I have been thrown into a state of confusion all week. This week was the beginning of many changes in my personal schedule, David’s schedule, and back to school for the kids. Before winter break the school made several changes to Daniel’s therapy sessions with added OT therapy for Joshua I was starting to get very overwhelmed. I missed times and sessions because I simply forgot. They had changed therapists and times on me so many times that my brain got frazzled. It was too much for me to try to get the kids to focus on their end of semester schoolwork and keep up with the sudden change of a new Speech therapist and new days/times for Daniel, trying to set up days/times for Joshua’s OT, and meet with teachers for fall reading sessions etc… In addition, David was leaving for meetings in the middle of the day or at night upsetting my scheduled workout sessions.
AND there were snow storms that caused my workout sessions to be cancelled.
I was struggling with my chaotic mind when winter break started unleashing the holiday season festivities. While all of that went well, we were not on any sort of schedule as I had hoped. We had one of the best holidays we have ever had with our quaint Christmas week with each other, but David was on vacation. Though he works from home when he is on vacation it is a different dynamic. He is downstairs more. He talks to me more. He does things with the kids, gets them all wild then, goes back to upstairs not thinking of the consequences. He was in and out meeting with people in town as well. It was a lot of disruptions that I am not accustomed to. I get bent out of shape, not in a negative way, but I have to remind him of what those things do to the kids and the “ecosystem” I have going on down here sometimes.
Two weeks of no schedule!
The Y takes a winter break too for certain sessions, so most of my scheduled sessions were not in progress. I tried to do different sessions which, was more change and meeting new people. The week of New Year’s many of my family members came in and we visited with them. That was another set of emotional chaos and processing that my mind was trying to make sense of – it did not catch up with me until yesterday. I have been out of sorts for days. I have been an emotional roller coaster and I did not understand why. I would think I would get it by now, but I do not. One of the reasons is that when my mind goes into this intense set of changes it combs over and processes my past unlocking fears, pains, and things that I have not dealt with and/or understood.
I thought I was going to be alright with school starting back up.
I was looking forward to it in order to get back on track. I was getting my mind wrapped around our new schedules. I had written all of them down in a calendar to help me. I put the schedule in the online school calendar. I put my new schedule and the school schedule into my Google calendar. I was set! Then, over the weekend I received an email from Daniel’s OT. She had to stop being his OT and he was now going to be with Joshua’s OT on a new day and time. After a few rounds of email confusion, she was apologetic in telling me that she was not going to be able to have a “good-bye” session with Daniel and he would start Monday morning at 8 am with his new OT. (I have not included how the kids are having their own challenges with change and transitions, but I will say they seem to be doing better than I have been.) Sunday we had an ice storm – my Monday morning cycle session was cancelled.
The ice stayed and the temperature dropped – my Tuesday morning boot camp session was cancelled.
For some people this may not be a big deal, just go with the flow Angel! Well, it took a lot for me to work myself up to decide to go to morning sessions. It changes the time that I get up and the whole flow of the day. Not only that there is a social element that I have to prepare myself for, I am walking into new faces and new personalities. I have been going to night sessions for over a year and I am familiar with the faces. I have people that I know that I can talk to it took a long time for me to be able to do that. Now I have to go through that process again. I had mentally prepared to be ready for my new sessions, but that stirs anxious thoughts. I have to prepare socially and emotionally even if I do not talk to one single person.
To gear up for that and then, have it cancelled makes me emotional.
The unexpected request from teachers and trying to get Daniel to finish school tests for fall evaluations was stressful. An unexpected request by Daniel’s teacher to read with her yesterday caused me to blank out and completely forget his Speech session – that made me feel awful. When I miss appointments it makes me feel so badly and for some reason “failure” automatically pops in my head. Even before that happened I found myself for days feeling depressive thoughts. I had negative words bombarding my mind. Little things that family said or did NOT say replayed like a broken record. I started to pick apart things about myself. I began to feel purposeless. I started to think that I was not a worthy contributor to anything. I felt like I had nothing to share with the Autism community.
I started to question if I should take my blog down and give up writing.
I began to feel that there was no need to share my poems or reach out. I will be honest these thoughts are still roaming in my head. I am not sure why they come in such attack, but I have discovered a pattern. They come on full force when I am not in a routine. They come when I feel like my life is in chaos. They come when I am changing many things in my life. When I am in transition, if one things goes wrong I start to waver. However, when many things unravel and my plans do not work the way that I intended the words failure, hopeless, and lacking purpose infiltrate my mind. They become worse when I feel that my accomplishments are ignored and invalided by people (family) who, by societal rules, are supposed to be my biggest supporters. It hurts and it is confusing.
I wrestled for several days with depression and negative thinking.
I still am, but now my thoughts are clearer. Yesterday, when I found myself sobbing on the floor feeling like my heart had been ripped out of my chest I was so frustrated. I do not want to feel these things. I do not want to go through such turmoil. I do not want to be confused as to why I am crying or feeling deep emotional angst. However, I cannot stop it. The positive from all of it was that the tears were a release from all of the changes and unexpectedness that had occurred over these couple of weeks. I was able to process after the tears came and in that I realized that much of this had to with many of these changes I shared in this post. There is another aspect as well. I have been struggling with the feeling that I am floating in limbo. I feel that I have lost some part of my identity and I am not sure why.
I do not know where I belong.
I do not have a network of friends in real life and I cannot seem to keep up with online relationships either. In order to be active with the community you have to be out there, but I simply cannot give the time and effort because my time needs to be focused at home with my kids. I have also, been transitioning with my relationship with David and it takes a lot out of me. I am still working on a post to try to explain our transition, but it is emotional and I feel vulnerable so it makes it harder to get out. For several months, I have been wondering what to do next. I have thought long and hard about this blog and my poetry blog. The last few days, I felt that they were of no importance to anyone so why should I put myself out there. Those thoughts come from a lifetime of being invalidated.
Why does my mind go to such extremes?
I do feel that I have changed and my writing has changed as well. I find it scary. I am ready to move forward and see what lies ahead, BUT what am I going to do? How am I going to transition if I have no idea what to do? What kind of changes do I want to make? When I shared some of this with David he went into his rapid fire “idea mode.” I felt my mind turn into a word and image tornado swelling in my head making me feel worse. He forgets that it does not help me; it is his way of processing. I told him that he had to stop and I was able to express what I truly felt without shutting down. It was a surprise to me, but these words came out, “I need to accomplish something. I have got to do something more. I need to feel like I am contributing and have a purpose.” Through that I was able refocus and come up with some plans that I want to achieve.
If I do not feel like I am achieving anything I feel negative about myself.
Any attempt at achievement that does not work derails me into a tailspin of depressive thoughts and negative thinking patterns. I did not realize how derailed and negative I can get when things do not go as planned. Most of my life I have internalized this even though I have written about some of this on prior posts , it was still only my voice filtering. I was unaware of how damaging it was until I was able to communicate more of these things out loud. I was actually hearing what I was saying about myself and it was a little shocking because I do not really feel these things. I have created a negative loop coping mechanism when I do not know how to cope with changes in my life or the unknown transitions that I am facing. I feel a bit lost because I am in a transition within myself that has no name or clear direction, but I hope to work through it with a positive mindset. One of my goals is to work on how to process change, transitions, and the feeling of being discombobulated in a healthier way.
A few reads.
- STRESS & AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS
- Aspergers & the Alien: Dealing with Stress
- Coping with Change and Transition in Life