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.

Not a Journal

A blog is not a journal. People can read it. That is most dangerous. But, on the other hand, I do not actually exist without the input of other people. I do not understand the need of people to ration conversation, to need solitude. I understand a need for occasional peace, but, that for me is found in the few minutes before I sleep, and the time to sleep.

I think the true exhaustion with the act of interacting is an ASD trait. My son experiences it in a very marked way. His father also experiences complete shut down, too much interacting pain. The one person J invited to share his actual birthday experiences it too, and is on the assessment pathway. Of course, this means that they cannot actually share his birthday. They need to take that particular time out to care for themselves. And there is nothing to say about that. People *have* to be able to care for themselves. I have no mean ness for that. I don’t begrudge that.

I don’t understand this though. For me. I don’t exist alone in my head. I ONLY exist in what is shared, in what is known and in the world. I am deeply uncomfortable to feel that I don’t exist. This may well be some kind of conceit, but as much as those people can’t help the time they need, there is nothing I can do about the way I work either.

Maybe I am the opposite of ASD? I know my own issues are on the same gene cluster, maybe they really are the opposite side of the same coin?

It’s so difficult for me to sit here and be alone, and actually feel like I don’t exist, because things happen, or feeling happen, that I can never share with anyone. For me, choosing someone to spend the whole of my life with, was partly about this, feeling that completeness. Like Aristophanes, the reason for “the other half” – This I searched for. I guess the moral is, don’t search when you are too broken to recognise.

And now, I will never truly exist. Because there will always be secrets, there will always be whole swathes of empty non existent time. And there can be no one who can understand and mitigate my feeling, because, it is OK to need down time alone. It’s really cruel and unfair to expect anyone to want the contact and sharing that I need. Especially since I function better when it happens in both directions. I just am a person who needs to share another life. I don’t have a whole one on my own. I am the Aristophanean proof.

Today, I have put one particular avenue of contact to bed. It is hard because I NEED to discuss it. I have huge need to tell the person how I feel about having to miss them in my life forever. This is why I never understand when people think I can cut people dead. I can’t. I need to explain. I need to share. To HAVE to. It hurts. It would be unnecessarily cruel to explain, and it wouldn’t be an ending.

People confuse me. I need them, but they are not there. Those that are there need to care for themselves by not interacting with me (which is impossible for me not to construe as “because I am so horrible*). My world is small talk, theirs is “As my friend I should be able to expect that you…”

People who need fewer people have more? Maybe that they don’t understand what it is like then, to have this?

So, the plans I have are secret, and will not horrify anyone, because no one will care. I will never get past the hideously awful thing I must be to have to chalk up todays loss. Always thinking could be me. If only I were better.

Need to find a good  ASD helpful school. *I* cannot be the social input.

There are outlets that *I* use to relieve the actual physical pain, for my social loss.  But, they cannot be shared.. So there must be better learning for him

The Fear, and the Love.

Tonight, a stupid thing happened. it happened, and it is over, like most thing that ever happen, consigned to the “stories I can tell at dinner” pile of life experience.

But, It was for me, for a couple of hours, the stuff of shaking, sweaty, sick, crying terror.

This is odd for me. I have been scared for my life before. I have not panicked.

Tonight, I panicked.

A stupid dog. I never thought I was scared of dogs. I let my baby LICK them fgs. But, this one was a big one. A German Shepherd, like the one that pinned me against the wall when I was a kid.

And that it why I am writing. I said I wouldn’t, but this is not for others, not for news, this is for me, to organise the thoughts I have.

This stupid big dog, just out of nowhere. I tried really hard. Ignore it. Keep walking. Don’t panic the children. But, the dog is not with a person, not on a lead. It keeps going up garden paths. It is not interested in us. I remember to breathe calmly. I don’t tell J to do anything different. I m just aware of it. But, then, it is deliberately following us. I know this, because we cross the street twice. I am scared. I need the dog to go away. It is up to my waist, and weighs more than J, I reckon.

I shout. I don’t know if this is a wise thing to do. But, I have to. I think, I *think* the dog looks well cared for, it is not noisy, it is not threatening us, but, it is a big dog, and I don’t know it. And, it takes one second for something irreparable to happen. I have nothing. I can’t do anything more than shout.

The dog starts circling us. round and round, we can’t walk without touching it. And, I kind of remember that you must not show dogs that you are scared. But we are obviously scared now. J is crying.

A guy with a small dog, and a small child comes to help us, but, on deciding that the risk is so great that he must pick up his small dog, and leave us.

I remember how I felt when I was small. I know I have two small children. And can do NOTHING. And I try and think, it is a different dog. It’s not barking. But, it is touching us. And we can’t move without it keeping us in. I can think now. I see herding. But…

We are in the street. We are a long way from home, we are some maybe 10 minutes from where we are going. We can’t just stop. I have children with me. I do something that may well have been overkill, but, I am scared. I am “knowing what dog teeth through limbs feels like” scared. I am “I have to get myself between this and my children” scared.

So I YELL for help. It is a busy road. There are no shops to go in, but there is a pub, maybe three minutes walk. There are cars going by. Lots of cars.

We cross the road again. We are on the same side as the pub now. No one helps us. I can’t phone. Because I am holding my son, pushing the buggy, and shaking. If we can get to the pub, we can shut the door. Someone will at least hear us if something happens and we scream.

So, the dog is black, mostly, so, is hard to see well in the dark, but, it’s breath on my hands is clear. It is with us. It is circling. We have to get up the steps and all through the door. As we shut the door behind us, the dog jumps up, and it’s front feet hit the glass behind me.

We are indoors. The people in the pub contain the dog, call the police. I call the person texting me. No answer. Three times no answer. Never. There is never anyone.

We do the relevant talking. We leave through a different door. We get to where we are going, and I think, good. This is healthy. Now I have to let him go. He can run off the shakes I can feel in him. It can be normal.

And, I go about my hour of shopping. And it hits me. I think I don’t love them. They are not my world. I cannot buy in to replacing my *self* with my children. I do not cry and get all super empathic over charity kids videos. I let them take risks. But, right then. However unlikely it REALLY was. When I felt so terrified. I just *knew* I would step in front of them. Feel the teeth over again. And again.

And I was relieved. Maybe I *am* human. Because the other times I have felt risking my life, I *didn’t* panic. Because it was just me, and I *am* worthless. It would not matter. I am relieved, today, to truly feel that *they* are not.

The End of An Era

So, today, I am writing my last ever blog entry. I am not Dougie fucking Howser. I am not of the techno generation. I apply real life to the www and it doesn’t work.

We will still have wifi. I don’t think children can really do well with homework anymore without the encyclopaedic content of the internet. We will need to look things up. Realistically, I will need research access. I will need professional e mail.

But, I don’t need the rest. Real people, if they WANT to be in touch, are perfectly welcome to telephone, to write, or to visit. This is what used to happen, and it was happy. Now, e mail obliges people, FB is just so contrived, I can’t really tell what anyone means. And I find it very difficult to read too.

I used to like my life, before it had so much tech in it. When I would chat to people, see people, do real things, and only show photos to real people who actually asked to see them!

When, if I had a bad day, it was probably cos I was having a bad day. Now, everything I do that doesn’t fit the tech world can be written off as a MH problem. Before, my MH problem was something that rarely impacted on my social life. Now, it’s ALL that most people see, and that’s wrong. Not only socially, and morally, but also factually.

In tech world there is no need for fun, and fun is what I need most. Even those people I *thought* were close friends from the www are not really. They would rather NOT do real life fun things, at least, with me. This is not self pity, it’s a valid choice. It doesn’t really work for my plans to share my fun and celebratory occasions. They have so many people that they need to make a queue of available conversing time. I don’t want to clutter up anyone’s schedule.

I kind of thought, the www could make it easier to share fun things with people you consider friends, even if they are far away. I tried this. I tried to share my search for a new SO. You know, in the way that with real life friends I might have done in the pub. But no one is interested. And this is OK, what is not OK is the way that the www means it is much easier to ignore someone’s lack of interest, and keep bothering them anyway. The internet is NOT essentially, a bigger pub.

I was told, by a professor, when I was mid way through the breakdown that distinguished my Unipolar experience, and created Bipolar, that I would do better, if I didn’t need so much hand holding. I took this to heart. I got through my life independently. Until I had constant access to the www. But, I do not need handholding. I don’t NEED any one.

I was worrying that I am teaching my children or social habits. But teaching them to enjoy real people, but never to rely on them, that’s not unhealthy. Plus, they have something I never did, and still do not. A mother. So, if they can’t be independent. If they NEED a person, I will be there.

I am sorry for those times I have crowbarred myself into someone on the www’s life. I don’t understand. I thought I was making life long close friends, but I had failed to understand the www. It could be embarrassing, but really it’s just  a thing I can learn better. I am upset with myself, all the things I didn’t notice, so busy have I been being grateful for the headline contact, but there have been so many clues that I don’t know how to interact. I cannot teach my children this.

I don’t think I have ever felt so empty, and that is purely because I don’t learn.  In a few days, this will go and I will get my ice chip pebble heart back. I deserved to end this when it seemed possible that it could be done for me. Why, WHY would anyone EVER advise me to be entirely alone, when it means nothing? WHY bother? For this?

So, as an information service, it works well for us. AS a social medium, not so much.