New Year’s Revolutions.

Round and round and round it goes.

Same old same old.

I make similar kinds of resolutions every year. Usually in October, but…

This year, they are different. Do the same, get the same. And all that kind of thing.

So, maybe I mean round and round the same, or maybe I mean upturning the usual status quo. Some way, is revolution…

This year, as we head into a new year, we are walking into a world that is actually, considerably changed. A world in which family means even less. In which nothing holds this disparate group of *maybe* genetically connected people together. The loss is the universe letting go of us.

So, for me, as I shape my life newly, without this holding point, without the last hand grip into something bigger, resolutions take on a different kind of meaning. I am much more able to let go of things and change things. There is no sense of tradition or things that must be. This is frightening, but, refreshing.

I *have* failed. I have failed to build a family. I have failed to cultivate close friendships. She knew how to do both. To reach people and touch people. I do not. Not in a good connective way.

I can’t stick at this point though. Dwell.

So, I accept this about myself. I *will* use the opportunity to say goodbye. I will be sad. I will have huge loss. But this is normal.

My resolution this year, is to walk into the future. Alone. And accept the alone ness. I have no expectation that there are friends who will care about anything. I have no family. I will not fall for ideas which might help me feel less alone, because I will never again be susceptible to people walking away, even if they make the suggestions.

I will keep reading abut ASD. I will TRY not to be such a bad parent. I will try and help my children.

And, I will not look for any other people.

I keep a nice new beautiful real book journal. If I have thoughts that need rubic’s cube treatment to make sense. No other sharing is required.

Luckily I don’t drink or smoke, so, I have nothing much else to give up. I could do with weighing less. I know, she would not approve of how I look. But, you know, there is no one to notice anyway.

I will be attempting 40for40. But, I am happy to know for myself what I achieve. No one else has to validate me.

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Socially Inexperienced and Out of Time

ASD is a social “disorder” – so social issues concern us all quite extensively. And I have learnt a lot.

Firstly, I am not sure ASD is a social disorder. It is certainly a social difference. But, from everything I can discern, it is a social way of being that causes far less distress than, say, my way of being. I have a variety of social ideas and expectations, both of receipt and of responsibility. Most of them seem to be out of step.

There are many things to recommend an ASD social approach. Only to do those things which make sense, unencumbered by thoughts of shared expectation or unnecessary kindness, uncluttered by making oneself unhappy to make someone else happy. But equally without cruelty or deliberate selfishness.

Me, I am socially in pain. Constantly. And there is nothing I can do to ameliorate this, except, possibly stop teaching my son to experience the pain I have, and instead, learn from him how to engage in the way that works for him.

It is, in my experience, closer to the social expectation and outworking that everyone else I know uses and understands. I am informed I am stuck, in a time warp type way, with no Rocky Horror mitigation, in a set of expectations and responsibilities that no one recognises these days.

I strongly suspect that the country, maybe the world, is moving to a much more ASD type “norm”. I also suspect that my divergence from this is not that there is anything particular about me, but rather, I have simply rebelled against an extreme version of this. Like all people do against what they know and choose t disown.

I also, with disappointing predictability, managed to choose a person with a HUGELY inflated sense of this ASD way of being. And then to be angry when MY norm is not everyones norm.

So, I have learnt to leave people be. Understand that I am wrong. There will never be someone to share my life in any capacity, in the ways I dream. Maybe I have romantic ideas from fiction in it’s many guises.

And, I certainly must not try to impose my beliefs on my son, who will, undoubtedly fit much better into the social world his way than my way will ever serve him.

I should never have engaged with anyone who encouraged any of my social hopes and dreams. It’s something like the parent on talent shows encouraging their child who can only perform badly, irrespective of reality, or their actual feelings. This wouldn’t happen with ASD socialising. See? More evidence that it is better. It is a better way of keeping oneself safe and real. You can easily self care too.

I am starting to believe that it is not a DISorder. I suspect it might well be the NEW order. This is evolution. And it is Autistic.

Music

I think music is important. I am often sad that I never learnt to play an instrument. I have picked up a few, and got basic tunes easily, but, this is not what I mean. I mean playing well enough to put feelings in to the playing.

I have this picture of wanting to sit in my home, and playing music that is not painful to listen to, but which can reach me, and be a way of sharing something beyond words. But also, something which is an”at home” thing. So, particularly comfortable and even shared with family. Even contributed to. I used to go visit with people who played music together as a family, it felt comfortable.

I think music is something that is truly missing to me.

of course, there are the neurological benefits. Music reaches your brain, and fires synapses in a very similar way to learning a new language. Well, I know I can learn a new language. Can I learn a new language the way music is a new language?

There is the joy in making progress. Learning music has stages. There are exams that can prove to me that I progress. So, it is not just down to my own perception, which is often flawed and self defeating.

These are thoughts that have been in my head for most of my life. I thought, originally, that I most wanted to learn the trumpet. But, I can’t. I mean, I can pick up the clarinet and make it sound vaguely OK, but I can’t really manage the breathing things so well. And, it is stuck in the past of me being a small child who played the recorder because no choices could be made. No real lessons. No grown up music. I don’t want to choose because it is a step up, and I might be able to do it on my own with a book. I want to choose something because it is a sound I want to make. Because I want to learn. I also want to choose something that I can completely engage with, that ALL of me is involved in. I know what that is.

I want to need to take an hour out of my life every week to do something that is something I want to do, that uses my mind, that I can see is improving how I feel about how  spend all my time, and which will, eventually give me a new ability to do something enjoyable in my own home life. Also, something that I can practise in short, small bursts and still get better. So, it is a realistic fit into my life.

There is also the teaching of small people that starting from a point of not knowing is OK, because, you practise and then you get better.

I also want my children to want to engage with music. Engaging with it myself my help them see it is a good thing.

I have a lot of ideas. A lot of things I want to do. And they are often begun, and fewer are completed. This is shameful. But, I think, when you invest in something, pay for lessons, buy into exams, it’s incentive. Seeing progress, and having a goal, that all helps. I have never *chosen* to give up on something like that. And this is also something that fits into my life without meaning I have to give up other of my current projects.

Help

I teach my child to ask for help. I encourage both to reach for help if they need it. Help is sometimes necessary. it is good to learn when it is the time to ask.

But, should I teach them to be specific? Know what help you need. Ask for the help you need?

What if you don’t know? What if you JUST know you need help?

It’s all I know. For myself.

I can’t decide. Do I need help because I just need the old meds? You can’t be a single parent with no network on those. Can’t BF. Can’t think, or write or research or travel, or ANYTHING.

Plus, I asked for that, and the actual dr decided I am not worthy of MH treatment, at least not for the same thing.

So, do I need help to put the past away? How to get past all the things that are missing, that have happened, that hurt, that scare me? I have never really worked out any of them. Always either because I am ill. Or, must accept the illness of others. Or because of my own weakness, or failure, or inadequacy. But HOW? How get past everything and keep moving in a useful and worthwhile, satisfying way?

Do I need help to feel physically normal again after M?

Do I need help to have a normal relationship with food? I scare myself.

Do I just need help not to need help? So I CAN just be OK on my own like this?

Do I need help to understand my children better? To know what to do and how to make things better?

Or, am I just being a big, fat wimp, who is looking for an excuse and a need for help that really doesn’t exist. Who experiences this type of panic and pain just because they ARE useless?

I don’t know. I just know, if I knew someone was living this way, I would want there to be something else. But, for me, there is nothing else.

Media Madness

How far are we really from selling tickets and popcorn to people wanting a day out at a mental health care facility?

Why is it not OK to show very physically injured, damaged people. Out of respect. But there is no need to have any respect for people whose minds are not well.

Why is it not funny to watch someone lapse into a diabetic coma? Tumble from a high place mid heart attack? Why is it not funny to watch anyone suffer anything physically embarrassing or difficult as a result of poor health?

Why is it OK to laugh about someone mid mental break down? OK to laugh if someone is delusional? If someone does something that, you KNOW they would be embarrassed about if they were well, if it is because the chemicals in their brain are not working.

Why is it OK to be a doctor who can deny treatment to someone because they have been less than compliant with their treatment if they have an illness, the symptoms of which, include the INABILITY to comply, when it is OK to treat, and retreat and help and help and help people who fail to care for their physical well being?

Why are there campaigns to help people with illnesses with much LOWER mortality rates, but mental health is no big deal, even though people, LOTS of people WILL die?

Someone who needs to manage their life to suit a physical condition, that’s good, and deserves care, but someone who needs to do something different to maintain their mental wellbeing is “needy” or “difficult” or “weird” or “weak”.

I HATE that I have a MH diagnosis. I HATE telling people. I USED to not mind. And I just worked out why. I used to not mind, when I could prove I was normal, successful. Now, I can’t. And I FEEL weaker, more breakable. More unwell. I feel like I have to prove that it is OK, I am not dangerous, I am not failing. And, that is all true. Which is lucky, because, what would I do if I needed more anyway?

 

The Social Pitfalls of Fun.

This weekend, I have challenged my idea of organising fun for the bigger small.

Fun, when you are thinking of arranging it for someone else, has to be fun for THEM. This is something of a challenge when you don’t really occupy the same social universe.

We started well enough. We established the concept of the “birthday weekend” – so that, if your birthday falls on a weekend day, you can have two days of fun, to make up for the weekdays you have to go to school / work. We went on our own to the cinema, to see a film which turned out to be good. It picked at my scab of lacking home and family, but, most things do. We had lunch. We looked at baths and showers in B&Q (remember, we already covered, has t be fun for *them* – he *asked*) there was cake. There were buses. There was a very late night party. There was going to bed just before midnight.

There was throwing up in bed at 3:15 am – a one off, too many sweets and too much party food. I managed my dismay at having been asleep for almost 2hrs. Then, special sunday breakfast, and visitors. I should have planned visitors better. I failed.

Thus, the weekend ended with bigger small person crying and unable to sleep. Unable to explain why he felt sad. Unable to generally process a weekend SO out of the ordinary.

Maybe the usual system of having a quiet and boring day for at least HALF of every weekend, is the only way to help him cope. Maybe I need to consider more how much “fun” exhausts him. Irrespective of any other considerations.

I have learnt a lot about him this weekend though. Sadly a lot about his worries. many things we need to change. No more R4 over night. May also need to find bus fares for Wednesdays, the dog incident seems to be a big, and lasting issue.

I don’t know. I have failed to help him have a good time. I have learnt a lot. It is a shame that such a lot of learning has to be as a result of error.

I definitely should have put my “self” away earlier to prevent this. I think, much as it is a lovely thing, that guests are really not something we can manage.

And, I think, we need to reduce the amount of “fun” things we plan.

Not in a negative way.

But, I do think that, if you are going to be responsible for two such neurologically diverse small people, on your own, then, especially if neither of them sleep, there is very, very little room for ones own mind. It then becomes important not to allow your own mind to impose an idea of fun on the minds of the small people. More to allow their ideas to be heard.

This is true, and important, but, I think, more challenging when you are approaching “fun” from neurologically opposite places, and you are the only one who can give any ground.

Sometimes I wonder if a “debrief your day” service might be of benefit to such adults. Maybe I can use my half a counselling qualification to create such a thing.

Although, maybe I am simply comforting myself imagining that there are a whole bunch of people out there with just no one to do such a thing with.

Recurring Concerns.

Things that worry me tend to be circular. They come around again and again.

This means that, for the most part, I can’t share them. if I can’t resolve them, then I must try and swallow them. But they will come round again. Either that, or, they are just things that actually are things that come around again.

Currently, this means, teeth. I am worrying abut my teeth.

I am pretty sure I have trouble with my teeth. They are not quite painful yet. But they are not right. I know that this is because I spend most days now, making time to damage them. This is because I can’t manage my life a different way. At least, not on my own. They are kind of achey. J expected me to get my teeth checked last week. I can’t.

Today, I have been told that, since it is true that I should not exist, I should give up trying to exist, and devote my time to the children only. Because, every single day I have is an unexpected bonus.

Tomorrow is the last time I have invited people at the house.

Today is the last day pretending I am a real, actual person.

It won’t be about blogging or sharing or not. it will simply be accepting. And letting go.

This. This being here and feeling this, is too hard for me. So I ignore feelings. There are none anymore.

This is fairly recurring. But it recurs differently. MY need to find a solution. There HAS to be a solution.

Paddington makes the solution seem so easy. Find a new place to fit in, a new set of people, home, belonging.

It is not out there. I was told today, that, it is believed that my aristophanean search is done. The person I am looking for is already dead anyway. This saves me a job I guess.

No one can replace that for anyone. And, I don’t know anyone who can even recognise the missing.

So. OK. From now on, it is time to embrace the emptiness. I have put my last big effort in. And, I wish. I *wish* I couldn’t see the world, to know that the things I wish exist for people I can’t see have done *so* much more. They must be better. I trust that they are. But, I can’t see how *I* can be good enough to have those things. So, I don’t want to see that they exist.