Just be different.

What are the messages that you have received throughout your life?

 

A few that reflect my life:

  • Just be different.
  • Just try harder.
  • Just do it .
  • It’s not that hard.
  • It’s not that big of deal.
  • Stop being so loud.
  • Stop scaring me, you are too loud.
  • …….etc etc.

So, I’m going to tell those, and all the people who have minimized my struggles or discounted my feelings (family included) to shove it.

Here are a list of things that I WANT to say but can’t. Or WANT to verbally explain but somehow can’t . They might be easy to write but not to get out in a way that makes sense, and me being in the same space as a person. I can’t do two things at a time (explain, express, and be present with you)

When  you are dealing with someone who might have difficulty with communication whether it be intermittent, or just when there are feelings triggered-keep a few things in mind.

Take sadness, discomfort, extreme happiness, grief, anything really except for “regular” neutral (flat) feelings. Does it appear the person suddenly is not engaging with you? Have they disconnected? I often feel a wash of extreme difficulty and can’t get words to my mouth and out. This doesn’t mean I’m shut off. Things are much more active in my head (a lot of thoughts, connections, patterns, considerations, etc) and just because I’m not engaged doesn’t mean I don’t care. It means the exact opposite often. It means I care terribly, and hurt, or  am upset, or affected, or am experiencing feelings along a more pleasurable level (respect someone, grateful, appreciative, nostalgic, etc).

I feel if people would ask me yes/no/i don’t know questions then there isn’t much “emotion” involved in those answers. I might not be able to manage a “I’m upset right now, and need some processing time, and disconnect from light/noise/people/expectations” but if you ask me if I’m having some feelings, I might be able to say “yes”. I won’t look at you or if you try to get me to stand in front of you while asking me, I won’t answer. I will leave, react angrily, or other and make it so that you stop doing what you are doing to me  . That might mean being in my space, intently looking at me, observing me, gauging what is going on, asking me open ended questions, being reactive/defensive, intruding on my thought process…etc.

Keep a comfortable distance. Ask do you want to be alone? Do you need processing time? I can’t always say yes and no, and sometimes I ignore you and shut it out. But the answers are happening inside my head. It doesn’t go down the right path to my mouth to get “out there.” If you step closer I might turn away more as if to hide. If you step away you might see me calm down a bit. I always feel like it’s like being claustrophobic but of people, of their questions, of their being around me, of noises, of smells, of expectations.

When things affect me I don’t want to gauge how or who I am. I want to process and work through how I know best. It means I want you to drop the expectations of me to be however I am supposed to be (what is the social norm or appropriate) and adapt to me and what I need.  I want space to be myself without feeling bad that I can’t be just like you or others or what is “expected” of me. It causes anxiety. Remove expectations of me to be a certain way or different. As long as you are around me I feel there is an expectation that I have to hold it together, and I will ultimately do things that are displeasing to you. Just let me be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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That place. Embarassed. Sometimes I hate being me.

Again, I traveled down a picturesque road in my head determined to show what I see . I made everyone uncomfortable. I was disrespectful of an opinion, a professional opinion, and was “stuck” in what I was getting at, or hearing, or saying. I could not move from it. I could not really hear all the words you said to help me understand something that was “not” why we were all there. I was rude, apparently…I was angry, and defensive and stubborn and “stuck” again.

I suddenly had this feeling like I had done something wrong, perhaps it was because I myself knew I could not stop, could not think of anything else, was tuned out of outside life then. I always “never say the right thing” and don’t understand what “I should have said.” I just don’t get it…I have this deja vu type feeling-an “inkling” that maybe I went there.

There. Is a place that I frequent (obviously) – determined by the amount of conflict (large and small) that I  run into when interacting with other people and when verbal language is exchanged.  I use any of the words that most relate to something (like a word association) to get some description out of my head. It’s like I use a thousand words going on and on and on trying to get to the centre- the “thing” I’m trying to say and I go in circles around the centre and people get the wrong message. I’m failing, most of the time. There is when I understand that I was either rude, opinionated, arrogant, something or other and I didn’t realize it till after when other things make me understand this. An expression and words from a close person (spouse), a nasty message about how I am, or someone “de-friends” me 😦  I would not know until I felt consequence by some action. Ostracized. Shamed. Shamed for not being how we are “supposed” to be.  It’s like this feeling I possibly did something wrong but can’t “see” me, or “it” ever so I am not quite sure. I wait for the fallout afterwards. I wish it was videotaped so I can learn. I can improve things when I can see how they are supposed to run, operate, go, act…I have to have a visual representation in my head to know where to go.

Again, I am there. I feel embarrassed of how I am or what I am like. Because I would never want to alienate, disrespect, be arrogant. My intentions aren’t to get you mad or frustrated with me but that is often the case. My intentions are because there is something deeper, that is important to me. Why not discuss.I guess it’s because I cannot express myself clearly or think ahead of anything I am about to say. I feel sorry, and shamed. I am there at that place where I am hiding in my room because the looks, comments, experience told to me by a present person helps me understand that whatever I was like, it wasn’t good.Combative, stuck, and as I heard later..”spectrumy” although I’m really unsure of what that means because I can’t see what they saw.

I don’t get it though, I don’t remember it or “get” a lot of it but know that there is that after effect thing of me being me. Sometimes, I just want to be different. To be normal. To not be like this. It’s embarrassing. I feel really bad about myself. I don’t feel sorry because I’m sorry for speaking my thoughts but because I’m sorry because I’m embarrassed if that makes sense…maybe there is something wrong with me. I just don’t want to be like that at all.

I can’t look at the world when I’m embarrassed. Not you, or anyone. Open space, ugh..I feel like the whole world is watching me and I have to hide. So embarrassed to be me. It’s like a mixture of deep sorrow, sadness and embarrassment at same time. Then I’m worn out. I have to retreat into own self and space. Goodbye world, hello mind. Words can’t even make it to my mouth to speak anymore aloud.

 

 

 

Fear of stupid.

Fear of being viewed as stupid.

Acknowledging all these things I can’t do. Well, not consistently. They aren’t “difficult” things. They are more mindless, annoying, and boring things that remind me of cardboard. Flat and uninteresting. Adaptive or independent functioning. Hmmm. I’m not stupid! (I want to yell). I can DO these things just not all together, and not all the time, and not today, and I don’t WANT to do them because they are soooooo boring that I will feel like gauging my eyeballs out if I have to. Well, not that far but you get the idea. And some of it…it’s too hard to keep track of all these little things that I should do. If I have to “think” about it and it not be automatic, then things are hard and difficult.

Routine, established creates music. A flow, a dance in the day. Gently gliding to the next expected thing. But, it is not routine. It is not automatic here. It’s chaos. Internal, and sometimes external. It’s too loud. There is too much movement.

I struggle and say I need help. Not with everything but a “somewhere” to start. I need a bit of a director/leader. Someone to help me start and say hey, let’s map out (brainstorm/mind maps) all the major things going on, or what we have to do and get a good grasp on where we are and what direction to take. I can’t “start” and “organize” enough to get this done from step 1 to step done. I tell my spouse I need this. Not that over there, but this. Please help me. I want to feel I can accomplish something. That I am in control of something. Don’t do all that other stuff, please. Help me feel empowered. But…there is anger and defensiveness. I can’t express what it is that I need, and why and how that is different from just doing things “for” me and giving me “breaks” from our family life, time to myself….

I wish I could print out detailed flash cards of pictures in my mind to show him. That would be so much easier. Flash, flash,flash….then you have enough information to “understand” what I am trying to explain in stupid english words. God, I hated English in school….(yes, English is my first language).

Back to being stupid. It’s my biggest insecurity. I could not express myself, and felt dumb. People thought I was “dumber” (haha) or just shy, or not that smart. I hate that. It’s because I don’t have a need to show off myself and also don’t have the verbal skills to really demonstrate things that I know or understand or see.  I have anxiety over being viewed as stupid. As being “low” and “dumb”….I’m tired of people being condescending…

And lately I have to admit that I can’t do certain things. But, I can…in certain times….I struggle to accept defeat.

 

 

 

This foggy thing in my head

I’m trying to make it out. It’s like gray and foggy but it’s a pattern that I’ve just really noticed and  trying to figure out to what extent I do it.

I have extreme fear, and anger at being centre of attention. In front of a group, a class, intimate moments…I feel like a robot, and awkward, and unsure. I need something to reference in my mind, and cannot be put on the spot…..ever. I have realized that I am okay if I blend in, and can feel that those laser beam eyes aren’t evaluating me (even if they say they aren’t it feels like it). If that pressure and belief is gone (looking at me, watching how I talk, my mannerisms, my awkwardness….) I feel more at ease. To what extent though have I had this anxiety because  of this ? I am now realizing that it’s because then I’m not modeling what I see, can’t read how people are interacting and don’t know how to proceed…

I promise I care.

I don’t want you to feel bad. I don’t like to make anyone feel bad. I can’t help but make you feel bad. 

I do care. I know out there it doesn’t seem like it. I do all the things that make you feel I don’t care but I do. I care intensely. Somuch that things get too fuzzy, and I don’t have words to put to things I feel and see. I care. I know I care about me more. I am not a narcissist. It’s something else.

When you talk to me about important things or difficult subjects-it feels like there is lightning flashing out there beside me. I have to look at it. It’s distracting me. It’s taking my attention away. It’s so fascinating that I can’t get down to you, in front, focused, and feel something about what you are trying to say to me. I hear mumbles of the words and nod my head and try to glance at you like I am paying attention. I am cut off from those feelings in this moment. I try not to go there. I hate that intensity. I don’t want to open that door right now. I can’t adjust after. I need to just do things. I can’t have all those “things” (emotions and complexities) clogging my brain up right now….I must survive today. I must accomplish something…please stop.

I’m busy, I say. Sorry, I care but I’m just so distracted today. Oh, ugh, can’t concentrate right now….remind me in a few, Ic an’t manage this right now. I’m trying to do xyz. I’ll do this first then be able to listen. Or talk. I can focus later….not right now please…can you go do xyz please first, do you mind? You see, I have an art of distraction….it has and serves a purpose.

For myself, and for others.

I distract you so I don’t have to deal with what was going to come. I panicked. I appear aloof. Busy, distracted. In my own little world. I try to come out sometimes. I hate when you try to pull me out. Exhausting. Hard. I want to stay where I am. It’s cozy. It’s comfortable. I hate that cold space out there. The unknown. The exhausting. I hate gauging.

Myself, and others. I just want to be myself. But, I hurt you. I hurt others. I appear I don’t care. I don’t do the things I am “supposed” to do. To make you feel better. To drop my things in my head and care. To feel that. I don’t understand. I can feel my things more. More intensely. I don’t want to be unkind. So, let’s just not talk about it. I hate to feel I am selfish. That I am not empathetic. Because I do care. I care. I care. I care. 

I just don’t seem like I do. No one knows me.

 

 

A day full of crying

I don’t want to “talk” about the difficulties of participating in “outside life” because you wouldn’t understand. What may appear to be just trivial, frivolous, silly, child-like, or over exaggeration to you-it is piercing high in difficulty for me.

I feel stupid that these things are barriers for me. I don’t want to tell anyone about them. It’s embarrassing. I have to admit that although I sometimes feel that I could have been someone, something, or participating in things that I enjoy (research, analysis, policy-creation, etc)-I could not demonstrate my understandings and knowledge very well. I can’t “show” what’s inside. Then, I have these things-these “barriers” that I have to dodge at all times while trying to manage those wants (higher education, purpose, continued focus in things that interest me). Like playing Pacman…. It’s exhausting.

I give up. Often. It’s easier to not “try” to be outside, and something that I am not (but secretly really want to be). I am tired of feeling invalidated, discounted, “stupid.” Why even my Drs act in a way that tells me they think I am “mentally handicapped” (“focus on your breathing when stressed…. all people feel this way….it’s not so bad”) They just don’t “get” it.

I love outdoors. I love nature. I love the sounds of birds, and the smell of the trees and fresh air. But, I hate the slight wind on my face. The irritation of wind in my hair, or on my skin. Or the bright light even on a cloudy day. I can’t move without sunglasses. Then, my fingers and toes are frozen and I can’t concentrate. Wait, that wind is just slightly brushing up against my cheek and a strand of hair falls out of my bun and hits me near my mouth. Raging anger over things needing to stop. Stop, bugging me. Stop, interrupting me. Stop, feeling so entirely disgusting and upsetting, and volatile. It’s either too cold out or too hot. Then, my sock feels funny, and I can’t concentrate while trying to tend to my  little ones (children) . It’s so much work. I just want to absorb into myself.

I hate the guilt I feel. About not wanting to deal with anyone else’s needs. Of just barely able to look after them. Of not being able to be that person I so want to be : energetic, fun, organized, not scattered. Not stressed because I can”think” and also because these sensory things are driving me so up the wall that I break down. I can’t manage well.

Where does one go when they have realized that they just can’t do life. I can’t “do” work, school, motherhood, basic daily things I can’t look after. What does one look forward to when all those little dreams are gone because for my entire lifetime of struggle, I didn’t get anywhere.

I couldn’t become different.

The chicken or the egg.

In the past I thought it was inattention, or what I call “scattered” brain. AKA “I can’t think…” (a common spoken phrase).

Whether it’s a fairly new friend, or someone I haven’t seen in awhile, or someone I am meeting for the first time, or the Doctor, or someone in my space (home) for some reason….I have always been like this : I end up moving about, hard to make small talk, don’t look at the person much, appear busy or thinking about something, can’t maintain intense face contact/eye contact. What I realized is that I used to think it was my “nerves” (anxiety) that caused that behaviour but suddenly it’s becoming clear that it’s not, and the anxiety is because I am doing “this stuff” and I can’t “not” be like me, and it’s what makes me feel weird, disconnected, like a non-human robot type person without a nice “flow” to conversing. Is it the newness and nerves that cause the lack of being able to connect with small talk etc? I hate it. I WANT that, to feel like what I see other people do and see on tv shows etc. But, I can’t. And I feel “squirrely” about it, then I get nerves because I know it’s happening and I feel someone is going to pick up on it. My saying is “being weird.” I have self-esteem issues pertaining to (or an internalized thing) feeling “weird” and people noticing it.

I have always had anxiety. I have always had mass quick processing but slow verbal output or ability to show those “smarts” (or knowledge for example). I think a huge amount in patterns, pictures, diagrams, stills from a movie scene (like). Summing up a bunch of things that I recognize as pictures (say an uncomfortable meeting, shyness, etc) but can’t quite eloquently describe what I see/feeling.

So, I am wondering: did the anxiety response come after I experience or interpret things in a certain way? I , possibly naively thought that nerves and anxiety just “happened” with me and that the end result was my “weird” stuff. But, I have moments where I am not feeling like that inside. It takes a lot, trust wise. I can’t quite put my finger on it but it’s something that I have only just noticed and realize I have always done this but surprised I didn’t realize that anxiety  is the response of something else…maybe I’m just overly confusing and scattered today.

One of the things that it resembles is my huge phobia of people focusing on me, paying attention, analyzing me, watching me. If I think I am being evaluated, performance-wise or other…I have an intense block.  I can’t speak in front of people, I have hard time in groups but often, better in  a small group because I can sense other people’s nerves or things like that and not all the focus is on me. I have serious issues with compliments, and am considered quite modest. Not conservative, mind you but modest. I don’t liek any attention to me except for some small things that my partner pays to me, but as long as it’s not too much, and when I have moments that I need a particular type of closeness (not too touchy, but lean, and relaxing, no expectations). As soon as I sense a change in expectation, normal with relationships-I get this huge block. Like, I’m that weird robot person not sure how to act right now. If I don’t know what to expect, say in a group or meeting or something-I cannot go. I don’t know how to act, talk, be. The funny thing is that I never considered myself to be one that took on other people’s personalities. I don’t. I have  a distinct “me” personality. It’s more like trying to connect and be part of like other people, sensation? Like adjust and adapt a bit of what I can, and if not-I have to run. (bolt) and not be there, or not have too much.

I get this funny picture in my head. Like the chicken or the egg saying. Which came first? Is this me, and my anxieties, behaviours come as a result of “me” or is it anxieties, and inattention, distractibility that are there first and cause “me” as a result. Hmmm. Maybe writing it out makes it sound like I’m crazy. Another such issue with describing these feeling picture things.