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.)

539: I Am Too

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

538: Assumption Junction… the truth of my Aspie words

People who don’t know me well, and some who do, sometimes jump to conclusions and assume things about my intention and motivation behind my writing that aren’t necessarily true. I write to write. It’s largely a processing mechanism.

The problem is that who ever is reading my words will interpret said writing based on his or her own opinions and prior knowledge. In other words, if someone is naturally confrontational then the chances of this same person thinking I am being confrontational in my writing is high. Or the opposite might be true, where a confrontational person might make a judgment call that I am weak because I am not displaying a countering personality. Wherein I might be explaining something for a thousand different strands of reasons, all of which pop in and out of my head through the process of scribing, he or she will make an abrupt conclusion about my intentions that includes perhaps two or three primary reasons (again, based on his or her experience). The worst part of it is when this said party then turns and suggests he/she knows what I was trying to say and why I was trying to say it. When truth be told, I have already played over in my busy mind a hundred times why I said what I said, how I said it, and why I said it.

People don’t often know how long I take to write a response. When I am dealing with an out-of-my-comfort-zone response to someone, for example via email or instant messaging to someone who I do not have a close relationship with about a subject I deem important, I take a very long time to write, upwards to an hour for revisions, rewriting, rewording, reworking, and rereading. I stim through the editing process itself to calm my anxiety over the situation. If I am triggered, particularly by what I interpret as an injustice towards another, it takes me even more time to write. What is difficult then is when I am accused by another to have written something in haste, without thought, at length, or without consideration to the audience or the communication rules of some company or organization. It is hard to digest this type of assumption because nothing is further from the truth. The receiver does not understand that I have painstakingly relived scenario after scenario of possible outcomes of how my words might be interpreted. That I have tried my hardest to follow any rules of communication. That I have pushed myself to shorten all I want and feel the need to say. That I have left out more than 75% of what is really on my mind, and sometimes much more than that.

In example of the revision process, I will write a sentence and then imagine the person/audience reading my words. I then evaluate their potential reaction and adjust in hopes of causing the least amount of miscommunication. It’s not about people-pleasing or avoiding conflict, it’s more so conveying my truth as I see it in the most gentle and kind way (and rule-following way) as possible. To do this I switch around words, I alter adjectives, I choose new phrases, and I clarify repeatedly through transposing my words and readjusting. A draft will be rewritten more times than I can count, and large sections deleted, redone, and deleted again. It never seems to be right enough. Not in a perfectionist way, but in a ‘this is my heart’ way.

I discern ahead of time feasible misgivings or upset on the upcoming reader’s part. This process is exhausting at all levels and causes physical and emotional pain. The most troublesome hurt follows if and when the intended recipient responds in one of the many non-constructive ways I had foreseen him/her responding, and then I see all my efforts were for naught.

People think that the length of my writing equates debate, that length = ego, that length = confusion, that length = selfishness, that length = not caring about the recipient, that length = non-professionalism, etc. etc. I don’t write at length to get my point across or to prove something. Once again, I write to clarify my inner workings and to let the person know my intentions fully. If a part of information isn’t shared that I believe at the time is a pertinent piece of the subject at hand I feel as if I am being deceitful, even as I logically know that by definition I am not. No amount of reasoning fixes this.

I over explain myself in written word as much as I do in spoken word. Particularly when emotionally triggered. And such triggers can come from a variety of sources, especially from others’ behaviors that are not privy to the autistic experience. With all my spiritual studies and practices, a part of me would like to say I am ‘above/ being triggered, but that’s hogwash. I am neurologically wired to be more prone to fight-or-flight responses. (And in my case biologically/physically wired that way, as well.) So, I accept that I get triggered.

It is cumbersome and downright dangerous for me to write (without a lot of editing) after I have been triggered. I cannot help but let some of the emotional upset leak through. As much as I try to pamper and sugar coat the words, this ache of being triggered comes out. And then, even with careful revision, the trigger leaks through. In response, I am evaluated based on the characteristics of my writing. I am labeled emotional, reactive, too concerned, too sensitive, etc. This adds to the initial trigger, and to the continual compounded feelings of being misunderstood and misinterpreted throughout my life. Thus is the prospect of such an invisible disability when held by a person that primarily seems to function at a high-level of ‘normalcy.’

People with autism usually get me. And I in turn get them. I am the first to smile when someone sends me a very long online message. Usually the person is apologizing ahead of time for what they label a ‘rambling.’ And usually I am skimming some of it and finding the golden nuggets of what was written. I get it. I am the same way. I am going on and on about a particular subject whilst at the same time stepping back and observing myself and thinking: Why am I doing this? Sorry! Still, I do it. I process and I stim through words.

I can go through periods of purposeful semi-muteness, wherein I try not to talk at length to anyone. I am mad at myself and the world at that point. And don’t think I can function unless I change who I am, at least outwardly. Usually this state by nature turns me into some type of hermit, where I am only talking to maybe one person I know. It’s the way I retreat and I guess hide from the world. When I have had enough of me and I believe the world has had enough of me, I burrow like a wounded animal licking my wounds and punishing myself for having any form of self-pity and the brain I do. Not long after I come out of it and I am a babbling brook once again.

People who are wired like me understand. They know the ebb and flow of being this self. They know that even we get tired of the non-stop jabber and thoughts and processing. And they, for the most part, accept me unconditionally, with so-called flaws and all. It’s the others that just don’t get it whom I have a difficult time repeatedly associating with.

It’s like this, supposing I am blind. I use a different form of communication. It’s not typical. It’s not traditional. And it’s accepted. After all you can readily observe I am blind.

And then it’s like this: I have autism. I use a different form of communication. It’s not typical. It’s not traditional. And it’s not accepted. After all you can’t readily observe my disability and I should be able to change. I can adjust. I can conform. I can just communicate like you do. Follow the rules and protocol. And if I cannot, then I must be inconsiderate, impossible to train, or stubborn.

But it’s not that way. It’s just not. I cannot adapt without modifications and understanding, anymore than the person with a visible disability can. If I was an amputee, I wouldn’t be able to grow legs. If I was deaf, my speech would be affected. If I have autism, my brain is different. It doesn’t just change based on suggestion. It’s an impossibility.

Sam’s book Everyday Aspergers is now available internationally on Amazon.

More information can be found at her company: myspectrumsuite.com

512: The Whipping Girl

I am guilty of gluttony, and I don’t mean that double-scoop mint ice cream on a sugar cone, followed by cheesecake and chocolate bits.

Gluttony has changed meanings from its original origins. At its roots, gluttony was referred to as self-punishing, self-pity, and self-affliction associated with the act of harming oneself in hopes of making amends to a higher power, most prominently represented as the remorseful priest whipping his back in a brutal attempt to make amends to God. It was viewed as a sin because even as the action is perceived as a sacrifice and admission of wrongs to God, it is in actuality the highest from of ego-based self-focus. It sets one’s agony above everything else, and the person becomes the focus not God.

As an Aspie, I am gluttonous as I whip myself mentally, damaging my self-esteem whilst under the guise of ‘wanting to be better.’

I think many Aspies are glutton for punishment, not because we desire to be but because our brains are instinctually wired to over-analyze, pick apart, and find inherent flaws. Typically, and ideally, we would be suited best for work as engineers or solvers of planetary problems; yet, most of us don’t have something to occupy our minds continually that is directly related to problem solving for a company or the whole of the world. In actuality, most of us experience several hours of the day, if not more, in isolation, trapped in our thoughts revolving around problem solving that doesn’t do anyone any good.

My thinking is: when we don’t have a BIGGER solution to solve, we set about to solve ourselves or someone else.

My trouble starts when I focus on someone else and what he has said or done or when I focus on myself and what I have said or done, or a combination of the aforementioned (aka Double-Whammy).

Because my mind is a vast endless landscape—think bland canvas upon blank canvas in repetitive mirrors beckoning to be painted—I can create havoc if I focus on an individual, especially if that someone is out of sight. In my case, out of sight does not mean out of mind. In my case, out of sight means trapped inside the hamster wheel of my mind: looping.

My gluttony, (self-affliction/whipping the mind), happens when I set about to focus on someone else but I can’t find answers about someone else, I can’t find a solution, and/or I can’t reach an endpoint. Given the obvious fact that people are not stagnant beings, and are creatures constantly changing in emotions, outlook, opinions, and behaviors, (not to mention biologically, aka cells shedding, blood pumping, microorganisms, etc.), the quest to reach an end conclusion with any particular person is a ridiculous rendering to begin with. Even if an accurate, or semi-close-to-accurate conclusion about someone or self is reached by said Aspie, the answer will not stick. It’s an impossibility to know an outcome of anyone because we change. Unless the person happens to drop dead right at the moment of discovery and all conclusions are said and done. Morbid, but true, and the only likely scenario in which my over-thinking and resulting theorizing might feasibly match a singular moment in someone’s life. People aren’t objects. They aren’t things. They aren’t puzzles to be solved, but somehow my brain thinks they are.

I feel like a tracking device set down on earth that narrows in on some subject and then dissects and gathers information, and then takes the data and internalizes it and digests it and then attempts to reach conclusions, without noting that the subject at hand is both impossible to understand in completion and that I am not a robot or machine. I forget that. I truly forget that I can’t reach a conclusion with people which will lead to a predictable outcome. I mean, like rolling dice, there is always that chance that my choice will match what’s in front of me; but even then, eventually the dice will be rolled again. I can’t seem to get this fact to compute though: that no amount of thinking, and re-thinking, and re-working will relieve my crushing anxiety and solve the problem.

And that’s at the core of it all: Anxiety.

And I don’t know what comes first—the anxiety (generalized anxiety disorder) or the perceived problem. I know that my body is predisposition to respond to stress in a fight or flight manner (as a result of Post Traumatic Stress, and as a result of the way I am genetically structured with a joint mobility syndrome that affects my autonomic functioning). So at times it is the anxiety that comes first, like trigger-chemicals that put my body on high-alert, and then from there I search for the actual problem. I get scared first, and then I try to figure out why. It’s a fact-seeking mission. Danger! Danger! Will Robinson. I am the robot on high alert; I am Will; and I am Danger. That’s the way it goes.

From there, whether it is an actual trigger that comes first—aka something someone said or did, a thought, a symbol, image, etc.—or my body’s biochemical makeup (fight or flight), I dive bomb into an oblivious state of confusion. I become a master puzzle solver, a master puppeteer of self, too, as I set about to dig myself out of where I have been buried. On alert, I feel walloped, cornered, and frightened, and I set out to search for answers, with my little stick with the bundle at the end, a hobo with her knapsack thinking the travel will bring me to some destination that spells RELIEF. But the truth is, I ought not set out. I shouldn’t. I should just set up camp and stay where I am. I shouldn’t just tramp or jump train. But I do. I do. I do.

I become lost then, on an endless destination, wanting to forge through the muck of data—some thick ivy-laden forest—to reach the other side in order to feel relief. I want nothing else but to end the anxiety. And my mind thinks if I think enough I will end the anxiety. It thinks: I got this. It says: Let me take over. It shouts: Just rethink it one more time! And I go round in this circle, nonstop, grabbing onto any semblance of information, any speck of hope for absolution. I just want to stop the pain inside of me, this nervous panicky feeling that resembles being abandoned, kicked out of my only home, and left naked on the floor of a monster’s adobe, all at once. I want to run and run through my mind’s files to find the answer, to bring anecdote, relief. Only I can’t. I can’t!

And still I find myself doing this—tramping, train, forest, file-finding—whatever. Just moving and moving and forging and forging. I get so tangled up in thought that the immobility sets in, and from there any tiny task seems impossible. Forget doing the dishes or leaving the house, the prospect of bending over and retrieving a piece of rubbish from the carpet seems as difficult as climbing Mt. Everest. I can’t bend. I can’t move. I can’t function. I shutdown, literally, like a computer on overload, overheated, and with her memory overstocked.

That’s it. I am done for. And from there I start to wonder what is wrong with me. I begin to brutally beat myself up. The whipping begins. It’s not so much: WHY can’t I solve this. It’s more so: WHY am I trying to solve this? WHY can’t I shut off my mind. WHAT is wrong with me. I AM flawed. I AM wrong. I NEED help. And there is NO ONE that can help me. The whipping continues on from there. I am good for nothing. How can I go on like this? How do I turn off my brain? And then the really redundant thoughts set in, that most humans suffer through, the ones based on childhood trauma and drama, all the negative messages we collective like to lick at like old wounds that won’t heal. I become that dog—lick lick lick—needing a cone over and about my head so something can save me from hurting me. But there’s no cone. Just me and my brain, my glorious brain.

Everything eventually leads to gluttony. Unless something stops me midstream, like an unexpected event or calling, something that catches my eye or heart, then I am okay, leaped out of the cyclic pain by a momentary distraction. The only thing is that my monster mind is still lurking in the background, that part of me that likes to munch at data and delete any sign of sanity.

I have yet to find a way to make any of this stop. Sure, I am getting closer as I delve into deeper and deeper analysis, bringing along a fleet of fellow Aspies with me that nod their heads and delirious gorgeous hearts in recognition. But it seems the deeper I dig the more grand the journey becomes—like opening up a jar and finding a universe inside. I just can’t seem to get to the end of me. And then I remember it’s my mind again, taking what it perceives as solvable and spinning the endless webs into oblivion.

500: Unspun Love

Unspun Love

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

470: Past Twelve: Aspergers

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I have to say that twelve was rather easy. I was still very much a child, almost fairy-like, or elven, always into innocent mischief and adventure.

The turmoil hit at the age of thirteen. That is when my hormones shifted and life suddenly became bleak, overwhelming and unmanageable. I discovered a new form of escapism then, a more ‘difficult’ escapism than before; I became more observant of myself and actions, understanding complexities in a new degree that felt unfamiliar and frightening. Before, I would leap into my imagination quite naturally and without pretense. Now, it seemed as if I escaped to get away from some pending danger.

Wherein my world once felt light and airy, full of possibility, and all things magical and hopeful, it now felt dark, dingy and doom-filled.

I didn’t have an active social life for most of my teen years, choosing instead one girlfriend to hang out with and one boyfriend to adore. I had the same best friend from seventh grade until I graduated high school. I never thought to have many friends. I hung out with her, copied her, adopted her taste in music and clothes. I think because I was pretty (but didn’t know it), I easily found boyfriends. I tended to stick with one boy as long as I could or until circumstances forced a breakup. I too, copied what I thought he liked. I tried to appease. But with young men, I found myself continually lost and alone with a separation between us I could not understand or explain. While having a significant other brought me this sense of being less fearful in public and the ability to go out and do more, the relationship also brought me this deep seeded feeling of being complicated, misunderstood, too emotional, and never kind enough.

I could write a full book on the challenges of my teenage years. Here I have attempted to summarize some of the key points:

1. Suffering with feelings of extreme isolation and oddness, but not being able to understand or articulate why I felt this way.

2. Wanting to be like my peers but not wanting to be like my peers. Recognizing their character traits disturbed me, particularly manipulation, game-playing, deceit, cliques (groups of children that didn’t allow other children into the group), lying, cruelty, pretending and gossip.

3. Not knowing why, for most of my childhood, despite circumstances, I had felt happy and content, and that now all of a sudden I felt a deep sadness and a disconnection from the rest of the world.

4. Developing an over-analytical sense of self that encompassed all areas, including how I looked, how I moved, how I spoke and even how I thought and reasoned.

5. Developing a hyper-critical awareness of my appearance, wherein before I could care less. It was an extreme shift from being comfortable in my skin to wanting to change who I was. Along with this intensity of dislike towards my own image, I also did not recognize my own face in the mirror. I had no idea the size of my eyes, my face, my nose, or lips. Nothing seemed distinguishable, and every time I looked in the mirror the image seemed unfamiliar. I consciously did not realize this was happening. I did not understand why I looked at my image so much and analyzed it. I thought I was vain and self-centered, even as I hated how I appeared and assumed no one liked my looks.

6. It did not matter how many times someone told me I was beautiful on the outside, I couldn’t see it, and didn’t believe it. I twisted compliments in my mind. I took a sincere compliment about my appearance and truly believed that the observer was lying, blind, misinformed, tricking me or not educated.

7. I did not trust life. I began to see the unpredictable nature of adults and teenagers. No one around me changed, but suddenly an invisible barrier was lifted and I saw reality more clearly. I had seemed to be coated before, protected in some shield in which the world appeared wonderful and filled with love. I had trusted everyone and believed in everyone; yet now, I believed the world was a scary place, and thought that I had been born on the wrong planet.

8. I didn’t understand my own emotional intensity. I loved deeply. I longed. I was passionate. I was a poet. I was this exploding young woman filled with romantic intentions and the want to get married and have children. I didn’t have any interest in being a teenager. Some part of me wanted to skip from young childhood straight into adulthood. I saw young men as a means of escaping the destitute of reality. I jumped into a fantasy land of tomorrow, when I would be raising a family, and far beyond high school and all its pains.

9. I still trusted everyone. I trusted strangers. I trusted anyone who was an adult. I trusted children. I trusted my peers. I shared from the heart. I told my deepest secrets. I cried openly. And people did not respond in a manner that was beneficial to me. I was preyed upon in all ways: physically, emotionally, spiritually and logically. People could sense I was innocent, naive, and inexperienced. I was very much a victim without knowing I was a victim. I couldn’t tell right from wrong. Because I assumed everyone was good at heart, I assumed everything anyone did was ‘normal’ and ‘okay.’ I didn’t understand that concept of boundaries or self-protection. No one taught me. I didn’t know boundaries existed. I believed people.

10. Concepts that came naturally to other girls did not come naturally to me. I did not understand or follow fashion. I didn’t think to. It never crossed my mind to try to fit in and assimilate to the teenage world. I was still very much twelve inside, even as my body changed. I didn’t start dressing like my peers and learning how to apply makeup until I was ostracized, ridiculed, and singled-out.

11. I didn’t understand sexuality. I had a cute figure and was well-endowed. I did not understand how different ways I walked, sat, or bent over could be perceived as flirtatious and even labeled ‘slutty.’ I didn’t know that I had turned physically into a young woman who men found attractive. Even as they called out names at me, or shouted inappropriate comments about my body in the halls of high school, I didn’t connect the dots. I didn’t know what I had done. And in not knowing what I had done, I didn’t know how to make changes in an attempt to stop others’ behaviors.

12. I copied television and movie stars. I acted like my favorite stars. My role models were a brunette from Gilligan’s Island and a brunette from Charlie’s Angels. And I moved and acted like them, or some other dark-haired daytime soap opera actress. I didn’t know I did this, but I did it nonetheless. I needed a role model, and I found mine on television. Mimicking the traits of sensual and sexual adult females did not add to my ability to fit in; my actions instead served to highlight my inadequacies and oddities. I did things halfway, some very awkward child trying to catch up to her peers and changing body, and not knowing how to even begin, and not recognizing that her subconscious chosen methods were damaging her chances of fitting in further.

13. I didn’t understand my bodily changes and the monthly menstrual cycle. The change had been explained to me in various classes at school, briefly by a parent, and in review of some books, but that information was not enough. I think, in retrospect, I had needed someone to walk me through the process daily for the first year. To explain and reexplain, to reassure me I wasn’t dying or sick, to comfort me when the new and unfamiliar body pains and sensations came, to give me more advanced biological descriptions of what was happening to me. I didn’t do well with change. Change scared me. And here, my entire body was not my body anymore. It was terrifying. I didn’t understand the entire concepts of sex, of the ways I might get pregnant or how to tell if what my peers said was truth or lies. I didn’t understand how things worked.

14. I didn’t understand the concept of holding back. I said things like I saw them and felt them; that is until I was so shamed in school, I clamped up and hid in the corner writing song lyrics in pencil all over my desktop. I didn’t understand social rules and social games. I came across as overzealous, as immature, as goofy, giddy, and somewhat of a ditz. I didn’t understand most jokes. I laughed a lot, out of embarrassment or discomfort. I developed a nervous giggle. I seemed fake to other people, when ironically I was truly myself. People questioned me, especially my facial expressions and body language, and worse they criticized me. If I walked with my head down, with my eyes glued to the floor, my peers claimed I was rude and stuck up, too good for them. If I smiled, I was a flirt. If I avoided eye contact, I was showing disrespect or further showing I thought I was hot stuff and ‘all that.’ I didn’t know how to be. I wasn’t given the tools or the freedom. Everything I did was judged or deemed wrong. I quickly began to surmise the world was a terrible place in which no one was allowed to be herself. And then I concluded I didn’t even know who my self was.

15. I cried a lot. I isolated myself a lot. All the traits of Aspergers were triggered as puberty hit. I was overwhelmed with entirely too much for any child. Not only was my home life unpredictable and chaotic, not only was my body changing, my peers suddenly my enemies, but my own mind was turning against me. I couldn’t tell who I was, what I wanted, and had no idea where to go for help. When I tried to tell adults I was afraid to live, they claimed I was seeking attention, that I was fine, or that I was creating drama. When I went crying to the school counselor, he told me plainly that I was a beautiful attractive and intelligent young lady. And questioned what I could possibly have to complain about. I was attacked on all fronts. No one believed me when I said I felt different and alone. No one believed the deep pain and shattering of my life I was undergoing. I became suicidal, never able to go through with any attempts, but always wondering how it would feel to escape this life. I became more and more of a recluse and found small ways to make my life more manageable. I ate the same lunch every day. I kept the same routine. I knew what path to walk in the halls at school. I knew how to hide. I learned how to pretend to be someone else in mannerisms, dress and behavior. I became that which was nothing but a ghost of me, and I lived that way for most of my days.

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Everyday Aspergers the book available in 2016. Join our Facebook Clan or follow the blog for newest information on book release, including contests and give aways. 🙂 ~ Sam

poetry from my teenage years

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457: Lost Again

I am so very sad today.

I have been crying since last night. This is a confusing part of my life; more confusing in some ways than the rest, and less in other ways, but regardless confusing. I find myself alone and frightened, and at the same time protected and guided. I am stepping out of self, as I often do, and watching silently, as I process through what need be done. I am certainly mourning; what I am mourning is not as important, as the reason why I am mourning. I am mourning over substantial loss. The what of it? The who, the reasons, the particularities, the details, don’t matter much. It’s all the same pain. All the same tears. This sadness.

I am mourning because if I don’t I cannot move on, and will find myself in this dreadful place of sorrow far too long. And so I weep, not because I am forlorn or even truly lost, for I know soon I will be content, but because I know I need to go through this to get to the other side.

I feel misunderstood as of late, and this has been a constant in my life, this aspect of being misunderstood.

I have moments of bliss, when I connect to what I choose to call my angels or God, moments of profound insight and reprieve. I find refuge in my moments of connection with the collective, the All, the source. But the instances don’t last, and I am left here; or so it seems.

This morning I am feeling very much ‘left,’ broken and left, as abandoned debris. Even as I know this to be an untruth, I still experience it as a strong reality. I still watch as a part of me suffers so, in the regurgitation of fears and missed opportunity. I am not selfish in my dallying in pain, only staking myself here a bit, until the time comes that I can glide out and be alive again—in the light, and in accordance with my higher self.

This state is difficult to maneuver within; alongside the tears and sense of overwhelming despair, remains the long distance hope, unreachable though it be.

I feel misunderstood in many ways. And as hard as I try, this continues to happen. It isn’t that I am flawed or that the other is wrong; it’s just the way it is. And with each time this happens, I break a bit, having exposed myself fully and been knocked down dubiously. I haven’t yet learned how to not expose myself. Despite the little nagging voices that warn me, that tell me how to be, how to play, how to act—regardless I still don’t ‘act’ correctly. At least not in accordance to the mainstream, not even it accordance to the side-stream.

What is it about me that has to be this way? Why do I have to be different? And so complicated inside. So utterly confusing.
My entire life, I have only longed to be loved and understood. Loved in completion and understood in completion. I always thought there would be someone who could do this, beyond my own self and beyond God. Now I am beginning to think there isn’t anyone; that there isn’t a one or a somebody that can take away any of this pain brought on by isolation. And that scares me to a great degree.

I am trapped somewhere now, between wanting to explain myself over and over and be truly seen, and wanting to hide and not come out. Rather than depression, I would name this yet another trial of spirit, another relapse into the negation brought on by the yin and yang of life. I behold myself on that constant pendulum of rebalance. What goes up, must come down. And I am tired of the echoes that leech out of me, their sadness carried to the depths of my pores; then seeped out screaming, as my entire body washes away in ache.

I become so hopeful and childlike at times. I am this gleeful spirited one, dancing in the miracle of life, and the miracle of all, and then I am brought here, into the dark forest of dimly lit nowhere. A scope onto self and self alone, the rest forgotten and folded away, some unkempt laundry tucked out of sight. And I stand here, suffocating in my own vomit of misery: shaken, lost, alone.

I don’t understand it, why this life is this life, and why I am made as me. Why so much has been shown to me and given, and so much taken away. I don’t understand this at all, and the concept of the inability to understand boggles my brain, causing me to loop and decipher the aspects of my own torment. As if, I, as logical being, could master my own self and recreate the concept of reality, pull myself out of the burden of misery and into the sunlight of hope.

I sit here in battle with shadows, or some form of regret, and I play out this scene again followed by again.

Hello, I say to the downcast one, hidden in her corner, huddled and terrified.

Hello, I say again. My lips moving and my voice carried, yet somehow captured and set aflame before reaching the hovel where the child rests asleep in fear.

Hello, I scream, shaking the ground and the space in between us; the separation so narrow a fleck would serve as bridge.

And still she neither moves nor reckons I am here.

Instead she gathers herself as garbage and recollects the foul smell of the world must be her, and if not her, at minimum her own doing.

She is lost again, in some forgotten place, between this world and the next, trying to find her way back to a place in which she does not belong.

455: Love and Loops

I have been trying really hard to not loop, to not spin, to not take something that is nothing and turn it into a monster. The largest portion of this sense of self is lost in doing so, in succumbing to the voice of fear and believing what I hear. The greatest part of spirit knows that fear is all but illusion, and only love exists—prevails beyond the illusion of naught. Still I get lost in the murky waters of falsehoods, daily, if not hourly, trapped in a labyrinth beyond human logic.

Because I am vulnerable, I lose sight of my purpose. Because I succumb to this falsehood, I lose sight of the all. I become a pawn in some minions’ game of discourse and confusion as I stumble down endless reasonings leading nowhere.

I have watched myself as the observer and taken soul-notes, or more so delve through time for answers, and if not answers than at least a glimmer of insight. I have listened to my heart-mind, and focused on the powers that rest beyond intellect. And in so doing, I have found some peace. I have found some recourse beyond the dilly-dallying of the mind, beyond state of anguish.

I have discovered, with full vitality, a remedy beyond this place I am. I have seen a solution that is far more reaching than letting the pain play out to the end. I have seen: It is not that I need to seek the meaning and find the solution, but that I need to release the need for solution.

Before I believed this meant releasing to the process—to allow or give permission for my mind to go through the torment. Now I view the occurrence with new eyes. There is no need for me to wallow in this state of pain day in and day out. The truth of the mystery of release is found in not releasing, not focusing, not trying, but simply replacing.

Releasing through replacement is my remedy. And not replacing with the tools of busyness or distraction. For though they be sweet, the intermingling of heart-mind into a daunting or thusly thrilling task or adventure, they too come to a conclusion, an end that certainly leaves me back on the dock of gloomy comings. A place where I am once again triggered by an invisible made visible.

I’ve come to see that what I am sensing is not so much an intellectual attack as a spiritual attack. A dark nature of my own doing or another’s, I know not. A creation brought on by self-manifestation or a power beyond, I know not enough to ponder. But whatever the affliction, rather karmic, energetic, or simply part of my journey into greater peace, the affliction exists. A pain so palatable I can taste it—hold it in my mouth and bite down. It’s thick and dirty, and filled with deception. Trickery of what is and what isn’t. And mask upon mask of who I am.

In the end, at the bottom of all the lies is this desperation, this clinging, that makes my mind scream out. A lost woman forlorn and in destitute wondering about from that which she came.

To experience is to remember. To experience again is to cry so deeply in recognition of the unraveling loss of control that the tears become the enemy. The shell of self emptied too, so despite the remnants of what I thought I was, who I thought I was, I become something entirely altered, different even within the mirror I reflect upon. Wherein even the home in which I sought rescue and escape is shattered—no place to crawl back into, no matter if it be demolished or in disarray—no shell exists. I am left out in the open barren space of nowhere searching for a way back home to nothing.

And so I have put into practice a new approach, scouring over the teachings I have collected in my mind, and surrendering a gentle submission of knowing not enough to conquer this affliction. Instead, I retreat into a place in which I connect my heart and mind, and I give to myself the gentleness of love.

I let into my mind only one word: LOVE

And I repeat this over and over and over: Love, love, love

Love, love, love
Love, love, love
Love, love, love

That is all.
That is the all.

And here I rest, unable to untangle my own mind with any other words, unable to be the puzzle solver or mender. Unable to recollect what brought me here again—for one solution inevitably leads to further spinning and descending into the abyss.

Instead, instead of anything else in existence, I choose love.

And there I rest, repeating the source of light over and over, until the healing waters come, and I realize whatever or whomever it was that afflicted me, be it self, illusion, or other, I am whole still. Returned to the womb of discovery. Returned to the self complete and renewed.

453: The Waterdrop

I have been caught in a rut. In a spiraling stream of water that is heading down the drain. I have forgotten I have the tools I need. I am reclaiming these tools today, at this moment.

Physically I have been sick, very sick. Mentally, I have been suffering. And spiritually I have been fighting some unrecognizable battle.

hospital me

I have found the answers, the passageway, my ‘out’ through careful observation of self, of others, and through letting go long enough to gain perspective.

I had a rumbling of insights that were more disturbing than pleasurable, like bad food on an empty stomach. I keep gurgling up something of self, and pushing it back down, in an attempt to stop this ghastly taste of me from penetrating my taste buds. I have been forging through the forest of reason in effort to find the end, the stopping point, the light into the resting field.

I have had no success in my futile ways. No success in the instigation of force or the instigation of spinning logic.

My only refuge has been in dismissing ego long enough to take a good look at the circumstances unclouded and without residue of pain and fear. To peek through the window as the observer and not the trembling wounded child. This has been difficult. Not an easy task: to dismiss the part of self that wants attention, recourse, answers, and love, and to let in the part of spirit that is complete. I have fought this process with clenched teeth and starving nails.

Essentially dragging my own physical self out of the cave she wished to remain within.

In stepping back and watching me gyrate, from one retched cave of bitter-pain to the next, I have noted the effect. I have witnessed how the deeper I dig in self-pity and remorse, the deeper I fall, and the more I attract further elements to solidify my pathetic state.

I have witnessed how like attracts like, how the more I became what others thought I was, the more I brought to me others who saw me the same.

Effectually, I was a metamorphosis in full swing, becoming what I focused upon.

I was told, while in a weakened physical state, that I was wrong. That I was twisted in my thinking. That I was creating my illness. I was told this repeatedly by doctors. But then the other doctors would come, and claim what illness I had. Explain to me the sickness, validate my physical pain. I could not find any reprieve. For one minute my reality was one person’s and the next the other’s.

I was so fragile in self, from the continuing weakened physical state, that I took on whatever the onlooker perceived me to be. I became a yo-yo in truth, vacillating based on a random output from others. One minute I was up with hope, one minute I was down. Of course, somewhere inside of me I became the judge and jury of right and wrong, of hope and no hope. I took the stimuli and decided within which person’s words were damaging and which were helpful.

Here was my first turn off the course of love: In thinking anyone beyond self could dictate who I was, how I felt, and how I would be.

I got caught up in the concept of time. In the clinging to output and the desperate need of outcome. I began to focus on the end and not the present. I began to fear the future and the unknowns. I forgot that there is no definite, there is not stagnant, there is no way to control anything.

Fear consumed me. And soon the past became my hauntings. And all I could here was the doctor’s judgments. I wanted nothing more than to be protected by the next onset of judgment placed on me. Nothing more than to sleep the time away and wake up outside of the hospital back in my bed with solutions, with the ability to live again, outside the debilitating illness.

My future became my only hope and my past my only nightmare. I was consumed in helplessness and dismal self-fear. I began to reach out for any glimpse of rescue. I began to panic. Terror took over, and I slipped further into the net of ego consumption. I became the feed, the broth, the stock for the over-bearing demolishing ghost of wanting. My desires took over. And everything began to collapse.

In my weakened physical state, having barely slept or eaten in weeks, I began to see everyone as the enemy. And in turn, they began to see me this way. This validated my worthlessness. This fed the fear further. Until, soon, there was nothing I could see clearly. I began running faster from my core self and began slipping further into self-demolishing-demise.

I was never depressed, but I was constantly forlorn and terrified.

None of what I had studied mattered. None of my angels could I hear. And none of my hope could I find.

People I knew found me in this state, and I became in their eyes what they wanted to see. I could feel it happening. A part of me watched as the others about me began to project their fears into me. I became a sponge of sorts, absorbing their negative energies—their shadows. Being an empath since birth this was my natural tendency. And being so weak, I had no will to protect myself from their self-reflection.

I became a mirror to everyone about me. I became sensitive to all their plights and pain. They put into me what I was putting out: disbelief, suspicion, fear, accusations, desperation, rescue. And the others, who were not in this state, the ones that were more content, more or less pleased with their world when they met me, they soothed my soul. I could feel their energy. Still it seemed some giant game of cat and mouse. I was being chased down by whatever mood the cat was in, either batted like paw to a string or scratched and scratched, the post itself.

Soon I was such a mess, I was hysterical. Fear entirely consumed me. I could not help but cry and rage. I exploded like a child. I was helpless in all degrees, every part of me severed. Still the observer of my own self watched from a distant, though he faded in and out now.

At home, the situation did not change. My children were enough dismissed by their own actions, that my mood and altercations did not affect them enough to project my fear back to me. But the adults were not as removed. They were too close to me. And soon I became what they saw, too. They absorbed my fear, and I absorbed theirs and we existed as this interchange of pain, blame, and desperation.

Had I known how to stop, I would. But I could not see the all as an extension of self. I could not see that the poison in me was leaking out everywhere. I was already so weak and afraid, and all I wanted was support, but my own power, my own ability to manifest from my emotional state my physical world, became my own greatest injury. I was limping by my own doing, using fear for a crutch, unable to look and realize the situation.

Soon more and more around me became my enemy, validating my worthlessness and fear. Soon their fear grew exponentially. At a time I needed nothing more than unconditional love and affection, I was judged, controlled, criticized and belittled. All of me became subject of fixing. Here I felt in defense and went into fight mode. Here I let fear entirely take over.

I’d forgotten how beautiful I am.

I discovered myself perpetuating this ‘fear,’ bringing this fear into other friendships and relationships. I began to spill out. And more and more ‘unfortunate’ events transpired. I don’t accept blame for my circumstance. I refuse to self-punish. I refuse to bring further fear into me. I also do not blame others. I spent enough of the past day doing so. I still have a quench of anger and a quench of distaste for those I encountered. But I recognize if others project into me, then I must in theory project into them. We are equal players. A tango exists, and neither is the leader or the follower, both trapped in this movement where fear is the dictator.

I have found my only refuge is in the continual release of all anger and blame; this means for self and others. Holding onto self-punishment or the punishment of others is detrimental.

I have remembered what I have been taught in the last two years, through readings, meditations, dreams, and daylight visions. I have been shown how to alleviate my pain and suffering through the release of past and present, through the release of all emotions not representational of love. I cannot go back and fix what has happened, nor can I make amends for what was. I only can stitch my own wounds back together with the thread of awareness and growth and confirm to self I did the best I knew with what I had. I can treat myself with self-respect and enough love to dispel the fear. I can let go of what will be of the future and what will come of the past. And stop replaying the ghosts in my head, the ones feeding me horrible lies of self. These are in my control: letting go, being in the present, focusing on love and love alone.

This is my life boat. To be. To love. To live.

home me

I have had a hard time of it for certain. In some ways, I know I created the chaos. In some ways, I know others were active participants. Where I end and others begin is still a grand mystery to me. Many a reader has told me I read his or her mind when I write. That I seem to capsulate the aspie experience. But what if they are reading mine? What if we are one mind? What if this is just one giant stream of consciousness, and I’m just a water drop with a voice?