Relief.

•May 7, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I’m just writing this down for my own sake for now. And maybe, if there’s anyone out there who’s disabled and uses a service dog too, you’d understand.

I have had everything all laid out for a local program that trains service dogs for the disabled. I’ve had so many stressful feelings of ‘What if they think I’m too complex or I’m not disabled enough or what if they can’t help me’.
I had no idea where I would turn to next, because I can’t fly right now. I don’t know how to fundraise alone, I don’t know how to owner train alone or anything. Finding programs that train for my needs is incredibly difficult if not near impossible anyway.

I’ve talked about this to some friends, who coincidentally have trained their own service dogs for many years by now. One of them shares some of the same issues as I do and understands on a deeper level than just being told. When I explained I can’t stand the texture of a lab’s fur and that’s why I would never own one, she understood -exactly- what I meant and offered a better alternative.

Tonight she told me that she has an apprentice she talked to today about me, who has trained mobility x autism service dogs and would be willing to help me out. He would be willing to fly down and help me. My friend knows how to pick healthy dogs from breeding lines so I wouldn’t be faced with the higher chances of a dog dying young because of cancer or other genetic issues. She could help pick the right temperment so I’m not faced with the chances of a dog being “washed out” or retired early because theyre unsuited for public work.

And the timing is perfect too, because this year for the both of us is too busy, but he has nothing planned next year and I’m hoping to be in a more stable position next year too. It takes about a year or two of training anyway. So within 2-3 years I might have a service dog.

You have NO clue how this makes me feel. Words can’t express it.

 

Acceptance.

•January 17, 2013 • Leave a Comment

It’s so hard to accept these things in regards to my life. It’s hard to hear disability in reference to you. It’s hard to hear “disabled” or “unable” . I know I can’t be capable of everything but when I’m not capable of something everyone in my surroundings is and expects me to, it’s really hard. To have it confirmed “you can’t really work right now” and to know its true. To know that things are harder than they should be, or even were in the past.

I don’t let things keep me from my dreams but am I being unrealistic right now? Are my dreams too farfetched? Maybe I should aim lower for now. Maybe that would result in less heartbreak when the truth is confirmed right in front of me.
But the fighter in me doesn’t want to settle for less. I want to make a difference in people’s lives through my love of medical knowledge. I want to help others to help them through the same things I went through… To turn Around and say “it’ll be alright- I made it and this is how.” to see the joy in someones eyes when they finally do something right…
I guess I’m kind of ashamed to have to accept help. I need to learn how not to be so ashamed. How to be comfortable accepting help…
Maybe when I learn that, things will be a bit easier.

Camping.

•January 2, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Yep, camping! I went camping for new years eve and I enjoyed it. I miss being out in nature like that, it’s incredibly calming. For once, my mind can take a halt. All I’m thinking about is the camp fire in front of me. How little puffs of air can make the flames shoot back up from just some hot embers. I like listening to the bats. Sitting in the trees (If I were able to climb them anymore. Sadly I can’t do it that easily anymore. I’m too unsteady on my feet. but I try.)

For once my mind was clear. I had no thoughts about autism, anxiety, or anything. I wasn’t worried or anxious. I was relaxed and feeling at peace. I need to go back more often. I want to buy a hammock because sleeping in a tent is very uncomfortable.

I’m very sore tonight though. I messed up my hip somehow and aggravated it by going on a trail walk this afternoon. Then I came home and slept. Now I have some ibuprofen and I’m ready to sleep some more.

Bats make a really interesting noise!

I’m starting to trust my therapist more.

•December 20, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Well I saw my therapist today and I brought up a lot of hard things with her. I told her about being tired of a bunch of stuff, like taking the world’s weight on my shoulders and not helping myself. Like getting overwhelmed and shutting down a lot. etc. We have a lot to work on, but I’m hopeful. She really ‘gets’ me and it’s such a new feeling, to have someone really understand me.

She wants to watch clips of videos or t.v shows with me, so I can try to process the subtle nonverbal cues in the actors and compare my observations to hers, so we can see where I’m weak at and where she can help.

So much to work on though.
Being able to taking criticism.
Sticking up for myself.
Learning social ‘cues’ like body language, expressions, etc..
Setting boundaries so I’m not taking everyone else’s problems as well as my own.
Creating a healthy routine…

She also thinks that I could be over critical of myself, and observing things that I’m not even aware of. I’m not so sure what she meant by that, we didn’t have enough time to go into it.

She encouraged me to call her if I need to. She does every week. I always have trouble calling her but it’s something I need to try and work on.

She said she’s glad to see how motivated I am to work on things. And she was super glad for the present I made her- I made a little ‘therapy coupon book’ that she could use on me. Things like proper use of eye contact or initiating a phone call, or entry into “forbidden territory”, one more probing question, etc. She loved it and said she’d have to re-use the idea herself.  :blush:

I have the next 2 weeks off without her, but I think I’ll manage. I will call her if I need to, but I can also email. I might call her instead because I can’t read her tone over email and it kinda scares me sometimes, she’s a lot more personable over voice. Her voice calms me a bit.

Emily Willingham: Autism, empathy, and violence: One of these things doesn’t belong here

•December 15, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Emily Willingham: Autism, empathy, and violence: One of these things doesn’t belong here.

•December 15, 2012 • Leave a Comment

MORE POTATOES PLEASE

Why is autism feared?
Because “they” make it seem scary, not hard. “They” make it into a mental disorder, instead of a developmental disorder. “They” say things like “autism is on the rise, we must find a cure.” Instead of helping the children/adults that are autistic already. “They” say “suffer” instead of “diagnosed.” “They” point at spoiled children and tantrums and say that, “meltdowns and sensory overload” are similar. “They” say violent outbursts are caused because of lack of discipline. “They” say that he will grow out of his meltdowns and OCD tendencies and we should put a stop to it now! “They” say he won’t talk. “They” say he will never become anything more. “They” point the finger at different causes that always seem to point back to the pregnancy and/or parent(s).
Well..”They” don’t walk in our shoes. I don’t know about you, but I am sick of them…

View original post 9 more words

Tired.

•December 13, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I’m tired of shutting down.
I’m tired of getting overwhelmed and overloaded by every day occurrences or situations.
I’m tired of feeling like I have to prove myself to the people around me in order to be taken seriously.
I’m tired of carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders while trying to carry my own baggage too.
I’m tired of being so depressed that I just don’t feel anymore. Not feeling is scary. Scarier than crying in front of someone, which is really scary.
I’m tired of this 24/7 brain fog. Not being able to get the words out. Not remembering what I want to say. Not being able to say what I need to say.
I’m tired of stuttering and having trouble with enunciating words. I feel it, I hear it, but no one else does. My therapist doesn’t even notice it. How?
I’m tired of things being awkward and uncomfortable around my only friends.
I’m tired of falling behind more and more. I can’t drive. I can’t go to the store alone. I can barely take the bus alone.
I’m tired of trying to read in between the lines and not being able to understand how to.

I’m tired of trying so hard and not being heard. Not being taken seriously.
I’m tired of being belittled.
I’m just tired of it all.

Anxiety.
Depression.
Pain.

Constantly.

I wish I didn’t have the gut wrenching sinking spinning feeling every moment of my life about the smallest possible things. Picking up a phone. Even THINKING about picking up a phone. Talking to my therapist about important topics. Talking to the cashier. Thinking about all the things I need to do but can’t do. Worrying about everything that might happen, how it’ll happen, if it’ll happen.

I don’t want to fall to my old habits of spinning the conversations off topic when I’m talking to my therapist.
Or to act like things aren’t as bad as they really are.
But I do this all the time because it’s habit and it’s a protective thing I’ve learned over the years.

Pretend you’re fine and people won’t bother you.

Right?

Not when I’m really feeling like I have to hold everyone around me up with their problems.

But my problems fall to the wayside.
No one understands, no one cares. The only people in my immediate surroundings who do care are my boyfriend and therapist.

It’s not that I perceive them as not caring. It’s that I know they don’t care. They do not understand. They prove to me every day they don’t. My mom especially.
“See it’s not that hard. You’re learning kid.” I’m not a ‘kid’, I’m 21. I’m not “learning” how to make a phone call- I know pretty dang well how to make a phone call. My anxiety will not LET me without making me feel like I’m going to curl up and die right then and there. It’s physical just as much as it is mental.
“How will you ever get a job if you can’t even handle the store?”
“Why don’t you just go back to college and stop being lazy?”
Etc.

I can’t count how many times I’ve broken down in a sobbing ball on her bed just pouring my heart out with everything until I finally become nonverbal from the pure stress. Until all I can do is bite my fingers and wish I could curl up and stop the pounding headaches and the tears and the overwhelming everything. All she can say is “I don’t know what to do.”

I’ve been trying all the techniques and tools my therapist taught me to try and control the racing thoughts and the ever growing anxiety, but they’re so minimally helpful. I do them anyways but I feel like I’m just hiding from the inevitable. Deep breathing, mindfulness, grounding. It only helps so little. It slows my heart down for half a minute and then the anxiety is back in full force.

A bigger breakdown is coming, and I’m not sure how I’ll come out of it. How long can I postpone it from happening, and how much worse will it get if I do postpone? 😥

Sorry it’s so long. Just a lot of things on my mind and no outlet. -sigh-

Sorry, I poofed..

•December 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I guess I forgot to update. I kinda lost motivation again. These things happen.

 

Stuff has been on and off okay and not okay. Black friday was horrible for me, I went shopping with my bf and his stepbrothers and I shut down in the store. Badly. It’s super scary to shut down in the middle of a crowded store and not be able to find your partner, not be able to find an exit, or even find your feet. I was stuck in place last time it happened, and it wasn’t until people physically pushed me out of the aisle was I then grabbed by my boyfriend and was able to ‘come back’… I’m thankful that he understands as much as he does, and tries his best to look out for me. But i don’t want to have to be dependent on him for even simple tasks like grocery shopping. I wish I was even remotely independent.

 

Things were okay for a little while after that. I got to see my therapist again after not seeing her for 2 weeks. That made me feel better.

 

This weekend though things took a nose dive. My dog had a seizure and it seemed to re-traumatize me all over again. The last time I felt a dog in my arms like that, it was my dog of 13 yrs passing away…And before that it was my puppy of 2 months old passing away…

 

Thankfully my dog is fine and acting like normal. But I can’t get the images out of my head. I can’t get the thoughts out. I broke down into an hour long anxiety attack that same night. I couldn’t breathe very easily, I couldn’t get a deep breath in. I couldn’t stop worrying. I felt so out of control, I felt like calling a crisis hotline for help. But i was frozen in place, I couldn’t really bring myself to move from where I was at. It lasted for almost an hour, with multiple people online trying to help me out.

 

I’m now thinking about service dog with a lot more consideration. There’s many tasks it could help me out with.

 

 providing deep pressure to stave off meltdowns, to help bring me out of meltdowns, physically blocking people from getting too close in stores or public transit, alerting me to people coming up from behind (i startle way too easily and it screws with my anxiety badly), finding the exit or finding someone (bob, mom, friend) when i’ve shutdown…

Therapy today was good.

•November 14, 2012 • Leave a Comment

We touched upon a lot of things… I’m still very new to the therapy process in general, so we’re kinda figuring things out as they go along with what works and what may need to be changed.

 

Two weeks ago I started writing in a journal daily for how I felt, how things were going, etc. Last week I wasn’t so bad with being overly wordy, this week I was. She didn’t mind- she was glad that I was writing. But it took up too much of our time and she felt bad that most of it was just discussing the week, not what I felt needed to be talked about currently. But it was okay, I’ve figured out that I’ll continue to write but I’ll scan it in 2 days or so before the appt, email it, and I’ll let her read it on her own time.

 

We touched upon quite a few things. Flashbacks, my relationships with people, being triggered, etc. I’m writing it all down now before I forget later…as my memory likes to do with me.

 

 

She was glad to hear that my SO has been figuring out how to help calm me down when I get triggered. She’s also learning just what triggers me, and how to watch out for it. Talking about past CSA obviously is a trigger, but more than that- any time I start feeling very scared or emotionally overwhelmed, I react as if I’m back in the situation when I was 4. It was an eye opener…and it made sense. She explained to me that people who represent my dad will probably always trigger me, I can’t control what appearance those emotions are tied to. BUT I can control how I react to being triggered, and help myself to overcome it safely. Right now I know how to comfort myself slightly afterwards, but not keep myself from spiraling out of control. More on that in a bit.

 

We talked about dreams and nightmares too. I had a few bad dreams within 2 nights, and so I wrote them down and showed them to her. She explained that dreams are our body/mind’s way of processing things during the night. If a dream comes back or turns into a nightmare, it’s likely that it’s repeating some unprocessed emotions or events. They need to be resolved, so your mind can be at rest. Someone with a high level of anxiety and worries a lot during the day is more prone to nightmares because of all the unprocessed feelings that get shoved to the side during the day. She urged me to avoid watching the news, and try to keep writing it down if I get more of these bad dreams.

 

The last thing we touched upon for sure was my anxiety over the holidays…and how my bf’s stepdad is a trigger back to my CSA AND to my current anxiety. He looks like him, uses fear to control, and gets drunk nightly- and he’s an angry drunk. Controlling and imposing. She gave me tips on how to center myself if I get confronted again, and reminded me that these feelings didn’t make me “broken”, they were all valid feelings! I needed to hear that. I’m always so down on myself about it. She told me to call or email her if I need anything, and she’ll get to me as soon as possible.

 

Small thing that was mentioned was that she was there to help me process all these things I feel, and learn how to react to them in a more effective way. She was quick to tell me that I’m learning quickly and I’m already making some progress- I went from being afraid of being touched by any stranger/someone not super close to me, to allowing myself hugs from her and feeling safe and centered while getting the hug. It shows that I’m getting more comfortable- which to me is both scary but good.

I finally remembered the other important thing…We talked about the art I showed her…even though I was afraid to show it.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/6uastuodlf…malresized.png

 

She loved the picture, but we went through and discussed why I was feeling the words etched into the background. She then said that with 100% certainty she can name several good qualities about me that would prove I’m not “broken”…Such as having a significant other, having a circle of friends, and having online circles I can go to..But I said I don’t function in society as well as I want to. The key words were “as well as I want to”. I do function in society to an extent- I can leave the house to do errands, and I started college, etc. She said it’s okay to be different, and that she herself would rather be “different and unique” than “normal and the same”, and that it’s alright to feel different. I said I like being unique, but not different to the point of disabling. I can’t even feign relationships with people in order to get things ‘done’, such as study buddies for college. Relationships that serve a purpose and only that purpose.

 

 

At the very end when we both got up to walk out, I stopped for half a second kinda waiting for her to walk first and ‘lead the way’ since I need guidance for the smallest of things like that…and she turned to me, opened her arms wide and said ‘Hug!!’ all excitedly, and gave me a big hug. I melted for the split second and said thank you at least 5 times. I felt loved. I’ll miss her next week, but I’ll probably call her at some point.

Disappointed in myself. :/

•November 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I’m hoping tomorrow will be a better day, but I feel this is going to be a continuing lingering cloud over my head for a while.

 

I disappointed myself today. I hurt a new friend without trying to. I hit a big argument with my mom and was scared and hurt. I didn’t feel safe in my room because the argument was going on in my room and things were getting rough. I went online to a chatroom where I had recently become friends with someone who was really nice. He tried to offer suggestions, and I gave excuses because I didn’t honestly see any other way out. I somehow dumbed the situation down after it happened, and gave the impression that I was blowing it off as if it was nothing even though it was a big situation just moments before. I hurt him because I reminded him of something painful in his past. Now he has to distance himself from me.

I feel disappointed. Upset, and depressed. Looking at an expressions chart, I can also say that I’m feeling guilty, ashamed, and lonely. I struggle with new friendships a lot. I cannot find an even balance in my life with them. I either don’t talk to the ‘new friend’ at all for a while, or I latch onto them and swarm them unintentionally. I don’t mean to. I just don’t know how to be friends and not spend all my time with them. I think that I’m unintentionally trying to get something from friendships that I never got out of a parental relationship. But I feel like I’m  manipulating people too. and I want it to stop. I want to have “normal” friendships with people. I don’t want to push them away, or hurt them, or make them feel uncomfortable. And I don’t want to feel like something is wrong just because I spent so much time with them for like a week, and then suddenly they started to lower the amount of time they talk with me. I want to be able to do this. But I don’t know how. :/

 
lostcompanion

Alcoholism

The Third Glance

A peek into my (Autistic) mind

Just Stimming...

A land we can share (a place I can map)