Prepare to enter the wild and wooly world of an adult with Aspergers Syndrome, a form of autism characterized by intellignce, quirks, social difficulties and downright strange and oddish behaviours.

People with Aspergers generally are high functioning in everyday life but have great difficulty connecting with others due to the inability to read faces, body language and subtle verbal clues. They also tend to take words literally and have a hard time multi-tasking.

Oversensitivity to touch (clothing has to be soft and often the tags removed), light (do not leave home without the sunglasses), sound (loud noises and noisey places are avoided), taste (many Aspies have quite a limited diet and are frequently very picky eaters) and smells makes the everyday existence more of a challenge.

Fasten your seatbelts and come on in...
To find out more about what Aspergers is..please check out my earliest blog entries

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

No longer

I no longer feel like I'm living a life of quiet desperation and dying a little inside each day as my soul writhes and gives, gives in order for the roof to stay over the head and food on the table.
Ah, the love stopped about ten years ago when she could no longer hold my head under the water. Silly, ridiculous even...the things we identify as "love". An agreement gone astray when the table tilted and the pieces became more evenly distributed.
Oh, I can admit it now, with great reluctance, how much it hurt to realize that I was nothing more than a possession who, like a dog, deserved nothing more than a bed in the family room. There was no equality as that would have and did upset the "balance" of power...lol, yeah, me 10%, her 90%. I allowed myself to be treated as I felt worthy, unworthy. Kinda like being owned but that's just how it felt.
A farce, a lie, a grimace and silent whine...I was all that and then some. Funny, never would I ever have become an equal because the relationship was built on the inequality, the my willingness to continue the role I had always ever played. The relationship never could have survived..healthy, for it was built on askew.
I think I'm just happy because I no longer have to hand over my power, play the complacent second, and put myself down in order to have a roof over my head.
I no longer have to endure childish stare downs, temper tantrums or begging to get what I need. No more pretending that it's okay to be lied to and spied on. No more looking the other way as the buying spree continues to sink, sink, sink further and deeper with no insight or relief insight. I want what I want when I want it...is the cry of three year olds not grown adults who know what a budget is and ignore any hint of self-restraint.
When we don't get enough love from the right people, we try and compensate by loving things...and it doesn't help. Still empty inside yet with bigger debt.
I'm lucky I got out. I'm not that person anymore. I won't allow myself such injustice any, any more.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Contemplating

I'm thinking about getting Pokémon GO for little guy. I think it may be a way for him to get out more and interact with others. Just contemplating it...
I've been weighing the possibility of taking a single class at the local community college. Funny, the day I was thinking about it a flyer from the college arrived in the mail. I pay more attention to those serendipitous signs. The class would be one evening a week for an hour and a half. It costs 100$ + book. I want to visit the college to see whether it's feasible or not. I'd really like to but I don't want to get overwhelmed. It'd give me the opportunity to interact with others which is important plus I just feel like I should be learning something. It'd be nice to have a goal and focus. I asked little guy if he could handle being home by himself. He said "of course." Still thinking and need to visit campus.
My city is so well laid out and most places are within 1-5 miles of home.
The other funny thing I realized...back in February when I visited here..I decided this was my city not more than a mile from my current apartment. How crazy weird is that?
Managing finances pretty darn good. It has been an extremely smooth transition to living on my own. Very pleased. Very grateful.
I love walking Rosebud at night and seeing the stars and airplanes in the sky. The weather has been in the pleasant 70's perfect for our walks. Today, we took our backpacks to the grocery store. Little guy thought that was weird until I showed him all the other people walking around the grocery store with backpacks too. Such a different way of life.
Love it!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I love that...

People sleep with windows and shades wide or partially open.
That I wake up listening to the maintenance guys casually chatting in the nearby work room.
I'm able to show my son how the majority of people live, in closer quarters than on an acre lot.
I can demonstrate everyday tasks that he didn't have to partake in before. He's learning how to shop, pickup after himself, do chores and be more responsible.
He is experiencing a variety of different cultures and colors he's never been privy to before.
He is in an environment that promotes positive things: biking, walking, conservation, and ecology.
I love the peaceful centeredness that seems pervasive.

Apartment Living

Our new apartment is beautiful. Big living room window opposite a bedroom that's half built into earth with an equally large window. I noticed, on my walk tonight, that a number of apartments face the noisy street, not me. Our apartment faces the parklike green grounds.
I love the nighttime sounds. The first night here I listened to crickets. We are fairly close to railroad tracks, and I love the sounds of the train around 10 pm each night.
On our walk at the park tonight, I noticed a number of homeless guys, some of whom live within the park. Homelessness looks to be a huge problem in this region. When you can easily endure the elements year-round, people will live in the outdoors.
Another warm day up in the 90's. Didn't really notice it as the temp spike was just for a few hours late afternoon.
We drove around town a bit, too. I like to get familiar with my surroundings a little bit more each day.
I survived my big meltdown at little guy's school yesterday. I'm not sure why it happened in that I couldn't pinpoint the exact cause. Sure, there was a big lineup of people I didn't know, in an unfamiliar place but I didn't feel overly anxious. I started feeling faint and a bit dizzy until I figured out the right course of action...running to the school office for help. I don't mind the uncontrollable tears anymore. And the secretary seemed very nice and understanding. I get stressed and it pours out of my eyes at times. It's just how I roll.
Now tomorrow is a big day as YL goes solo for orientation whilst I complete his enrollment stuff at the office and pay fees.
I do want to meet his teachers to explain his writing difficulties. I keep getting blowback when I ask to meet them and I don't understand why. Maybe most seventh grader parents don't need to meet their kids teachers but I Do. I need to see who he is dealing with all day long. They need to understand his special needs And mine. I'll broach this again tomorrow.
I put up more pics around the house. It's time to keep unpacking the boxes a bit each day.
Today was the first day little guy didn't complain about the move. I hope my meltdown didn't bother him but he is a little kinder today. He remarked that he doesn't tell me he loves me enough and that he'd never seen me cry like that. I explained it is no big deal and it happens pretty frequently but I'm perfectly okay. He sees my struggle that was previously hidden. We spent a lot of time watching and talking Star Wars today. I'm genuinely interested in his new info that he shares. I like the discussions we have. I truly do. He has a lot to say and share.
He didn't complain about our daily walk either. Well, not too much anyway. It was a new trail at the park, a more wooded, wild area. I only walked a few blocks before it was time to return to a familiar area. I love the rose park they have there. Literally, dozens and dozens of huge rose plants in every shade and smell imaginable. We will explore more tomorrow after orientation.

Going for Walks

I need to impliment some routines in my day. Yesterday, we visited Avery Park for the first time. It's a large park with play areas, trails, Mary's River and a huge blooming rose garden. The trees are diverse and massive. I love it there. I'll start going for walks there once school starts.
After dinner, I've been dragging YL and Rosebud on walks around the large, over-sized block. Like all new places, I go just short distances at first, then as I feel more comfortable I walk farther and farther. Yesterday was the first time we completed the entire block.
The neighborhood is quite different. Gardens and fruit trees are more common than lawn ornaments. We saw apple, pear, kiwi and even plum trees in people's front yard. August is typically completely dry with zero rainfall. Watering the lawn is an exception reserved for businesses and apartment complexes and is rare to see on private lawns.
Conservation and recycling are big here. Even at church on Sunday we prayed for the water, earth and land.
Quite a unique set of priorities here as opposed to there.
Our after dinner walks will continue. It's an excellent time to just talk and experience our new city.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Selfie

And sometimes you just have to take a selfie because you're happy, feel good about yourself, have weathered the impossible storms and you look good and you know it!!!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Another Great Day

I'm happy, more than I have ever been. I am tired and go to bed around 11pm every night. Typically, I wake up once around 3ish and go back to sleep until 7 or 8. I'm eating light and decent, making sure YL and I eat healthy.
After today's middle school tour and enrollment, I treated little mustache guy to a meal at Dairy Queen. He and I had seen commercials whereby there were DQ'S that served food, but we'd never actually seen one till today. Originally, we were just stopping for ice cream but once YL saw the large menu, he perked up and asked if he could try a meal. Sitting and waiting for our order, I watched people. I wasn't nervous at all, just real comfortable observing everyone. I told YL we should stop down there maybe once a month and eat there. It's a perfect place to people watch and checkout the downtown.
YL loved the food. I loved the school. I was highly impressed. I'm really optomistic that this will be a positive turning point in my son's life. Maybe he will learn to trust people again, respect teachers and rebuild his shattered self-esteem.
Rosebud is so comfy and secure that she sleeps in her kennel while we are gone and displays no nervous tension.
We are one very happy family!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

An Accomplished Morning

Started off to the bank shortly after it opened. A very nice young banker, Mr. Smith, assisted me in setting up a checking account for my direct deposit. I was surprised by all the forms and formalities involved in opening up a simple account. We weren't in a hurry so it went just fine. Banking set-up: Done.
We stopped at my church and had the opportunity to meet one of the pastors. He was easy to talk to and easy to understand. No troubling accent or fast talking to throw me off.
Next, we went to our Meyer store. It's like a small Meijer or advanced Kmart. Three times I asked for assistance in locating items and each time the clerks were kind and helpful. We managed to pick up everything on our list.
Younglink asked if I could buy him some cool Star Wars pajamas. I reminded him of how many pairs of new pj's he had sitting at home. So, I turned and looked at the houseplants. I picked one up that I really liked. YL said, "Can we afford that?" before I even put it in the cart. I smiled and put the plant back. Yeah, the guy was right..it wasn't part of the budget and I could easily live without it. He's getting smarter everyday!
Once the groceries were put away, the puppy was walked and new paperwork put appropriately away, it was time for the 40-50 minute phone calls to Social Security to update my information. They have the most annoying, nondescript music playing while on hold, I kid you not.
After that, a couple more change of address phone calls and then on to lunch.
YL and I got a lot done. The morning went smoothly. This afternoon the temps are traveling to triple digits so we get to rest and relax indoors, play games and watch some tv. I'm glad I picked up the big, box fan earlier in the week. It could be running most of the weekend.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

So Tomorrow. ..

I've recovered 90% from the stress of moving which is highly, highly remarkable given the four days of traveling over 2,000 miles!!!!! So, tomorrow we actually have a day off from appointments and I want YL and I to find ways to interact with people.
We can stop by our church again. I'd like to meet and talk with one or both pastors. They are a husband/ wife team so it should be fun. Plus, I'll get a look at the church and talk with the secretary or anyone else hanging around the office.
We will do some laundry. I'll show YL how to run the machines again and see if we can find any neighbors to talk with. We really do need to start going for walks around the neighborhood now that we are acclimated.
We need just a few groceries, so off to Safeway or Fred Meyer. I've been really proud of myself for keeping our food budget so low. Food stamps won't kick in for a week or two, so I am careful about what I buy. The only item I need to buy is a calender to hang on the wall to keep track of things.
Maybe we'll stop at the public library or go for a stroll downtown. I'll set up a checking account at a local bank. That's my only have-to-do thing.
I'll go through some boxes and try and locate my son's birth certificate and last year's IEP. I know I packed them somewhere.
YL and I decided to forego a couch and just use one bed in the living room with the other being in the bedroom. He and I will put the frame on the living room bed.
I saved some more money by ordering a couple used books online. No need to buy new when used will work just fine. One book is on Oregon birds and the other is Oregon plants and trees. The flora and fauna are quite different and currently unidentifiable by me. I like to know the name of things.
One of our gas stops on our way here was in Rufus. Rufus was a bit scary, like a backwater town, Deliverance style. The gas attendant said there were too many...goatheads to take puppy for a walk. He said goatheads are sharp or spiky or something. I should know what I'm walking puppy in and what to avoid.
Anyway, yeah, time to meet, talk, interact and take some steps around town. Should be fun!!!

Accomplishing Little Things that are Big Things

I'm trying my hand at all kinds of new things. Sure, they may seem ordinary, minor, maybe even paltry but to me they are big things as I've never accomplished these feats before.
Yesterday, I was so proud of myself for putting a bed together with a little help from Younglink. I found the right agency office and sat for an hour filling out paperwork all the while panicky and nervous on the inside. I asked for clarity on a few points and I even burst into tears at one answer. I didn't apologize for it either. Tears happen, especially in new situations or due to stress. It actually felt relieving. I don't feel the slightest hint of embarrassment. It's just who I am and how I roll.
I went the cheaper, risky route and ordered a self-installation cable tv kit And I was able to successfully hook it up, again with help from my young man!!! So very pleased with myself!!!!
I've noticed that I'm 95% happy, not simply content but a step above, happy. The other 5% of the time I'm terrified. Not a bad ratio, all things considered.
Each day I become a little more at ease and familiar with the roads and stores. If I lash out in frustration, I'm quick to realize my error and apologize to Younglink for any colorful outbursts. His maturity and understanding are at an all time high.
He's even starting to grow a mustache and is quite thrilled!!! He's hit that "chunking out" stage that I've heard about. Rapid body growth going on and a deeper voice as well. I'm really pleased with his adjustment. He's doing very well!!!
Rosebud has finally realized she can relax because she is home. She had a terrible time travelling and was constantly nervous. I love seeing her sprawled out without an ounce of anxiety.
Life is good...life is very, very good!

The Truth about Moving...Aliens

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Raising YoungLink

I realized a number of things about my 12 year old son, YL. I understand why he has so many difficulties. Maybe the reason he needs to be first playing a game, is that no one has ever put him first in real life. The world, or at least one loving adult, needs to devote and revolve around meeting a child's needs so the child has a chance to build a solid foundation. YL has not had that.
Having two kids, I chose to take care of the squeakiest wheel, the one crying loudest but that left YL unfulfilled and quite lacking in love, affection and the attention he needed. My bad.
I noticed a number of things on our four day, cross-country drive:
1) YL seems surprised when I'm willing to listen to him, make eye contact and engage in discussions.
2) I feel that he has only gotten attention by being yelled at. He really likes soft talk. I think we were so quick to point out when he was getting in our way, interrupting game, TV show or bothering us when we were tired....he thrives on kindness and being the center of attention and being spoken to with respect.
I didn't realize what a terrible job I was doing...I may never have realized if I hadn't left...this move will give YL the opportunities he never had and couldn't get in Michigan...a single parent revolving, supporting, loving and paying attention to him.
I'm not sure I'm saying all this right...it's such a huge issue with multiple facets. I know...that I'm going to make up for his years of neglect....I am devoted to making up for my mistakes. YL Finally Takes Center Stage!!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Utah

Nota fan of Utah. As soon as I crossed the state line, it felt as if doors were shutting and I'd entered a place of great secrets and judgement. Odd, considering I know a few kind and wonderful people that live there.
Instead of the long, straight roads of Wyoming, there were twists, turns and uncertainty around each bend. It felt unpleasant. My mood changed dramatically for the better once I hit Idaho.
Idaho feels like a warm smile and open arms.

I ❤ Wyoming!

Spent the day traveling through Wyoming. OMG, I had no idea of the diversity and beauty every few miles. Feeling blessed and honored to be able to travel through this glorious state.

Good Morning Cheyenne Wyoming

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Indiana wants me

But we are just passing through

Iowa

Another state

Northwestern Nebraska

I was born here

Yeah, I was born right here! No, not in this cheesy gas station but in a hospital nearby. Weirdy huh

Moving On