Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I Wish The World Had a Pause Button

Ever since I was a child I can remember that I can go from being completely happy, and okay with my current situation, to completely overwhelmed, and confused. When this happens the only thought in my mind is to run away.   I need the world to stop, so I can process it. I need people to stop talking, stop moving, stop everything. I need time to pause, so I can recover my wits. Obviously, the problem with this is that the world doesn't stop just because I'd like it to. I wish I could hit pause. I wish the world had a pause button.


I recall the pressure of middle school being the first time I felt this way often.  All this new social stuff being introduced, as well as academics to worry about. The pressure built as I got older, and by high school, I was literally refusing to go to school some days, because I was too tired. This isn't the kind of tired you get from being up too late, or not getting enough sleep.  This is the kind of tired that permeates my entire being, and makes me feel like I am 100 pounds heavier.

This tired still effects me, and my life today.  It is much less often, as I am able to offset it by making my life as autism friendly as possible, but I live in a world that is not always autism friendly. My brain isn't always able to process things, even in the best of environments.

Today is one of those days.  I am tired. I am sad. I feel despair, and loneliness.  I want to withdraw.When I was a teen I didn't know how to express this feeling. I would say that I felt like dying. I never said I was suicidal, but rather that I wanted to die.  I think I didn't really want to die.  I just wanted to get a break from the world. I learned after several times of being hospitalized that one is not to say die, and want to, in the same sentence, because people in my life would overreact. I then would spend my days trying to explain to men in white coats what I really meant, and how I really needed to just go home, because, really I am fine now.  I think this sort of communication mix up is really common in autistic people's lives.  I just had a mother that was very dramatic, and overreacted to everything, so I never learned to self-soothe.  I just learned that if I expressed myself, I would be punished. I would have my freedom taken away. This followed a familiar theme from my childhood, and it didn't make my anxieties, and awkwardness go away.  Instead, it fueled them quietly underneath the surface. I was punished for exhibiting any emotion that didn't fit my parent's agenda. I was to be well behaved, and in control at all times.

Today, I have learned through a lot of hard work how to self-regulate by being self aware.  This is something that I had to work incredibly hard at, and on my own. I know that when I get down like this, I need to take a break from things. I know that despite how I feel there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  I just need a day or two to see it. 

Social stuff still overwhelms me. I still don't understand it, and I still never feel like I am included.  I don't know if I am ever going to be able to shake that outside looking in feeling.  On Facebook, I feel like my page isn't all that important. I feel not that important on these days, period.  I run into the same wall I remember running into as a child.  I always thought that if I was nice to others, then they'd like me.  I thought that they'd have no reason not to, because I was always helpful, giving, supportive, and shared my toys.  I still live by those same rules.  Not because I want people to like me, but because I think that's the right way to be.  It doesn't matter, because it seems there is always that one person that doesn't like what you do, or who you are, and will take it to their page, to their friends and tear you down.  They will make a blanket statement about someone not being nice to them (often times they'll say that someone was mean to them by doing x, y or z), and let the awful comments roll in about what kind of person is like that.  The people commenting have no idea what happened, but they'll sure as hell set in on name calling, and whatnot in support of the person starting all the drama.  I have had this happen to me 3 times this week.  None of those times did I do anything to the people in question. I urged one to seek help, because she thought it appropriate to hit her ASD child, another thought I was mocking, and personally attacking her in a status when I was not, and another because I would not agree that we shouldn't judge people that kill their children.  I am tired, and worn out from this.  I am crying, because I don't understand this. I didn't do anything to these people, and I was not nasty, or rude to them during any exchange. I don't understand why people are so mean sometimes. I would never treat other people this way.  It seems that being nice isn't enough for some people. They will still figure out a way to tear others down.  It seems that just holding a different opinion is enough for some, even if that opinion is not in their face.  I suppose it feels threatening to them, for some reason.

I am part of another (new) group in real life that is largely centered around my special interest.  I could be a lot of help to the organization, but once again... I don't understand the social dynamics enough to get noticed, to get involved, and to be someone worth listening to.  My husband says I need to just speak up, but the rest of the group seems to be operating on emotion, and less on facts.  I cannot win there, because they don't always want to hear logic.  I don't understand how this dynamic works, so once again, even in an area where I could shine in, I am left out.

I don't know how to fix this. I just know that I need a break to refocus, and re-align.  I will regain my momentum once again, and be back.


*Negative comments will be deleted. Please, respect my space by not posting nasty things. Thank you.

18 comments:

  1. Oh, sweetie, I hear you!! I really don't like all the negative junk that gets posted. I was raised under the motto "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." Or as my brother used to say, "Those are the things you think, but don't say!" Unfortunately while the "you are an insensitive idiot" stare sometimes works as a response in person, it doesn't work on the internet. So while I have no answers, I will say "I hear you!" Maybe just take a break from blogging and FB and see if you feel better? Good luck!!

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    1. I love blogging, so I probably won't take a break from that, but I am totally taking a break from the social atmosphere of FB! Thanks for your comment!

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. The most important thing about you sharing your experience is that it's radiating out from here, like a pebble thrown into a pond, educating therapists like myself who work with adults on the spectrum. You are educating me, so that I can advocate for others like you, both inside and outside of my counseling world.

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    1. I think it's so awesome that you are out there learning, and continuing your education in an effort to be the best counselor you can be. That is a truly uncommon, but the mark of a great counselor. Thanks for listening!

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  3. Moderating can be exhausting as people can get really fired up and can behave in the most shocking ways. I find it less stressful to dialogue behind computer screen than in person, but can still be exhausting. I've been actively culling my personal FB page back to people that 'get' me, to create a 'safer' space for me to express myself. I don't feel guilty taking a nap either - my warm, comfy bed does wonders for helping recharge my batteries after they are depleted by social interactions (even ones that go well can be tiring)

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    1. People can behave in the most shocking ways. You're totally right, there! A nap is also a good way to feel better. I might just try that today!

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  4. It's nice for me to know that there are other people out there who feel like this. I never knew that I was abnormal particularly until really about 6 months ago. Before that I just thought everyone felt like me they were just better at hiding or didn't talk about it. Now at 18 I'm getting my first assessment for a diagnosis of Aspergers syndrome tomorrow. I know all those feelings and pressures you wrote about so well so your blog is really a great source of comfort to me. So thank you :)

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    1. I used to think the same thing. Good luck with your assessment. I hope it brings you to some closure, and provides a new path for you to continue on in your journey of self discovery!

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  5. Well it's been awhile since I wrote you. Well many of the times I've slipped back into reading I thought of leaving a comment. Hmmm. I feel so the same way at times. Like if it could all pause I would find the right balance or ability or something. I guess process it all and then be. I guess it's like that for our kids too. I've pressed my own pause button many times. I do retreat. I do run. Often I fall into what some call as depression. But often it's just a retreat or a pause. The more I crave the retreat the more it sometimes feels like the world won't let me. Pressing, presuring, putting it's demand to move as fast as it can.

    It's hard to have another point of view. When you have ASD your going to have many different point of views then other people. The retreat, the pause, the ability to go inside ones self is a blessed thing. It's a survival skill. It's what helps me to thrive and preservere when so many want to put you down. It's easy to fall when someone pushes you down. Hopefully you will consider this a pick up.
    Retreat but don't except defeat. Realize you need to have your pause so that you are ok. Who cares if others are not satisfied with a pause. You be selfish and hit the button.
    As for people who brag about their short comings. Or justify harming a person because they can not be all they want them to be. Leave them that's part of their short comings. The inability to see that we have any wrong doing is a short coming. I would rather be a person who understands their short comings and tries to over come them. But hey that comes with the ability to want to go inside and seek what person I am.
    Last thing I wanted to say to you. Since I never know if I'll take the time to write you again. Your a good person. Some FB groups are full of different people. But they don't deserve a good person like you if that's what they are all about. Your writting helped me through a time where I was reaching out and trying to find my self. While I was pausing while I was discovering, while I was in need to feel and see that the world ( my world) made sence. Never stop shining never stop writting even on FB the world needs more of you. Mothers with children with ASD need you. Women with ASD need you. Mothers who have ASD and have children with ASD need you. Their was a time where your writting gave me what I needed. Keep giving. You no not what you give.

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    1. I love your comment. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to share it. It's those kinds of comments that offers me the hope, and enthusiasm to go on with writing, and sharing. It's not just insincere flattery. It was very genuine, and heartfelt. Thank you. <3

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    2. I came back today to reread this post. Why? I guess I'm licking my wounds. I think that's it. Not sure. Needed to think about the pause button. What you said and then reread the responses. Surprise I had a bad experience on line and just thought wow I remember this post. See this is what I mean cause it helped to read it and others again. Thank you for the thank you by the way you sweet.

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    3. I hope you found some space to pause, and feel better. Sometimes, we just have take that moment away, and reevaluate what we need to keep, and what to throw out. Thanks for your comments!

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  6. There's a sense of anonymity that can come with interacting in a digital way. I feel that this CAN bring out the worst in people. I belong to a few FB groups but I have a hard time always understanding where another people are coming from.

    I think you are important and matter and your opinions ARE valid. And I like being your FB friend. :)

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad to be your FB friend, too!

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  7. I feel similarly overwhelmed and confused at times. It's comforting to know there are others who feel this way. I wish I could offer you answers but I don't have any. The NT world is like a maze.

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    1. It IS like a maze! You're right about that!

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  8. So identify with all of this... i think i have, like someone above, fallen into depression occasionally simply as a way to get a rest.
    As for the horrible people on Facepalm (or anywhere online), i think it's best to avoid people like that. Sometimes, you simply can't change people's minds, no matter how many times you present the facts, as they are so caught up in their emotional responses. And like you say, they garner support from others without them knowing the truth of the matter. If it's possible to reach out to those others, do it, otherwise, i have found it best simply to avoid the whole lot of them.

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    1. Yes, you're right. I am just not a group person, meaning I just have not ever, and probably will not ever be able to mesh into a group setting where I make friends, and hang out with others in a community like setting. That just isn't for me. It's not that I am a bad person, or that I am disagreeable. I just get too overwhelmed.

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