I am coming out of my overwhelmed state and feeling much more positive. I forget what stress does to me and when I cannot see any end or solutions, my mind starts to spiral. Thankfully, my exercise loop is back because it helps me a great deal emotionally, mentally, and physically. Exercise is a lifelong special interest of mine, but if I become bombarded with daily life, I can lose my drive to keep on doing it. I also, know that I can become obsessive about it so I have to keep a steady balance.
BUT it makes me feel so good!
I have started to work out on a daily basis, even if I can only fit in 20 minutes of cardio, but throughout the day, I am doing push-ups, scissors, jumping jacks, crab crawls, whatever it takes to give me that boost to push through the muddledness that tries to take over. This has proven to help me – sometimes for only a short period, but it is enough to get things done. I had not thought about any physical goals with starting my workouts back up, until I started to feel my body get stronger. It has taken several weeks, but I am feeling the difference in my workout.
I am able to do 10 real push-ups!
That is huge for me because my upper body strength has always been a challenge. This past Monday I was able to do things in my spin (cycle) class that I have not been able to before. My body has not felt this strong in years. My new strength strangely makes me feel more confident and self-assured too. Self-assured for me means that I do not think about my “oddness, possible inappropriateness, and/or quirks.” That is until it is brought to my attention. I had not initially meant to talk about my workout stuff.
My original thoughts had to do with last night at my Piloxing class.
The other night I did not get any alone time, last night I needed to work out even though I did not feel like it at all. (Ariel came with me so technically I still have not had any alone time, I am taking some time today and doing whatever I want!) I did not mention this in my last post, but Daniel will not go to bed without me again. He is refusing to leave me and for the past couple weeks Ariel is waking up in the middle of the night and coming to bed with me too.
I have not slept very well being sandwiched between Daniel and Ariel. :-/
I digress. I arrived a little early to class, the instructor and several other women were sitting outside waiting for the other class to finish so we could go in. The instructor is a lovely woman; I really like her bubbly and happy attitude. She is not fake about it and she is not over the top, she feels very genuine. However, last night I was not in the mood. Everyone was quiet except for her and another woman. The instructor realized that their conversation was rather exclusive so she tried to spark up conversations with the rest of us. She asked, “So how is everyone’s week going?” All the women said things like, “Good, fine, everything is going good.”
I could not do it.
I was not smiling, I looked at her trying to get something positive to come out of my mouth, but I could not. Right before I left the house, I was trying to comfort Daniel because of something that triggered him. It does not bode well for me to go into a social setting right after Daniel has had a difficult time. I was in recovery myself. She could tell that I was not too zealous about the week and she asked, “Is your son still having a difficult time?” This sank in my gut triggering the week prior when my aunt had walked by and asked in front of all the women, “How is Daniel? Is he still melting down?’ I knew that she was concerned and was trying to be supportive so I was not offended or upset, but I had panic run through my body and mind because she said it in front of all the women. (If she said it to only me I would not have thought about it at all, that is how we talk to each other.)
All of the women looked at me oddly and I said something like, “Yes, he is still having a rough time.”
They looked at me as if waiting for more details, but I would (could) not say anything else. I found myself holding back the words “He is Autistic.” There were (are) several reasons, 1) I do not want “meltdowns” associated with my son because he is such a sweetheart. He is gentle, kind, and caring much of the time. 2) I normally know the triggers of the how’s and why’s of his meltdowns.
I would end up going to great lengths explaining why he is having these difficulties and people really do not want to hear it.
3) Media has tainted Autism in such negative ways that I never know how people will respond when they hear that my son is Autistic. 4) I sure as heck do not want to encounter someone telling me that it is vaccines, my bad parenting, demons, and/or he can be cured in an instant with coconut oil. Yes, people have said these things to me in real life so I am a bit apprehensive in sharing about my son. (I am not even at a place to consider sharing that I am Autistic.)
It has nothing to do with shame; frankly, I do not have the energy to take on those types of things right now.
5) I want a safe place! I want to go to a place where I can let go of all of the stuff going on in my life and enjoy myself. I have fun working out. The harder it is the better I feel. I start laughing when it gets really tough. It releases some sort of “happy juice” in me when I feel as though my body cannot go any farther. Then, I feel this intense “RAWR!” inside my head and I push forward breaking my own boundaries. I compete with myself and try to push myself harder and harder each time. 6) I do not want people’s sympathies. Those who understand the challenges my son and I go through is enough for me.
When I read from another parent who is or has gone through some of these experiences it gives me hope.
It reminds me that I am not alone. It reminds me that others are struggling too and they got through it. It reminds me that I have gone through it before or it paves the way of understanding when/if it happens in my life. Those who have not been through it cannot comfort me. It does not help me to hear a parent of “normal” children try to find comparisons to make me feel better. They are not the same. I do appreciate their efforts in trying to relate and be sympathetic, but it only enhances my feelings of isolation.
Back to the story… She felt uncomfortable with my respond and moved on. She then, said, “Be sure to invite your friends here because we need to have eight people each week to keep the class going.”
Everyone was silent and looking down.
She said it another two times and then, looked at me. Without a thought the words blurted out, “I do not have any friends. If I did I would invite them because I love this class.” She looked at me and laughed saying, “Oh come on.” I looked at her matter-of-factly, “I really do not have any friends.” Realizing that my words were causing EVERYONE to feel uncomfortable, but not really understanding why, I said, “I just moved here and have not had opportunities to meet people.”
At this point, my aunt was walking by and I felt that I had to say something.
I blurted out, “She is my friend, but she teaches on Thursdays so she cannot come.” My aunt stopped and said, “What?” I told her what I had said, and she immediately took over. I knew that I had said something that seemed wrong, but I was not sure why it was wrong. I reached out to my aunt because I knew that she could help fix whatever “social faux pas” I had done. I knew that I needed a good reason for not having any friends because of experiences, being in very similar situations. My aunt did take over and gave more clarity about my move and not having time until recently, and that I have not had time to make connections. That is partially true.
I could feel the air in the hallway a little bit heavier, but still not sure why.
The conversation dwindled, I felt awkward and sad, but could not think of what was making me feel that way. I later understood that what I was feeling was the emotions from the other women. They felt sad for me not having any friends. However, it took all night to process that for me to understand that sadness and that it was not my sadness. Then, it was time to start class. There is one woman who has been friendly toward me, I finally realized that I had briefly talked to her the night I went into Zumba instead of spin class. (No bikes were available.)
She has sparked up “Hello’s, how are you doing? and you should try such and such class.” several times.
I did not understand why she acted as if she knew me, but I realized that she was being nice and seems to be similar to the instructor with wanting to talk and be nice. I like her too. I have tried to talk to her more, working on my social anxieties. Last week she suggested that I try the Zumba class on Wednesdays and she commented on how much I seem to enjoy the classes.
It’s true, I seem to be the only one in them laughing, and smiling while, others look like they are in pain.
It made me wonder about my past self-harm behaviors. They made me feel better, they made me feel, they caused some form of “feel good” trigger that others could not understand. Intense workouts seems to do the same type of thing. Interesting… It is definitely a much better coping mechanism. Sorry, I am all over the place on this post. I share my interaction with her because after class I tried to talk to her again. There were several things that felt awkward, but I did not know what they were or why, again.
Until, I was in the car on my way home.
I felt much better after leaving; Ariel had fun in the activity center so I was happy about that. As we sat at a stop light I started laughing hard, saying aloud, “Oh, my gosh I feel embarrassed.” Ariel asked me about what. I shared with her what I had said about not having friends and then, realizing that everyone was looking at me oddly because people do not usually say those types of things. I then, realized that some of them were looking at me with faces that may have been “I feel sorry for you” types of looks or something. It made me feel sad.
I laughed again thinking how funny I sounded being so matter-of-fact about not having friends.
I thought how confusing it must have been for the ladies because my expression was stoic. I was not sad it was simply the truth. In my mind, I would love to invite more people because I never want the class to end – EVER! (Unless I get bored and find another workout. ) However, I was struck again with embarrassment and sadness. (All of this through the eight stop lights on the way home.) I had every moment when I have been asked to “invite friends” to some sort of function flood my brain along with the emotions. At school, at work, at church, to parties, now at the Y. I have not had friends to invite. Either I only had one friend, who may or may not have been interested in what I was doing or I had no one.
I thought how silly I would have sounded to the women had I shared the whole truth, I have no friends, except online.
“Yes, ladies my only friendships live hundreds or thousands of miles away in other states and countries, who may or may not be using their real names!” AND I LIKE IT! Don’t get me wrong, I do want friends in real life. I live in a constant conundrum of longing to have a friend in real life and enjoying my solitude. There are days when I desperately wished I had someone to come over to my house that would just help me as friends do, or comfort me when nothing else can. However, in my experience I tend to take on the role of “comforter, helper, problem solver” for them. It drains me and tires me leaving me unable to share anything that I am going through.
I do not feel sad about not having friends until I am asked to invite them somewhere.
That goes for social media too. I do have several “friends” on my facebook pages, but when I am asked to invite people or share, I get that same awkward feeling and my head fills with the words, “I have no friends.” I feel sad about that too, but once again I am not exactly sure why. I see other people who I follow that have a TON of “friends” and it makes me wonder why I do not.
Is it because I am not able to maintain my social interactions?
Is it because people genuinely do not like me? Is it because no one can relate to me? Is it because they are just not interested in me? Are these the reasons why I do not have friends in real life? Am I too strange, awkward, and/or arrogant? I ask these types of questions without any emotion. Sometimes I am overcome with emotions when I think if it other times, like today it is merely wonderment. I do not feel badly, I just do not understand nor do I know how to change it.
I still find my social awkwardness funny, despite all the other emotions that it stirs up.
I am not sure if others know what I am talking about, it would be nice to know if anyone else feels these types of things. I wonder if there are others who feel that constant confusion of feeling lonely, but liking to be alone. I do wish that I had someone else with me at times to point out these awkward situations to help me process and guide me into feeling ok about it. I will do it on my own, or I will be remaining oblivious, as I have done in the past, but every once in awhile I really wish I had someone to share this stuff with, another socially awkward person perhaps? Another introvert type that could make me laugh when I say inappropriate things?
Hey, is anyone willing to Skype with me to my next Piloxing class? Ha ha ha