Saturday, March 23, 2013

Asperger's Syndrome, Obsessions, and other things I'm learning along the way.

I've been wanting to write something for quite a while now, but each time I would try I'd get stuck. First on where to start. Next of where to stop. I also sometimes forget that  people can't read my mind and I will leave out the important parts. Like a main dish. So...I guess this is the main dish.

It's been about a month since I've written anything here. Since Jack's behavior and anxiety issues prompted my further investigation into Asperger's or...Autistic Tendencies, let's just say for those that believe the Spectrum should be shortened to only include the severest cases. Ironically, his anxiety has eased up for the time being. It's been a huge relief, for both of us, I think. Unfortunately, it will be back. I know this because I live it.

Since I was here last, I've read four books, watched hundreds of YouTube videos, and read countless personal blogs on the subject of Asperger's. You could call it obsessive. I call it research. I call it finding answers. And answers I have found. But, with each answer came more questions. And more research. And so on, and so on. As much as I know people in my life  might wish I would "let it go", that's not possible. Aside from now finding the topic intensely interesting and the research (dare I say) fun, I've had one eye opening moment after another. Not just in relation to Jack but for myself as well. What I've also managed to do during my weeks of obsessive information gathering is remove the fear. Perhaps that comes from reading about so many women on the Spectrum and seeing myself in all of them. Not all of myself, but bits and pieces of me in each and every one of them. In any case, The A word is not a word I'm afraid of anymore. In fact, I almost feel a sense of relief. To live your whole life wondering what is wrong with you, why can't I do this? Other people can do this. Why can't I connect? Why can't I relate? Why I'm not like you..or you...or you? ...and then to find a (highly possible) reason like seeing your whole life, your whole world through different eyes. A reason that explains the Anxiety, the Panic, the need for routine, the need for order, the need for quiet etc...A REASON. One all encompassing reason. It makes so much more sense to me than assuming I suffer from Anxiety (irrational or otherwise), panic attacks, a touch of OCD, claustrophobia, acrophobia, vertigo, gephyrophobia, IBS, GERD, Chronic muscle pain, and sensory issues (to name a few). Am I really THAT fucked up that I'd require all of these multiple diagnoses? Hmm. Maybe? Although one would certainly provide an answer to the most important question of ...If you can do A...why can't you do B? And the second question Why can't you just....... (insert whatever the hell I can't manage to do here)?  And lastly...why I can't be with  a group of three or more people without a drink in my hand. I can't. I think the last time I did that I was still a child. Anyone who knows me will attest the fact that they have never seen me in a group social setting without a drink. NEVER. ever. So does that mean we add alcoholic to that list as well? No. We don't. And no, I really don't think I'm crazy. I have thought that repeatedly throughout my life (hence the name of my Blog), but after hearing, reading, watching story after story of women who seemed just as complex, I don't think that anymore.

So what do I think? I think that the "Spectrum" is wide and vast. I think that "quirky" isn't just "quirky" and that it never really was.I think that the woman who read my 101 things about me on MySpace years ago and assumed I was on the Spectrum knew something I didn't.  I think that I think differently. I think that my son also thinks differently. I think that his Father probably most likely thinks differently. One of things that sticks out in my mind upon first meeting Jack's Dad, is thinking I had found "my people". I had found someone "like" me. I have a journal entry about it somewhere that I'll have to find. I've read countless accounts of this very same thing.

What do I know?  I know that the only way to be sure is to get a diagnosis. I also know that with or without a diagnosis it will be hard, if not impossible, to make anyone in my/our life understand.  I know that Jack's Dad will  probably most likely NOT want a diagnosis. I know that with or without said diagnosis I have learned more about myself in the past month than I have in the past 30 years. I've gone back through my memories and finally feel like I know things. Like why I liked to sit and stare at the clock (forever) watching the seconds go by. I know that I feel better now than I did weeks ago, and in making just a few minor changes my son seems to be feeling better as well.

I haven't decided what direction to go in from here. I'm still discovering things that keep blowing my mind. I'm still on the fence as to whether pursuing a diagnosis is the best thing to do. There are the people that scream early intervention on one side. And the people who actually exist in my life that would most likely discourage a diagnosis. With him being eight years old, early intervention isn't much of an option. That would have been needed to be done the other two times I went down this road. But then, on the other hand, eight years old is early as opposed to forty something. I'm still not sure having a diagnosis will provide enough benefits to make it worth it, I guess. He's smart. He's an amazing shape shifter  just like his Mom and Dad. And he's also uniquely himself. Some of that uniqueness will, no doubt, cause some angst in his life, but a diagnosis isn't going to take that away.

So for now, we wait. We learn. We live. My next posts should be less general and more focused on specifically why I think what I think and what I'm discovering.

Hope, who I'm sure is about to post a Blog loaded with typos....

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