I wanted to share my other post about idealized love, but I still do not feel like it is right. (ready) My head is trying to process “obsessive” love at the moment and how there can be misread signs of an Aspergers person falling into this. I have even questioned myself as to whether I had obsessive love for someone. For me I find that thought frightening – I would never want to be that way toward another human being. I do not believe that I ever have.
The first line of the definition is:
“Obsessive love is a state in which one person feels an overwhelming obsessive desire to possess another person toward whom they feel a strong attraction, with an inability to accept failure or rejection.” I do not feel that Aspergers for the most part are actually doing this in the sense of wanting to “posses” another person. I think we become overwhelmed with emotion for the person and our inability to quickly process or understand our emotions can cause us to become fixated on the person to the point of feeling like an obsession. The initial connection to a person whether a friend or love interest can be new, confusing, intense, and override our senses.
There is also the added lack of understanding of social cues, so we may be obsessed because we do not know how the person feels about us.
That could lead into fears, confusion, and anxieties causing us to misread words, actions, body language, and creating loops about every single encounter we have ever had. I have no clear knowledge on the topic, but it seems like our chemical reactions could go into hyper-drive. Especially, if we have found someone that has perked our interest when so many others seem lackluster and insufficient in comparison to the simplicity we can have simply engulfing ourselves in our special interests. Still I am processing and have no clear ideals or answers so my musings are to help my brain process. Possibly others will gain from my ponderings and whatnot’s.
Alrighty, on to my topic of the day. (May venture into another side topic that is swimming in my head for a brief moment.)
I have been paying close attention to my anxiety triggers for the last month. I have been detailing words and actions that cause a physical reaction in my body in order to discern what is actually happening. For years, I have allowed the physical affects to pass by without any thought. I did not think I could do anything about it. Several years ago, when I started to research anxiety I realized that it could cause certain physical reactions.
I had no prior knowledge about anxiety, really.
I had always assumed that there was something wrong with me. I assumed that I was the only one who ever felt that way. This was not the case at first. When I had anxiety as a child I assumed that everyone else felt exactly what I felt and could not understand why they would get so upset, frustrated, or confused by me. It took a while, but I finally concluded that I HAD to be the only one.
Now I know that I am not.
I was so comforted in discovering that others knew what I was and had gone through with my anxiety and panic attacks. It has taken me several years to get to the point where I finally realized that I could detect my triggers. There are several reasons for that, but I will not go into it. SO! Today was the first day that I watched the manifestation of what a trigger could do to me mentally. It may sound strange, but in a way, I stepped outside of myself and paid close attention to what happened to me both physically and mentally.
It started with the trigger.
I was happy this morning. I was feeling really good. Daniel and I went grocery shopping together on Saturday and he did great. We both had fun and we recovered rather quickly from the sensory assaults that attack in a Wal-Mart. Sunday was a great day with the kids and me. Then, Monday we went to a new park and met Daniel and Ariel’s virtual teacher for the first time, in the physical world. These were some pretty big things in just a few days and everyone was still feeling and doing well. Today, I was feeling a little overwhelmed because I have not had a break in a while. My grandma has been sick and going to my spin class is not really a break because I take Ariel with me so she can get some social time. (And get away from the boys for a while.)
I was still feeling pretty good. I decided to set up eye exams for the kids.
I made the appointments online, which I liked very much. They called me to get everything squared away, we are not set yet, but it is in the works. I share that because one thing that my anxiety can feed on is WAITING! The unknown, the unanswered, the forever-lingering appointments, telephone call, email???? Here is where the trigger comes. I am all fine and dandy be-bopping proud of myself for making the appointments and I go to share. Then, I am told about how so and so went to their appointment and they got a bad prescription when they were a kid and it caused problem.
There was first a bunch of other words spoken that felt like a bunch of bees swarming my head.
When the negative prescription comment was made I felt a tinge in my heart. I say tinge because I do not know how else to describe it. It is the slightest of painful tickle. That is the best I can do. It feels like black and silver prickly thorns barely tapping at my heart.
It does not hurt badly, but just enough to cause an ache.
I tried to combat it with my own confident words knowing full well I am capable of taking my children to the eye doctor and ensuring that they get the best attention and care. I felt confident in myself after the words, but the tinge started to swarm my whole heart. It trickled into my belly. Self-doubt started to creep in. My mind started to wander and I went to facebook, which I knew that I should not go.
I went onto facebook and started reading into things that people posted. I started to have the thoughts that I have no friends. That no one notices when I am not around. I stopped and stared at my computer screen knowing full well what I was doing. Instead of feeding it, I made myself sit there and feel it. I accepted the fears and the irrational thoughts of my anxiety. I knew what exactly caused it. My mood went from happy to irritable and somewhat sad. I knew what was happening, but I could not stop it. I decided that I needed to ride it out.
I forced myself not to take things personally that I saw on facebook.
I reminded myself that these thoughts were fleeting and they are not absolute truth. I was doing much better, but still feeling off. This is when I took notice of how I interpreted things that I read. Articles or posts that had the slightest trigger for me caused an instant irritation and a desire to go into a full on 2000 word rant. I stopped myself. Here is my sidetrack moment though. Today I saw this:
I will be honest it ticked me off. After my last post, expressing some things in regards to this it just really irked me. I have more in my other post about idealized love too on this topic. I am not going to go into my full rant, but what I would REALLY like to see is some more Aspergers men share their feelings about this.
How do you feel about your spouse or partner feeling this way?
Have they tried to understand you or have they automatically assumed all of your Asperger traits make you distant, cold, and insensitive? Do they have any idea how you show affection? Are all of the issues perceived through their perceptions? Does ANYONE ever stop and think of the WHY an Autistic person may seem distant, cold, and insensitive other than through their own expectations that they claim are not being met?
Look, I know I may sound like I am taking sides here; maybe I am a little bit.
HOWEVER, I ask you for a moment to consider how difficult it can be to go through an entire life undiagnosed. Can you consider for a moment what it is like to feel so incredibly different and not know why? Think about how much of an Autistic person’s life could have been filled with constant confusion and lack of empathy from others.
Then, as an Autistic you are continually told how much you lack empathy or emotion.
Think about our world, our world, our minds do not process or think in the same ways and we are bombarded with this world that we live in telling us how wrong we are for being the way we are. We are told how we need to change to make others feel loved. We need to learn how to express emotion, thoughts, and learn to communicate in ways that can feel foreign and unnatural? I am not against compromise, but I wonder … I wonder.
Sigh … I will stop because I am not sure if I am making any sense.
Back to my anxiety – I am passionate about understanding relationships. I understand both sides for Autistics and nonautisitics. I do realize the difficultly and pain that others may be feeling, but I felt a mass amount of irritation today about it. I felt my belly on fire and I felt like it was an injustice to portray us in such generalized ways. (Well that is injustice.) My agitation was heightened because of my anxiety. I would not normally linger with the feelings of irritation and annoyance. I can usually see their point, have my reaction, and then, quickly move on with sympathy for all parties. My anxiety kept the negative feelings lingering.
By 3:00 pm, I was feeling fatigued and sick.
My brain was fuzzy, my stomach hurt, and I started to have signs of allergy symptoms. Daniel had his tutor coming so I had to keep my social mask on; it was a social encounter by that point I was not looking forward to. It did help that I understood why I felt the way I did. The tutoring session went well, but my sensory sensitivities heightened causing even more irritation. I was starting to get irritated and hurt by her because she kept staring at my birthmark. I normally, hide it pretty well just so I do not have to deal with that too, but I was too tired today.
This caused me to have another trigger of insecurity.
I have so many traumas wrapped up into my birthmark that if I am vulnerable in any way it can send me into tears if someone stares at it. By 4:15 pm, I was ready for bed. Of course, I could not go to bed. I shook it off reminding myself that I have no idea what she was thinking and WHO CARES anyway! I have three little ones to take care of I do not need to concern myself with things like that. Instead, I read books in the living room to them. Daniel was on the chair with me and Ariel and Joshua played while listening.
After dinner, I had to lay on the couch for a little bit.
Ariel lay with me while the boys played and we watched Seinfeld and then, The Brady Bunch because they had never seen it before. Daniel asked me to turn it off. Lol! He said, “I do not like the sound that the show makes.” I am not sure what that means, but I turned it off. After that, I got up did the dishes and decided to take a shower. I felt much better and realized that I should probably document all of this to help me process.
Who knows maybe someone else knows what I am talking about or can relate!
Writing all of this I understand how one perceived negative comment (and bombarding of unnecessary words and negative tales) could spin me into a tinge of anxiety. I now know what it means when I get that tinge in my heart. Since, I allowed myself to “experience” all of this I think I am better equipped to redirect myself next time. I also understand that my many social and sensory situations have made me more vulnerable and sensitive. This week is packed. Grandma is supposed to come on Thursday if she feels well (a lingering unknown), I am still waiting for the exact date of the eye exams, and on Friday they are working on the house. I have to think of something to do with the kids away from the house because they will be putting in insulation, it has to be done inside the house. (Oh, and I have an appointment with my therapist on Friday afternoon.) More lingering unknowns … unsettled anxieties.
Knowing is half the battle!
Some excellent read for the day. (Could[should] bring awareness and perspective.)