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Thursday, January 10, 2013

interruptions


One of my biggest personal challenges is feeling like I'm a cosmic target and taking offense to the universe at large. I was born with this baditude on the autism spectrum. I see everyone else's 'stuff' that gets in the way of me humming along my little path as me being gleefully picked on by the dark gods of old. You know, like I'm so cool that Satan knows my name and wants to take me ~down~.


I know it's not really like that. I know psychologically that is a small child mentality, immature if I can twist it into something cute or funny, ugly if I can't. I know everyone on the planet has crap loads of stuff to deal with and other people's crap loads of stuff getting dumped all over them. I know it's not just me and I'm not really a target.


But I sure can't help noticing how exquisitely timed it seems to be... Even Scott concedes that I sure do seem to catch the weird perfectly timed cosmic arrows more often than not. It just doesn't seem to fail that when I *finally* catch a break and actually feel good about my day, even dare to feel happy, within seconds the phone is ringing and there it all goes again. Someone is having a crisis, and I'm the first one they call.


I should feel flattered. I'm a hero! I'm so awesome that people think of me FIRST for comfort in their darkness. I'm needed and loved and even admired. But I'm also autistic. I usually don't regret anything about being ASD, I like my head the way it is, but as I've grown older, I'm understanding more and more that other people seeing me as being the one who is able to help them handle their stuff is not only a huge compliment, it means I have wildly succeeded in living with my ASD and especially my yawning gaping social deficit.


I take things personally that I shouldn't. I am the one who actually takes offense at someone dying in the middle of my good day. I'll be there johnny on the spot if they didn't, heck, I've even saved a life doing that, but after it's handled, I find it very hard to let go of the despair of not having gotten something done that I wanted to. It's not a big deal. But yes it is. And I cycle through the depression of my day being shattered in pieces along with the depression I feel over whatever bad happened. I'm not the sort to stew or worry, I certainly don't dwell because I'm so easily distracted, but for some reason, I feel pretty hateful at the most inappropriate times about other people's bad luck. That kind of shocks me when I think about it. I mean, I would feel terrible if other people were hating me behind my back for wrecking up their days, and being ASD, I'm pretty confident I have been doing that all my life.


It has taken me most of 50 years to figure this out. I guess I'm pretty lucky. Some people don't make it this long, and some people never learn it. I just know I don't want to take bitterness and complaining to the grave with me, and I especially don't want to be remembered for that, or for someone to feel relieved I'm out of the way now. Actually, I don't think very many people know it's like this for me because I'm sorta good at hiding it, and since I'm usually embarrassed by it later after the emotion has passed, I hate sharing too much of myself just in case, you know?


I spent part of my week hanging around a hospital for Scott's ex-wife having high risk surgery. She would have died without the surgery, and she could have very likely died having the surgery. She is my age. I can't imagine how hard it must be to face absolute certain death like that. I've had near misses, but nothing like that. And no one else came, just me and the daughter I raised for her. No one else bought her flowers, which bothered me very badly. I took flowers in yesterday and we had a good visit. She made it through the surgery with flying colors, against quite a few odds.


I used to think my marriage was so tainted, my relationships with Scott's family so skewed, in large part because of this person in his past. Over time, I think I have learned more stuff about myself because she is in my life, and I feel like I wouldn't have grown to this level of self awareness if I had never known her. She has struggled for so long with drugs and alcohol, her health has been wrecked, her relationships shredded time and again. A long time ago I imagined what it must be like to be in her shoes, to wake up to the depression she must have to face every single morning, and maybe the only way you don't kill yourself is to take another drink. She found a way to go on. And she has found a way out of that path, too. It was long and hard, and she took so much crap for it. Granted, she dished it out. But in the end, she was the one sitting up smiling and happy yesterday, thanking me for always being there for her daughter, telling me I am a blessing, and behind our yappy chat it was all I could do not to cry, because not one single word was spent on self pity, anger, or shaking her fist at the cosmos. So now I cry alone at home. I don't know if anyone else cries for her besides her grown kids. I have a hard enough time pretending and acting like I can be that socially interactive, never mind all the angst around the emotions that come with it, and here she is, open and honest and beautiful and even sweet after all this stuff. I would be hiding in my cave not talking to anybody.


Her girl is going to make her a gramma this year. She has everything to look forward to and be happy about because she isn't dwelling on other people's past judgements or fretting about what anyone thinks of her. I realized yesterday talking to her that everything I see as an interruption, everything I see as more work, everything I see as me having to drop my stuff to help someone else- is a blessing. I'm autistic. It took a woman's lifetime of alcoholism and near death to show me how to bridge over to that. And I'm thankful I had a chance to learn it.


Going forward, I want to see the blessings that happen around me. I don't want to miss them because I'm too wrapped up in my own head and the dodgeball I play around how other people perceive me and react to me on top of the plethora of ways I react to them. I want it to be simple. I'm tired of negativity and all the ways people judge each other. I grew up with that, so maybe that's where the feeling of other people being interruptions in my day comes from. I pray every day that I'm good for other people. Yesterday, the person I least expected was good for me. I still get tears thinking about how lonely life would be without the interruptions, you know? Everyone calls on me, no one visits her on a day she might die. That is blowing me away.


So, I get many blessings in my day... New way to look at the people in my life in my ASD head.

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