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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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.