Sunday, June 26, 2011

The song that describes me best-"The Gift" -Seether

Music has long been one of my special interests. This song by Seether (one of my favorite and most closely identified with bands) is the one that I'd say describes me the most....




"The Gift"

Hold me now I need to feel relief
Like I never wanted anything
I suppose I'll let this go and find a reason I'll hold on to
I'm so ashamed of defeat
And I'm out of reason to believe in me
I'm out of trying to get by

I'm so afraid of the gift you give me
I don't belong here and I'm not well
I'm so ashamed of the lie I'm living
Right on the wrong side of it all

I can't face myself when I wake up
And look inside a mirror
I'm so ashamed of that thing
I suppose I'll let it go
Until I have something more to say for me
I'm so afraid of defeat
And I'm out of reason to believe in me
I'm out of trying to defy

I'm so afraid of the gift you give me
I don't belong here and I'm not well
I'm so ashamed of the lie I'm living
Right on the wrong side of it all

Hold me now I need to feel complete
Like I matter to the one I need

I'm so afraid of the gift you give me
I don't belong here and I'm not well
I'm so ashamed of the lie I'm living
Right on the wrong side of it all

Now I'm ashamed of this
I am so ashamed of this
Now I'm so ashamed of me
I am so ashamed of me...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Nurturing the Self of the Child with Asperger's

 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-bromfield-phd/aspergers-children_b_877383.html

This article almost made me cry, as it's so true.  It's all too often that I make well intentioned social errors that seem to bar me further from others, which seems to even more serve to invalidate me as a person, as I can never really get that mirror of mine polished in a way that others can reflect back to me a positive image.  A part of being human is being validated by other humans in a way that they understand you, reflect you, and hear your frequency, but my frequency is rarely ever heard in full by others.  Leading to miscommunications and lost opportunities, further separating me from other people and reinforcing my social anxiety, because it's not really an irrational fear if it's actually happens.  It's so vitally important that we nurture autistic children's sense of self and validate it as not only real to them, but as acceptable to others.  We're not just a set of test scores and characteristics, but individuals.  Asperger's is a big part of that, but not the only part. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Self Compassion VS. Self-esteem

In the above article it speaks about something that I have thought about for many yrs but have been unable to fully express it as well as the article seems to.  I was born in 1978 and remember doing the 'I am Special' worksheets in school.  I thought it was idiotic then and I still do now.  Let me say why, quite bluntly.

Let's take the whole 'you're special just as you are and can do anything you want to' statement.  Untrue, and irrational.  Those of us that were outcasts and left out of the loop of acceptable people at school learned this lesson early.  The narcissistic, bratty, rich kids got what they wanted.  The poor, odd kids did not, and were not so disillusioned when life turned out differently.

I knew that some people were better at most if not all things than I was.  This was just a fact and the way it was/is.  Things that matter to school aged children anyway.  I conflicted with the information that I was special given to me by my parents and by other adults, because it didn't seem that were the case based on my life.  

Take the 'you can be anything you want to be' phrase that was quite drilled into our little heads.  Rationally speaking, only a very, very, very small percentage of people will be president, or an astronaut, or a brain surgeon.  It's the way it is, but that doesn't make one a failure, but I think it felt that way to our generation.  Not everyone is going to be successful and the ones that are had to work for it, as well as be naturally inclined for what they chose to do.  We don't all automatically get to be and do what we want.  That lesson, I think was mostly lost on my generation.  Now, we have people filing for bankruptcy because they bought a nice house, nice car, nice clothes and couldn't afford it.  Because why?  You know why.... they Deserved it.  They're special,  They should have nice things.  The Princess of yesteryear was told that she'd have nice things.  These sorts, really irritate me.  With all sarcasm aside, it was damaging to tell a whole 2 decades of people that they're wonderful just being themselves and they are entitled to what they want.  That's not how life works, and it's honestly quite self centered of a way to think.  It's ass backwards in the way of valuing what really matters.  We're not taught to value others, as much as ourselves.  I don't remember ever doing a worksheet in school about kindness to others without praise to our ego.  Having a good character that has integrity, honesty, love and kindness may not be what most people think of as being successful, but it should be.

If we took the focus off of our own life and our own narrow viewpoint and thought about others more we would feel better about ourselves and the world would be a better place.  Think about it.  How much stress would be avoided if we weren't trying to get ahead all of the time?  If most of us strived to be better people by being less self centered and more compassionate to everyone else?

More Changes

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been making lots of positive changes in my life this last year.  It's not been easy, and change doesn't always feel good at first, but eventually becomes habit.  I quit smoking 1 year and 3 months ago.  That was a huge, liberating change that I feel led to more.  It's motivational when you conquer something so monumental that you get a momentum going to try another challenge.  The next challenge, getting healthier.

I had put on some weight while quitting smoking as well as adopted new, undesirable eating habits.  I had stopped taking my thyroid medication due to lack of funds to afford the lab at the doctor and meds.  (which I may say was my perceived lack of funding, as my husband would vehemently disagree with me not taking my meds no matter how broke we were) This led to weight gain and depression.  I also feel it's worth mentioning to anyone who might come across here that's quitting smoking, females will often have a hypothyroid after quitting smoking and should get it checked.  I don't know if nicotine masks the symptoms of hypothyroid, or if smoking does something to the gland itself, but it seems common to have it be under-active after quitting.  I require a higher dose since I quit to maintain optimal levels of the hormone.Just a tid bit of info, I found worth mentioning, because it's awful when you keep gaining weight no matter your best efforts to lose it when it could be something so simple as not having optimal levels of thyroid in your body.

I have also been working on feeling better over-all.  This has been a challenge, too.  It's been up and down, and all around in progress.  I don't think I can measure progress of such a thing like I would with something like weight loss, but as a human, I will try.  I have not been doing so well at finding time to meditate, but I have been doing better at finding time in the day in small moments to breath, be in the moment.  I try to do be aware of the moment and all it holds once an hour or so.  I have been trying to think of a way to set an alarm to to little Mindful/Meditation breaks, but I haven't thought of one yet.  I saw some software that you can put on your computer that essentially did this, but I'm not at my computer most of the day.  I thought that maybe I can set my alarm on my phone, but I haven't done so yet.  I think that reminding myself to be here, now, and aware of the present helps to train my brain to do so, even in times when I might feel overwhelmed.  I can get a sense of calmness and perspective.  As I do this, I hope that I can get a clearer sense of self, and worthiness of being me, which will also bring about a new perspective.  I see it kind of like polishing my mirror.  When I polish my mirror (do positive things for myself that make me feel good) I shine back at others brighter.  Others begin to like the reflection they get when they spend time around me because I project a positive image back at them.  I not only leave others in a better way then before they came across me, but I also attract more positive things with a more positive projection. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Solutions to disabled abuse of power

Solutions To Disbaled Abuse Of Power
This is an excellent article about empathy (oh the irony of an aspie speaking of lack of other's empathy lol) and the lack of it in the caring for disabled individuals as well as in journalism.  I often avoid reading stories like the one that is referenced in the article due to the horrible anxiety and emotional upset that I am left with.  Not to mention, the paranoia that I feel about how other people are treating my kids when I'm not around.  I am always left with this extreme sense of social injustice, and blind anger.  My inner vigilante wants to hunt the people down that are responsible for the atrocities and harm them.  This is unlike me to think of harming others, but I get so frustrated when I hear of these things.  Well, this article shares some SOLUTIONS, yes, that's right, some real solutions and real resources to help stamp out the secrecy that these abuses depend on to keep happening.  Action, as well as knowledge is what will help alleviate these sorts of harmful places where our most vulnerable of society resides.  It's time to stand up, even if it means facing consequences yourself, and expose these people.  Let's not let this keep happening.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Early Bird

Well, here I am up before the sun again.  Sigh.  Sleep deprivation has to rate among the things that i will willingly admit I dislike about being a mom of an autistic child.  Beans thinks it's okay to awaken at all hours and is full on ready to get his day on sometimes at 3:30 AM.  Today it was 5:30, so that's not awful.  I wish that I could have slept a good 2 more hours, but that's not what today had in store.  I'm trying to make the most of it by using this time to blog and plan my day. He went straight for his Picture Exchange Cards, undoubtedly looking for the candy PECs that I already took out, as they are not a breakfast choice. lol I am thrilled about the new skill of discriminating his PECs.  He picked saltine crackers for breakfast.  Unusual, but not too far out of a request. He is happily swinging away on the platform swing in the living room yelling "daydum.  mmmmmmmm. shhhhhh  ahhhhhhh mmmmmm."  Those are his happy noises along with high pitched 'eeeeeeee' that he also likes to make at people he likes, especially children.  It often times frightens children, because he will get up to their face nose to nose to screech.  It's his way of saying hi.  People stare.  No doubt, they stare.  I don't often notice, as with my own autistic tendencies I don't notice much about what people around me are doing, nor do I read them or their agenda well.  My husband does, and he says we get many stares and looks.  Some quite nasty, as if to say we shouldn't have even took him out of the house.  Well, we did, and we do, they can just carry their hate and prejudice to someone who cares.  He has every right to be at the store and places like McDonald's.  We work very hard in making sure all of our children are minding manners and being courteous to everyone around us, so any irritation is the fault of the other person's intolerance of difference and not of the fact that either of my boys are being a nuisance.

I love my Beans, though.  He is so cute and sweet I don't mind (too much) about being tired all of the time.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Does Eating Give You Pleasure, Or Make You Anxious?

http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/newsrel/health/05-09EatingPleasure.asp

Dysthmia

I have had a rough couple days. Today is looking to be better.  I have Dysthmia (dysthyimic disorder) which in short is a long lasting mild/moderate depression, as well as Asperger's.  It is less severe than major depression, but major depression can also attach itself to the dysthmia turning the usual depression into what is called 'double depression'.  I am still unclear as to whether dysthmia is a result of past trauma, and sadness, or whether it is of organic origin. In other words, I have no idea if whether it's environment or if it's a chemical imbalance outside of anyone's control.  I would like to think it's of environmental origin, as that would mean with some work and time it might go away.  It might be 'curable' as it were. 

This depression as  I remember it started when I was about 13.  These feelings that I am not the same as others, and I was so sad.  I began to notice my AS differences at about 12, but by 13 they were almost in my face.  They could no longer be denied.  I as I still do, have immense trouble with speaking with groups of people.  Auditory issues, sensory issues, as well as the inability to make small talk and keep up with the speed of how most Neurotypicals (NTs) speak make it impossible for me to feel included or add much to social outings.  This social disconnect is by far the WORST thing (to me) about having AS.  Being able to successfully integrate into a group of peers is essential to having a successful social network as a teen.  I couldn't do that and had no idea as to why.  I would go home after failing to respond to someone talking to me appropriately and ruminate.  I'd make lists of things that I could do differently, and role play differently situations.  I'd try to think about why it went wrong.  I thought that maybe there was something wrong with my hearing, because I can't hear individual words when there are a lot of people talking and background noise.  I thought it was the way I dressed, or looked, or....  That stuck.  I decided that it MUST be the way I look. I have since been seriously obsessed with my appearance.  Always finding it lacking, and thinking that if i could fix it, then I'd be more approachable and likable.  Maybe things might turn around for me.  It was something I could do in a situation where I felt so lost and powerless.  This was/is unrealistic as I was not unattractive.  Rationally, I know this, because I have been offered modeling jobs when I was not applying, and have been told by complete strangers at times how attractive I am.  I am not ugly, or fat but none of that matters when I FEEL that way.

So, that's where the dysthmia began.  It focused in on my appearance, until it permeated my whole life.  I find with many on autism spectrum they don't care if others think badly of them, or if they're left out.  I care less now than I did as a child.  I remember noticing in first grade that everyone else had people to play with and I had to swing alone because I didn't.  I remember feeling extraordinarily sad about it, too.  I thought maybe the teacher might notice and tell me why I didn't have friends like everyone else did.  She never did, but then again, I'm sure no one knew that I was unhappy, or wanted things to be different.  Now, I am okay being alone, and not having much social ties.  Sometimes, it bothers me, but then I know how hard of work it is to socialize now and it doesn't seem worth it quite often. 

I am now trying to use behavior therapy to help me with cognitive distortions that feed into my depression.  Particularly, Acceptance Commitment Therapy.  I take a little of that as well as a little Mindfulness Stress Reduction Therapy.  A little of this or that.  What ever works.  Though, I have to confess that I have not been meditating.  It seems so hard, and chore-like.  I know that it is.  I know that it is like exercising.  It's important, and the more I do it the easier it will be, but if I wait until I feel like doing it, I never will.  I may try for 5 minutes sessions, as 15 was too long, and 10 was still difficult.

I guess I will end this nonsensical post.  I was going to talk about dysthmia and how it's impacted my life in more detail and more structured of a way, but I rambled off subject.  I will leave it.  It's what came to mind as I was typing, so it is what I feel, genuinely.