427: Eating Disorders and Females with Aspergers

Recently there was study released that linked females with Asperger’s Syndrome to eating disorders, specifically anorexia.

The researchers are making conclusions that the eating disorder could be a result of the Aspergerian’s tendency to fixate on one subject or thing; and in the case of anorexia or other eating conditions, this one subject or thing would be food or weight, or a variant of the two. I understand this, and the conclusions makes sense. However, I think there is a lot more to it.

Gathering a selection of females with Aspergers and asking them direct questions and allowing the participants to elaborate on their experience, might deem worthy and productive. There is much to gain in looking at the person who has the condition when searching for answers. But there is far more to gain in talking to the person and asking the female to share. We have a lot to offer. And so many times it is a male without Aspergers, and without an eating disorder, constructing these studies. It seems ridiculous to me. How much better for a female, who understands the gender experience, who is a person with Aspergers, and has an eating disorder, to be the person evaluating and determining results of a study about females with Aspergers and eating disorders. Wouldn’t she be much more able to ask the deeper questions? Much more able to interpret the responses and understand what was happening?

There are layers and layers of complexities that the mainstream evaluator and researcher are going to overlook. Not because they don’t have the wherewithal or wits about them, but because having Aspergers isn’t something you can begin to understand unless you have Aspergers. It’s not like having a mild disease where a section of your body responds differently. Having Aspergers is like having an entirely different system of functioning, processing, viewing, and seeing the world. All the senses are affected. All the ways in which the brain digests information is somewhat skewed—not wrong, or even right, but just different. There really isn’t anything simple about Aspergers and thusly no simple conclusions ought to be reached from any study.

Biologically there are differences from the typical person. We are affected by our guts, our skin, our thoughts, and a lot more. Theories abound about variant enzymes and the like. How we process hormones and chemicals, even how food affects our system is questionable. With so much going on internally beneath the surface that most people cannot figure out or understand, and with so much still unknown, it is impossible to accurately point to a singular cause of any behavior at this point. To conclude an action is based on one aspect of Asperger’s Syndrome is not accurate. The complexity of Aspergers is like a ball of twine. One thread affects the whole. The weight, the design, the outline, the movement, the appearance—each string pulled causes an alternate reaction.

Who is to say that food is not the culprit and that food causes the exact disorder that is being blamed on the Aspergergerian’s tendency for fixation. Perhaps the food itself triggers a chemical reaction in the brain that causes interior upset, either biochemical, physical, or psychological. Case in point being gluten which affects many on the spectrum, causing rapid thoughts, depression, or a false type of high—purely chemical. And if a child were to feel those extremes when eating gluten, then could she not then want to discard of the food, to instinctually force the food out of her.

That is just an example, and by no means suggestive of a theory or even grounds for an eating disorder. It is merely a case in point.

Food definitely affects my health, not by my own doing but from my chemical makeup. Certain foods make me very sick and off center, especially genetically modified foods and products with chemicals, preservatives, and other ‘unnatural’ substances. Certain foods cause inflammation of my body and increase my pain, particularly sugar, dairy products and various white flour products. I bloat up from gluten and sometimes get scary thoughts after eating wheat. Wheat seems to put me in a depressive state quite easily or causes me to over-analyze and loop in thought. I also crave wheat at times and cannot get enough of it.

Often after I eat too much of a food that doesn’t feel good for me, I might spend the next day barely eating. This is a way I cleanse myself and try to purge out the poisons inside of me. I then become fixated.

But not on the food itself or my weight but on the ‘rules of food.’

Everything I have been taught and taken in via reading, word-of-mouth, and documentaries reels through me like an old movie film shooting cross my brain. I have a dictionary of food rules in my head. I know what is bad for me and what is not. The problem is that most of the foods that are available are not good for me. The problem then becomes extreme in my mind. I know the dangers of many foods and I know the aftermath I feel. However I live in a world where to fit in and to do ‘normal’ things, I can’t eat like I think I need to eat: unless I have a lot of money, energy, and time to prep myself healthy meals. In addition, the foods I know are ‘good’ for me, e.g., organic veggies, are often lacking the flavor and texture I have been brought up to believe is best and popular and yummy. Not to mention the food industry that spends billions just to make sure what I am eating (that is bad for me) is addictive, appealing, and leaves me craving more.

There are so many contradictions in food that I become confused. Soy as an example is disputed left and right as a trigger for estrogen. I have terrible endometriosis and PMDD, eating just a bit of soy makes me worry how I have upset my system and what the repercussions might be. Wheat is an obvious trigger, but at times, out with friends or family, the wheat dish is so appealing that I feel I am depriving myself of luxury and joy. It has been engrained and engraved in my head from this society that food is a treat, a well-deserved treat. And my mind plays a ping-pong game of ‘you deserve this’ and ‘you will regret’ this. Yes, I am fixated on the thoughts of what I will eat, but not because I choose food as a fixation but because of the repercussions I often face eating food and of the mixed messages in my mind.

I know the GMO foods are dangerous. I know they are legally registered as poison and not food because of the chemical similar to Roundup, and other disease-like elements, found in the seed of the plant. I know that many a people are having reactions, and many countries are banning the products because of health and farming interests. I know that corn is a main culprit. Thusly I avoid corn. I feel tired and fatigued when I typically eat grains anyhow, kind of a hypoglycemic reaction. So many foods have corn by products, corn syrup being an obvious one. Mexican food, my favorite, is loaded with corn, wheat, and dairy. If I go out to eat my options are so limited, I might get depressed. Or I might just tell myself ‘screw it’ and eat what I want. The next day or two, I pay the price. I am so sensitive that my pain disorders react. I have been diagnoses with hyper-joint-mobility syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and more. Foods directly affect how I feel.

I might spend all day not eating and just having water and herbal tea. I might not eat until four or five in the afternoon because I know as soon as I eat, I will more likely than not have a reaction. I rarely can eat and not feel heavy, bloated, muscle pain and fatigue. It is easier not to eat. Is this avoidance an eating disorder? Or is this behavior a desperation and a means of trying to avoid pain? If a boy was whipped every time he ate, so he refused to eat until starved, is that a disorder, or is that survival?

Of course, in my mind, at times there seems to be a definite means of controlling an otherwise uncontrollable world through diet and exercise. I know that. When my life is essentially overwhelming, as it feels most days, I might fixate on the scale and my weight. Mostly because the rest of the world is entirely unpredictable, full of treachery, deceit and lies. Yes, there are many, many good people and wonderful things about the world, but there are also the continual reminders of the unpredictability of human nature and the deceit of leaders and government. I internalize deceit at a deep level in which I neither understand the drive to deceive nor the person who deceives. My world is often muddled in the mysteries of people and their ways. And sometimes, a number brings me comfort and peace. A familiarity I can trust and control. Sometimes this number is on the scale.

I have been watching my weight recently, as I gained poundage since stopping a low dose thyroid pill that put me into a hyper-thyroid state (hair fell out, rapid heartbeat, rapid thoughts, insomnia, cystic acne, etc.) The pill wasn’t supposed to affect me that way, supposed to be super safe, and my thyroid numbers never got that low, but my system is so sensitive that anything introduced, particularly a hormone, directly causes extreme side effects. Two days after stopping the pill I returned to normal conditions. During the time I was taking the pill I was getting a sore throat two days before my period for seven months. The sore throat often turned into a cold. I was sick almost every month on the thyroid hormone pill. It altered my progesterone levels that caused a reaction to my tongue and the way I breathed at night, which caused the sore throat, which caused the illness. No doctor could tell me what was going on. I had to research. Was I fixated on that too? Or was I trying to solve a puzzle so I could stop being sick? I don’t know.

I am back to watching my weight, because my thyroid numbers are just on the high-normal range. This increases my pain as well. For some reason being in a slightly hyper-thyroid state decreased my physical pain but triggered a bunch of other intolerable symptoms. Now my pain feels two-fold, as if some days my entire body has been dropped off a building. I ache. I throb. I burn. I tingle. Nothing I can’t tolerate, as I have been enduring pain for thirteen years, but something I still hope to diminish.

Less weight equals less pain for me. But it is impossible to lose weight without drastically reducing my calorie intake. If I drastically reduce my calorie intake in an attempt to lose weight, so I can decrease my pain, is that an eating disorder? If I think about food all day, because so much of it seems poisonous and causes me pain, is that a fixation? Or is that me being cautious and over-aware because I have been hurt so much in the past? Is it desperation? Or is it just the way it is, because I know not what else to do?

With all the chemical imbalances and ‘dangerous’ foods aside, weight itself does bother me. Faces change constantly for me. My body image changes constantly. When I am at a healthy thin weight, I know what to expect. I know I won’t find the imperfections and flaws that my mind so easily sees. I am a detail-hunter. I find the slightest things that are off center or not right in all things I see. Not that I am judging, only that I am carefully observing and figuring out. My mind is constantly solving puzzles. Everything I take in is sifted and categorized and made to fit my past knowing and experience. I see things so intensely and feel things so intensely that any normalcy, anything that stays the same, anything that isn’t a surprise, new, or different, is a haven—an inner sanctuary in where I choose to bask.

When I am skinny and look the same weight everyday then there aren’t a thousand messages in the back of my mind. I don’t have a tape of old messages from everything I have previously taken in and learned. I don’t here all the contradictions in my mind that the world has fed me. All the contradictory studies. All the falsehoods. All the lies.

“Belly fat is good going into menopause to help from getting bone loss. Belly fat indicates higher levels of cancer.”

And I don’t have the complications of getting dressed. When I gain a little weight most clothes don’t fit. I don’t keep ‘fat’ clothes because I clean out my closet regularly and can no longer wear certain clothes for reasons I don’t understand. Sometimes it is a memory the clothes evoke, a texture, the color, the cut, the way the clothes pinch at me, scratch me, pull on me, weigh me down. Maybe I saw someone else wearing the same shirt, and now I can’t wear that shirt because that person’s image is now with me. Maybe the clothes, I think, make me look odd, untidy, sloppy, frumpy, slutty, loose, etc. It is common in my house for me to ask my husband: “Does this look slutty.” I ask because I was judged so much as a teenager by my body and my clothes that I still here the echoes of my peers. I can’t tell what fits right or what looks right. Things shift for me. I usually dressed my babies in clothes too big. Things hung off the shoulders; items didn’t match; patterns clashed. But I honestly couldn’t tell. I don’t understand fashion trends and I don’t follow them. And I don’t understand why people do. So my wardrobe is limited from what I have tossed out because I no longer feel comfortable wearing and from things I can’t get myself to wear a particular day for some reason or another. My wardrobe is limited because I am not able to wear certain items for weeks or months at a time. I get stuck in my head something someone said or something I read or saw. Like when I was watching a movie that had a 1980’s flashback and the females both wore their hair like me. Two different styles, both the way I do up my hair now, in this day and age. I thought hard about how maybe I am not supposed to wear that hair style anymore, particularly as the women were portrayed as backwoods idiots. Same thing goes with clothes. I am constantly matching and connecting points in my head. So if an outfit for some reason doesn’t seem like I should be wearing it, I don’t.

When I add weight to the equation, everything comes out scrambled and even more complicated. I start wearing things I don’t particularly like, only so I can hide the spare tire. I go out in public and am continually worried about the small amount of excess fat showing. Because to me, (I have taught myself through media exposure),fat is bad. Even the tiniest imperfection is terrible. I have been brainwashed into thinking I am not good enough unless I am good enough by the big business standard. I know it’s not true. And so the logical part of me and spiritual part of me start debating everywhere we look. Sensing my own fat causes me to spin into loops about the corruption of America and the terrible untruths women have been fed since birth. I start to look for overweight women and justify how lovely they are, and that if I was a man looking at a beautiful woman that the small bit of fat wouldn’t bother me. And that a face and heart is what matters. And then I spin back to my body. Am I good enough? Am I enough? And then I go back through all the spiritual books I have read, all the mantras, the ‘truths’ I embrace at times. And I get all twisted inside; all because a tiny bit of flab isn’t hidden by my clothes. The same goes for other parts of my body. My own cleavage is a major issue. How much to hide. How much is safe to share. What I know of the stereotypes of men and what cleavage represents. All of it confuses me. All thoughts that mostly go back to social norms and expectations; things that make no sense to me.

If I am stressing about a little fat around my waste and don’t eat a lot the next day, is that a fixation? Or is that me trying to stop the constant bombardment of negative messages that fill me when I am not fulfilling a role that society has indoctrinated upon me? Isn’t it society doing this to me, to us? The poisonous foods? The restrictions on how I should look and be? The mixed messages? Am I not just extremely sensitive to the contradictions of the world?

I haven’t eaten meat or poultry since 1984. I stopped eating lamb at age four and pork at age twelve. The animal cruelty, the suffering, the injustice—I saw that all too, from early on.

I don’t think that eating disorders are necessarily a result of a fixation. I think eating disorders are a result of the unjust and contradictory, money-hungry world we live in. I think eating disorders are an attempt to feel safe in a very unsafe world. A way to make order out of caous and unpredictability.

A way to gain back some of the control that has been taken from us when we were taught to trust liars and schemers and not our true heart and soul. I think eating disorders are a symptom of the world gone wrong and not of my brain gone wrong. Eating disorders aren’t a simple puzzle to solve, especially when considering females with Asperger’s Syndrome. There are so many other factors playing out beneath the surface. So many thoughts and deep complexities that the experts haven’t even begun to discover.

And to claim suddently, “Hey, did you know females with Aspergers are more likely to have eating disorders,” seems oddballishyly peculiar to me. As if we couldn’t have told them that from the start.

(I am not an expert on eating disorders. I have never been diagnosed or sought help for an eating disorder. I share to raise awareness of the complexities of food and weight in females with Asperger’s. I realize there are many types of eating disorders, some much more extreme and serious than my story. This is just one story and does not represent the collective whole. Also the ongoing research by others will help others detect Asperger’s Syndrome in some girls with eating disorders, and that’s good. To find answers.)

298: The Weight of Me

I don’t understand my body, what it looks like, what others see me as, how I am supposed to look, what is expected, what is healthy, what is normal, what is standard, what is right.

There is a layering of problems associated with my body image.

1) No Norm Exists

No norms exist related to body image except what society, or more so the media and advertisement companies and other corporations want me to buy into. There is a belief system that varies from year to year, dangled in front of me. I don’t want to be a fish: a hungry guppy rising up to take hold of some enticing treat that will likely gorge me, stab me, break me, or result in me being sliced open, gutted, and fried to a crisp. Nor do I want to see the bait. But everywhere this bait floats about, the hook hidden and waiting to damage.

2) I Have a Degree of Body Blindness

It is hard for me to see myself as a whole, and to see others as a whole. I can see when someone has some extra padding, a few extra pounds beyond this societal standard of ideal weight, but I can’t hold the whole of someone’s image in my mind. If I was asked to sketch a body, I could not. Everything would be out of proportion, including the length of the arms and legs, the scale of the neck, and the angles of the face. Everything I take in is somehow mutated and rearranged, so that what I recall in my mind’s eye could likely be a Vincent Van Gogh painting. I cannot see my own body, clearly, as well. I rely too heavily on the eye of a camera, only to have discovered as of late that the camera is not an adequate portrayal of my weight, as the aspects of my clothing, the way I am standing, the angle of the camera, the type of camera, the lighting, and even my mood, posture, and expression, affect the end result (the photo image).

I’ve studied myself in photos for months, and still am baffled by what I look like; and how I look to myself, changes each and every time I glance at my reflection. And even the reflections are deceiving; how I appear in the rearview mirror, the glass of a window, or from one bathroom mirror to the next, always shifts, and I find a new person staring back at me, reversed and bewildered. I am left to wonder where the real me exists. In front of the full length mirror I stand, turning and processing, in awe of the stranger standing there. Photos will generally depress me, as they do not seem to represent who I see myself as. And worse, I can’t really see myself at all in form. I am like an unformed mass, shifting as the flowers and plants vary with the seasons. I cannot find myself, as hard as I seek, at least my outside self; for I seem as mysterious as the birth of the universe, as infinite, and as ever-changing.

3) I latch on to rules and examples of beauty even though the societal norm of perfection is unattainable

I have been brainwashed. I have been bombarded with images of what I should look like. I have been told, in the form of photos, movies, sitcoms, commercials, advertisements, magazine covers, billboards, department store displays, peers’ behavior, and various fix-yourself-now articles, that I am somehow wrong and in need of repair. In addition, I have been informed that if I go through various steps, I will then be adequate, and once adequate I shall be accepted, loved, and adored. I have seen this “beauty” scenario unfold and be reinforced when I was a teenager; seen how the people around me responded and took note of me if I was dressed the “right” way, if my hair was “good,” if my makeup enhancing, my body shapely. I have seen the attention that the socially accepted “beauty” brings. I have also seen and felt how empty the experience of acceptance based on exterior beauty alone can be, seen how fickle and cruel the shallow admiration is. I have felt like a tree adorned for the holidays, sparkly and the center of attention, only to be later tossed to the side of the road waiting my fate. But still, I have this brain, some type of organizational system working inside of me that searches for the “rules” the standards, the way to exist on this planet and in this society. I think, deep within, that if I can find the right path, I will fit in. Yet, I am faced with an unhealthy path; one that leads to imperfection after imperfection, and demands my money, and worse my soul.

4) I exist at one extreme or another

The place of middle ground in all areas of my existence is foreign to me; as hard as I study and try to get there, I cannot. My mind works in extremes. I am generally high or low, calm or hyper, still or moving, cautious or daring, charming or a pain in the butt, loving or stand-offish. The in between space baffles me, and analysis of the concept of middle ground leaves me stranded in thought, wondering why I cannot be “that way,” the way of the masses, the way of the easy life.

Though I try hard to find balance, I continually find myself swinging on the spectrum of intensity, the volume of my every minute, high or low; the intensity affected by the tides, the planets, the food I take in, the music surrounding, the sounds, the energy of other people, the thoughts roaming within, the expectations placed on myself, the voice that rises and interrupts my doing, the inconsistency of trying to be, and the varying degrees of living in the moment.

I am unsettled. Every inch of me unsettled. And like the shifting of my body image in my mind’s eye, my state of being shifts. My efforts are circumvented by the infectious factors all about me. In being this way, I take on tasks with a high degree of interest or I give a task no regard whatsoever. This, this taking on of tasks, applies to the way I manage the weight of my physical body. I can be extreme for months with a diet, avoiding certain fattening and bloating foods, avoiding sugar, avoiding all junk food, avoiding grains, etc. But I can only exist in the state of extreme for so long, and then I break, and where I had felt to be in a constant state of fathom, I now emerge into a state of feast, starving and deprived. My weight fluctuates depending upon where my pendulum of intensity exists. I am at the mercy of my passion or lack of interest.

5) I feel better at my ideal weight, but the definition of my ideal weight varies depending on source.

I would like to say that I am comfortable in my own skin, but I am not. I have latched onto an ideal number for my weight based on how my clothes fit and how I appear in some photos. Not all photos, because even my ideal weight looks odd in most images. To me, when observing myself, I can appear obese and bloated, even though I am told I am skinny. Ideal weight is listed and available on medical charts. But this weight standard is obsolete. I have always been much heavier in scale number than I appear in form. I was stick-skinny in high school, skinnier than most everyone, but I was heavier on the scale. I am 5’ 4” and in the last several months average about 139 pounds. This is a high weight for some people, but for me I can fit into size 4 or size 6 pants. For me this is thin. At 137 I start to appear gaunt and unhealthy. I know that I appear best at 139 pounds even though this amount weight is repeatedly reinforced in movies, magazine articles, and charts as “heavy.”

I am confused by contradictory data, and contradictory data is everywhere. There are sources that say it is good to go into menopause with weight around the belly, and some fat on the bones, as this decreases your chances of bone loss. I have read it is natural and healthy to have some excess body weight as one approaches their fifties; yet so many studies warn of various diseases and fatalities if the weight is not monitored and controlled. I look back at paintings from the centuries before, and think the voluptuous women look lovely. I look at the stick-skinny, starving-themselves women, and think they look stern and unhappy, rigid and angry. I look at myself and don’t know what I think, beyond a woman struggling to find the “norm” and what is “right,” in a world with variables and contradictions.

I latch onto numbers. So I latch onto 139 pounds as my standard, as my ideal, as my place to be. But I have a slow metabolism. I can eat one meal a day and gain weight. Is my esteem wrapped up in my weight? I don’t think so. I think my esteem is wrapped up in the unattainable image I think I am supposed to attain: an image I cannot see in my mind’s eye, an image that is deceptive, contradictory, and unachievable. I am not wrapped up in looking skinny or attractive enough, I am wrapped up in trying to figure out what I look like to begin with, how to keep a number on the scale from fluctuating so I feel stable in a very non-stagnant world.

I just want to fit in, or more so blend in. I don’t want to stand out for a perceived “negative” attribute; I don’t want to be unhealthy; I don’t what to exhibit gluttony; I don’t want to appear “wrong.” All these “norms” and expectations I set upon myself. And I don’t know how to turn the voice of expectation off. How to just be with me. How to just love me. How to see I am not this vessel that ages daily, slowly deteriorating towards death.

6) I set different standards on myself than other people.

I logically can tell myself that I do not care what others look like, and this is the truth. My dearest friends can be any weight, and they are just as lovely and beautiful to me. I don’t take notice of people’s weight as much as their eyes or their kindness. I love all shapes and sizes, and find attributes that are unique and different to be interesting and attractive. I like a woman with a little fat on her, personally. And if I were a man, or a person attracted to women in a physical way, I would choose someone for their inner beauty and character, not for their weight. Weight would not be a factor at all. And as a female attracted to men, I am not attracted to the weight or fitness-level of a man. At this point in my life, I could be in a romantic relationship (if I wasn’t married, of course) with any shape or size, any ethnicity, and any age (within reason).

The outside exterior of another, male or female, friend or stranger, no longer affects me like it did in previous years. I see the collective person: their soul, energy, purpose, drive, love, heart, etc. all interwoven to produce a beauty. Yet, I cannot do this with my own self. Make myself see my collective beauty.

I know I am lovely inside. I know I have a huge heart, massive amounts of sensitivity, compassion, integrity, honor, and love, but yet, when I evaluate my own beauty I go back to this fictitious number on the scale.

7) I don’t know where to turn for help.

If I let go of my rigid goal of maintaining a certain weight, I would gain weight. While I might be able to learn to feel comfortable in my own skin when I am heavier than now, I face other complications as I gain weight. When I add on pounds my chronic fatigue and chronic pain increases, exercise becomes harder, and just moving in general is burdensome. When I gain weight I do not recognize myself, or rather I recognize myself even less, and I am confused when I see my image.

However, while striving to maintain my weight, I put unyielding pressure on myself of what to eat and what not to eat. I punish myself for cheating. And for me cheating is having organic cheese puffs instead of organic red peppers with my humus. I tell myself terrible messages, such as I don’t have willpower, I am going to gain weight and no one will love me if I am not attractive, I will forever be alone, and on and on.

In addition, food affects me drastically. I cannot eat anything, beyond pure protein, without having instant pain and fatigue. So, I often go most of the day without eating, because as soon as I eat I have a reaction, in that extreme fatigue sets in coupled with pain in my muscles and joints. I have tried many different diets, food combinations, etc. for many years, to no avail. I have come to the conclusion that I am allergic to earth food, and that’s just the way it goes. For me eating fruits, nuts, and vegetables all day is the best, but I crave more.

There aren’t any answers out there. I’ve searched and searched; I’ve waited. I’ve dug deep inside. I’ve meditated, medicated, supplemented, detoxed, etc. I finally reached the point where I believe the best thing for me to do is to stop analyzing my diet and being so extreme. But that’s what scares me; for when I let go, the weight comes back, and so does the resulting painful effects. I’m searching for that state of limbo, where I can just exist without effort, without constantly trying to rebalance, where I can just be. But even the searching hurts.

8) I find my security in the number on the scale.

You could tell me I’m lovely. For a short while I would bask in your compliment. But then, the words you gave to me would fade away, and within a day, or sometimes hours, I would no longer feel your compliment. Instead I would wonder once again if I was truly too ugly for this world. I know this sounds absurd, but this is the untruth that plays out in my mind. I do not understand what I look like, and thusly do not understand how you perceive me. And everyone perceives me differently based on their own life experience and developed tastes and biases. Everywhere I go, I know if someone takes note of me, I am being evaluated. And I dislike that invasion and aspect of being in society.

I want to be seen as the interior me, but am forced to be first presented dressed in this physical essence. In some ways my weight is the only thing that I can control about my appearance, the only thing I can keep the same when all about me is shifting. The rest of me, beyond the finite number on a scale, I cannot see or determine. I cannot find the truth of what I am on the exterior, and so the only security and constant I can return to is the number on a scale. I have a lot of dependence on the number.

It’s not that I want to control my weight; it’s that I want to control some semblance of my existence. I want to understand my physical being, even if it’s only one small aspect, one three digit number.

Everything changes so much in my world from moment to moment, from thought to thought, and event to event, that numbers have been my security blanket for years. So, yes, the number on the scale is my enemy or friend. As it climbs I fear the future, and as it decreases towards the “ideal” I know I am moving forward towards a part of who I was or am. The further I am away from the number on the scale that I have decided is “the number,” the further I am away from my own sense of self.

I long to find my security for my physical self somewhere beyond a number and beyond an image. But I often wonder, if I cannot view this illusion of self, then how can I be secure. Rather it is acceptance I seek. Acceptance of the unknown and the release of my dependence on outsiders to quantify who I am. An acceptance in the knowing that although I am invisible in regards to my appearance to physical self, I am solid in my understanding of spirit.

Day 175: Squirrel on a Wall

Lover’s Point Pacific Grove
Squirrel on a Wall

“Do you think the title ‘shag-o-rama’ would pull in a lot of blog readers?” I asked my husband

I know just the thing to say in the morning to make him laugh. I’m gifted that way, in my off-the-wall-goofiness. And I’m starting to really like that about myself. I see the world through the eyes of a child: somewhat innocent, a bit naïve, and at times downright clueless. Before, when I was younger, people sometimes perceived me as the ‘dumb blonde’ or as fake–assuming it was impossible for someone to be that goofy and hope-filled, naturally.

I don’t buy into people’s judgment of me anymore. I understand now, that like everyone, I have an amazing spirit. I know I am a spirit who never gives up and often tries to see the best in people and situations. And that my spirit just happens to be giddy, joy-filled, surprisingly forthright, and sometimes bold. I embrace my worthiness and I am pleased to do so. And the more I do, the more beauty I recognize in other people.

However, in embracing me, I cannot help but notice that many people are not embracing their own worthiness.

Instead of embracing self, there exists this talking down of self and others. There remains this inability to take in a compliment or kind word, this constant criticism of self or others, an all-encompassing blame, and a narrow scope of focusing on the “negative” aspect of someone else’s life. There often exists a lack of effort and follow through to forgive others. There is often a lack of responsibility for personal choice and action, and an overwhelming sense of ease and comfort to focus on materialism, collection, and possession. To move ahead, to succeed, to surpass and win. Life appears to be a race filled with fear and blame.

sign downtown where I live

For many, day-to-day life has become a routine. The creative spirit has been sucked out of the masses through consumerism, fear-based messages, and dogma that indoctrinates lack of hope and an infections drive for success and materialism. There is an ongoing separation from neighbors, friends, and family. As a collective, some people have forgotten how to appreciate nature and people, and instead are consumed by avoiding failure or disapproval.

This lack of self-worth is evident in the way people focus life around food. How as a society many have chosen food as a way to stuff the empty holes inside. Inner holes and empty space, this sense of lacking and emptiness, is best filled through creativity, self-expression, and an unyielding urge to share and connect, and of course through love. Instead we are stuffing ourselves with food, to the point of fatigue, disease, and depression.

Food has become our center light. More thought is spent on food than anything else. And in second place is death, dying and disease. Everywhere in word and picture and form, we are reminded of pending cancer. We are bombarded from a fear-based society by the ever pending potential threat of illness, danger and doom. And then we are offered the remedy of poisonous foods as appeasement.

Someone has it all backwards. The collective buys into this fear and food stuffing, and more and more fear is spun.

window in Pacific Grove

Recently, I was saddened and stirred by the site of a squirrel. Just one squirrel. He was so very fat and sickly, swollen in spirit, sitting there at Lover’s Point in Pacific Grove California on a stone wall. So engorged that he could not budge. I literally stuck my camera right into his face, and he didn’t flinch. I sighed and whispered to him: “You really need to stop eating so much, Mr. Squirrel.”

Problem is the tourists feed him the leftovers from the beachside hamburger joint: french-fries, hamburger bun, ice-cream cones. Poor little critter doesn’t have a chance—constantly bombarded, he is.

And here we are, feeding our people the same. Junk and poison. Fear-based propaganda and polluted thoughts, as well as food lacking nutrients and value.

And so many are sitting on the wall now, unable to move, to walk toward their soul’s purpose, to give and inspire, to create and connect, to live and love, because they are so overstuffed with poison and misery.

I feel for the overfed and tired squirrel. I was once one myself. Watching from the sidelines and wondering how to move. But I found my legs, and now I wonder over and over, how to pull all the squirrels of the wall. One by one, to free people from society’s bondage.

Pacific Grove Squirrel
ever before

Day 92: The Nest of Strings

henleyistherealfashioncapital.tumblr.com/

I think part of my condition on this earth is my utter fear of human beings.

I don’t mean this to sound negative or like a joke. I seriously think my main issue in my life is PEOPLE. This is a problem. People are everywhere.

It’s not that I dislike people. I love people.

I fear something I love. This love/fear dynamic can be compared to my love of food and fear of expanding the spare tire around my waist and/or my chin line. Though people do not  inflate me, they deflate me.

I’m a sponge of sorts, soaking up people’s troubles and holding troubles, and then releasing the troubles; only in the process I get weighed down, troubled myself, and depleted in energy reserves. I suppose part of this current sponge experience is a result of my previous learnings.

 

 

What I’ve Learned

I learned through observation that if I acted kind and carefully, people wouldn’t hurt me, usually.

I learned that if I didn’t act a certain way, I would be teased or ostracized.

I learned that some people could find me and affect me no matter how I acted.

I learned that if I shared from my heart, I would be misunderstood.

I learned that if I was me, I could become invisible.

I learned to play games.

I learned to blend in.

I learned better to blend in than to stand out.

But then I longed to stand out.

I longed to be noticed and I longed not to be noticed.

I didn’t know what place was in between my longing.

Where to stand?

Sometimes I became beautiful through others’ eyes.

Through my physical beauty, I gained attention.

Attention that never felt real or pure.

Attention I longed for nonetheless.

My physical beauty aged and youthfulness faded.

I learned that people notice what they want to notice and take what they want to take.

They like a piece or part of me and then when the section no longer serves them, they leave.

They leave the part, and in leaving, they leave the whole of me.

I learned I desperately wanted love, but I wasn’t supposed to ask for love.

I wasn’t supposed to appear weak.

If I wanted love, I needed to appear strong, as if I didn’t want love.

As if I was completely satisfied in being in isolation.

I never understood this illusion of strength in aloneness.

Why people pretended they were not frightened.

Why people pretended they were an entirety, when in truth they were only an ingredient.

 

 

I don’t know if there is anything else that permeates the depths of my soul like the fear of people. Beyond the pretending and questions, perhaps my depletion occurs is the energy I pick up. The health symptoms of others I take on, the friends and relatives, and sometimes strangers who visit me in my dreams. Perhaps my fear stems from the humiliation of my youth or the loss of loved ones. Whatever the cause, from wherever this fear was rooted, it remains a tall plant intertwined within my very being. I see sucker plants sticking, prickly burs stuck. I see small specks of blood. I see rough, sword-like leaves stabbing and cotton ball seeds blocking. These are the people stuck in and about me.

I don’t know why. I don’t think I want to know why. But I do wish to change this reality. I do wish to know without question that people are not to fear. I don’t want to think about how to do this. Don’t want a plan of action or a list. I don’t want to try to change things anymore. Trying doesn’t work. I just want to believe. I want to shift. This is my reality. Shifting the fear to love.

I took out a box today from my closet marked: Spectrum Intuitive Teachings, a small box that I’d shoved in the back of my daylight basement closet months ago, without second thought. I was done with my business, my successful business. I had to quit, so I thought, because, I wasn’t doing the right thing according to someone in the world. Just like that I changed my life, believing I should not do what I’m doing.

I shoulded on my self. My fear has led me to should on my self a lot.

I’m still processing my actions. What was I thinking? Why did I change my life to please a stranger I’ve never even met? Why did I compromise? Why did I change?

I have these chameleon tendencies. I was not born a lizard. But I act like one. I change colors adapting to my environment, change appearance in hopes of blending in and not being spotted.

What is so bad about being spotted?

The fear.

And so at the heart of me is fear.

At the core penetrating my every action is fear.

Today, I release this fear.

I choose to transform this fear.

I have no one to fear.

Even though the voices shout loudly: Fear You. Fear Them. Fear. Fear. Fear. I know these are untruths.

I know much of what I learned are untruths.

Today, I untangle the untruths—a giant ball of intertwined string.

I let the untruths spiral out down a long staircase, to disperse, to lessen, to unravel, until all that remains is a long string of blue.

And then, seeing clearly and easily, I snip away at the string.

I create little pieces of untruths.

In my hands I gather the clippings.

The tiny, tiny remains.

I blow with my spirit breath.

Disperse them into the air.

The angels come now.

Take the strings away to their nests in the sky.

Where the strings are used to house the young ones.

The innocent.

The newborn.

The strings  transform and serve as comfort and shelter.

I transform my giant core of fear into sheltering love.

This I see.

This I am.

And thusly, so are you.

© Everyday Aspergers, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. https://aspergersgirls.wordpress.com

The Wounded Healer

Day 48: Death by Saliva

I awoke in the early hours of the morn hacking like a hairball-ridden feline with my throat aflame. I’d apparently choked on my own saliva and was still mostly asleep, pacing the bedroom floor while gasping for air. My throat was parched from what had to have been an up chuck of bile.

Out of breath and slit-eyed, I made my way upstairs, and sat in the cold living room under the light of a singular lamp, contemplating my death. LV (see my lingo button) was wide awake, panting and pacing in a pure state of panic, entirely convinced that at any moment the co-conspirators of spit and throat would rebel and squeeze the last breath from me.  Sir Brain refused to ever sleep again. Crazy Frog started counting on his webbed digits all the ways a human could feasible expire. Elephant headed out to the forest. Phantom was weeping in the dark. And OCFlea was in his element, strumming on his ukulele and serenading Death.

Little Me, I passed out on the couch while bargaining with the gods.

Saliva Choking Info. Found Online: “I would be interested to know if you are Overweight. The symptoms that you are describing sound very much like obstructive sleep apnea, which is more common in people who are overweight. In this increasingly common disorder, the soft tissue in the back of your throat relaxes while you sleep, and then it falls into the airway.”   

Oh! JOY! Time to find me a muzzle. 

This morning, I looked in the bathroom mirror, and I swear my chin is gone. Vanished. Took off with the night. And I have a taste in my mouth like some Keebler elves were up late lacquering my teeth with pond slime. My chest hurts from choking, and still from that nut that caught in my throat from that frozen-cheesecake incident a couple of weeks back. My legs, and basically every part of my body, ache from starting back up with my evil (Eeee-V-aalll) exercise regime. Oh, yes, and my headache came back like black magic, right when the Dean of Education called me last night.

The Dean is heading to China. She gave me a quick ring-a-ding before she left her office for the week. I will get reimbursed thousands of dollars, it seems. Her advice, to set the final part of the plan in motion, was to write a very short, ambiguous email explaining to the VP of the university that I had to withdraw from the college because of my disability. (For university auditing purposes)

Oh boy, did Elephant barge out from nowhere. All of the sudden anger, which I can only assume had been held hostage in the dark of the haunted woods with Phantom, came barging out full-force, trumpets and all.

Elephant had a thing or two to say to the dean. And Elephant actually sounded quite intelligent during the process.  First off Elephant reminded the dean, who I have to say was kind in her manner, that I would not lie, that I was not leaving the university because I had Aspergers! In truth I was leaving because of the way the professors treated me. And that in my last Master’s Program, I had had no trouble whatsoever with the professors, and was in fact supported! (What a concept.)

After Elephant’s romp, the dean was rather quiet. When she spoke again, she still said the same thing: A brief email would be best.

Within a few more minutes, Elephant got to the bottom of the situation. (Now I’m picturing butts. Sorry. Can’t help myself. But I’m stopping Crazy Frog from posting cute butt photos.)

Elephant discovered that the dean had no qualms about anything that Elephant had said. In fact she agreed. With some careful questioning, Elephant came to realize the dean wanted me to write a brief email to assure I’d receive my tuition back. The brevity would avoid the potential of my tuition reimbursement request going into the long, drawn out appeal process. The dean also concurred, quite nicely, that after I had the money in hand, I might consider sending a letter to the VP explaining the truth of the events.

Bravo! One step closer to putting this university behind me! (Butt images again…)

Crazy Frog is ever so thankful to have his precious i-Mac computer back today. Seems he’s become quite the computer snob.

My post was super short yesterday, by my standards. Wouldn’t you know, it turns out that people who read blogs like short posts! Now I have to go back to review my Blog 101 Rules again, and develop a working list of the unspoken norms and etiquette of blogging. It appears, through the act of blogging, I have stumbled upon a cyber society with its own set of virtual rules and expectations.

I’ll be hosting a sit down with the Geek Posse at high noon, to acknowledge our quirky-cute, uniqueness and our right to be however we wish to be in any society, cybernetic or not. Though, I predict the whole meeting will turn into a Matrix  (virtual reality) debate, where Crazy Frog searches out the boundaries of his existence, and theorizes he is existing in some simulated world anyhow. Regarding their existence, I imagine I’ll have to console LV and Sir Brain with dark organic truffle chocolate, yet again.

And then by sundown, I’ll inevitably find myself gasping in the night with no chin. Such is the story of my life.

The Muppet Matrix. For all my fellow Geek Posse Folks

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQrotZDDsTE


Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Day 46: Vampires, Naked People and Amazing Super Power Jeans

I did the unmentionable this morning—I stepped on the scale. I’m hearing horror music in my head, like from the shower scene in Psycho.

I’m not on speaking terms with food. I’m so over eating.

As in done with chewing all together. I need someone to stick an IV (intravenous tube) in me with a nutritional drip of fresh-juiced organic fruits and veggies. Then I need someone to remove my refrigerator, my pantry, to cook for my children, and escort me to the athletic club. I need a cook, an athletic trainer, and blinders—like the horses wear. Actually, I probably need all my senses blocked. I can see myself with blinded-eyes, arms stretched out, feeling my way to find the food, like some starved zombie. I can see me with my pointy chin in the air and my nose twitching, as I sniff out the sweet and sours. I can even see me, once absent of all my senses, except the ability to taste, walking around aimlessly licking things.

Maybe that psychic was right! Maybe I was a dog in my past life!

I try to workout, I do. I’ve done the dance and yoga thing. Even the occasional treadmill in the dark room at our gym. A whole darkened room dedicated to those of us who don’t want to be seen with our fat jiggling. What a concept!

I’ve got this mind-boggling, athletic club phobia happening at the moment. Some of you know what I mean. All of the sudden the gym becomes this monstrosity of the mind. You can’t figure out how to get yourself to go, but yet you have this running tape in your head telling you that you should go. And then you promise yourself you will, or make some excuse.

My excuses are actually quite good. Forgetting for a moment that I’m disabled and I actually undergo substantial pain exercising, I’ve got a long list of reasons that home is better than the gym. Basically, what it boils down to (odd word phrase to picture) is the following:

dyslexia (makes dance classes hard)

body odor and odd body movements (makes yoga class hard)

naked people (makes the locker room hard)

sweat and germs (makes the treadmill room hard)

People in general (makes leaving the house hard)

Hard as in not comfortable, as in a mattress you wish you never bought.

Of course, this time of year, the outdoors aren’t super inviting. I did choose to live in one of the wettest US states imaginable. Which does indeed make for supple skin and that pale vampire complexion.

Just on the way to school today my youngest son said, “Wow. So dark outside. So much rain. Look at all the puddles. I wonder if more ducks will be here soon.”

I’m convinced the town I occupy, in the state of Washington, is runner up in cloud-coverage to the town where the popular series Twilight takes place. The author of Twilight researched to find the cloudiest place in the USA, a town where vampires would want to live.

Perhaps my current location and complexion is the reason I am rethinking my whole vocation and life purpose, and considering this whole vampire lifestyle. That and now a days vampires are so good looking and hot! Which is ironic as they’re physically quite cold. An irony I probably only find interesting. Which concerns me to no end.

I like to walk. I am very thankful for these two functioning legs. But the majority of the time, in these here parts, a stroll in the neighborhood means sopping wet shoes, drenched clothes, a rain-slapped face, and dog-shivers—and that’s with an umbrella.

Plus, this born-and-raised-in-California gal is still adjusting to the temperature change. Where I used to live, if the temperature was 40 degrees in the morning, it rose to 65 degrees by the afternoon. I thought, for most of my life, that all places gradually rose in temperature throughout the day.

Here in my town in Washington, when the temperature is 40 degrees in the morning, sometimes it’s only 41 degrees by mid-day. What the heck? Not one single Washingtonian thought to inform me of this meager frigid-factor when our family was scoping the neighborhood. I’m fairly certain that Washington natives get a kick out of watching the newcomers from California adjust to the pangs of climate change. I actually sleep in my day clothes many nights because I’m too cold to undress. And I’ve developed quite the close relationship with my space heater. Even my socks and me are buddies.

On a sunny day, I have to be careful in traffic. As it seems everyone takes the day off of work, and there exists a good three-times as many vehicles on the road. Give us a little sunshine, and we’re all tongue-wagging chipper, like a bunch of canines set free at the dog park. Only instead of sniffing butts, we are all glancing up at the sun and smiling wide. Some of us even point up: There’s the sun!

If you ever think about moving here, don’t be persuaded by the green-lush beauty and the natives telling you that you can wear open-toe shoes in May. Last May the temperature topped in the high-50’s. The smart folk, they head down to Arizona for the late winter or fly across the ocean to Hawaii.

Of course, if you ever visit in August, you’ll see why we stay. When the sun comes, the land looks like pure heaven.

click to see where image was found

Despite my aches and pains, my issues, the weather, and the temperature, I do need to get the ball rolling, so to speak. LV (see MY LINGO) keeps chatting in my ear. She’s whispering day and night the likes of these types of statements:

You do know that it’s not too good to be able to pinch a full half-foot of belly fat in one try, right?

 How can these same jeans still fit you when you are clearly carrying some fifteen pounds more of fat than when you bought them? They must be Amazing Super Power Jeans!

If you keep going at this rate they’ll have to get a crane to move you out of the house.

Crazy Frog has been flashing images of sperm whales and singing: “Do you know the muffin-top, the muffin-top, the muffin-top. Do you know the muffin-top, that lives on Sam Craft Lane.”

And Crazy Frog has done the math: two pounds from being snowed in from snowstorm, two pounds for three-day power outage, two pounds for the loss of our dog Scoob, two pounds for the university incident. He figures we should sleep for the rest of March to avoid anymore stress-eating.

Funny Fast Food Video Folk Song!

I have no idea how to end this post. I’m just staring at the screen thinking about cream puffs, cinnamon bread, and bagels, and wondering if I can in fact sleep the month of March away and wake up some 15 pounds lighter. I’m wondering about the Amazing Super Power Jeans and Vampires, and thinking of a new superhero. I’m wanting to search YouTube for superhero songs. And, I’m gradually coming to the conclusion that I really do need to get out of the house more, take the first step and head to the gym–despite the Naked People!!!