Sunday, December 29, 2013

And another thing..

I've actually been really, really poorly! Only realised today when the anti biotics kicked in and removed the chest infection that was a knock off from the viral phlegm thing I had for a month.  So the other nagging thing at my memory was that I was ill and not acknowledging it.

These are all short, boring posts, but am writing them so I MIGHT remember this the next time this combination of seasonal stress/enforced cheerfulnesses and illness hits again....

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Stress make me more autistic.

Who would have thought it?  I had such a bad reaction to Christmas as I felt stressed. Stress reduces my coping skills, and makes me feel much more autistic, just like I did as a child.  It's a bit of a bugger to suddenly find I have the skills of an 8 year old when I need to be 42.  At least I know what it is now, and why it was so frightening and familiar to feel like I did.  Not a regression, but gives me much more insight into why D descended this summer.  The stress removed her capabilities, her awareness of such would have made her more stressed, etc.  how to plan a way out? For now, probably just documenting it and awareness will help.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Done it again

Not sure what, but I have. I recognise this in my kids - both get over excited and then meltdown, and I think this is what I do too.  It's really upsetting - today is Christmas and I spent half the day so worried as D has a nasty cough/cold and is so poorly.  We went out for coffee and I was working super hard on keeping her calm and connected.  I was feeling resentful for having to take D out, worried about taking the kids away from their toys, confused as it's also a good thing to do something my husband wants to so, anxious as I was going to be making lunch late, and Christmas lunch is so complicated (It's not) and worried the kids would argue through being hungry and ARGH. It went on and on.  Whilst we were eating I calmed down and then a friend visited this afternoon with her son which was lovely.

Then it was all ok and I started to feel such grief that I'd wasted so much time worrying, and not enjoying the kid's Christmas. I've had 42 now and I remember the day's when my Christmases were in single figures and how special and magical they were.  December has been so much hard work navigating tired child, Michael's HUGE anxieties, nativity plays, and just the social Christmas pressure It's been like an iron band tightening round my head and I haven't had time to notice as I've been so busy looking out for the kids, friends, etc.  I feel numb as I wanted to enjoy Christmas so much by cherishing and adoring my children, but actually it ended being a huge stress despite everything I tried to avoid it.  When we were at the coffee shop, I was so focussed on D, I was actively rude to people who were trying to talk me (I didn't have the attention to spare) and I felt/feel so bloody autistic.  I then feel like I'm having a tantrum to get my own way, which is also true, which then goes around and around and around....

Talking to my friend apparently she was warned off me by her friend who said "I'd lost weight and was outspoken".  Neither of these qualities are bad things, neither should invoke suspicion (loosing weight) or disdain (Being outspoken).  I'm admired for my bravery in being completely honest and I'm open on purpose - to inspire parents/children living with ASD and to show I'm just who I am, and I'm no longer willing to hide.  Except today I needed to hide and didn't, and worried and was out there and missed my children.  I'm grieving for that.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Perfectionism (again)

I'm now on the PTA (co-chair to be exact) of Michael's school. We've been arranging the Christmas Fair which we had today.  Earlier on in the week I had organised for plates to be sent for cakes and had nearly included a request for bottles for the bottle tombola but was advised not to by the office staff. Cue horror when hardly any bottles made it into school  Cue feelings of personal failure.... Talking to the PTA secretary who felt that perhaps next year we could try the request on plates thing.

That afternoon I'd been mulling on this (and bought bottles from the 99p shop) and realised my friend had not been criticising me.  She was not implying it was my fault, and saw it as a joint effort.  I asked her to clarify that she hadn't been upset with me, and she looked surprised but as she knows me, and knows I'm ASD, she did.

I did really WELL at designing the programme for the fair, making lists of things that needed done, going and make small and funny appeals for help, and following instructions.  I was able to use all my skills and kept on getting really, really good feedback from people - all of which I ignored as they could't possibly be right.

It's so useful to see that the thing that is so typical of ASD - eye for detail, methodological working practice, quirky social skills etc, can turn into hopeless perfectionism that I then use to give myself a hard time with. Really useful and I'm grateful for the experience. This is the positive effect of diagnosis and why it's so good for me with my ASD brain. I have a list of traits in my head, I can match them up and now I can work on seeing them as things with positive and negative sides.