Monday, 30 April 2012
I'm just curious. How many of us parents question whether or not we're on the spectrum too? Ok.. I am going to make a general statement, and probably stick my foot in my mouth. To the people that know me, know that I sorta do this from time to time. Well, ok.....a lot.
I've noticed throughout the community there is two very distinct sides to parenting children with Autism. One, a very confused, angry, a lack of understanding to "why" their kids do what they do, a sense of morning towards their abnormal child. And the other who, while not happy per say.. but they get their kids. There are stresses, but the anger and mystery just isn't there.
I tend to subscribe to the second. In fact I find most of their antics to be rather funny. It really doesn't even dawn on me that what they are doing is so abnormal unless it's being pointed out. Mostly when we are out in public or with other NT children. Outside from the horrible meltdowns. I do tend to make lite of the situation.
There is no doubt about it. My life isn't normal, by any means, not even in our sex life, TMI, I know. For as long as I can remember, I've been pretty cynical about my assumption of people. I truly don't get most people. Not even my family. While I love them dearly, and I know they love me. And I try really hard to understand where they are coming from. I've always felt very distant and far removed from the rest of them. I just don't get a lot of things. It's the subtle things, like jokes or phrases. It's very hard when the boys ask me, "What does (insert phrase here) mean?" 9 times out of 10, I don't know. I tend to say, "Let's ask daddy" or "Let's google that."
I tend to stare and I mean a lot. I was worse when I was child. It' only been sense my kids were born that I have tried to be aware of it. I can now sorta tell when I am absent, because I feel very confused. I can now say, "I'm sorry can you repeat yourself." About 40% of the things said to me,honestly, it's probably more like 60%, literally sound like "wonk wonk wonk wonk." The louder things get the less I hear. Honestly, I kinda assumed no one noticed. The only reason I'm aware, is because I can feel myself not being there. My husband and my kids who have pointed it out to me. It's more like.."geez Zoila.. they are yelling at you, don't you hear them at all?" or "mommy look at me in my eyes" or "Zoila.. Zoila.. ZOILA did you hear me?." I am horrible about paying attention to someone if I don't get their eye contact. And I generally don't look at others eyes, it's their lips that I try to read. I do look like I am a great listener.. but it's all for show. Kind of like a cat.
Things, like smells will instantly make me sick. Anything from being nausea, throwing up or immense hatred for the source of that smell. Yes, hate. Honestly a lot of people stink to me. It's not their body odor, or perfume, though a lot of the time it is perfumie stuff. Most people smell well......disturbing to me. I can't even begin to explain it, they just smell off. Light & loud noises are also very hard to deal with. Bright lights generally make me pretty angry pretty quick. Loud noises usually make me stare. I try very very hard not to get lost in the sauce.... but inventively I do. I refuse to shop anywhere with large crowds, like walmart, the malls, and I hate grocery shopping unless it's at night and I'm the only one there. I tend to not take the kids in crowded paces, because they meltdown and I'm freaking out... it really isn't a pretty sight.
One of my age old habits is cocooning myself in lots of blankets at night. I always assumed it was because I was cold. It wasn't until I tried my boys weighted blanket and felt immediately calm. I didn't realize I wasn't calm, but I sure felt super calm afterwards. Most recently I've gotten into wearing corsets. At first it was for the sex appeal. But as soon as I put it on, I realized it had the same calming effect as the weighted blanket. It's weird, but it makes me feel connected, put together and all there. Again, I didn't realize I felt disconnected.
I also tend not remember most people, places, TV shows, or movies. I can't even begin to tell you how many arguments I've had with Ian on which movie he claims we've seen together, or the things we've done. I swear to God, I never heard of it. And that goes for a lot of shared memories with him as well. I know I have met some really wonderful people through out my life, but I couldn't say who, what, where, or when. Only that there is a reminiscence of good people. Unless someone is in my life on a regular basis, it is out of sight out of mind. Quite Literally. However, I am great with biology and human anatomy.
My sense of time. This is the worst. Something has to be really traumatic or super exciting for me to recall it. Even then, not so well. I tend to joke that I run on Aztec time. What time is it? "I donno.. let me look at the sun". When are we going to eat? "I donno.. when it feels like dinner time." I really have a hard time with the actual time itself. I can't begin to tell you how many appointments I've missed, came a day early, or a week later. It's really embarrassing. I have gotten slightly better thanks to google calender. I have it set up to send me alerts 24hrs, 4hrs, and an 1hr before I need to be anywhere. I even write things down several times and I still forget. I make notes to myself when I first wake up. This helps a little. An hr, a day, a month, a year...... it all feels the same to me. It's kinda why I don't blog as often as I should. For me it was just yesterday. I never really wake up with remorse or longing of my past, because frankly I either don't recall it or it felt just like an hour ago. So, sure I have a positive outlook on life.... it's because I am rather indifferent to most of it.
My filter isn't the best. I generally don't mean things to sound so awful. I've noticed a lot of people assume that I am being funny, but I just think I'm being honest. And when I am trying to be funny, I come off as being mean. I know it's sorta fopa to make fun of my Aspie kids, but I am not even sure why that's the case. I find most of the things they do to be hysterical.
I guess, what got me thinking about this, was the other day when Gabe told my mother he didn't like her laughing at him. I looked at Gabe, and said... "it's ok honey, I have a hard time figuring out if someone is laughing at me or with me too." Gabe looked at me, "Mom do you have Asperger's too?" "ummmmm I donno... I wouldn't be overly surprised though." I mean what can I say. Nope Mommy is just eccentric and quirky but you're autistic? And that's just it. I have always just assumed I was a little eccentric, a little bohemian,a little quirky, a lot spacy and attributed much of it to my artsie-fartsiness.
I know I can't be the only parent who wonders about their oddities. I know I do. There are shit load of other things, I do. That's for another time. Autistic or not. I am just glad I get my boys. I'm glad they don't baffle me. I'm glad they are like my husband and myself. I glad happy that I don't have a sense of mourning for what this supposed normal life is suppose to be like. It's not easy... but I don't think I could handle the pressure of being "normal", hell just being polite is hard enough for me.