Hissashiburi, minna! I’m sorry I didn’t post yesterday. I wanted to catch up on my studying and then I was exhausted and really just needed to unplug for a bit. I’m doing much better today, although my Distress Tolerance ability is out the window for the most part right now. I’m at the higher end of a reasonable functioning level, which kind of means that I’m able to do stuff but that too much stuff will send me right over the edge. So I’m trying to take things slow and easy and I’m going to try and set up more firm boundaries so I don’t get this overwhelmed again any time soon.
I had such a busy and stressful week last week that I feel like I rather neglected this blog. I basically put up short updates and a rant about how stressed I was feeling. I want to let you all know that Saturday’s non-profit benefit event thing went really well. Someone gave me a quilt and I made a friend. I may or may not have a crush on my new friend. I don’t know yet. I have a hard time with feelings. We also raised over $1,300 dollars. That’s a lot of money.
Charon said that I should think about what I want my homework this week to be and to start thinking about Stage 2 DBT. I’m not entirely sure what that is, even though I googled it. It looks like it’s delving deeper into making my inner self less chaotic or something. I know that, sometimes, Charon will say that she is not capable (as in trained) to help someone and she wants them to get the best possible care. I’m kind of really scared that that means she might not be my therapist anymore after I finish group stuff. I like Charon and it’s really hard for me to find people that I like and can open up with. I’d hate to have to start all over with someone new.
Charon also asked me why I don’t like doing a lot of social stuff with people. I’ve been thinking about that. I like to say that I don’t like the peopling part of people. It’s kind of like… I don’t know if it’s a PTSD thing or if it’s a sensory issue or if it’s an Autism thing, but I tend to pay attention to everything going on around me. That’s noise (sounds, voices, conversations, etc) location (where people are, where they are moving to) movement (if someone is moving something or moving around). Then, unless I’m wearing specific shoes, I can also feel the vibrations of everything and everyone around me. It gets very hard to focus on just one thing for extended periods of time without wanting to crawl under a rock and die.
It’s also the social aspect. What am I supposed to say? What am I supposed to do? Where do I look? Whose turn is it to speak? How am I supposed to talk? What’s the socially acceptable thing here? It’s a very conscious effort on my part to be social. I have a million and one things that I have to be very aware of because I suffer from what I call “Social Dyslexia”. Basically, I don’t know what the fuck is going on in social situations half the time. I try and just mimic whoever I happen to be closest to.
It makes it harder for me to keep track of what’s going on internally too. I have to remember to go to the bathroom on a schedule or I risk peeing my pants. I have to pay attention to physical signs that my blood sugar may be getting too low because I can’t tell when I’m hungry most of the time. I get a lot more bruises when I’m socializing because I pay more attention to what other people are doing verses what I’m doing. On the other hand, I try to be conscious of which stims/spazzes that I use and how noticeable I am when I do it and how bad my tics are. There’s a lot of stuff that goes on in my head that I don’t seem to be able to do automatically like some people can. I should say, like most people seem to be able to do.
When I’m volunteering for something, I normally volunteer with someone I know, like my godmother, who understands that I need a bit more patience and direction than other volunteers may need. Since she was sick, I ended up with people who didn’t know that I’m Autistic and didn’t know that I need very specific instructions and that I don’t initiate doing my own thing well. I ended up going to the leader of the non-profit and telling her upfront that I’m Autistic and, despite what she may think, I can do pretty much anything if she just tells me what to do and how to do it.
I didn’t feel a lot of shame telling her, but I did feel a little and that makes it worse for me when I socialize. I never know how someone is going to react to my telling them about my Autism. So, it’s all very stressful and overwhelming and I’m very grateful that it’s over. I did have fun and I’m so glad I did it because I made a friend (albeit a very Christian one, but that’s okay). And I think that my homework this week is going to be me working on my Distress Tolerance skills. Because those seem to be lacking.
Take care, my friends.
-The Sarcastic Autist