Tag Archives: changes

The Debit Card Dilemma…

I’ve already worked out that being an Aspie is weird, in the sense that you don’t do things like other people, and psychologists are happy to say what you do and how you think is basically “non- compliment” to “social norms”.

However, I find I sometimes really do fall down the rabbit-hole and find my brain might have extra-weird things. Now, not liking change is one thing… I think that’s quite normal, for quite a lot of people, not just for ASD. But right now I’m in yet another distressing emotional dilemma because I have to change something that [to me] is a friend that has been with me for three years and now I have to say goodbye and move on to something else.

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I’m talking about my debit card. [Yes, don’t smirk…!]. I have to, this month, move away, and kill, my debit card of three years and start using a new one. With different numbers – on the front, on the expiry, on the back…  And this causes me actual distress – and a lot of concern about the change itself. Adapting to anything takes such a long time, and I’ve already had quite enough of that with everything else in my life…

It always has – whether a new card after expiry, or having lost a card (or had it stolen, which happened twice), saying goodbye and using a new one is a difficult thing to IMG_9721overcome. There is real loss there, disappointment, and the change is contentious and disturbing to me. Yes, I’m probably on this little island all by myself, but it’s affecting me, and I’m having great difficulty making the transition. So I’m “talking about it” to try and help myself come to terms with this… As hard as it is, it obviously needs to be done, and there’s a clock on it – so I have only a certain amount of time to actually try and acclimatise to it.

It doesn’t help that this is coming during what is already a time of turbulence and upheaval – and this one extra [small but significant] change is a final straw on the metaphorical camel’s back.

During this time, my condition is getting worse, my best friend and soul-sister has left for a backpacking pilgrimage to South America for god-knows how long (and it was a sudden, impetuous decision, so I had little time to acclimatise and process that, and I needed to help her, too, because she couldn’t organise her way out of a paper bag and is already regretting not taking my advice about her phone because “she knew better”. She didn’t…), and my little sister [OK, she’s 31…] is about to have her first child (due next week, mid-October). Things are already super scary, and I didn’t need anything else on top of that.

Now I have to give up my card and change that, too? I still have cards from cancelled credit card accounts (they’re pretty and I can’t accept they’re gone – yes, I’m weird…) – I don’t know how I’m supposed accept I have to say goodbye after so long.

20140924_231459000_iOSIt doesn’t help I’m being rushed to move on. GiffGaff [network] systems won’t accept that the card expires at the end of October, not on the first day. So it won’t let me use it for my next payment. Thus, I feel pressured to start using the other card already… which seems highly unfair.

I understand no one else usually feels like this, that it’s just a card. But I don’t like change, and there’s already too much going on as it is that is changing everything. I don’t see why I have to do one more very difficult change on top of all the others. I am aware it comes across as ridiculous… but it’s not like I have a choice in the matter – these confusing things just turn up in my head and distress me greatly. And I have no one to help and understand. Hence, the blog. This blog. This entry… amongst others.

This is a strange thing to admit to, and I’ve spent my entire life hiding things like this. Presenting my distress as something else, or generating it subconsciously into other things, always engaging with depression, fear, heated arguments or meltdowns… all because something small like this was distressing the hell out of me. That is why I have been trying to break that barrier down, and discuss or write a blog about things that distress me, no matter how strange or small, because in this case, the truth really does set me free… All it does otherwise is cause horrible or traumatic chaos.

It’s better just to admit to the weird truth and be done with it – even having people ridicule you, or be very confused, is better than the alternative. Either way, the truth is the truth, and you should always accept and own it. Everything else is a fantasy that will just blow up in your face at some point. So now, I’m admitting it: Having to change to a new debit card is distressing and horrible. So there.

… Now, all I have to do is spend a really long time trying to get used to it.

Oh, dear.

*Sad sigh*

 

 

 

Sheldon–What Fresh Hell

 

 

Out Of My Mind...

 

 

 

 

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My ASD: Mistakes. Are. Bad… Very. Bad.

I’m not even sure why they even exist… but these physiotherapists are just such a waste of time. She screwed up again – and I pretty much had a meltdown about it, also causing a big set of severe Fibro spasm attacks. Hoorah

After going to so much trouble to get the right date this week so my mother was here with me, the damn physio wrote in the wrong date anyway into the diary when she got back, and after waiting and waiting and waiting, I only find this out after I call when she’s an hour late. So that’s two ruined days because of her, which has just sent an already troubling and difficult week into a horrible tailspin.

It is clear that no matter what acts or policies that are in place, nobody cares about how they treat you when you have ASD. It’s OK for them – they’re not the ones who have to deal with the meltdown (or at least severe anxiety attack) that is the result of this god-awful thoughtlessness. After trying to deal with it all afternoon, I had an anxiety attack and mini-meltdown later on in the evening, after that panic built and built and built. It in turn ended up in a series of severe spasm attacks that were horrific and painful. But she didn’t have to care about that, did she? No. She could be ignorant of it, never know about it, never need to care about it. It doesn’t affect her. So why should she care, right?

Apparently, that’s how they all think. It’s certainly how they all behave… And it’s just horrible. To the point of being traumatising.

20160920_173759000_iOSWhen appointments are made, stick to them. Don’t be late. Call if you’re going to be late. Isn’t that “NT” politeness anyway? Well, it’s vital in my world. I’ve already had PIP mess me around. I’ve already been thrown into hell with the isobars down at 1000mb level, unable to even breathe sometimes it’s so painful. I’ve already had a hell of a morning, starting with 3-4 hours of going through the motions of trying to get up – yes, that’s how hard it is. And I’ve had to get up super-early so there’s enough time to do all this and regain an equilibrium before the appointment…

And then after all of my efforts I find the physio didn’t even try to get this right. After we brought out the calander and showed her all the dates my mother was available. She still couldn’t get it right. The emotional turmoil of this, of all my efforts for nothing, that the fact she could make such a mistake that cost me so much… It’s just too much to bare.

There’s also the other point that I cannot even begin to cope with changes… as well as the horrifying realisation that she probably didn’t get the message I left with their reception to cancel the appointment she wrote up, and that she might come tomorrow anyway. When she wasn’t supposed to. When I told her not to… And then I have to cope with that thought, with that change, with that intrusion, because she wasn’t supposed to come tomorrow… It’s horrifying to think that she thinks it’s OK to put me though such a thing, just because she can’t concentrate long enough to put the correct date down. It seems so unfair. It’s not like they don’t know I have ASD… They just don’t care, or have a clue about it. Or care to have a clue about it.

Proving legislation and policy  is a complete and utter waste of time.

Tomorrow, either I’m going to be home alone when she comes, or my father remains here with me instead of attending his weekly visit to see his elderly mother. I don’t understand emotion generally, but I know that uncomfortable feeling of guilt. And that last option makes me feel a lot of that. The former terrifies the bejeezus out of me – I have no intention of being there alone with her. I’ll either say nothing, or say precisely what’s on my mind… which I’ve learnt that NTs do not want to hear. Apparently they’re allergic to the truth. The polite fluff they engage in is still beyond me, even though I generally attempt to emulate it. Probably quite badly, but hey… at least I try. Which is more that can be said for the other way – not many NTs [professionals] try to understand ASD-Land at all.

Like the physiotherapist. And PIP.

GrumpyBearI am “ranting”, but it’s so very horrible. “NT” people never seem to understand this – although some at least accept it. I’m terrified of tomorrow (and that’s actually an understatement), and the fact the isobars are still on the floor are not helping. It’s going to be a long morning, at the end of which, I have to call the receptionist back tomorrow to verify the appointment has been cancelled and the physio is not coming. She was supposed to call about it (the physio, that is) and reschedule, and she never did. With that evidence I can only conclude she thinks she’s still coming here. It seems that if she has a mobile phone, neither her receptionist nor myself have the details of it to contact her directly when she’s out.

I knew they were a waste of time, but since the initial attempt at contact was a farce. It’s not ending, either. It still is. I can’t see any reason to continue with this – it’s one extra burden I can do without, given there’s no payoff from it. I’m already ahead of her game, and so far she can offer nothing better. So I’m wondering why I’m spending the effort of enduring hours of pain and torment to get up in time for her to come, when she’s not actually even coming in the end, because she couldn’t do one simple thing right – write an appointment in her diary on the correct day. And repeating it all again in case she turns up tomorrow. It’s harrowing.

I really am honestly scared of facing tomorrow. I hope I get some sleep… It’s “only” 1:49am as I write this now. And there’s a long night ahead…

 

A Question of Sanity

 


Change and Adapt… Reluctantly Speaking

Changes are not good for me. Changes are even worse because I hate them. I don’t know what to do with them and they scare me. After almost quite literally overnight having my life as I always knew it taken away from me, I have not adapted well. Worse – I have now had to think about starting to adapt my environment to suite me, and that is not easy. Or cheap. Ten months ago, on Halloween 2013, I began this journey of hell. Somehow, coming down with pneumonia, move house, go to work, and having to single-handedly look after our new rescue dog who had just been brutally attacked and was terrified of everything, just broke whatever that was left of my body (and it was already extremely frayed). I’m not technically disabled (and I do not like that word, anyhow) – but I have been certainly left unable to do a lot of things without help. A lot of help.

I had my longterm best friend, who I live with, home on sabbatical for months. During that time she became my accidental carer, my helper, my little guardian angel. My SBT-mix, my lovely puppy dog, Soul also became my accidental helper. As my health deteriorated, my mental health deteriorated, and the pain kept on increasing, and if it wasn’t for these two I don’t know how I would have managed to get through the last nine months since this started. However, things have changed again. My friend – who is also my companion and helper – has now had to return to work… Sabbaticals aren’t forever. On the positive side, she returned to a closer office to home so she leaves later and returns earlier than before. On the negative side, I’m left to fend for myself. And I’m rather terrified about it, and about the fact I must now do it every single day. The most basic things are exhausting and daunting. Making food is reduced to making sandwiches from pre-made sandwich fillers or things like sliced ham. Making coffee is extremely difficult, and I can only do it once because after I’m exhausted and in pain. Having had someone in the house as I get worse has been a blessing – but now I’m on my own, I have no other option than to figure out how I’m going to manage this situation.

I’ve already tried to start. I’ve ordered new gear for the dog so he can physically help me more – he’s a strong and enthusiastic dog who enjoys being physically challenged (… well, when he’s not busy being happily asleep!). I’m going to get myself a cute little hot water dispenser so I can make my own coffee, I’ve already got myself a high bar stool chair thing for the kitchen, so I don’t have to try and stand when making stuff, and I even use it to bring the sandwich ingredients to the counter, so I don’t have to try to carry them (I can’t lift much of anything, and holding stuff is difficult enough too). I’ve worked out my “independent” food – like the sandwich fillers, picnic food that I can fetch from the fridge (cocktail sausages, little falafels, ready-cooked chicken, etc), pre-prepared salad, humus dip… I can eat all this stuff without too much bother. If it’s too much bother, it causes too much pain, and then I can’t even eat, so having figured this out is a bit of a relief. At least now I know I won’t starve.

Souly The Helper DogThe other side of this is going outside without anyone but the dog. Both doggy and I need to go out and walk as much as I can, so we go anyway. He pulls me (and I mean really pulls me) so I can actually go out. I can’t really move my legs, so walking on my own is difficult enough in the house. Going out is not an option unless I have the dog. Have you ever been pulled by a really strong dog? You’ll probably know they’re perfectly capable of dragging you about – and that momentum is what gets my legs moving and allows me to walk. I trained Soul to pull me properly – he has his commands, does as he is told, and knows he’s not in front because he’s the boss: He knows very well he’s in front and pulling because it’s his job, and it’s a job he takes pretty seriously (until we stop – then he wants to cuddle and kiss everyone he comes across!). It’s difficult for him to drag me about – I’m very lucky the dog my friend accidentally brought home to us (he wasn’t planned – she saw him and just brought him back!) was a dog bred to work and able to pull – but he really gives it all he’s got, and even if we’re both having difficulty in getting home, he’ll dig even deeper and work even harder, going up a whole new extra gear. He even knows better than I do if I need to go home – he’s amazing! He works like he’s in a pulling contest for World’s Strongest Dog – and he just might win one of those on the first try after pulling me about for the last few months!

Going out with him gives me confidence. He helps me, makes me feel safe, and I know that anyone who might want to do anything to me will think twice when they see him. He’s 23kg of muscle, thanks to a good diet and pulling me about every day. They don’t know the only thing he’ll do is drown them in kisses, unless they try to actually hurt me. I know if I was genuinely attacked he would protect me, regardless of the fact he’s never been trained do so – that’s just instinct. We go wandering about, going on our routes, and we just trot around on our own. I cope by stuffing headphones in my ears and blocking the world out, and focusing only on Soul and whatever I am listening to. After about an hour and a half of dragging me about, doggy is really tired and is quite happy to sleep it off the rest of the day, unless I need him to help me.

Unfortunately, there comes a time when I must go out alone. This afternoon, I must go to the GP by myself for the first time since I got this ill. Since I’ve been unable to walk on my own (without Soul). I’ve had to book a cab to take me… The practice is only just down the road, and frankly I rather resent the fact I have to pay for someone to take me there. I am fighting with myself to not be angry, hurtful or hateful to myself about this. I feel like I should be able to do it, like I used to be able to do it. Even though I’ve always been overwhelmed by going outside – always been agoraphobic to some level or other – I’ve always been able to use tools and techniques to go places I’ve had to get to. But now, I am in so much pain, unstable on my legs, feeling so vulnerable, I don’t want to go anywhere on my own. This time I can’t even take Soul. It’s honestly going to be a lot of trouble just to get out the house and walk to the car when it comes.

I’m scared of going; it’s going to be hard – physically, emotionally, psychologically. I have learned a lot about myself in the last few months – more than I’ve learned in the last 30-odd years of being me before, so I’m trying to use that knowledge to help myself now, hoping it’s going to help me cope and not have a panic attack or meltdown. I’m so used to going out with Doggy or my friend that I have no idea how to cope with going out all by myself in this state. So, I did myself a favour and downloaded a new album that I wanted this morning that I know will help me feel more relaxed and focus my mind on something I love (the soundtrack to Mass Effect 2, to go with the Mass Effect 3 one I already have… I’m such a Gamer Girl Geek!), and I will also have my books to read in the waiting room on my iPad. I hope this will be enough for me to manage. Even getting some of the anxiety out by writing this has helped a little, allowing me to confront and analyse my feelings, and to be able to accept them and at least try to not fear the fear itself. I hope that if I just focus on the music I will be fine. I really hope I don’t have a panic attack… The last thing I need today is a meltdown from one.

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… I knew all this was coming one day… but not quite so soon. I’ve been slowly been getting progressively worse, and probably subconsciously taking more note of it that I probability thought I did, I probably did a lot of things that have probably helped it along over the years. However, I’ve enjoyed throwing myself into the physical activities that I used to love  and can no longer do. Horse riding (and falling off the horses) was probably the worst of them – but dancing, walking, singing, yoga… I became absolutely absorbed in each one, to the point that although I miss them, I know I pushed myself and completed enough of what I wanted to do with them that I’m not too disappointed about not being able to engage with them now. On the other hand, the normal things you take for granted. Even writing this has been very painful. My hands are aching a lot, in the top bones and in my fingers and thumbs, especially in my right hand. All this makes me feel afraid of going out there alone, of being at home on my own… I hope I’m going to get through it all in one piece.

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Narratively Speaking

All right. I think for my latest writing attempt (i.e. Novel manuscript), I’m going to have to completely deconstruct what I’ve already done and realise what’s there (apart from names and some basic plot-points) is just basically useless. It’s sketchy and unfocused. And a bit rubbish, really. The idea’s there, but it’s not translating to paper. Or rather, Word doc.

I’ve agreed with myself that a big part of what I’m trying to write, and the point that I’m making (even in the title), is about isolation. Common sense then says the obvious option is to therefore isolate the narrative – it really should be in First Person. Not every-person, which is what ends up happening in Third Person works. Ones that I write, anyway.

Having it in First Person will keep it focused, bring in more though processes and characterisation of protagonist, and will make that person the driver of the story without getting sidetracked into others’ thought-processes.

I was attempting to do this in Third Person. It wasn’t working. I imagine because it logically made little sense. Also I think it didn’t allow me to really “connect” with them (the protagonist) properly – with what I have in mind for this it would be very hard to make sense of some of the complexities of the character without they themselves being the one to describe them. After all, it’s easier to get sucked into someone’s mind, and someone’s world – even with all their crazy and skewed logic – when they’re the one telling you about it.

Unfortunately this means going all the way back to page one and deconstructing what’s already there to accommodate this. And it’s more that changing that lead character’s name to “I” on the page. It’ll change the dynamic, the observations, writing patter and probably all of the book all over again.

But I like the thought of this. It makes me hopeful it’ll get me somewhere, and also allow me to move on past the mind-block I’ve had for about a week. All hard work, but surely a good thing? I’d like to think I have the capability of creating something that’s actually rather decent – and that eventually I’ll crack the key to my personal style and do just that. Just like with writing songs.

Just for once I’d like to prove to the voices in my head that they’re wrong – and listen to the other voices in there. The ones who are good characters just waiting to be born and given full lives in the worlds of my future novels.