Brain Dump – End of Winter Edition

I write this post for several reasons; some are valid, more are beyond my control and so I’m left with unloading things in text and i can’t write them by hand since my brain moves too fast for my hands to keep up and typing satisfies the desire to hit something (keyboard).

So we are now into a Saturn retrograde after spending half of Sat in Cap season putting edges and boundaries in place, to having things go backwards and retrace the step i’ve been plodding in for the last few months. Which, considering my goal for this astrological event was to get my life in some semblance of order, is working?
My life is just as chaotic and disorganized as ever but at least now i have a written record of all the stuff i’m trying to keep track of. Shit’s still messed up but now it’s obvious why – THERE’S SO MUCH OF IT.

I know better how to prioritize tasks, how to set up blocks of time to get things done to completion rather than start 5 things and finish nothing.
still struggling to stay on task at work with distractions, and then there’s setting up an evening routine/ tasks for working from home on my days off.
I DID learn the difference between procrastination and executive function, and that’s been a huge game changer.

Over the winter i also followed a rabbit trail of research into figuring out how my brain works (or rather doesn’t) and learning hacks or tricks for working around this deficit. In following the research and executive functioning guides, a nagging feeling that I’d stumbled onto a deeper mystery kept me going farther.

I had suspicions that it was more than dyscalculia, more than ADHD (which runs on my dad’s family like dark eyes and high cholesterol), more than just a failure to adult. There was more to the strange ways my brain worked and filtered input from the world. There was a method under all the madness and coping skills for executive dysfunction opened up a world of diagnostic possibilities, if I had the money and time to demand tests from a doctor. But I don’t have either of those and my health insurance doesn’t need to know that shit either…

So I dove into the realms of self-diagnosis. I trust my intellect and method of learning/absorbing info. I’ve had 30 years to perfect it and I know my own internal BS detector is very strong. I will subject any piece of dubious info to full scrutiny and if i don’t find any plausible research or anecdotes to back it up to my satisfaction (95% resonance or higher) then it gets scrapped.

It didn’t take long for searches for “Female ADHD” to turn up “Female ASD” and “Female Aspergers” in the results. And just like that, a massive chunk of my Life Puzzle fell exactly in to place.

I am Aspie.
I am autistic.
It explains EVERYTHING.

There were things I never told my parents about how my mind worked because I literally had no words for it, or rather I had the vocabulary but not the grammar or syntax to describe what i was experiencing. When your brain regularly shuts down from overload, stress, emotional short-circuit, or just because the wind blew out of the North east it’s nearly impossible to explain to someone badgering you for a coherent response.
Emotional outbursts are a regular threat, that I manage to control by keeping myself in tight check. It’s not emotionally healthy, but it’s what I had to do. (CANNABIS HELPS ME *EXIST* WITHOUT JUDGEMENT)

Not knowing if the tightness in my chest is anxiety or excitement, because whenever I reacted to either as a child i was told to settle down. No one explained or described what emotions or feelings PHYSICALLY FELT LIKE, so when they asked “What’s wrong? Are you OK?” the only answer i could give was “I don’t know.”
I WAS NOT BEING STUBBORN. I LITERALLY DID NOT KNOW WHAT THE FUCK I WAS FEELING. I JUST KNEW IT WAS STRONG AND I HAD TO LAUGH OR CRY OR RUN AROUND OR FLAP MY ARMS AND BOUNCE LIKE A TODDLER ON SUGAR TO DIFFUSE THAT ENERGY.

I AM 34 YEARS OLD AND I STILL FEEL LIKE THAT SOMETIMES.
I will never “grow out of it”, it’s how I’m wired from birth.
But I can be more compassionate with myself.

The only reason I “understand” body language and sarcasm is because I studied facial expressions and dynamic posture TO MAKE MY ART MORE EXPRESSIVE. Manga art books were full of exaggerated expressions (which is kind of the point behind the whole art style) and it gave me a reference to at least what facial contortions could be interpreted as emotions. I was still just guessing when it came time to practice.

I WAS diagnosed with physical sensory issues when I was little, and got PT to help put those filters back in place. I remember being so uncomfortable in a physical body, everything in the world had me overloaded and itchy tags or tight shoes were like painful brain static that made me lash out. So I got help to dull the physical sensory overload, but they forgot about visual/auditory/emotional overloads.

Just the other week, Mom-in-Law flipped out on me when I took her seriously when she “joked” about having thrown my dinner leftovers away. It was such an incongruous thing for her to say (and b/c other people have actually pulled that shit on me in the past) that my brain came to a screeching halt and for a few moments I believed her. She didn’t know that I take the people I trust at face value BECAUSE I KNOW I CAN TRUST THEM. Her “joke” threw me back into an instant PTSD-replay of everytime in my life that I fell for a move like that. It happened A LOT. I didn’t want to cry, but was powerless to stop as I fully realized that it wasn’t my “not getting the joke” all those years, it truly was other people being cruel to me.
(Am I “too sensitive” or is the world that callous? I’m beginning to believe the latter.)

Wearing a Normal Person mask is exhausting.
Being able to take it off and accept my default Aspie setting is nothing short of a RELIEF.
Having a partner who not only accepted my tentative self-diagnosis, but backed up a list of symptoms that “describe you perfectly and makes total sense!” Is a BLESSING.
Coming out as ASD to my favorite nephew (the Diagnosed Autistic member of the family) and having a wonderful bonding moment over ‘Wtf are emotions even GAUH’ was a VALIDATION.

Now I know how to identify when I’m overloaded and what some of my triggers are. I know when I’m more susceptible to melt-down feelings and when my diet/environment/hormonal cycle leaves me vulnerable.

Like today, apparently because i wrote ALL OF THIS before lunch, and then ate a few peanut butter cups and I’m feeling better. Guess I needed to process everything and read it a few dozen times.

Well, it’s a surprisingly comfortable shoe and it fits.

Advertisements

Losing myself, but did I ever have myself in the first place?

Where do my loyalties lie?
ARE my loyalties just a lie?
Am I more loyal to my parents or to myself? or the IDEAS of my parents and myself. Is this even my TRUE self I’m trying to assuage or is it the False Self I’ve spent a lifeime cultivating and hiding behind to the point where I don’t know which is which?

Does being loyal mean mindlessly serving something that you have sworn yourself to, regardles sof the pressing evidence to jump ship while possible? Is this a temporaary storm or have I just been tossed around for so long that it’s become normal?

Do I stay or do i go? Do I get out while i still can and turn my back just like those before me have? Do I drive that nail into my mother’s coffin? Or have I been tasked with a force too great for one person to endure and I have the right to put it down before it crushes me?

I’m just gong to spin my wheels some more and do some Anxiety Donuts a bit longer….

Stuck In the Dark Place Today

((TRIGGER WARNING – Depression, suicidal thoughts, talk of self-harm & suicide))

We all need a Mulligan for this last year, but I especially need one for today.

Despite the progress I’ve made in my personal practice and development, I’m having a nearly impossible time shaking myself out of despair. It’s not just Season Affective Disorder ramping up my already chronic depression, it feel like residual Soul Sickness. Everything is going wrong today, tensions are running high, patience is non-existent and the intrusive thoughts are bobbing around my head like deep water mines.

Everything is going to hell. You don’t want to see this. Better to just slit your wrists and be done.

NO

Chew your veins out like an animal. Rip flesh between your teeth. IF you can’t tear out the throats of the enemy, then save yourself the struggle and die with blood on your lips.

 Fuck you, voices! I know that’s a stupid thing to do and doesn’t accomplish anything!

Then swerve into oncoming traffic, if you want it over quick.

Double fuck-you, voices! I know you’re just a manifestation of depression, and that I”m not actually suicidal. Just overwhelmed by despair…. Which doesn’t make it any easier, but I know these are NOT my own thoughts, just intrusions.

I have never been a cutter, although I know far too many who were/are and still bear the scars. But if these are the kinds of thoughts that run through their heads 24/7, reinforced by the negative environments and living conditions they had to endure….. I can see why they thought that giving in, even briefly, would alleviate some of the anguish.
But once that adrenaline and endorphin rush fades away, the whispers come right back. I know this without resorting to self-harm, because the moment I employ one of my numerous coping mechanisms, the thoughts of suicide come right back.

There’s this overwhelming feeling of wanting to run away; to flee from some invisible monster that will gobble me up if I stay put, but I know that I cannot out run it either way. Running from problems is not solving them. But when you spend years trying to solve problems, the Universe throws more at you and I know there are lessons to be learned, but part of me wonders if it’s all even worth it, seeing what kind of world we’re setting up to inhabit in  2017. I have a bad feeling there’s going to be a lot of suicide notes left for people to find on New Year’s Day….

To keep the voices at bay, I stare at my tattooed wrist, at the symbol marked into my skin : Our sigil. The simple design I created for a commitment tattoo that stood for our agreement to be married, until such time as he was able to afford an emerald ring. If the world goes to hell, I can sell the ring to pay for food. If the world goes to hell, I have a permanent reminder of what I have to live for; Love.

Even if we have no money, we have each other. Even if they take the house and the car, we have eachother. Even if we have to flee into the woods with the clothes on our back and the pets in their carriers, we have eachother. He has sworn to protect me, with his life if need arise, and I pray it will never come to that point.Physical and present dangers, I know he can handle and get me to safety; That’s what he was trained to do until a knee injury derailed his budding military career.

But when I’m stuck in the darkness of my own mind, when my heart aches with despair from within and without, I can’t just shut things out like he can. It’s the one place where he can’t fully reach to save me. And so I have to find a way to save my self, and as many times as I’ve had to do this, now it’s even harder. I can’t afford to retreat fully and gorge on ‘Member Berries while the world crumbles around me. I’m a Witch and I made a promise with my Gods to serve Them and help transform the world. In exchange, I asked for myself and my loved ones to be spared from the worst of the devastation; for what is the point of helping the world if those you love most don’t get to see the rewards? And I can’t see the future if I check out early. So I endure and I think sideways until my brain feels like a switch back staircase, and I rally my strength and I use the anger and despair as fuel for my spells.

Let this misery be transformed into something beautiful. Please, gods, let it be soon.