Archive | Anxiety RSS for this section

Hi, it’s me…

I called you tonight.

Just to talk.

I wanted to connect with someone.

I know you’re not my mother,

But I thought you could give me love.

I guess you do but…

Not in the way I ask of you.

Though this is the first time I’ve asked of you.

I try to reach out to you.

We manage to connect by faith.

You speak to me about biblical things.

I appreciate that.

But there are times,

When I need you to put your bible aside,

And just listen.

Listen to what I am saying to you.

Can you feel what I’m trying to convey to you?

You tell me that you can say more when you know more.

What more do I need to say to you?

Do I have to spell it out to you?

Perhaps even script it for you?

I ask you to speak to me from your heart.

To please show me your compassion;

A spark of empathy,

A little sympathy.

Your words, they’re not your own.

They’re true, but no warmth is in them.

Again, I asked for your heart,

But you hid it away.

Instead you give me riddles.

For you they’re probably parables.

You feel discomfort now.

The subject has changed.

There’s little else to say.

Sorry to bother you Auntie.

I just called to talk.

I Get So Frustrated!

Writing about myself is one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried to do. Yet I can’t stop trying. I need to get my words out, if for no one other than myself. I get so frustrated when reading others blogs. I love to read them and enjoy the content of their posts, but I find myself getting lost in envy over their fluidity of total expression. I wonder, do they struggle like I do? Do they sit at a little wooden desk and fret for countless days, months and hours…agonizing over every word, writing and re-writing…walking away and returning? Whenever I’m not in front of my computer I feel like I am about to burst at the seems. There is so much that wants to come out. Why is it so hard?!

Just when I think that I’ve figured it all out and am ready to open up the flood gates I go dry again. Where is inspiration? Isn’t it enough to live the story that I want to tell? My words feel emotionless and sterile. Yes, that would best describe it. Perhaps I’m trying to hard. Perhaps it just me and my disconnection to life. My mind won’t allow me to feel the fullness of my emotions. I guess it would be too much. Maybe I should just close my eyes and breathe… All I can see are words floating around in space…taunting me…haunting me. Memories flash before my eyes, yet I still feel nothing. I think I want to cry and scream, but I can’t. There’s nothing there…

I looked into the mirror once and saw a women mentally bludgeoned. I’ve been violated in every possible way. My spirit battered, broken and left for dead. My girth increasing and decreasing…increasing and decreasing…increasing and decreasing… I am OBESE!! I am UGLY!! I am UNWANTED!! I am UNLOVABLE!! There’s no escape. I’m going crazy, I need to release. Please God help me!!!!

I can walk through a house of mirrors and never see my own reflection. Conditioned to ignore the obvious. I live an illusion. I always have. Where there should have been love…there was none. Where there should have been protection…there was none. Where there should have been comfort…there was none. Where there should have been laughter, joy, fun, adventure…there was none. I have been imprisoned by life, my parents, my conditions and even my own mind… Flawed from head to toe…inside and out. I am queen of the misfits…discarded like a broke Christmas ornament. I want to see beauty, but I can’t. I know beauty lives inside. I want to be beautiful on the outside. I can’t see myself because I don’t want to. I don’t want to face the ugly truth. My friends, they tell me I’m beautiful, but they are just being kind.

I crawl out of my hole and begin to pick up the pieces. I try to make sense of what’s left of my life. I put on the face of strength for my child. I don’t want him to see me broken even though he already knows that I am. You see, he knows first hand the pain that is mine. When he was a toddler we used to visit my parents on the weekends. It would take most of the day for me to manage the thought… Hours of crying and vomiting and then slowing getting ready to face the beast. My dad, never satisfied, would always criticize me. One day it had gotten so bad that my precious little one ran over to me, jumped onto my lap and wrapped his arms around my neck…screaming and crying. He turned to look at my dad as if to say…leave my mommy alone. I hugged and kissed him and told him it was okay. We went home. There were many occasions like this, but I dare not miss a weekend. My parents insisted that we break bread together every Saturday. My mother still presenting the face of perfection. Still perpetuating the lie. Will it ever stop?

My parents are gone now. Would it be wrong for me to say that I am grateful? Should I feel guilty for feeling this way? My son can since that I am still haunted by my past. It is on those days that he hugs me and rubs my face to ensure me that it’s okay. I look at him in think how precious he is. He is perfect. He will never know the beatings, ridicule, disconnection, blame and hate that I endured. If only I too had been so precious to my parents.

I relish the joy and peace that we have in our home. My son will never have to question if he is loved. He will never feel the pain I felt. I thank God for that. I thank God that he made me strong enough to break the curse. I thank God for the blessing of my son and the gift of motherhood. Thank you God for showing me what parenting should be… How love should feel… What peace is…

It is because of my love for my son and my quest for healing that I take this journey. I want my son to have the absolute best of me. I want to be free. Not stuffing my pain, but releasing and letting it go…completely. That is my goal. And I will achieve this even if it takes me one letter at a time…

 

Copy of Me and Hunter 2 Favorite

Related articles

Coping with Overstimulation

One of the more commonly defined links to autism is the many differences in sensitivity to stimuli. There are some of us who experience extreme sensitivity to many things where other’s may experience varying levels of sensitivity to certain things like light, sound, temperature, textures, smells, movement and the like.

There are those who have heightened awareness of their surroundings, not notably uncomfortable for some, but may be over stimulating and even painful for others. I imagine for the NT brain the receiving of information is much less noticeable with little to no thought or even recognition of the process. But for those who are on the spectrum it is quite different. Information flows into the brain and is systematically compartmentalized into varying categories and subcategories. This can be felt. It’s like having a bunch of feelers with sensors shooting out from your body and the sensors are touching, feeling and absorbing information from everything, event the particles in the air. This is a constant sensation and can be quite distracting. It makes it difficult to focus, sleep or even be still.

Image what it feels like to receive input from everything around you at all times. Some of the input can come across as light and benign or disturbing, disruptive and even jagged like broken glass.

Humming or some other form of stemming behavior helps with the effects of overstimulation. It counteracts the discomforts of being overstimulated lending itself as a way to control informational flow. That way we are able to receive the flow of information and still be able to focus on an object, task or the sorting and purging of thoughts at the same time. When this happens it is as if the flow splits into conscious and unconscious. The unconscious flow is the constant and the conscious flow is merged into the constant, so one can put more focus on whatever one is consciously doing or experiencing with less distraction from the unconscious informational flow.

No matter what our cognitive ability or what level of functioning we are labled, our minds and bodies are always receiving information.

There are some of us who need physical help to calm from over stimulation like pressure applied to different areas of the body such as the arms, back, shoulders, base of neck and head. There are assistive technologies that can help with this such as weighted blankets, vests and bands. Bands are versatile because they can be placed on different body parts such as ankles, wrists or even worn as a headband. Some autistics may respond well to massage or brushing of the body or limbs. It all depends on the individuals need and what is most comfortable for them. Physical activity is another possible way to help like walking, stretching, jumping, running or carrying heavy items for short periods of time. All of these thing help to calm and center.

Lighting is also very important. It is crucial for me to be able to control lighting in my home because my sensitivity to light varies. I have also given this option to my son so he is able to control the lighting and light source in his room. He changes the lighting in his room several times a day depending on his need. He may start the day with curtains open. Natural light seem to help him be more alert. When he is settling into stemming mode he like a lessor light which he gets from a clip-on desk lamp. The lamp has an adjustable neck so he can angle it in any direction to get the desired amount of light. When we return from outings or when guests leave, my son likes to use either of his lava lamps which gives his room a worm amber or deep pink glow.

Sound is also something that can be soothing or excruciating. If silence does not seem to be calming and too many noises over stimulating you may want to experiment with other sounds such as a low snowy sound (like the sound made by old analog TVs when the station goes off) or perhaps the sound of slow flowing water. Music may be a little soothing. For some the sound of instrument and voice may be a bit much, so you may want to separate the two and try either all instrumental (one or more instruments) or a calm soft A Capella (one or more people singing).

I cannot speak for all of us. Each person is different and their experience is their own. I am one small voice on the spectrum.

I Wish…

I wish I could handle working outside of routines better. I’d like to be less rigid and more relaxed in my days. Some days, depending, I can manage to do pretty well, but the bottom line is that I need to maintain a rigid morning routine. That is what works best for me. One simple variation can throw my entire day off. The phone could ring or I may decide to start the laundry before eating breakfast. Those very acts could cause to forget eating until mid-afternoon. I would have also forgotten vitamins and you can cancel my keeping a schedule for the rest of the day. My thought patterns become choppy. I start in a direction with a clear picture in my head and then the picture’s gone. What do I do now? I end up walking around trying to get the picture back, piddling all the while, but accomplishing very little. It’s just too hard sometimes.

In order for me to function at my optimum best, I must have a strict routine in the mornings…let the dog out, morning constitutional, vitamins, breakfast, put water on for coffee, go to my desk, work out today’s todo’s, drink coffee (I like to my coffee after eating), check email and then I can manage the rest of my day. If these things occur in order I have no problems with daily schedule and I seem to have more energy too. Otherwise, I am exhausted by late afternoon from spinning my wheels and getting nowhere.

I wish I could write better and faster. It would be great to sit down and crank out a few blog posts in a couple hours or write a few paragraphs for a book I’ve started. It would be nice to write those few paragraphs in less than half a day, but I can’t. It’s already taken me more than a couple hours to write this. What time will it be when I finish…if I finish. Will I get this posted today?

I constantly stress over the words I chose, spelling, grammar, humor, flow, continuity; I stress over everything. It’s a good thing I can’t wear out the “save” icon as I click it after every correction. Wait…typo…correct…click…saved. Okay…moving forward. It would be wonderful to write my thoughts as they sound when I speak them. People often tell me that I have a wonderful way with verbal story-telling, but you’d never know it by the way I write.

I wish I could plan meals a week at a time. Instead I ask myself the same question every afternoon, “what’s for dinner?” Frequent trips to the grocery store, multiple shelves of cook books and I still can’t seem to get a dinner plan going. I’ve solicited the help of my 13 year old who always knows what kind of protein he wants, but does not really care about the rest. That helps some, but now I have to figure out what to add to it. We certainly can’t live off protein alone. So…I stand in front of the refrigerator and then I stand in front of the deep freezer. I peruse each shelf in the pantry and then I open all the cabinets. Sometimes I turn to cooking shows or look up recipes online. I’ve even called friends to ask what they’re having for dinner…they don’t know either. Looks like take it will be out.

I wish I could leave the house like normal people, not having to deal with the anxiety associated with going out and facing others.

I wish I could be different. I don’t feel this way often, but today I do. I don’t like to admit that I feel this way, because it hurts to know I feel this way. It hurts when I hear others say they feel this way too. I want so much for people to love who they are and their differences, even though I struggle to love myself.

I wish I could relax without feeling depressed. I wish I could casually do nothing for a whole day and not have guilt associate with it. I wish I had more energy. I wish it were a weekday. Oh well, tomorrow’s Monday and I’ll feel much better.  Weekends are a bit of a challenge as I tend to abandon my routines. It’s really simple…I’m rebelling against the need for them. The outcome is always the same, but I keep trying to break the mold.

I wish I could accept that this is how I am.

10 Minutes of Awkward

I had a lovely time on the phone with my cousin this morning. We joked about the little things couples do to feel connected…things that add interest and spice to a relationship. She and her husband certainly know what works for them, after all, they are happily married and have been for almost 30 years. They’re the poster child for the quintessential partnership that I think most couples intend to have but seldom achieve.

So how do I explain to her what relationships are really like for me?

How do I convey the level of discomfort I feel when having to share my space for long periods of time. I can hardly adapt to having overnight guests let alone sharing my space with someone for the rest of my life. Okay…perhaps not the rest of my life, but not even for the next couple years. It’s not the same as living with your children. They are a part of you and innately have the ability to understand you, to learn your likes and dislikes as they develop their own. There is a bond between mother and child that space and time cannot touch. It’s totally different when taking on an outsider, your partner, who is not as connected and has no clue about your needs or you not knowing how to convey those needs. How would I have explained to my husband that I needed to have a separate bedroom or my real desire was to have him as a neighbor?  I did not realize these things until after marriage.

Should I be completely honest and say how much I hated being married, not just to my husband, but in general? How I hated almost every aspect of marriage, pretending to be happy while cohabitating with someone else, always being around people at work and at home. It would have been so much better if I had my own space. It was very stressful trying to cope with endless social events between both families which were excruciating at best. Those who knew me well noted the number of gatherings we hosted and realized it was highly unusual for me. They’d often point out my obvious discomfort. I was exhausted and there was no refuge outside of sleep which was often interrupted by husband’s carnal needs. I eventually retreated from husband and friends. I know they felt abandoned and I am sorry for that, but I had nothing left to give. I needed solitude.

As for something special, I pretended to love the flowers that he bought because it made him feel like he was doing something special. He could not understand that I hated cut flowers. They’d just die and stink and I ended up with a surplus of vases stuffed into a back cabinet. I guess he thought I liked flowers because other women like them. That’s as silly as thinking all females like pink. Why? Is it because someone out there made pink the universal color for femininity? Just for the record…I hate pink too.

I’m not sure what to do to appease my distain for romantic relationships and doing the little things to spice them up. I cannot explain how agonizingly awkward it is to hold hands or to snuggle which I had never done prior to marriage and had no clue how to do. This was never a suggestion of mine. But I would try to appease my husband when he requested snuggle time. Do I put my head on his shoulder or his chest or perhaps on his arm? Where do I put my arms? Should my arm go under me or in between us? The other arm feels weird. I don’t like the feel of his arm around my shoulder or the sound of our clothes rubbing together. Physical romance is far from my mind. There is nothing comforting about this exchange. I am frustrated and my hands are balling into fists. I can’t breathe…we’re too close. I excused myself and went into the living room. He follows me and wants to sit next to me and watch TV. There’s no escape.  I just want to be alone and to read my book.

What do you need to be your best in a relationship?

There are many books, magazine, movies, blogs and the like addressing this subject. I’m not sure if these things are a help or a hindrance. My idea of the perfect relationship is based on having a cohesive cerebral existence with my partner and a willingness to listen to each other’s needs. It is finding a way to communicate those needs effectively and respectively in a language that each partner can understand. Our love, communication, commitment and even sex should extend beyond the boundaries of flesh. Perhaps that is why so many of us need other things to make our relationships feel special. We do not understand the deeper levels of connection. Perhaps we are merely filling a void with ritualized practices deemed necessary because they can creating finely woven threads of purposeful colonization between partners, but on the other hand, can imploding into an emotional vortex contingent upon one’s perception and reception of such carefully orchestrated events.

Obviously I don’t have the answers to many of these questions, but I do have a better understanding of my needs and what I have to give. Who knows, maybe someday I’ll be willing to try it again. But don’t get your hopes up dear cousin. I suspect you may already have some prospects in mind. Just know that I am not ready, but the possibilities are there.

I will no longer give into the occasional 10 minutes of awkward. Instead I will continue to improve my ability to communicate my needs and an ability to listen to the needs of others. And hopefully I can have that special relationship where we both find it important enough to develop creative ways to fulfill those needs.

Coping With The Holidays

Looking at your child’s life in the long term; wouldn’t it be better for them to know how to cope with change, rather than having to endure countless meltdowns?

Our children need to be able to find an emotionally comfortable place in a world that is not going to cater to them or their unique needs all the time. Starting to work with your child, as early as possible, on flex routines will make transitioning into holiday and other special events much easier over time. Don’t let your precious ones diffuse holiday spirits. Give them the skills they need to enjoy and even anticipate joyful occurrences in their routines. Our children have the ability to anticipate the good things in life. Let’s make it a little easier for them. All they need from us is our patience, lots of repetition and a little ingenuity to smooth out the rough spots.

As you are setting goals for your child, anticipate needs as they grow older and how they will have to navigate themselves in the world, as it presents itself to them.

I am grateful for the medical staff that took such good care of my child during his early years. Even though, admittedly I’ve taken their advice with a grain of salt. There are those occasions when you voice a concern and in return you are offered a textbook remedy that just won’t work in the long term. What appears to be just right for the moment ends up causing other developments later, leaving you in a lurch. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to listen to the advice of your child’s medical staff and therapists, but add your own knowledge of your child and a dash of common since into the equation.

It troubles me to see children having difficulties adjusting during the holidays, but who can blame them.

After all, lights are twinkling, music’s playing; people running in and out of the house; pretty things you can’t touch; loads of sugary goodies to munch and then…Santa Clause falls into your house.

My family celebrates the Christmas holiday a little different. Our efforts are not so much to give and receive gifts, but being a gift to others as Jesus is certainly the greatest gift to us. And then, there are some that like to celebrate Christmas focusing more on family traditions, whatever those traditions may be. In any case, there are ways to help our children cope with changes in their routine during the holiday season.

As a general rule, we have routines that are what I call, “flex routines.”

A flex routine is pretty simple. Have your routines in place, but make changes starting off with 1 or 2 small things and slowly increasing frequency and variety of changes over a period of time. Whatever is comfortable for your child. This will help them develop the skills to find comfort in their structure set while anticipating possible change and adjusting to change more readily.

Allow your child to have a sense of involvement in your day to day and special plans.

My son and I enjoy going out with friends and family; this was something he was accustomed to. But, when it came to having guests over for dinner or just to hangout for awhile; my son was much less receptive. We rarely had company unless it was therapists, friends for play dates or something having to do with my son’s needs. Sometimes friends would stop by unexpectedly for a visit; they were often greeted with a barrage of grunts and little things done to draw all attention to my son. This would sometimes make me and my guests feel uncomfortable. You don’t want to find yourself trapped in a world without social outlets for yourself as well as your child.

I honestly did not consider how my son would feel about my having unexpected guests, knowing that he was used to being center of attention. I had to come up with a way to flex our social routine. How did I do that? Well, I started by making a simple story board that had a picture of our home and pictures of some of the rooms in our home. We cut out pictures of people that we knew and people in general; together we placed the pictures on the story board. It was like a game at first, which was great, it kept him engaged. We would then make up stories about people coming to visit us, with and without children and things that we’d like to do. This practice made the difference in his transition to our new flex routine, enjoying guests in our home; even his ability to share our guest’s attention with me became easier.

Also, with a few simple tweaks, you can modify this practice to include events planning, such as parties or outings. Simply place pictures of people in general, yourselves or your guests, if available, on a wall calendar. Create a dialog about the event and when it will happen. Your child will be able to relate to the visuals which make the event more tangible for them. Now, there are no more surprises. Your child will know what to expect and may look forward to planning future events with you; especially for this up and coming holiday season.

You now have a creative tool to make transitioning from regular routines to the planning of events and the inevitable unplanned events, go a little more smoothly for both you and your child.

Take your time, be creative, enjoy your child and allow your child to enjoy you.

Disability Visibility Project

"Creating, sharing, and amplifying disability media and culture"

Vegan Canteen

Home cooked vegan meals and catering

The Art of Autism

Connecting through the arts

love explosions

when the love for your child overwhelms you

Who Am I To Stop It

A documentary film on isolation, art, and transformation after brain injury

RUNNING FROM EL DIABLO

Domestic Violence KILLS!

Angelart Star

The beautiful picture of angels makes you happy.

Julia Richter

3D & 2D Artist - Illustrator

Karen Willis (My Journey and Life with Autism)

My blog's about my life experiences with Asperger's Syndrome and going into the world of autism in my point of view. Looking to inspire others and help others to understand autism better along with giving other families of kids and adults with autism hope.

Just Contemplations

Contemplations expressed through the written word...

Brown Mamas

The Premier Site for Black Moms in Pittsburgh

A2ndvoice

Bridging the gap for Families with Autistic Children and Autistic Adults

50 Shades of me

DARK BLUE

Slate Agency

Talent Search

Belly of a Star

my practice of compassion

serenitynow3

A topnotch WordPress.com site

Alienhippy's Blog

"A place where I can be me!"

Everyday Asperger's

Life through the eyes of a female with Aspergers

Seventh Voice

Simply my take on living life as a female with Asperger's Syndrome.

girlsonthespectrumdotcom

Just another WordPress.com site

Thirty Days of Autism

30 Days of Autism is a project designed to promote social understanding, civil rights, fight stigma, and increase understanding and acceptance for those who process and experience the world differently.

%d bloggers like this: