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.

 

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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.

 

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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.)

526: Tis the Season to Shop: Aspie Style

1. Prepare by getting items out ahead of time.
I find my keys when I am in a non-rushed state. I keep my keys in the same place at home as much as possible, although I am not so regimented in my ways in dealings with my purse. However, abyss-purse-mouth aside, I try to place my keys in my hand before I leave a store, to avoid the stress of searching in the parking lot. And before exiting my vehicle to shop, I take out my ATM card, coupons, tickets, or the like. Take out what I need and put it in my hand or a nearby pocket. I then repeat to myself silently where I am putting the item(s). I do this because regardless of my employed ‘coping mechanisms,’ I still get anxiety in front of strangers, and have found the mere act of reaching into my purse to pull out my wallet and retrieve my ATM, when there is a potential audience, makes me blush and nervous. In the grocery store, I think about the people behind me in line and the person behind the checkout stand, and can’t help but feel their eyes upon me. I know I am not the center of their universe, and not important to them in the slightest degree. But I can’t help but to feel nervous, (if perchance their eyes hover upon me for more than a millisecond). Having what I need out and quickening the checkout process, by even ten seconds, somehow helps to relieve my anxiety. Plus, it’s one less step I have to think about, rehearse, and employ.

2. Ignore the lines. Choose the safest checkout.
I used to examine how many people were in line and choose which line to go through based on the length and potential wait time. I realized, with much exposure, that the length of the line generally means nothing, unless absolutely no one is there. At any moment, short line or not, anyone can have coupons, or need a price-check, or forget something. In addition, I have some weird spidey-sense, in which I am able to choose a short line that inevitably takes longer than all the other lines about. When it comes to shopping, I know I have triggers. Some include loud young children, loud scolding parents, people with extreme body odor, carts loaded with heaps of junk food and ‘garbage’, women with low-cut shirts with much “boobage” hanging out, and male grocery clerks. I am certain I am forgetting a barrel-load of other triggers. I am shy around men. And more shy around younger people than older people. So I generally try to choose an approachable-looking older woman to checkout my groceries. When one is not available, I find I feel most comfortable with a person appearing a bit ‘unique,’ like with nose and lips piercings and scattered tattoos or blue and pink hair. I feel much ‘safer’ around the ‘odd’ person. Perhaps I sense they might get me more than the typical folk, or at minimum not judge some of my odd quirks. And forget about self-checkout. That stuff makes me panic. So many steps and so much to do. Just scanning books in the library in the self-checkout is hard enough for me. And visualizing trying to self-scan in the grocery store makes my heart pump to the tenth degree, every time. I mean I am the girl self-preparing by reducing steps, why would I add a heap more?

3. Shop off hours.
I typically go to shop during mid-morning on a weekday. When I happen into a grocery store during rush hours, such as weekends or early evening, I am usually shocked by the wave of panic and need-to-escape that I experience. I don’t like loud crowds. I don’t like large crowds. And crowded loud aisles where everyone is maneuvering is the worst. I can feel people’s thoughts. I can almost hear their minds raging: Get out of my way! And I start to take on the persona of those around me. I quickly become exhausted and impatient. And I find myself judging how people can be so oblivious and absent. I wonder what I am doing there, and then physical pain sets in. I am the same in rush hour traffic, and forever thankful that is not a part of my daily routine.

4. Make a list and rewrite it again and again.
I like lists. They soothe me. They make errands less stressful. Ironically, in chuckle-fashion, most of the time I lose, forget, or misplace my list. But it was never about the list to begin with. I like to choose certain pens and markers and feel the way they write. I like to look at the words on paper. I like to cross out and highlight and remember things by marking them down. It’s even fun to find old lists and remember back to that day and recall what was a priority then and there. Something about words and lists and sorting is soothing. If I have to shop, I might as well add some self-soothing measures. If I remember the list, that’s a bonus. But even when I do, I often don’t follow it. In the end, a list is just one more task in a very busy-bombarded mind trying to keep up with the following of the subculture of the grocery store.

5. Stim while shopping.
I relax in some stores, when the crowds are not about and the store is clean, and the lights aren’t bothering me, and the music is not excruciatingly painful nor blaring, and the greeters at the front of the store are nice, and the aisles are neat and organized, and the items are well presented, and the heat isn’t too high and the room not too stuffy, and the smells not chemical-filled or musty. Then, when my sensory system isn’t on overload, and all ‘feels’ well, I enjoy myself. In fact, I seek out stores. I go to them several times a week. Not so much to spend money or to even shop, but to escape. Finding patterns, analyzing displays, counting how many of something are left, figuring out where I would put something if I bought it, and largely living in my imagination, are all benefits of a comfortable store. I calm myself by going window shopping and by looking at item after item, in row after row, and then deciding on one tiny thing. Something about stores enables me to relax through the distraction of ‘what ifs.’ It could be a furniture store or antique store or anything really, where multiple items are on display. My mind naturally itemizes and categorizes, fixes and organizes, counters and projects, creates and elaborates, and being in a place with many ‘new’ things enables my mind to feed. Yes, it’s a feeding of sorts. Akin to a vampire requiring blood: My mind requires newness.

6. And regarding the capitalistic ritual of Black Friday in America, a cultural tradition that has seeped out of its Friday boundary into the bordering days, past and present, no way. Not going. Not understanding the need nor the hype nor the want. Feeling sorry for the workers. Feeling sorry for society. And wishing we lived in a place where people lined up like that to feed the hungry. Enough said.

461: Before I Arrive… Aspie Exhaustion

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Day of event:

Takes a lot to leave house. The dressing alone is difficult; the contemplation about showering. The cold and hot extremes of cleaning. The irritation of today’s clothes. Nothing fits right, again. Why does it fit one day and not the next? Why does it bother me today, more than yesterday? I need to eat better. I need to… stop with the ‘I needs.’ You are enough. Yes, I am enough. Begin self-talk. I am enough. I am enough. Should I do my hair or put it up? It’s cold enough for a hat. Is this a hat event? What about the mess when I take the hat off? No, matter. It is of no matter. Yes. I am fine. I will put my hair up. My ears turn red when I am shy. I will wear my hair down; no hat. No risk of mess. A few curls. Not too many. If it’s cold and hats make me happy, why am I basing my comfort and pleasure over possible messy hair? Plus I look good in hats. So what. Wear a hat. Which one? Try on three. This one. I can’t believe I wore this headband the wrong way all day yesterday. I can’t believe I haven’t worn a headband until now. Burettes, I am still afraid to wear them. I am afraid of inanimate objects. Oh, brother! I can never put them in the right place. I don’t want to look like I am trying to look good. But I don’t want to look bad. What is good? What is too much trying? I am thinking so much. Breathe. I don’t want to be judged. But I will be. Sigh. I will be. It’s okay. It’s okay. This is the world you live in. You don’t have to judge others, but they will judge you; well, most of them will. You judge a little, too. You just let it go and recognize it. I am so much older than everyone that will be there. Some old lady mother joining in. It’s okay; this is good for me. Should I eat? That will make my breath stink. I just brushed my teeth. We need toothpaste again. I am too tired to go to the store. What store can I go to? That one is so small. So many people. So close. And that one. Yes, it’s on the way. I will go. Maybe I won’t. We have enough to last a couple more days. I can’t go to the store, today. I don’t have to plan now! I don’t have to think ahead. Focus on the present….the present… the present… OMMmmmmm. I would benefit from listening to my meditation music again. Most definitely. Why so many thoughts today? Is this my Aspergers or am I being empathic again? Are these my thoughts? Yesterday, I picked up exactly what my neighbor was concerned about. I knew it wasn’t me. Such random thoughts they were. I wonder if this nervousness about going is me? Maybe. Yes, likely my brain. Why am I nervous? Over and over nervous. It’s biological. It’s biological. Hyper-joint-mobility syndrome is documented to activate the fight-flight mechanism, and in the event of applied behavioral therapy, no improvement met. This is my body. I need to surrender; let the process happen. Heart rate fast. Breathe. What shall I bring? Where is my purse? I can’t remember where I put it. Why don’t I learn to put it in the same spot everyday? As hard as I try, I misplace things. Sigh. So hard. At least, I found my jacket. I wonder where my makeup case is. I don’t wear much. Do I wear too much? By whose standards? Whose standards matter beyond mine? I want a tattoo. I need to make a drastic change in my appearance. I am so plain and ordinary, fearful of standing out. I like hats. Hats are a good starting point. Accessories. Avoided them my whole life; didn’t want to make a statement of who I was. Or better, yet, didn’t know who I was. I know, now. At least right at this moment I know. But tomorrow I will feel differently. Shit! In a few minutes I will have likely changed my mind about the tattoo. I wonder how many people will be there? I wonder if I can figure out the social norms? Who else thinks these things before going out? I really want to just stay on the computer. I feel safe there. Well, usually I do. At least I don’t have to go through all of this. And no one cares. They expect me to be me and awkward. And I don’t have to explain myself, unless I want to. Is that weird? Who gets to decide what is normal to do on a Friday night? What if going out was not normal and staying in was normal? What if that becomes the new norm? Are we socially shifting? It sure seems that way. Crap, I need to take salt and water for my health condition. Maybe I can grab a coconut water and take it with me. Will that be odd? Are beverages allowed? Well, it will keep in the car. It will be okay. What am I missing? I have purse, jacket, water…my phone. Where is it? The ringer is on mute. How will I find it? I am running out of time. Is it charged? Where did I leave my phone charger? I am always losing things. I wonder if it is in my son’s car. I can’t believe he is driving. I hope he is okay in the snowy weather. He is a good driver. I am lucky to have three boys. I wonder if this is okay for me to go out, like this. Should I stay at home? I don’t do enough around the house. Stop beating yourself up. You are fine. You are beautiful. Stop the thoughts. Breathe. You have more thoughts because you are nervous and transitioning to a new activity. Just like Joseph. He does this. You watch him. You love him unconditionally. Love yourself the same. Breathe. This is somewhat out of your control. Remember to leave a note. Okay. Note done. Where are my keys? Man, I am running out of time. Why do I do this? Why can’t I remember to put my keys in the same spot? Each day panic attack. Keys missing. Wallet missing. Shoes hiding. Sigh. This is exhausting. Do I have my sweater on backwards? Yes. Okay, fixed. These jeans have stains on them. Oh, well. I will wash them with water when I get there. These socks are uncomfortable. I don’t want to wear these shoes. I am running out of time. Fine, these shoes. There are my keys. Focus. Lock top lock only. Put dog in crate! Almost forgot. Reopen door. Okay dog in crate. Door relocked. Balancing all this down the stairs. Don’t trip. Check phone. Time is good. Calculating eight minute drive. I will arrive five minutes before event. Perfect time to park and walk into building. Arrive right on time. Even with traffic I have a few minutes to spare. And I can be late. This is an event, not work or school. When will I need gas again? Soon. Gas goes fast. When will we run out of fuel in the world? I never have tried public transportation here. I wonder if it’s as good as everyone says it is. Probably. Does it smell. Probably. Is that stereotyping? I hope not. Oh, well, it’s just a thought, just a contemplation. Breathe. Drive. Drive. Focus. Focus. Focus. It’s almost over. You’re almost there. I am so tired.

459: Aspergers: The Marathon

Sometimes I forget the complexities of my own Aspergers. I forget how much goes on underneath the obvious and observed. I forget the complexities and complications. Forget that just to navigate a single day is to run a marathon.

Here is a list of significant challenges associated with individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome. (This is based on my experience with myself and son; as is the case with all people, we are each unique, and experiences differ.)

Completely confused by small changes to a familiar situation or environment

Feels threatened by hugs

Overwhelmed by bright colors

Frightened by loud noises

Voices can be painful

Capacity to hear may be better than to see

Lethargic and tire easily, moving from one position to another requires a great deal of energy

Poor sense of self, of body in space, and underestimate how to safely move and navigate environment

Will stick to strict routines and avoid playing with others

Aversions and oversensitivity to certain texture, sounds, colors, people, scents, tastes

Oversensitive to bright lights and sounds, like the humming of the fridge, certain light bulbs, and electric currents that other people may not notice

Difficulty sitting still and getting comfortable

Low tolerance for constant repeated noise or loud noise

Overwhelmed around a lot of people, especially new people

Unable to focus when distracted with visuals, such as clutter of pictures on a work page and/or decoration in a room

May do the following to avoid performing a task or listening: throw a tantrum, refuse with defiance, hide from the situation (under jacket hood, beneath a desk), complain of fatigue, make a rude comment

Short attention span

Difficult maintaining balanced level of emotional arousal, either too low or too high

Impulsive behavior is often a result of a perception of someone’s high-expectations

Doesn’t anticipate the consequence of her actions

Multi-tasking is overwhelming

Weak visual-spatial planning, e.g. bump into walls, objects, and other people

Mentally cannot organize new situations and becomes frightened

Hard to perceive problems

Meltdowns/Tantrums from sensory overload

Constant insecurity about what possibly might happen and how others may or may not behave

Uncertain how to behave in new situations

High anxiety

Risk of self-injury and depression

Feels under pressure to perform and behave

Doesn’t anticipate the consequences of her actions

Every day experiences seem random and unpredictable

Can be violent towards others emotionally or physically, and not perceive own behavior or strength

Difficult judging appropriate behavior

May take risks without knowing how to evaluate danger of the situation

Fears and phobias

Obsessive thoughts

Can have internal pressure to escape a given situation, but lacks the ability to formulate a plan to relieve pressure (no escape route)

Irritated by sensations on skin, such as itchy scalp and arms

Makes repetitive noises, e.g. a vocal sound, tapping, scraping, nail clicking

Bores easily

Doesn’t understand why she is bored by interests others find intriguing, such as common structured play

Sensitive to sensations, such as hunger, a full bladder, dry skin, taste in mouth

Frustrated by inability to perform a given task and/or excel

Preoccupied with details

Meltdowns and outbursts

Over-stimulation

Feelings of insecurity, anxiety and fear

Feelings may be manifested in physical ailments and actual body pain

Overwhelmed

Difficulty grasping humor and seeing the a different perspective or point of view

May choose one word from a discussion and base his/her individual response on the one identified element, instead of the main point of topic

Focuses on the details of one specific part of conversation, over and over, in the mind

Verbal impulsivity and nervousness, as well as a need to fit in, may lead to interruptions, babbling and hurried speech

Lacks ability some times to determine appropriate moment for closure during conversing, and instead speaks incessantly

May recognize he is talking too much but cannot stop his impulsivity to continue to talk

Grooming and hygiene issues, as well as difficulty evaluating own appearance, presentation and attire

Gullible, unable to always understand the punch line of a joke or hidden meaning of a statement, and easily persuaded by others

Difficulty with nonverbal body language, inappropriate body proximity and facial expression

Fluctuating tone, rhythm, volume, and pitch of voice

Timing of speech and delivery varies

Short attention span

Prefers familiarity in people and surroundings

Difficulty recognizing what behavior is expected in a new situation or event when compared to another past experience—may run, scream, jump instead of sitting

Nervous habits and repetitive behavior

mar

After two days of high-functioning behavior, aka navigating the social arena, I shall be in bed hugging my Mac laptop.

(Much of this article was taken from a past list I compiled, which has strategies for helping children in the educational environment. The link is Working with Children.)

296: The Star of My Post

I panicked this morning. I pulled my husband out of the bathroom. He was stripped down to his boxers. And I was mean.

I don’t like to be mean. I hate it, in fact. At the core of me, I am nice. But this mean, panicky part of me surfaces at times.

She especially appears when I am feeling bombarded with change and sensory overload. When my normal routine is drastically altered I get a bit crazed and then my scale of unpredictable outcries is undeniably both potent and dramatic.

This morning, the birthday sleepover for my youngest boy was almost over. There had been much noise and upheaval as the boys celebrated together and tore the daylight basement apart with their slathering of snacks and soda. I’d not fallen asleep until nearly two am, and I’d cleaned and organized and shopped and prepared the entire day before.

My husband had been a great support, as much as any human could be who didn’t possess super powers, but by morning, he, like me, was exhausted. And unlike me, he was ready to get out of the house and start a course of errands. He headed downstairs to shower, as I was wrapping the party up, and awaiting the arrival of the two last guardians to pick up the children.

After twenty-minutes of feeling a kneading, unidentifiable discomfort inside, suddenly a shock of revelation hit me. Two strangers were about to appear at my door. As I thought about this fact, I was bombarded with what ifs, and what to say, and how to stand, and how to smile, and how to be, and how to stop my own very self-consuming fear of being seen by another being.

As I processed, and my anxiety grew, I realized I wanted to duck under a blankie, to escape, and to not face anyone.

Suddenly, and without warning, an all-encompassing fear bit at me like a disobedient hound leaping to snatch food from an innocent bystander.

I logically processed. I figured this biting and uncontrollable fear was part of my Aspergers, part of how my brain worked, part of who I was and had always been. The feelings weren’t unfamiliar, not even more intense; but I was more aware.

Still, even with the understanding, I could do little or nothing to calm myself down. At any moment the door would knock and a stranger would appear.

I talked to myself in silence. I reasoned. I tried to logically stop the worries and concern. I knew there was nothing to fear, but yet I feared. I knew there was no threat, but I felt threatened. I wanted to run.

The doorbell rang. It was the first stranger. She was kind and courteous, and we didn’t have opportunity for small talk, as her nephew gathered his things and left quickly enough.

I shut the door, wishing them well, and sighed in relief. I felt half of the anxiety leave. Only one to go. Only one to go, I told myself. I attempted to self-soothe, to talk myself into the fact that I was safe. But I couldn’t. Though half the anxiety had left, the remaining panic was newly fresh and alarming, clawing at me from the inside out. I just couldn’t do it. Not alone. Not by myself. Not with all the uncertainties.

I rushed then. I darted down the stairs in a state of meltdown. I was imploding and exploding all at the same time. The outside me, the observer that sometimes watches, and takes note of my behavior, and who is often able to laugh or offer sound advice, she’d been swallowed up in the confusion of my emotions.

I had to find my husband, make sure he was dressed, and get him upstairs, right away. There was no time to wait. My soul was on fire!

I found my husband in his boxers, doing something in front of the mirror. I don’t remember what. Everything was a jolted blur of rush and chaos. “Please hurry, he will be here any moment, and you know how I am,” I whined.

I looked my husband over and realized he hadn’t showered yet. It had been twenty minutes, and he still hadn’t showered!

“What have you been doing?” I queried rudely. “This whole time you could have showered, and you didn’t. Why didn’t you? Why did you leave me up there alone? Why? You don’t get me. You don’t know me. What do you not understand about Aspergers? What do I fear the most? What do I fear the most!”

My husband stammered with his eyes and braced himself against the bathroom door. I could see he was processing my emotional state. I could sense the familiarity of his experience: how he knew I was on the verge of freaking out and that his next move would either create a domino effect of me collapsing into hysteria or serve to bring me out somewhat from my spinning panic.

He stepped closer, and waited for me to finish my thoughts, waited in a way and with a skill I have not yet learned, and fathom I shall never learn. I felt a reckoning of sadness, a knowing I was different, odd, and displaced on a planet where my skillset had never been completed, where my tool box of communication skills was vastly depleted.

I wept inside, until the fear rose. I went on fast then, and with an unrelenting urgency. I knew what I was doing and what I was feeling, and it all felt so ridiculous and unnecessary and unfounded and just plain stupid, but I couldn’t help myself. I was trapped in a prison of jumbled thought and worry.

I said more, my words not chosen carefully, my panic taking the wheel. “You abandoned me. You abandoned me. You say to me ‘You take it from here; I’m going to shower,’ and you leave me to face the strangers. You know how I am? How could you do this?” My eyes were welling with a mixture of tears and rage.

I was on the verge of flipping my husband off. About to mount the stairs, and with a quick turn of my back, turn and give him the finger. I was so confused. My emotions all jumbled and twisted into a crisis.

I stood my ground, even as I saw another path of what I might have done, how I might have taken off as I told him off. I stared past him, fighting back the urge to yell, “I hate you!”

He didn’t move or even flinch, but looked at me with such profound and unattainable patience. I knew I was being childish. I knew at that moment he was the only adult in the house.

“Your worst fears are talking to strangers, especially at the door, and to men,” he replied. He then said, with a sigh, “I’ll wait to shower. I’m coming upstairs. Be right there.”

Within two minutes, I was back on the couch, hiding behind my laptop and my husband was in the leather chair twiddling his fingers and playing with his cellular phone.

I said, “Stop picking at your lip. That bugs me.”

I said, “I don’t understand. Don’t you care? Why did you do this to me?”

He looked at me blankly, and replied. “I didn’t shower. I came up here for you because I love you.”

I waited for him to be triggered or upset or to show emotion. I needed him to be emotional. I needed him to take me out of my emotional state, by means of his emotional state. For me to be able to focus on his wavering feelings, and to blame him, so I could escape self-blame. I punched at him with my words.

He didn’t care. He didn’t. He didn’t know how to show me love, is all I could think.

“Our problem is the Language of Love. You show love in service and duty; I show love through emotion and affection. I really need a hug right now and compassion.”

He got off of the couch and came to my side and held me. But I didn’t feel release. I’d wanted to blame him and make him act a certain way, thinking his behavior would relieve me. But it didn’t.

He stayed at my side and looked over at me as I maneuvered through the stream of my Facebook wall. He was watching the posts, watching me, and in my space. I looked at him and said, “Thanks for the hug. Can you go away now? I don’t want you near me. Please leave.”

I recognized the cruelness and impatience in my voice. I sensed my selfishness and sporadic ways. But I couldn’t help myself. I was in the middle of a breakdown, and nothing my husband did or said or offered could help me.

My husband rolled his eyes and shook his head. And I offered some half-apology for my behavior, knowing I’d been terrible. I tried to make him laugh. “Well at least you might be the star of my post,” I offered.

I don’t think he smiled.

289: Sleepless Near Seattle

motel me

I didn’t sleep well last night.

Tonight, I said to my husband: “Honestly, I’m not exaggerating; I woke up at least forty to fifty times last night.”

Then I replayed the sleepless night in my head, to make sure I wasn’t exaggerating about the amount of times I woke up.

I hate to lie. And to me, any stretch of the truth seems a lie. I almost self-corrected, as I calculated that to wake up forty times in an eight-hour period, I’d have had to have opened my eyes about five times an hour. In actuality, I probably woke up four times an hour …so it was likely thirty-two times. But I stopped myself from speaking all these thoughts aloud, and just stared at my husband with squinted eyes and furrowed brow, like I always do when I am processing in my head.

Then, knowing I’d paused too long when considering typical conversational protocol, I sputtered: “I couldn’t sleep because you snored.” Only that statement instantly didn’t feel right, and I knew I’d soon be speaking my whole truth, whether I wanted to or not.

I processed more. I have no clue what my husband was doing, even though I was practically on top of his lap on the couch. I was in a distant land thinking that I ought not to have provided such a large gap of time as the space between forty and fifty times—that’s a ten point spread.

Confused in general, I tried to recover and offered, “It wasn’t just you snoring.” I was sounding weepy and whimpy, by now.

Soon, the complete truth began to leak out.  I confessed, “And there was something else.”

Of course my husband asked, “What?”

I responded slowly, with a full-blushed face.

Within seconds my husband was laughing so hard that I expected snot to shoot out of his nose.

You see, last night, we had, at the last moment, decided to stay at a motel off of the interstate, while traveling up north-east for a snow-sledding adventure. The plan was to drive up in the evening and sled in the morning the next day. I  accidentally booked a hotel (with swimming pool, continental breakfast, two televisions, etc.) that was too far away from our destination; so last-minute-searching led us to a small, what I would call “cheap” motel.

snow

I took this on our way up to the snow

I guess I was keen on the fact that we were likely staying in what could be termed a “dive,” when my husband informed me that we had scored a large room with three beds, in one of only two motels in the entire town, near a popular ski resort, for only $99. That, and the fact that the small, twenty-year old television only got one channel.

Oh, and yes, my son with Aspergers did say straight away, “I don’t like the smell of this place.”

Upon entering the spacious room, about six-feet away from where our mini-van was parked, I tried to get into my place of Zen; I do that quite frequently, set about to have a Zen-like mindset. I think to myself, what would a saint do, or Buddha or Jesus, if in a similar situation. How would he or she respond? And the answer is typically the same: act with gratitude and grace. And then I push down those thoughts of how much easier it would be to be Zen-like without my type of mind.

In considering the motel, I contemplated my good fortune. We had fresh water, shelter, blankets, warmth, electricity, and more. I snapped myself out of the “disappointment” zone swiftly, without calling myself names like “spoiled” and “unappreciative,” as I’m working on that whole positive-thinking thing, too. Which depending upon my mood, sometimes makes me want to gag.

But staying true to my state of positive-Zenniness, I began to list in my head everything the motel had to offer, right about the time my husband came out of the oddly-angled bathroom (toilet juts out and causes one to bruise knee when passing by said toilet) and announced, “Don’t forget to add that the floor slopes down at an odd angle to your list of why this place is cheap.” He knows me so very well.

So, I’m listing the positives to myself: (and occasionally out loud with a snicker to my husband)

Internet connection

Oldest son has own bed.

Even though I can’t use my bath salts as there is no bathtub, there is a quaint stand up shower.

Mold is only on the outside of the shower door.

The smell of cigarette smoke and what seems to be wet-dog-scent is not too strong.

There are other cars in the parking lot; which means other people stay here, too.

No hair that I can see: dog or human.

The sparkles glow that are set in the cottage-cheese-like ceiling; I don’t think I can get asbestos poisoning unless someone jams a fork or something up there.

The aged lamps painted poop-brown from the inside out, are all cracked and broken which makes an interesting type of abstract art; I wasn’t electrocuted when I turned on the lamp.

The boys won’t be fighting over television channels.

The door lock sticks and we can’t use it, but that chain should hold up for one night.

The light from the parking lot will serve as a giant night-light.

We don’t have rooms below us or above us, and on either side of our room are storage garages. The boys can be loud and no one will hear.

We don’t need to use the noisy heater that heats up the room too fast, especially since the curtains (that remind me of my childhood home) hang right over the heater, because if it gets cold, we can pretend we are camping.

This would be a cool setting for a Fargo-type movie or for the series Breaking Bad.

If anyone died in here, it was likely a long time ago.

I haven’t slept in a full-size lumpy bed for years.

The lacquered wall art of trees reminds me of the 1970’s.

I have both thick socks and slippers on, so I’ll be good to walk on the carpet.

~

I’m working on my list of gratitude when my husband chimes in, “And these walls remind me of my mother’s family room.” He’s pointing to the fake-wood paneling and laughing.

I fake a smile, and then whisper to him, “I probably shouldn’t tell the boys to stop rolling in the bedspread because the bedding is likely not laundered, and adults could have done any a number of things on those covers, right?”

“Yes, Hon. Not a good idea,” he answers with his trademark, I-married-a-loon-that-I-adore, shake of the head.

Right about then, my son who has Aspergers pipes in: “Have you seen what they can find with those special blue-lights in hotels?” My husband and I politely ignore him.

In the bathroom, after bumping my knee again, I notice that there is no shampoo, no blow dryer, and no supplies beyond toilet paper, Kleenex, four wrapped plastic cups, and a stack of some ten miniature soaps. Ten tiny soaps wrapped in brown paper? I think to myself.

I come out of the narrow bathroom, and soon my zen-attitude is promptly invaded by a case of the sillies…and everything spills out of my head in the form of a verbal-tag game of why this would be considered a dive hotel, with my husband.

Of course, I won, when I pointed out that there was no coffee or coffee maker.

Still, the little voice in my head circulated and percolated, reminding me to be ever-so-grateful. After all, there was a Starbucks nearby.

This brings us to tonight, and me explaining to my husband why I couldn’t sleep while in the motel.

This is how the conversation went:

“Well. It wasn’t really your snoring that kept me up. That was just a small part of it.” I paused, not so much for effect, but because I knew I was going to bust up laughing, even though I was entirely serious.

My husband Bob waited patiently.

I continued. “I couldn’t sleep because…..” I paused.

“I couldn’t sleep because I was afraid I might touch the sheets,” I said.

Bob smiled and held back his chuckles. “But you had your sleeping bag, pillow, and blanket from home and you weren’t touching the sheets.”

“I know,” I said. “But I was still afraid…I was afraid I would accidentally touch the sheets in the night.”

Bob busted up fully.

“Ha,ha, ha, ha. So you were like lying there asleep, and then you’d wake up with a jolt, look to your side and think the sheets, like they were some monster?” He stiffened his body and imitated me in a fear state on the bed at the motel, terrified to move an inch. “But you were in a sleeping bag,” he added.

“I know,” I said, “but I was afraid if I feel asleep my arm might flop out and…”

“And you’d accidentally braze the sheetttttttttttttttt!”

“Yes,” I answered, by now laughing hysterically. “I couldn’t move or relax because I was afraid I would touch the sheets”

“I love you, Honey,” Bob said, implying he knew how hard it was for me to be me, right before he did another mini-scene of me being attacked by the sheets.

Here is my bed: (See how close the sheets are???)

motel

I guess Bob wasn’t too surprised by my sheet confession, because this morning in the motel I made another of my phobias known. I had whispered to him, “Okay, I’m just going to tell you now, so when you find the wet clothes in the laundry you’ll know why.”

“Oh, no,” he responded, shaking his head. “What?”

“I’m showering in my socks!”

blue skyOn the way home

I wanted to call this post: Attack of the Killer Sheets, but I didn’t want to give the ending away.

270: Warning: Lizard Tongue

Working Titles:

I Adore Myself so Much I Could Hug and Kiss ME All Over

Aspie: Why I am So Awesome?

Take a Chance on Me…PLEASE!!!

~~~~~

Why I Adore ME:

1)      My super-sized brain that enables me to be in anytime and anyplace with the blink of my pretty eye.

2)      The capacity I have to entertain myself in thought over the most seemingly simplistic ideas, such as how well do I actually know the back of my hand, and am I the only one that isn’t familiar with the back of their hand, and am I more familiar with the lens of my eyeball from which I see, even though I can’t see my eyeball when I’m looking out in the world, and is my eyeball invisible? How can I see straight through my eyeball without seeing any of it at all?

3)      My intense humor that makes my internal organs giggle, while producing this devious, I-am-so-radical-and-fantastic grin across my blushing face.

4)      My ability to laugh at myself, over and over and over again, and my ability to point out my bazar weirdness so my friend, or neighbor, or complete stranger can laugh about me, too. Even though I know secretly they are laughing at themselves, because I am a reflection of them. And if I point that out, I like to watch their faces turn sheet white.

5)      My huge empathy for everyone and everything. My urge to get out of my van and find out why the man crossing the road is homeless and to fix him all up, like in the movies. And to turn him into a freakishly charming prince, and ride off in his shopping cart into the distant sunset, all in a matter of moments, inside my brain, while stopped at the downtown stoplight.

6)      My urge to save the world with my ever-building (secret hidden) super powers.

7)      My butt. It’s just plain cute.

8)      My need to talk to safe-looking strangers, and to compliment them, so I can see them smile and their eyes light up. The expressions I magically produce on others’ faces when my compliment is unexpected and downright odd. “Oh your house is so big and lavish and fantastic. Is this your dream house? Is this your dream come true? I wish I had a house like this. It’s so perfect. Did it cost a lot of money?” pause…  “Oh, did I forget to introduce myself.”

9)      My ability to have simultaneous sensations. While this isn’t the best: sticky, bitter taste in mouth, jagged bottom tooth puncturing tongue, hard chair penetrating butt, shoulders stinging from typing, throat a bit scratchy, ears hurting from hum of fridge, airplane flying overhead, clock ticking….This is fantastic: moss the brightest magical green on trees, leaves dancing and spinning in front of me as they float off the branches, spider web glistening and singing in beauty, dog smiling at me, feet crunching the leaves, rain tickling tongue, birds singing in unison: a mystical choir, flapping of wings, insects leaping, squirrels pitter-pattering and playing hide-and-seek, wind lapping hair, warmth of wool hat, heaviness of thick winter coat, comfort of wool socks, swishing of pants, the sound of my own song, the sigh, the deep breath, the inhale of fresh crisp forest air, my pulse, my heart, my stomach, my skin, my being, my total beauty connected with the world.

10)   My ability to be remarkably insecure and overly confident at the exact same instant. Especially concerning my wit, charm, intelligence, and hair.

11)   My need for approval while constantly denying the need for approval, as you simply don’t exist outside of my limited perception and this created illusion.

12)   My bouncy spirit. No matter how low or how high, I’m always bouncing inside with the thought of getting to know you and be your friend, and learn everything about you, once you have read my blog and can recite my entire life story, so you can relate everything about you back to me, and thusly keep me the center of attention, so I know I exist somewhere inside the illusion you’ve created, because the thought of being an invisible empty space, as is clearly feasible when considering the vast universe between my spinning molecules, puts me into a state of hyper-awareness of the need to validate my existence.

13)   The fact that I’m uncommon and could never ever be common and ordinary, as hard as I tried, except for the fact that Nerd and Geek are coming into the mainstream fashion; so I might feasibly become the norm, my non-ordinariness becoming ordinary; that leads me to believe I need to create another part of me so I can maintain my uniqueness before society tries to suck it out of me. Perhaps I will sprout wings or let my antennae grow…or reveal my secret lizard tongue!

14)   My want to use made up words that make sense to me, and the knowledge that every word has been invented by someone, so that no words are real anyhows.

15)   My ability to see patterns everywhere, to solve complex riddles while I’m sleeping, and to wake in the middle of the night with an entire script in my head that I know without a doubt I have to share with the world or I will have not fulfilled my mission on earth!

16)   The ability to be entirely ME, and to see that ME is constantly in transition, that ME is subjective.

17)   The way coffee turns me into an unstoppable engine of achievement (inside my head.)

18)    The way I can open the number of my chocolate advent calendar in December, eat the chocolate, feel the smooth tingle go down my throat and chill of pleasure up my spine, sigh deeply, and feel like I’ve actually accomplished something for the day.

19)   How I can predict and time my bodily functions and hormones. “Bitch today; check in tomorrow.”

20)   Just the grandness of knowing there are other people who get me, and the giddiness I am able to feel in knowing that we are all so fricken insane that it brings saneness back into the ball field, all redressed in the ultimate coolness of different.

^^^ The song I danced to in the sauna over and over today, while I was staring at my goldfish, and thinking I’m on the other side of glass just like them; I wonder if they think I am a fish. Maybe I am a fish. Then I clucked like a chicken for absolutely no reason at all.

I have not had the chance to ask my husband if this is socially acceptable or not. So I will take a chance and make a disclaimer: My gigantic over-sized lizard tongue is not meant to be sexual in any way.

photo-on-12-7-12-at-1-10-pm

259: Sweet Fantasy

I have a very active fantasy life. I live more inside my head than outside in the “real” world.
I am in control in my fantasy world, and no one can get me, can see me, or judge me, unless I say so. And I always look fabulous!

Outside of my fantasy world, I am vulnerable.

I create very elaborate fantasies, more often than not, about the future. It is not living in the future or goal-planning; it is living in the present and in the now, only inside my mind.

My fantasy nurtures me and fuels me. I am motivated and calmed by repeating the same scenario over and over; perhaps a conversation in which I picture the people and their exact dialogue. Often I am very aware of what I am doing, meaning I know I am fantasizing, and am an actual observer of my own behavior.

Sometimes I can live inside of my head for over an hour; basically rerunning the same images and conversation repeatedly. I start from the beginning and then do the whole thing all over again.  Kind of like being on an endless ride that loops. The fantasy could be a minute long or a few minutes long, but it is replayed so many times, that it feels much, much longer.

My emotions match the fantasy; sometimes I physically feel the fantasy. The fantasy is not typically sexual, but more than likely involves a deep emotional connection with another or an elaborate design, such as reorganizing or decorating a room.

I am coming to understand that when I have a fantasy I can turn to, whether the fantasy is a future job, vacation, friendship, or other, I do not focus on the concepts of illness and death, which are normal triggers for me in real life.

Sometimes the fantasy is of an upcoming real event. For instance, before we moved into this house I spent countless hours organizing and rearranging all of furniture and belongings into the house inside of my mind, including what went in what drawers and cabinets.

For me, I see this as a type of mental stimming, a way of relaxing and calming my whole being. I have seen people do this with words, where they have to repeat the same few sentences aloud over and over; for me, it’s the same scene over and over in silence.

When a fantasy ends, typically because a future event I’ve imagined comes to be, or because reality sets in and the fantasy no longer seems feasible, I am left unnerved and searching for cover. If my fantasy is about a person, as was common when I was in relationships when I was younger, and the person disappoints me, this is detrimental to my fantasy. If I lose a person in real life who was an active part of my fantasy life, then I feel a deep loss in all parts of me. I feel a loss of the real life relationship and I also feel a loss of the fantasy relationship. Always, without fail, the loss of the fantasy is harder than the loss of the real person. I mourn over the images I created in my mind, and who I made the person to be in my mind. I then might confuse the fantasy person with the real person, inflating a person’s image. I do not mourn over aspects of the real person as much; except in unusual circumstances, perhaps after a very close connection or a long time together.

I mourn over what could be more than what was. In fact, I could feasibly mourn over what could have been for years after a romantic breakup. A part of me believes the fantasy was attainable and very real. A part of me knows it was not realistically ever going to happen and that I would have been miserable. But the fantasy-seeking part of me typically wins out, creating havoc and heartache.

The worst type of fantasy involves death and illness, in which the worst-case scenario plays out in my mind, over and over again. I slip into that illness/death fantasy-type when I don’t have a more positive fantasy to focus on, when I am under extreme stress, and sometimes when someone else is sick and I pick up on their stress.

Another reason I fantasize is to avoid the stimulation of the environment. I often have sensory overload where the sights, sounds, smells, and textures are putting me into overdrive. Inside my fantasy world I can momentarily forget where I am and what is happening. In addition I can forget my physical pain or pending unnerving plans or upcoming events.

I can be engaged in a conversation, and like a robot turn on “standard communication mode for humanoids” and still be deeply involved in my fantasy. I will nod when appropriate, smile, make occasional contact, and come up with reaffirming and validating statements, or perhaps a question, yet still be in my fantasy world.

I don’t see this as rude. I see this as necessary. I liken this process as me entering an oxygen chamber ever so often so I can continue to breathe, and if I don’t enter I will die. If someone wants to talk to me while I’m am rejuvenating my very breath, then so be it, but I cannot stop rejuvenating to give focus to a current predicament or circumstance. I do not view this is selfish or uncaring. I care and love people, and value them enough to want to listen. There are simply just times I cannot be entirely there.

Conversation alone is often too sensory overloading for me. Not only do I have the nonstop chatter in my head telling me how to act and what to say, but I also question if I’ve done the communicating job right; all the while reminding and critiquing myself inside my head. I’ve done away with the critical voice, thank goodness, by the expert coaches and evaluators are up in the bleachers shouting their observations. Take that along with the feel of where I am sitting, e.g., hardness/softness of chair, temperature of room, humming noises from electricity or fridge, clicking clocks, children talking, music playing, air fresheners, and the feel of my own body (pain, taste in mouth, tightness, cramps, etc.) and I am struggling stupendously just to remain inside my body. Add following the conversation so I can reply in the appropriate way, and I’m ready to collapse.

Plus, I always have this little voice in side my head that says, “Boring. Can I talk now?”

I know it’s rude, and I am not more important than the person talking, and what I have to say is likely boring, too. But I feel so much better when I am talking aloud, because I can process so much, and relieve so much tension. And when someone else besides me is talking, her voice and tone and pitch and ways are likely hurting my ears and adding to my inability to pay attention. In addition, besides monitoring my own self and communication skills, I am monitoring the other person’s skills, and noticing miniscule “flaws” both in communication skills and in physical attributes. Even the tiny hair on that freckle can distract me for a full minute. Then I have to come back and figure out what the person was saying before I was pulled into a freckle. Then I worry about his or her expectations and if I am a good enough friend or listener. And then I wonder, over and over: are you this distracted and bored when I talk to you?

In addition, each word a person says triggers an avenue of feelings and possible alternative avenues for me.

For example, at mention of dog, inside my mind this might happen: Did you say dog? Oh Scooby; I miss my dog Scooby; have I told you Scooby died. Why did he die? Maybe it was……Oh no! She is still talking and I missed most of what she just said. Should I tell her or just nod? If I nod is that lying. I should remind her I have Aspergers. Or maybe I should just pretend.”

That’s just one word. Typically a conversation has much more than one word.

That is why online communication is better for me. I can forgo a huge section of people pleasing. I can pause when I want to, skip sentences, reread for clarity, and take a long time to process information. Heck, I can ignore the person, go grab something to eat, and come back later. I can even scratch, fidget, or even doodle or work on something else, and the person isn’t offended at all!

In person, I concentrate better in conversation, if I can draw or listen to music or look at my computer or do the dishes or walk. I don’t want to try to give my full attention. I slip away too fast when I try to give my full attention.

I dislike when my husband comes up to me to tell me about his day, if I’m not in the place to listen. I might need more time to process something, to listen to music, to slip into my fantasy world or to write things out, before I can actively listen. Otherwise, I too quickly slip back into my own thoughts and barely hear the first sentence spoken.

This can be hard on him, as he feels rejected, ignored, or unloved. But I really cannot help it. I need my oxygen chamber. I just do.

My easiest moments are with my middle son who has Aspergers. We get each other to a degree people without ASD cannot. On our walks he will say to me: “I will likely talk a lot about video games, and probably repeat the same things over and over, and you might be bored, but I need to talk, and you don’t have to listen to everything.”

As he is talking, he doesn’t check in to see if I’m paying attention. Pretty much whatever I do, my son will keep chirping away, unnerved and unbothered. At home I can turn my back to him and do the dishes while he talks, giving him no validation and not engaging at all, and he still talks. He doesn’t care. He just needs to get it all out. He understands this, and I am happy to be available for him, even if I’m only catching the bare bones of what he has said.

Sometimes I think people demand too much in communication. They expect someone to be their everything, to validate not only what they are saying but also their worth and existence as human beings. It’s all wrapped up in confusing innuendos and masked self-doubt.

For me, it is easier, if someone is just really honest and speaks from the heart (for example): “I think I’m ugly and unlovable, will you tell me you love me and I’m pretty,” instead of rambling on and on with only hints of inner turmoil.

Like I said, I get bored; especially of boundless surface talk, when the heart longs to speak.

I don’t get bored with deep philosophical conversation or conversation filled with emotion and fantastic news, only with the dull mundane. I really don’t like to hear a review of someone’s day, unless there is something of importance or something I can help with. I don’t mind listening. I’ll listen for a long, long time. I just will check out and back in again.

Of course there are times I can truly hyper-focus on someone, especially when he or she is in need. I will do my very best and likely pick up most of the conversation, but the cost will be utter exhaustion. Last time I was a listener to a friend for an hour on the phone, I spent the entire next day in bed. It’s more than the words, it’s the energy of the person, too.

It’s a paradox and a half, as I long to be listened to and understood, but lack the skills most time to reciprocate. That is why writing is so very necessary and vital for me. I can write and write and not have to loop in my head or ask someone to listen to me.

I’d like to say I’ve grown a lot as a communicator, and really enjoy someone’s company, but the truth is, even when I’m with someone in person, I’m still inside my head 80% of the time. I think this is why Aspies are naturally drawn to other Aspies as mates. There is an unspoken acceptance of one another as is and a forgoing of all the typical social standards, and this creates an environment of rest and retreat.

~~~~

Post 243: I’m Odd

I’m odd

And that’s just fine

I talk too much at times

And other times I close myself off to the world

But that’s okay

It’s who I am, and how I function

I worry a lot, too much, likely

But my heart is super huge, like a mountain upon a mountain on the highest peak, it is

I love my weirdness

It’s like yours

It’s quirky and cute and interesting

Never boring

I love me a lot

I’m sweet

Like chocolate, only better

People don’t crave me and overstuff me

They just enjoy

As long as I enjoy me

And that’s good

Beneficial

Perfect

If I let myself shine

If I recognize my beauty

Then people with heart

Will see

The real me

See themselves, in me

The inspiration

And acceptance

And love

And then together

We can think

She’s weird

Really odd

But I like her!