Tag Archives: lonely

Intermission Post – Keeping It Thanksgiving Lite! (Kind Of)

I figured I would hold off on my next “intense” post and keep chipper. :-) Well maybe not chipper, maybe less intense? Maybe half the calories in this post than, usual? ūüėČ My brain is musing so I will need to write a little bit about what I am feeling so I can move on. I am feeling much less anxious this year at the start of the holidays. My heart does not feel as trampled upon as in years past, as. Today I looked out the window and had flashes of my dad, step mom, and my sisters all spending Thanksgiving together and I did not feel the usual hurt. I felt fine, but the lingering feeling of being left out and kind of sad struck me. I told David and expressed my confusion because Thanksgiving was never a big holiday time with my dad.

I did not spend much time with that side of the family during Thanksgiving, so I could not understand my connection to feeling left out. 

In addition, I am not being left out. Our family is welcome to come, but there is no way that we can make road trips. They live three and half hours away. Daniel still cannot handle being in the car for long periods of time and both Ariel and Joshua get car sick easily; so it is not an option. David shared his thoughts that possibly it was because Thanksgiving is so focused on family and since, I have this feeling of disconnect and not belonging that I may feel this sense of being left out. I am sure that plays into my feelings. I am happy with our tradition of staying home and spending time with the kids. Honestly, I am not a big fan of many holiday foods. I find many of the smells repulsive. Food makes me uncomfortable and the whole idea of sitting around eating with family and friends makes me want to burst into tears. I cannot even sit at the kitchen table with David and the kids. I hate being around people when I eat, HATE it!

Sorry, little tangent.

I make my version of a Thanksgiving dinner – David only requests stuffing and some sort of dessert that brings him the nostalgic feeling from his childhood. I have done my best to create that with my tasty gluten-free deliciousness … it has taken a couple of years to get them to be tasty.¬†Food science rules!¬†This year is going to be a little different. In the past, I have been so exhausted, mentally drained, and/or overwhelmed with emotions, PTSD connected to the holidays, and from Daniel being overwhelmed from the beginning of October to November until around February that I have taken days like Thanksgiving and completely shut down. I would make all the food, take every ounce of my energy to get the tree up then, I would go tuck myself away onto the computer trying to escape or work through all of the jumbled thoughts vexing me.

I do not feel that way this year.

Daniel has not been in his nonstop fall/winter overwhelmed mode this year. I am having a few flashes of the past, but I am not reliving trauma as I have done. I have found tears suddenly flow and pain in my heart, but I have also found healing from embracing those emotions and not ruminating over them. Tomorrow, I hope to spend much of the day cooking (I love to cook), hanging out with the kids and watching goofy movies, putting up our new tree that already has lights SO I DO NOT have to put them on, (bane of my existence, Christmas lights Aaaaggggg!) and enjoying myself. That would include limiting my social media exposure on my personal fb page. :-) When I see pictures of my family being happy, loving on each other, sharing their pictures together it feeds into feelings of not belonging.

It can also, fuel social confusion because many times how they treat and talk to or about each other does not match how much love they are showing in their pictures.  

I do not mind that I am not there. I am happy for them to spend that time together Рit does bring me joy to see them happy. However, it hurts too because it is connected to so many holidays that I have felt lonely. The reality is that I feel lonely when I am with them too. I may even feel lonelier at times because it makes me so aware of how much they do not know me and I do not know them. It makes me lonely because when I share my thoughts I feel like a foreigner speaking a different language with those I am connected to genetically. Then, again I do enjoy watching them, listening to them, appreciating their uniqueness, and analyzing family dynamics. I do, they make me smile and I am intrigued by who they are РI guess sometimes I feel so alone because no one else seems to share those same thoughts.

Enough of all that!

I am excited about tomorrow and I think it will be one of our best Thanksgivings. I am thankful that Daniel is feeling so much better this year. He has had a few days that have been rough, but nothing like the past years. It makes my heart sing when he is a happy fella. All the kids are struggling to get school done; they are too excited and anxious. I give them props for pushing through and working so hard when they want so much to quit. We all need a couple of days away from school. I have not told them yet, but on Saturday we are going to our little cousin’s birthday party. We have not been to a birthday party since, my nephew’s several years ago.

It went ok, but when we got home that was another story. 

I think this time it will be different and I believe Daniel is going to have a great time. I cannot tell him yet because it will turn from excitement to terrible anxiety. I will print out the map of where we are going, show him pictures of them and their house, prepare cupcakes for him to eat, and give him the schedule of the party to help ease some of the anxiety and excitement. Thankfully, it is only two hours the little guy is turning one year old so he will max out by then too. There will be familiar family members and a safe environment so I have hope that it is going to be a positive experience all around.

I know I shared some of the negative emotions that linger for me, but there have been many positives this fall. 

I confess, it feels good to be invited to a family event where I do not have any negative associations. I only recently started to have more contact with this cousin and it has been all positive. I feel no “weirdness” like judgment or that underlining “this is making me uncomfortable” feeling from her when I talk about Daniel or when she is around him – that feels really good. I am kind of excited too because David is coming. For the longest time, he has been checked out when it comes to family events. He stayed home while the kids and I did things. It is nice to have him come and participate in these things. There have been a lot of changes going on in our lives for the better.

I cannot believe I am going to say this, but this year I am thankful for change. WHAT?? 

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Empowerment and Validation

I spent a lifetime feeling invalidated, I was struck with even more of this when I became a parent. It is interesting how quickly people give advice or communicate how they feel you are doing it wrong. I found this harsh reality even more when it came from mothers, not only special needs ones. People can be so judgmental and down right hateful at times to mothers. I know this happens to fathers too, but there is a foreboding myth that if something is “wrong” with a child, the mother is at fault. Are we still getting blamed for the sex of the child? There is another aspect that plays into this as well and that is the “mom comparison,” which I find frustrating. I wrote about it in this post¬†The Mom Spectrum.

I witnessed even more harshness when it came to special needs mothers.

However, I can really only comment on what I have experienced and witnessed. The moms that I have encountered who do not have special needs children, have given me unwanted advice, made ridiculous comments, or stayed silent and acted like I had the plague. Not all, but many did (do) respond like this.¬†The few parents and organizations I had contact with during the beginning of our journey invalidated me as a parent.¬†When I allowed Daniel to behave certain ways, they scolded me in “loving ways” and made me feel that I did not know what was best for my child. If I did not correct Daniel when he hand-flapped, made loud stimming noises, ran the perimeter of the building, did not make eye contact, and the countless other things I “allowed” him to do, they politely told me that they did not allow their child to do that or they shared (without my asking) how they helped their child to stop such¬†behaviors.

 I wish I could say that this has stopped, but sometimes this still happens. 

Some people seem to feel that it is their place to help me help Daniel.¬†While, I will embrace any suggestions that are constructive, I do not take kindly to people telling me that I “need to correct” my son or any of my children. I found myself doubting my intuition and the sound information I had been reading about autism.¬†Ironically, I found much more support from the pediatrician and therapists we had at the time.¬†I have heard and read from many parents who did not have such positive experiences.¬†One of the most empowering experiences that set the tone for our transition to a more positive journey was with the therapists and pediatrician we had at the time Daniel started the diagnosis process. His doctor had a nephew who was diagnosed with Aspergers.

She had no doubt that Daniel was Autistic.

She took charge by having her staff set up all of the evaluations that we needed. (You can read some of that story¬†here.) I went in expecting to plead my case, but I didn’t have to.¬†She validated and supported me.¬†She also did not have a negative perspective. She was comforting with a direct and enthusiastic approach to early intervention. She also didn’t push ABA type of therapies – her main focus was getting a diagnosis, speech, and OT therapy and detecting any possibilities of other conditions such as sight or hearing problems. It was challenging because I had mixed emotions: on one hand I was happy to start the process of finding answers and to have someone believe me; on the other, I was nervous about Daniel being Autistic. What does that mean?¬†At the time, I was torn between my church family who “believed” for Daniel’s healing and telling me that autism was not of God and a medical environment that was giving me answers.

It was a great emotional battle within myself.

At church, I was told not to trust doctors or labels, (which I would now use the word diagnosis instead of labels) as well as being accused of my sin causing his autism. When that ticked me off and I spoke out refusing such nonsense, they went after David saying that his sin caused it. There were many other things that happened as well. We ended up leaving that church and found another church a year later; (I think that is an accurate time frame, OH, and sorry to the folks who have read all that before thank you for still reading! :-)) that was much more knowledgeable of autism and supportive of us. However, it was difficult to keep my hope, dealing with my own personal challenges of social confusion, depression, and anxieties. I cried a lot. I felt desperate much of the time because I was confused and did not know which direction to go.

When the doctor validated my concerns, it helped motivate me to follow my gut.

The therapists built into me even more and gave me answers. They gave me a whole new understanding about what Daniel was going through and ways to help him. They did a mixture of ABA type of methods, but mostly they showed me how to work with Daniel’s strengths and positive reinforcement. Instead of treating his behaviors as things to be corrected, they established a relationship with him and me. It made it more difficult when our insurance ran out and we could not qualify for services any longer. These ladies gave me hope and used words like “different” ways of processing and “every child developes at their own pace.” It was a nurturing and caring environment. Importantly, they too were encouraged that¬†I¬†wanted to be with Daniel for every session and that I asked them questions about his behaviors and why he did them.

I requested resources to do it at home. I had my doubts that I could help Daniel.

I even asked them do you think I can do this with him? Will I be able to help him? These ladies encouraged me and shared that they had no doubt that I could. They empowered me to believe in my abilities to know my son and to help him. I did not go into those therapies without knowledge. I had already researched every word and therapy the pediatrician had used and/or jotted down. I am not always able to help Daniel or Joshua. There are days when I am at a loss and I am perplexed by their behaviors. Why one day something works, but the next day it does not can make me feel flustered and lose my bearings. What if I have been doing it wrong the whole time!!

As you can see, I still had my doubts and I still do Рalways. 

I think if I did not I would not be able to learn or challenge my own paradigms. “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.” ~¬†Richard P. Feynman.¬†This holds as long as those doubts do not cause me to put all of my trust in others without any discernment. My doubts help me to have the wisdom to know when I have exhausted all of my knowledge and know when I need to ask for help.¬†What I learned from them was not what I have read about when it comes to typical ABA methods, and I am grateful for that. They gave me positive approaches to look at my son and myself. They taught me and educated me – they believed in me and Daniel.

I felt more empowered by being validated by the psychologist who diagnosed me. 

She validated many things for me. Gaining my diagnosis helped me to transition into fully embracing myself and empowered me to regain my voice. It had been distorted and confused with so many other voices that I was in a muddled hole reaching for a way out. Those voices still come РI have to work at quieting them. They ring their echoes every time someone misunderstands me or my actions. They come up and stab me with violence whenever I read negative perspectives about autism. They lurk about creeping and tickling at my ears whenever I cannot help Daniel or I feel too overwhelmed to handle life. However, what I realized through all of this was that in the face of invalidation and being stripped of feeling empowered, that I have been validating and empowering myself all along.

I would not have made it this far in my life if I had not.

I believe that goes for many of us. The world tries to make us feel weak, other people try to make us feel weak because of how they were made to feel weak or invalidated. Autism is not all sunshine and rainbows – some days I want my brain to stop. I want the intense emotions and anxieties to stop – my own and my children’s. However, during the most difficult of days I no longer feel hopeless. I have many answers and many times I know how to handle my situations in our ways that work best for us.¬†I am validated and empowered in my decisions because I had people believe in me and trust my judgments, but mostly they confirmed that I was already capable.

I had people come along and drown out the voices of negativity and lead me to a path of ability Рit will be a lifelong path. 

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Autism Speaks – House of Cards – Similar?

Am I comparing Autism Speaks to the Netflix show¬†House of Cards?¬†Why indeed I am. I watched the series just this week and noticed similarities in the politics of one’s personal agenda that led to¬†the underhanded, spiderwebish manipulations, the ego-stroking, strong-arming, and fear-mongering of people and their destruction, without a single thought or care. I have yet, to hear or read the countless ways Autism Speaks has actually helped families – they are a directory of support. They funnel you through all sorts of links (link farm) and can connect you to the services that have shared their link/contact information with them. They do offer tool kits, blog posts sharing the latest Autism news or scientific “breakthroughs”, and other tidbits of information that may be beneficial to people.

However, on a personal level, I honestly have not seen much evidence of their contributions in real-life scenarios.

The local chapters I’ve contacted, in the early years, were happy to direct me to therapists and tried to convince me to jump on board with their local walks and fund-raising, but they could not help me directly with our financial burden and lack of insurance. That is my experience; maybe others have had more beneficial outcomes. After my experience, I pretty much forgot about them because my time was better spent on helping my child in our everyday life. Because they could not help, I did not see a reason to support them. My little bit of money went toward used books so I could learn about Autism, Occupational and Speech therapies, sensory processing disorder, and purchasing the cheap equivalents to the items that I needed to do the therapies.

I still had very little knowledge about Autism Speaks at the time.

Through the years, I have seen the damage that their negativity has caused in the Autism community. I sobbed for days when I saw the “I Am Autism” video. Keep in mind; I did not know that I too was Autistic then. When I watched it, my heart felt like it was being cut into shreds. I thought of Daniel and could not understand how people could say such things especially, in such a terrifying way. For some insight at the time, Daniel was in full on meltdown and self-injurious mode hours and hours at a time not stopping for days. That went on for a few years, but I try not to talk about it unless I feel it will help someone gain understanding. I do not talk about all of the other things that happened either – I won’t.

I was exhausted and desperate and still could not look at my son or Autism in such a negative way.

I wanted the suffering to stop, but I knew there had to be better answers than, medications or “fixing” him.¬†Autism Speaks keeps a nice divide between parents and those who are Autistic.¬†They manage to keep an image of an Autistic child who never seems to grow up. Any chances of their adulthood are bleak, miserable, of no value at best. I believe this is part of their marketing ploy because it helps keep their message on the front lines – practically anyone can empathize with a suffering parent and a child “who seems trapped” inside themselves. It was not a huge public deal when they appointed John Elder Robison to their¬†Scientific Advisory Board. After¬†Suzanne Wright’s recent statement¬†Autism Speaks to Washington – A Call for Action, he has resigned (see¬†I resign my roles at Autism Speaks).¬†

I had great hopes that they would listen to him and see from a different perspective.

I had hoped this would manifest an open line of communication between those who have the money and those who are Autistic ¬†‚Äď it seemed as though their efforts were merely token.¬†They have wasted a valuable gift – a voice that can speak for those children and enlighten parents.¬†Not only him, but the multitudes of us who can speak or type or draw or use some sort of technological device to share what is going on in the minds of Autistics. I do not claim that we know every person’s child.¬† There is no way any person can understand another’s situation fully. Each of us are different, I have two boys on the spectrum, and they are very different. I am very different from my mother, but we do have many similarities and insights.

I find it perplexing that people continue to guess, wonder, and sit in despair about their child (ren) when WE ARE HERE.

We DO have some answers and can be beneficial. What I find incredibly ironic is that people feel desperate, yet they continue to listen to messages that feed their fear.¬†The many Autistics (verbal and non-verbal) offer you hope. We offer helpful, useful, and practical information. I have read from some parents who feel attacked for wanting a cure for their child and I have seen them attacked. I want to share a little from my perspective with no hostility or condemnation toward you. I understand what it is like to watch my child suffer and not have any way to help him. I understand the desire to “fix” and want a child to be able to do “normal” things. I understand the desire to have a “normal” life. I understand not wanting to be exhausted, fatigued, and longing to have a day where you do not feel alone.

I understand the fight you feel everyday and that some days it feels like too much to get out of bed.

However, you do it. You find some sort of strength. You find your hope, you squeeze something out to motivate yourself, and most likely, it is the love that you have for your child. The medical community and professionals who feel they know what is best have bombarded us with information about Autism. I believe that that it is important to take into consideration what the professionals have to say, I also, believe that it is vital to the community that people remain open to hear what Autistics have to say and bring balance. There are also the pseudoscience folks who can give you all sorts of hope. They give you answers and in some cases, these things can work; however, in some cases, it makes things worse. Ultimately, you are looking for hope and answers. Why not ask Autistics? Why not speak to us?

I am very confused by the rejection and hostility that is the community.

I can understand that both sides feel unheard and feel that the other cannot empathize, but that is not true. I am on both sides: an Autistic with Autistic children. I have experienced firsthand the rejection and pain of being Autistic, but not knowing that I was Autistic. Then, rejoicing in finally having answers only to have it stripped from me because of the attitudes and actions from organizations like Autism Speaks. I find it even more confusing that people would give large sums of money to an organization that fails to give funds toward helping Autistics and very little goes into research. I am baffled that people do not question that the founders themselves are professional marketers. They are business people and know how to brand, manipulate media, and redirect the focus or blame.

They have connections and money.  

Many of us in the Autism community are scraping and clawing trying to get services. We are on waiting lists, sitting in IEP meetings. We are praying and pleading that our child(ren) will qualify while these people are going to galas, rubbing elbows with politicians, and playing with large sums of money that will not go toward research to advance therapies, methods, or implement strategies for helping Autistics and their families. I know that I can get lost into my “connections” and thoughts, but the other night while watching House of Cards, I was struck with thoughts about Autism Speaks and their connections with the government. That may sound like a conspiracy theory, but in saying this, my intent is not in that direction.

My true thoughts are Autism Speaks is not helping the people that they claim to be helping.

In the political arena, it seems that money comes in droves when you focus the message on children. I have not dug too deeply into Autism Speaks, but I really do not need to understand the political gains that can manifest from such an organization. Maybe it started out as something else, but as it is in its current state, I would say that it is a brilliant smokescreen for something else. What that is I have not a clue, nor do I care. What I do care about is trying to help people understand that they are not helping the Autistic community by ignoring Autistics. They are not helping families by feeding them fear or promises of cures. Their ‚Äúscientific‚ÄĚ contributions has not brought any great understanding or eased anyone‚Äôs suffering.

I have no respect for how they handle their business.

Have they helped people? I am sure they have in limited ways. Many organizations end up helping some people, but I do not think they are in the “helping” business. I think they are in the political financial business. I do not feel that they offer lasting real hope and I do not believe their efforts have made a positive impact on the Autism community. Their name, emblem, and color are so dominating and “pretty” that they have drown out the voices who continue to scream until we are hoarse. They are in Washington D.C. dominating while our small voices are trying to burst through and create a powerful blast to bust open the fa√ßade that they have created. Though I cannot speak for anyone else, I believe that many of us Autistic and Alltistic alike want to change the paradigm of how people view Autism.

I do not believe that Autism Speaks speaks for Autistics or parents/caregivers of Autistics ‚Äď I think they speak for themselves.

I accept that some Autistics wish for a cure. They are unhappy and in tremendous pain. I do not want to dismiss their feelings. I have had my moments of having these types of feelings. I wanted Daniel ‚Äúhealed‚ÄĚ when we discovered he was Autistic. However, over the years, I have witnessed huge changes in Daniel since I adopted a more accepting mindset. I have had major changes within myself since I have become more accepting of myself. I cannot say that would work for everyone and I do not speculate that it would. However, it isn’t right that Autism Speaks is the loudest, most powerful voice for those who are Autistic and those who care for those who are Autistic. I am excited to see so many parents speaking up and letting Autism Speaks know that they do not speak for them.

They have hope. They are the change.

I am excited to see my fellow Autistics standing together to make us seen. They are the change. They are hope. Our message should be that of hope and support. People have put their hope into an evasive promise of something ‚Äď why not invest in real communication, answers, insights, and learn how we can be there for each other. Is that my ‚ÄúHouse of Cards‚ÄĚ argument? Hopefully, not. (play on words) I think something significant has occurred in our society this week that will continue to change the lives of those who are impacted by Autism. I wonder what will happen. I wonder what cards Autism Speaks is going to play, what will be their next move be to appease the masses and continue as usual. It doesn’t matter because the small voices are getting louder.

Some things to think about …

‚ÄúMany studies have shown that we care more about the threat of bad things than we do about the prospect of good things. Our negative¬†braintripwires are far more sensitive than our positive triggers. We tend to get more¬†fearful¬†than happy. And each time we experience fear we turn on our¬†stress¬†hormones.‚ÄĚ ~ Why we love bad news


“We have a negativity bias, which is the tendency to give far more information to negative details than positive ones and the confirmation bias, which is our tendency to selectively look at information or see information that confirms our preexisting notions, which is fine except that our preexisting notions are typically negative and therefore, we‚Äôre reconfirming our negative expectations.” ~ by PETER DIAMANDIS – ¬†Why We Love Bad News: Understanding Negativity Bias


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Woolly Bear Happy! (Pyrrharctia isabella)

Hello!! I will upfront here, I am almost in a panic attack. My chest is heavy, I am having a hard time breathing, and my head is spinning … Panic, panic, panic! Is soaring through my head. I was doing fine only moments ago, so I thought. I was able to pull out of my irritable mood from yesterday, but today anxiety is all-consuming. There is so much to do and I cannot get my mind to focus on anything. I am freaking out because it looks like we will only have help moving on Friday for a few hours. It is these times that it can suck only having virtual friends – I LOVE my virtual friends, but I really wish some of you lived closer so we could help each other out in the physical world.

It would be nice to have a person¬†here¬†who could just “understand.”

You know what I mean? Not necessarily help move, but have understanding eyes – someone who could relate to why I am almost on the verge of tears feeling utterly OUT-OF-CONTROL! I know I will be fine – I am riding (writing) out the anxiety at the moment. As I write, my breathing is getting in sync with my typing. Only seconds ago, the typing was rapid and furious, I can feel myself typing slower and calmer … with huge deep breaths I am finding my calm. However, the tears are coming and I cannot stop them. I suppose, I should just let them go. ¬†As my body and mind go through its course of release, I see this as an opportunity to change some negative thinking.

I hear the many questions of “Why?” bombard my mind.

I feel shame in a way that I am crying and that I feel out-of-control. I hear old scripts pounding in my head, “Why are you crying? Everyone moves. Why aren’t you happy? What is wrong with you? You are overreacting! You should be thankful for all of this.” And on and on of all sorts of questions and statements. I AM happy! I AM thankful! Just because I am feeling panic and overwhelmed does not meant that I am not. Why do people say such things when others are emotional? ¬†Why do people feel this need to tell others at that point, that “their” situation could be much worse? Why do they feel the need to invalidate, fix, or even take those opportunities to condemn a person for having emotions that they do not feel are appropriate for the circumstance?

Those things haunt me when my anxiety starts to tinge.

Words of those in my past, who found my anxiety or emotional responses too ridiculous or inappropriate fill my brain and attack me – causing even more anxiety and stress. WHY can’t I just stop? I cannot, my brain needs to process and work through everything that it is processing and there is nothing wrong with how it so chooses. Since, I am unable to know many times what I need my body and mind take over to help me. It shuts down, it meltdowns, it cries, it calls out for stimuli, it begs for quiet, it picks at my face, it twirls and twists my hair, it claps, it sings, it jumps, it bakes, it cleans, or it becomes obsessed with a Woolly Bear caterpillar that was hiding in the garage. :-)

wooly_bear_pictureYesterday, I found great peace and happiness in holding that fuzzy caterpillar.

I brought it to the kids; we let it walk all over our hands and giggled. I needed him. I went in search of how to create a home for him because I knew that he needed to hibernate and I want to keep him. I love him. I instantly and madly fell in love with him. I looked up all the information I could about him and shared it with the kids. We built a little home for him and I found calm.

Every time I start to feel the anxiety tickle in my mind, I look at our Woolly Bear.

It has helped the kids too. We have something to focus on – he(or she) is fuzzy cute comfort. I plan to make him a better home in hopes of keeping him through the winter. When I read about the Woolly Bear to the kids, I told them about the folklore that people believe. Some people believe that depending upon the length of the reddish brown band in the middle of their body it can determine the severity of the winter to come.

Ariel was so excited and said that she wanted to test that out.

We shall see what transpires. Now I feel my calm back, my mind is getting refocused and the spiral I felt a few minutes ago has stopped. I am not sure how I am going to do today. I truly hope that getting this out will help me stay focused, but there are no guarantees. All three kids are back in bed, they are still sick. I am not sure Halloween is in the plans for us tonight. It is rainy, icky, and snowing fall leaves here. The good news, David is at the new house at this very moment doing the walk-thru and we will have the keys. I cannot wait to go into that house and walk around. I think that will ease some of my anxiety.

The rest of my day should bring me some solace.

After I finish this, I will write out a list to do. I do plan to make the kids’ birthday cakes today and that should bring me some peace. School is not an option, we are behind, and I have to accept that. We have little help moving, we usually do I should be used to it by now – I have to accept that. I cannot do everything and it will ALL get done – it always does – I have to accept that it may or may not go the way I expect or want it to. The hardest part about anxiety is realizing that the best way for me to deal with it is to accept so many things that I have such a hard time accepting. I can only do so much and my “so much” is¬†enough. One moment at a time, say “Hi” to Woolly Bear throughout the day, and breathe.

Pictures! They make me calm. :-) (Good-bye trees, you are lovely and all, but I will not miss all of your falling leaves.)

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Preparing For Fall (Winter) Time Blues

Around October, I always start to feel down. The depressive thoughts creep in before I even know what hit me. I love fall, but for some reason I am saddened by it as well. When the rush of the cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin spice smells fill my nostrils the gloom begins to cloud into my brain. The sight of pumpkins and gourds trigger emotions from my past. However, at the same time the beginning of fall is a great joy to me too. I enjoy Halloween’ish type of things. All the magnificent colors and the breezes that cascade over my flesh feel so wonderful. I like the things that lurk in the shadows, LOVE black cats, (used to have two) full moons, bats, and all the other sorts of things that pop into one’s mind when thinking of “Americanized” Halloween celebrations. :-)

My happy-sad state stays throughout the winter.

Then, around March I start to feel a little bit of my chipperness come back. When fall ripples through I begin to see the world differently Рliterally my eyesight has like a nostalgic haze that covers everything. There seems to be a slight buzz as though the colors all have come alive in some new way. Their sounds become crisper and louder. They move in slow motion type of tracers (no doubt my synesthesia plays a role in this.) and my days feel like I am in a movie all the time. The state of feeling like nothing is real, but it is utterly real simultaneously. I find it difficult to describe. I have tried on several occasions on here, but I still have not found the most accurate of ways to explain it. I do know that part of this could be from the MANY triggers I have from the holidays.

They assault me in all directions sensory, emotionally, and physically!

This month has already started with family triggers. This coming weekend family is coming in for the big half marathon. My dad and one of my sisters, along with a couple of other family members are running. This side of the family is so competitive Рcompetition makes me uncomfortable and fills me with anxiety. Unfortunately, the sister that is coming is one that I have many triggers with РI find her incredibly confusing and abrasive. I have not seen her is several years which, gives me additional anxiety. However, I am determined to not allow her behaviors or snide comments affect my responses or my mood.

I really have no desire to engage with her.

Every time I think of possible scenarios, I respond in the same way – with no response. Before when my mind would rush with possible situations, actions, or words being spoken to me I would think of all the possible things, I could say to counter her or protect myself. I have not done that and my mind keeps thinking¬†who cares!¬†Why do I care what she says, she does not know me. She thinks I am a freak. I am virtually nonexistent to her unless my dad pays attention to me or other family member‚Äôs acknowledge me then; she “remembers” that I exist. So I really do not need to waste time on thinking of the “what if’s.” It is only a few hours on one day out of my life.

I will expect any possible thing to come from her and not worry about what she may or may not do.

Who knows, maybe she will surprise me and it will all be pleasant. Though, she is consistent so it is certain that she will behave in the way she has her entire life. I no longer need to try to figure her out or protect myself from things that have no bearing on who I am or what I do. I did not realize how much of my depressive thought could be stemmed from the multitude of anxious thoughts I have in regards to family dynamics. The holidays are bittersweet for me. I enjoy being with many of my family members. Despite the fact that no one really acknowledges autism. :-/ Baby steps?? However, they are very loud, huggy, competitive, sometimes very crass, opinionated, and can be quite self-focused.      

They are also, very generous, caring, funny, talented, and quite entertaining to be around.

This year, I have decided to make changes in preparation for the weather and time change, along with my mood change. I have added several more workouts to my week to help me transition into the fall. It has helped me a great deal. I added more intense physical workouts instead of only cardio – I have seen a big difference in my transitioning from an anxious state to finding my “calm” again. I have quicker recovery time. I was doing one spin class (stationary bike) and piloxing, but now I have added a boot camp on Wednesdays,¬†TRX¬†which is¬†“Suspension Training bodyweight exercise develops strength, balance, flexibility and core stability simultaneously.”

TRX has helped me with my “clumsiness”, vertigo, falling, and running into things.

It has helped my core muscles build up to help my balance and lower back pain. I had no idea that it would help me so much, but it does. I have a hard time staying in the suspensions, but I am getting better each time I do it. My new favorite workout is called Kravfit. The best way to describe it is to say that it is a mixture of martial arts, kickboxing, bootcamp (circuit trainer), and self-defense. Oh, yeah! I love it! I am not going to be able to do all of this during the winter months so my plan is to continue three out of the week Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. As well as rotate TRX and piloxing for a while.

I have finally found a diet that is working for me so I eat the same things everyday for the most part.

I have many difficulties with proteins, dairy; many processed foods make me feel drained and tired. I stick with plain veggies, salads, chicken and egg whites. However, this does not bode well when you are burning a ton of calories so I am trying to pump up my caloric intake. I made changes several months ago with my diet and noticed a change in my anxiety and my fatigue. I started taking vitamins and some supplements too that have made a difference for me. I have never been able to take vitamins without stomach problems or other physical reactions.

I was excited to find some that did not cause me such problems.

They are gummies the Vitafusion‚ĄĘ brand MultiVites‚ĄĘ, B-Complex, Vitamin D, and Omega 3. I get the Target brand and they work well too. (I do not get any kickbacks for sharing I thought others might have similar issues as I do with taking vitamins and supplements – if they do not make me sick that is awesome! I am highly sensitive to those types of things.) ¬†I still have anxiety (A LOT) and get fatigued, but the change is the length of time that I am suffering from some of the symptoms. The changes in my thinking (practicing mindfulness) have helped in this area too, but that leads me back to my first thought – October brings about depressive thoughts.¬†I am happier during the summer because I love to be outside and I spend most of my time outside.

When the cold comes, it is like daggers attacking my flesh all the time.

The dreary sky for days and days can eat away at my jolly mood and I can feel myself sink into negative stimming patterns. They are connected to family, triggers, and other traumatic events that have happened to me during the holidays. Holidays do not represent fun, festive, happy times they represent pain, tears, isolation, and feelings of awkwardness, feeling wrong, unwanted, and utterly confused. I have managed to work through each year to gather many happy memories since my kids have been born. We are creating our ways of celebrating, but the pain is still there.¬†The trauma is still there and when I know I have to face those who traumatized me with a “happy” face I become overwhelmed with anxiety and sometimes downright fear.

This year, I am going to try new strategies.

I have better coping mechanisms – I know some of my “main” triggers. I know how to handle my anxiety in ways that are more positive. I have learned not to take other people’s “issues” or “insecurities” personal. I will have an emotional reaction and may be hurt, but I can see it for what it is and it has nothing to do with me. I will not feel bad or guilty if I am unable to stay the whole time at family events – my kids come first and if they are overwhelmed or the environment is too much for them we will not stay or even go.

If I am feeling overwhelmed or overly anxious I will not go.

AND I will not feel bad about myself for making that¬†decision. I am also, looking into a SAD (seasonal¬†affective¬†disorder) lamp or lighting, or some other possibilities to get me through this winter. I think being mindful and aware of how the seasons affect me will make a huge difference this year. In the past, I felt helpless and unable to have any control over these things. I felt like I was in a constant state of “unexpected attack!”¬†Now I feel that I have a better understanding of myself.¬†I also, feel that I have legitimate¬†reasons as to why I go through this each year.

I had spent many years, feeling like a failure and as though I “should” be able to stop these emotions.

I felt that I “should” not feel confused, awkward, or sad being around family. I felt like something was wrong with me because I did not enjoy the holidays as others seemed to. However, the truth is that I do feel that way and there is nothing wrong with that. I have mixed feelings of enjoying parts of it and despising other parts of it, but this year I am determined to have a better attitude of acceptance for myself and doing what I need to do in order to keep a healthy mental and physical balance.¬†The holidays, egads! :-)

Here are a few related reads!

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Complexity Of Language (For Me) II

A bit of digression, I had not allowed myself to deviate from the definitions of “love” until recently. However, I have a multiplex of thoughts when it comes to the word love or expression of love. This applies to many words, but I am using the word love since it is such a complicated word for me. Though the words that I shared in my last post were what I felt when I thought of love, or heard the word love. Sometimes my ability to love is so simplistic that it is like watching a little child love without hindrance then, other times my caution keeps my love halted and hidden in a vortex of darkness.

I love deeply, intensely, but also very simply Рstill I find it all very complicated. 

When I think of loving another it can come rather easily in my way of expressing love, when I think of someone loving me it is a challenge for me to comprehend. The dictionary definitions did not reflect my thoughts, images, or emotions attached to the word love РI found (still do) find this confusing because the way that others spoke (speak) about love was not the same feeling or emotions that I had so obviously something was off.(?) I automatically assumed it was I since I had been off so many times. Many words for me, have great attachments to them that range from a scent or image to a traumatic event.

It can trigger a place and time when I first heard the word. 

Love for me was (is) riddled with an opposite feeling of its dictionary definitions, throughout my life I have had consistent relationships where people said they loved me, but abused me, treated me as though I had little value, or were in some way inconsistent. I could share several different scenarios, but that would take too long. I have taken some words back, created my own definitions that align with how I interpret them such as forgiveness, friendship, and empathy. I had given up on the actual definitions of some words because so many seemed to believe that it meant something else. I understand that my definitions and perceptions are going to be different the majority of the time.

I can be (too) serious about words and language many people are not.

Once I understood that and accepted that it became easier for me to be more accepting of their “rounding” of words. The reason I share reading the bible is that it made me feel connected to my fellow man for the first time and the possibility of a personal god that never made sense to me before. The people in scripture wrote openly about their pain and about the realities of how hard relationships were and how confusing God was to them. One of my favorite books would have to be Job. When I discovered the Catholic versions, the lost gospels, and then original Hebrew, the Greek, and, and … and other religious texts my mind swarmed with all sorts of questions. ¬†I dissected words from passages; I looked them up read the etymology and applied that to my understanding of how to live out the gospels.

I spent hours, days, years, studying these things only to discover that others did not do this.

When I went in-depth into researching and studying trying to remove our current cultural paradigm from my thoughts, the words made more sense to me and I could connect “whole” concepts to my everyday life, but I became more confused by what was being taught in my religious circles. I read it as a¬†whole¬†and it made sense, when I started to break it down I lost this sense of connection and understanding because I became confused at the conflicting¬†interpretations, definitions, along with people’s actions.

I could no longer grasp any sort of language connection to anyone.

I break things down to make many connections, but when the many connections get jumbled by conflicting definitions, ideals, or interpretations I lose my whole and begin to cling to small details because I can no longer grasp the whole.¬†The small details are like Lego’s connecting to make one giant Lego structure – I’ve been playing with Lego’s today. :-) Does this make sense?? I hope so.¬†I knew this all too well – it was exactly why I came to religion in the first place.¬†I thought that it would be different.

I thought that we ALL followed the same rules. 

I learned their language, I adopted their jargon, but discovered that they were not using their own language correctly. The more that I discovered that others did not dig so deeply, into what we were being taught I started to doubt myself and question. Because sometimes it gets too tiring challenging the Many on your own. I started to cling to their words and accept once again that I was wrong. My world had been this way from the beginning and a new place that I thought could help me and give me answers operated in the same way.

People did not say what they meant nor do what they said. 

It was confirmed once again that I was an alien living in Bizzaro world.¬†BUT this was and is the big misconception, it gives the indication that somehow, I am wrong and they are right. My form of communication and expression is not wrong and neither is the way others communicate as long as it is not abusive or manipulative in anyway.¬†There has to be openness to learning each person’s language if there is going be any sort of effective communication.¬†They did not want to hear what I had to share; if they did it was for some other gain.

The only conclusion I could come to was that there must be something seriously wrong with me.

Right is wrong, black is white, truth is false, hate is love, etc … I was severely disillusioned and became angry from my hurt. I was angry because no matter how hard I tried to understand I could not. I was angry because I went into an environment that was supposed to be loving, accepting, caring, nourishing, and it was the same thing as I had encountered before – only in some cases much worse because the manipulation and control was damaging to my self-esteem and my identity.

After, I dismantled the religious jargon I had devoured for over 10 years I finally saw the difference.

This has taken several years, and with my recent research interest on narcissists and sociopaths, I have gotten more clarity when it comes to speaking with people in general. I am not saying that people who are religious are narcissists or sociopaths though I have discovered that the religious environment is a good place for people like that to thrive, but so are many places that follow a charismatic leader without question. For me my experience has helped me to gain an understanding that I did not get until I made the connection this past week. (All of this has been swarming around in my head for decades and I have been collecting data for years, collecting, pondering, researching, and connecting.)

For me words are so complex and simplistic at the same time.

They are my source of structure, stability, and¬†understanding¬†to language. They are also, confusing.¬†They are wrapped with their different definitions, my personal experiences, my sensory connections, my emotional connections, my picture images, and then, my response and other people’s responses to words. They are also, filled and fueled with every other person’s¬†personal experiences, sensory connections, emotional connections, images, and others response to their words – even if they do not realize it. Words are alive!¬†I cannot write down the word “love” and think pleasant happy thoughts. That word represents a multiplex (I like that word.) of definitions, ideas, emotions, colors, numbers, people, pictures, songs, poems, and thoughts of inconsistency, hate, and evil. I find it difficult to hear the words “I love you.”

I have no problems hearing it from my kids – it is not complicated with them.

I know what they mean; they have not put any stipulations upon their love for me. They will not stop loving me because I have a bad day, they will not leave me because I forgot to get them yogurt, and they will not threaten to leave if I do not fulfill all of their expectations of how I should be as a person. They accept me as their mom and they accept me as I am with my good days and bad days. Other people do not, I have had a lifetime of people telling me that they love me, but if I am not the way they want me to be they leave. If I know that I cannot fulfill their expectations I end up leaving. That is the excerpt of my thoughts about the topic.

I am fine with my friends on the internet who say, “Love you” or share those types of words – they have proven to accept me.

Many words that I have associations with cause me to become confused or emotional. When I have expressed myself and another person has shared with me that they too feel that way, I have thought that we meant exactly the same thing. I have discovered that this is not true. We can have a “general” agreement, but the words do not mean the same thing because they are filtered through our own experiences, definitions, ideals, interpretations, expressions, wants, needs, and unique perspective. We can relate to one another and have similar thoughts, but we cannot have the exact same comprehension of the words being shared.

This has been a very hard thing for me to understand.

I thought that everyone understood words the way that I did. I thought that when I shared similar experiences that we were speaking the same language. We cannot be my language is my own and yours is your own. We may have an affinity of knowing and relating to each other. However, the way that you express and use words to describe is going to be different. How you interpret, my expression will be unique and exclusive and vice versa.

I did not understand this before.

I thought that any similarities meant “the same” as me. I also, thought any differences meant that I could no longer “understand” the person. ¬†We can communicate with simpatico, but ultimately I am still living in my complex, confused, connecting world hidden in my brain covered secretively behind my eyes. You are living in your own hidden world full of perplexing and fascinating thoughts hidden in your brain,¬†covered secretively behind your eyes.

I will not be able to look at a word like flower and think of a simple peaceful flower.

My mind will burst into thoughts of a seed growing into a flower – spiraling into where did the word flower come from – why do we call it a flower – morphing into the color of the flower ¬†– what that color means – who do I know likes that color – who do I know that likes flowers – why do flowers make them happy – what trauma or happiness do I have associated with flowers – pictures of flowers – smells of flowers – music about flowers – poems about flowers – books that talked about flowers – people in my life who have smiled or cried because of flowers … That is only with the word flower and though I like flowers (not to receive them in the garden or in nature.) they really do not hold much interest to me.

Imagine what I do with other words that carrying great significance.

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Some Of My Story I …

I have tried to write a post … each time it has turned into several different posts and it still is not what I want to say. I feel that some of my story may help someone even if it is only one person so be it. I feel vulnerable and scared, but I will share. I am not in the place that I was before and now I have the understanding of those around me that I did not have before. I felt desperate and I chose to get help. Though I have not been extremely direct about our situation when dealing with us discovering that Daniel is Autistic, it is clear in my posts over the years that I did not have much support from family and my husband was here, but not here.

He would let me purchase and even suggest resources to help Daniel, but in his mind – for a long time – he felt that Daniel would “grow” out of it.

He shared this with me a while ago, but the transition into acceptance has taken time. His state of denial was silent, but his actions made it clear that he was not accepting that our son or even I were Autistic.¬†That is another story; however, that nugget plays heavily into my spiral of despair, isolation, hopelessness, and feeling abandoned by everyone except for my mom. This abandonment fueled self-doubt and a constant tug-of-war within me that was questioning if I was doing enough for Daniel and wondering if I was overreacting. I understand what a challenge it has been for David and the major “mind adjustments” that had to take place. I am do empathize with his struggles – he needs to have that freedom to process as well.

However, I still have pain and so does he that has to be worked through.

In recent months, he has done things to work hard at trying to establish a relationship with Daniel. I was brought to almost tears when he told me that he shared with people that he works with about our son and our Autistic life. His tone was not negative it was in the spirit of sharing with people the great things and the challenges we face in our family. He has been closed off and disconnected for years and it has been a source of great confusion, pain, and frustration. These changes are a lift in my heart because I see him wanting to move forward and accept what has been difficult for him.

I share this because a huge part of my isolation and being overwhelmed was stemmed from this disconnect.

He was unaware of the impact that all of this had on me. He did not understand how my past trauma’s affected me or his affected him. He did not understand my words when I expressed that I was overwhelmed and needed help. I did not understand how he could not understand – things to me that seemed very clear were not to him and vice versa. Please keep in mind this is not an attack on him – I am trying to explain the situation and what led up to me hitting a point of needing help myself.¬†We both have our issues this is a relationship and I am only able to share limited amounts.

He and I have worked at trying to express ourselves.

We are learning better ways to communicate because no matter what the most important thing to us is to establish and keep stability for our children providing a loving and respectful home for them. We feel strongly that our kids deserve that – we did not grow up feeling that or seeing that in the relationships we were exposed to. David did not understand the fullness of the abuse that I had endured for years of my life, when he started to truly listen to me and comprehend my traumas and the effects that it has had on me things started to change. This has happened in the past few months. To be clear, I had not communicated these things in a way that he could understand. We both had to compromise and try to understand each others language.

I digress … I digress a lot in this post – try to stick with me.

My mom came around, but it took about three years.¬†I spent so much time explaining things to her and sharing the information that I had been reading about Autism and sensory issues, but it was not until she read the books I gave to her one Christmas¬†(Aspergirls¬†and¬†Asperger’s on the Job¬†by¬†Rudy Simone) that everything finally clicked for her.¬†Her eyes became clear and she could see herself for the first time.Her life made sense, once that awakening happened she could see Daniel and me more clearly – actually, several of our family members. :-)

Still she could not help me with the kids she worked. 

In my desperation, I started blogging Рthat was 2009. There were many reasons, but ultimately I was trying to ease the pain of feeling so utterly alone. There is a transition in my writing as well. I have changed and I have grown РI am sure in the next four years I will say the same thing in another post. Focus Angel … I recall when Daniel was six months old that I was making comments that something was (for lack of a better word) off. I used off then, now I would use different.

I knew that he was not progressing in the way that I had seen most kids.

I had been around kids my whole life, it was not the same, but I was unsure as to what it was. It seemed different, but felt familiar at the same time.¬†My feelings of abandonment started then.¬†I spoke up to David, my mom, and even a friend who came out to help me. The answer always seemed to be “Well he is a boy.‚ÄĚ I doubted and questioned myself even though I knew that my son needed help. We had him evaluated through a feeding clinic because of his eating issues. That was the first time Autism was mentioned.¬†It did not register. I knew nothing about Autism and for a while, I was too afraid to find out.

There is much more that goes into this, but I have already blogged about it on here on many of my posts and I really want to stay focused.

We did have insurance for a while and I was able to get OT and Speech/Feeding therapy for Daniel. The insurance ran out so I took it upon myself to learn as much as I could about occupational therapy. I did my best with speech therapies as well. I used music and songs to help Daniel. I struggled, sought out ways to get grants, tried to qualify for Medicaid, some sort of help during the almost five years until we moved here. I tried to get him into to social groups. I tried to get local Autism support groups to help. No matter how hard I worked and tried to get help it would never fall into place. I felt like a failure. I was filled with fear that I was not doing enough for him. In hindsight, all of these dead ends were most likely the best thing for us.

I continued to press on, study, research, and implemented everything that I could from what I read.

I usually went back to my tried and true – I followed Daniel’s direction – whatever he was interested in I used. I am not going to share about our rough times. We had them; we do have them that is part of our life. They are caused by a plethora of sources. They can range from social confusion, food, a smell in the air, to not feeling well but not realizing it, having a headache, but not being able to verbalize it. I do not think of any of this as a burden on me I am the parent. I signed up for this when I decided to become a mom. I chose to love, accept, and support my children. Motherhood to me is a cherished gift, I have been given the treasure of three other souls, and I want to do as much as I can to ensure that I do not crush their spirits or their individuality.

However, no parent is perfect – I am far from perfect, but my goal is to make sure my kids have a strong sense of self and confidence.

The ultimate thing for me to strive for is to ensure that my babies know that they are loved and accepted. I am hypersensitive to them feeling neglected by anyone or feeling that their needs are not being met. It stems from my childhood and causes me to overreact at times. I know I keep getting side tracked; this is a hard post for me to write. We have been in financial difficulty since David and I have been together. David has had so many different jobs that it has been incredibly trying and stressful on he and I. The finances have been a burden. Not getting the assistance, help, and support has been a burden. Trying to hide the anxiety, fears, and stress of all of this from our kids has been a burden. Our kids have never been a burden. They have been my hope when I could not see any other hope. When I had exhausted all possible directions where we used to live only to find another dead end we decided that we had to move here.

The opportunities seemed much better.

The programs available seemed to be a new hope for me to find help for Daniel and myself. The cost of living is cheaper so we thought that we would be able to have some extra to get and do things for the kids that we had not been able to. (Some things we have and I am thankful.) I have family here and I had hoped that I would have more support. Long story short, we moved here I continued to run into roadblocks. The continual issue “You make too much, but not enough” is frustrating. We have had so many financial issues that it is to the point of comedic. Literally, if we do not laugh we will cry we have to find the humor.

I have tried to qualify for assistance for Daniel and myself. (Again too much, but not enough.)

Daniel is on a waiting list, but the waiting list is so far behind they are just now getting to 2005 people who have been on the waiting list. I thought I could get insurance, I am still not covered it is too expensive. Thankfully, David and the kids are covered, but the insurance does not cover any therapies for Daniel. I am so grateful for the virtual school because they provide therapies and work with me. None of them are trying to change Daniel they support him being himself fully Рthey are there to guide him not force him to act a certain way. This was my ray of hope last year, the school, and the helps they provided. However, last year I was in a very depressed state. I started too lose much of my hope. I reached a point of breakdown that let me to shutdown.

I started to lose faith that things would or could get better. 

I have suffered from depression or depressive thoughts my entire life; I have struggled with my depressive thoughts and spiraling pits. I was always able to pull out, except when I was a teenager and tried to take my own life. Those familiar feelings were starting to creep into my mind. I knew that I never wanted to get to that place again. I continued to voice that I needed help. I expressed that I was hurting, unable to handle things, and that I was depressed. I was not heard. More like I was not understood ‚Äď David did not get the severity of my words, which caused me to spiral even deeper.

I was fearful and felt shame to tell family.

I felt that the ones I trusted were too busy, I did not want to be a burden on them and the others in the past, when I had shared these things blamed it on the devil, made me feel weak, unspiritual, and as if I was not praying enough – I lacked faith all I needed was more faith then, I would be fine. No, no, and no. I just did not have it in me to hear that it would have sent into a very negative thought pattern. I am not the best at expressing myself clearly either so … I managed to pull myself up everyday and take care of the kids, help Daniel through his rough days, take care of the household, home school, and “keep up appearances.”¬†It was starting to become too much for me. I was starting to lose the joys of being a mother.

When I started sobbing in front of my aunt after spin class one night, I knew that I had to take action to help myself РI was NOT waiting any longer.  

Continued tomorrow …

If you are feeling any signs of depression reach out, do not wait! You have nothing to be ashamed of and it is the right thing thing to do to seek help. You are not alone! There is hope! One of my friends shares that on her blog after every post and it is something that I remember daily thanks to her.

Some resources.

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Deep Wounds ~ Feelings Of Constant Rejection III

Continued from Deep Wounds ~ Feelings Of Constant Rejection II

This past weekend,¬†I knew that I would be somewhat affected because of my sister’s baby shower. I knew that I would have mixed emotions of guilt, fear, anxiety, and possibly confusion if I saw pictures.¬†I did not realize that it would send me into tears for multiple days, feelings of panic, depression, and feeling that other’s find me utterly worthless. Remember, I do not think of myself like that on a regular basis – this enhances my confusion that can lead into thinking that if even¬†my own family¬†does not acknowledge or value what I do or who I am then, I¬†should not¬†either. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it is what happens to me.

My mind will become bombarded with every instance my father made a promise and did not follow through.

In the past, when I have tried to share what I have accomplished, I felt as if he dismissed it by telling me what he, my sisters, or strangers had accomplished which, was normally some athletic, music, or religious type of accomplishment. My dad had no idea that I wrote poetry filtered with science. He does not know my mind. He did give me praise when I shared one of my poetry books. It is not about that, my mind has forty years of feeling unwanted and unloved. If you were to ask my dad, he would find that ludicrous. He fought for me, he wanted me, he loved me so much, but his actions and words have indicated otherwise – to me.

When the triggers come, they attack like bullets to my chest.

I hurt so badly, I go through the feelings of heartbreak, which is painful. I go through the grieving process (this can apply to grieving parental relationship or any relationship too) and find my balance once again, but whenever a family event, image, something that I am not in the loop with or I am not mentioned, it all comes back and swallows me whole. I can siphon many of the thoughts now. I can recognize when I am thinking irrationally.

I can recognize my OCD type of obsessive family thoughts more so recently.

Before I had no idea, why I could not control my thoughts and it caused me to think that something was wrong with me. I attribute it to one of my familiar “mind loops,” I have certain ones that have been with me for as long as I can remember. Now that I understand the effects of PTSD, anxiety, some of this is because of my synesthesia, (I have intense connections, emotions, colors, tastes, music, memories, etc … attached to my thoughts.) and the way¬†my¬†Autistic brain processes.¬†My mind can become stuck on a word, an incident, an emotional response from me or someone else, or a conversation that happened when I was ten.

I know immediately that I am feeling something when I gravitate toward facebook to look and see what everyone is up to.

I did not know that it was my way of trying to desensitize myself. An example of irrational thoughts spiraling through my head is from the other night. Within a 30-minute time frame I went from thinking of the word embarrass to believing that all of my family even my aunt wanted nothing to do with me. By the end of my thoughts, I had decided that we would never go to a family event.

I would stop going to any of my aunt‚Äôs workout classes because she didn’t want me there anyway. (That is not a true statement.)

I would shut down my personal facebook and lock myself up away from all people. I knew my thoughts were irrational, but I hurt so deeply that I could not see clearly. I could give you a list of all the ways that I have felt rejected. I have probably written a ton of ways on here where I have felt physically or emotionally abandoned – I have been blogging so long and probably about the same loops I am sure there are many incidents floating around on here. ūüėČ However, I do not think it would help to write anymore now.

What will help is embracing the pains.

I acknowledge that they are real and I need to fill up my deficit. I continue to be stuck on this issue because I cannot make sense of it. I have dissected it analytically and emotionally. My mom did not communicate it in the best of ways; she is a very direct, straight to the point Aspie who does not always have compassion when she cannot understand. However, what she was trying to help me understand is that I would never “get it” and that I needed to find a way to move forward. I brought some of this stuff up again on Sunday and she just did not get why I was still having a problem with it, but she did put it in these terms regarding my sisters; she asked, “If you met your sisters outside of family, say they were strangers and you met them would you hang out with them?”

The answer, most likely not.

We have virtually nothing in common. I did have a list of things that they like that are SO not me, but that felt rather negative. The reality is I enjoy researching, reading, writing, collecting information, being alone, spending hours outside staring at creatures and plants. I am eclectic in the books, poems, music, blogs, and research that I read. We are so different that I find it hard to find any common ground – that confuses me too and may be a huge chunk of my issue. How can we share the same genes and be so different? However, logically I understand that many siblings, families are very different, (and we are half sisters) for some reason it is hard for me to grasp.

I think I will eventually be able to have some real healing in this area for myself.

The hardest things for me to move passed are the feeling that my kids are ignored and that Autism is rejected. I feel like Autism is rejected from their perspective, it is a negative label and something that we really do not talk about. This hurt mostly comes from my dad. He told me from the beginning not to accept labels Рlabels represent low expectations and we will only live up to those expectations if we accept the labels on ourselves. I understand to a point what he was trying to say. I still find this the most difficult and the most hurtful. It is hard enough trying to change the paradigm of society when it comes to Autism, but when you do not have the support or even open communication with family it is hard.

It is different with my mom and other sisters since we discovered that my mom is an Aspie too.

It has taken time, but my mom finally saw herself and it opened up a whole world of understanding for her and my sisters. We now “get” each other much more and understand our different Aspie ways … well now we understand¬†why¬†we do things the way we do. I cannot openly share with my dad and (some of that side of my family) how it has benefited us as a family and me as person to have the diagnosis for Daniel and myself. It gives answers, it gives hope, and it leads to help. It has brought me more self-awareness and self-acceptance, but I am outwardly rejected because they do not understand or think of it as a good thing. It hurts.

I cannot share my struggles and tell them that I am Autistic because I feel that they will blame the struggles on autism or some outward source.

I cannot share myself or the reality of our life because it will fuel into the negativity already associated with it. I do not feel that they will see any positives about Autism. That feels like an unspoken and constant state of rejection. I have to wade through it in society and in my own family. It leaves me in a constant state of feeling unloved and unable to love because I have to protect my heart from the harsh world. I am fragile and strong at the same time. I am confident, but feel that I am wrong for being whom I am. I am opened and shut-off from the world simultaneously. I am deeply wounded, but incredibly hopeful.

I care with a passion for life and all that it has to offer to the point of tears and I am struck with emotions so overwhelming that I cannot describe them.

I fear rejection, but constantly put myself out there. I know these things must be confusing and challenging for others as much as is it for myself. I am sure that my perceptions can me filtered through my social confusion and anxieties. My biggest contributor to pain is being confused ‚Äď if I can find a place of peace for my confusion I think I could move on much sooner. I am pretty sure that many of these things can be settled in my mind if I stop being confused by other‚Äôs emotions and use of language. That thought process is a whole other post.

This stuff hurts, but I am determined to uproot these wounds and move forward.

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‚ÄúYou Are Made Of Granite‚ÄĚ III

Continued from …¬†‚ÄúYou Are Made Of Granite‚ÄĚ II

I can see all that I do and accomplish daily that is why when something that seems so small in the big schemes of things can derail me I do not feel strong at all. When I expressed some of these things to David, he was taken aback. He could not understand how I could feel weak with all that I do and have done Рon my own, in silence, not asking a single person for help or reassurance. I have lived a life that has been challenging in many ways, as many people do. However, these have been some of my challenges. I learned to rely on myself from an early age and try to navigate in a world that was so foreign to me.

There are some days when I think, I have no idea how I got where I am today.

I have lived with undiagnosed learning disabilities, synesthesia, social confusion, anxiety, Aspergers and PTSD. I have been victimized on too many occasions to share. I have lived with depression, self- harm, an eating disorder, and dysmorphia in silence for most of my life. Yet, I am here and I am still trying. When no one else could understand or did not support me and David was in denial about Daniel being Autistic, I took it upon myself to get educated and learn as much as possible from his speech pathologist and OT.

I did the research and implemented ideas, strategies, and researched to learn how to help Daniel.

I was alone for a long period in one of the most challenging, confusing, and scary times of my life. Not because Daniel is Autistic, (at first it was scary I had little knowledge of autism) but because I had no one to help me. I felt that no one believed me. I felt abandoned, ignored, and most of all as though my son was being devalued and ignored. This is not about me telling you how “great” I am.¬†I have read about many parents who did similar things as I did and their accomplishments should be acknowledged too.This is about sharing how difficult it is for me to acknowledge that I have done much of this on my¬†own. I still do. David is the first to express that. It is not about making him look bad he has his own struggles and challenges. He had to work through his own emotions, fears, and issues with autism.¬†Nevertheless, his lack of communication left me resentful, hurt, confused, and depressed.

Depression makes me feel weak that is all I will say about that.  

One of the most impactful things that he shared was that he acknowledged how much I have done and how I have done much of it with little help from others. It made the hard work that I have put in for our children, in our home, in my own healing, and with my writing/poetry manifest true accomplishment in my own eyes. It all became real to¬†me. Throughout the years, his words and my family’s silence was interpreted by me as what I have done (and still do) has little value. He is not the only one whose¬†words or actions¬†gave me these impressions. It has¬†led me to believe that¬†I can never and will never measure up. It has led me to believe that what I do and have done has little value to them and that has translated in my mind as to the world. After pondering over some other things that David shared, I realized that I have managed to pull myself out of many despairing pits.

It made me realize that it is not true that I lack self-esteem. 

I clearly believe in myself even when I feel that no one else does. I have always had my mind stuck on what I cannot do in hopes that if I did ALL of those things then, I would be visible to someone! However, my mindset has been transformed over the years. (Still transforming) Having children changed me; Daniel has challenged me to see what matters in life. All of my children have, each of them have their own way of chiseling away things that do not matter and improving me as a person. It still hurts though to feel ignored by some of my family members and every time it happens, it derails me.

I really would like to gain emotional control over that, but it is a trigger from years of feeling outcast. 

What I dislike the most is that those who have never given one iota about me are still the ones who can cause me to second guess and doubt myself.¬†When that I happens I do not feel like I am made of granite. I morph back to my young self, being swarmed in confusion, chaos, fear of being rejected, bullied, told that I am wrong when I am absolutely right, being ignored, shamed, invalidated, and unaccepted. I feel like a crumbling piece of chalk with my flaky dust as the annoying residue on everyone’s life.

However, deep down inside I do not believe it otherwise I would not have found the strength to go on. 

So to all of you who may feel a bit shaky or doubtful look at ALL that you have accomplished and achieved. If you feel that there is no one in your life who believes in you, believe in yourself! Every one of us has our own challenges it does not matter the size it is how it affects YOU. Everyone deserves to feel validated and heard, but I admit it makes a difference when someone tells you that they do see you. It makes a difference when someone takes a moment and shares with you that they acknowledge and value all that you do.

When David said, “You are made of granite.” I was overcome with emotion, but I was unsure of what I felt.

I knew that it felt like one of the best complements I have ever received.¬†I realized that it made me feel capable, competent, strong, and it acknowledged all that I do on my own. Since I can see all that I am “incapable” of that I have learned to hide from the world, I tend to overshadow my accomplishments. I had no idea he thought that about me and I had no idea how challenging it has been for him to live with such an independent woman who struggles with seeing her independence. I feel like a fraud sometimes because I am doing so many things on my own, but on the inside, I feel like I am crumbling and incapable. I struggle with what seems like the silliest of social things, but I accomplish all sorts of things on a daily basis with my kids, my home, my writing, and communicating online.

I feel a bit queasy sharing this post, but I am going to do it. To all of you out there who need to hear it, “You are made of granite! And don’t forget it!” :-) ¬†¬†

I’ll share one link. Woot! It’s a record! ūüėȬ†How to Express Feelings… and How Not to.

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‚ÄúYou Are Made Of Granite‚ÄĚ II

Continued from …¬†‚ÄúYou Are Made Of Granite‚ÄĚ I

Back to my initial statement about being made of granite, I would never have thought someone thinks this of me. 

Even the other night, I went through emotions of embarrassment. I could not leave my opinion in a comment thread because I knew that it could send me into anxiety and/or social confusion. I do that a lot. I have much that I want to say, but I know that if I spread my words out there too much in a “interactive social setting” it will send me into an anxious loop. I feel embarrassed that when I extend myself socially I begin to think negative thoughts. For instance, on Saturday I went to the Y for my “mommy gets a break” workout. Afterwards, the instructor asked for prayer requests, I never voice any prayer requests anymore.

My spiritual journey is probably an epic novel that I am not sure I will ever get to. 

For some reason I blurted out that, I could use some prayers with school starting and David leaving this week. Long story short, a woman came up to me at the end and said that she had been home schooled. This led into a conversation about autism, ADHD dyslexia, learning challenges, and giftedness. Her son was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia, however, the school maintains the attitude that “practice makes perfect.” It is not working and he is 12. Big surprise! I asked her if she would like some resources that I use and other information that may be beneficial.

She seemed very enthused and said yes.

A very good social encounter, right? I came home and immediately sent her several resources trying very hard not to bombard her with information. I found it difficult to limit it to three links and a video, but I figured that was a good start. ūüėČ As well as my two cents about how I feel that the attitude of dyslexia being something to be “fixed” or is somehow “wrong” is not a positive method of building into a child or adult with dyslexia. All day, I had thoughts creep in questioning whether I did something wrong.

What could I have done wrong?

I felt comfortable and confident in what I shared. I have done a lot of research and I have implemented things that have proven to work for my kids. Not that it will work for everyone’s child, but it is worth sharing if it¬†could¬†possibly help another child and parent. She emailed back this morning thanking me telling me how much she appreciated my¬†quickness¬†in sending her the info. I could not let it go, if someone needs help and I can help in anyway – I am there! I still felt unsure and wondered if I had done something wrong. This sent me into triggers of thinking of things that have happened in my life to make me feel that I had done something wrong.

I am gaining more understanding to the root of this issue, still pondering; will write about it when I feel I can articulate it. 

This constant looming of “Have I done something wrong?” causes anxiety which, can distort the way I filter and perceive things morphing my normal positive way of thinking into a dark negative way.¬†The negativity is geared toward myself and¬†diminishes¬†any sense of accomplishment.¬†It does not take it away, I still know that I have¬†accomplished something, but it makes it seem petty or of little value. I obviously, do not believe it or else I would give up all together, but it is a constant battle that I have to press through when I am ridden with anxiety.

It distorts my abilities, my character, my thoughts, and it makes me feel incapable.

I do not feel like a strong person when I can get confused by the way a person looks at me. A comment thread where a family member is blatantly ignores me can send me into confusion, heartbreak, fear, and make me cry. When I go into a store, become overwhelmed, and cry into my cart. (I have not done that one in a while.) I find it frustrating when I cannot complete simple tasks like cleaning my house because I am so overwhelmed with the world around. I see all the things that I cannot do that others seem to be able to do without any hindrance.

For example, when a person talks to a stranger, has a good conversation, and goes on with the rest of their day feeling good about it.

I feel embarrassed and weak because when I walk away I STILL have confusion and anxiety that I may have said or done something wrong! It is frustrating. These feelings have been with me so long that I do not know when they actually started. I do know since childhood, at some point and throughout I have kept it all inside in silence. No one knows all the thoughts creeping, seeping, and attacking my mind as I talk to them then, walk away. One conversation could stick with me for years, or I can wake up in the middle of the night recalling a conversation I had when I was 10 years-old and panic that the person may have misunderstood me.

These types of things are so confusing and frustrating to me.

I have no idea if others experience similar thoughts and feelings, but here is the thing that REALLY frustrates me if they did, I would have compassion. I would be understanding and supportive. I struggle with doing that for myself. I do not know why I am so hard on myself. I can logically tell you all the reasons and explain it away, but my mind automatically goes into that direction. I am working on it – it takes time. It is a way of self-protection, if I do it first I am prepared and no one else can be worse to me than I can! These types of things make me feel weak too because I do not understand why I cannot make it stop and move on.

I am not sure if weak is the correct word I want to use, but I cannot think of another that fits at the moment. 

‚ÄúYou Are Made Of Granite‚ÄĚ III coming soon …

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