Blogging from a sad place – don’t read if you’re having a rare good day

#It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to, cry if I want to, cry if I want to. You would cry too if it happened to you!#

Ok, so it’s a bit of a pity party here at the moment, and I might be the only person partaking (not counting the bottle of wine I invited), but what the hell.  This is a different sort/tone of post to my usual, I may not even publish it, but it’s still in the vein of figuring myself out and learning, and it’s definitely helping to get it out.  I also wanted to try writing whilst I was feeling something, rather than just writing from my logical head.

I’ve experienced a lot of sadness and loss in the last eight years.  I don’t know if it’s more or less than average, but I do know that it’s taking me to the point where I’m not sure I can cope.  I seem to deal with stuff backwards, in more ways than one.  I’ve already written about my complicated relationship with my own emotions in an earlier post – that I have to work back from my behaviour to figure out my feelings. Something else I struggle with as a result is not emotionally dealing with things when they happen, but instead wrestling with the fall-out a long time afterwards, when those feelings finally make their way into conscious awareness.  At the time things actually happen, when people expect me to be falling apart, I’m being all fine and practical and rational, weighing things up and being very articulate.  Then, when everyone thinks I should have moved on and be over it by now, *that’s* the time my brain decides to unravel.

About 4.5 years ago I went through something which, to the benefit of those around me, I handled really well at the time.  But now and then, silently and without warning, it takes savage chunks out of me, as if it all happened yesterday.  It’s not something I feel I can talk to anybody about because it was so long ago, I took it all in my stride, and they would be surprised at the disjointed grieving process I am going through now.  The feelings have taken so long to filter through, that they jar with the cognitive progress I have achieved.  Worse, they make me doubt the choices I made without the full (albeit irrational) facts.

Not feeling things in the moment puts me in the unfortunate position of living in the past by default.  The expression ‘you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone’ could have been coined for me – I can’t evaluate how I feel about something (or someone) until they are not there and I slowly, progressively, begin to feel sadder and sadder.  I’m not heartless, but my poor heart is being dragged along behind me, years in the past, getting broken with no say in what happens to it.

I don’t regret getting my diagnosis, and I don’t regret only getting it in adulthood.  I do wish I’d known sooner that I didn’t work like everybody else, that I couldn’t use the same reasoning to make decisions, that the same rules didn’t apply.  And, I wish other people allowed me to get the kind of closure I need – gradual and participatory, not instant and alone. Certainly not through Facebook and by being ignored.  If we’re not supposed to speak, then tell me why.  Tell me full stop.  Ask for my cooperation, give me a date when we can review the situation.  It may sound strange, but it would make the world of difference to me, a lonely person in a unknown situation, who’s lost her best friend.

© Catastraspie, 2012.

lonely

lonely (Photo credit: Vermario)

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8 Responses to Blogging from a sad place – don’t read if you’re having a rare good day

  1. A delayed emotional reaction is something that if you haven’t experienced it, you will never know the depth of damage it can cause. I am very, very familiar with it myself and can only empathize with what you must be going through.

    Hang in there!

  2. arifmvega says:

    Delay or no delay what you are going through is a period of growth. It makes you stronger and more capable of helping those around you. It is a dark path but a powerful one.

    Hang in there and don’t let the bad part bog down your growth.

  3. NellieDooglas says:

    I’m just reading through your blog now and as I said earlier, I’m finding myself sharing many of your experiences/feelings. I too have had a lot to deal with over the past couple of years and at the time I’ve just gone on with it. It almost feels like I’ve been floating along in a bubble without actually knowing how I have managed to cope. Only now am I reflecting on what’s happened and starting to realise the enormity of my experiences. Do you know what I mean about the floating feeling and is that how you would describe it?

    I’m 29 and am currently seeking a diagnosis for my little boy, who turns 5 in 2 days. While finding out more about AS through books and blogs such as this one (thanks again!) I find myself discovering a mirror image of myself. To the point where I’m quite freaked out and confused as to why I haven’t considered I may have anything ‘different’ (I like the term you use neuronormal was it?) about me. What do you recommend I do in seeking a diagnosis? I took my son to the GP and have spoken with his school. Shall I get further down the path with his diagnosis before seeking one for myself, do you think?

    I hope you don’t mind me asking these questions; sorry if I’m becoming obsessional (this is what I do/am!)

    • catastraspie says:

      Hi Nellie, thanks for your comment, and I’m really pleased to hear that you connect with my writing and experiences  Discovering that you have AS during the process of a child being diagnosed is very common, and many people I’ve met have had the experience of realising that they are reading about themselves in a book or website about AS. I had that moment reading this: http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200611/aspie-in-the-city
      Although I don’t perceive it as a bubble, the floating along feeling and being quite impressed at my own coping is very familiar. Then something very small will happen and I will be totally overwhelmed by emotion from a string of events I haven’t processed yet. I used to think it was a coping mechanism, but now I know it just takes me that long to recognise how I feel.
      When and how to go about getting a diagnosis as an adult, and even whether to seek professional diagnosis at all, is a very personal choice, and is in part determined by the services and resources available to the individual. As you use ‘GP’ I assume you are in the UK and I can tell you a bit about how it works over here. Usually you need to obtain a referral to a specialist NHS ‘tertiary’ service (your GP is ‘primary’, the mental health team is ‘secondary’, and the specialist psychiatrist/psychologist who does AS diagnoses is ‘tertiary’, and often only take referrals from secondary services). In some areas there is an ASC team who will take direct GP referrals, which means fewer hoops (hopefully).
      I had my initial assessment done by a private individual because to be honest I didn’t think my GP would believe or refer me. With my report in hand I then approached my GP and had my diagnosis confirmed by a specialist. This was convoluted and expensive, but I didn’t trust my own judgement and I couldn’t face the rejection of being disbelieved. GP awareness of AS (especially in women) varies, and they are the gatekeepers for referrals. It really is worth doing your homework before approaching your GP, which means writing down examples from throughout your life when you have displayed behaviours suggesting that you have AS. This gives you something to say when they ask you why you think you have it/want a referral – the more examples the better. The National Autistic Society has a great guide on the diagnosis process for adults in the UK: http://www.autism.org.uk/about-autism/all-about-diagnosis/diagnosis-the-process-for-adults.aspx
      Unofficially I really like this online quiz – http://www.rdos.net/eng/Aspie-quiz.php (disclaimer: this is not a replacement for a professional diagnosis, but gives you an idea of the sorts of areas that differ between people with and without AS, and might help you think of relevant examples).
      Re language, neurodiversity is the term used to refer to people with conditions including Asperger’s, dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD and so on. Neurotypical (NT) is a word for people who don’t have those conditions, but not everyone likes it. Neurofabulous is a word I used to encapsulate the positive relationship I have with my own neurodiversity 😀

  4. Ishmeet says:

    No its not for sad people. Writing blogs takes all my frustration and darkness out and I really feel fresh after that. You should totally read https://seofriendlysmile.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/that-wrinkled-smile/

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