It’s April 2nd. Autism Acceptance Day. So this is what I have to say about Autism.

I go on posting sprees on my Facebook sometimes.  And I assume it annoys many.  I expect that I have been hidden from a lot of peoples news feeds due to my usually controversial posts.  Today, it’s post after post about Autism.  I don’t know how many of my friends even know what it is, or know enough about it to really understand it.  My posts are public, mostly, and therefore I am hoping that whatever I find on Autism isn’t just seen by friends but their friends and they share and so on.  Usually I keep the Autism chatter to support groups.  Both of my kids are ASD.  Or, rather, to put it more accurately, my son is ASD ADHD at nearly ten years old and my daughter is undergoing testing now at three years old.  This month my boy is going for evals to see how he is doing, I am having to fill out a crap load of questions yet again.  Basically it’s like going to get tested all over again since we are in another country.  But I digress.  I wanted to write something about Autism in general today, being that today is about Autism Acceptance.

Acceptance is a better word than Awareness in my book.  Awareness makes me think of illnesses or simply knowing something exists.  Autism needs more than people to know it’s there, it needs more than tolerance, it NEEDS to be accepted by everyone.  Everyone.  It needs to be understood.  And that is a very difficult thing, considering that Autism is a spectrum, and every individual that resides on said spectrum is different from everyone else on the spectrum.  Sure, there are similarities, but a treatment or therapy that works for one wont work for them all, and so it is very complicated.

Understanding within the Autism Community is also needed.

Even trying to put it to words for others to understand can be difficult. I mean, how do you really explain it to someone who has no idea what it is like?  And therein lies the divide between those with Autism in their lives and those without.  When you deal with it on a daily basis, this mentality of ‘you just don’t get it’ tends to rear its ugly head.  There is even a divide among those in the autism community, parents with asd kiddos versus adults on the spectrum (who may or may not be parents), which is especially unsettling. I see the arguments arise online all the time. I notice that parents who are not on the spectrum tend to ignore the fact that their child with ASD will one day be an adult on the spectrum and they ignore any advice from asd adults (And yes, I know that not ALL parents are like that). It is that mentality that every parent seems to have (at one time or another) that no one else understands.  And I do get that, I was there at some point.  I felt very alone when my boy was diagnosed, because no one I knew was experiencing anything remotely similar.  But we are NOT alone.  So many other parents are dealing with this, in one form or another, so we as parents need to shed that view point that we are alone in this.  We need to realize that there are so many others out there that DO understand, so many in similar situations.  And we need to be supporting of one another, parents and asd adults, alike.

Children with Autism will grow up to be Adults with Autism

In some cases, signs or symptoms of Autism may lessen as a child gets older, but it isn’t always the case. In my case I am better with certain things, albeit mostly faking it for the comfort of others, but I still struggle with so much that I dealt with as a child. The only real difference in my life now is that I understand WHY I have those issues.  And I suspect this is the case with many adults on the spectrum.  During conversations online I get a lot of “well you seem very high functioning, you are lucky,”  like my life is so easy.  I can write, sure, but communication face to face is completely different. I revert to scripted speech.  I repeat things back to people as if on automatic at times.  I am not that eloquent in real life.  I have to rehearse what Im going to say at any given time in my head first before I open my mouth, otherwise I just stare back at the person without saying a thing and then holy crap… awkward for them.  When asked questions, I need a moment to think about my response, if I respond too quickly my words might jumble, or I might say something completely different than what I mean to because it was something I saved in my memory bank for another conversation.  Misunderstandings happen a lot.  I ask those parents of ASD kiddos to maybe think about that for a bit.  What I just explained is a mere fraction of what we on the spectrum have to deal with on the daily.  A lot of us, adults on the spectrum, like to point these things out to parents, and maybe try to get the parents to see it from the kid’s point of view. It is often misconstrued, and things usually are when we communicate something rather bluntly or worded differently than others are used to.  Many of the misunderstandings with in that community are simply because of the way we communicate. In my experience, many asd adults are argumentative anyway, so therein lies a hurdle to jump as well. Often times we are thought to be trying to one up you, or just arguing for the sake of arguing, or over explaining things (holy cow I don’t realize I’m doing it most of the time) but it is not the case. We try to connect by pointing things out in our own lives, as a way of saying “yes I understand that because..”  But it always turns out to be a retort something along the lines of “well I’m the parent so I know what it is, you don’t even know us,” etc.

Some things that piss me off (for lack of any better way to say it)

Ive always wondered why it is considered okay to tell an adult on the spectrum to grow up or that they are being immature. Why is it that adults are told that melt downs are not okay, that it is childish and that now that they are grown it is time to behave like an adult.. knowing that your child has those same meltdowns and same issues, would you tell that child to stop being so immature? Why is it okay for a child and yet when that child grows up, same exact issues as when they were younger, are suddenly expected to behave differently?  Why is that “he/she’s just a child” an acceptable justification for behavior that affect so many of different ages? Why are people only considering the children in all this? WHY the hell are people creating this divide between kids and adults on the spectrum? Exactly WHEN do you expect your child to suddenly be “normal”?  Are they supposed to wake up at age 18 and decide not to be autistic anymore? Apparently, we adults on the spectrum are supposed to be able to stop a melt down, mid sensory overload, or whatever other reason our melt down is about to occur. We are supposed to be able to stop it completely and then be POLITE and APOLOGIZE to those around us, rather than explain our Autism. Because explaining our Autism is us using our Autism as an excuse to behave like children. The way our brains work, are wired, wont automatically revert to typical at age 18.  It just doesn’t happen.  There is absolutely no way to cure Autism, all the therapies in the world wont turn a neuro diverse individual into a neurotypical.  It just doesn’t work that way. Some things might get easier to handle, but in my view it is simply for the sake of others. Even though someone might be able to socialize better, I can probably guarantee you that those same issues are still underneath the surface, and that individual has learned how to divert certain behaviors… and then they go home and stim their butts off to avert a meltdown… or something like it. Or maybe fall asleep from exhaustion of seeming to be normal for everyone else when they’d rather just be themselves.  This is why acceptance is so important. Autistic people should be able to be themselves without having to apologize for something they CANNOT control. Oh, we can hide a lot of things, those of us that are higher on the spectrum, but it doesn’t mean that anything is easier.  And you can bet your bottom that I wont be thinking of how to behave to make others feel better when Im having sensory issues. If the lights are hurting my eyes, the sounds hurt my ears, I’m getting a migraine because of it, the last thing I want to do is try to make sure you feel comfortable, with your self righteous ideas that others have to behave a certain way for you. Because you are so goddamn important.  If the sounds around me are all melted together into a loud buzzing noise, causing a fog to roll in over everything, and I cant hear anything you say to me, the last thing I am going to worry about is if my lack of response offends you. Because dammit Im in pain sometimes, I have to get away from the noise, the lights, the textures and smells that over whelm me. No, I wont grow up and deal just because you think I should.  Let’s see you handle one day in my shoes, then see if you can grow up and just shut it all off and be NORMAL.

Okay that turned into a rant, as my posts so often do. But I get heated when I think about these things.  Maybe this post is a bit more raw, real, and honest.  Maybe this post will help others understand just a little bit better. Maybe.  Or maybe I just sound like an asshole.

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Catching Up

Hey… it’s been a while. I keep saying that I will be posting more and life just KEEPS getting in the way. I don’t normally have anything to write about because Im always so exhausted by the time I get a chance to sit down. Both kiddos have been keeping me pretty occupied, so when I do get a moment I scroll through my news feed on Facebook and then go to bed. And of course whenever I am busy, working or something, that is when I get the brilliant friggin ideas and I try to make a mental note of it but when the time comes to write… poof… gone.  Either that or the idea just doesnt seem so brilliant anymore.  Im just not feelin’ it.  “Well, just write what you know…”  Yea, right now what I know is dirty diapers, Autism testing and parent teacher conferences… but mostly life revolves around Autism.  The boy has it and now my little three year old is undergoing the circus that is testing.  The loong drawn out process has me at my wits end.  Ive waited and waited, and it’s finally here, but it is just phase one.  Soon it goes to another apt and another..

So… what I know.  Other than what I mentioned above, I got a new phone.  It is a Samsung Galaxy S4 mini. Yea I know, Im so not cool since I dont have the latest version.  I love it though. I can actually get online.. versus my old phones have always been those prepaid straight talk crap phones, no touch screen or anything.  So at least Im moving up in that way. So the S4 is way cheaper.  I guess Im not really “ballin'” but oh well. I am doing well enough to be comfy as circumstances allow at the moment.  I may not be living large but I have a fucking cell phone that works!

What else, well my little miss is finally speaking more.  She seemed to be non verbal for a very long time, and even though she doesnt use complete sentences I can still (for the most part) understand her.  The other times she just kinda says words to be saying them. But hey, it’s progress.

I am doing my best to be healthy, eating more and moving around more.  I have lost some weight but not as much as I’d like to.  I can’t blame that on anything but myself.  I am not consistent in keeping track of what I eat. There are times when I say fuck it and eat a bunch of cookies or something.  Dammit, this girl loves her fucking cookies and cakes and shit.

There I go cussing again.  At first I was gonna try to not cuss a lot, but I wouldnt be true to myself.  I cuss in the real world, a lot, and it bleeds into my online journal.  Id call it writing but it’s more like rambling.

This past week I watched every episode of The Vampire Diaries. Well it took a few weeks actually.  Then I found Tank Girl and had to watch that.  Then I watched Knights of Badassdom several times in a row. Woot.  Party on.  My life is so exciting.

I tried to send my best friend some money for her birthday but my DL was expired so I couldnt, which kinda pissed me off. So now I have to go get another. Yea, such an inconvenience. But Ill get it done this week.  Id ask someone else to do it for me but apparently people have these things called jobs during bank hours.  Weird, right?  Who’da thunk it.

Well now Im all caught up on whats been going on with me lately. Now perhaps, since Ive started writing something I can actually get my brain going on something good to write about. We shall see.

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Sick For Days…

It is Sunday evening, close to the kiddos bed time.  The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy is on the television as my daughter frolics back and forth… she stops every now and then to watch, then resumes her play.  A cough escapes her every few minutes.  Poor thing.  She has been so sick the past week and half that I have not slept in my own bed due to my worry. Ive slept on the couch because it is closer to her room. Every night, after fighting with her to give her medicine (inhalers and such), I put her in bed and close the door. Once she would be asleep Id then open the door and remain on the couch so that I would wake as soon as she made any noise.  One good thing about falling asleep on the couch is that I get my background noise, which is what I was used to before moving here. I always had a tv in my room, let it play all night on low volume.  So Ive done that here, even though the couch is not very comfy, Ive at least countered that uncomfyness with the comfyness of the low mumbly sounds from the TV. Mostly its been Star Trek Deep Space Nine.  Sometimes about that show, the nostalgia, I guess.. I grew up watching those shows.  I switch between Deep Space Nine and Voyager… although when Voyager is on I tend to pay more attention so I dont go to sleep too easily.  I just love that show…

So from Saturday of last week, which makes this the 8th day, my little monster has been really sick.  It started with a fever and a very, very runny nose.  After three days, since the fever remained, I took her to a doc.  Her lungs were full of muckity muck, so she was prescribed two inhalers.  The tubey thing that comes with is supposed to help a child use an inhaler, but it only made things worse because it scared the crap out of her.  The only way I could get her to use it was by force. Id have to hold her down while she screamed, but at least she breathed the meds in -in between screams, that is.  What mattered was that she was getting her meds. After a few more days her fever still didn’t go away, if anything it kept getting higher, so we went to a doc again. This time she received antibiotics. Her lungs were clear but a new infection was in her ears and sinuses. That night the fever got a bit higher but the next day it was almost gone. A low grade fever and then the day after, which is today, she has not had a fever all day.  So that is awesome, and I dont have to be worried anymore.  She has to finish her antibiotics and keep using her inhalers though.

During all of this I never even considered the possibility that I might get sick in the process of taking care of my little miss monster butt.  I would keep her close, she’d sleep right next to me at times, and cough and spit right in my face.  So now I am sick but it is nowhere near as bad as hers was.  I think I will be just fine.

Im already feeling a bit better than I was when I started typing this out. And I am also running out of things to talk about. I keep having to get up from this comp, the kids keep needing something here and there. So, it may be abrupt, but I will end it here.

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Reflection, Blog Direction, & Autism

I have had this blog for a long time.  Mostly, I always used it as a venting place.  I’ve dealt with a lot of drama at certain periods in my life and took to the webs to air my grievances.  I’ve never made this blog anything other than that, just a bunch of random ‘whatever I wanted to post at the time’ nonsense.  Things change.  People change.  And over time, this blog has also changed.  I mean, I still don’t have any one set direction for this thing… but I do sometimes notice a running pattern as to what is mainly within the confines of the metaphorical walls of this place.  As usual, it depends on where I am, geographically and mentally.  For a while this was an angry blog.  And for another while I even tried to focus on opinions of current events… which didn’t last long really.  As of late, it has been mostly about Autism.  That has, after all, been the main focus in one way or another for the past nine years.  My son is diagnosed and as a result of learning about Autism through his struggles I have come to realize so much about myself.  I guess I should mention, for anyone who hasn’t read my last few posts, that I am not diagnosed or anything but I strongly suspect that I, too, am on the spectrum.  I also noticed, that as I meet more and more parents of children on the spectrum, that they too are often diagnosed or suspect something… Not always, of course, but it is something that I have noticed.

As of now, even though I do post about Autism, this isn’t an “Autism Blog” for the most part.  Mostly I just want it to be about every day things, like crap at work or crap at home, but trying to separate Autism from everything is impossible.  I was thinking that I felt like maybe I was talking about Autism too much, but really, when you live with it 24/7 why even think that way?  I was thinking that this would be something for me, just me, outside of that part of my life, just some place to bitch and vent about daily shit without talking about Autism.  But, now as I am becoming aware, I am very much likely on the spectrum myself and how does one separate the individual from Autism?  I’d have to say, that is impossible.  I wouldn’t say that the individual is only the Autism, but rather that the Autism is underlying in everything they do.  Kind of like the nerves in your body, you aren’t only your nerves, but you react to everything in a certain way depending on how those nerves react (physically speaking).  So I guess that is the only way I can describe it, or perhaps a foundation of a house, or let’s say the wiring of electrical stuff running throughout the walls… yea… it’s like that.  Very deep in the very middle foundation and running throughout, and without it, well, things just wouldn’t be the same.

I don’t plan for this blog to be only about Autism. But as things go, that is what I am dealing with now.  When it comes to my son, I feel like I don’t want to go into too much detail because I feel like his story isn’t mine to tell.  If ever I post about him here or on FB or anywhere, I ask first.  He cares very much about what I say when it comes to him, online or not.  And I am going to respect that.

At this point, Autism is at the heart of everything.  It is almost new, now that I am seeing myself in a different light. Even though I have been dealing with it for years now, and really my entire life if I indeed fall under the spectrum.  I posted not that long ago about trying to figure out if I want the diagnosis or not, I still don’t know. I have taken online tests that claim accuracy and if I were to only go by those then I should be going to a doctor.  I cant decide if it would be beneficial… I guess that remains to be seen.

I’ve thought about putting Autism somewhere in the tag line on this blog (trying it out)…  It is, after all, a main focus. The more I think about it, the more I see that it probably always will be.  As I said earlier, it is in everything I do.  I don’t get to separate it, every day I deal with difficulties… It is just so weird to have a name for these things now.  I guess that is the process though. When I first became aware of it, it was like I couldn’t get away from Autism, I felt smothered and helpless. And why the fuck am I having these issues when so many others don’t.  Every day, at work or shopping, I see people who easily maneuver throughout their day, socializing and just having a grand old time.  Things that are a nightmare for me seem to be fun and easy for others.  I am reconciling with the idea of it now, because I am facing the fact that nothing has really changed. It’s not like I woke up one day with Autism. It is that I realized one day that my problems, social and anxiety and others, have a name.  I went throughout my life without knowing that I belong to a category, or rather, a community of people.  Some really great people, I might add.  It felt like things had changed when I found the word for it.  And, as many know, change can be a bitch.  Especially for someone who doesn’t react well when things do change. I was smothered by said change, and had a really hard time wrapping my mind around it all, but now, as the dust settles, I realize the only change is my awareness of the fact that I am not alone in this.  I am not just some weirdo.  I am not any of the things that I was called growing up.  I am me, I am living with Autism, and I have been this whole time without even knowing it.

So now that I have finally “come to terms” with it… perhaps I will just post whatever the hell I want. Really, I am always trying to figure things out, where this is going, where that is going, etc.  And I know that I shouldn’t, but I do. Having been faced with my own self, having to figure my own shit out (which I haven’t fully, I doubt I ever will) has forced me to look at everything in its overwhelmingly amazing glory and chaos and had me at a loss for a long time. It’s been a crazy road of self reflection.  As introverted as I am, I am always doing the thinking and analyzing thing in my head… even though I seem like Im just sitting there with no real feelings or thoughts (I assume that is what I look like when I sit there with a blank stare lol).  This experience of learning about Autism has brought me to places that I never thought were possible, one including friendships (online friends are just as important).  I have joined several online autism groups, left a few and even manage one now with a lovely group of ladies that I have much in common with.  I have never had that inclusiveness, not really. Ive always been the odd one out, even if only just that I felt like it.  I have had friends growing up and been part of a group of people but always felt like I was alone too…  And I do have some real friendships offline, don’t get me wrong. But this is something different.  I feel as if, and probably for the first time, that I have found my place in things.  I am part of a community of people who know what it’s like.  And THAT is pretty damn awesome.

As much as I struggle, and as much as my kid struggles, we have our outlets and we have each other.  And I have my friends within the Autism community.

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Xmas prezzies, dress malfunction and good food.

Happy Holidays to you all!  If you are one of those that gets all upset about people saying that, consider that maybe it isn’t an attack on your Xmas… but a way to include everyone who celebrates the holidays at this time.  It isn’t always about you, duh! I have seen a ton of FB posts that say something about how it should be said Merry Christmas.. or CHRISTmas… or whatever. Gahd, how do you breath that thin air up there on your crazy high horse? Seriously, lighten the fuck up.

Now that I have thoroughly offended a few people, let me get on with it.  Even though I may be sounding like a complete B word, I really do hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday.  Mine was pretty damn good, actually. I was certainly surprised, in a good way, by how mine went.  Firstly,  I went to my brother’s house for some awesome food on the 24th.  That is how we do it here, we do the good food and open prezzies after dinner on the eve of good ol’ Xmas.  By here, I mean Iceland. For those who don’t know.  And then Im sure that on the 25th there is more tradition but we didnt do any of that, I got to have a day to chill and let the kiddos trash the apt even more than it already was with their shiny new toys.  But, on the 24th we opened presents.  My son received a pretty awesome little handheld game console powered by android, so it’s basically a tablet and controller rolled into one. And yea he got other stuff, toy gun, clothes, legos, but his passion is games and Youtube.. He says he wants to be a Youtuber when he grows up.  Yep.  My daughter got some amazing things too, a dollhouse, a Minnie Mouse themed riding toy, an a giant baby doll carriage… among other things.  Me, well… haha, I was amazingly pleasantly surprised when I opened my last gift.  A friggin laptop! On which I type this out at this very moment, on my very own personal computer.  And yes, it is in my lap.  Which I am not very comfortable, it should be on a table, I think the crampy feeling in my arms would be non existent if I actually sat correctly, but that is beside the point.

I am all over the place with this post.  I should have mentioned my dress malfunction before the presents, if I were to post it in order of how it all went.  At my brother’s house I realized the pants I was wearing (legging pant things) under my dress kept falling down.  Well, because… let’s face it, Im not skinny and they didnt exactly fit that well… I have a huge ass. I aint ashamed to admit I have a ton of junk in my trunk, and that makes pants an issue for me.  I usually have to go two sizes up just to fit that booty in them pants.  Anyway, because of that, my pants fell a few times, so I looked incredibly rude to be pulling them up under my dress… which, that damn dress, by the way, Ive had for years and so all the beads were starting to fall off.  Im amazed I didn’t leave a trail of black shiny beads in my wake.  Most were still intact, but in several spots on the sides I noticed a few had fallen. And then when I got home I heard that glittery sound of beads hitting the floor, a string had come loose.  Gotta love being so broke you can’t buy a new dress for the holidays, one that you assume you will never wear again… the dress I did wear I bought for a funeral a few years back and didnt think I would ever wear it…

So there I go, totally digressing, yet again.  The food. Ah.  Right.  It was fantastic.  My brother, his wife, and other brother did the cooking.  Good job guys, and gal.

My boy ate pretty good, I think… and my daughter refused to eat, that picky little thing.  She ate some chips and candy. Yea, the most important of the food groups of course.  We then opened presents, and my brother and his wifey got me a pretty awesome friggin ring. A tiny little silver band thing kinda like a bow design on it, but I love it.  I prefer plain jewelry, nothing crazy fancy.  I love silver, hate yellow gold… I HATE yellow gold, it is the ugliest shit I have ever seen and will never wear it. I don’t know why I dislike it so much, it is just plain fucking ugly to me.  Anyway, my point was that I got that ring and I love it.  The kids received their awesome toys there also, except the riding thing was opened at home.  Then after the dinner and presents we went home and opened the rest, that is when I opened the beauty upon which I type now.  Also my son opened his android powered beast of a handheld crazy.  And my dad opened his gift from me, drum roll… four coffee cups.  YES, I am a big spender.  Hey, he basically told me, whilst shopping for xmas decorations, that that is what he wanted. He pointed them out and everything.  I almost didn’t realize it was a *hint hint* moment.  When he said he liked them I thought well then why don’t you buy them… oh… right...

So yea, no asd meltdowns or sensory overload or anything like that… not from me or the kids.  I was a bit stressed and exhausted but nothing I couldn’t handle.  Receiving this laptop certainly made whatever ick I might have been feeling go away for the moment.  So I have spent the day putting anti virus software and setting up my profile and all that good shite on this comp. I am personalizing the shit out of this thing.

So that was my holiday. I spent yesterday, xmas day, just chilling and the kids were being crazy but I tuned them out. And now I have to force myself to get started on the post xmas clean up.  So far I have managed to do the dishes and throw away all the paper that was thrown all over.  Man, my apt looked like a tornado went through it. Seriously.  And every autism parent knows how bad it can get, it is nuts.  I hate cleaning… hate it… ugh…

Coffee time.

Also I realize that there is a metric shit ton of grammatical errors in this post.

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Autism Is Not Gender Specific – Our Society Is….

Have to share this one. I am one of those ‘weird’ women… lol

Seventh Voice


The labeling of  Women who do not fit neatly within the confines of society, as being ‘nutty’, ‘weird’, ‘batty’, ‘anti-social’, ‘loners’, ‘reclusive introverts’ or ‘eccentric’, when they may indeed be experiencing undiagnosed Female Autism, creates the kind of life long harm that ensnares Undiagnosed Autistic Women forever, within the confines of an artificially imposed, yet personally experienced prison, of societies making.

It’s high time that  the name calling, isolation and double standards that lead to the abandonment and  misdiagnosis of Women with undiagnosed Autism stopped.

It should no longer be considered acceptable for our society to be encouraged to acknowledge only those presentations of  Autism that fit within the confines of Male Autism.

Autism is not a Male only condition.

Yet still today, if a male exhibits peculiar behaviors, or behaviors that are viewed as being out of the norm for males, they are automatically considered for an assessment…

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A Bad Day: Sensory issues and Mistakes…

Update (dec 6, 2014): I realize now that if one doesn’t know what sensory overload is then this post might seem kinda… crazy or chaotic… I dont know how else to say it. Sensory overload is a symptom of Autism, which runs in my family. I am an adult on the spectrum, and this is what a bad day is for me. Click here  to learn more about Sensory overload. 

I’m not even sure where to begin.  Today sucked.  Let’s just start there. This is what it is like for me to deal with sensory overload.

So I woke up two hours late.  Which, suffice it to say, completely warped my usual morning routine.  I rushed to get dressed and got the lil miss to school.  Because of rushing to get ready, I ignored how my clothes were bothering me, brushed it off thinking it was a minor thing, I can handle it.  But then I get to work, and all I could focus on was how my clothes bugged me. I take orders at work and managed to push the thoughts of my clothes out of my head only long enough to do what I had to do, but the moment each was done the thought’s back in my head and Id have to fidget with my clothes.

It took up a lot of my brain, so much that I started making mistakes, little ones at first. And then the boss had to correct me which only made me feel worse, in turn making me even more uncomfortable.  I put on a smile (or what I call a smile which is more of a grimace) and kept on trucking.  I started forgetting to do things in the order they were supposed to be done. And I would notice right after, for a while, but then that wasn’t even happening. I started making bigger mistakes and not realizing it and then the boss had to say something again. It just kinda kept going on like that, all the while the intensity of my discomfort grew.

So when time for me to be off came around I spaced and rushed to get my jacket and go.  But when I came out of the back room there were customers and the boss’ wifey was irritated and overwhelmed and I only looked like a complete cunt because I was rushing out of there.  So then she drew me a friggin diagram of what time I come in and what time I leave, which only made me feel more like an idiot.  Although, apparently someone forgot to tell me that I get off at ten after the time, not on the dot.. so I was pissed then wondering why people think Im a fucking psychic, my pants bugging me, I took my jacket off and threw it into the back room, all my stuff along with it. Just on the floor.  Fuck it.  I didn’t care any more.

I was fuming by then. My fucking pants. I took more orders as fast as I could and focusing all my energy on what the people were saying and not my damn pants.  I had to stock a bit more and then I stood there. By then a meltdown was about to happen. I could feel it.  I might make it home, if Im lucky, before I explode.  I kept thinking.  Maybe, juuuust maybe I can make it… plz let me make it because it wont be pretty.  My body was aching, my legs felt jerky, my head was throbbing and everything was buzzing past. The lights were too bright, the blinking christmas lights were about to make me start twitching.. Blinking a lot, I focused on the tasks at hand. Which was just standing there without having a fit right in front of everyone.  I am an adult, after all, and anyone none the wiser would want to probably call the cops if I were to start acting like a kid who just had their candies taken. I think I slammed the coke fridge door at some point. Fuming still, buzzing in my ears… looking at the clock, it was past the recently unknown clocking out time of ten past and I just stood there. Part of me was thinking Im not going anywhere until someone tells me I can because if I get told off one more time Im afraid I wont react accordingly… and then part of me was thinking that if I were to start trying to get my jacket on now and it not fit right I might end up just rolling around on the floor yelling at my damn jacket and how stupid I think it is..

Anyway, I was allowed to go finally, and when I put my jacket on it squeezed in all the wrong places. That feeling from deep within me, the one that makes me want to start screaming, was beginning to arise.  That feeling of irritation and overwhelming stuff… pain? Idk because Ive never had to explain it before. It’s almost like nerve pain, from way deep down, and I have to move or run or yell or something, because the longer I hold it the worse it gets and how the hell am I supposed to stay outwardly normal for the next 45 minutes

That feeling.  That fucking feeling.  I expect it’s more emotional, but to me I feel it in my body… that irritating feeling isnt just in my head, I FEEL it physically.  Like… guitar strings being plucked way too hard, in the middle of my core, just being plucked over and over and over.. causing this echo towards the outside and I have to do something to make it stop, anything. The outside senses, like sound and lights, turn into a buzzz.  My vision gets a bit fuzzy and I feel like I have a serious head cold.. my ears buzz and so it’s hard to distinguish sounds like I normally would (which really, even then sometimes Im not all that fantastic at it… I either hear too well or not well at all, but that is something else entirely). And all that is left is that feeling of horrid plucking of the inner strings.

I stood in the snow waiting on that damn bus thinking as many happy thoughts as I could. Breathe, breathe in and out. I started thinking of things I had to do. When I get on the bus I will sit down. Then it stops and I get off.  Then I walk to that office that I need to go to and turn this paper in.  Then I will walk the rest of the way home. And then I managed to do all that… All the while in the back of my mind MY PANTS were pushing me towards my limit, it wouldn’t be long…That.. and just the thought of how stupid I must have looked at work today.

The walk home: The cars driving by were too loud, the people looking in my direction I wanted to say WHAT the hell are you looking at? Even though they probably didn’t even notice me. The walk home, somehow it managed to calm me a bit. I still was rushing and trying not to fall on the snow, but the whiteness -and no people- on the trail brought a sort of glimmer of peace that helped quell the frustration. Enough to get to my daughters school, then walk her home.

I walked in and sat down at the comp. I still have the sudden urge to scream but I can’t, my daughter is napping. I’ve gotten up from the computer more than once to move around. I rock back and forth, I fidget with my hands and keep messing up on the keyboard… back space… and then some more. I jump around and kick and push at the wall which helps a bit. Bundling up tight helps sometimes. And as I go back and forth doing these things it is getting better but this shit will last sometimes for a very long time. And sadly if anyone talks to me while I’m like this it isn’t very pretty. At this point a migraine is beginning to set in and my legs have gone from restless to achy as hell. So now I just kinda have to just feel this way until it stops.

The end.

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To Diagnose, or Not To Diagnose, That Is The Question.

I’ve always known that I was different. I am even more aware of it now that my nine year old son is going through the motions of an Autism and ADHD diagnosis.  As a kid I was always a loner, I never understood why it was so easy for everyone else to do things that I found so difficult.. standing up in front of a class and talking, being funny, knowing when to smile and when to be sympathetic, knowing the right way to behave, knowing the right way to eat, the right way to dress, any of it. All the simple things eluded me.

I remember following a group of girls during recess one year, I think it was the fourth grade, and they were all laughing and talking about boys… and I just kinda tagged along, I’m not even sure if I was welcome to be there. I just remember thinking so this is what it’s like to be in a group… yea I don’t like it. My actions and reactions were copied from the others, if they laughed Id fake a laugh as convincingly as possible. The popular girl was the center of attention and everything came so easy to her, her movements seemed so natural and here I was, struggling to behave in this same manner.  I don’t really remember a time before that where I was so aware of my differences.  Before that I think it was more that I just didn’t notice anything and preferred to be alone. I am sure I was picked on, but it wasn’t until afterwards that I caught onto that. And I guess my non reaction made it less fun for them to do so, so it didn’t happen that often around that time.  I like to think I was incredibly resilient, you know, bounced back from it, but it never really bothered me. I continued to be me, despite my differences, and I was fine with it. Yes I struggled, but I took pride in my weirdness, even when I was constantly told I needed to change.  Always the odd one out, and not caring much about it. I just accepted it and never caught onto social cues and all those things that people so easily pulled off on a daily basis. By the time I was a teenager I became aware of the social structure of the school I was in, and I certainly wasn’t popular. Again, it didn’t matter much. The only time there was ever an issue was if a “friend” stirred up some kind of shit, because I was an easy target, I bet.  At some point, from one school to another (I moved around a lot), my social status changed, and I am still not sure how. At a new, smaller school I became friends with the “bad” kids, which in that school were kinda like the popular crowd. So I then actually had more than one friend, but I also had more problems, because with more people there are more people that don’t like you. And that is when I learned how mean the other girls could really be. The way I saw it was that I had to counter act it with the same amount of meanness and my loner status was upgraded to rebel.  After that we moved again and this time we settled in the US.  There I spent more than 15 years. The first year or so was crappy, I was always uncomfortable but the kids in that small school were inquisitive because of not only where I had lived but where I was originally from, and my oddness seemed to not come as much of a surprise, at first. I think it was explained away because of where I had been.  And I played off that for a while, just kinda rode that wave. But by the 9th or 10th grade it wasn’t the same, I guess I was supposed to be integrated by then.. but I wasn’t.  I was still the oddball, “devil worshiper” and “lesbian” and “whore” because I was friends with the guys but continuously ignored the females… I learned before then that the females were the meanest so I stayed away as much as possible. In class I was incredibly quiet so the teachers knew me to be shy, but outside of class I basically didn’t give a fuck, friends with the bad kids again, getting into trouble, acting out.   The way I looked at school was that I knew it all, not that I was so amazing at it, but I understood the book stuff easily enough to where I lost complete interest in homework, but during test time I did very well (usually, at the very least, I passed.). And this irritated the teachers.  And it was simply that once I was outside of school any thought of work left my mind so easily, and then Id remember I had homework and stress until time to turn it in but I wouldn’t turn it in and phew the stress was gone so fuck it (rinse and repeat). Then there were some classes where I would have a paper due and not do it, but then those five minutes before class Id write one out real fast and actually get a decent grade. I was also one of the few that passed the literacy test in my 11th grade year. I knew I could do the work, and that was enough for me at the time. The fuck it attitude was a problem, Im sure, but at the time, of course, I didn’t care. Honestly, there wasn’t much that I did care about at the time. If I wasn’t out with the bad kids doing bad things, which honestly I just kinda watched most of it.. then I was at home, in my room, by myself either writing or listening to heavy metal full blast until I was yelled at to turn it down.  I had an incredible amount of freedom in those years, Id leave the house on Friday and come back on Sunday. I wasn’t given much shit about my grades but every so often Id get a lecture which never made an impact. As I write this, I feel like I am just describing a typical teenager.. because I don’t know anything else, I know how I was, but how others saw me or themselves, I couldn’t tell ya.  One thing I do know is that hanging with the bad kids put me in a position where there were no expectations, so I could be myself since they were also the odd ones out.  I am not even sure who the popular people were in that school. I knew that I wasn’t, but I also knew that people knew who I was.  I never followed the norm. I have that argumentative nature, so whenever I saw something that people expected of me, I did the exact opposite. If I felt forced or pushed in anyway, Id make sure I pushed back even harder.

I was known as cold and uncaring among my peers. Some even went so far as to call me evil, hence “devil worshiper”.  I remember that parents of my friends weren’t fond of me at all, I know now that it might have something to do with the way I just didn’t care. Manners weren’t a priority, I spoke to adults the same way I spoke to my friends. I felt that I should treat everyone the same, anyone asking for special treatment made me wonder why they deserved said special treatment. Respecting your elders wasn’t a concept I understood. Even now if someone demands respect I feel that they don’t deserve it.  Parents didn’t want me around because I made them uncomfortable. One parent in particular said that I have no soul, I am still friends with her daughter.  She, in fact, is the only friendship that has actually lasted. It got dicey there for a while, but that was rectified.  I didn’t maintain friendships and relationships because I didn’t prioritize the way that everyone else did. I didn’t call a lot, I never asked about them or what they were dealing with, trivial conversation was not something I cared for. The only reason why I have the one friend I do in the States now is because she is the same in that way.  We go days even weeks without talking and that is okay. Others are offended by that. I managed to find another friend here in Iceland that is that way also.  We see each other once in a while, but if one forgets to call the other, no one is offended by it.  So that is a comfy friendship.  There have been those times where I was called an untrue friend or accused of not caring about a person because I didn’t take the time to call and see how they were doing. But it isn’t that I don’t care about the people in my life, I do, but I just don’t talk about the trivial things. Although I am better at the meaningless jargon now a days, I can do it, if I feel like they want to then I will do that, for them. But mostly, I think if someone wants to tell me those things then they can just call me up and tell me, simple as that.  Many conversations with my family, throughout my life went as follows:” How’s your friend doing?”– “I suppose they are fine.” — “Where do they work?” — “I don’t know, they haven’t told me” — “You just spoke to them, you see them a lot, but you don’t know where they work?” — “No, it hasn’t come up in conversation, I haven’t asked and they haven’t told me.” — “You are supposed to ask those questions, they want you to be interested in those things…” — “Why? If they want me to know they will tell me…”  Something along those lines.

Of course I am better about it now, I do ask those questions when I remember to, if I haven’t seen someone in a while.  But the way I see it is this, if I want someone to know something, I tell them, and I expect the same. I know that people want you to act like you care, but I don’t see how asking those questions means you care, I feel like it’s prying. When someone asks me a lot of questions like that I get irritated. So Idk, the golden rule I guess.  Really I could go on and on, but I have kinda derailed from the point. I didn’t mean to go into such detail in those last paragraphs.  The point of this post was to basically summarize things and then go into the more recent.

So, the way it is now– I am more aware of the way I behave and what is the “accepted social norm” and the difference between them. I think that my struggles with such things are more pronounced now (or have been until now) because I have moved back here to Iceland, again, and it is all still newish. Yea I have been here over a year, but more recently I have started working and now have the kids in school.  The safety of my aloneness is not something I can resort to in some cases. I only work part time, but in those few hours I fight to say things the way I have to, and to remember to do things the way they are supposed to be done. I deviate a lot, and I forget a lot in those quick moments.  I take orders for food and there is a long line and everyone is taller than me and they are all looking at me and then things get complicated. It gets noisy and then muffled, hearing people talk is difficult, I feel like my every movement is scrutinized by those standing in wait for my assistance. I have to focus on one thing at a time or I get too anxious and then mistakes are made. Of course the first day was harder than a few days ago, and it has sort of gotten easier. But the other day things were way easier, I think that is the moment where the change wasn’t a change anymore and became part of my normal daily routine.  I still get that way though, when it gets real busy, and a bunch of pairs of eyes loom over me as I try to concentrate. I become increasingly aware of everything, everyone, the way my clothes fit becomes more uncomfortable… It still happens, but it isnt as pronounced so it is easier to deal with. It took a few months, but I got used to it. That is just the way it is with me, I guess.

But dealing with it this way, and recognizing it all now is due to my kid’s recent diagnosis and continued doctor visits, which are taking forever by the way. He is also in a special section at school for those with Autism.  And his “issues” are constantly being brought to my attention, of which I am already aware, and they are trying to help, I know that but it doesn’t feel like it. It feels like I am being told things like Im a moron. I think that is just me though, they are nice about it. I tend to take it as condescension when it isn’t sometimes.  I haven’t talked about this so extensively with anyone before.  I don’t talk about it much, I bring it up in autism support groups or if I know someone who is on the spectrum I talk about it with them.  It isn’t something I post on FB much, I post about being an Autism Mom but that is about it.  I don’t actually like to talk about it.  I think that in my adult life I have managed to hide it in many ways unless there is a change like the one I just explained. I keep people at arms length, even those closest to me, I don’t talk about things.  Writing is my only way to get anything out of my head.  I am uncomfortable in talking about it with anyone, which brings me to whether or not I really want to go through the motions of a diagnosis. Of the few people who know and I have explained this to, they tell me that I should. It is good to know for sure, I guess. And I feel that way too, but the anxiety of having to talk to a stranger about these things is something I am not sure I am willing to go through.  I don’t know if it is because throughout my life I have only received negative reactions whenever I have tried to explain things, or if it is just my nature to be so indecisive and insecure.  Mostly I have been told more that I just need to fix myself. That I shouldn’t act that way, that I do things the wrong way and should learn how to do them the right way.  When I explain that it isn’t that simple, that it isnt something that I can just “fix” then I am told that I am being negative or stubborn or something along those lines.

Then there is also the dilemma of trying to be a part of a community that wont consider me valid without a diagnosis. Autism parents are offended when someone says “I think I am on the spectrum”.  Parents of high functioning kids aren’t as judgmental, I find, but it is there sometimes.  In groups online, especially, those parents of the severely autistic say you aren’t really autistic if you are not diagnosed or if you can function better than their child. If you can function better than their child, whatever “better” truly means, I don’t know because I have functional issues.. but if you aren’t nonverbal and in diapers then you are not worthy of the diagnosis. And then on the flip side, once you have that diagnosis, then what? Then you are branded by neurotypicals as someone with an illness or a disease. Then suddenly they start talking to you like you are mentally slow and handicapped and can’t do things that they can do, they are better than you now.  Oh you are Autistic, I’m so sorry.  Oh you are Autistic, you don’t look Autistic.  Oh you are Autistic, what’s that like? Have you tried NOT being Autistic?

I know that a diagnosis would help in ways, such as my anxiety, my panic attacks, my inability to deal with the easy yet stressful situations. I can handle things that others cannot, and yet I can barely make it through something that is easy for others.  So perhaps, if I do go for that diagnosis, and there is a way to get any help I might need, then I can get it. But I also feel like once there is a diagnosis I will then be judged only by that diagnosis, and not by who I am. I can ignore judging and opinions of others, but when it comes to finding work, and things that really matter, how will it impact me? But then, how can it make things better? I am incredibly torn about this. I know that on some level I truly need it, but at the same time I feel like I have made it this far without it. But what if I had been diagnosed as a child? What if what if what if… things would be so different now, that’s for goddamn sure. At this point I am waiting, only because of financial reasons. There are ways to get help to get the diagnosis, I am aware, and once I make a decision I will get that help, but right now, as I said I just don’t know which is the better choice.

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