My Spazzing and Me: Acceptance Edition

Greetings, my friends!  I hope you are all doing better than I am.  I’m around 90% sure my pinky toe is broken.  I have it taped up currently and am refusing to see a medical professional because I am deeply afraid of not being able to control myself and asking for drugs.  It’s an unreasonable fear, in my opinion.  I recently went in for mild ear pain and only requested antibiotics, so I should be able to contain my addiction.    I also found my old DBT book from 4 years ago.  I’m going to be flipping through it tonight.  I think it’d be fun, since I was such a pain in the ass back then.

I want to remind everyone that this blog is about my own perspectives and experiences and therefore is subjective, not objective, to life.  I also want to take a little walk down memory lane with you all in this newest edition of My Spazzing and Me.

When I was younger, I was a much angrier child.  I would often throw fits and have tantrums.  These pretty much stopped by the time I got into high school.  I would still lash out if I got too overwhelmed with any emotion, including happiness and excitement.  This is because I didn’t understand the different emotions and how to properly express them.  In the 10th grade, I started cutting and I stopped having such outbursts of emotions.  I was still suppressing them; I was just turning them on myself instead of on others.

I want to fast forward to 2013.  I was constantly using drugs and alcohol to deal with emotions.  I cut on occasion.  Moving to the end of 2015, I was just entering my first couple of months sobriety from drugs and taking to meditation.  At the beginning of the year, on a Wednesday, I forgot to go to the toilet during break for group.  I was spazzing out and going full on rocking and plucking at my clothes and stuttering. I was very anxious and distressed from my need to toilet.  I did not feel the need to cut and I just let myself do what my body needed to in order to keep myself in check.

A little while later, I was thumping against my chest and twisting my left hand at Amazing Discount Book Store.  I was anxious and a bit overstimulated because of the lights and sounds, but I allowed myself to spaz without suppressing my emotions or calling myself a freak.  Now-a-days, I fully allow myself to feel my emotions and to have my spazzes and to play with Chaz the Spaz without much if any shame.

I tell you this because I had been told for years that my spazzing was wrong and that I shouldn’t do it.  I couldn’t bang my head against things or hit myself.  I wasn’t allowed to rock back and forth or make blepping noises without being punished.  And I lacked the ability to express how I felt, although I was told that what I was feeling was wrong anyway, so that didn’t really matter.  I forced myself to hold it all in and eventually I would just explode from the pressure.

I was not letting my emotions play out when I didn’t let myself spaz.  If I’m anxious and I don’t allow myself my movements, my anxiety worsens.  If I do my spazzing, it’s like acknowledging my emotions and letting them run their course.  I’m able to think about what the source of the emotional reaction is and conduct myself accordingly.  I’m not saying I’m very good at it, because I’m not.  I actually really suck at it still.  DBT is helping.

I’m happier when I let myself do my spazzing.  When I was listening to other people on how I should be sitting still and such, I was being forced down a path that was wrong for me.  I like the path I’m on right now, where I’m allowed to be me and I’m allowed to do my spazzing.

My facial tic thingy is not a spaz, in my opinion.  I’m almost never aware of when I’m doing it.  It doesn’t occur only during emotional episodes or whatnot.  It happens a lot when I’m trying to concentrate, so maybe it’s my reading face.  My facial tic is also the thing that’s gotten me into trouble a lot.  I would get punished a lot for ‘smiling’ when I was a child, despite my assertions that I was not.  I was constantly being told off for smirking, grimacing, making faces, etc.  I’ve been bullied and made fun of plenty of times for it.

I’ve only recently allowed myself to have my spazzing without feeling like it’s something to be ashamed of.  I want to accept my facial thing like I’ve accepted my spazzing.  It’s really hard to do when someone tells me that I must’ve found something amusing because I was smiling, when in fact I have no idea what the fuck my mouth is doing half the time.  It’s hard to do when people point it out constantly and ask me about it.  I understand that it’s a weird thing and people are curious and probably not doing it to be mean.  I still don’t like it.

Whenever I get too hard on myself, I just remind myself that I’m always growing as a person and I am allowed to make mistakes and to be imperfect.  And that’s what I have to remind myself now.

As my mantra goes: I promise to always strive to be Authentic, Progressive and Kind and to aim to be my own special brand of Awesome.

-The Sarcastic Autist

10 thoughts on “My Spazzing and Me: Acceptance Edition

  1. It’s sad that you get into so much trouble for smiling. Interesting enough I catch hell for the opposite. Would be nice if people just stopped policing other people and whatever it is they do with their faces. I can’t help the fact I was born with the so called “resting bitch face” any more than you can help the fact you have a facial tic. I think people forget that body language is highly individual and unique to each person. You can’t say “this is what it means when I do it so that’s what it must mean when you do it too” because two people are never exactly the same. It may be similar, but it will never be 100% accurate. I wish more people understood that.

    Liked by 1 person

      • That is a good question! However, making eye contact is a listening skill not body language. There is an art to it. Make the eye contact too long and you make yourself and the other person uncomfortable. Don’t make it enough and you make the person feel like you are either not paying attention or not caring about them. Hope this makes sense?

        Liked by 1 person

      • I hadn’t thought about it that way, but you’re right!

        I was talking to my dad about this because I’m not sure if I’ve told you but I do have one son with Autism and I wasn’t sure if I had explained this well. I was sure that this will come up with my son some day too but my dad pointed out that my son is obsessed with making eye contact so chances are he won’t ask me this question. So we talked about how that happened because we never taught him to make eye contact. When he was little, before he was diagnosed, we thought he might be deaf and since my dad has a sister who was born deaf it was a real concern. Sadly even though I’m hearing impaired, my sign language is broken but I still taught him what I know. Doing so taught him that you HAVE to look at people when to talk to them. The reason for this is sign language happens at the chest and face. People have always praised me for teaching him “eye contact” but if you really pay attention to him, he isn’t looking into your eyes, he’s just looking at YOU. So my dad and I have come to the realization that when we say “eye contact” we don’t really mean eye contact literally for the entire conversation. Heck most of the time you can get by without ever looking at someone’s eyes. Just look at the general face area and you should be good to go. Distance from the other person plays a role too. The further away you are, the more area you can get away with looking at just as long as you are looking at them but as long as it is at the upper body. It doesn’t have to be the eyes.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Having to look at people is the exact reason why I stopped learning sign language. But you are right. If someone is doing a lot of hand motions I stare at their hands. My therapist does a lot of gesturing and moving and that means I’m looking at her general direction more than I normally would for someone else.

        I did remember you mentioning your kids before. I think you seem very understanding and patient with your offspring. From our limited interactions, I’m under the impression you’re pretty nice and compassionate. You are a smart person.


      • It’s hard for me to forget how I grew up. I have clear memories of my childhood and how I felt when I was little. It was very hard for me. I believe that I was presenting with Bipolar symptoms at a very young age but wasn’t diagnosed until adulthood. I grew up in the military which meant I grew up with the old fashioned “it doesn’t matter how you feel, this is how you behave” sort of mentality. I believe it’s actually called bootstrap mentality, meaning you pull yourself up by the bootstraps and keep going no matter what. As a child who was a constant emotional wreck, this was a really hard thing to do. I always felt like the world was asking me to fit something the size of an ocean (my feelings) into a very tiny cup so they wouldn’t see it. I wasn’t very good at it and always got in trouble. I don’t know if I’m doing things the right way with my sons, but I am doing it differently. I’m trying to teach them to cope and express safely instead of trying to hide how they feel. Each of us are human beings to be heard and seen, not robots to be programmed or dogs to be trained. I have made mistakes and I have made assumptions, but when my boys speak up about it I do try to listen. I don’t want them to feel invisible the way I did growing up.

        Liked by 1 person

      • My heart hurts for you. I like how you are taking steps to improve and admit that you’ve made mistakes. It takes a very wise and strong person to do that, in my opinion. Also, sorry it took so long to respond. I thought I had and just realized I forgot to send it because I can’t just hit enter. I have to click Send. My apologies. I like your analogy, by the way. It’s very good and made it easier for me to understand how it must have been.


      • No worries, I still want to be able to just hit enter as well. As for how long it takes to reply it’s okay. I know that sometimes we are busy. My comments will be there whenever you get there.

        Liked by 1 person

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