” thing was for the year and I would end up with “blah” types of cards. All of these things mattered since I was already the odd one in the class, my valentines would be a source of ridicule. I would get anxious because no matter how long I was in class with these kids I never remembered their names. The only kids that I would remember were the ones that I sat next to the whole year — even then I would have problems at times. I usually did not say anyone’s name. Another source of anxiety was that the people who made fun of me throughout the year were forced to give me a card and I was forced to give them a card. I would get confused if they gave me a card that seemed too nice. I would give them the most neutral one I could find.

I would comb over the cards.

I meticulously pulled them all out and read them trying to find the exact words that I wanted to say to each kid. I may not have remembered their names, but I had already studied each one of them. I knew who I liked and who I didn’t even if they never spoke to me. I liked them based on how they treated others or behaved in class. I also would observe their quirks, and things that I noticed that they liked. I would choose my cards according to what I had observed. As I sat with my list of names — I could remember their face as long as I had their names written down on a list in front of me. It would drive my mom batty when I sat there for hours writing out these valentines. All I was doing was writing their names, but it took forever. I was putting a lot of thought into the cards, and I took my time writing out their names neatly.

It was very hard for me to write neatly so I had to concentrate to do so. (Still)

She would tell me: “Just write their names and be done!” She didn’t understand that I couldn’t. I HAD to do it that way. These cards were supposed to reflect my feelings about this person as good as possible with a Loony Tune or E.T. valentine. OK! There was the additional stress of me getting cards. I would get the cards and some kids would purposely leave me out, or make fun of the cards that I gave them. As I read my cards I didn’t know how to interpret them. I thought that they all did what I did. I thought that the cards were extremely important and it was a day to set aside any ill feelings and give some valentine’s niceness. I did have a couple of people play tricks on me and tell me that a boy liked me or something. I never knew what to do with that.

I was able to pull off my coolness in front of them, but would go home and loop about it.

I would loop about it for days. I wondered if they were messing with me or not. It didn’t matter if the boy liked me — I wanted to know if they were messing with me. I couldn’t tell and it would drive me to panic attacks that I had to hide because my mom would not understand. I would hide away in my room, and cry because of the confusion. The confusion was (is) the worst part of all social situations. It hurts me deeply to be confused. I have spoken of this before, but it literally feels as if I can feel the disconnect going on in my brain. I desperately want it to connect, but it won’t and the only thing that goes through my head is: “I don’t know!” I can’t make me know either, it feels like circuits are leaping and I see black.

When I became an adult I continued to give valentines.

I enjoyed being in control of them. I enjoyed picking out kids valentines and giving them to people. It made people smile. It doesn’t matter how old you are, it feels good to get a valentine on that day. However, my attention to the valentines did not change and I would start looking at them the second they hit the shelves. I would finally make my choice, and then go through them to pick out the perfect ones for each person. I did this all the way up to my last job. (Technically not my last the last one only had three of us in the office, and I did not buy a box of valentines.) I believe I picked out The Simpsons, if I recall correctly.

It was something like 10 years ago.  

It doesn’t matter the fact is, I combed over each one and chose them specifically for each person. I used to get them scripture cards too. I didn’t do it to be all “spiritual” on them — I did it because I thought about them. I cared about them, and I wanted them to know. I couldn’t say those things, but I tried through making fudge or giving little cards and other little ways. I think part of the reason I did that was so no one would feel what I felt on that day. I do not celebrate Valentines like others do. I never want flowers, candies, jewelry, or things like that. My dad would get me stuffed animals, he got them for me until David and I got married. I wish he would send me a big huge stuffed owl, raven, or black cat!! Hee hee

I do feel a little bad for some of the guys in my past who tried to get me something on Valentines.

I usually got so angry at them because of the gifts or plans they had prepared because they had nothing to do with my likes or interests. I am pretty easy I do not know why it was so difficult. (UM…easy in getting gifts for! Clarifying.) Music or books one can never go wrong, unless it is some cheesy romance novel or if they got some sort of mainstream type of music. Well…that depends too. Ok, poetry? :-) Alright anything black-and-white! (Almost anything) Ha ha ha I am just digging a hole here, I will stop.

I do try to make it a fun day with the kids, and we do some cool crafts and stuff.

I think it is so strange that I still get overwhelmed with that anxiety before and on that day. It seems so silly, but it was for a long stretch of my childhood. It did cause social trauma at times being picked on or being made fun of or tricked. It caused a lot of confusion. I would spend days reading the valentines I received wondering what the words meant based on the person’s previous actions towards me. That never helped. The party was frustrating because it messed up our schedule for the day, and every teacher would have it at different times of the day. As I got older it had added emotions that I did not understand. In high school it was a big deal for the girls, and they would receive crazy gifts like roses or boxes of chocolate. Then, they would act like they were all great or something because of what they got.

I found it all odd.

I do not recall what my boyfriend at the time did for me — I know it was not anything like that. It was all so confusing to me I blocked a lot during those few years in high school. Other people I dated tried to do nice things, but I know I said rude things about it not intending to be rude. I most likely said something like: “Why would you get me that? or “Why would you take me here?” or “I don’t even like that!” with a nice snarl face. Only to finally realize it at this very moment how incredibly hurtful that could be. Oops! Sorry fellas. :-)  Yes, well that does not help my angst in the least! I am finished with this before I remember anything else. Despite my strange anxiety for the coming Valentines, I hope you all have the best day and get or do what you like! Presuming you will be celebrating that day…

So Happy Valentine’s Day early so I can eliminate some anxiety here. Lol!  


 

 

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Evading A Topic…John Keats Anyone?

I just spent the larger part of the morning writing about anger. It ended up being much longer than I had hoped, and opened up things that I had not anticipated. Great! Now I have to process anger. Well…My track record has been good with processing emotions so I will cling to the recent positive experiences that have transpired by tackling them head on. BUT anger is very hard for me — it is tied into a multiple of other emotions. I have never learned how to handle or express my anger properly. I also do not know how to handle someone else’s anger. That is a whole topic on its own.

Instead of exposing myself when I do not feel quite ready I will talk about John Keats.

Has anyone ever thought John Keats was an Aspie? I was just curious. I did not see it when I searched, but I did find that he suffered from depression. However, as I read some of his personal writings I thought it was interesting and felt very familiar. I read several things about John Keats last night. Then, ABC Local Conversation with Richard Filder “Tony Attwood” was on fb this morning that of course, I got sucked into because they used quotes from Mr. Darcy in the 1995 TV mini-series version of Pride and Prejudice. Which happened to be the first thing I saw with Colin Firth, and since I do adore Mr. Darcy ever so I got a little fixated with Colin. Don’t try to figure it out, I don’t know either.

Dr. Tony describes an Aspie mother and I said:”YES!”

He basically described many things in my life, and I am sure many others out there who need some confirmation today would find comfort listening to this. He is focusing more on women and girls later in the talk. He mentioned how AS girls can escape into imaginary worlds, and have imaginary friends. It made me laugh because yesterday I was talking out loud as an owl and a raven. They were my friends telling me the story that I am working on. I know that they were not real. It is just how my mind works. It is so funny how this talk is confirming so much of what I wrote out about dealing with anger. I am making more connections. It was confirming about what I am currently doing to try to find new coping mechanisms. It is confirming about me being a whistle-blower, my sensory intuition, my spy like qualities :-), and many other things. It is a great talk. I recommend listening to it.

Ok, back to John Keats.

This site Keats’ Kingdom had interesting facts like “Keats when he became a published poet collected every scrap of paper containing his earlier poems and burnt them as he considered them to be awful.” Um…no comment. Here are some excerpts that I found interesting as well. I am going to add my comments and indicate them by beginning with *.

Sent to Fanny Brawne February 1820

“For some reason or other your last night’s note was not so treasurable as former ones. I would fain that you call me Love still. To see you happy and in high spirits is a great consolation to me – still let me believe that you are not half as happy as my restoration would make you”

- Shows how Keats could be very selfish and inwards-thinking. Jealous and demanding

* The author here claims that Keats is being “Jealous and demanding” I question that after reading about his life. From my Aspie perspective (which really means nothing I am just stimming) I would say he is confused by her seeming happiness without him. He does not want her to feel unhappy, he treasures her joy, but he needs to know that she is missing him as much as he is missing her. He is feeling intense emotions that he felt she was feeling as well. However, by her note he is unsure which causes him to doubt her feelings. This confusion my life has often been labeled as jealousy and being demanding. He was consumed by her. In past writings he made it clear that he was uncomfortable around woman. I will share more of that later.

I wonder how many Aspies have been accused of being jealous or demanding when the reality is, we do not understand the social dynamics going on. I also wonder how often we act out in this because like Tony said in the above talk we prefer one-on-one instead of multiple people. The addition of another person can cause confusion about the relationship, and the relationship with the additional person. Relationships are so difficult. Is it that when we decide to give someone our affections we expect the same amount in return? If we see them being happy with others it could make us feel inadequate to the relationship? I don’t know these are the thoughts popping in my head at the moment. I am writing this on the fly. :-)

“My sweet creature”
“I wander at the Beauty which has kept up the spell so fervently”

- It is strange that Keats should refer to his muse as a creature rather than a woman. Later on, he suggests that she has bewitched him, and can’t understand why she’s captivated him so much.
Fanny must have been somewhat confused by this, as Keats paints a picture of himself as being in love with Fanny, but for no particular reason except that she’s bewitched him.

* I do not find this strange at all. I express my love through animals, nature, colors, or numbers in my poetry or stories. I am able to confess my real emotions through the way I see creatures, or the world. I am not sure he was expressing that he was bewitched, but possibly he was able to express his affections in that way because it felt safer. He had never been in love before, it could have been too overwhelming to say: “Fanny, I love you”. He could have been terrified of the words — only able to express them through poems that indirectly, but cryptically revealed his true passions.

It is far easier to express your love imagining a creature as your desire of affection rather than the actual person. The creature will not reject you, and possibly he was purposely being cryptic because it was his cherished love that he did not want tainted by anyone else. Possibly she was the only one who understood what he was saying. I do have a kind of tragic love story brewing from the owl and the raven so my imagination could be taking flight here, but I will not expose anything. This is too fun. :-)

Sent to Fanny Brawne June 1820

“..as usual I have been occupied with nothing but you: I wish I could say in an agreeable manner. I am tormented day and night”
“You are to me an object intensely desirable- the air I breathe in a room empty of you is unhealthy”

- It’s clear that Keats is hopelessly in love with Fanny. But as the letter goes on, the tone changes, almost becoming patronising:

“.. you have a thousand activities- you can be happy without me”
“You do not feel as I do- you do not know what it is to love”
“Ask yourself how many unhappy hours Keats has caused you in Lonliness”

- He just assumes Fanny doesn’t care that much for him, or perhaps he’s trying to provoke a response so that he can feel better? (assuming she will be kind in her reply)

* I do not think he is trying to provoke a reply here. Maybe he is I don’t know, but it doesn’t seem to go along with his character. Imagine thinking that you would never find a person that you could have such strong feelings for, add being confused by the social dynamics of that species, to discover one has caught your affections and seems to have the same affections. It would be scary, and if you have been abandoned before, such as he was as a child it would prove to be very challenging to trust your emotions and those of the other person. I think he has found that connection that he had never felt before and he does not know what else to with it. It is confusing to see her happy without him when he is so miserable without her.

It is hard to explain for me with friends, and even family it has been difficult to understand how people are so able to move forward without me. I have felt like it did not matter if I was around or not. Surely they never cared for me as they said they did because they are perfectly fine without me. It is part of the “all or nothing” mindset. I am getting a lot better in this area, though it is hard for me to grasp sometimes. It is not that I want them to be miserable, I just want to know that they miss me, I matter, and that they think of me. Just as I think of them, maybe not as obsessively, but at least fleeting happy thoughts. Lol! (I am not always obsessive…really…ok, about people anyway. :-))

It’s hard to understand where I stand in relationships.

I have expressed it before that I need someone to tell me if we are friends I will not figure it out. Well after years maybe. Like my one friend here, it took me two years to finally understand that we are good friends. I didn’t know this until a few months ago. I figured since we had not seen each other in so long that we were done being friends. I just assumed that we were finished with any kind of friendship and let it go since I had not seen her or heard from her in a while. I didn’t have any ill feelings — I just thought well it was a good run for me. Wow, that sounds kind of strange now that I wrote it out. I’ll leave it. :-) More on Keats…

I found these letters on this site John Keats and Fanny Brawn

Keats felt uncomfortable with women and contemptuous of them. In July 1818, he wrote:

… I am certain I have not a right feeling towards Women–at this moment I am striving to be just to them but I cannot–Is it because they fall so far beneath my Boyish imagination? When I was a Schoolboy I thought a fair Woman a pure Goddess, my mind was a soft nest in which some one of them slept though she knew it not–I have no right to expect more than their reality.

I thought them etherial above Men–I find them perhaps equal…. I do not like to think insults in a Lady’s Company–I commit a Crime with her which absence would have not known–Is it not extraordinary? When among Men I have no evil thoughts, no malice, no spleen–I feel free to speak or to be silent–I can listen and from every one I can learn–my hands are in my pockets I am free from all suspicion and comfortable. When I am among Women I have evil thoughts, malice spleen–I cannot speak or be silent–I am full of Suspicions and therefore listen to no thing–I am in a hurry to be gone–You must be charitable and put all this perversity to my being disappointed since Boyhood–. . .

I could say a good deal about this but I will leave it in hopes of better and more worthy dispositions–and also content that I am wronging no one, for after all I do think better of Womankind than to suppose they care whether Mister John Keats five feet high likes them or not.

* Hee hee I love it! I feel the same about certain women. Sorry it’s true, and I have felt the same about certain men. Indeed. The next part amused me very much. Not in a sick way, just in a familiar and comfortable way. He was soon to meet the love of his life Fanny Brawne which makes this whole story very tragic, sad, wonderful and glorious at the same time.

It is not surprising that he would rather not marry, preferring solitude, the life of the imagination, and the appreciation of beauty:

…I hope I shall never marry. Though the most beautiful Creature were waiting for me at the end of a Journey or a walk; though the carpet were of Silk, the Curtains of the morning Clouds; the chairs and Sofa stuffed with Cygnet’s down; the food Manna, the Wine beyond Claret, the Window opening on Winandermere, I should not feel–or rather my Happiness would not be so fine, as my Solitude is sublime.

Then instead of what I have described, there is a Sublimity to welcome me home–The roaring of the wind is my wife and the Stars through the windowpane are my Children. The mighty abstract Idea I have of Beauty in all things stifles the more divided and minute domestic happiness–an amiable wife and sweet Children I contemplate as a part of that Beauty. but I must have a thousand of those beautiful particles to fill up my heart. I feel more and more every day, as my imagination strengthens, that I do not live in this world alone but in a thousand worlds–No sooner am I alone than shapes of epic greatness are stationed around me, and serve my Spirit. . .

Letter, Oct 1818

He goes on to explain, “the opinion I have of the generallity of women–who appear to me as children to whom I would rather give a Sugar Plum than my time, form a barrier against Matrimony which I rejoice in. “

I had not read all about John Keats until yesterday.

I had read his poetry before, but I had not dabbled into his life. I did not know any of this and ironically the story that is playing around in my head has very similar themes. I am not claiming that John Keats had Aspergers I am just seeing parallels for myself. And playing around to help me not get consumed in loops that I do need to get caught up in. I do find his life, and his love very interesting and I can relate very much to many of the things that I read. Who doesn’t want to consume information about John Keats? Come on! (giggle, giggle)

Here are a few links that I read:

John Keats

The Life of John Keats

The Grasshopper and The Cricket (Poem) 

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Comedic Really

Alright I am getting tired of talking about these ballet classes now, but it seems that for some reason I am supposed to be learning something…I guess? Yesterday morning I received a phone call from the man whose truck I hit giving me the estimate of the damages. Not too bad, but still more than I was hoping. All is good. However, I was anxious. I was upset to find out that he doesn’t normally go on Thursday nights, but on Wednesdays. He had a meeting last week and that made him switch nights. Why did I go? :-) I didn’t want to talk to him at all — I didn’t want to talk to anyone yesterday. I was trying to overcome my anxiety about attempting to go to the class again. I was also a little anxious because I have been having an ongoing conversation via email with a neuropsychologist about setting up an evaluation for me. The anxiety stems from the cost, and my own issues about being a bother to people.

I will say so far she has been incredibly kind.

She has taken the time to answer my questions, and work with me via email after I explained to her my phone anxiety. Big points for her! I had several social encounters, and a weirdo running around the streets asking the neighborhood to vote for him for president. I don’t know why this stuff makes me anxious it just does. I had tried to talk myself out of going to class last night, but then I decided I had to go. I wanted to go, I really wanted to dance. I got there with no parking issues, went up to the door and a sign read “Adult Ballet Classes Cancelled for the month of February”. Whaaat? I went inside and the receptionist was nowhere to be found. I decided to leave and go to the store. I had already planned on going to the store after class.

As I left I was laughing.

I thought it was the funniest thing. It had to be sudden because the receptionist did not seem to have knowledge of this last week when I was there. I felt kind of bummed, but then I figured it must be for a reason. My mom actually started up another Bible study on Thursday nights, and my one friend that I have here is going to it. I haven’t seen her since May or June I think. I decided that I will do that and this will give me a month to practice/refresh myself on ballet terms and moves. Ironically, (I am not kidding this is truly funny.) I didn’t feel like putting in a CD so I scanned through the radio channels because my normal channel was playing commercials. As it was “seeking” it landed on the beginning of this song Alanis Morissette – Hand In My Pocket The song basically talks about how things are going to be fine. :-)

So yeah, I sang it really loud because I haven’t heard it in a long time and I needed it. 

I was driving over the bridge and looked in my rear-view mirror to see a humungous sunset. It was awesome! I decided I was going to dance anyway. I went to the stores, putting my ear bud headphones on, and I danced down the aisles at both stores I had to go to. I did drop my bananas as I was skipping down the baking aisle. Lol! I dropped my bananas! When I got home I was not finished dancing, I still had some moves in me. I parked the car in the driveway. I grabbed my little shuffle, bounced over to the large lot of grass that used to be the “park” across the street, and I danced under the light of the moon. I leaped, twirled, sang, tippy-toed, spun and plain danced like a fool for the stars like I used to.

It woke up my spirit.

It felt right. There is no other way to explain it. I danced off all of the strange looks I got at the stores. I smiled and giggled. I played connect the dots with the stars — I witnessed a slight ring around the moon. Recalling some moments of the evening. As I walked into one store, smiling and bouncing to the music — two ladies looked at me and smiled, but they still gave me an odd look. I didn’t care. In the store I got similar looks, now I was not being obnoxious I was flowing to the music and dancing with my cart. I was not doing it in the middle of the big aisles, only the ones that I went down. There were no people down them, but when people walked by me they noticed. I didn’t pay any attention and kept being happy.

I was flowing, slightly bouncy as I walked out into the parking lot to my car.

A woman who seemed to be about my age gave me a horrible look. I smiled at her, and kept on. At that moment I looked up at the moon and I said to myself: “Life is too short not to dance.” So I went on and had a grand night with the moon and the stars leaping about. Frankly, I am so tired of people trying to stifle others. I don’t care how old I am I will be dancing, and being silly as much as possible. There are too many bad things in this world. They can be consuming, and steal our happy days. I HAVE to have happy days because sometimes my bad days feel so overwhelming and unending. Those things that can break our hearts, they can consume us, if we don’t find our comic relief or things that bring us joy we will be swallowed up by them.

I was dealing anger about several situations that had transpired the month of January yesterday.

After I wrote out my post, I was finished. I no longer felt the need to lash out instead I was able to find other ways to make a difference. I feel that some of them may seem inadequate, but at least it is something. This time I am not brewing in my loops wanting to get all crazy angry in people’s faces. (I don’t really do that…usually.) I can get swallowed up in what I see as unjust and wrong, but when I get swallowed up I cannot function or think properly. My head has gained clarity, and last night helped me a great deal. The cold last night didn’t affect me…maybe it was my tights and leotard that kept me so warm. Wait! I did not only wear tights and a leotard in the store, I had a pullover dress on so I was not getting looks because of my attire. Just clarifin’. I am done with this post I am feeling too silly at the moment and may say some off the wall things. I must share this though.

My 90-year-old Grandma Dances to LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem

I am SO going to be doing this when I am 90! (Or older even since I will be a cyborg and all.)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Empatheia” An Intense Passion Or…

State of emotional undergoing?

Before you venture into this post, I will warn you this is kind of a “mind dump” and in the “middle of processing” kind of read. I needed to get some of this out though because it was causing me to loop. They were not negative loops, but it is one of those times where my brain has been trying to make rapid connections.

That being said I hope I am making sense as I share some of this. :-)

I discovered some enthralling information. I am not sure if others have read any of this, but it is new to me and I am intrigued. (I will get to it in a moment.) The last few days I have been stirring around in my head some emotions that I am not sure what to do with. I am angry. I do not know how to be angry. I am also happy at the same time. This anger that I am trying to work through is stemmed from what I see as hateful, manipulative, deceptive, and coated in sugar which makes me even more upset. I can handle a person being a jerk — I cannot handle a jerk pretending like they are sweet and innocent. I especially, get upset when they are in positions of influence, or family members. I want to tell the people who are being tricked that this person is a “Phony!” Lol! I also want to save them from being deceived because when the deception is revealed it can be so devastating and damaging emotionally and physically.

However, I cannot tell them.

Many do not want to know and they will fight to the death to stand by the person they deem as wonderful and grand. It is hard to keep my mouth shut and watch it happen. If I thought my words would do any good I would speak up, and share what I know or what is in my heart, but so far my track record  has ended with me being the bad guy. Even after it is proven to be true…what can you do? There is more than one situation I am referring to at the moment, and I cannot talk about it without it coming out all wrong so I will not. I will share my findings about empathy though. I believe that this is a form of me expressing my empathy. I am not sure what to do with the emotions that I am feeling if I continue to hold them in I may explode.

I do not want this to happen so I am trying something new.

Instead of my usual path of verbal destruction that tends to lack “empathetic” words I am directing myself in a different route. I decided to focus on emotions and empathy. I found Project of Rhetoric of Inquiry Poroi I have linked to the archives. This is through The University of Iowa. What caught my eye was this Volume 4, Issue 1 (2005) Assorted Articles plus Two Poroi Symposia on Emotions. I started reading this one first Empathy, Psychology, and Aesthetics: Reflections on a Repair Concept David Depew© It starts off with the etymology of the word Empathy. I know that many of the words we use today have lost their true meanings or they have morphed into other translations.

I find that very sad indeed.

The loss of the richness of word meaning is a painful thought to me. I do enjoy discovering the truest form of translations though. There is so much packed into this article that I don’t even know where to start. I am reading through several different ones and they are bringing some clarity to me, but I am not sure my connections will make sense to others yet…processing. AND I will add that the articles seem to be thought provoking and need time to dissect and process — if you are into that sort of thing. :-)

In this particle article I will share some excerpts to maybe catch your interest.

Paragraph 1

“Empathy translates the late-nineteenth-century German coinage of Einfühlung.1 Like empathy after it, Einfühlung arose in a part of empirical psychology that is no longer much cultivated, namely the psychology of aesthetic response. This may seem odd. But the fact that the German empirical psychologists of the late nineteenth century, who virtually founded the field, would have accorded much importance to the empirical, psychological side of aesthetics is actually not strange at all.”

Paragraph 6

“The prefix em and its equivalent en mean in. For empatheia, this seems to mean being into one’s own pathic state of experience, of undergoing. This is passion in the original, and New Testament, sense. More weakly, it is the l960s counter-cultural sense of “being into” something. In any case, it does not mean entering into the emotions of others, or more generally putting oneself in the position of another, as the current concept does. Accordingly the stipulative identification of Einfühlung with empatheia by Lipps might suggest that he did not know Greek well. But his Greek was, in this instance at least, fine. For he meant just what the late Greek term meant – an especially intense state of feeling – with the added inference that we experience feeling states this intense as belonging to an external object that occasions them.”

Paragraph 7

“What about the English term empathy? It came into the language through the influence of German empirical psychology in Great Britain and the United States. (All early American psychologists, including William James, were educated in Germany.) Thus E. B. Tichener, a German-trained psychologist writing in English, defined empathy as “the process of humanizing objects, of feeling ourselves or reading ourselves into them.” He remarked, “I see gravity, modesty, courtesy, stateliness [in someone], but also feel them. I suppose that’s a simple case of empathy, if we may coin the term as a rendering of Einfühlung.”7 That was in l909.”

~David Depew

I found this entire article interesting, later in the article he shares about empathy and sympathy.

As I read through this, I wondered how many unrealistic expectations are put on people — especially autistics to achieve an amount of romanticized definitions of sympathy, empathy, and love. I find it interesting as well that many times I can humanize objects much more than I can people. This is not because I lack empathy for people I still feel what they are feeling, but I do not know how to express it. I am unsure as to how to help them feel better, or help the situation. The emotions can be so overwhelming for me that I have to shutdown. There is the consideration that I do not understand many of my own emotions at times, to feel someone else in distress, pain, or anger can be confusing. Are they my emotions and if so where did they come from? Are they the other person’s emotions? If so why am I feeling them so strongly? Once I discern what and who I am feeling I then have to process why I am feeling it.

After all of that, I am then pulling up any information that relates to the situation.

I am looking for the best way to help the person or situation. If I have not experienced anything like it I may shutdown. If I have experienced something like it or if it is similar I will do what I feel. However, if the similar situation was traumatizing that could send me into overload emotionally. I will relive my experience and theirs at the same time. How does one even process that? It is intense and overwhelming. In several cases however, for me to go through this has been incredibly healing because it forced me to feel and deal with emotions I did not understand, or tried to ignore out of confusion.

Many times it seems like I relate more to my computer than a lot of people.

A book can make me feel more loved through its words than those in my life. It is my projection. I am projecting empathy to myself through objects because they do not confuse me. Even though I “feel into” people the responses I have received from them has caused me to retract and hide my empathy. The other factor that can get mixed into the stress is my social confusion of the situation. If it doesn’t make sense to me it can make it difficult to figure out how to show empathy.

My overwhelming emotions toward what others are feeling cause me to shut down.

It feels safer to express love or empathy to my iPad than a person — my iPad will not reject me, or misread how I am expressing myself. I can give tons of affection to my cat and feel empathy towards him because he does not demand anything in return. Demand is the key word here — it feels like I am demanded to express myself in specific ways that is accepted by a societal code.  This code that isn’t really clear to me. My cat does not expect me to express my love or compassion toward him in a specific way… at all times. :-)

I am naturally, intensely empathetic.

Many people do not know it though because I shut down. Has anyone ever asked me what empathy is to me? Has anyone ever asked an autistic child or adult what it means to them? I am referring to the masses. (I know there are those out there who have.)  I am sure they have, but why are there so many studies on how we “lack” or do not lack empathy when the real question is why are so many people expecting the exact same response for such a broad word. It’s a word that clearly has multiple meanings and definitions these days — along with having the similar influence of projection such as the word love. I can love intensely, but many people would not understand my great affections toward things, or people. I care deeply, but many people do not understand how I show how much I care. My heart hurts for people emphatically when I feel like they are hurting, but my expression may only come out through a poem.

Empathy can feel lacking when it is not reciprocated in the same way.

I show empathy by staying quiet sometimes, others interpret that as me not caring. I think the empathetic thing we can do is remember that others need to feel comforted, or heard in different ways. We also need to remember that we all show empathy in different ways. I think it is unrealistic to expect people to show empathy the way you show empathy. I have learned this the hard way. I have felt many times people were being cruel to me when they were actually trying to show me empathy and vice versa. Possibly remembering that our own projections can influence how we express empathy could bring better understanding. It could help all of us to step back and ask the question: “Is this how would like to be shown empathy or is this how they need empathy expressed to them?”

Still I believe there has to be compromise from both parties.

One should not be expected to know how to do this without proper communication by each person. I am afraid I will not remember all of this. I will fail I know I will, but I can remember to ask people how they would like to be comforted. Sometimes I just know, but it really depends on the person and how open they are. The problem that I have encountered in the past has been people getting offended at me when I asked what they needed.

They were upset at me because I did not automatically know.

They got upset with me because I did know what to do when they were sad, angry, depressed, annoyed, or even expressing love as well as the many other emotions that fill humanity. I think it is very cruel to be upset with me for not knowing how to help, or comfort a person.  How am I supposed to know what they need if they do not tell me? Although I can do the same thing at times, because I think other people would feel the same way as I do in a similar situation. The issue here is that those expecting me to know how they feel have the knowledge that people think differently. They supposedly have the constant comprehension of theory of mind…but I do not. I have to work very hard to remind myself that others are not thinking what I am thinking. It seems to me that shows a lot of empathy. Maybe? I am going to be chewing on this stuff for a while. Processing… :-)

Here are the other articles that I found interesting.

Emotions as Reasons in Public Arguments John S. Nelson ©

The Oxymoron of Empathic Criticism Readerly Empathy, Critical Explication, and the Translator’s Creative Understanding Russell Scott Valentino ©

Empathy and Analogy ©   Allison Barnes and Paul Thagard (I have not read all of this yet.)


 

 

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