I have had to take breaks from many online social outlets this week. I do not know how people do it. I do not know how they stay on read all kinds of things, comment, post, tweet, email, and continue in real life too. While, I am much better with online socialization, in the context of not having as much anxiety, stress, and able to read people without too much confusion for the most part – I still go into social overload.
Especially, when there are copious amounts of what feels like media stampedes.
It feels like I am being assaulted from all sides with words, and images. It causes my brain to shutdown, and my soul to hurt. I have had to put into practice mindful thinking a lot this week. I have been sent into spirals about friendships, relationships in general, wondering about political agendas, personal agendas, people’s motives on a large scale, wondering what is productive, and counterproductive in society… humanity as a whole and how it still proves to be very similar to all of recorded history. Humans, myself included, can be quite the predictable creatures. (When it comes to certain patterns, but I do not feel like going into all of that.)
Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.
I tried meditating… again and again…and again.
I think I got about five minutes in! Lol! I keep trying though. This week I watched two days of videos and took the review quizzes at the end for the kid’s virtual school. TWO DAYS! I could not stop, I just wanted to get through it and make sure I understood everything. I got upset when I missed several questions – I made it clear in their comments section that the wording of the questions and answers were hard to comprehend at times. I am not sure, if it was the way my brain read and interpreted the questions, or if they were actually written poorly.
Either way I missed some and I did not like that!
Apparently, there is going to be teacher calls with me and the children about every two weeks. There may be more interactions for Daniel once his IEP is set in place. They may offer services online, or send us somewhere close by for therapies. I have not spoken with his teacher yet, he will have a specific special needs staff handling that. I will be quite virtually social. The kids will be too. They will have live sessions with the teacher and other children. About 45 days into the school year clubs begin, and there are field trips along with other forms of opportunity for socializing. I will pick and chose what opportunities will fit us best.
The three boxes of curriculum arrived yesterday.
The kids and I were ecstatic! My grandma was here, (Speaking of social, yesterday was quite a social affair, I will share later.) and she said, “It’s like Christmas in July.” She had never seen kids get so excited over schoolbooks. Ariel wanted to start right away. Their first day of school is actually the day David leaves for several weeks. I think that is good because they will have something to focus on and we can start our new routine. We pulled out everything, made sure it was all there, and explored. It is familiar curriculum styles – I used many actual schoolbooks that I had found on Ebay for homeschooling.
The math curriculum is one that I wanted to start several years ago, but it was too expensive.
We have Discovery Education through the school resources - free!! (Well our tax dollars are paying for much of this stuff, I am ok with that.) We wanted to get that several years ago too, but we just could not pull the funds. I still love Khan Academy, Ted-Ed , and YouTube EDU - I plan on continuing to use them on a regular basis. Along with many other resources! Can you tell that I am a little excited? I read the school handbook, and I am now going over our state supplement for the handbook. Ok, I will stop before I go into complete details about all of the curriculum and the operating system that the school uses. Ariel already read her entire first reading book, and has started her second one – I am talking about her textbook. I told she is going to have to read it again and go in a much slower pace. She said she understood I hope she does not get annoyed with having to go slower and do the lessons.
My point, we are going to be more phone, and webcam social, as well as physically social.
After several meltdowns/shutdowns from change, social overload, sensory overload, and emotional overload, we all seem to be moving in a calmer direction. We took some social time off last week – I still cannot get Daniel in the car. However, I will get him into the car this Sunday for a barbecue thing at my aunt’s house. My cousin is in town! He and several of my other cousins came over last night for a little while. I have not seen any of them for about five years. I am the oldest cousin so it was quite a treat to see them as grown men. One now married, the one visiting went into the Marines and has been doing an amazing job.
He is here for several days and then off to Japan in August for two years.
It is my aunts son, and I know she is both elated and heartbroken at the same time. There were six of them that came over last night, five of my cousins, (All guys ranging in age 13 to late 20′s, I believe, I am so bad with remembering age everyone looks the same age to me!) And my Marine cousin’s girlfriend. She was in boot camp with him, if I recall correctly. I was excited and nervous I was anxious and happy. I enjoyed myself very much, the kids just ran. They ran all around the yard, while we stood outside and enjoyed the scenery – the AWESOME yard! So happy here, so happy. We have a tree swing too so of course; everyone had to try it out.
My one cousin said his wife bought him a trampoline and it has been the greatest thing.
He mentioned that he has gone back to some childish behaviors like enjoying swings again, and his trampoline. I said, “I always engage in childish behaviors, and I do not care!” Lol! I think more adults should try to swing for a while, or get on a trampoline. I was very happy with how respectful they all were about coming over. My one cousin called a couple of days ahead of time to set up a good day to come over. Yesterday was agreed upon, but the time was still not set. I continued to prepare the kids, and talked to Daniel specifically. They were all feeling the same way I was, excited and anxious. It was a good thing having grandma here first because it helped alleviate some of the “anticipation anxiety.”
Then, when the curriculum arrived, that was a bonus distraction.
I finally got the call for when they were coming, and at first, the plan had only been my two cousins, and the girlfriend, possibly my aunt. The plan changed to six of them, which included a couple more of my cousins. I was hesitant because of the change, and my cousin said, “If it is a problem I completely understand.” I only had to adjust my thoughts, and prepare the kids and myself. I told him it was no problem and to come on over. I am glad I did.
It is starting not to be such an intense emotional frenzy for me.
I am remembering that I do enjoy being around many of my family members, though I still need down time. I enjoy the diversity in my family’s beliefs as well, my Marine cousin is an Atheist, my married cousin is a Orthodox Christian, (I believe I have linked to the proper beliefs that he is following.) my other cousins are non-denominational Christian, and Baptist, or Methodist it has changed at some point.
We will see how Christmas goes.
Daniel helped himself all day yesterday with the anxiety by playing the iPad, (He and Ariel love this vectorpark.com on the computer and the iPad.) and playing with his hand recorder. I let them watch My Little Pony, (Any Bronies out there? ) and then we had fun with our new school stuff. So far, today is looking good. Although, Daniel is stomping around the house, to make noise, and walking the perimeter of the house because the iPad battery is charging. I am going to take them swimming later that should help all of us. We all love to be in the water!
In a way, I very excited about all of our new social adventures.
I am happy that we are having actual physical encounters that have been very positive. Even with some of the things that have upset me with family, the overall experiences have been positive for the kids. (Even for me.) My sister got the house she wanted for her and my niece and will be moving out here in a few weeks. More social adventures awaiting us in the future. I am very thankful that my fears are not gripping and causing me panic attacks like they used to with all of this stuff. There was a long period after any social encounter, which I would talk about it for days. My mind would be in complete confusion, or I would fear that I had said or done something wrong. In reality, this has only gotten better in the last year. It heightened when I was not in many social situations.
It gets easier the more I am social – as long as I remember that, I cannot push my limits to the extreme.
I need breaks, and I need to prepare – the same goes for the kids. I realized just this morning that the longer I cut myself off from people virtually, or physically the more my mind gets confused by the relationship and I start to feel like they are going to leave me. I begin to read into things that simply are not true, and create negative loops trying to prepare for the pain so it will not hurt so much when it happens. I may have expressed this before – my brain does forget… well it takes many things to connect in my brain sometimes for me to finally grasp it. I do have many negative scripts for relationships. However, going back to mindfulness – I do not know enough about it being path of enlightenment in the Buddhism context – I think it is a good way of thinking for my brain. It seems to be a healthier way for me to think.
I am reading information about it on a regular basis.
I find it very interesting and helpful. I see many positive things about it. My main goal has been to keep my loops under control and not fall into spinning negative thoughts. I know my patterns – when I am overloaded, I immediately start to see things that could or could not be happening. I lose my ability to discern properly, and I lose my understanding of how people feel about me. The relationship becomes confused for me, and I begin to think that they care nothing for me or they are done with me. I am stopping these loops by staying mindful and directing my thoughts and energy on positive and productive things. I need to feel like I am being productive with my thoughts, and time. If I do not I tend to start feeling purposeless. I am not sure how my more socially active life is going to affect me – at least I am gaining tools to handle my anxieties better.
School curriculum pictures!