Major Overshares – Aspie Style

I am (despite my longing for a solitary house with a gun rack by the door and a no trespassing sign) friendly. I am also an Aspie. I sometimes have fewer boundaries than other people.

Recently I was passing through the gate to get home and I had some big bags of candy I had just bought on the front. I bought them because I was manic. I don’t normally spend 16 dollars on candy. The gate guard noticed, and I almost said, “I’m manic!”

Quickly, in the back of my mind, I thought, “Don’t tell him something so personal.”

So I yelled, “It’s my time of the month!”

I am always like that. I get up to a register and the tired, fed up woman behind it says, “How are you today?”

Then I proceed to tell her. “I have a headache, but I am really hoping to relax on the porch swing today. My bad ankle hurts and my meds aren’t working. But I am watching a marathon of Toddlers and Tiaras!”

No one is prepared for that.

I don’t have the filter in my mouth that I would be more likely to have if I was neurotypical. Sometimes it is fun. People probably think I’m nuts, but they warm up to me and I can be really good at fostering relationships that are open and honest. Other times it throws people for a loop and they run away. I try to turn off the Asperger’s part of myself, but it’s hard.

7 Years

I didn’t get around to writing about it, but the 3rd marked 7 years Craig and I have been married. It has been 7 wonderful years that I feel blessed to have had. My husband and our daughter are God’s greatest gifts to me.

Angelica was in school. I took the day easy. We like to celebrate, but we just got back from a trip the night before, and I just wasn’t up to doing much. The previous Thursday though, we went to the cafe we like and then went to REI for hiking gear for Craig and Angelica.

Busy Day

Maintenance is here doing a biannual check.

This morning I went to the GI doctor about the daily vomiting. He prescribed a medication that does the same thing as another medication that a different doctor has given me. I do not have high hopes for it. They also have me scheduled to stick a camera down my throat. As you can guess I am not looking forward to that.

In the meantime I might see if it is one of my other medications causing this problem. I’m on one that helps me but it may be creating the nausea. And if it is I’m going to have to go off that pill. Because daily nausea and vomiting for the foreseeable future is just not an option.

The awesome girl who does our cleaning was here today and it felt so nice to come back to the appointment and smell all the cleaning products and see the stripes in the carpet from the vacuum. So that’s probably going to be the highlight of my day.

Later on Angelica has speech and OT. Then I can finally be done. Angelica has a friend over right now and they are watching 101 Dalmatians.

Now for the ultrasound tomorrow. Yay.

Instant Camera!

INSTAX MINI. I finally did it. I bought an instant camera. I’ve never had one. This is the brand I got. I like the small size of the prints and the camera was cheaper. I would ultimately like to have a Polaroid as well, but it’s more money (both the camera and the paper). I wanted to get one of these cute little cameras first to see if this was something I enjoy doing.

I really love it! And even if I get the Polaroid I do intend to keep using this one as well with its little credit card-sized photos.

With an instant camera you really have to think about what you’re doing. You can’t take 50000 shots of one thing and just figure that one of them will turn out well. Each picture takes a few minutes to develop and if you don’t happen to be taking pictures in a place where you can set things down and they won’t move, you have to hold that picture. What’s more, instant photography isn’t cheap. If you break it down by picture each photograph cost you about a dollar. If you go in the instant photography treating it like digital photography you’ll be short on your mortgage. With this kind of machine you have to wait until you really know what you want to shoot and just give it your best shot.

Honestly that’s part of the charm. There’s the serendipitous aspect of getting a photograph how you want it, or of having it turn out not necessarily how you wanted it but really interesting none the less. Instant camera photographs also look very dreamy. If you’re looking for Sharp lines and high-definition this is not for you. But if you like a soft and dreamy quality this is actually a really good way to go. And as expensive as it is to buy the paper, if you’re someone who likes to have print copies of the things you photograph it isn’t quite as expensive as it sounds. You can pay 20 or 30 cents to have a digital photograph printed somewhere, and then you have to either go pick it up somewhere or you have to wait for it to ship. With this I take a photograph and a couple of minutes later I have it. No problem.

The photos will be excellent keepsakes. So pretty. I can put them into albums and pass them down easily. They have that nice instant camera border where you can date things or write messages on them if you want to. Photos of photos coming soon!

Appointments

On Thursday I went to the doctor. I now have an appointment set up with a GI specialist to see what is wrong. It’s really important to see why I keep throwing up all this bile. My esophagus and throat feel exhausted. And of course my teeth are going to rot out of my mouth if I don’t stop doing this. I also got a referral to see a gynecologist to get rid of the fluid I have in me from the cyst that burst. He gave me nausea medicine and stomach medicine to carry me through until I can see a specialist.

Angelica is loving life. She gets to hang out with her friend pretty much every day. They’re hanging out as I write this. Her friend was here for lunch and now she’s going to be here for dinner.

I went to the art museum yesterday while the babysitter was here. I brought my husband’s camera with me and was playing with the settings. What I figured out was that if I set the camera in HDR mode and then use manual and change a couple of other things that I need to remember again, I can do those really great shots where there’s different layers and everything is blurred. It basically photographs the light if you do it right. I met an employee there who is artist and it was really nice to chat for a while. Once again though, and the seems to happen almost every time I visit an art museum, I got tired and dizzy. Honestly I think it’s the aspie in me combined with the bipolar. So many colors and lines and stuff everywhere. I feel dizzy, I sit down, and then once I’m ready to get up I usually head home. Regardless, I got some interesting photos that I can’t wait to transfer from the camera to my computer and then to my phone where I can edit them. Of course I have the Affinity software to and I would definitely use that, but I just have a phone app that I really like as well.

I also bought a framed piece of wood at Michaels. I have laid down a primary layer of paint. From here I am adding letters and all sorts of things. There will be colorful mirror glass spread throughout. I plan to dye the letters that I bought with alcohol ink. I’m really excited to be taking this on.

Oral Surgery

Food is amazing. I love the sweetness, the saltiness, the spice. The smoothness and chunkiness. The savory flavor of the meat. But for the next few days I can eat none of it. I had oral surgery this morning.

I have to get a tooth implant because of the emergency extraction I had back in February. This is part one of that. THEY DRILLED AND SCREWED A SCREW INTO MY JAWBONE. Let that sink in.

Insurance wouldn’t pay for anesthetic. There was no way in hell I was going through it without anesthesthetic.

Bleeding is not too bad, but they told me at the office that the pain gets worse. It peaks days 3 though 5. I have had an extremely hard week, and this has not been a good way to end it.

No matter how many surgeries I have, even the ankle fusions and replacements in my future which terrify me with their pain and long layups, I am grateful to be here. Life is so sweet, but I live on its edge and my balance is precarious.

Getting Better

On the rise. Physically and mentally I am improving. I am sitting down while Angelica gets tutoring.

Craig is liking his new job and I am so happy for him. I miss him though. He is already working late hours, and he is on week one of training with his predecessor. His previous schedule constantly rotated between days, swings, and mids during the week, so he was exhausted. That schedule was awful for him and I am glad he’s done with it. However, the one advantage of that job was that we had a ton of family time. We really loved that, especially since he was just coming off a sea tour.

I doubt we will ever have family time like that again.

It is May 9th and it has been snowing today. Nothing that sticks this time, but still – it’s mid May.

Soon I will be taking Angelica on a mommy daughter date. She misses them. It has been a month now. She is going on a daddy daughter date this weekend.

I am in a state of bliss listening to lectures on Great Courses. I am diving into linguistics, natural history (dinosaurs and terror birds!!!), and dystopian and utopian fiction. It is the intellectual joy of college without the expense of actually getting another degree. I do take notes sometimes though. I can’t help myself.

Great Trip

We got home Saturday night from a trip back to the East Coast to visit family and friends. We went to TN, GA, and NC. Angelica spent time with her great grandfather, and then her grandparents in Georgia. Craig and Angelica went with my inlaws to Easter services. I WAS TOO TIRED TO EVEN GO! Part of this was that the hotel pillows were truly the most horrible pillows I have ever laid my head on. I ended up sneaking out at 330 to go to Walmart and buy some at 4 am. I had already tried folding a bath towel onto my hotel pillows to no avail.

We spent time in North Carolina and Virginia visiting a friend – relaxing, talking, shopping, eating, spending time by the water.

Fresh Gratitude List

To praise God and to lift my mood, I want to ruminate on some things I am grateful for at the moment.

  • A working car. I went through a period in my early twenties when I did not have a vehicle. Now, being able to jump in the car and go where I want feels so good. I don’t need to dread cold or rain because I don’t have to walk in it for miles to get to the doctor.
  • I am tremendously grateful that I can put off ankle surgery for at least awhile. I know that technically that isn’t good. They told me to hold off as long as I can because none of the surgical options have a high likelihood of success. But the fact is that every month, every season I don’t have to be laid up and in pain is something to thank God for. Walking is a gift not everyone has.
  • Amazon. I know it is killing brick and mortar stores, and I hate that. But it gives me access to so many books I could never find locally.
  • Evangelists. I admire what they do. It isn’t that I don’t have the courage to share the Good News of Jesus. I do. I am just so awkwardly introverted that I don’t know how to express something so important in real time conversation. Maybe one day the Holy Spirit will give me the right words for the right person at the right time. Otherwise, I will serve in some other way and be glad for the spiritual gifts I have.
  • Snow. Its loveliness laces through my life. Snow is intricately entwined with me. I understand snow.

Getting Brave

As I work through therapy, a lot of things have come up. One of them is challenging the overwhelming messages I received as a child that I wasn’t good enough. In therapy one of the questions asked was what I would do if I felt I was good enough.

Taking my art more seriously was my first answer.

Overall I am pretty confident and strong. I learned over the years to be true to myself, to not let even the most overbearing people erase who I am. Yet still, certain messages persist – trepidation about criticism because I have received so much of it.

I want to move on completely from my childhood. Some things are just toxic, and sometimes beneath the surface of the beautiful pond is something grimy and filled with leeches. Sometimes things don’t work.

Yet to truly move on I have to get rid of the negative emotions and negative ideas I got from those years of my life. In most childhoods there is something good to be gleaned and that is true of my own childhood as well. I received an upbringing of good manners, as well as an emphasis on academic excellence that served me well as an ambitious student. There were definitely positive things about my upbringing. However, many of the messages I received were critical, unkind, and demoralizing. My basic needs were met, and I am grateful for that, but I was not liked or even particularly loved.

It’s time to take my art more seriously. And in answering the prompt in therapy about what I would do if I knew I was good enough I actually ended up coming up with a list of over 40 items. Some of them were very big and important and some of them were very small, but there were over 40 things I would do if I could get past the echoes of my younger life. It’s time to start doing those things. I am 30, and I don’t want to spend the rest of my life stuck in the same headspace I was in in middle school. Tomorrows are never guaranteed, so I want to make the most of today.

I go through my day expecting censure and ridicule. But is that really fair? It’s no way to live, and not everyone is going to be out to criticize me. And if they do criticize me it doesn’t matter. I’m not trapped in a house with someone who criticizes me all the time nor am I economically dependent on them. If some random stranger on the internet or a local mom I don’t know that well has something to negative to say about me oh, who cares?

There are so many things on my list to go through. Another major thing I need to address is my inability to trust people. That’s pretty important. Some things on the list are just small though, but they would make me really happy. For instance, I always really want to wear glitter on my cheeks or my arms. That’s not the most important thing in the world, but it would feel so nice to do it. As a kid I loved the idea of body glitter, but when I received a bottle of it from a friend in middle school I was told even then that I was too old for it and shouldn’t be wearing it and that it was silly. It’s time to get past the point in life where I really care who thinks it’s silly. It’s my body and my money and I’ll wear whatever I damn well please. To reiterate the point, whether or not I can wear glitter is not a life-or-death issue and is not earth shattering. It’s glitter. But the idea behind this is very important. I’m not doing something I really want to do, something I would have fun with and enjoy, because of the criticism of others.

I have a lot of things I want to work through and so far therapy has been helping. I was in therapy years ago and although it helped me with certain issues, it did not help me with everything I would have liked help with. This time around it has been really productive so far.