Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Why I Can't Stand Interruption

I won't go into much detail today, but I will tell you this funny (well, eventually it will be funny) story that happened to me.

Once upon a time I didn't do my shower and morning routine in order, and I went all day without deoderant.

A newborn baby is interrupting. And I had to do my Christmas photo cards in spurts. When I get interrupted, I forget where I was, what I was doing, and I practically have to start from scratch.

Well, I was on a deadline. I had limited time to get the cards done, when I both had the money and the photos to do them. And I was interrupted about a dozen times, and had computer troubles (this thing is running SO SLOW sometimes!!).

I got them today, just in time for family for Christmas anyway. They will be late for everybody else, which makes me feel bad enough.

But they also came with "The Thomas Family" written on them! I didn't even think to look for a signature on the photo! I didn't even think there would be anything written on it where that was concerned. The thought NEVER crossed my mind AT ALL.

100 Christmas photo cards. 100 cards with someone elses' name on them. I wish these companies would just leave it blank. But, like I said, I was interrupted a bazillion times, frustrated with my computer, and the way that the whole thing worked out this year anyway, and I got "out of order" and missed a critical detail on the card. I am SO disappointed. 

So there. Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Aspergers and Holidays

Holidays are busy, hectic, pleasant, and practically the only chance I get to see my family. It didn't used to be this way until several years ago when my parents moved away for work. It was great because my brother got the chance to go to a Christian school, which was important to all of us, and was really good for him too.

I don't remember clearly about every detail about Christmas. I know that one of the best gifts I got every year was the ones that people got me that I had specifically asked for. I had one uncle and my grandma who lived next door who would usually do that. I don't remember being the kind of kid who shook presents or snuck them open or anything. I wanted to wait until Christmas. I also remember the feeling of let-down when it was all over. I thought it was because I was sad that it was over, and I guess that is part of it. The other part, that I now understand as an adult, is that the anticipation builds and builds and I get overwhelmed with the anticipation and the activities and the people and business and then when its over, its like a drop of excitement, and its all over. One year just a few years ago, I woke up Christmas morning just sick - my head was spinning and heavy, and I just felt sick. a few more hours rest did the trick but I am careful to try to remember to relax and take it easy after that.

This year I'm discovering that my son has issues with Christmas and presents and anticipation. He seems as if he cannot control his anxiety. At first he was sad because we told him that his presents weren't here yet. He was sad that they weren't under the tree, and he hoped they would get here in time. So I thought that it was worse for him to have no presents under the tree, so I put them there (against my better judgement). The next morning, he got up and cracked open every present that had his name on it under the tree. I was furious and sad! I missed out on his reaction and what he thought of his gifts! It turns out he didn't realize what some of them were, but he completely opened one of them that I was really excited about because I had one when I was a kid too. 

Well, luckily, some of his presents weren't here yet either, so we do have quite a few that he doesn't know about.
He got a package from someone recently that had presents for him in it. I right away put them on an upper shelf in my closet. As I came back from the closet, he had the stepstool, and I told him that he'd better not. I thought that was it. Nope. He went down there, got them down and under his bed he opened them. I didn't find out about it until midnight when I was in the closet trying to do laundry, and saw the stepstool. 

So, I'm going to have to up my game! But it brings to my attention the anxiety and anticipation over Christmas and presents causes him so much discomfort that he is for some reason unable to keep it a secret. See, surprises are an issue for people with autism. I remember being disappointed about presents, but I don't remember if I ever got in trouble over that or not. I would say I was probably polite but because I was told to. We do tell our son to always be polite when receiving gifts, even if he doesn't like them. But it's the fact that he can't leave them alone and let them be a surprise. He is very uneasy about anything being a surprise. I can't surprise him with a trip to town or anything either. He gets rather agitated and I have to give him time to adjust to what is seen as a change in his plans for the day. However, even when I try to give him advance notice he still freaks out, even if it's days in advance. He used to get so sick he would throw up when we traveled to my parents'. We could never figure out why. And I got hives one time as well. He gets hives too! We're a mess.

I wish I could just rid us of these things, these negative, illness related symptoms. They are not fun. But there are so many other parts of us. My son is extremely sensitive and caring. He watches commercials about saving starving children and dogs and hands me his money. He cries when his sister is upset. He cries when he's happy, he cries when he's sad. He is very sensitive to criticism or anger. He has changed me for the better because of it, and I'm glad I was able to listen to those cues and find places to support me to change and encourage and help me along the way. I'm far from changed, but I am at least aware. The worst part has been not changing the yelling or being overly angry, but the criticism, nagging, shaming and guilting. Those are "more innocent" things. 

I'm getting of track here. Is that an autistic trait? It may be, because I have seen other aspies write in little bunny hopping circles too.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that the holidays can be difficult for people who are autistic. You have to give us some help! It's nice to want to surprise us with something you think we'd like, but you should always ask us what we would like first. I have been given gifts that I kept out of guilt but never used. There's nothing I dislike more than useless things around my house (I'm a purger). I feel bad because it's lying around my house unused, but also because someone spent money on me in a way that I can't use it. Apparently I have to change my tactics with gift buying, or something. I can't stand this part, trying to figure out what would best suit my son's needs so that he isn't sick on Christmas from anticipation. So that I'm not worried about him being sick from anticipation. So I don't have to see him so "out of control" the whole season. When he's out of control, it sets me out of control and I feel unstable too. I think it's because I'm already overwhelmed, and him being overwhelmed overwhelms me too. So it's like being doubly overwhelmed. See? 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Blog Referral: So Many People Are Touched By Autism - Aspie Writer

Another blog referral: this time to Aspie Writer! I have been following her for a while now, and I love hearing her stories and thoughts because so many of them are much like my own. She too grew up undiagnosed, and was diagnosed as an adult. 

This particular post is also related to the previous from My Aspie Wife. There are so many misconceptions about autism. We aren't mentally handicapped, in fact, we have gifts that many others do not and can not have. Some of the most famous inventors and artists and so on are thought to have been autistic, and if someone had told them what people with autism are told today, would we have electricity? light bulbs? famous works of art? I don't know. 
Here's her post. check out her entire blog, because she is a fantastic writer!

BLOG REFERRAL: Straight From The Heart from My Aspie Wife

Today I'm posting a link to another blog, to a post that has a lot of meaning for all of us aspies. 

So head over there and check it out! Check out the rest of the blog as well. It has been really good to read from the perspective of a spouse of an aspie.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Making A Quick Post

I thought I would make a quick post tonight from my phone. 
I've been feeling extra but lately and I'm mostly glad that none of it has anything to do with being online. I've been reading a few books, blasting through a stack of magazines, you know, when I'm not being mom. 
I feel like I have been doing a better job if just being mom lately. I like this because I've had a lot of guilt regarding doing my own thing and not doing things that moms "should" do. I end up feeling a bit overwhelmed hen I do get online because my computer is running slowly or irradiance and I just wanna get done and get off it now but the performance issues get in the way. 

If I remember right I think my blog told me I have 8000 views?!? When did that happen?!? Awesome! Welcome and thank you for reading. I hope that I'm making something happen in your life and I hope that I'm not making anyone offended. Lol. I feel like I need to be more careful about what I say and that I should go back a d rewrite or at least check that I haven't been mean anywhere lol. I don't think I recall writing anything to be mean but people misunderstand me all the time. 

I have had more overwhelming times lately, but with less physical symptoms. I think I can once again thank my diagnosis, self awareness, and other aspies that I am learning from for that. 

Now all I need to do is get more sleep. If I could rearrange so I'm up earlier in the morning, I think I might not have to stay up at night.... And I wouldn't be so drained and tired hahahaha! Good luck to me!!

Any topics you readers what me to cover? Any questions you have? I'm open to suggestions. As long as it's sensible and aspie/me related. Thanks for reading and I do have a post idea coming up soon!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Muscle Tone, Core Strength & Aspergers - LINKS

As I've been doing my physical therapy for core strength and whatnot, I keep thinking to myself, "Isn't there some connection between Aspergers and strength"? I keep thinking I had to have heard or read about this somewhere, and I have just forgotten to actually google it. 

"As children, aspies often find that they are able to easily perform feats which require flexibility but not strength or balance, such as splits, backbending and shoulder rotation. They may display unusual flexibility in other joints such as fingers."

Yup. I was the kid who could touch the ground BEHIND her feet, while maintaining straight legs. I could do (and still can do) backbends/bridges. I can scratch almost every spot on my back with a little effort. I could do the splits, though not perfectly, and had I cared more, some simple stretching would have solved any imperfections on that move. Even the chiropractor tells me that I am very flexible to adjust. Doing certain physical therapy positions takes great effort to get them to do anything for me because of that flexibility. I could, for a period, dance like Shakira (though I have NO interest in that anymore at this point in my life). Shoulder rotation is a lot better than my husband, and I just thought he was a stiff guy (he does have a lot of tight muscles). 

"Such flexibility comes with a price and aspies are usually quite uncoordinated and clumsy. In running, this contributes to the famed "unusual gait". It's easy to imagine that low muscle tone only affects the big muscles but this isn't the case, it affects all activities requiring muscles including most notably, speech, pencil grip and writing."

True. I feel I'm clumsy, I feel like I don't run well, and I had and still have pencil grip and writing issues! My son is having these same problems and has also been determined to have little core strength, just like me. Interesting, right? 

"When sitting or standing for long periods, aspies tend to slump quite a bit. Sometimes, they will stand with their legs crossed in what appears to be an uncomfortable fashion. My mother was constantly trying to correct this stance and while I'm reasonably aware of it at work, I still find myself standing that way regularly. I'll point out now that although this looks uncomfortable, this is actually a very comfortable stance for aspies."

I TOTALLY do this. I know I stand oddly. People usually don't comment on it, but when they do its usually wondering if I'm comfortable, or even if I have to go to the bathroom. It is neither, it is just oddly comfortable to stand like that. I don't know why. (I wish I had a picture of me standing like that. I might try this later.)

"Aspies often sit with their head and shoulders rolled forward and will frequently lean on walls, furniture, door frames and desks."

Exactly. This is my major problem. Bad posture. Terrible posture.

"Dangers inherent in Low Muscle Tone
While the slumping and leaning behaviours aren't necessarily great posture, they're not particularly dangerous to the aspie unless the position is adopted for very long periods without proper breaks.

I have first-hand experience with this problem as I've had episodes of "overuse syndrome", a kind of RSI, with my hands, arms and shoulders from sitting at my computer for too long. It took quite a while for OH&S to work out that the issue wasn't with my hands, or even with my workspace. It was simply due to excessive time spent in an unsupported position. 

Fixing the Problem
As I said earlier, the fix isn't normal weight training, it's physiotherapy and specialized muscle training. There is also a need for awareness and constant correction of one's position. In my case, the muscles most needing training were small ones high on my back. Correcting my keyboard "slump"moved my arms and shoulders back into less damaging positions. I have to be constantly aware of my position and correct it thoughout the day. I also do a bit of stretching and strengthening work on them at the gym."
WOW. That is exactly how it is. I have to work on these things. It is terrible how bad my muscles are in my shoulders. They hurt, and they are the ones that prevent me from good posture, they are the ones that are super tight, and screwed up. 

So, basically, I see a lot that there are connections between Aspergers/Autism and muscle tone or strength issues. Oddly enough, the information I'm running across indicates that there should be delays in speech, and crawling and walking. For myself, I don't think I had any delays whatsoever, and my son, whom I suspect has Aspergers as well, definitely didn't have any delays, as he was walking at about 7-8 months old. So, I don't think that everyone has their act together on this information and how it relates to ASD. 

Anyway, what are your thoughts/experiences with muscle tone/strength and ASD?

Routine & To-Do List

I used to live by routine. You could clock it. You could almost tell what time it was based on what I was doing.

Once I was on my own, however, I don't know that I settled into a routine very well. I remember missing a lot of class in college. I actually don't know how I managed not to miss something important. Or, perhaps, I did.

Having babies did not improve the routine. I do not tend to run on a schedule, or so I think. It isn't like we do x at a certain time, then y, then z. I fly by the seat of my pants because things can get wild with kids, can't they! So I think I try to avoid too much schedule because I'd rather not have one at all than have one that keeps getting messed up. No schedule because of the inconveience/frustration of changing it, right? Yes.

However, we do have a rhythm. I've noticed this because since having my daughter 4 months ago, and starting physical therapy, I am having trouble getting things done or remembering to do things. With a lot of things that isn't a problem really, but its the new things that are the hardest to deal with I suppose. I have a hard time remembering to do my physical therapy! Or, I think of it when I am unable to do it; when I'm cooking, when I'm nursing the baby, or when its 11:30 and I'm finally settled in bed next to the sleepy nursing baby. I have forced myself to do it, even at 11:30, but it is really hard knowing how tired I am and how tired I will be in the morning, and the feeling of wanting to try to get up earlier in the morning, mostly for my son who wants me to be up. :P

I think this is an issue Aspies have to deal with. I think that there is a sort of overload of "to-dos", and it is hard to add anything to your rhythm. Like, it feels like my brain processing is running at max capacity, and adding things to it is very difficult! 

I have been thinking about this post for a while, and I think I have forgotten most of what I wanted to say, but I have a feeling I'm going to hear from other Aspies who have difficulties in this area. 

My son got referred to physical therapy for some of his back pain, leg pain, and pain while writing. She said he has very little core strength. These kids can be moving moving moving, but if they slow down at all, theres no muscle strength to hold them and it falls apart. She also said that some occupational therapy can help him too. Hopefully it will be as simple as her writing to the doctor and getting the referral. But it was reassuring I suppose that he is indeed dealing with some issues other than normal "being a boy". 

I say that to say this: Now I'm sure it's going to be interesting because he is going to have his own kind of work to do for physical therapy as well! I'm hoping that this will help me to do mine, because I can do it the same time as he does his. But a part of me is afraid that I'll drop the ball on this and I know that my problem and his problem is probably related, and that helping him now can  help to avoid him being my age and trying to fix these problems. 

Anyway, anyone have trouble fitting things into their schedule, especially when it's something new? Like, even starting taking a vitamin is hard for me to remember!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

That Overwhelming Feeling

I am still ever in the process of learning more about myself, and better understanding it through the lens of Aspergers. 

I have come to realize that the days I have felt the worse are the days I go to town. I hate going to town, to be honest, especially on my own, and especially now with two kids! There is so much to worry about, and so much to try to take care of and remember to do. Of course, this is on top of other things I have to do at home, including the physical therapy exercises (which are driving me crazy, by the way, because I have a hard time remembering to do them, or having a free chance to do it!)... Some days life is just a bit suffocating!

I don't know why, but knowing that going to town is a "trigger" for me is releasing a lot of stress from my head. I know I am going to be overwhelmed, so for some reason I feel better about it. I guess knowing that I'm not really sick helps maybe? 

Life has been pretty good. Being able to stay home with my babies is really lovely! Now watching my oldest struggle a little bit with things in his life, all these presenting features of Aspergers in him, I am so glad that I have made the choices I have made, and I am glad that I have him here with me, and that he can relax for another year and learn by play instead of book work. Sometimes I feel as if we should be doing something, but I know that if he were ready, we would be doing it! 

Either way, I am having less moments with that overwhelming feeling. I know when I get home, I can't stand any bickering between me and our son, or my husband and our son, I end up speaking really quietly and just asking "please lets not argue tonight....", and the TV is too loud and I just need some quiet and peacefulness and some really laid back relaxing. I have yet to tell Jeff in a good moment about this specifically, but I know that I should and will when I get the chance. 

I love every moment since I have been diagnosed. Even assuming I was an Aspie wasn't enough. KNOWING, that has been the "cure" for a lot of the issues I encounter in my life. If I can look at issues through the Aspie lens, and find resources or experiences of other Aspie women, then I can look at the situation and realize that this is normal for me, that it is okay. I'm not sick, I'm not going to have an anxiety attack or panic attack for no reason, I have had to learn that these things are signs that I am doing too much and I need to give myself a break, and get more rest! When I do that, I always wake up refreshed and feeling 100% again. This has all been good!

So if you are an adult who thinks you might have Aspergers, please talk to your doctor about being tested. It could really make a difference in your life, and ease all the problems and worries that you have in your life!

Sunday, October 6, 2013


I dislike fall. Although I do enjoy the colors, they are far too fleeting.

That got me thinking about life in general. My son is going to be 7 in just under 2 months. My youngest is 3 1/2 months. Time flies, just like everyone said it would. I can't believe I have a big kid, one who is clearly not a baby anymore. I cherish every moment of snuggles and the times he needs me but those times are fewer and farther between than they used to be. I guess that is probably a good thing since we have the new baby, and I can only imagine how overwhelmed I would be if he needed me as much as he used to. Unfortunately, he does still need me, and sometimes I'm too busy with the baby to be able to take care of those needs immediately. It is frustrating to try to balance, and I can see his little broken heart those times that I "let him down" by not being able to help. In all honesty, I have been helping him with things that he doesn't really need help with, but it was easier to help him than to fight with him about doing it on his own. So all in all, this is good for him to learn to do these simple things on his own. I try to help him out with other things.

Anyway the point of this is that change is hard. Whether it is your kids growing up and not needing you as much anymore, or the sadness is another summer over, and the leaves dropping so quickly leaving woods that look more like skeletons than living things... it is depressing and hard to adjust to. Everyone says how pretty fall is, and it is, but only for a couple weeks. By the time we are more prepared to go check out fall scenes, its past the peak, and we have to try to get to those areas that haven't hit peak yet. Then it is over, and all thats left is brown brown brown. Most everything is wet in the fall, and rotting away. The sun (oh the sun!) is moving south, and spending more time hiding behind the large trees to the south of me. I miss the sunlight brightening up our whole house! Maybe we will actually have it logged a bit this year finally, and maybe that will unblock some of the sunshine. 

So today, on a cloudy, rainy, cold and wet day, I asked him what he wanted to do today, and he said he wanted to just watch movies all day. I don't love the idea, but you know what? Sometimes a boy just has to be able to do what he wants to do. I will do the chores today and not ask him to do his. I won't make him brush his teeth or get dressed. (If he wants to do it, I won't stop him either!) I'll just let him have a day totally off from doing what I think he should be doing. I'm actually hoping at some point he will want to play a game because I'm up for that. Right now he is watching Mary Poppins while reading/looking at a book. He needs a day off, just like everyone else right? 

Anyway. Just had to post. 7400 views on this blog. I'm grateful for any followers and the people who visit my blog. It isn't an awesome, earth-shattering blog, but I'd like to think that I am helping somehow.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Feeling Overwhelmed

I think feeling overwhelmed is common for people with Autism/Spectrum. I have often heard or read about people with Autism/Spectrum "losing it" in large gatherings, or specifically during times in their lives when they were overwhelmed or exhausted past the point of normal. 

Whatever the causes of these overwhelming times, one thing is certain; this particular trait alone can set us apart, even without a known cause.

Today it is very common for people to constantly be on the go. From work to children's after school activities to our own extracurriculars, it seems to be the norm that people are constantly running, and giving of their time and energy to every pursuit that one could possibly imagine. It isn't just all the kids have X activity, its that child 1 has this activity, and child 2 has a different one, and child 3 has yet another one, and so on. Then we ourselves will say yes to a wide variety of other responsibilities, whether for family, friends, work or church. It's just "normal" to be constantly busy and constantly social.

I know, from my viewpoint, that it is impossible for anyone with Autism/Spectrum to be on the go at all times, if for no other reason than that it takes a lot less stimuli for us to be overwhelmed, whether we realize it or not. Often times, unfortunately, I don't realize I'm overwhelmed until its too late and I'm having those typical anxiety attack symptoms. Whether there is a specific form of sensory input that bothers us the most (such as sights, sounds, smells), or simply one more than we can handle at a time, or if it is just all of them in combination, it takes far less time for someone on the spectrum to become overwhelmed with certain situations. 

As I said, this alone can set us apart. It makes us "weird" that we can't function the same way that other people do. It makes us abnormal that we can't handle a trip to the store on Labor Day Friday. It makes us different, and we stick out, because we can't be comfortable in certain situations, especially social ones such as a party. It makes us confusing when we need to take a few minutes (or more) to sit down at the computer, bring out our phones, or leave the room when we have company at our house.

I've never been someone who has to have people around me all the time. I am lonely without my children around me, but as far as friends go, I have never been someone who needs to have regular physical, in person contact with my friends. Facebook does the job for the most part. There are times in life that I wish they were physically there for me, but for the most part, (no offense), I find that life is a lot easier without having to socialize in person. However, I have noticed that the times that I do have people here, I do need to take that step out of the room. It is a good thing that my husband is fairly social most of the time, and the fact that I am no longer in the room is usually not noticed by guests, because my husband just keeps chatting. 

I do remember, however, having birthday parties or something at my house as a child, and after a while I would be found alone somewhere reading a book. This was something that was not "normal". Shouldn't I want to spend time with my friends? Shouldn't I be out with them, doing what they were doing, playing with them, talking to them? Sure, I did, in a way. But honestly, it was a lot easier to play by myself, and since I loved reading, it was a lot more peaceful in the confines of a book than it was with a bunch of kids.

I can't speak for the people I was friends with when I was younger but I'm sure that this problem with easily becoming overwhelmed had a lot to do with why they ended up not being my friend, even if they had been my friend and defended me for years. I had a very hard time with kids my age. I didn't understand why they acted the way they did, and I'm sure they didn't understand me either. I can't recall a single instance in elementary when I actually played WITH another kid. I remember pretending to be one of the boxcar children, but I was alone. I remember doing cartwheels and whatnot, but again, I was alone (and even teased for pretending that I was really doing 'gymnastics'). I remember hating when everyone wanted to play kickball or something at recess, because I would much rather find something else to do. 

Being overwhelmed is a very disabling feeling. Basically, I would rather collapse onto the floor than have to deal with any social or loud situation when I am overwhelmed. Unfortunately, I usually don't want to sleep. I have a very complicated relationship to sleeping early. I feel as if something is wrong with me if I go to sleep earlier than 10, as if I'm sick or something. Even if I am sick, it just feels wrong to go to sleep early. This is something I would like to change, but for now, at least 10 works. It could be worse. 

People who are expected to act like everyone else, yet can't, find that very few people will go out of their way to deal with your differences. Where the norm is to party all night Friday and Saturday, there is nothing left for one to do with others that doesn't involve overwhelming parties and other such situations. 

Anyway, I've been interrupted several times through writing this post today, so if it seems incoherant, I apologize. I also seem to have gone off on a tangent, so I'm sorry for that too. :P

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Overwhelmed Exhaustion

I haven't written anything here in a while. I haven't had anything really significant to say I guess. 

I have had this exhaustion. I am some days trying to play catch up to myself. I do really good some days getting things done, but other days, baby just wants me to hold her and I am just going to follow those cues. SOMEONE has to tell me to chill out sometimes, right? I just feel some days an overwhelming sense of exhaustion and I had been trying to fight it, trying to make it through the exhausted parts and into the part where I've done it all that day. I need to keep learning to back off on myself! Sometimes the list will still have to-dos on it tomorrow. It's probably never going to feel "okay" to me, but I need to learn to stop and put myself and other things first regardless of what the to-dos say.

So I've been baby holding, and dealing with the big boy too. We are doing rather well for the most part, and dealing with the issues that we run across one at a time. Baby is growing like a weed, but we still have something to clear up and hopefully we will have that all taken care of next week. Hopefully this takes care of the issues and we can move on to other worries and issues. It's always something, but at least this something has a solution. 

Anyway, what's new out there?

Monday, August 12, 2013


right now, my computer screen looks something like this:

In addition, the little space at the bottom flashes. It is showing the top portion of my screen.

Annoying? Yes.

The biggest problem is that I am trying to get done with a few things on here so I can shut it off and get away from the computer today. Unfortunately, this flashy little bar is so distracting, that I am having a very hard time doing anything. 

My brain just can't handle that much input. It's already bad enough, but honestly, this little bar is so annoying, and I have no idea why it's there or what to do to make it go away. GO AWAY FLASHY BAR!!

Sheldon In Real Life

Why do we like Sheldon so much?

I find this chart rather correct. We all like Sheldon, a lot. (Even though on a certain topic I agree more with the character of his mother more than him ;))

But WHY? WHY do people think Sheldon is so funny? I find him funny because often I have the same opinion on things as he does. However, I am typically ridiculed for those feelings or beliefs, while we laugh at Sheldon. Maybe people don't take him seriously? Maybe it is okay in "make believe" on a television show, but its not okay in real life to have those same beliefs? 

Sheldon is often more concerned with the facts or truth and not so much for people's feelings. He says what he feels is right or true regardless of whether or not its going to hurt someone if he says it. Then everyone laughs. But what happens in real life is that we are told that we are insensitive, rude, or people just get offended and argue with us. We are insulted and ridiculed. We are shunned and rejected. There's no laugh track. There's no smiles or understanding. There isn't even anyone who stops and asks us if we mean this or that, they just assume that we mean the worst, that we are purposely insulting them or something. 

Is it the medium with which it is written? Is it because it is written for a comedic sitcom that we laugh? Or could we start to see the same things as funny in real life, instead of taking it so seriously? Why is a character that is only pretend understood and enjoyed as much as Sheldon is? And then, why aren't people who are just like him in real life understood at all? Why don't people even try to understand us? Is it because it's more work than just being offended and angry?

I think in real life people are socially lazy. Sure, I might not be socially appropriate at all times, but I have to work HARD to even try in the first place. NT people apparently don't have to work hard at it normally, but more often than not when they do, they don't care about people enough to work harder at communicating more sensibly. 

I know it's just a TV show, but consider the implications in real life. In TV land, it would kill the show and the story if Sheldon were to move out, or Leonard to move out. It would no longer be funny or entertaining. But in real life, people do not live with people who act that way very long. Both roommates that I had in college were really quick to run out the door. The one roommate that never ran was just as introverted and unusual as I am (and I don't think she has any problem with that). I was better off rooming by myself, and I think I was lucky enough to be able to do that in my 2nd year of college. It took me years and the ability to look at the situations through the lens of Aspergers for me to realize just what went wrong with those girls, and that it wasn't all my fault. It was less that I had done something wrong, and more that I am quirky and a lot of people have a hard time dealing with that. (It should be said that, if I remember right, both those girls had never shared a room with anyone growing up either.)

That's just one example. It seems that for the most part, the storylines are believable and relateable. I do find the social situations a bit unbelievable at times because I know in real life most people are not that understanding. I only wish I had a close group of friends as he does, who accepted me as easily and completely despite all my inadequacies in social rules.  I do have friends, but I am typically misunderstood or have my words taken the wrong way. I feel as if I am playing catch up to explain myself, when Sheldon doesn't seem to have to do that. 

Anyway, if you know a Sheldon, please work a little harder at social interaction. You might have to swallow your words sometimes, and take a breath and not jump off the cliff thinking you know that they meant something insulting.

Sunday, August 11, 2013


How do Aspies deal with sleepovers?

I honestly do not remember how I ever did, IF I ever did. I wasn't the kind of person who was invited to go places very often. I do remember a few birthday parties that I went to. One, everyone decided to go snowmobiling, and I didn't think that it was an appropriate activity for a bunch of kids our age to be doing alone and in the dark. Another, everyone else decided to watch a movie that I was sure my mom didn't like, so I went in the other room and played by myself while they watched the movie. (I still havent watched that movie to this day to be honest. It was only Coneheads, but I haven't ever seen it.)

My son is having trouble with sleepovers. He is absolutely fine if the sleepover is at his own house, but to sleep over at someone else's house is a major undertaking for him. First and foremost seem to be the smell of other people's houses gets to him. Or whether or not the house is organized and neat, or not so much. Then there is the food that is served. Though those things are usually not even on the radar at home, when he goes somewhere else they are on the forefront of his mind. I know that the people he sleeps over with are not necessarily offended by his comments, but I am starting to see that he doesn't realize that those comments could be insulting. 

So how did you, or your Aspie kids, deal with sleepovers?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

We Are Sheldon

Forgive me if this is a repeat.

But we are Sheldon.

I won't say that every Aspie is like Sheldon, or even knows who Sheldon is.

But when Sheldon goes off on a tangent about why his routine cannot be changed, I think of us. And when I am resistant to changes in my schedule, I think of Sheldon. And I'm starting to think my son has the same tendencies. He recently had HIS personal plans smashed, and changed, and he LOST IT, even though the replacement plans were awesome. He did enjoy himself and was fine, but the first initial moments, and several moments over a few hours he was still resistant to the awesome, fun change.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Overwhelmed = Time To Go Home

For the first time ever, our phones got shut off because of a huge bill paying mess.

Without going into too much detail, a check was mailed, and it was cashed on July 19th, but it was not posting to our account. I've called a bunch of times to try to figure it out, they kept giving us extensions and pretty much telling us it takes 10 days to process checks. The last time I called, I was told that from the time a check is cashed through your bank, it takes 10 more business days to post. That wouldn't be until this Friday. NOW I'm told that it shouldn't take that long, that now they need to do a lost payment case, and I have to have a copy of the cashed check faxed to them. I don't fully know when this will be resolved, but I find it extremely frustrating that they have their money, yet I'm being penalized with no service until they can find their mistake. I'M the one who's guilty until I do the work to prove to them otherwise.

Needless to say, after standing at the store for maybe an hour talking to customer service, getting disconnected and having to call back again and tell the story all over again, and talking to a supervisor who apparently has no power whatsoever and cannot turn the service back on without the payment being made.... I am completely and totally spent for the day. I could probably go to bed right now and sleep until morning. 

I've often read of Aspies being completely overwhelmed by situations and being totally out of it and wiped out afterwards, but I find that rarely do those things happen to me. I am almost obsessed with making sure that everything is taken care of, even to the point where I ignore other things or overstress it so much that I ignore other things until I make sure everything is ok. I have a need to control all the balls in my world, and rarely do I drop the balls. I do a really good job normally.

This situation was beyond my control. Totally and completely out of my control. I could not do anything about getting the payment in sooner (and not only because I didn't have the money), so the payment being this late was pretty much something I had no control over, yet I and my husband are now being penalized for it. Due to some other factor, now we're stuck in this issue. It really hurts that I try SO HARD to keep it under control, and because of a completely uncontrollable factor, here we are. 

It's the most frustrated I have ever been about bills. We did what we could. We did EVERYTHING. A good, hardworking, honest person just can't make it anymore. 

And though I had several other things to do today, I quit. I went home. I left. I guess I have to go to town tomorrow anyway, so I will hopefully deal with it more then. But I felt so disappointed and frustrated that I couldn't get it all done today so that tomorrow wouldn't have to be so stressful.

I just hate this. And I'm totally exhausted. And now that I'm going to be gone tomorrow, I have to make sure to clean house today so that I don't have to worry about it tomorrow. Sigh. And like I said, I'm exhausted. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Empathy, Aspergers & Furniture Safety...

So. Wow.

And people wonder why I get all "nazi" about safety. Mostly car seat safety, but for once I'm glad I don't have a dresser, and I think I'm about to get nazi about furniture safety. 
I don't EVER want ANY parent to feel the pain and guilt that this mama does. Could you imagine this happening to your child? Could you imagine having a car accident and your child blowing out of there because you didn't put the chest buckle in the right spot (the most common error I see)? Could you imagine? I know I would feel sick to my stomach and many of these same things if I knew I didn't say anything about your improperly buckled car seat, or, in this case, the fact you havent considered securing your furniture. wow.

I'm just... so devastated for her. My heart hurts. Who says Aspies dont have empathy!!?? I sit here holding my baby girl and imagining if anything like this ever happened to her... I would be beside myself. This mom's description of her physical feelings are about spot on for what I would expect to feel. I can almost feel my cement-heavy legs, the crippling pain. Empathy for me is feeling something so much I have no skills to deal with how I feel about what happened to this family.

Probably why I can't watch Dumbo or Bambi....


Monday, July 29, 2013

There Is Only One Right Way

This isn't because I'm mean, or because I want to win/be right.. But there is really only one right way. Even if its socially unacceptable to say so.

Monday, July 22, 2013

When Is A Routine A Routine?

When I was a kid, I am pretty sure that I lived by a set routine. I got up at 6:30 (even though the bus didn't get there until 8 AM), and I showered. I ate breakfast, and then I would curl my hair. I would usually have plenty of time to wait for the bus. I'd go to school, and come home and hang out in my room. (This was when I was older, I don't remember before this one what I would do). I would do homework, listen to the radio, read books, whatever. When I started being involved in band activities/plays/sports and whatnot, this varied a little with practice/rehearsals or whatever. These things fit nicely into my routine, until it was simply routine to stay after school, even if I didn't have something going on. Ooops, I missed the bus. Oh well, my sister has ______. The last few years of school, between volleyball, cheerleading and my sister's basketball, and track, I was involved in something every day after school anyway. 

This was the routine I remember having for years.

I am still pretty stuck in my morning routine. If I vary from it too much, I end up forgetting to do something, like put on deodorant. I can tell you that as of lasts summer, if I varied in my morning routine in any way, deodorant was forgotten. Yes. That's embarrassing.

However, for the rest of my day these days doesn't really have a solid, written in stone rountine. There are things however that I plan to do, or think of doing the morning or even the night before. These things feel like "routine" to me, but I don't know if they are a scheduled routine, know what I mean? I was once told in therapy that it would help me and my son if I had almost a written schedule for when we would do certain things. Then he would know that we had a set time of doing something together or whatever. I have thought about that almost every day since, but I have yet to actually make or follow any sort of schedule. Now, with the new baby and technically less time for focused time with my son, I am thinking that it would be a really good idea to actually implement this.

But when is a routine a routine? What makes a schedule a schedule? Is it because we write it down and follow it to the letter? For some reason, to me, that seems very rigid. What if things change? Sometimes I do make choices to do things at the "last moment" - which seems strange for someone with Aspergers who doesn't like change. But sometimes I do decide we are going to the store or something at the last minute. I know it seems like the last minute to my son, but most of the time I consider doing it for at least an hour beforehand... so maybe that isn't so much last minute? 

I wonder if I would feel better with a written schedule. Now, where to write it. I had "borrowed" a whiteboard from my parents house (hey, they've been gone 4 years and it hasn't been missed) but my son LOVES drawing on it, so I don't have the heart to take it away from him just to use for a schedule. LOL. I could print something out and hang it I suppose. But would it make me feel any better? Would it be too rigid for me? Would it make my son feel better and more in control? Since I think he is a lot like me, and possibly could have the same "little professor" reorder that I have, maybe it would help him feel more content and less frustrated if he knew what was going to happen and when? I could set days for doing things, like check and groceries on Fridays, that kind of thing? I mean, in a way, we already have certain things we do routinely. Would writing it down make it more valid? I don't know. 

When is a schedule a schedule and a routine a routine?

Monday, July 15, 2013

"Twirling Naked.." Review

Yesterday I did something that I haven't done in years. I sat and read an entire book in less than a day. I used to do this all the time. I would brush through a Babysitters Club or Sweet Valley High book in no time at all. I had gotten a copy of "Twirling Naked in the Streets and No One Noticed" a long time ago (or so it seems), and I hadn't had a chance to read it yet. I'm glad that I devoured it, so now that's off my list of things I have to read. :P

Anyway, I found the book to be very relatable! The author, Jeannie Davide-Rivera, grew up with undiagnosed Aspergers, same as me. She is a few years older than me, but that makes little difference, because a lot of our experiences were the same. Each person is different, each location in the country and the world is different, and each experience is different, but I've found with Aspergers, so many of our experiences are exactly the same. We feel the same, we have the same comments made to us, the same treatment of us from other people.... I am constantly amazed about it. I am going to quote direct lines from the book that were relatable to me. Though I do have quite a few sections, I know there are more than I will mention. Sometimes I just got wrapped up in the story and didn't have the ability to stop myself and mark out one part that stood out to me. So here goes.

"I consumed books. I memorized them, and don't you dare read the storybook to me and think you will skip over anything. If I had already heard the book, you were in trouble. 

My father used to read to me, but many times tried to skip over things thinking I wouldn't know any better. After all, I couldn't read - or, could I?

I would promptly point out what he missed along with the page the text appeared on. Long before I entered kindergarten I didn't need him to read to me any longer. I taught myself to read. 

I honestly could not figure out why we were "learning" to read in school. I already knew how to read; therefore, all the kids around me knew also. We were just wasting time.
Hyperlexia is an ability to read way above what is expected for the child's age, and is accompanied by a below average ability to comprehend spoken language."

Exactly. EXACTLY. My mom and dad said I did this as well, and I think it was when I was around 3 years old. They would try to read my bedtime stories and make them go quicker by skipping words, and unfortunately it would make it take longer because I would be well aware of what was going on. Suspiciously enough, my son has done this as well.
In addition, school was a waste of time. Although I was aware that other kids in my class didn't know how to read, and that they did need to learn it, I felt like it was a waste of MY time because I already knew. My kindergarten teacher claims she had me read books to the class and/or correct papers for her, two things which I probably LOVED to do. I have vague memory of it, and I loved the heck out of doing those things.

 "I remember trying to make skyscrapers like the ones I watched whiz by from the backseat of my father's 1979 baby blue Cadillac. As soon as Dad got on the up-ramp to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway I watched for them, then I hopped to my knees and watched out the rear window until they were completely out of sight."

YES. I may not have lived in New York, and seen the skyscrapers that New York has to offer, but we did have family in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St Paul). Every time we went to the Twin Cities area, I waited and waited for the downtown areas to appear, and I would watch them obsessively until they were out of sight. We never went into downtown Minneapolis (that I can remember) until we went to a Timberwolves game in high school (we sang the National Anthem), but I was fascinated by the skyscrapers. I still do not know why, but I find it very interesting that Jeannie had almost the exact experience years and miles away from me.

"When I am writing, as I am today, and the phone rings, or the kids interrupt, it takes a few minutes to even process what they are asking me. Most of the time I am angered by the interruption, and I am an adult."

Sigh. Guilty! I often get mad when interrupted. I can multitask pretty well, however if I am doing something that requires a lot of concentration (like balancing the checkbook), and I am interrupted, I do get angry or annoyed. It is, as the author says, an "unexpected intrusion". I don't think it takes me hours to get back to what I am doing, but it does take me off track enough to make it take me longer to finish what I am doing.

"I've always only had one friend at a time; one person to confide in, and share my life with. This is as true today as it was when I was four years old. One friend was all I ever needed, and I discarded the rest.

Friends are time-consuming, dramatic, and exhausting. They take energy, and work. I have never been able to maintain casual relationships, acquaintances, or contacts. They fade quickly into the background like insignificant chit-chat.

My choice of friend is total; all or nothing. I am an all-the-way, all-the-time friend, or nothing at all. My friend will be totally immersed in my life, or completely cut-off."

Friendships for me are a nightmare for me most of the time. I am the kind of person who gives and gives and gives, but I get extremely hurt when the giving doesn't come back my way. If I go out of my way for you, then you should go out of my way for me. I feel like friendships should be fairly equal. One shouldn't have to be giving more than the other. I tend to not take seriously friends who don't put in their fair share of effort to see me, especially if I have put in a lot of effort to see them. Especially because I live quite a distance from almost all my friends, if I put effort into them, they'd better at least try to put that effort back in my direction in some way or other. 

I am all or nothing in friendships. If I choose to put effort into someone (and, like the author, its usually only ONE person at a time), then I am ALL IN. If I don't get the ALL IN from that person in return, then typically I "give up", and move on. I am always confused why they didn't care about me in the intensity that I cared about them.

"I loved my books; all my friends lived in there!"

Agreed. Definitely. They didn't ignore me and reject me.

"Every interaction was re-played out in my head before it happened - if I could foresee an event. 

For instance if I were to contemplate asking a friend to come over to our house to play, I would have the conversation over and over again in my head before approaching the girl."

I STILL replay conversations, or have conversations with people in my head, in the shower, out loud like I'm talking to them, but I'm talking to myself. I think this helps me get frustrations over certain things off my chest.

"Anything I want to do, I want to do perfectly. People often tell me that practice makes perfect, but that is not true. Perfect practice makes perfect. If you routinely practice something the wrong way, you will always do it that way. The only way to achieve perfection is to practice perfectly. I afforded myself no room for error - ever."

I am still this way too. I was this way about a lot of things. Just do it right the first time, and you won't have to worry about trying not to do it wrong. There is a right and wrong way to do EVERYTHING, and everyone MUST do it the right way. Doesn't everyone WANT to do it the right way? Why do people specifically and directly choose to do things the wrong way? Don't "practice" something in error, just do it right all along.

I don't really remember making a lot of mistakes when I was in band and choir. I am very musically inclined, so I tend to hear exactly what I need to sing, and I tend to know what I need to play to do it perfectly. I struggled if I had to practice something. I remember if i were to play a solo, I had to know what it sounded like before I could play it. I then could play it very well because I knew what it was supposed to sound like. I am probably not the kind of person who could easily improvise. When I was in college the ability of other students to improvise, especially in jazz band, fascinated me to an extent that I still cannot describe. Perhaps if I had learned scales and keys when I was younger and first learning music I may have been able to picture the right notes in my mind and play improvisation. But starting in college was not a good time to try to learn that kind of thing! 

"In the seventh grade I wound up in the Principal's office often. This time it was because I was being accused of cheating on my math tests. I didn't like being accused of cheating, or lying - ever. Giving me "F's" on tests I had done well on was an injustice I was unable to bear.
My mother often had to come up to school because of my "cheating" and the yelling, screaming, and crying that followed. My behavior was "uncalled for an inappropriate" is what they said. 

"Do you want her to take the test again?" my mother asked. That made me even angrier, why should I have to do the work twice just because they refused to believe that I knew how to do the work. 

"Yes, but she must show all her work."

I never understood why the math teacher did problems the way he did. Why did he have to go through all those meaningless complicated steps just to get the answer, when he could have just asked me? I knew the answer, but I never knew how I'd come up with it. In fact, if I was made to "show my work", or forced to do the math problem in the way they taught it, I could not do it. I arrived at the incorrect answer every time. 

Apparently being smarter than the teacher and getting the answers my own way was unacceptable. I failed math class for the first time in my life. This taught me two things: being smart didn't matter, and grades mattered even less because they did not reflect what you knew or what you did not. They only reflected your ability to follow other people's ways of doing things, even if those ways make no sense. THAT was something I have never been able to do."

This reminds me more of my brother than myself. He never showed his work, and hated that he had to. I was very "obedient", and would show my work simply because I had the time and I liked the process. I liked seeing the numbers working in front of me. Sometimes I arrived at the answer a completely different way, but I would write it out because I was bored, or just liked the writing. I would sometimes even rewrite it so it was neater. My handwriting was never good, but I could sometimes rewrite it to make it look more clear.

"Something as seemingly simple as social niceties to me was unacceptable behavior. Lying just to make someone feel good was not acceptable to me; in fact, I didn't even understand the concept. Why would someone do that? If I ask you a question, it is because I am truly expecting you to answer me - honestly. 

It didn't take very long for my friends to figure out that if they really wanted to know how they looked in a certain pair of paints to ask me. But if they wanted to feel good about themselves, or to hear that their hair looked fine when it was really sticking up in the air and looked like a little surfer man should have been riding the waves, then, I was not the one to ask.

I didn't receive the manual. You know, the manual where these social rules were written - but it appeared that everyone else around me had. I often argued the reasoning for such stupidity. Why are you asking me a question that you don't really want the answer to? If you don't want an honest answer, then don't ask!"

I am still this way to a point. I would rather be honest than protect someones feelings. Truth and right have NOTHING to do with feelings. If you want to know something about something, I am going to tell you the truth or the right thing, even if it might hurt your feelings. Sometimes I'll tell you even when you don't ask. The right thing and the truth are much more important than how you feel about it. For example: I don't care how you FEEL about car seat safety, there is a right and a wrong way to deal with car seats and buckle up children, and I don't give a hoot how you feel about me correcting your technique. 

"My friends could not change my mind once it was made up, but what made up my mind? I was impressed upon by books, television shows, family, and friends much like everyone else with one important difference - I never felt any pressure to fit in. The things that I decided to do needed to be my decision, and mine alone. I was never going to do something simply because you wanted me to.
In order to stand behind a decision I make, I must make it myself and have the confidence in that decision to act. This confidence is what defined my adolescence - my need for no one, my ability to think for myself."

Yup. Absolutely.

I have no problem doing certain things the way someone else wants me to do it, IF and ONLY AFTER I have been given time and ability to look it up on my own. I google a lot of information on a lot of things, and I know to pick reliable websites, and accurate information as much as possible. One of my obsessions is pregnancy, labor/delivery, and parenting. I have a set way of thinking how things should be done, how things are safest and in the best interests of parents and baby. I tend to distrust anyone else's actions, thoughts, opinions or "facts" on the topics involved unless I have done the research myself and gathered information on it myself. I love my doctor, but I feel more reassured if I make the choices, and she can give me direction on where to find the information, or what the information is. As long as she leaves the final decision up to me, I am usually able to trust her. When it comes to certain topics, please just inform me, don't just do what you think is right. If there is a procedure that I am not understanding, just explain it to me better, and I will gather the information I feel I need, and typically I'll come around. Unfortunately doctors often don't have the time to spend to explain everything. But just give me some direction and I'll find out on my own too!

"Even when it came to my closest friends, I had trouble incorporating both of them. My two friends drew closer to each other, and I drifted further away. It was not intentional, they didn't exclude me - to an extent I excluded myself. When I didn't understand the dynamics, couldn't relate to the situation, or flat-out disagreed with their actions I withdrew, removed myself, and disappeared."

It took me years and decades to understand this one. I often felt as if I were "pushed out" of friendships. I often felt like I was purposely being targeted to be excluded. I often felt like friends purposely excluded me from conversations, secrets, and doing things. I had a friend in college tell me that I purposely excluded myself, but I didn't feel that way at all. I felt as if they were purposely excluding me. Everything was about what they wanted to do, what they wanted to watch, what they wanted to talk about. Nothing ever came from me, I liked them a lot, but it was always about what they were doing to the exclusion of any of my activities. Never once did they come to any of my band functions, but I always went to their plays. (Again with being all or nothing and not getting anything in return!)

I had even had a visit from my sister who told me they excluded me, and it appeared even to her that it was on purpose. I just kinda didn't relate to whatever conversation or TV show they were into... so I had no choice I suppose than to back off. I had nothing to contribute, so I was unnecessary.

"I've had many special interests, preoccupations, passions, obsessions through the years beginning as young as three years old. My three year old self was completely preoccupied with baseball; my fifteen year old self - boys, or more precisely a boy.

That is not an unusual preoccupation for a fifteen year old girl, but what we need to look at is the intensity and focus. When focused on an interest to the exclusion of everything else, and everyone else in your life, is this not considered obsession? For the autistic person our obsessions and passions are soothing, calming, a place to hide, decompress, regenerate - a place of quiet peace. But what happens when your special interest, your obsession, is a person?

Love can be joyous and healthy but obsession can be seen as unwanted attention, smothering affection, and in the extreme... stalking. To make matters worse, the mind-blind teenager will usually never know if she steps over this line. How much is too much exactly?"

I thing I have written on this precise area before from her blog post. I had a long running obsession with a certain teacher of mine. It was soothing, calming, a place to hide, decompress, regenerate and a place of quiet peace. Being with him, around him, talking about him, thinking about him, thinking about conversations I had with him or might have, it was all consuming and obsessive. Since it went on for the entire length of what is high school around here (7-12th grade), it took me almost as many years to "get over" being obsessed with him. It took me that many years for my heart not to race when I saw him or for me not to obsess about seeing him. That seems extreme, especially since I was long since married by then. Luckily I have a very loving and understanding husband who was not affected at all by this craziness, and never once made me feel crazy or stupid about it. This probably helped me to get over it, instead of feeling shamed or embarrassed about it.

I once had a faculty member (counselor) tell me that he wanted it to just go away, that my falling grades were a result of the obsession, and that I had to see some lady because I was too obsessed. I always thought that I was being forced to see some "crazy lady" who was having me do some color chart thing which seemed like some kind of crazy witchcraft or something so I stopped going and ignored it. I wonder today if I wouldn't have gotten diagnosed from meeting with that lady? I guess I will never know. Either way, being told these things when I felt the behavior was not only encouraged, but returned, only made me hold tighter. My "recovery" was likely due to my husband, and his never treating me like an insane person.

"The first time I took Zoloft I saw little blue monkeys."

I didn't take Zoloft, and I didn't see little blue monkeys. But when I did take some antidepressant, I kinda wigged out in the middle of the night and couldn't sleep for 2 hours. No more meds for me unless its extreme.

"What is proprioception? 

Proprioception refers to one's own perceptions. It an unconscious perception of movement and spatial orientation controlled by nerves within the body.

Our proprioceptive system allows us to locate our bodies in space, to be aware of where our arms and legs are in relation to one another, as well as where they begin and where they end. Proprioception helps us perceive the outside world, telling us whether our bodies are moving or sitting still."

Though I don't consider myself especially clumsy or anything, I do know i have really bad spatial orientation when I am driving. This seems to be what I connected to this proprioception topic. When I am driving in a vehicle, I am fully aware that my car is not as wide as yellow line to white line. I logically and intellectually know that. However, I do not perceive that. My eyes and my head look out the windshield and it appears to me that I am as wide as the lane. This can make driving sometimes rather tricky, especially if passing large vehicles, or in the winter (between the snowbanks) or on narrowed roads.

"I found no purpose in looking around at things we may someday want to buy, when I had no money to buy it now."

My husband likes to window shop. He likes to window shop manufactured homes. He likes to window shop cars. He likes to window shop cars A LOT. To the point where I know he is going to turn into the Chrysler dealership when we are in town.
I hate it. I really don't like it. Unless I am actually going to buy something, it's no use to go looking for it. It just makes me depressed. Huh!

"I fear depression - intensely. It is by far the most painful ailment I have ever faced. It is the thing that slammed into me, ran me over repeatedly, and then kicked me in the head when I was down. I struggled for change, for understanding, to figure out what was "wrong" with me - no one knew. Or at least, they didnt' guess correctly."

I have had depression on and off too. I cannot stand the condition. I feel weird. I feel unable to see past it. After I had my daughter literally 3 weeks ago, I was so afraid of having postpartum depression that I could have almost given myself PPD. I had to talk it over with several people, I had to know I had a bunch of people looking out for me, and I had to know that when I start feeling weird I MUST get some rest, and I MUST ask for help with my older child so that I can get that rest. Depression is something I also fear, and I fear the drugs that "help" so many people, and I can't afford to drive to the counseling that could help me. I prefer and can handle counseling, but the drive isn't practical for us right now.

"I've been told that I have an obsession with knowledge, that when I want to learn something I need to know everything about it. This is true, but I could not comprehend why or how this could be considered abnormal. If something was worth doing then I had to do it all the way, or not at all."

Yeah. I don't have much to add to that one, but I have to know as much as possible about something, obsessed with learning it. That's not strange is it? Doesn't everybody want to know everything about things? I mean, how can you let someone do something to you (like medically or something) when you haven't researched it? How can you choose a car unless you have researched the car? On and on.....

"I love my computer - all my friends live in there, the people who I can talk to, the ones like me, the ones who understand me."

I feel sometimes I am addicted to the computer. I am, really. I love being on it, I love doing things, reading things, researching things. And, like the author says, all my friends live in there. Without the Internet, I would not know anyone like me, and I wouldn't have anyone to say "hey, is this the same for you?".

"My co-workers often wore uniforms, and were stationed at the same posts day after day. On a daily basis, I recognized them, said hello, knew their names - but if I saw them outside work, I did not recognize them. If their uniform was off, or they were not where they should be (at their post), then I did not recognize them."

I am like this too. I often do not recognize or see people that I know when I am out, say, in the grocery store. Often too I will see people that I recognize, but I cannot figure out who they are because they are not expected or they are not where they "should" be. People have even talked to me and I have gone entire conversations without knowing who they were, all the while I'm trying to knock my brain into some kind of ability to remember who they are. It is confusing, and I would rather not make eye contact with anyone when I am in the store than to have them start talking to me and have no idea who they are.

"The beauty of finally receiving a proper diagnosis is that I have been able to connect to the world, to people like me, to other "Aspies". I have been able to share my experiences without eyebrows raised and people looking at me like I am from Mars. I now treasure these people who not only listen to my rambling, but help me to understand more about myself and to know for the first time in my life that I truly am not alone."

Thank goodness I have people like Aspie Writer, the writer of this book, so that I can just shoot her a note and say "Hey, in this circumstance, what happened to you? How did you deal with it? Have you experienced it?" That has been awesome.

All in all, I enjoyed the book a lot, mostly because I saw myself in it. I don't get the opportunity to read a lot of material that I can see myself in. I don't often get the opportunity to read much really, but to read something that could nearly be my life story is comforting. I am not the only one who went through this kind of stuff! I am not the only one who had X experience and Y experience! It is comforting. I wish that the book had more details, was more chronological, and went more into her current life as mom and wife. But, there's always a second book! I recommend this book for anyone who has or knows someone who has Aspergers, or even someone who thinks they might have Aspergers. It really is great! I love writing that is "to me". 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Referred: aspiewriter

I've been busy with our new little baby, and son, and just recovering and getting back in the swing of things lately. Sorry for not posting!

Today I'm referring to another post again. Just a write up on differences I and other aspies like me experience.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Overwhelming & Exhausting

I am  30 years old, and I'm still learning about myself.

With the recent birth of my baby, I have realized that I have more signs that I need rest than I realized. Obviously, the normal "feeling tired" type symptoms aren't the only indication.

I get an odd feeling in my head when I am needing rest desperately. It is hard to describe. It almost feels like my head is heavy, almost as if I'm not in my body, and though I have never fainted, I would probably describe it as an almost faint feeling.

I have choices when I feel this way: ignore it and go on feeling miserable, or sleep. With a new baby and 6 year old, sleep is hard to come by, but I'm learning that the sooner I can get to sleep, the sooner I can feel better and get over that icky feeling! I hadn't ever really realized that this was a tired signal, I almost always felt it was something else, like a panic attack or something, because I don't often get overtired, but I do get overstressed sometimes. Usually this feeling comes when I'm overwhelmed and overstressed, so of course I connect it to a panicky type feeling. But I am realizing that even when it is caused by some kind of stressor, sleep is the cure! 

A lot of Aspies feel that sleep is their cure for overwhelming times, moments, feelings and emotions. What are YOUR signs of overstress or exhaustion, and what are your cures?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Arrivals! A Birth Story!

Our little baby girl, Bonnie Elise, came into the world in a hurry at 8:45 PM Friday June 21, after only about 3 hours of real labor! She is beautiful! They didn't weigh her until the middle of the night and she weighed 8 lb 6 oz! Her brother was only 7 lb 2 oz! She is 20 inches long.

She is a fantastic baby! With my son, I ended up with some kind of relaxer drug, and I think we both suffered because of that - we were both very tired and out of it. Though it was also 2 am, so I was exhausted on top of not eating since lunchtime. With my son, I still only had 7 1/2 hours of real labor. This one was much better, and faster obviously!

We went in for the appointment, and I told the doctor we were all there (hubby and son) because we fully expected not to go home. I had been having "tightening" contractions, but nothing regular or painful at all. She sent me upstairs to monitor and see what was happening. I was at 5 cms in her office. Went upstairs, and after an hour or so up there, I was at 6, and having contractions but nothing with a pattern or even much pain. Very slight cramping I would say.

So they admitted me, sending me across the hall to the nice birth suites. Since I wasn't really in active labor, she let me eat! I ordered some scrambled eggs, toast, potatoes and yogurt. I didn't eat a lot, but it was so nice to get something to eat beforehand! Totally different from my son! I also got some alone time since the boys went to Pizza Ranch to eat. So that was nice. The couple nurses in the room set things out for the delivery and whatnot. It was really relaxing and pleasant!

Probably an hour later I started having cramping with the contractions that I had to bend over for. They weren't horrible yet, but I sure felt them, and leaning over forward was really helpful. My friend who was coming as labor support/doula arrived and no one could believe that I was having these contractions and talking or smiling through them!

I got in the tub (with jets!) and relaxed in there a while. The contractions started coming a bit better in there, where I had to close my eyes. My son had come in and wanted to take a bath in the jets himself, but I told him he had to wait, and when I closed my eyes that he had to quiet and wait until I was done. I was impressed by how long they were lasting.

I wasn't in the bath long (I really am not that big of a fan of baths). So I got out. I think things moved on rather quickly then, but I didn't know how quickly they would move! I found that being leaned up against the back of the bed (which was leaned up) was the most comfortable, but unfortunately for the nurses, they were unable to get the monitor on baby in that position. (Ha, ha too bad!) That is always annoying that they have to do that so often, but they were probably more anxious about it because they had trouble finding her in there to get her heart rate monitored. She was being shy (probably because she was almost out! LOL)

A couple made me feel like throwing up, so I asked for something, and my poor hubby had the thing near him. When I threw up, he decided that it was time to go, and him and Brody left the room, thinking it would maybe be an hour or so before it was done.

They must have decided to call the doc because the contractions were so close together. She came in and though it was extremely uncomfortable, she checked and said "ok, you're at a 9!" and LEFT THE ROOM! LOL. I immediately turned back over and said I felt I had to "go to the bathroom".... to which the nurse had to run out of the room, leaving my friend and me the only ones in the room for a moment or two! At some point I felt her come on down, the water broke, and her head was crowning! Holy cow, did NOT expect that! They don't like you pushing without the doctor in the room, but I was surely not pushing. I could not stop it, as if you could stop throwing up. So she chilled there a minute or so while I hoo-hoo-hee-hee-ed through one contraction. That didn't do any good though for the next one, her head just came on out. I'm sure the doctor must have come in at that point and wanted me turned over, so they all got me on my side and pretty much got the shoulders out and PRESTO, all done. Three hours or so. That was it. And I don't feel like I did any of the work. It was almost like she said "You know what, enough of this womb stuff, I'm OUTTA here!". Cuz that's just what she did.

I had my labor support friend go get the boys, and hubby was shocked that it was already time! They both came in and it was so precious! My son wanted to cut the cord, but I think the doctor probably forgot in the hustle and bustle of how fast it happened! I got her on me, and started trying to nurse and get her latched on, and stuff like that. She was alert and open eyed, and just so precious! Everything turned out wonderful after that. She nursed pretty steady on and off for the next 3 hours with wide eyes and such interest! She just couldn't wait another moment and soaked it all up! She was wonderful! 

Anyway, so that's that! We were going to leave the next night after the blood draw for testing, but it turned out she was jaundice and had to stay for more blood draw the next morning, and the guys went home the 2nd night because that was just not going to be good to have to stay another night in the hospital. My son was so ready to be out of there. Just too boring. So that was hard for me to be alone and sad because we looked forward to going home. But it was probably ok.

I did feel pretty weird the first night I was home and I got concerned. I just felt a bit overwhelmed, as if how am I going to do this, mom to this new baby, and my intense 6 year old, and take care of the house and bills and money  ...... and you know what? I just have to keep telling myself to take a break! I just had a baby for crying out loud! I need sleep, rest, a vacation, a babymoon! I need to sleep when I need to sleep, and ask for help. I need to sit in the chair and not worry about cleaning up things or putting things away. I need to not worry about that long to do list I always have going for myself. I need to remember that those things are NOT as important. If we are washing dirty dishes to use for the meal we are having, fine, we wash them then. It is ok!

I'm grateful for my husband, he has really been doing so great. He has done cleaning and chores and stuff, and really been there for me, even though he has to work. No babymoon/leave for him! He feels really bad, but he is doing what he can, and its really helpful! So that is helpful too knowing that I am ok to just chill out and things are indeed still getting done. 

So I'm feeling better today, its the best day so far! We got into routine for bedtime last night with our son, so that was probably helpful. I felt pretty good after that. It feels good to get back into routine, so that some sense of normalcy is back. :) So things are looking up! I still am keeping out on how I'm feeling and making sure I don't end up with any depression issues. I talked to the doctor yesterday when we were in for the jaundice test again, and she said when we come back tomorrow we could do a progesterone shot if I still didn't feel that great. I might not need it now! But it is nice to know there are other options before throwing the towel out at the "ok, well, you're depressed, heres antidepressants". Those are not something I'm interested in having to take. I will if I feel bad like I did, but it doesn't make me feel good. So I will be glad if I'm over the hump.

I'm sure there will be bad days and tired days, but I just have to be more aware of my needs for rest and a break. I can't expect myself to be this "perfect" person with a "perfectly clean house" and everything always perfect. Aspergers has meant that I always did everything perfectly and kept it wonderful all the time. But I gotta let it go. I can change, even when I don't want to or don't like it. So this is probably all a good thing. Things will sort themselves out. It will all be ok. I have to use my time more wisely as well, making sure I don't sit on the computer all the time because that will make me feel worse, not just because of the guilt but because I can spend so much time that I end up not doing things that need to be done, like rest! So I'm working on changing. Change is not something Aspergers is friendly to. But I think I am going to be doing a lot of it!

That's enough. What a long post! Back to life! Sorry if I dont post frequently, but I will check in now and then. :)

Monday, June 17, 2013

I Need Space

I know many Aspies are "solitary people". We like our space. Some Aspies can be and are social creatures too, but for me, I am the kind of person who sincerely needs my space. And I've come to realize that I need more space than probably most people, autistic or not. 

To me, this makes me a really low maintenance friend. I don't NEED to see my friends every weekend or anything. I don't NEED to talk to them on the phone or over the internet every minute. I don't get to feeling lonely very easily or often.

This is how I am under normal circumstances, normal days, normal life. When things are different, whether its a stress, an exciting time, a crisis, or whatever, I find that I need MORE space than I do normally. I don't really require or need a lot of people to feel sorry for me, support me by visiting or being around me to help, or whatever. I like "silent support" - people who say they are there, or silently cook me a meal or something (actually no one has ever just cooked a meal and dropped it off before - so that would be something I would LOVE). I don't need people coming to socialize with me.

Very rarely will I reach out for support or help because I prefer to do my own thinking, research or just being alone to figure things out. When I do reach out, I usually make a specific point of reaching out to someone specific, someone I feel would perfectly satisfy my question.

CURRENTLY: I am "almost due". My due date isn't actually for another week. I'm in NO hurry to have this baby. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see her and hold her and start things off, but I am perfectly content and happy for her to be on the inside. All her needs are provided for, life can still sorta maintain its normalcy, I know I am going to be more tired and overwhelmed once she's here, so I am perfectly content to wait until the moment that my body and baby decide that it's time.

I do not understand others who aren't more patient about this. I'm not just talking about other women who are or have been pregnant, and not even the doctors who are in such a rush to get the baby out once the 38 week mark starts clicking by. I wouldn't even be in a rush at 41 weeks or 42. I'd like the freedom to wait. (Though for simplicity's sake, I hope I do not go that long because the pressure to induce gets so high and I'd rather not deal with that fight).

I'm talking about friends and family. You. Yes, you.

What I want friends and family to know is this: I need space. I need calm, peace, comfort, relaxation. I'm not a great social person to begin with, but I'm here at the end, hormonal, tired and just trying to mentally cross things off some magical "nesting" checklist. I'm trying to picture things out in my head as best I can, I'm trying to deal with the unavoidable hospital interventions that I can't change, and the few fears I have about those interventions.

What I don't need is people interrogating me every single day as to whether or not its time, or what's new, or whatever. I'd like my birth to be quiet, without the pressure of having people waiting for me, or pressuring me to "tell them right away" and stuff. I will tell people when I tell people. Trust me, it's not like I'm going to keep it from everybody. But again, I need my space people. I need peace and quiet, not the sound of my phone ringing (I have the ringer turned off in advance of any inquiring phone calls. Bug my husband instead! LOL) This might stem from not being comfortable with change to begin with. I welcome many kinds of change, but one of my ways to deal with change is to take my space.

It will happen when it happens. God knows her birthday and when it is her birthday, she'll come. Not a minute before and not a minute later. After she's born, people will know. I'm going to take that time, to myself, and my husband and son. Our son wants to cut the cord, so this is going to be unforgettable for all of us. The precious 6 year old that has been an "only" for all these years is the one who wants to cut the cord from the baby to me. I am going to have my hands full, and I'm going to take my time, space and peace and keep it to myself until I am ready, until we are all ready, to share our family with the world.

But until that time, I just need my space. I need my peace. If you want to do some "silent supporting" - drop off a meal, come clean some dishes or something, you're welcome to do that, just don't expect me to socialize. Other forms of "silent support" are appreciated as well, but don't expect it to be a "I get to hold a baby" visit. I hold my own babies. ;) I am reluctant to hand them over, and that should be ok with everybody. I would never pressure another mom to hand me her baby, and since I have been a mom, I haven't. I've told moms what I want to be told; "don't feel obligated to let me hold baby, she/he is yours".

Anyway, I'm going to stop blabbing. Don't know when I will post again. Probably after baby is born. So until then, PEACE YA'ALL!