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
Friday, September 30, 2016
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Yeah, dealing with the flu in the house this week. I had appointments to cancel that I may reschedule tomorrow. Little guy is back at school. Boy, was he a happy guy today. His teachers and friends asked about his absence. He was just one bright ball of sunshine talking about his buds and maybe plans to go hangout at his best bud's house a day this weekend.
The short walks I took Rosebud out for reminded me how much I miss being outside for an hour or two everyday. On one such walk, a neighbor asked about Rosebud and if she was an Emotional Support Dog. We had a nice, brief conversation. It felt good to have a small chat with someone nice. Dogs are great icebreakers.
Well, the nights of sound sleeping are over. My sleeping pill hasn't been refilled and the doctor at the med center says they only recommend sleep pills for 2 weeks and then off of them. I can't believe it is going to be difficult to get a simple med refill that gives me such relief from the insomnia. After all I've been through...the trials, tribulations and side effects I've dealt with from other sleep meds..so that's why I hear about others with ptsd smoking legal pot. Don't think that I could do that...still seems wrong even though it's perfectly legal...I dread the long nights again. I really do. Turns out consistent sleep was a little blip not a new and improved way of life. I'm quite disappointed. I see my new physician late October so no possible relief till then. It's not the docs fault that the drugs now carry a black box warning and are tough to get. I still am sad to hear this, though.
I'm going to try a local acupuncturist next week. I need some type of energy tuning just to maintain and improve my health and keep down the mental chattering. I'm on a waiting list for a therapist but I may go through the insurance approved list again, and see if there is anyone with availability. My therapist was my only stable, weekly connection and I miss that talk time.
Food stamps are working out great. I budgeted well for this first month, no out of pocket food costs. I love the absence of wasted food and a refrigerator full of leftovers no one will eat. I've taught little guy the joys of no wasting food in a very effective way. He knows we eat up the leftovers before anything new gets cooked.
Speaking of cooking...one of his classes is a home ec, cooking class. He loves it. Last week, he made a smoothie. This week, well, today, he was thrilled to make rice crispy treats. Not only does he love cooking but he also has a friend he really gets along with in that class.
He's been taking the bus for over a week now, to and from school. Of course, he loves his independence and prefers the bus than having me drive him. Gosh, he's matured so much. Love that son of mine.
Today, I was struck by the dramatic behavioral changes taking place in my 12, almost 13 year old son. In a brief synopsis, he's nicer, kinder and showing tons of previously unheard of empathy.
I think the home life situation allows him to build his self-esteem. He spends at least an hour every day just talking to me about his day, ideas, creative stories and I believe he feels heard and as a valued member of this family unit.
He is more willing to help out, do chores and care for Rosebud without complaining or dissent. If I look back, it's been these subtle positives almost each day. He gives compliments, receives them well and sounds like he cares about at least two friends, as if they were best friends, kind of replacing the ones he left in Michigan.
I'm just really proud and pleased with him. Even through his four day flu ordeal, he's just a nicer person to be around. Very positive growth in this guy!!! Had to write and share.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Again this week there is one appointment or event every single day, sometimes two. Doctor visits, therapy, someone coming to the apartment, not one but two different people two different times (yes, it is very uncomfortable to even contemplate) and my college course. No wonder I've wanted to do nothing but drive to the beach in solitude every weekend.
I've been able to hear myself talk at interviews and appointments. I don't know why I could never hear myself before now but it just is. I'll blame it on effective therapy for now. Listening to myself...it's like I have no confidence and I'm a bird landing on one hot wire just to fly off and land on a different hot wire.
Conversations, especially with new people, are challenging because I don't know the rules or boundries. As an example, yesterday I met with my housing worker. After we'd finished the necessary paper work she started small talk. I didn't know if there was a time limit, like the appointment needs to end in 5 minutes or 50...so I limited myself to answering or asking questions that required short responses. I need to know when I'll be leaving so that I don't get started on a subject and get shown the door before I've made my points. I didn't want her to think me long winded and boring. I didn't want to bore her with my life stuff...but being at the community mental health offices maybe part of her job was to hear me..communicate, listen..I just don't know.
So I spent the small talk part in utter confusion and short, pat answers. I didn't feel right about asking any questions that would have eased my befuddlement like "how long is this appointment?" "Is subject matter limited strictly to housing?" Or "are you part counselor?" Questions that were bouncing around my brain, never to be asked...ah, like so many before.
Confusion seems to be part of daily life..living Aspie
Monday, September 26, 2016
I officially signed the papers and my rent will forever be only 30-40% of my income!!!! How Miraculous is that?! A process that usually takes a couple years happened in a little over a month.
I love it when I can see, feel and align myself with my life's purpose and destiny.
Should write more but ti-ti.
Sunday, September 25, 2016
Saturday, September 24, 2016
At my son's IEP, Individualized Educational Plan, yesterday, it was reported that his teachers said he was doing well in all his classes. On one ocassion, little guy lost his homework, started battling with the teacher and then serendipitously found someone else's paper to claim as his own. He thought this a great and fortuitous event. Boy, does he remind me of the other adult in the former household. I can't help but think that YL lies and tries to get away with stuff just like OA, other adult, routinely did.
YL is learning that he can throw a childish fit and it won't cause him to get out of a chore...no more temper tantrums to get attention and whatever he wants. He is unlearning alllll the negative messages he received and believed in that dysfunctional household.
The unkindness there was thick, profuse and subtle. I was to take the blame for everything. If she wanted to lose weight, I had to cook better. If the creditors were beating down her door, I needed to start using coupons. I Kid You Not. She had no sense of personal responsibility as it was always someone else's fault. It appears my son inherited these character flaws.
She elevated herself by being portrayed as a benevolent ruler who bestowed countless gifts to her subjects...whatever piece of free propaganda from the human society or veterans group, whether it be a cheap tote to a pair of thin gloves, she was always so pleased with herself to have a serf to give this worthless crap to...like she was doing me a favor.
So, my son is slowly becoming untwisted and less self-absorbed. He's not constantly trying to get away with stuff, rather, he finally has a healthy, active example of an adult parent to model himself and his behavior after. I'm extremely pleased to see him becoming a kinder, gentler, more caring like his momma guy. I can only envision him improving the longer he has a positive role model every single day. He is doing Great!
Friday, September 23, 2016
Too tired to write much as the day seemed to be one constant errand run, needless to say I received word that I'll be getting rental assistance, section 8 voucher!!!!! This was the large, looming uncertainty that continually weighed heavy on my mind. With this assistance I and my son, will become permanent Oregon residents and not end up homeless or in a shelter!!!! I sign papers next week. We will also be moving to our own 2 bedroom townhouse...Yay!!!!
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
As I was painting and listening to my girl, Kate Bush screeching a favorite song, the oddest thought struck me, as they often do when I hit "the zone" wherein the outside fades away as my soul speaks...it's an arting thingy I've experienced multiple times before...I was dumbstruck by how many hours upon hours and weeks upon weeks I used to wish I was dead.
The entire childhood was splattered with this thought and then gave way to less quantity and higher intensity throughout the teen years. Hell, I believe the majority of my twenties were spent just trying not to kill myself.
And I don't want to write about it, so I know that I must.
If I were to take each, singular instance were I wish I was dead and write it on a 1 inch by 2 inch piece of paper, I surmise that I could easily fill a 10' x 10' foot room with the small papers. It was that pervasive and prevalent...I was pure misery shuffling down a darkened, garbage infested alley.
I'm guessing this old ideology surfaced because I've been working on my root, core blockages. If you believe something long and often enough, it just becomes a silent, integral part of who you are.
It's time to change.
I change by awareness and acknowledgement.
I heal by bringing the blockage from the darkness into the light, examining it, writing about it and transforming it within my hands like putty or clay.
I don't want this thought any more. My current life is all awonder, peaceful and content. I no longer have any desire to die, no, I want to live, live deeply, deliberately and to learn enjoyment and allow happiness to rein.
The darkness dragged me down. Sadness poured cold pools at my feet. My mind drifted away constantly trying to escape the now, the painful present and the flashbacking past.
I'm not being beaten, tormented or forced into silence anymore. The external chains have been broken into pieces. Now, it's time to take the paper filled room...and let it burn, let it blaze and may the flames release all those thoughts and set me free.
I've earned it. I've fought for healing and I deserve it.
Monday, September 19, 2016
Today I woke up feeling compelled to walk until my feet hurt...and I did. I started off in a general direction and kinda just followed the wind.
After an hour, I found myself in an unfamiliar part of town. Nothing looked too familiar, though I could surmise the probable direction of my apartment with 90% certainty.
I fought with myself to Not automatically turn on my phone to verify my location...for at least 5 minutes before full blown panic ravaged me inside and out. I'm proud of myself for deciding not to look right away. I gave myself a little faith, talked myself down enough to proceed another few blocks, and that, my friends, was yet another small milestone, another victory for me. I recognized the situation. Determined that I wasn't in imminent danger and lived with the inner turmoil for as much time as possible...then I grabbed my phone and found my location wasn't too far off from my guessing.
I calmed myself fown, took a right turn and quickly found myself trodding down a familiar road.
I love walking. This morning it was for over an hour and a half. In the late afternoon, I walked Rosebud for an additional 30 minutes. And yes, my feet hurt! Goal accomplished yet again!!!
Sunday, September 18, 2016
On long drives I work at reprogramming myself from all the negatives messages I've received.
Today I spent time reciting these:
I'm worthy of love and respect.
I'm a good person through and through.
The Universe supports all my needs in abundance.
I love my healthy, resilient body.
The beauty I see around me is also within me.
I am connected to the Earth.
I am safe.
I love every aspect of my life, even my past because my past has created my present.
I am free and able to make my own choices and decisions.
I make excellent decisions.
I am confident and capable.
One of the reasons I moved was so that I could see and experience new things. In that vein, I decided we should go to Portland and check out the zoo.
The rainy skies parted and it was temperate and dry during our afternoon. We had a truly fun time. I hadn't experienced animals up so close I could practically touch them. I was most enamored with the never before seen Mountain Goats, Condors and the adorable Asian Elephants. There was so much to see that I don't think we got to see it all.
We even took the little train around for a short ride. Little guy picked up an elephant ear which he loved.
The hour and a half ride each way was gorgeous. Everywhere we were surrounded by distant mountains and beautiful scenery. Portland is a picturesque city of 2 million. I could see why so many choose to live there.
Friday, September 16, 2016
Today was another happily busy day. The morning was spent setting up IEP & therapy appointments for Seb, haggling and being patient while calling paypal (yes! Success), scouring the thrift stores and finding a carrying case for Seb and a file cabinet for me, stopping at RiteAid and Office Depot (I am so Never going to the local OD ever again. The salespeople were hard to find, then once caught windbags that would not stop talking about this offer or that promotion, yada, yada, Shut up already!!!! I could not get out of there fast enough as I found myself muttering and cursing aloud all the way to the car. That's a sure and easy sign that I'm stressed out.
Then I stopped by Michael's so I could get freaked out by the floor. They moved all their aisles leaving large, dirty square, rectangle marks on the floor that flipped me out. It was like an obstacle course as I couldn't step on the filthy, dirty floor areas which were numerous. Some kind of autistic thingy that made me feel very unpleasant.
I stopped at the community college to pick up my school book.
Once home, I unloaded the file cabinet myself. Yeah! Then I proceeded to label all the folders and organize the majority of my paperwork. I'm constantly surprised by the number of different forms and papers that I need to keep track of, mostly from Social Security and Oregon Health Plan, school stuff and receipts.
I've made a tremendous dent in organizing!!!!
Another highly productive day!!!!
Thursday, September 15, 2016
I packed my son's lunch in the only paper bag available, a small sack from the local Goodwill store. I hesitated...what if he's embarrassed that we shop there? Then it dawned on me...I haven't taught him to be ashamed of living a lower income, rather average lifestyle. He would be fine.
My mother erroneously taught me that poor was bad and it is not.
I went on my first, long, solo walking adventure to the library. It's about a mile away and little guy and I had walked it numerous times. Trekking solo is way more challenging than walking with someone or even my dog, Rosebud. I can't say for sure why this is, but I entertained a few theories today.
There are no distracts. My thoughts are my own. I believe that I felt danger or unsafe for so long that it's my go-to emotional state. I'm working to correct that by mental affirmation multiple times every hour. I call it a form of "mental gymnastics" and brain retraining.
Another very possible reason is topographical agnosia, my fear of getting lost or unable to find my way home. As I drove to Albany, the other day, I quite seriously constantly felt like I was going in the wrong direction. My wondrous brain has no compass so as I enter an entirely new landscape red lights flash and buzzers continually go off telling me that I am utterly lost. It's akin to trying to walk through a madly swinging swaying gauntlet. I need to remind myself that I'm not lost, I'm okay and I can find my way home.
I do believe these two reasons somehow combined made my victory over the long walk oh so sweet. Another feat conquered !!!
Now, the evil ruin-my-son's-life plan part...once again he is being assigned homework of the dreaded "reading log" whereby he needs to read 30 minutes a day. He deplores this task. So, I am instituting a no-tv policy of an hour each school day, just so it's easier to read. I'm not going to tell him that's why I'm doing it or he'd be upset. In addition, I picked up a couple of Star Wars books that he likes and will leave them on the desk, in plain view, for him to see. I won't remind him to read as I think the books are proficient bait. Yep, that's the plan.
Anyway, I'll have to write about yesterday's stuff at some point. Now, on to reading and resting.
Yes, I am proud of myself 👽❤
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
To be able to pour myself a drink and wander out in the parking lot to unwind whilst staring at a gorgeous, peaceful starry night.
Trying to sleep with Rosebud..poor puppy, I was petting her so much She couldn't sleep and ran off to sleep with the boy, lol.
I'm unwinding, relaxing. Tomorrow I meet with a liason at the school who will help me find community resources. Later, I pick little guy up early from school for a therapy intake appointment for him.
Overall, it was a good day...very stressful but with enormously positive outcomes.
God is good
And I am Awesome!!!!
When I opened my mail this morning, I was shocked to find a notice from Social Security saying they were taking away my monthly payments starting in October.my balance was above the required $2000 limit. I immediately began to panic. I called the phone number and a woman callously explained the why to me. I started to cry as I hung up. My boat was sunk.
I went to my bank to get the paperwork needed to reinstate my benefits for November. I ended up going twice because I need additional statements.
Then I did the unthinkable, the extremely difficult. I drove my stressed out butt to Albany, a foreign-to-me city 15 minutes away. All the streets were unfamiliar and I had no sense of direction so I felt perpetually lost and wasn't as all sure I could find my way home and in time to pick up my son from school.
Thanks to maps on my phone, I found the Social Security office. Then I waited fidgeting and languishing in my seat for my number to be called. I had info that said I was under my limit but I wasn't sure it would actually work.
When my number was called I presented my info to the worker. I explained the situation and almost immediately she said, "I can fix this."
Of course I didn't believe her so I watched her type and type away. Minutes dragged by. Then she said everything was going to be fine. My checks were reinstated and I'd receive a notice in the mail stating that.
I almost fell over. Instead, I thanked and started crying with relief on my way out the door and to my car. I was just sobbing at the fact that I has figured out exactly what to do, and in the midst of full blown, autistic flapping panic, I accomplished the impossible.
I was able to navigate home with time to spare.
I went from heavy grief and belittling myself for making a stupid, costly mistake to congratulating myself on fighting through the panic, gathering the appropriate evidence and presenting my case in a somewhat calm manner.
I won!!! I won against SS!!! I didn't crawl in a corner and feel sorry for myself, I fought to get things turned positively around!! And it worked. I worked. I did it.
What a rollercoaster, emotional day.
After I calmed down a bit, I realized that every time I doubt myself, God gives me a little challenge to prove that I can handle and deal with unexpected, challenging situations.
Really, I need to start believing in myself more. Look at the mountains I've accomplished just in the pat month. Maybe if I believe in myself more I won't need these challenges.
A job very well done!!!!
Monday, September 12, 2016
Except for my first marriage, a wonderful friendship and a brief romance I have always been insignificant, a nothing, no one to be cared about or taking into consideration. It's been my legacy. It started as was strictly enforced throughout my childhood, improved when I started working and was off and on until 20 years ago when I became ensnared with a lying narcissist. It started going downhill from there to the point where I became invisible and a burden.
Once someone has their hooks in you, completely controls you, you lose whatever little self-respect and esteem you may have had left.
I'm not sure how to get back self-worth when I was so vigorously, vehemently and thoroughly taught that I did not matter in the least.
Where do you go to buy that elusive shit? What book tells me how to make something I've only known as a myth? Or seen overly and cruelly in others?
I've been seeing myself these days..in how I interact with others...it's like I'm lowly, less than, something akin to a worm, spineless, vacillating between invisibility and obscure substance. I don't like what I see or how I feel inside. I'm angry and bitter at those subhumans who treated me so poorly and got away with it. I'm mad that I was cheap ego fodder and never given the dignity and respect I rightly deserve. I remember the growing bitterness and anger that growled within, as I lay night after night upon the living room couch while the master slept in her queen size, high quality bed and she never once thought I, sick and barely able to move, was entitled to a bed like hers or a room like hers or to be asked if I needed something to eat or a little help. I guarantee she slept well and soundly without once thinking of her "partner" miserable, uncomfortable and in pain in the living room.
Oh, but it's so wrong to sat bad things about someone...bullshit. if she didn't want me to say the truth, to speak about the injustices and grievances then maybe she should have given a shot about the human suffering on the couch! I have so much...anger, disappointment, jealousy, embarassment, shame, loss of dignity in being treated night after night, year after year as a fucking nobody without Any rights, privilege, voice, choice or options.
The day my disability was approved I smelled the freedom and I knew I'd leave as soon as possible...I couldn't wait to stop being a piece of shit and become human again.
Strong words, strong memories and emotions that I was stuck keeping inside.
It was like being beaten without a stick, every single day.
It felt like being kicked under a rug, shoved in a closet or walked over like an invisible doormat. It was like having a noose around my neck and she was holding onto the end...and I never knew when it would tighten.
If you don't want to hear about cruel relationships, you better switch to another blog because I'll be posting my pain and all the thoughts and feelings I had to keep bottled up so my landlord wouldn't throw me out.
Thanks for reading, though. Thanks for listening. I blog to be heard as I rarely speak in the world.
Sunday, September 11, 2016
Yesterday, I decided we need a playful, vacation day at the beach. I poured over the map, scoured the google and decided on Cape Perpetua which is an hour and a half away.
This morning, the boy and I dressed warmly, grabbed a few snacks and headed out. It was our 1st time on route 34. Usually, I take 20 to the Pacific but I wanted to see some new scenery and checkout which 2 lane mountain highway was more harrowing. Actually, 34 proved to have the more white knuckle driving and sheer drop offs. I'm glad I checked it out though. Maybe I've just driven 20 so frequently that it's just plain easier.
We had a beautiful, pleasant drive both ways.
At Cape Perpetua, we took a mile or more walk to see Devil's Churn (at mid-tide, so the narrow strip wasn't exactly churning), tide pools and hangout on the beach so little guy could build with sand. The weather truly was perfect around 65-70.
On the return trip, we stopped at Yachats where I got a chance for a quiet rocky beach walk as little guy opted to stay in the car.
Here are a few pics from our day trip!!!
Saturday, September 10, 2016
So, I was thinking about the times I'd talked with my therapist about the ratio of kind/nice people vs cruel people. I think I can easily surmise that my ex's cruelty was anomalous and that the vast majority of people would never sink that low.
Faith in humanity partially restored. I'm a naive target and I know it. I'll always have to be careful not to become friends with takers and abusers.
My son and I decided that this current church just doesn't work for us. The congregation is out of our age range and not enough young people his age. The sermons are lacking, uninspirational and downright slow and uncaptivating. The pastor asked if she could help so I stated my simple needs but they couldn't be met. So it'd time to move on. The church was friendly enough but it lacked warmth. No good.
In talking to my mental health counselor, she agreed that she had heard the same issues with this church from others. Once I told her what I was looking for, she suggested the Unitarians. I'll have to go talk to them and then attend a service to see if it might be a good fit.
Side note: Oregon is one of the least organized religion states in the union.
I figured out why laundry went so bad and wrinkled last week. It's simple really, I was over filling the washer and dryers so the clothes were just a mess. Today, I loaded much less and I ended up with only a couple of things to iron. Problem solved.
Sleep meds work pretty good. Biggest side effect is that it turns on this "hunger everything tastes really really good thing" so I've put on a fee pounds even with the twice daily long walks.
I've decided I can't afford a college course right now. I could probably do it but it might be too stressful even if I had the money. Besides, I want to continue to give my kid a solid foundation.
On that note, I did set up an intake interview to get him a therapist to help with the move and his feelings about his birth defect. We will see how that goes. The center specializes in children and has a good record. It might be helpful to him.
School has gone wonderfully for him. He was accepted into a group and talks about a few friends everyday especially an 8th grade girl that he shares multiple interests with. So proud of him for doing his best.
I found a guy my age to chat with. I'm swimming in a sea of college students so it's refreshing to have almost daily talks with him.
So, yeah, continuing to figure things out.
Friday, September 9, 2016
Thursday, September 8, 2016
I still recall the huge looks of relief on the faces of my doctor and therapist when I said I was leaving the relationship.
Apparently they had known for sometime that it was a power play and highly abusive. They practically cheered and were very happy that I had finally seen her for who she was and was getting out!!!
I'm obviously a terrible judge of character if I spent the last decade dining on lies, living as a guest in my "soul mate"/ "partners" house. It's in my best interest to remain single as I believed every word my ex said and was more than willing to grovel at her feet. Even my son suffered as he only got an hour or two of undivided attention maybe on the weekend. During the week, she'd come home from work, park it in her thrown, turn on the TV and play video games until she went to bed. Not the kind of "role model" or "other parent" you want your child to emulate. She never had the time or energy for him but she "loves" him. We obviously see parenting in completely different venues.
How could I believe the lies and omissions for so long? How can she justify treating me like dirt? Can she ever see anyone else's needs past her own? It's like she devolved into something highly unpleasant and completely untrustworthy. Do you think she believed her own lies? About how well she treated us and how much she loved us? Is that like major delusional or what?
For me, I'm lucky I got out, sorry it took so long to see the reality and forever single and unwilling to trust. I'm a poor judge of character, to say the least.
So, this behavior of the past ten years...this cruel, treating me like a subhuman far beneath her and never worthy of being anywhere near equal her...this..treating me as if I had no needs and was just a fixture on the couch, and had no say in anything, didn't ever deserve a kind word or compliment...all this behavior of hers..had to be subconscious right? I mean, no one would knowingly, consciously treat another human being like that, right? I don't understand how anyone could be cruel...so it must be some mental defect or serious oversight? Are some people really that mean, cold and calculating? Is that possible? Am I simply too naive and kind that I find it impossible to fathom that one human would knowingly treat another human that poorly?
My health insurance came through today! Hope it doesn't take me long to find the right therapist. This is one of the first items up for discussion cause part of me feels....disgusted, confused, perplexed, hurt? That this denigrating behavior continued for as many years as it did.