When myself and the world are too much, I find myself back here.
I’ve stayed away for a while. Diving in too deep made life too heavy. I’ve lived forever without a label and simply in “just existing.” It was nice to just exist again without the labels and without the over-thinking.
Slowly, getting back on track, the skills I lost seem to be returning.
I stim considerably less (if even at all).
I don’t dread and avoid going to the store because I have to talk and make eye contact with the cashier.
Being taken out of the grade level I was in had the undisguised blessing of removing me from the avalanche of memories (triggers) falling on me at any unexpected time in unexpected ways. Most of the triggers are gone, my brain can slowly start to heal and reset itself.
I tolerate myself more as it is less and less that I am unable to recognize the most obnoxious person in the room interrupting non-stop, cutting people off, talking loudly without even listening to others, and on awkward, panicky edge. I, who had always been someone reserved and cautious with my words in group settings, don’t even know who this person is and how I have such little control over them. If I hate this person so much, how can anyone else in the room like them either? I find myself remarkably grateful when these people still approach me the next day. The only thing I recognize is the high anxiety, the pounding heart, and the need to stim if I could. But without that pulsing anxiety within me, I’ve found myself calmed down and more of a me I know.
With my brain reworking itself and this situation not being so “new” anymore, I am less of a parrot. I blurt less the words verbatim I’ve heard people say in situations I think are similar. I’ve also learned discretion. I learned enough that saying phrases and sentences in which the other teachers said very passionately at my old school got me into trouble at my new one. Apparently, not all schools and the culture of the schools share the same sentiments. My first three months was filled with many blank looks of “I can’t believe you just said that” in something that was just common knowledge at my other workplace. This added to more stress and made me less likeable. I went from being a “superstar” and loved at my other school to instantly being somebody I don’t even like. A lot of the parroting I would just blurt out under high stress, but with anxiety levels lower and leading to more self-control and reminding myself how important context is, this is not so much of an issue as it used to be.
But at the end of the day, even with my skin growing thicker and my body within me settling down as the triggers have backed away, there is still much to be resolved. Nothing in my brain is configured or can grasp around that this is where I am meant to be. Under the context and how it happened, I don’t know if this is something my brain can ever accept wholly. I am not like other people. If it grinds against the metal, it will not just one day gradually fall into place. It will keep grinding. And keep grinding. It will be there less and I will learn to live with it, but as long as I am in a situation like this, it does not go away.
For it to “go away,” one of two things needs to happen: Something needs to be resolved or I need to be 100% removed from it and all the regarding stimuli.
The latter has unfortunately led me to many internet job searches. If I don’t have the control or power to resolve these things, then this simply cannot and will not be my life. However many years of school and however much of whatever can be added, I would throw away. Because at the end of the day, this will not be my life. I want out from under this shadow. If I do not possess the ability of the former, then I might be able to control the latter if I can find a comparable field.
Although I’ve made growth, here is what is soberly true:
I do not understand people. I do not understand people who say one thing and then actions do something entirely different. I do not understand why people get mad when you point out their own actions to them. I do not understand why instead of getting mad at you for pointing it out, they don’t just fix their own actions. I do not understand if there is something equally upsetting you are doing to them with your actions, why they don’t just tell you. I do not understand how to talk to people. I do not understand how to show my emotions and communicate things that are upsetting me. I do not know how to communicate sad. I do not know how to communicate hurt. I do not know how to communicate mad. I do not know how to communicate not ok. I do not know how to read the signals in people that others can read. I do not know how I can feel some things so intensely and so crippling. I do not know how to avoid them and build up walls in whatever way I can against it. I do not know so many basic things.
All I know is happy.
All I know is how to act when things are going well.
I don’t even know how to show and express sick. Even as a kid, I would act and look normal until I’d keel over and literally faint. At my new work, I have no reputation to stand on of countless hours of coming in weekends and overworking, that was already done. I can’t do that again. I don’t have people’s respect when I am sick. I don’t show it the same way. I look fine. They think I am being lazy or don’t care in taking sick days.
Where ever I am standing in whatever abyss I was suddenly thrust into, I still have a long way to go.
But I am thankful when I take a step back to see things and skills within myself slowly starting to return to something I know again.
I am also extremely thankful for the other aspies on the internet who share their story. After building and building and frustrations mounting into bouts of constant hyperventilating, all of these things fizzle away when I read others write exactly what I could’ve written myself should I have written about it. Like deflating a giant balloon within me, I feel immediately less helpless, cornered, defective, and alone. Rather, I begin to feel like I am ok and that I am understood. So I write my own in hopes of paying it forward into this giant internet void and, in return, I also find my own distraction and release.
I’ll be posting blogs I wrote months ago but never did share and start to get some more things back up here.