Monthly Archives: August 2012

Car Anxiety Resolved! (For Today Anyway)

I am not going to lie; I have been having a rough go around. It is a hard thing to reprogram your mind. It is a hard thing to think that you can just snap out of feeling depressed. It is not that easy. I have major highs and when I am low, they can be intensely low. I have not felt like this in quite a while so it is making it much worse to have familiar/unfamiliar feelings. I am feeling a shift taking place. However, I am so fatigued and mentally exhausted that it feels like I will never be the same again.

These are only feelings though. 

The shift that I am finding so difficult is changing my thinking about feelings. I have always been influenced into thinking that if you are feeling depressed, anxious, not the life of the party, etc… Then those are all bad and they need to be turned into happy, jolly, ecstatic, whatever. Happy = Good and acceptance. Sad = Bad and not accepted. (Sad has all of the perceived negative emotions generalized into it, just to give clarity of definition there.) To sit here feeling depressive types of emotions and not condemn myself for it feels foreign. It is a battle that I happen to be winning, so that is good.

It is lonely. 

Most people do not want to hang around a person who is not the happy-go-lucky-ball-of-sunshine-bursting-out-yellow-smiley faces all the time. I have realized that is ok too. Sometimes people need that, sometimes people need dark-sad-dreary-droopy dog days too. They are only emotions and feelings and the brain communicating things, for me it happens to be that I have not had any alone time and I am exhausted. Let me clarify, I have been unable to do anything after the kids are in bed other than sit and stare at the TV. I hate that unless it is something that I want to watch, but I do not want to watch anything, really. I had to stop reading my book because it was feeding into my sadness. I find that difficult to accept, these down emotions and my anxiety, because they can be so consuming and painful. I just want them to hurry up and go away, but I tend to do the very opposite of what I need to do in order to find the balance in my brain.

I seem to gravitate toward damaging triggers as if to feed the pain, anxiety, and confusion. 

I also tend to forget every single time that I do this. :-/ For instance, when I hid my phone the other day I caused myself even more anxiety by not listening to my messages. I created scenarios that were not real and played fabricated messages in my head. When my mind started saying things like, “My aunt is angry at me. She never wants to talk to me again. She is ignoring me on facebook.” (I think I need to block myself from facebook on many days. It is such a trigger for me and I fall into it every time.) I ran to my phone and called her. I was almost in a full-blown panic attack when I called her. I was breathing heavily and managed to get the words out about my anxiety.

I told her, “I am calling you because I having anxiety and thinking that you are angry with me.” 

She started laughing and said, “Oh, you would know if I was angry with you!” I know this very well. If she is upset, she does not ignore a person. She does not play mind games. She flat out tells the person what she is thinking and feeling. This is what I adore about her. It is also how I knew that I was making it all up. After talking to her for a while, and her telling me that I am going to have to get some thicker skin with the family, I felt much better. It is a lot for me to process with my family. It is going to take time and I need to take baby steps. (What About Bob, love!) I need to accept that and stop putting so much pressure on myself.

I have done several things differently this time.

I have managed to take hold of my negative looping. I have been able to allow my emotions be emotions, and I took control of my anxiety by calling my aunt. Big steps. I did not sink, hide, and keep myself cut off from the world. (very long) Although, I confess that I am kind of rolling my eyes at myself and feeling a little foolish for still having these issues. For some reason I feel like I should be over all of this by now. I attack myself with thoughts of how this is so ridiculous. I think that is the wrong way to look at it – I do not condemn others who have similar reoccurring issues as myself. I do not judge them or think that they should be “over it” by now.

Why do I do that to myself?

I definitely do not do that to Daniel, Ariel, or Joshua. I tend to give a lot of leniency to kids and other people. I need to work on that with myself. I was sidetracked – can you tell? My initial post was going to be short and about today. I am assuming that I needed to write all of that out. I am finished for the moment. Here is what I wanted to share. I felt like I needed to get away from my computer today. I felt that I needed to spend more time with the kids. I also felt that I needed to get out of the house. I cannot stand feeling trapped in the house.

I asked Daniel if he would like to go see the river today.

He said, “No.” I told him that we really should try to go and asked him if he would like to go see the library too – there is one right next to the river area that we were going to. He asked, “Why do we need to go there?” I told him that we would get his yogurt on the way back because he was out of yogurt. He said, “I don’t want to.” Then, he curled up on the floor and the blood rushed out of his face. I picked him up, put him in my lap, and reminded him of how we went to the comic book store the other day and he had fun.

He asked if I would sit in the back with him.

I told him that I could not because I had to drive, but that I would move Joshua in the back to sit next to him. After a few more minutes of reminding him that he did not get sick, and that everything went really well the last time in the car, he finally agreed. He had no problems getting into his car seat, and he did not feel sick at all. We drove to a few different places and he did great. He is still anxious, and will be for a while. However, now I have these positive experiences to remind him of. He was very happy and had a great time – all of us did.

I was so happy to see my good friend the river again.

I love the water no matter how murky or smelly it may be. The river was a faithful companion of mine as a child and I will never forget that. The sun gleaming on the ripples, are pure grand delight. I tried to teach the kids how to skip rocks, but we could not find any flat ones. Instead, they tried to throw rocks across the river to the other state… over yonder.

The library is a smaller one.

It is bigger than the one where we used to live and much nicer. Definitely, more quiet and no flickering fluorescent lights that make us all dizzy and confused. We had fun there; I will be taking them to the much larger one in the next few weeks. We even went to the store and all went very well. Ariel, Joshua, and me played a new game called Quiddler Deluxe. I didn’t mean too, but I ended up winning the whole thing because I got cards that spelled QUARK! Lol! Awesome! Joshua was not at all pleased, Ariel looked rather shocked by the whole event. She was winning before that happened. Oops! It has been a great day, even though I am feeling sickly and very tired.

I am off here are some pictures!

There is a picture in here of Joshua with his pants full of stuffed animals. The story behind it, he wants pants like Flea’s stuffed animal pants from Red Hot Chili Peppers. Lol! He told me that he had to do that because he does not have the pins to put them on his pants. Ariel and Daniel want a pair now. :-)

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I Caught You Negative Loop! (Two)

My last post I left with the question, “How can they love me when they do not even know me?” Somewhere there is a disconnect, I am not sure how to bridge this disconnect. I believe that will manifest itself as I write about “love blindness” at a later time. (I should add “like blindness” as well.) The issue in this post is that my questioning is a negative thinking pattern. I have put some sort of conditions on their love for me – I do not know what they are exactly. Most people have not voiced conditions on their love for me. They just love me whatever parts I am giving to them they are loving.

I do not know how to accept what I visualize as levels of love. 

I will write through all of this, but for this particular post my quest, is that I have trapped a negative thinking pattern in a net and I am closing in on it. All of my family dynamics cause me to go into familiar loops, which connected things that I have been reading about rumination. I read this post (AsperGirlMaybe) recently where she mentioned ruminating. I have gone back and forth reading about it through various other means, and loops of mine leading me to the question, “What is rumination?” I decided that I needed to look up rumination and spend some time on the topic. I have been ruminating. It also has made it clear that I am progressing very much in my thinking, but that I have a long way to go when it comes to mindfulness. I am getting there, I watched this Video: Asperger’s and mindfulness that was helpful.

Side note here…

I have to say that the concept of Buddhism makes much more sense to me than other religions I have encountered. While, I am unable to define my spirituality with any clarity at the moment I can say that I see many parallels with Jesus teachings and Buddhism. It makes sense to me – thinking in the now makes sense to me and it helps me stay balanced. Good read. Asperger’s syndrome and Mindfulness: Taking Refuge in the Buddha

Here are a few of my findings about rumination.

(I have taken some of this post from a post I wrote on another blog. Not sure why I had to share that, but I did.)

(Wiki page) Rumination is usually defined as repetitively focusing on the symptoms of distress, and on its possible causes and consequences.[1].

State Rumination involves dwelling on the consequences and feelings associated with the failure. Action rumination consists of task-oriented thought processes focused on goal-achievement and correction of mistakes. Task-irrelevant rumination utilizes events or people unassociated with the blocked goal to distract a person from the failure.[4]

Why Do We Ruminate?

Rumination and the Brain

Rumination: Problem Solving Gone Wrong

Do you “self-reflect” or “self-ruminate”? 
By Alain Morin

Why Ruminating is Unhealthy and How to Stop

I am in a depressive state.

I am not truly depressed though, I can feel my mind pulling in that direction. I know that I am worn out, drained, feeling as if no one understands me in real life, and I am having moments of hopelessness. I know that this is a loop from over-stimulation due to many social and sensory situations in this last month. Along with this big move, change in my routines, and the inability to have one now. In addition, David is leaving next week, and I have lingering anxiety about Daniel and the car. I do have more people who can help me here so that is good. Knowing all of this does not stop my brain from going through the loop of emotional difficulties, and anxious fears.

I have had a reoccurring loop of someone I care about leaving me.

I cannot stop it, I understand that it is a loop and at times I can only ride it out. It has been a loop with different people – people that I have deeply loved throughout my lifetime. It started with childhood I am fairly certain it started with my father, and has jumped from every person at some point in my life. It comes as a form of self-sabotage. I do not want to have those fears, I do not want to think those things, but my brain does it. It does not help that I feel a block in the area of knowing if someone loves me or not. It hurts to be confused, and to constantly anticipate that someone you love is not going to love you anymore, or leave. It is a lingering fear. It happened before it can easily happen again. It has happened many times and I have been blindsided. People have told me that they love me and then, they leave me. They tell me they care and then, they say or do hateful, mean things. It is a familiar loop that I cling to because I know it; somehow, it has played like a drug in my mind. I am trying to protect myself.

I tend to convince myself that I am in control. 

I convince myself without realizing it that by looping in a negative direction that I am stopping them from hurting, or rejecting me. I am actually hurting myself with make-believe scenarios, and creating anxiety and fears that I do not need to waste time on. This loop comes and goes, but it normally peeks its head around in my brain when I feel like I have no control over my real life situations. It is a lie that my brain has used against me to help me create a phantom fear so I can distract myself from reality. The main reality that I am trying to run away from is, I know that people love, but I do not understand how they love me.

I feel like they cannot possibly love me when they do not know me. 

How can they ever love me when I cannot be myself with them? If I am unable to express myself well enough for them to understand and vice versa, then what? I want to see my family, but I have spun so out of control that I cannot even look at my phone. How can I communicate when I have lost my words? They do not understand a person losing their words. People do not want to only read my words, they want to see me, hug me, look at me, and engage with me. How do I do that when I go into a shutdown/meltdown that night or next day? They do not understand this – I have tried to explain it, but they do not get it.

See now this is the part where I need to be mindful. 

That whole paragraph is full of questions that I need to let go. Those questions and the many flying around in my mind are not helping me. They can lead me down the path of rumination. I am feeling anxious, nervous, and scared by not following the negative trail my mind wants to go down at this moment. It is a difficult task. I am changing the course. I read What to Do on the Bad Days of Depression , which was on my fb feed this morning, I am going to focus on some of those things. I am trying to clear my mind and accept that my family loves me very much many of them are trying. Even if I am unable to connect the feeling of these emotions, I can write down all of the ways they have been trying instead of focusing on the few things that have hurt me and caused me to spiral. Maybe that will help me find words to express some things clearly to them. If I take away the feeling of “threat” possibly then I can find words. Who knows, I need to try something different.

I know that several of them do not know what to do, but they are trying to be supportive.

Because I do not know how to tell them, I have been the one who has cut them off. My own fears and confusion plummet me into a self-protection mode. A damaging negative looping mode. Some of the reasons are because of the past, and some of them are because of current interactions. It is scary to see where I need to change, but this cycle is too painful and damaging. I have to have a more positive way of processing family dynamics. I also need to figure out how I define love/support, evaluate it, and create a healthy outlook in that area. I do not know how to tell people what I am feeling. I can only lead them to books, or blog posts. This has caused some negative experiences as well that caused me to feel traumatized by words.  

It has left me at a loss as to how I can express myself to anyone. 

I am not sure how to move forward in the area of expressing myself to people in a way that they can understand. They have taken my form of communication and refused it. That makes me rather angry at times that I have to be the one to do so, but if I want to make changes in my life, I have to do so. I have to find a way to tell people that I am hurting, that I do not understand, or even when I am happy. I can only take one thing at a time.

My focus now is to recognize unhealthy rumination and stop it.

Continue to catch my negative thinking patterns that lead me to ruminating and going into a depressive state – not entertaining them. I need to deter my mind from creating negative scenarios and fabrications, such as me now thinking there are negative messages on my phone so I am refusing to listen to them. I am afraid of my phone and I have hidden it so I do not have to look at it. It is anxiety inducing not for any real reason other than I am afraid of the unknown, or that I may be required to call someone back. The thought of talking on the phone is sending me into a panic attack.

Those kinds of things need to stop. 

Other resources:

The article I posted above is about this book Asperger’s Syndrome and Mindfulness: Taking Refuge in the Buddha, I think I may purchase it. I feel like the writer where they say, “the book made me think and want to explore the subject of Buddhism further. I doubt whether I will be a convert, but I will certainly be taking some of its lessons on board.” I am finding many beneficial things from studying, reading, and applying what I have been learning. I am progressing far more rapidly and with lasting results, than I have with other things I have tried.

I also found this, but have not read it all the way through yet. The first five pages seem really good, I will finish it later today. Mindfulness: A Promising Approach to Overcoming the Challenges of Asperger’s Syndrome © Jack Russell

Update: Joshua’s teacher just called – I answered the phone. It went very well, I am excited, though my words got jumbled at certain points overall it went well. Little social anxiety, but feeling very positive about the whole interaction. :-)

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I Caught You Negative Loop! (One)

I am on the verge of having a major mind shift. There has been a facebook thread that I have been reading and contributing a little to the last couple of days about meltdowns/shutdowns. I have been on a roller coaster of meltdown/shutdown mode myself for these few days, so it has helped a great deal to read through and keep me in the “now.” Realizing my anxiety loops and not falling into a downward spiral.

Mostly, I have been filled with anxiety off and on.

I have had phantom fears, fears about people not wanting me around, and crying. Which I hate, especially when I have no idea why I am crying. However, I have learned to let myself release them without attacking myself with negative thoughts in that area. Although, I wish I had more control over the tears and they would not erupt in the middle of Target when I am trying to buy LÄRABAR bars for Daniel. Hoping that I can get in and out quickly as to deter his meltdown because none of us realized we were out of the bars until he went to get one! I hoped, but I got disoriented because I was in no frame of mind to go to the store. It overwhelmed me to walk in there and I cried at Target. Blah!

I can tell you all of the logical reasons as to why my mind is going through this. 

I know that I am making things up. I know that many of my thoughts are not true. The feelings are still real. It is still exhausting having this battle in my mind. It is hard not to think in black-and-white terms when my brain is desperately seeking something concrete to bring calm. Even if I am well aware that the calm is completely irrational. It brings some sort of resolve good or bad and just makes the looping stop.

This is where my mind shift is manifesting. 

I am not allowing myself to accept the thoughts to become real in my mind. I am not allowing them to spin out of control and lead me down negative loops that I cannot get out of. I have done this before and stopped my loops, and I learned a lot from these last few times. This time is different in the sense that I have discovered a root to my familiar “people are going to leave me, no one understands me, I am all alone” type of loops. I am feeling very shaky right now. My life is completely different and the only familiarity I can rely on is my negative thought patterns. I am not accepting that – I have been working very hard at staying mindful of all the emotions I am feeling. I have been writing them down. Some days have been hard for me, but I do know that my pattern of escape is to create a wall around me. I begin to read into things that are not there.

I have thoughts flood my mind of how no one wants anything to do with me. 

I begin to see people excluding me out of interactions. In reality, I have done it myself. I have cut them off and have become avoidant. It is my form of self-preservation and self-sabotage at the same time. Part of it has to do with my inability to feel love from others. I do not feel unloved – I know people love me. I cannot seem to see their actions of love, or know that they love me. I call it “love blindness” which I do plan to write about in the next few days. There are many things that go into that topic and I have been researching. Though it is not called that, many other Aspie’s and people who suffer from PTSD also have this same type of inability to know that others love them.

For me personally, I do not know how to explain it very well. 

In a way, the book that I am reading expresses it – I will share. The context is of a young girl who is speaking on the phone to her grandmother whom she has never seen. She has talked to her on the phone once a month every year, but has not had direct physical interaction with her. The grandmother seems to talk about her special interest and it revolves around that – here is an excerpt of the conversation.

Rose? You there?

Hi, Grandma, I said.

You’re too quiet, said Grandma, Speak up.

I rolled a vinyl place mat into a tube. 

I love you, I said, through the tube. 

There was a pause. Across the room, from her listening position wedged in a far corner, Mom flinched. 

Love? said Grandma, through the tiny black holes.

Yes, I said. 

But you don’t even know me, said Grandma. How can you love me? It should be earned. You’re too clingy,…

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake ~ Aimee Bender 

Clearly, there is a lot going on there.

I left out the rest, but what hit me was when the grandma said, “But you don’t even know me.” That is how my brain thinks with family and people that I have not seen, or have interacted with. When I do see them, it is hard for me to understand any form of loving/liking action because I feel like I do not know them and they do not know me. It surprises me and it is hard to grasp that they love and care for me. I am unsure how to interact with them, and I am unsure how to be myself. I wish I could say that I only do this with people that I have limited interactions with, but it is not so. I do this with everyone. It is a very painful experience to be surrounded by people, not understand their intentions, motives, meanings of their words, and feel like you are supposed to.

Some of them intentionally hurt you.

Then, others hurt you because of social confusion, or miscommunication. They too can feel like you are trying to hurt them. I get utterly confused by family. I get confused because I cannot discern if they love me or not. I see them love each other. I somehow cannot translate their actions or words into loving expressions toward me. Many times, I feel people do not know me because they only experience me in situations where I cannot be myself. I have been trying to be myself as much as possible, but still it is limited because of new environments, sensory issues, social issues, trying to keep an eye on the kids, helping them with their sensory/social issues, and FOOD! Gosh! Why does food have to be the center of events? Anyway… :-)  They do not know me – I am here. I am words on a page. (That is not completely true, but many times I feel like that.) I feel like a shadow of myself out there and it is hard to comprehend that people love my shadow.

My mind can fall into black-and-white thinking when it comes to the issue of love.

It is such an abstract concept and defined by people so differently that I cannot even grasp it. It is too much, at some point in my life I came up with a gauge of how to determine if someone loves me or not. However, I have no idea what it is. All I know is that if it feels like they have changed their behavior in the slightest it has something to do with me and now they no longer love me. If they stay the same and nothing changes in the relationship that means they love me.

I am going to have to put words to this invisible chart I have created. 

It does not really make sense, and it always leaves me uncertain of what my relationships are. For instance, my closest aunt, I know she loves me. She would drop anything and everything if I called her and told her that I needed her. I know this, but the last few days I have been feeling like she is upset with me, that she never wants to speak with me again, like it does not matter if I am here or not, like no one in my family cares in the least if they ever talk to me again. This is not true. I know this, but the fact that I have been hurt so much with family and know that no matter what I cannot be myself fully leaves me feeling empty and as though they do not love me.

How can they love me when they do not even know me?

To Be Continued… part two tomorrow sharing about rumination.

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Processing Expression, I Suppose…

Again with the processing, I know. I have all kinds of files busted open in my mind they have spilled over and are causing chaos. :-) (Keep that in mind while reading I am not sure if I am making sense.) I am feeling sad, my head is telling me that it is useless to interact with anyone, and it is pointless to ever talk to my family again. No one gets me. As much as they love me and try to interact with me, I cannot conform. I feel alien, we think so differently. Even when it seems that we have had clear communication we do not. I feel fake after leaving them. I feel like I am hiding so many parts of me as a means to protect myself. I think it was triggered by the contrast between how I interact with my mom and how I interact with the rest of my family.

At this very moment, my heart hurts so badly. 

I sobbed this morning feeling as if my heart was being ripped out of my chest. I cannot tell you exactly why. I cannot give you specifics. It is just a feeling. I look at pictures of my family and the comments they put on facebook and I do not connect with them. I have virtually nothing in common and I never have. I have tried all of these years to pick something to try to relate and connect, but it does not work. When I talk to them, I feel like they think that I am arrogant, or full of myself. Not all of them of course, but I feel disconnected from everyone here at the moment. I do not know how to talk to them. If I go into my special interest tangents, I see them look at each other and I do not know what it means. It feels like and I have convinced myself all of these years that I have done something wrong.

I have been reading through a facebook thread about receptive/expressive language challenges. 

Why does every single resource I have found only speak of children? What about the adults? Never mind. I read this post this morning Come Into The Garden: Hidden Issues With Expressive Language. After reading through this, I felt a great relief of understanding toward myself. Then, I felt hopeless. I have discovered yet another thing about me that explains how I do not work in my real life community. I am trying to pull myself out of this feeling. I am searching for the strength and holding on to my own acceptance that I have been fighting for this past year. It would be so much easier if I could just fit in.

It would be so much easier if I could simply communicate better. 

It would be so much easier if I could force my mind to bend and mold and conform to all of those people around me – I cannot do it. It is inevitable that I will continue to get hurt, and I will cause others frustration. I have been doing Google hangout with my mom. We were actually on the phone for over 45 minutes yesterday because she was having problems with her computer. (Could be a contributing factor to my tears, emotions floating around that my brain is trying to process unbeknownst to me.) She finally got it working and we were on the video chat for a while. She talked to the kids – I enjoyed listening to them talk to her. They each took a turn because I do not have speakers so they wore my headphones. Daniel was talking so clearly, articulating so well, he was expressing himself in ways I have only experienced. Others have not had such pleasures.

They have not because they expect him to be a certain way. 

Though I do not think anyone purposely does this. I think it is happening. It could be because they do not know how to communicate any other way, but I also do not feel as if they want to learn another way. It would seem that no one knows how to communicate with him, unless he communicates in the way they have encountered other children. They expect him to change all of his ways of communication to bend so they can understand him instead of bending toward his way of communication. Although, my younger cousin who is about to be a 14 year teenage boy has taken to Daniel and is very interested in how to help him. He has been sensitive to learning about Daniel’s sensitivities and how to talk to him while we are at their house. As well as trying to ensure he does not do anything that could upset Daniel. He has been spending time with him trying to talk one on one.

It my closest aunts son – it makes my heart happy to see that.

Many times, I am able to express myself clearly through written word. However, not many people want to take the time to get to know me so intimately through my written words. Also, I have been told I write too much. People quite honestly do not want to sit down and read the thousands of words I pour out day after day. (Nor do they have the time.) I understand that. I know it can take me a while to write out what I want to express too – hence, the over 130 drafts sitting in my queue just on this blog alone. :-)

Daniel expresses himself through relating his objects of joy with others.

Sharing with my mom how much he loves this house, showing her his Hex bugs and in the middle of the conversation telling her, “I like you a lot” were all forms of him showing her how much he loves her and misses her. She understood this and it touched her heart deeply. My mom understands this because that is how she expresses her affections. I understand this because that is how I can express my affections. Others do not and we (mom and I) have felt a lifetime of rejection and feeling wrong for the way we communicate and express ourselves. We miss what people mean and have felt unloved because the way they have expressed their affections has not made sense to us. We have done this to each other as well. This does not only apply to the feelings I am sharing right now I am trying to give an example using affections of love.

I think this statement can make it clearer (I wish they would add adults!):

“Children with mixed receptive-expressive language disorder also have significant problems understanding what other people are saying to them. This lack of comprehension may result in inappropriate responses or failure to follow directions. Some people think these children are being deliberately stubborn or obnoxious, but this is not the case. They simply do not understand what is being said. Some children with this disorder have problems understanding such specific types of terms as abstract nouns, complex sentences, or spatial terms.”

While I am very thankful to have this information, it still causes me to hurt. 

It explains so many things, but it does not change the fact that if I want to participate in communicating with others I have to change. I have to teach my children how to communicate the way the world communicates. Frankly, I do not want to. I am now beginning to understand how I express myself, how I communicate, and that I am not wrong. However, I am wrong if I want to fit in outside of my computer. I will not work in society properly unless I pretend and stay quiet to some extent. I will not survive unless I do that because I will continue to get confused and taken aback by peoples comments no matter how much I study human behavior.

No matter how much I study and observe family members.

No matter how much I “logically” understand what is going on – I will still be thrown by it because all of this is intertwined in my neurological waves that get confused, blocked, misfire, and overloaded causing my communication system to be a jumbled bunch of circuits. My children can quite possibly be made fun of, bullied, and made to feel like they are wrong because they communicate differently. This can happen among family members only in a “I am only joking” type of air. I will not accept that, but we will embrace difference and accept that we will never “fit in” with mainstream. I may not tell them that so boldly – I will build into them so much that those types of things will not affect their self-esteem as it did mine. There is a question that comes to my mind though.

How do we do that without becoming the very thing that we are fighting against? 

How do we stay outcasts without prejudice and anger? How do we maintain a spirit of acceptance ourselves  toward others, while knowing the mass majority will not accept us? How do we not become cynical? Many will stay in their “group thinking” and condemn people based on their lack of knowledge and their own inability to empathize. I do not know how to stay in the neutral all the time without my heart breaking and my soul crushing. I am trying to process a huge amount of emotions that I am feeling. One being the fact that I am in a state of mourning. I am mourning the loss of my ideals. The farce that I believed would happen though I did not realize it. I am mourning a family that does not exist. My fabricated version that I created. The realities and truths that I have always known in the back of my mind are looking at me in the face and saying, “It is time.”

It is time to smash all of the images I have created.

Acceptance. The reality of accepting me fully and fighting against the pattern of conformity while being around my family, and others. I cannot expect them to understand me. I cannot hold on to that precious moment when they finally want to understand me or the way my kids think. I have to accept them. I somehow have to continue to remind myself that I am different – I think different. I speak differently – they speak differently, though we use the same words. I have to be myself in the midst of feeling rejected even if no one is directly rejecting me, or my children. If I do not communicate like others, they do not understand me, and I do not understand them, it will always feel like rejection. By both parties. I am in a processing mindset. I have a lot to sift through and many emotions are hitting me all at once. While I am down, I do not mean to give the impression that I am hopeless.

I feel hopeless, but it never lasts long. 

I see this all as a good challenge. All of this helps me to change. I have had the wrong mindset of thinking that others want to change as much I as do. I have thought that everyone was seeking truth, growth, and trying to embrace understanding for difference as I do. I am going to forget this, but right now I know that I am thinking and expressing my meaning differently than others when I say that. I am not saying that they are not seeking the same things, I am saying that those things have very different meanings to each individuals. As a group they can collectively come together and mold those ideals creating the image of wholeness. I will always be the one on the sidelines saying, “But what about this?” Each time I go around this loop of being confused it is because I forget that many people like to be in a group.

I find the “group” confusing.

Even if I agree with the group, even if the group is my family, I will fight against the feeling that I must join them. It forces me to look at things from every angle to ensure I have processed properly and have not lost my footing. I find conflict to be a positive thing, as long as it is constructive. However, I do hate it. Conflict makes me ache in the core of my being – I want peace, but we do not grow or change unless we face challenges. I find certain conflict to be beneficial for me in discovering my true emotions, and ideas. It hurts beyond words. However, this is my way of showing that I care – I am trying to learn the world around me. I seek hope in that, it gives me hope that one day people will do the same for me. Though at the moment I am so not “feeling” that. :-)

Here are my hopes expressing themselves!

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“Are we in control of our own decisions?” TED Videos

I am in research mode. My “societal confusion” has caused a huge looping spiral – connecting and distracting, filtering and observing, reading and watching, analyzing and crying. My brain has been spinning and spinning and I cannot stop it. I must consume this information to help me find balance. However, it causes me to become overwhelmed with emotions.

I want answers. 

I want to know why people behave the way they do. I want to understand why human beings insist on continuing patterns that have shown clear destructive consequences generation after generation. Why do we repeat instead of change? I am seeking hope in humanity. In order for me to do so, I am trying to understand. I am not sure I will ever have my questions answered. I am still devouring and sifting through the many resources I am consuming. I cannot get my other post out that I am working on; I decided to share some videos I have been watching. I find behavioral economics very intriguing.

I will leave you with these quotes and videos letting you ponder on your own.

“But suppose we are nothing more than the sum of our first, naive, random behaviors. What then?” 

― Dan ArielyPredictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

“The most powerful force ever known on this planet is human cooperation — a force for construction and destruction.” 
― Jonathan Haidt

 

Dan Ariely asks, Are we in control of our own decisions?

 

Dan Ariely: Our buggy moral code

 

Jonathan Haidt: The moral roots of liberals and conservatives (Be sure not to pass judgement before watching this whole video.) 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjnDW6qrR0g

Oh, and I also wanted to share How To Disagree. I read this and it helped me a lot with understanding comments and some of the “comment confusion”  can have at times. (Comments that are attacking, hateful, disrespectful, damaging etc…  toward others and make no sense to me why another person would do that. Comments from all media outlets that are like this.) I am setting myself up for a troll here. Great! The author Paul Graham has many other essays as well. I have not read any others yet, but I thought I would share.

Wait other good news… Daniel got in the car today with no problems. I did have to sit next to him, but he got in on his own and wanted to try. He is still anxious, but is trying so very hard. He is doing a great job conquering his anxiety. Small steps, he is a happy boy right now. :-)

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Daniel Expressing Himself

It is no surprise that Daniel has been having a hard time lately. It is expected – I anticipated it. However, it was implied that my anticipating such things causes them to manifest. Halt! These types of “implications” are clear indications of people who have no understanding about how the neurological system works. They have no comprehension of how difficult it is for a brain with sensory processing dysfunction, or the inability to process emotions rapidly. Those are only a couple of factors that play into it let us add developmentally delayed, but well in tune with things as well. Well attuned to emotions that you do not understand, or fears that you cannot articulate. There is much more to add, but I will leave with those tidbits to chew on.

It is not a simple task of “just do it.”

I would share this awesome image in hopes of people gaining a perspective, but honestly, I am not sure it would help.

Click on it and it will take you to the larger photo at Karla’s ASD Page, where I have found some useful resources. (So go click the “like” button on FB, if you want to receive them.) In my attempts to try to get others to understand lately, I have been telling people what is going on instead of being evasive. I have been giving details because telling me “Just put him in the car” is completely unrealistic. Telling him that he does not have a choice is not an option. Speaking to him in a “You have to listen to me because I am the parent and I said so” manner is ludicrous. Not only do I find that offensive and would not say that to my children anyway, IT WILL NOT WORK!

So… I have been trying to get people to understand what has been going on.

The fact that I have been sharing that he is having a hard time has brought up a whole bunch of other thoughts. I know why he is having a hard time and I am doing everything I can to help him. It is not about him in that sense; it is about me sharing with family and others what actually goes on. (Let me say that everyone is trying to be sympathetic, and that is why I have been sharing – sympathy is not needed. It is helpful.) I have another post that I had planned on writing about some things that have brought me great confusion in the last few days dealing with public humiliation. I hope to write it out tomorrow so that I will stop looping.

It made me very sensitive about sharing Daniel’s behaviors with people.

I have limited what I share because I understand what and why he is doing it, and trying to explain it can be difficult at times when it is so foreign to people. I have felt such emotional abandonment when trying to share. My words get cut off, implications get thrown about, or simple words like, “It’s going to get better now.” With the hint of, I have taken the matter up with God, so He’ll fix it now. As if I did not pray, plead, beg for several years. What about all of my prayers? I will not go into that. I have several sarcastic comments that I will not share, but I confess I am thinking them.

I seem to be the only one who understands.

It can make it very difficult for me at times, and I will be honest – I get tired. I get exhausted and I feel like no one understands what he or I go through. I want someone to understand. I also want others to know that Daniel is NOT just throwing a fit. He is NOT trying to be obstinate, or difficult. He is NOT just refusing to get into a car, or not listening. I want so much for people to understand. How to do you explain to someone that a child who used to ride in the car with no problems has become terrified of it?

How do you explain “car anxiety?”

I tried and people do not get it. In my attempts to share, I exposed Daniel. I noticed this morning when I was talking that he was listening to me. I think I was more attune because I have been researching public humiliation/manipulation, emotional abuse, and about the “new” types of discipline that parents have been doing with their children using social media. It made me wonder if I was making him feel uncomfortable by sharing the information about him. I looked at him and decided to talk to him about it here is the conversation.

Me: Daniel is it bothering you that mommy is talking about this?

Daniel: Uh, huh.

Me: Does it make you feel bad when I share this stuff?

Daniel: Uh, huh.

Me: Do you get upset when you do those things?

Daniel: Uh, huh.

Me: I know you try not to do those things. I am sorry Boo; I will stop talking about it.

Daniel: Ok (with a smile)

Me: Daniel do you know why I have been sharing that information with people?

Daniel: No, why?

Me: I want other people to understand what you go through. I want them to know what it is like for you. I am telling them how you have responded so they understand how hard it can be for you at times.

Daniel: Oh, ok, but I do not want to talk about it.

Me: Alright Boo, you know that mommy understands don’t you?

Daniel: Yes.

Me: Do you want a “squeeze’um?” (Deep pressure hug)

Daniel: (giggling) Yeah.

I have tried to be evasive when talking about Daniel’s “meltdowns” on here.

I would hate for him to read it when he is older and feel like I was humiliating him in anyway. I plan to explain to him anything I share has been to help me discover others who know what I am talking about to better help him and me. Or that I feel by my sharing the information that it was helping others. Sometimes though I share because I have nowhere else to go. I need to write it out and make it real for me so I do not fall into thinking that I am overreacting or something. My intentions are never to get sympathy or to make Daniel feel badly -EVER! I will tell him that too. I believe he knows this, and will when he gets older.

However, with all of this floating around in my head it has made me very aware of my words.

It made me very aware of how differently I see the lifelong commitment of being a parent is compared to a vast amount of other people. Not to compare in judgement it is an observation of how differently I can think compared to others. It made me step back and evaluate how I speak in front of my children, about them and about others. It made me fall into my past and see how often no one let me know that it was ok after my meltdowns. After my meltdowns, I was made to feel like a brat, selfish, wanting attention, or purposely trying to be difficult. These things were said in front of others. It made me feel ashamed or embarrassed. I am not saying it is ok for a child to be out of control, and require no discipline or helpful rules. There needs to be balance, but I think empathy goes along way. I think if the child feels heard, and understood, or in the very least accepted the communication can stay open.

I am happy that Daniel felt safe enough to tell me not to talk about it. 

I have explained to him that I do need to at times though, so people will understand to some extent. He is ok with that. I plan on working with Daniel to see how he would like me to express to others how he is feeling. My hope is that by modeling it he will be able to for himself. I am going to try to talk to him and see what plan we can have together to share with people why he responds(ed) in a certain way. I want him to feel understood, accepted, and if he knows why he was having a hard time, that he feels safe enough to share. I think that it is important that we talk about it with people who are willing to understand. I also believe that it is my responsibility to ensure that he is not feeling humiliated, embarrassed, or shameful in anyway. (I know I cannot protect him always, I am referring to my own actions, and words. As well as other authority figures that come into his life.) I wish I could make people understand. I wish there was an easy way to explain things where people did not have preconceived notions about a child “throwing a fit.”

In my experience with kids, many times they are not just acting out. 

There are some who are, but many of the cases that I have encountered there was much more going on. How did I discover that? I sat down with them, and talked to them. I showed them how important their words were, and who they were mattered to me. I do this with my kids too and I forget that other people do not see kids in the same way as I do. There are many people who do not look at my children and think that they have something of substance to contribute to the world at ages seven and six years old. I do, I and will try to help cultivate their voices, and their confidence. I think this is a huge milestone for Daniel. He expressed himself clearly – short and with few words, but clearly. Even though he was not able to go beyond asking me to stop, he still felt safe enough to say so.

I will respect that and do my best to ensure he knows I listened. 

Side Note: I wrote some of this last night, so the conversation actually happened yesterday morning. I do not know why I feel I must tell you all that bit of information, but I had to. My head is very fuzzy today. I am not feeling all that well so if this post seems off, or doesn’t make sense somewhere just let it slide. :-)  I will come and edit it when my head is better. M’kay!

 

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Nathaniel’s Photo Shoot (Mr. Cat)

I have two posts rolling around in my drafts that I have started. However, I am unable to complete them. They require mental energy that I do not have at the moment. This past week I have become the couch potato when everyone is off to bed. I have enjoyed my solitude very much. Me and the cat chillaxin’ in peace on the sofa, watching whatever flick grabs our attention. Well, my attention, the cat is mostly sleeping, mostly… that is unless I am like a shark slowly crawling on the floor, camera in hand ready to get the best kitty shot!

Yes, if you were to look into my windows you would see me hiding on the floor. 

Stalking my cat with my camera. OH! Lightening just lit up the sky! It was all purple and crashing loudly somewhere – thunder, counting, waiting for the lightening… sorry that was a “squirrel” instance. Indeed, I managed to annoy my favorite feline so much last night that he thumped his tail at me and even grabbed at the camera to take it is away. He scooped it with his paw and then, sniffed it.

It’s my entertainment in the wee hours of the night.

I have not been able to sleep most of this week. I figured I would go ahead and share Nathaniel’s pictures because I think he is such a handsome fellow. I will leave you with the star of the show as we meander into the other room for some movie time. I will be chowing on some oatmeal with strawberries, while Mr. Cat tries to figure out why his water jug is moving before he casually glides across the floor, hops onto the sofa, and licks himself with an attitude. As if I am disturbing him by meowing repeatedly, come on! What cat doesn’t love that? :-) (It’s raining, thundering, and lightening…oh, lights flickering!)

I should take a picture of his perplexity with his water jug thingy. 

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Recovery Time – Go Build Something!

I found some desks for the kids at Wal-Mart; (online) they were a great deal and free shipping. Each one got their own desk for their room. One of the problems I was having with school this past year was everyone needing their own space, and quiet. It was not working in our front schoolroom area in the last house because each one had specific needs. They are easily overloaded by the other with sounds, questions, not sitting still, etc… In addition, each one is at different stages of their learning and that can cause me to get flustered with their core curriculum.

When I do group lessons with specific crafts, projects, writings, what have you it is a not so bad.

However, now they each need their space and quiet in order to focus. The grades they are in require much more attention and structure. Joshua needs more of my attention and he cannot focus very well with others around. I am excited about their new learning space and our new schoolroom area where we will do our group projects. It is much more open and easier to clean! My desk is in that room as well so it makes it easier for me to hop on and check out something if I need to or pull up the resources, I want to use. I am using the “formal” dining room as schoolroom. It has a hideous glass chandelier that looks like a translucent octopus. Ha ha ha

They are all very excited about their desks and their own space as well. 

Ariel and I built hers yesterday. We had a lot of fun organizing all of our bits; whatnot’s, using the screwdrivers, and hammering away. It reminded me of my mom and me when I was little. (A story based on me and my mom We Don’t Need No Menz.) Ariel and I even broke a sweat and had to change into tank tops! Lol! She was so funny. “Mom, I am getting hot. This is some hard work.” She said while unbuttoning the top buttons of her shirt. I agreed and suggested we get on some tank tops. She read the directions, and made sure that I understood what I was I doing. She is very detailed, you know.

I am not sure what is going on lately, but she is really sticking close to me.

She has been asking for hugs, and is even saying, “I love you” back to me. Normally, she will hum the sound of it, or grunt it. Possibly, she needs that reassurance from the move, and all of social activities lately. I do not know, but I am happy to give her all that she needs and not smother her! We both need affection balance. It has helped me though having such affection with her, Daniel and Joshua. We seem to be hugging and saying more things that are affectionate then we had been. I am glad that I am able to do that with my kids. I wish my mom had been able to with my sisters and myself.

I am thankful that she has been able to be that way with her grandchildren though.

I need to call my mom. Honestly, I cannot pick up the phone. The sound of the ringing is making me cry. My confusing aunt called me Sunday night, then last night. My mom’s friend called me, I am getting text messages from people, someone else called me, but I haven’t been able to check any of my messages. I let the battery run out, and then I stuffed it in my purse. I charged it up and discovered my sister had made it in town a day earlier. I did text her and said that I was happy she made it, but that I was not answering my phone. Daniel’s Hex Larva broke and it turned into not a very good day. We are all on the verge of something. The thought of the phone is too overwhelming for me. I had thought earlier that maybe it was better for me to live in a cave, in seclusion, and get rid of my phone.

I took a deep breath and decided that was not a good idea. 

I am going to have to find my social balance. I took control today because I knew that my dad and step mom are here helping my sister. There was no way I, or the kids could handle a “pop in” like last time. If they tried calling and I did not answer then, just showed up, I would have collapsed on the floor, and Daniel would have tried to run out the door I am sure. Ariel and Joshua have hit their max too and I am stretched thin with helping all of them seek balance, along with myself. That is why I sent a text to my sister. I am too exhausted, and emotionally fragile to deal with family right now.

It does not mean I do not love them – I need a break. (Big sigh…) 

I have pictures of Ariel and I building the desk, and some crows who knows what I else I have in there. I do enjoy building things, it helps my mind get focused and forget about things that are bothering me. I like reading the instructions, putting everything in order, hmm… order, BUT sometimes it is a big pain in the booty! Especially, when instructions do not make any sense. There were moments of frustration with the desk – we still had fun. :-) Oh, I did get some storm cloud pictures, but not very good images because the lightening was zapping around me so I thought it best to get myself inside! I shall be off with the kiddies in social/emotional/sensory overload recovery. Bye now!

 

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