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 herewho 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.
Yesterday, 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.)
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 – literally 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 – competition makes me uncomfortable and fills me with anxiety. Unfortunately, the sister that is coming is one that I have many triggers with – I 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’s 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™ brand MultiVites™, 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 legitimatereasons 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!
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 – still 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 – I 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.
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 – that 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 – I 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.” 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 – they 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 – 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 – I 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.
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’s 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. 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 – labels 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 – 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’s 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.
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 – on 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 tome. 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 whosewords 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!”
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. 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 myquickness 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.
A couple of weekends ago, David said to me, “You are made of granite.” I had several situations that caused a trigger attack upon my senses, emotions and then, ultimately physically. I am not going to go into what happened, it really does not matter and it would take too long to detail all of the triggers and incidents that set me off.
When I go through that, I feel weak.
I feel as though, I should be able to control my emotions and how other people’s words or actions affect me. I feel as though, I should be strong enough to ignore or brush off those things, but I am not. I begin to attack myself and blame myself for things that are not my fault. These are common things for those who have been victimized. (Insert a good read Why do trauma survivors blame themselves?) However, I find myself sick and upset at myself whenever I am hurting again, because of what others have said or done to me.
I immediately comb over my words and try to figure out what I did wrong.
Though I still do this, I stop the dysfunction much quicker and remind myself that I am not responsible for managing people’s emotions or actions. When David said those words, I was not only surprised; I did not know how to respond. I have always perceived David as thinking that I am weak, less than, not capable. He has not expressed otherwise and he tends to give compliments, but then gives what feels to me negative feedback right after it, which negates everything that he said in my mind. It feels like constant criticism, but to him he feels that he is helping.
I did tell him that he did that the last time he gave me positive feedback.
I have been communicating with him when his words trigger me. I have shared that at times they can feel negative and cutting. In learning to communicate better, I have embraced the words “I feel.” It helps to know that his words are coming from a perspective of helping not criticizing or questioning my actions. In communication it is not always the other person, it is about how we interpret or filter through our experiences. Experiences can make words become filtered through faulty perspectives it is like looking at fun house mirrors.
They can become distorted and lose the actual meaning.
Or the other person is expressing themselves through that distortion and it comes across attacking. He has tried to work on not adding helpful criticisms, but just letting it be. I have tried to work on my form of communication as well. We both miss the mark. We have very different ways of communicating that is influenced by our upbringing, personalities, and the way our minds think differently, how our environment affects us, all sorts of things. We both have negative coping mechanisms from dealing with family dysfunctions this definitely contributes to miscommunication.
Now both of us are trying to work on this – there was a season when I was taking all the blame for our communication problems. (Long story, moving on.)
My communication has been fused with the affects of abuse, being bullied, and feeling like I had no voice, and the fact that I am not a “talker.” I do not talk out my thoughts, I write them. David talks, he talks a lot that is how he processes. He gets stimulated, excited, and resolved through his process of throwing out tons of ideas and thoughts. My literal mind can think that he is explaining how he really sees things or how he feels when all he is doing is processing aloud. I find this confusing. He asks tons of rhetorical questions and then, leaves them hanging. It can spin my brain into thinking I am supposed to find the answers.
However, I can do the same thing to him.
I can ask social questions, such as “Why does she always do that to me?” I am not looking for an answer, but many times, he has taken it as me wanting to “figure” the person out. He will go into a deep psychological break down of the person which, feels to me as if he is speaking of them negatively. In turn, it causes me to go down a spiraling path of pulling up every incident and social situation I have had with the person.
It makes me hurt because I do not like people speaking negatively about others.
It has caused me to shutdown much of my communication over the years because I did not feel heard and I did not want him to think or say negative things. Again that has been my perception, no one can actually know what David means unless they are talking to him themselves. My recent questioning of his comments has made things more clear for him, he is being direct and a matter-of-fact. When I think about it I do the same thing in other situations.Communication is so complicated!
Talking overloads me and causes me to shutdown or meltdown.
I have gotten better in my ability to express what I am feeling. Because of that, he is starting to understand that I cannot handle the “talking through” type of processing. Many times, I just need to be left alone. It is not exactly fair to him though because his means of communication is to talk. I do my best to allow him to do his processing, I listen, give my perspectives and insights, but I also work at reminding myself that many times he is just getting his thoughts out and nothing more.
The problem with that is words affect me too much.
My mind cannot just “Let it go” when someone splatters all sorts of various ideas, thoughts, and rhetorical questions. It takes in all the communication and processes, connects, pulls up old and new data, it has to find a home in my brain otherwise, it will stir all sorts of questions, loop, and begin to seek answers to things that I really do not care about. My mind cannot let unresolved thoughts go very well. I have found that exercising has actually helped with this my mind seems to be able to move information faster and be ok with some unresolvables.
The way that this has been handled lately, is that I tell him “I cannot do this today.” or “I just cannot process all of that right now.”
I used to feel that I had to sit and listen.Then, there were times that I felt so frustrated and angry because he was doing it when Daniel had rough days, I had a million things to do, I was on my way out the door, the kids had zapped all of my energy from the day (MONTH, YEAR) etc … I would say things out of frustration and exhaustion. I would think to myself, “How can he be so inconsiderate and not understand that I just can’t?” Since, I have been able to explain these things it has gotten better for the both of us. In my next post, I explain a bit more about why the words that he shared made such an impact on me.
I also, share how communication or lack there of can cause me anxiety, self-doubt, and /or confusion.
This is a collaboration of thoughts that have been spinning through my head. They have been brewing for over two years now so who knows where I will end up. The last post helped bring myself a bit more understanding about how intense my love can be. As I was traveling through my past trying to understand some of my behaviors, I realized how few relationships I have had. When I think of school and my younger years, I do not recall any lasting relationships.
The longest friendships I had were during third to fourth grade.
I had a group of girls who were my friends, but by the start of fifth grade, I had none. I did manage to find two friends around the end of that year into sixth grade, but it was short-lived. They had been best friends since the beginning of second grade. They lived in the same neighborhood too. I really had no chance of staying friends with them because of my own social confusion and because I did not live close to them.
I could not keep the connection.
The only person who I could rely on each year was my friend Darrell. It did not matter if we were in the same class or not, during recess or lunch I could rely on him to talk to me if I was alone. I even talked to Darrell on the phone. I liked him a lot; to me he had many features that reminded me of John Cusack. I liked John Cusack from the second I saw him in Sixteen Candles. I do not know why, but I thought he was funny.
I have written about Darrell before, he started to grow-up and I did not understand. (Short version.)
However, I was never obsessive about him. I did not have invasive thoughts or looping fantasies about him. I did not need to I was not confused by him until we got into middle school. When he started to make comments about girls and sex that is when I became confused. We eventually, just stopped hanging out or talking. We were in different “groups” of friends by then. I was not helping his popularity. The more I have thought about my younger years the more I see I started to develop my own unconventional love interests.
My first obsessive love interest was with John Travolta.
I fell in love with the movie Grease, not him. I knew it word for word. I did not comprehend what the songs were about or that they were talking about sex most of the time. Not a clue, I did not notice that until I was around 25 years-old. I recall the day in a kind of blurry visual. It was summer time, I was driving my little red Honda Civic, windows down, I was singing at the top of my lungs, Grease Lightening. There I was singing and all the sudden the lyrics hit me like a ton of bricks. I stopped it, replayed it, sat in shock for a moment, then the realization of all the others songs and the movie struck me. I started laughing at myself. It was not in a bad way I just could not believe that I had known this movie and the songs by heart and I never caught onto the innuendos.
I loved that movie obsessively.
I drove my mom batty because I sang the songs all the time. I would sing and do the dances. I talked about John Travolta and Olivia Newton John. When I attach to a movie character, I want to see everything that they have ever done – good or bad. I want to read everything I possibly can on them. I had many “love interests” such as Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, but the first group was definitely The Monkees. I loved them so much that it hurt my heart with joy when I listened to them.
Now that I think about it, I believe the reason was that my mom loved the The Monkees too.
They were the first band that she attached to as a young teenager. It was the first time in my life that my mom and I connected. She shared all of her paraphernalia from when she was a girl. She talked to me about them and confessed her love for Davy Jones. She did the same thing for Paul McCartney, but she did not become as fixated on The Beatles as she did The Monkees. She took me to The Monkees reunion tour concert. She bought me their album and we sang and danced together.
I felt connected, loved, acknowledged, and happy.
It made me love them even more. I videotaped all of the shows on MTV. I memorized all of their songs. I read all of the articles in magazines that I could. I read my mom’s old magazines that she kept about them. I loved them and the connection with my mom deeply and passionately. Then, it all stopped. I cannot recall what exactly happened, but I believe it was shortly after the concert that my mom became pregnant with one of my sisters.
Everything changed, but it also went back to what it used to be.
It is hard to explain, but I have not “fallen in love” with people. I have fallen in love with connections to people, places, things, and animals. It is a difficult thing for me to try to articulate. I loved my music; I loved my books, when I say I loved them I mean what others mean when talking about people. I will try to explain it, take the song Hurt by NIN I felt so connected to the song that I poured parts of me into as I listened to it and sang it. I give my ALL to things that I love.
I did not just sing the song I attached emotions to it.
I loved the song because it felt as though I was singing to the imaginary friend I had longed to love so much. I have done that with many songs. I have many musical lovers so to speak. I wanted to love a person. I wanted the person to love me, but I never seemed to find that person. So my things loved me and I loved them. Songs, poems, books, and movies seemed to bring me that connection and love that I so deeply longed for. They felt real and made me feel more connected with this world. When I made a friend in high school that seemed to have this connection I was looking for I was sad and happy at the same time.
I was sad because I did not understand it.
I felt this intense emotional attachment and I never wanted it to go away. I thought she felt the same. We did share a friendship connection that was close and real, but I was too intense. I did not know how to be friends with anyone. I did not know how to love other than, the devices that I had been left to on my own. This was all-consuming. Utterly devoted, incredibly loyal, divulging all of my thoughts, desires, and spewing my special interests all over the place.
I shared many of my deepest hidden thoughts and I got hurt.
I hurt her because of my wounds. She too had many wounds and both of us were quite dysfunctional, but it was the first time I loved and felt any sort of being loved back. I still feel connected to her. For years, she was my everything. My mom actually allowed her to live with us because her home life was so bad. That is unheard of my mom does not allow anyone into her home like that. She is not a lover of strays of any kind.
There is a long story that plays into this, but a year or so later, she got pregnant and married.
I lost her; she left me for a man, which was a familiar trigger. Even if I was not technically abandoned whenever a “man” came into the picture, I was thrown to the waste-side with my mom and with my best friend. I thought it was me. Once again, I felt that I had to have caused these things. I was not good enough to be loved and I felt that I was incapable of loving. This is why I was fearful of having children. My mind would become full of anxious thoughts like, “OMG! What if I cannot love them? What if I do the same things as my parents did? What if I am cold, hard, and unloving? What if they do not love me? What if they hate me?”
All sorts of fears that I shared with no one.
I poured my love into my special interests and they loved me back without pain or rejection. I could not understand the adjustment in my relationship with her. I could not understand the suddenness of her not being around. I could not understand why she had to spend so much time with him. My boyfriend at the time did not want me around all the time like that. We lived together, she lived with her boyfriend, and I did not understand why our relationship had to be limited.
In a way, it was good that I moved away and separated from her.
We really did not have a healthy relationship, there is a lot more involved in the story. However, I never recovered from that disconnection. I was sealed to her. I gave her my heart and my soul. I loved her and after that, I never loved a person like that again. I did love another person more intensely later in my life. It was more intense because I was also attracted to them. I mention some of this in my last post. It was new, scary, exciting, and gave me joy that I had never experienced even with my deepest of loves. (Music, books, poems, movies, animals, nature, etc …)
This love had trumped all other loves.
I have thought about this a lot because it has been an object of obsession, not the person. I still have great affection toward the person, but the obsessive part is “How could this happen to me? Why did this happen only to have it taken? Why can’t I have these same penetrating connections and emotions for another?” Those are the obsessive thoughts. I connected with another human being in a way that was completely foreign to me. The other obsessive thing that runs through my head is “Why would I fall for it?”
Why would I believe that it was going to be any different than, all of my other experiences?
Why did I feel that this was going to be the one and only time that I would not feel rejected? It has not made any sense to me. By all accounts, my past relationships run in a pattern. People leave, life happens, things do not work out, and relationships end. I feel bound by connections. There were so many and there seemed to be a bond that he and I had not felt with another before. It felt like a mutual bond. However, I realize now that I could have created that in my own imaginations.
I did it with my other loves.
I could feel loved by stuffed animals when I felt no love from my parents. I could have created his affections. I could have projected all sorts of emotions. I held onto many of my feelings toward them and hid them away after it fell apart. I held onto them closely, dearly, tucked them into secret places of my mind until one day I was given the opportunity to explode them into their world. Since it has been years of mauling over this, I think I can see with clarity how frightening it could be to be the one on the receiving end of my affections.
I found myself intense and wildly open.
I confessed all of my adoration and downloaded practically every connection I ever had with this person. The synchronicity was too much even for me. It happened when I first met them and it continued for years. I told myself that I made these things up. I reminded myself that when you look for things you will see them. I also, reminded myself that the way my brain works it is always looking for patterns and connections so it could possibly just be what I am seeing. That is still true, but it does not disconnect the connections that were penetrating.
I found myself thinking about what it must have felt like for them to read all that I shared with them.
I was not thinking of them when I did it. I just felt as though the words were exploding out of soul and they had waited so long to come out that I could not contain them. I had never loved before and I was not given the chance to tell them how I felt SO I HAD to tell them before I died. I felt as though the words had to be manifested into the universe for all existence. I thought that they would see it all too.
I thought that they would understand.
I was not thinking of how painful it could have been. I did not think about how overwhelming that might feel to another person. I did not think that it could hurt others too. It is a painful circumstance for me. It is hard to talk about. It is embarrassing. It brings about all sorts of emotions. I cannot take back anything that I have done, I can only move on. I do know that going through all of this has opened up my creativity. It has caused me to dig down into places that I refused to go before.
It has caused me to change my perspective about many things.
It has made me learn how to accept myself. It has made me learn about boundaries. It has also, led me into understanding that boundaries are not about the other person they are about you. He set boundaries with me and I felt that it was rejection. It really does not matter they were his boundaries and they needed to be respected. In turn, I have learned what boundaries are and how to set them in my own life. Specifically, in my “real” life. I had not set boundaries in my relationships with my kids, with David, with my family, or even with myself.
Because of that, I was hurt often, exhausted all the time, and was filled with unnecessary stress/anxiety.
We have all gotten better in this household because of my new personal boundaries. It is beneficial for the kids too because they are learning healthy boundaries that I did not learn as a child. I find it interesting that I do not have this sort of fixated love toward my children. I have always had a healthy sense of love for them. I started to change in many ways after I became a mother. I was able to see that I used to have this “obsessive” type of love toward my parents as well.
I no longer have it toward my parents.
I think it came from the desire to want to feel connected and loved by them. I now know that my parents love me and always have. I understand that I created unrealistic expectations of how parents are supposed to love their children. I also, acknowledge that they neglected my emotional and physical needs throughout my life. I am not upset about that it gives me insight to why I have some of the struggles that I do.
I have found myself at a place of peace.
I have not been obsessive about my special interests in a long time. I still stim and consume information, but it is not the same. I have found a balance that no longer brings me into extreme states of emotions. Since June, a clip from Forrest Gump has been playing in my head it seems to sum up all that I am feeling at the moment. I feel it in many areas of my life and I like the transition that I am moving into. I am no longer confused by the love that I have felt. I use it to write. I create my own characters who long to be loved or who feel intense love. They are my new friends in a sense and I love them dearly.
There are certain moments when I become so overwhelmed that I start to lose abilities. I will lose my ability to talk, sleep, socialize – I can even forget how to make a recipe that I have known for decades. Those types of things can happen to me.
When I am extremely stressed I can forget names of people.
I am referring to family members names. I am horrible with people’s names in general, but I can normally remember the names of family. :-) I can become confused and miss up everyone names. I can forget my favorite things. Everything becomes jumbled, mixed-up, and I have moments where my mind feels blank. If I try to read it is a mass of letters dancing. If I try to listen to music the lyrics fuse into things my brain cannot articulate.
I forget who my friends are and what family members I can talk to.
I forget time. It is as though my brain shuts down on me and my sensory processing becomes dulled or it becomes hypersensitive. This is saying a lot because my sensory processing functions are already at extremes on most days. Last week I started to feel the creeping dread of serious overwhelmness. I have been feeling for weeks, but last week it was getting bad. (again)
Daniel has had a rough time ever since the beginning of last week.
If I recall correctly, July is always an intense month for him. I am not sure why there could be multiple factors at play. However, he has started a “new thing” that zaps everything out of me. I have been leaving much more lately. Things have started to get better between him and his dad. Their line of communication has opened up quite a bit more because Daniel is able to tell David things and is not so reliant upon me to be the go between.
I am still the main source, but there is progress between the both of them.
It has been a good thing to help Daniel be less dependent upon me, however, he responds in a negative way when I come back home. Whenever, I leave and then, come back he starts arguments with me. He gets angry and will start asking a ton of questions that he knows the answers to, or he will get in my face and repeat himself. He instigates all sorts of things with me, but does not do this to David.
I have tried all sorts of ways to help the situation.
It takes a lot of energy for me though because when I leave that is stressful for me. It is not afun thing for me to leave the house. I do enjoy going to the Y and doing my workouts, but it has become much more social for me now. Since, I am there every week people are getting to know me and talk to me. I do not mind, but it is social. I need downtime.
My home is supposed to me my safe place.
Photo Credit: www.vettechmel.com
It feels very lacking in the safety department for me though. I do not have a room of my own, a closet of my own to go hide in, a bathroom to lock; I have no place to recuperate from anyone or anything.
Daniel has refused to go to bed without me once again.
He has not allowed me to stay up by myself in so long that I cannot even remember. He was going to bed on his own for a while, but something happened and he tries to demand that I go to bed with him. I cannot go to bed at eight or 9 pm I will lie in bed wide-awake and get frustrated that I am stuck in bed.
I stay up; I now let him stay up too.
It is not a disciplinary issue it is an anxiety issue. He falls asleep on the couch. I do not know what else to do. It is working for the time being, but him getting angry with me all the time is not. Last night, I had to go to the store he was perfectly happy while I was gone. He did great and was happy when I first came home. Within ten minutes, he started to get upset with me. I was so drained and tired from it going on for so long that I shutdown.
I took a few deep breaths and gathered myself.
I picked him up and hugged him. It was all I could think of to try to help him. As I squeezed him I asked, “Daniel do you get upset with mommy when I come home because you miss me?” He put his head down on my shoulder, and quietly said, “Yes, I think so.” I hugged him a little tighter and said, “Boo, how about instead of you getting angry at me you ask me to spend some time with you?” He said, “I don’t know.”
We were both so exhausted from the day and from that situation that I decide to drop it.
However, I made a new plan that I will try tomorrow night. I normally come home, say my hellos, and try to have a few minutes on the computer for some stimming action. Instead, of doing that I am going to attempt to spend some time with him first. It may make him feel comforted and then, allow me to have the quiet time I need. It takes a lot out of me when I go out and come home, even if I am enjoying myself, I tend to just want to walk in the door and not see anyone. I am much better at this than, my mom was I was not allowed to talk to her for the first ten minutes she walked into the door when she got home. (Still her house rule.)
I understand why she did that I cannot do that do though.
I think it may work and both of us can be happy. (I hope.) I do know that the up in the air “are we going to move or not” thing has all of us on edge. Fireworks from last week triggered anxiety in Daniel and myself, but the fact that we still do not know what we are doing about our living arraignments is a foreboding stressor. Yesterday, we looked at a house to possibly rent. Before we went, it was a chaotic mess.
When we got there the unexpected happened.
The property agent had made it into an open house kind of things, so ALL of these people came into the house while we were there. I almost had a panic attack. It turned out all right, but I was an anxious mess after the whole thing. I had a bad feeling about the house – we will not be living there. We plan to look at two other houses AND those looming adventures are stressing me out. Yesterday, all of the curriculum for the kids arrived…
Four weeks before school starts! Stress!
David’s job is changing again; he will be gone off and on for several weeks in the next few months. I do not mind him being gone, but it is the anticipation of all of this. I want to know where I am going to be living. I want to know if I should be packing. I want to know if I will finally have a room with a closet of my own! I want to be settled and be able to prepare for the school year. I want Daniel to stop getting so upset with me. I have to say here though; Daniel is doing awesome in so many other areas that it helps me stay very positive. Overall, he is very happy and having so much fun this summer, which makes me, do happy dances.
This year is going to much different.
David is going to out of town much more approximately six weeks or more out of the year. This is huge for all of us. Ariel and Daniel are supposed to be doing their state testing’s, they will be involved in activities at the Y, and who knows what else is to come. I cannot even register everything. I am looking forward to this year, but there is a lot of stuff (change!) going on.
So how have I managed all of this so far without having a meltdown?
Two-hour workouts consisting of circuit training and cardio. I am also throwing in some ballet, along with my spin class and for kicks I am rotating piloxing and TRX classes. Yep, I have gone back to my old ways. My workouts and staying active in the past helped me be able to cope with my anxieties and stress.
I decided that I needed to do some experiments on myself.
I wanted to know if I streamlined my diet and added some intense workout routines if it would help me. I have been steady leading up to daily two-hour workouts for the past two months. (I do have a recovery day.) It has helped me a ton. I introduced some things into my diet that I have not been able to eat before. Some of them have worked such as almonds, others not so much like bananas and walnuts. Gross! Gag! Almost got sick everywhere.
I have noticed a change in my calmness and peace of mind.
I still struggle, but in the last three weeks I have not shutdown or lost my abilities in the same degree as I have in the past when I feel overwhelmed. I have been able to do the workouts because I am doing them outside while the kids play. I am not sure how I am going to do this during the winter. I will have to wait and see. I have been trying to get up earlier, but it never fails. If I get up earlier, the kids get up earlier. I have to come up with sort of schedule in preparation for when school starts. I am starting to feel really good mentally and physically I do not want to lose it.
My new routines have helped tremendously with my depressive thoughts as well.
I was struggling, but what happened this time around is that the ruminating thoughts did not take place. I did not go down long drawn out paths of pessimistic thinking. I was able to see what the thoughts were,feel them for a bit, and then, move on. It felt great! I have felt a difference in how I am affected with my anxiety as well. I know that exercise helps with these things.
However, it is hard to get into a routine and keep it.
I get uninterested in workout routines quickly at times. This time I decided that I would mix it up frequently to help maintain my interest. I will share a few below. I have also resorted into taking low doses of melatonin when needed. I do not like to take supplements, but there for about a month, I could not sleep and it was getting very rough. It is working and I feel much better when I get some sleep. :-) So that is what I am doing during my stress.
Some reads and workouts!
Sensory Processing Disorders Have Biological Basis (This one I threw in because I was so excited to read it. My sensory processing plays a big role in my moods at times and I have found that exercise does help me with some of my sensory issues. That is the connection as to why I shared this, me thinking of sensory issues and exercise, but they do not talk about that in the article.)
I go to BeFit and FitnessBlender to get my workouts most of the time. I have found several videos of people doing the Insanity workout and I do it with them. That workout is no joke. I am waiting for it at the library they have them all! Woot!