I’d love you if you were a lobster

Please Note: I thought I was posting this to my blog Everyday Aspie. After I posted it here, I decided to keep it up. See more recent blog here.

Life lately is a shit-muffin. Which reminds me. I had my first ever slice of brown sugar pie, as an Easter (curbside order) treat, and declared that it’s officially my least favorite dessert, hovering at the bottom, below banana cream pie. Oddly, on Easter Sunday, while sitting on the balcony by myself, I saw a convertible, with the top down, drive by our typically quiet, circle-shaped street. In the backseat of the convertible was a person in full Easter Bunny costume. I wished they’d driven around the circle again. A parade.

I have lost count of how many days have passed at home. I read a creative news article about 100 things someone is doing at home during this ‘shelter in place’ order. It made me feel inadequate. Each time the list mentioned children, I felt sad. My list would be short. Eating, resting, napping, and not much more. I guess ‘getting better’ is enough. Even it it’s one thing.

I have energy to write this blog post, only because I downed a large cup of black gold (cup of Joe) at 3:45 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. And I am gladly stimming through editing and rearranging words and thoughts, like a non-dimensional puzzle.

I am still very much fatigued and too tired to look for strong adjectives.

As of late, first thing most mornings, I kindly instruct David to announce, “Hey, Google. Turn Off,” in order to dismiss the white noise of the river rushing. I don’t want to exert the energy to raise my voice.

This morning, I texted David and asked him to bring me a cup water. I don’t remember if I texted ‘please.’ I was too wiped to reach over and drink my green tea (that he’d made for me). I cursed my computer charging cord that rested too far out of reach. Later, upon submitting to coffee cravings, I joked with David: “Remind me at 11 p.m. tonight, when I complain about not being able to sleep, that I had coffee after the noon hour, and that it is okay to watch Netflix on low volume, while you sleep.”

Despite my fatigue, I am still a planner.

Later, I sent him a short apology-text. Making amends for my PMS-perimenopausal-cooped-up-sick-for-too-long-during-global-pandemic freak out. I included a cute emoticon.

My emotional reserves are on extreme low. My typically lousy memory is below par. I am easily lost in thoughts. I forgot about my dog Violet this morning. I dove into a few hours of work. Having promised myself to not work more than two hours, I worked close to four. Not a good idea. And now, know clearly that over three hours of remote-work not only exhausts me, but makes me have no scruples (or patience for other human beings).

It slipped my mind to take Violet out for her early morning ‘outside potty’ time. She was still fast asleep, in her dog bed, like a doggy princess, hours into the day. I am thankful she is almost thirteen (or fourteen) and sleeping in.

To enhance the story, below is a fair visual representation of what Violet’s bed looks like. It was the first image that popped up when I Googled “Image of Round Wicker Chair.” And happens to be the same color. I’ll take that as a sign from God that I am meant to write this downer of a blog post.

To be clear, Violet’s bed is more velvety (and stinky). I originally bought this lounging chair for me, to relax on the balcony. It’s been Violet’s bed pretty much since I brought it home. Every night, after David and I have been watching a television show for at least 30 minutes (typically 60), Violet creeps out from under the bed like clockwork, to the outskirt of the bedroom, and proceeds to pace back and forth (tap, tap, tap), on the hardwood floor, waiting to be ‘tucked in.’ I then get up (growl), walk over, firmly ask her to sit; then I scoop her up like a baby, tell her what a good dog she is, and put a blankie over her. She recognizes many statements– ‘tucked in’ being one of her favorites.

This is our routine. If I don’t ask her to sit, as soon as I rise from the comforts of resting, she scampers back under the bed, as fast as she can, and then wags her tail in triumphant delight. It’s gotten worse, now that David has established himself as alpha ‘dog.’ It’s a game of ‘catch me if you can.’ A game David doesn’t care for much, and one of the primary reasons she has earned her new nickname. A name recently granted by David. I won’t tell you the whole name, as it might embarrass Violet (and David). But it’s blank-muffin. You can fill in the blank any way you wish.

I was too tired to retrieve my foam earplugs for reusing; they are floating in creases of the pink sheets. I was too tired to do much of anything, except during that 30-minute adrenaline rush, when I was mad at David. It was in that mad rush that I swept, scrubbed a wall, and cleaned up the ‘Cesca Room’ — the room attached to our garage. A 200-square-foot, yellow-walled room, where my youngest son usually gathers with his friends to play Dungeon and Dragons. I glanced around the empty room, wondering when the room would be occupied again.

Noting how the simplest of memories brings an intense longing for the normalcy in the days before this virus.

I am going through a mourning phase. Like much of the world. I miss looking forward to things. I miss knowing when I can leave the house again. And I miss feeling safe in my own home. I worry each time David leaves the house. Actually, I worry each time he mentions he might, feasibly leave the house. Even when the tail end of his sentence includes the words social distancing and mask and caution. I sound like a dictator: “Remember the new findings say 13 feet, not 6!” Followed by monologue of useless chatter.

Sometimes, despite my high-risk status, I want to storm out of the house, with my N-95 mask and gloves, and just stomp into the damn grocery store.

Never one to look forward to clothes shopping (gag), I do relax by grocery shopping. All the items and all the selection, the choosing, the evaluating, the picking up and placing in the cart. That entire process, it has always soothed me. Even if I only purchase a handful of items, the mere act of looking at all the colors and choices brings me peace of mind. Similar to disaster movies. I like to think of what to do next.

I am mourning grocery shopping. And ample amounts of blue cheese. Odd that it is blue cheese I miss the most.

It took me weeks to fill out some basic paperwork for a new mental health counselor. I need more therapy. I apologized to the new therapist, I’ve yet to meet, through text, for my inability to turn on the computer. My failure to fill out the needed paperwork. She has my least favorite name (see my book) but I am willing to give her a try. We have an online meeting Thursday. Considering my last five years of living, I have no doubt I (like many autistic people) that I am a mega-magnet for narcissists. I have a lot of processing to do. I don’t want to burden my friends with my woes. Not appropriate during a global pandemic. Like the grocery store, my main go-to’s for relief, don’t work anymore.

This Sunday was the first Easter in 22 years that I didn’t make Easter baskets for my son(s). In the past years, I hid their filled baskets inside a brown grocery bag for them to take back to college and open on Easter. Taped up and secured. This Easter, I am afraid of paper bags. The site of a grocery bag (or Amazon box) makes me wonder how long the novel virus ‘survives’ on paper. Survives is in quotes, as the virus is actual dead to begin with.

I told David, on the balcony, at sunset yesterday evening, that humans are a virus destroying the earth, and it’s good we are being forced inside. I am great at ruining romantic moments.

My days are all blending into the next. I tell myself to be thankful. Hear my mother’s words echoed from my childhood: It could be worse. I am thankful I am not in the Emergency Room. Thankful my oxygen saturation levels are good. Thankful for David. Thankful my children are safe. But still there is so much loss. So much worry. So much suffering. I keep thinking of people dying alone. Of no funerals. Of things one ought not have to think about.

 

My POTS has triggered my neuropathy, amongst other ailments (see previous posts), and I’ve gained weight from stress eating and being less mobile. When I took a shower this morning, I looked down at my thighs and cried. When I took a second shower mid-day (to wash off 30-minute freak out cleaning session), glancing down, I confirmed it was a good plan to not eat.

When I stress about the extra thigh I’ve grown, David insists, “I’d love you, if you were a lobster.” That’s fine and sweet and dandy, and a phrase he uses often to bring a smile to my once-pouty, forlorn face. But would you love me if I was a shit-muffin?

End Post

 

Random Facebook entries, from last 12 days, listed below. Not meant for entertainment.

April 2nd:

Yep. Just what I said would happen in my blog post yesterday:

“The Trump administration is expected to announce that all Americans should wear cloth masks or other face coverings if they go out in public, based on a forthcoming recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” New York Times, today

April 5th:

After 27 days of little to no energy, and a couple weeks of being pretty scared concerning my health, this Sunday I did 40 minutes of yard work! Yay! There were many things I did to nurse myself in the last 4 weeks. I’ll likely share at some point. I will share today that boosting my immune system through supplements and minerals, and listening to my body and what foods it was craving, helped. Lots of magnesium-rich foods and protein. I ordered 5 large bags of nuts, at different times, while I was not feeling well. Didn’t readily recognize I’d ordered that many nuts! Nutty, me! Much love, Sam

Watched the entire Season 3 of Stranger Things yesterday with J David Hall. As an autistic, I so much appreciate the humor, parallel plots, and the detailed settings.

April 7th:

Crushing chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, came back Monday morning. Really wish this thing would pass. Lots of brainless reality television for me, as I lie flat on my back. Even so, thankful for so much — like a comfy couch and Internet and popcorn. And for my work partner Carrie  picking up the slack! Much love to Heather, another work team member, who I’m sending extra warm fuzzies to, during these hard times.

April 8th:

Thank you for the encouraging thread. It was very validating.

I’ve been following my intuition, since I got sick over 4 weeks ago. I was doing better for a couple days and then had a relapse with shortness of breath, shallow breathing, crushing chest pain, and fatigue returning.

Some of the information that was posted in the thread below this (on m Facebook wall) by community members (thank you), confirmed I am doing many things that are recommended.

When I stopped doing most of these things listed below, as it was over three weeks and I was gaining ground (on Sunday), by Monday I regressed. I am back to my routine again.

1. I only took one Tylenol at the start and did not take any other over the counter pain killers, to let my body have a natural temperature and to not suppress my immune system, nor tax my liver or kidneys.

2. I take a deep breath of outdoor fresh air, and vitamin C and vitamin D, when I wake up, and repeat the C twice more in the day.

3. I take zinc.

4. I ordered an extra nebulizer (for my asthma) 4 weeks ago, thinking there would be a high demand. And I use it daily, as needed. I think I will use it a bit more, as a preventative.

5. I shower at least once a day for steam and to cleanse my body.

6. At night I brush my teeth and gargle and apply tea tree oil on my nostrils.

7. I sit up and if chest pain gets severe, I walk around house. (I will now do the suggested arm stretches above head and deep inhales.) Yesterday, I was flat on my back and it made it worse.

8. When it was at it’s peek, I sat up in bed and slept sitting up (with a rosary), intuitively feeling it would less likely settle in my lungs if I was upright.

9. I am using essential oils on chest to help with breathing.

10. I warm up a heating pad a few times a day and place it directly on my chest.

11. I start the day by opening windows in house and bringing in fresh air.

12. I don’t want to tax my liver, so I alternate different supplements and minerals. I have Elderberry, magnesium, fish oil, and more. I have used peppermint gel pills for tummy ache.

13. I drink hot coffee in the morning with oat milk and honey. I drink hot decaf herbal tea throughout the day. If my lungs feel constricted, I have green tea.

14. I mix turmeric with water and drink.

15. My body is rejecting dairy at the moment; so I’ve cut most of it out. It can tolerate butter.

16. I have been listening to my body’s cravings. It has been all foods with high magnesium, such as nuts, bananas, dark leafy greens, organic dark chocolate. And high protein. As I don’t eat meat, I’ve been upping my fish intake.

17. I believe there is a sex hormone link to the virus (I wrote a blog post on this) and have been craving and upping my intake of tofu.

18. I will start sitting and standing up more and sleeping less and rest on my stomach. Sunday night and Monday night I had trouble staying or falling asleep. Tuesday night, when I got a full night’s sleep, I felt worse.

April 9th:

Update:

We believe a virus triggered my POTS, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (ribs easily slip out of place), Stage-4 Endometriosis, and asthma. Won’t know if it’s Covid-19, until tests are widely available and risk of leaving home is decreased. This is week 5 of sheltering in place and being unwell. I start to get some relief and then the pain comes back.

Doing better today. Less dry cough and less shortness of breath. Got a break from crushing chest pain this afternoon. Yay! I have not had mucus. Yesterday morning was scary, as I awoke feeling like I was breathing through a sheet. My inhaler helps.

Lovely sunshine in the Pacific Northwest. Grabbing my outdoor vitamin D amongst the birdies bathing and flying about in our front yard. The fresh air and bright blue sky helps pain levels and mood.

My former husband, Bob, and I spoke on the phone, and he was thankful that he found some face masks in his bathroom– masks that I’d purchased many years back!

I am fortunate in that I have a lot of sick days and vacation time saved up, and Ultranauts Inc. is offering Covid-19 sick days, including for anxiety related to the virus outbreak. Also, my work with recruiting and neurodiversity outreach aren’t a necessity at this time.

This time at home has confirmed that I am right where I want to be. I adore David to no end, and he treats me extremely well, with the upmost respect. I love my sons, dearly. I am not upset in the least with all the canceled trips and appearances. Extremely thankful for the simple things. I do get emotional and cry when I think of all the suffering in the world. I have a strong faith and hope that we will all get through this.

Wherever you are, I hope you are well. Please take care of yourself. Thank you for the community connection. Keeping you in my thoughts.

Kind regards,
Sam

April 10th

Status:

Thanks everyone for your comments. I took them to heart and into consideration. Today I am about the same. POTS is a bit worse.

I was able to type a document today. Fairly certain I am experiencing chest pain (as in the past) from slipped ribs from Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and crushing chest pressure from POTS flare up, breathing issues from asthma, digestive issues/neuropathy from POTS.

I don’t feel like the breathing issues are getting any worse or due to a virus growing. It’s been 5 weeks and I think I’d be far worse by now, if that were the case. Instead I seem to be about the same, get a little better, have a set back, then return to about the same. Dairy remains a huge upset to my system.

My fluctuation in hormones (being 51) isn’t helping matters, as the asthma and chronic health conditions are affected.

Our best, educated guess is I caught a virus that triggered everything, and now need to work through the chronic pain flare ups to get back to equilibrium.

Ongoing (for months) emotional stress from a source I cannot control (that I won’t get into for privacy reasons) is not helping. But we are working through with a supportive professional, and that is helping tremendously with the issue.

Feel free to let me know how you and yours are doing below. Wishing you, as always, the very best. Thanks for being you. Stay safe.

Kind regards,

Sam

April 14th

Update:

Lovely sunshine this week in Olympia, Washington, USA. I am working remotely, about 1 to 2 hours a day, and resting the remainder of the day. I had a 50-minute phone call with work team yesterday, which resulted in a 2 hour nap. So still have a way to go with energy levels. I am able to do about 30 minutes of chores/tasks at home each day. Lots of fatigue, but my chest and back pain are decreasing. Sleeping better. I have to limit executive functioning tasks, as I am finding it hard to do things such as turning on computer, paying bills, opening mail, etc. My oxygen saturation level was 99% on Saturday and shortness of breath is less frequent. Resting pulse is elevated, from POTS. Digestion improving! Thank goodness. Less nightmares. Home is peaceful. David is extremely supportive. Violet (dog) is still neurotic as ever, and David has made up a new (not-so-kind) nickname for her. Baha!

I hope you are safe and well. Much love.

Best,
Sam

 

It’s All About the Ovaries (Second Edition of Everyday Aspergers: Part One)

So, I’ve been procrastinating on this post since December 2018.

I’ve analyzed why and have come up short. It’s likely that I don’t care much for self-promotion. Indeed, in the last 6+ years I can count on one hand how many times I’ve asked folks to share about my Everyday Aspergers Facebook page. (And that counts the mention here!) If you haven’t checked it out, please do.

I could blame my procrastination on the countdown to menopause, which I hope and pray arrives tomorrow, as I’ve been dealing with the complexity of endometriosis for years, including the 2018 road traveled of chocolate cysts. Don’t let the name fool you; it’s all about the blood. And now that I’ve over-shared, I will switch gears.

 

m3.jpg

Recently, I’ve had a profound peace — could be hormones shifting and my lady parts semi-retiring — could not. (Oops, focus Sam!) I’d like to think it’s something to do with my faith and spirit. It’s likely a combination of coffee, getting older, and finally getting fed up with not speaking up for myself and finally understanding boundaries! That, and I do feel the presence of an angelic spirit. But that’s another story.

Not much has changed (with my brain) in the past years, since I started writing Everyday Aspergers. Which now has over 1.4 million hits! Well, yes, some of the reason behind the high ‘hit’ number is because there are over 500 posts! Omgosh — write much?

My point being, I still digress to a close-to-annoying degree.

That’s likely why I typically get called to interview for a job, based on my awesome resume, skills, and experience, but don’t seem to ever get the job! (In fact, I don’t even get a rejection letter — just GHOSTED.) Picture me bungee jumping off a high cliff of ‘tell us a bit about yourself,’ and swirling in rapid circles, giggling like I’m twelve, raising my voice in high pitch, fidgeting about, announcing how proud I am to have ASPERGERS, and then correcting myself: “I mean to be on the autism spectrum.”

I leave an interview feeling like I either nailed it and they absolutely LOVED me, and want to be my best friend, or convinced I terrified the living daylights out of them. It’s likely the latter. As I mentioned: I don’t ever hear back. Thank the lord for my job at ultratesting.us, where being neurodivergent is the norm! Thank my lucky stars. (< Madonna video)

Ironically, I have studied 1000s of hours of best hiring practices for my vocation, and can’t seem to keep my Aspie-ness in a bag when under distress at an interview. There must be a pill I can take. (Now picturing Violet in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and now must Google to find an image.) “. .  . because Charlie she’s a nitwit.” Not to say I’m a nitwit.

 

blueberry.jpg

 

Okay, alas the REAL point of this post is to tell you THE SECOND EDITION OF EVERYDAY ASPERGERS IS HERE! And it’s now available in paperback in many countries. Check out Amazon or ask your local library to see if they can order it. Look at the PRETTY cover by an autistic artist (and my friend and colleague)!

USA amazon

UK amazon

AU amazon

10 Facts You May Not Know About the Book Everyday Aspergers

Are we friends yet? (Facebook link)

 

Okay … done! Although, I don’t think this is what my publisher had in mind.  (scan down for more.)

 

 

On a side note, I will speak to you as if you and I are in a cafe, and I’m catching you up with my medical stories. Sorry for the monologue, and the white-haired man sitting kitty-corner to us that is blushing because I am talking too loud.

This here ^^  … that’s an image of a chocolate cyst. Funny story … after an ultrasound in early 2018, when I found out I had at least one chocolate cyst, (and had gone to the emergency room in excruciating pain, and was curled up on couch most days for weeks) in typical Sammy-fashion, I researched with hyper-focus about the chocolate cysts and implemented some home treatments — including essential oil, strict dietary change, etc.

When I returned months later for a follow-up ultrasound, the technician confirmed indeed the cysts presented (3 of them) exactly like ‘chocolate’ cysts! Immediately following, (literally a few steps down the hall), my OBGYN doc informs me, “The cysts are shrinking, and that doesn’t happen with chocolate cysts, so we can’t call them that anymore. They don’t shrink.”

I was dumbfounded.

Surely, in some cases they can? And I’d done so much, including talking to my body, to ensure healing.

My scrunched up face demonstrated I was confused, as I asked in a high-pitched voice, that no longer suits my age: “Well, what would we call them if they weren’t shrinking?”

She responded, “Oh, definitely chocolate cysts.”

I then got that familiar feeling in my gut that means ‘NO ONE on this planet is truly an expert in anything and most of the time professionals are talking out their donkey.’

(“vulgar slang To say foolish things; to talk of nonsense. Don’t pay Jonathan any mind, Mary, he’s just talking out his ass again.”)

The next time I went back in for a check up, with said Doc, she informs that my chocolate cysts are shrinking or stabilized.

So I guess we are back to calling them that?

Anyhow, it reminds me of the time I had a dead front tooth, when I was in my early 20s, and I went to a dentist that a colleague had suggested I see. It was 1992, a sunny day. The dentist’s recommendation for my dead tooth’s discoloring was to darken all my teeth to match!!! Yes, that’s right. And, noooo, I did not!

I have trouble believing this actually transpired, especially after I told my dental hygienist the story yesterday, and she said that’s the worst telling she has heard to date. Also, because decades have past with my pretty veneer tooth. (The other dentist I saw bleached all my teeth to match the new veneer. Yin and Yang. Dark and Light. Theme of my life.)

(On another side note: I found out this week I have no cavities and an unusually small mouth [which matches my usually small head]. And I warned the dental hygienist not to say she has a small mouth despite what her husband says, because that can be interpreted in different ways.

She was appreciative, and said, “We’re going to get along just fine.”

I always find it to be an interesting phenomenon when I give out unsolicited advice to non-autistics about social graces.)

Needless to say, I never went back to that dentist who wanted to darken my teeth! But the young, inexperienced (terrified) me did shake hysterically in her car afterward. The same way I shook after seeing a ‘specialist’ a few years back.

That time a doctor would diagnose me with ‘a close cousin to POTS syndrome,’ (as my blood pressure acted a bit different from typical POTS, but the tilt table test confirmed the condition.)

This was after 5 ER visits wherein my pulse would go to 160 upon standing, wherein the IV would add sodium to my blood, and remedy the POTS-like reaction, making me seem better; only to be sent home and the symptoms to come back (160 upon standing, weak, shaking, etc.); only for me to return to the ER and be told I must be inventing it for attention.

Yes, hysteria is still widely falsely the diagnosis for women! No wonder I have white-coat syndrome.

Fortunately, my then-husband Bob (now-good friend) was in the patient room with the ‘specialist’ (notice the quotes) and me, when the Doc told me my diagnosis and prescribed an exact treatment plan, e.g, constricting stockings, raise bed, exercise regime, salt intake, etc.

A year later, I came back, feeling super pleased I’d followed the Doc’s directions, and was able to sit up for long periods of time, and return to life as normal (well atypical normal). BUT THEN . . . she SCOLDED me, accusing me of making my condition up, and saying I didn’t have POTS, and didn’t have to do all that. That I wasted my money on salt pills and where did I get the idea I had POTS?

I had to phone my ex-hubby from the car to avoid a nervous breakdown; literally thought I was losing my mind, until I realized the doctor was …

(Scan down for book reviews.)

So . . . I likely should write another post soon that is more about the book. I will. I think. Can’t wait to see what pops out of LV’s mouth then! Sir Brain is shaking his head in shame. (He doesn’t have ovaries.)

542: Self

self
self

I know what I am not but not what I am. I know when to stop but not when to stop starting. I can inch my way into the middle and get stuck in the molasses of neither here nor there. I don’t know how to swim upstream without pounding pain, and instead, in alternate route, float downstream away from the waters where all else abounds.

Somewhere I have forgotten myself, and I search to find her, thinking I have arrived, only to once more find I am at the backdoor looking into what was and thinking I had known then.

I cannot remember who or where I have been, anymore than I can visualize where I am going. I am lost, in a time maze of confusion, falling upon a self I cannot fathom or detect.

She is there, in the shadowed-tunnel, collapsing and reborn into another, faster than humanly feasible. She is multitudes unopened and reopened—an anomaly in form. To be and not to be. To care and not to care. To unravel into the very depths of reason and peer down into the pond of ‘me.’ Only to question what it is that stares back with such disregard and wonderment.

I am but enough and then I am unequivocally lacking, never measuring up to the enforced standards absorbed from the path I walk. I clamor for explanation and find a thousand books untouched, though in some fashion taken into the realm of reason. I can feel the words: the spoken, the whispered, the silenced, the ones that never came and ones that never speared the element that is I.

They make me. They form me. They penetrate me into something I know not. Clay to my mind. Dirt to my heart. Scattered residue of earthly wants and needs. Goods that I am neither capable of grasping or acquiring.

I am this existence that the observer watches. Reformed with the passerby. Morphed into their reality and then left, unscattered and splattered, broken and unbroken, in a pool of endless duality.

I am what I am—yet only for a fleeting moment; a chance to take glance towards the outline of my palm, the beat of my heart, the opening of a billion universes. Everywhere I am, and at once I am alone. Isolated. A loneliness no less easy to explain than the essence of what I have become. ~ Sam, 7/24/15

539: I Am Too

I am Too
Sensitive
Honest
Emotional
Silly
Sad
Excited
Despondent
Straight Forward
Detailed
I am Too
Affected
Exaggerated
Off Center
Realistic
Hopeful
Critical
Logical
Worried
Frazzled
Careful
I am Too
Serious
Anxious
Self-focused
Self-involved
Introspective
Deep
Frank
Different
Obsessive
I am Too
Open
Transparent
Real
Intense
Forgiving
Helpful
Giving
Understanding
Trusting
I am Too
Confused
Overwhelmed
Naïve
Nervous
Stuck
Controlling
Impatient
Impulsive
Invasive
Needy
Clingy
I am Too
Talkative
Hyper
Sick
Tired
Attached
Aloof
In hiding
I am Too
Quiet
Distant
Inside my head
Contemplative
Analytical
Repetitive
Cyclic
Fearful
Determined
Pattern-seeking
I am Too
Hard on myself
Mean to myself
Unforgiving of myself
Self-punishing
Self-loathing
Pretending
Aching
Hurting
Wishing
Feeling
Isolated
Terrified
Reaching
Wanting
Dying Inside
I am Too

531: The Balance Beam

I have a hard time giving to me. It’s not about esteem, as far as I can logically decipher. Nor is it about being selfless or completely altruistic; though I strive for those ideals, I highly doubt they’re attainable in my human suit.

I have a hard time feeling my achievements and accomplishments. It’s not that I don’t take note of my hard work and efforts, and even the path I climbed, (or sometimes slid down rapidly screaming for help), to get there.

More over, I don’t think I have the capacity to feel, essentially, who I am.

I can see that I am intelligent, kind, and for the most part understanding and forgiving. I recognize what could be quantified as a kind of ‘goodness’ in me, and even an over-riding sense of wanting to serve to serve and not to gain approval. I get all this about me. I see it. I recognize. But somehow I can’t feel the experience.

I don’t know if one would call it a sense of pride or fulfillment, or other abundant amounts of labels—but whatever it is that other people seem to get and obtain, in an abstract way after achieving a goal, I don’t seem to have that. I can’t even say if it’s a feeling or outcome, simply because I don’t understand.

Perhaps this inability to understand is because I don’t think the race or game, or what-have-you, is ever over; and to top that off, I don’t even believe that the race or game actually exists. I see the process of achievement as a cluster of something or another, all unrecognizable and indistinguishable amongst the rest of life’s happenings.

To me, I do to do. I give to give. I care to care. I exist to exist. There isn’t this motive or agenda underlying my actions or ways. And if there is, the motive, if not for others, feels heavy, poisonous, and akin to wretched waste.

I just am. And this way that other people sometimes maneuver through life baffles me: the secret schemes, the plots, the webs spun and re-spun. And furthermore, along the same lines, in comparing the declared ‘loser’ to the announced ‘winner,’ the latter seems nothing of grandeur in comparison to the agony of the defeated one.

With this said, I cause myself great harm in overanalyzing my every move. The spectator I am, observing self, tinkers about with scoping tools, contemplating if my action is suitable representation as reflection of interior. If, in fact, in the light of the day, what is said or done, matches my intention or desire. In a constant state of analyzing, I am aiming for the path that is in direct resonance with my soul self.

In addition, I cannot detect the idiosyncrasy of common conversational rules spawned by the associate facing me; yet, I can dissect with fine-fashion the inner-weavings of my own motives. So much so that I deliberate with self questioning if my words are appropriately suited for ‘proof’ (to self) of authenticity.

Is the exterior self accurately representing the unspoken self? I ask. Still with this perceived self-harm, I need this way of being. The manner in which I tread upon a dreamland stage, whilst all about more selves collectively critique the actions portrayed by the exterior, is a proverbial limb of my essence. To be without such manner of existence, I would find myself broken and obsolete, and abandoned, the same as wood for fire. And as tree, I would weep.

In honesty, the worst of the matter is when another enters my zone: the place in which I sit unsettled watching for discrepancies between what is intended and what was produced; distinguishing the gaps, molecular they might be, between what is felt intrinsically as truth and what is displayed as reflection. I hide within, in constant wonder-state, questioning if what I have done is honorable. And here the pain comes, as the mind blunders and rallies for evidence of what is honorable.

Again, I find myself today, in the balancing act of striving for neither perfection nor satisfaction, but rather the gentle center point that does more to extinguish self and lighten all. It’s a varying balance beam of grace that beckons me to be all I can be, but not too much.

527: Once More

Once more
Some happenstance
Of circumstance
Everything circumvents
Transparent facades
Of turbulence

Familiar and foreign
Anomaly of contrasts
Birthed in barren land
Where the seed of now
Searches for rooting-ground

Bedding down she finds no relief
Disappointed she flutters
As butterfly, to higher lands
Where chance planting might arise
Left
Shattered by the nonexistence

Myself here
Transpired
Greatest works
Long past expired
A lathering of doubt
Pulling up from the foundation
Taking in what are last reserves

Core-dripping real
Wavering self-confidence
Finite point
Of seeming happiness
Drowned out
By the bottom realm
Once more

518: The Barbs

I can sense fear, well enough. It doesn’t come in needle form. It isn’t injected by an outside source. There is no fluid that enters through a prick or an invasive probing. Fear bypasses exterior layers, rooting from within, expanding and growing as seedlings do. And I am but host to the cyclic process.

For most of my days, I wasn’t aware of the fear inside. Even as I was always anxious and scared, I couldn’t readily identify my emotions of fright, basically because I was fright. Even as new fear entered, there was no obvious change inside of me. There was no alarm system in place. Fear was my normal. If there were trespasses against me, there was no way to tell, because I was already overcrowded inside; one more pair of prodding footsteps made no difference to a well-established colony of thousands. Ironically, in a state of fear-equilibrium, I felt perpetually balanced.

In regards to the fear I housed inside, I don’t know when I started to shift. It was sometime between the start of my public writings and the times I had delved deeply into spiritual studies. I’d been searching for answers. And something had clicked. Something inside of me. And in those moments the fear became recognizable. Wherein it had been invisible before, this fear now had a voice and had taken form. It arrived aware of itself, pushing up and growing in a making-room-for-more manner.

The fear was real then. It always had been, but now it was set outside the shadows and staring down at me. I could feel it everywhere, a monstrosity. I knew of it, too, as if an old familiar friend had reappeared for fellowship. Foe, he was, true, but more so a companion, in the way he meandered and made himself at home, opening and closing whatever compartment he fancied.

Seeing him move this way, amongst the others, amongst the piles of pain, in the conglomeration of fear, baffled me. A visibility granted where once there had been utter blindness, seemed miracle. In this way, fear itself, in manifestation, became an element of transformation. In this way, fear was part of my breaking and making.
With my new awareness my body was liken to a musical organ, each key being pounded in by some unknown trigger, and in response piping out this obnoxious vibration, the sounds penetrating my interior and leaching out of the exterior: a lost song let out into the open.

Wherein before I might have survived in a state of saturated fear, my stagnation birthed through a tangible blindness, here, in this new awareness of continual pounding, I could not live. In response to the discomfort my instinctual nature took over. And at a subconscious level I began the process of sorting through and categorizing the discomfort. Later, again, quite instinctually, I established a way to eradicate the unwanted tenants. I’d rely on my own body. Recognizing that I was contaminated by fear, I would remove each and every cause for pain, my body an informant, verbalizing through careful unspoken word.

It whispered its tellings,
listen, stomach would say, I am tight,
listen, heart would say, I am pounding,
listen, hands would say, I am clenched.

And from here, the whys came forth. Stomach was sad from the way the stranger had frowned. Heart was upset in the way the word ‘stupid’ reminded him of the past. Hands were scared by the loud boom of the car. And I listened. Day after day, I listened. Until, with much patience and practice, I began to hear less and less. Now, new spaces opened where none had existed before. Now when a stranger appeared, when he rooted himself in me, the fear was no longer cloaked by the masses. Now when the fear came, it came with a loud blow into an empty room. Now when fear arrived I knew immediately.

The tables had turned. Instead of housing the fears that had used me for room and board for decades, now I removed the newbies, the ones that had hitchhiked in hopes of permanent residency. Now I gathered the barbs and released them—their freedom, my freedom.

509: There Needs to be A Name

There needs to be a name
There needs to be a name for what happens
Because always with happiness
Comes this shadow
Some dark figure behind closed doors

When happy rings
I open
I envelop
I take in the colors, the smells, and desires
I become that which is: calm, giddy, and hope-filled
The world mine, for a moment
Free
Anxiety lifted
Somewhat ‘normal’
And yet…
And yet…
And yet…

The Shadow
There—waiting, watching, wanting
To devour

I am these two: Split
Yes, split
I am momentarily happy, and I am perpetually sad
Half sees the other as weak, dismal, and pathetic
Half sees the other as over-bearing, tiring and exhaustive
Melancholic one, concurs
Happy sweeps up the messes and sets things straight

Some other piece, long forgotten
Wants nothing more
Than to crawl into a space of no halves
No me’s
Where there is emptiness
Tranquility
And the absence of extremes

Somewhere between
Over-exertion
And under-confidence
I wobble, this lonelier non-version
Frightened by the chime of happiness

~ Everyday Aspergers

500: Unspun Love

Unspun Love

I am letting go of what was, of what I held on as truth, reality, this sense of REAL
There are webs upon webs inside of me, touching down in random places
With a stickiness of messiness, a buttercup of blood, daunting, unchanging, unforgiving
Had I been hurt, I could say so, but who is to say what causes the pain, whose action, whose way, whose plan
I can’t say that this is this because of this, as there is no definite answer, no exact knowing
No causation I can single out and assuredly point finger in proclamation
I do know there is pain; I know this well, and perhaps I know too, I blamed myself all of these years
Easier to blame self than another, I suppose, to take in what is poison than to spill out, making new suffering
There were numerous ways in which I taught myself falsehoods, temporary strings I weaved in hopes of categorizing my world
Into boxes I placed behaviors and actions, wishes and dreams, and watched the withering of my own undoing
I’d hoped that much would change without effort, in that I’d tried hard to keep trying, to keep going, to move
And prayers seemed increasingly unanswered or at minimum unheard
Mine was a dangerous labyrinth, the way in which my youthful days played out
Keeping time by the stars at night and the ringlets of towering trees, I danced
Always happy, I seemed, always light-filled and bright, Mother told it so
As did strangers and random passerbys; had I known to beware
One after one things left, disappeared, vanished, and were taken, gone before sunrise was woken
One after one I became teacher to the deepest soul-self, the tiny innocent creature named: me
And the lessons I gave were enough for the moment, as broken and rotten as they be
The world was a place of trickery and thievery; I’d remembered those men in Mama’s room
The town was a place of random violence, untruths, disbelief, and fizzled-out faith; I’d watched from my high-tower of soul
And everywhere, all about, the sense, I called ‘abandonment,’ erased a part of me
Built upon my cherished treasure, my beacon, my light, a bombardment stretched and pulled like dough into a gooey mess—rancid, undone falsehoods
I witnessed death; I witnessed children who vanished, family that dissolved, men and woman who made promises and then took sword to my delicate heart and severed
I didn’t understand laughter then, the type aimed at me; nor the glances of demise; nor the mannerisms masqueraded across the halls of scattered scholarly prisons
I didn’t understand what was outside, what seeped out of some and bleed into others
I knew enough to know that people weren’t to be trusted, that people caused harm, that people took what was pure and demolished it in the name of selfish ways
And yet, I knew, too, that I could not stop trusting and hoping, that I would forever be this someone locked in a cell of naïve-padded walls, unable to see beyond the rose-charm-pink that tinted my outlook
How I longed to be like the rest and learn, to take inventory, to observe happenings and conclude future meanderings through the mucky patch—my life
And still I wept in a prism of dichotomy, a blossomed keen awareness, lacking capacity to alter anything
Helpless was an understatement, a definition of warrior child turned fragile flower
For in the absence of assistance within, there would be no means in which to reclaim a foundation
Instead, I rather drifted in an open sea-sky of oblivion, blue into blue, not understanding the methods of instigators, nor where to house my love