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Hello and an introduction

This is the post excerpt.

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Thank you for coming by. I am a middle aged woman and I was diagnosed with ASD level 1 about 6 months ago. I have two children I shall refer to as H and D, both boys. H is on the spectrum and D is about to be assessed. I hail from The Land Down Under and I consider myself a jack of too many trades, and a master of absolutely none.

This blog is about me making sense of autism and untangling my messy life to get to a point where I can move forward more confidently. I sure don’t want another 40 something years like the ones I’ve had. Something has to give, and sadly, it is my beliefs, understandings and notions I’ve had of myself. When I turn to face my past, all I see is a lifelong series of faux pas, burning of bridges and serious social gaffes.

There is another medical/genetic issue my small family contends with – haemophilia. I am a mild symptomatic carrier and D is a severe haemophiliac. It is important I mention this because a lot of our antithesis approach to it is certainly coloured by our autism. You’ll see what I mean as I post more.

I’ve called this “kaption this” because I’d like you to make up your mind and bring your own ideas to my posts, and it is a play on names. An inside joke, sorry.

At times, my words may be out of synch and ideas all over the place. I am not very patient with editing, but I will endeavour to proof my posts for ease of flow, coherence, typos and to gauge my emotions to it. I may write, but delete it all. I’ll see. I’ll try to be more forthcoming than my emotions allow. Communication is one of my biggest issues when it pertains to my engaging with others.

Snapshot of issues I intend to discuss:

*face blindness

*difficulties in understanding emotions

*communication – written and my regular non verbal state

*physical clumsiness

*depression

*friendships/relationships

*childhood

*diagnosis

*where to from here…

Taking stock middle age style.

Not much has been happening. On the surface, at least. Each day is just rolling by, with the hope tomorrow shows its hand. Part of me is content with this inertia, but deep within, stirrings are churning. That means I am seeking change

Truth is, I know I need change to grow, and as my developmental delays are still playing catch up in their own good time, the only way I will bring me up to speed is to actively seek change. I prefer to meet it half way. Less chance I will be surprised and derailed. I am keenly aware of my areas of growth required – physical coordination of finer motor skills (got gross skills under some control), emotional regulation in close relationships (friends and romantic) and forward financial planning (I never expected to be alive after 40!).

I know that learning the piano or guitar and having dance lessons would help with motor skills. As for emotional regulation, I am freaking scared and I may need life to nudge me a bit. Financial planning for old age is really reliant upon me opening myself to a different money mindset. That one will require more specialised assistance. The idea of buying a home…. Oh yea gods.

I get little glimpses of how I’d like the next 5 yrs to be, but I KNOW I am unable to stick to an image from my imagination. I assume life knows better than I do. And it generally does.

I say I want the next 45yrs to be different and at the behest of my direction. But I have to admit I have nothing more than a vague notion I need to change/grow/develop. What I tend to do is invite life to present me with my next lesson. That way, I know I am supposed to get some outcome from the challenge. I need outcomes to know I am doing ok and I am on track.

Sorry to anyone who knows me in real life. I am not really up for communication right now. I know the months of April and May I was a royal pain. It has left me ashamed of my energy spikes and it took me to my inner cave to decompress. I’ll be out soon as I have made a pact with life. We are still at the sketches on paper stage.

It is fascinating how things change in middle life. My needs are so different to my needs at 15, then 25, at 40 even. I guess I should be proud to realise I even have needs. Never occured to me til 7 years ago. See? Very slow in some aspects of life. Ha!

Until I have a clearer path present itself, I shall quietly walk the path of now. My Spidey senses tell me change isn’t far away and it’ll be a life affirming one that brings comfort. I told life I cannot stomach more drama, debacle and hurt. I have lived my share. I require kinder, more gentle lessons. Let’s see if life can meet me half way.

The pleasantness of no man’s land.

I’m in a vacuous space mentally. Makes for a peaceful change. I am keeping low key and below the radar. I think it is the best place for me.

Winter is hitting me hard this year. My appetite is unusually ravenous and I am hardly venturing away from home. I want to watch dvds and listen to documentaries. Introspection, but in a quiet, subdued form.

I am hardly speaking to anyone. I simply do not want to. I am less harsh on myself for my needs. I do feel guilt not hitting the gym with my usual zeal, but at least I am going. It is all ok.

Nothing amazing, ground breaking or earth shattering. But I am here. That really is ok. For now.

Peopled out.

EVERY TIME I VENTURE INTO PEOPLELAND, I END UP FEELING YUCK; MISUNDERSTOOD, DEVALUED AND COMPLETELY LIKE DIRT.

This last month has been the pits, socially. I try to make friends, do the social stuff and I fail. Epically. I won’t go into details, but suffice to say, I cannot go out into any sort of public without a mask.

Anyone able to look beyond my mask and be comfortable with what you see, hear, etc, you are welcome in my lfe. Everyone else can go jump.

I feel ill. Bottom of my gut revolting. I understand none of the rules, I stand on toes I don’t even know exist and people leave me with a bitter taste in their mouths.

I am TIRED of trying to work with my loneliness. It is like a GPS that has a map of Saturn, narrated in Swahili. I do not trust my poor, undernourished, skinny loneliness. Better it goes to a nunnery and takes up a vow of silence. No more anything for that part of myself. It only brings misery.

I am so very tempted to become a Buddhist nun. Truly. It has been on my mind for a few years.

A weird thing happened tonight. Well, many, but only one I can discuss. I went to my local Thai food cafe and got some chicken. The owner came in close to actually engage with me. Touched me on the arm when he laughed too. Huh? And the young man who works for him calls me by my name. Huh?? Real humans, being kind and engaging. It threw me. But warmed my heart beyond belief.

How is it no one closer to me in real life does that? AllI can answer is that I am somehow odious. What people do not understand is that I am a lot like a Labrador pup. But only to people I trust. I love hugs, physical touch and lots of sloppy friendship. I never get a chance to release that side of myself. It has always been met with abuse. Maybe that is why I cannot stomach any sort of animal or child abuse. At all. It reminds me of my wounds.

So, I keep those two parts of me hidden. Well and truly. Especially after this month. It is all so heart achingly difficult. Self nurture is a term devised by autistic people, I am sure of it. I shall make myself into a ball, hide under my doona and visit safe places mentally.

We have all been lied to all our lives. It ISN’T Trump, the rich, the famous, the beautiful, the clever who survive as the fittest. It is those with razor sharp social skills. They are the golden chosen ones. They know how to make life work for them. I stand in bewilderment at how mediocre people get so far in life, simply because they have social skills.

I hate this game and I quit.

Google knows more about me than I do.

It is true, sad to say, but in a twist, it has helped me isolate my emotional concerns.

A look into my Google history tells me volumes. Two weeks ago, I was concerned about my managers leaving and how it might impact me. This week, I am wanting to know more about emotional control, how to make friends with my negative dark side and autism in the trades.

I guess I am feeling dissatisfied with work, am unsure how I am meant to grow without tearing down those who offer ‘help’ *cough* and recognise the need to employ my brain in more useful endeavours. My mind isn’t that interested in the gym either. I am bored senseless by everything.

The crux is I want change BUT without the usual bridge burning. While Google is incredibly helpful in assisting me tease out my worries, it is deficient in helping me find viable avenues for momentum.

My appointment with my ASD psych is in 4 weeks. Then 7 weeks after that, I go to Indonesia for 2 weeks.

Now and then I need tangible goals met to assure me I am going forward. It does not feel that way right now. If anything, it feels I have been stagnant for years.

I cannot cope knowing I have 20 more years of this…THIS. My life isn’t intolerable and horrid, but it is causing me to sit in the same spot. That is soul crushing. I need air around me, changes in scenery and people, new skills, ideas and concepts to keep my brain active. The four walls at home, while safe, are not loving and growth inducing. My mother, who not nasty or mean, is completely indifferent to me. Always has been. Another 20 years of her. Sigh. She is a rock. Almost literally.

A part of me wants to take H and go hiking the world. Neither of us have anything worth bartering to help faciliate the journey.

So, for now, Google gives me access to the world. It will have to suffice for the moment.

Balance restored. And the struggle is real, bro.

I think I am back to being the person relate to as ‘me’. Only taken 2 weeks!

I can tell you that I am deep-in-my-bones tired of the struggle. I used to suspect I had chronic fatigue, simply because I feel fried at the end of every day. It isn’t that. It is exhaustion at the entirety of my life being a struggle. I have felt this way since I was in grade 2. It has never gone away.

There are the odd days here and there when I feel I’m at 50% power at the end of a day, but then I find it hard to rest at night. It is a Catch 22 really. I sleep better when pushed beyond 0% into the red, yet I loathe feeling that way. I said when I was 19 that I yearned for a day I could just … enjoy being me. With no struggle to do something, be understood, or wrestling with my senses.

My expectations are so low these days. Truly. If I have made it home without feeling like tearing my brain apart due to the pain, I have succeeded. Some make a grand a day, and that is success. My expectation of life is very basic now. Oh, the lofty dreams I had in my youth!

In a way, being armed with the self knowledge I now have and fledgling self respect I am attempting to grow, it is kind of exciting to rescript the expectation I have for the rest of my life. It may be the struggle is real, but over the last 2 weeks, I have been gently urged by life to set new directions in my inner GPS. I can see there is more to automotive life than what is currently on offer. There are new horizons to explore. There is a spark of ‘oooohhhh, what is next?’ within me. In amongst the struggle stuff.

All I know is I like my inner balance and I dislike struggle. The thing that is most disappointing about my autism is my developmental delays take a freaking long time to unfurl and grow. It is frustrating. My brain says everything about me is ready, so why am I STILL here?! So, struggle sets in internally, and meshes with external struggle.

It sounds arrogant, and I do not want to be taken that way, but I feel my thirst for knowledge is not ever going to be met with any satisfaction at my workplace. I want, and need, more.

Losing sight of the bigger picture.

One of my many issues I have with myself is losing myself in the drowning inertia of minutae detail. Things that, ultimately, do not matter. Now and then, I need new perspective to keep myself on track. I have to climb, like Bilbo, to the tops of trees to get my bearings. The view helps me navigate my way out of the murkiness of negative situations and the clear air and sunshine renew my health.

I had that Thursday. I gave an informal talk to a group of female high school students. It went alright. What I found unexpected was the difference between a dealership work place and a global level workplace. The professionalism and desire to succeed, AS A TEAM, is light years away from what I have grown used to. I saw there is a beacon of light at the end of my tunnel. This Forbes listed company wants a 50/50 gender workplace and is actually asking why it isn’t being achieved. The GM wants it merit based, thankfully, and wants to take a new approach to casting the net wider in terms of applicants. It was my honour to be able to experience this day with these young women.

The next day at work, I felt like I’d been rechained to my position in the pecking order. I love my company I work for, but I feel we can do better. The elephant in the room is not going away and it just derails us. This global company sees the elephant and wants to relocate it, AS A TEAM, to a safe place far away.

Sadly, I am beginning to realise my workplace and I are not helping each other, much like Bilbo found Mirkwood slowed the Dwarf team down on its way to Lonely Mountain. Rather than letting my inner light be dimmed by my environment, I need to seek a place more in tune with my vision.