6kinds_of_crazy: cane fighting (canes)
Both of those things are a part of my autism.  Like a lot of "functional" autistic people, I have a need  for a schedule. 

Please note: "NEED."  Not, most emphatically not, "want."  When my schedule is violated, it throws at least that day out of whack, and sometimes that day and the one after, even.  Given my family, this is making it harder and harder to interact with them-- because my sister has some sort of possibly-LAWS-OF-PHYSICS-bound inability to be on time for anything that doesn't involve her job.  (She babysits professionally, so that may save her from lateness at that, as she works out of her home.)

This made the Christmas Holidays a mess, and highly stressful for me.  Despite claiming to understand that I need a schedule, and need to stick with it, my sister was late for every.  Single.  Event.  Scheduled.  Over the three days that we need to finish up Christmas, now.  (Two of her three kids are married, so there are their in-laws, as well as my sister's in-laws, requiring time and attention.)  By the end of things, I was a wreck, then came the disaster that was my shopping day on Tuesday the 29th.

For almost a year, I have gone shopping at the same time every week.  I leave between 11:00 and 11:30 AM every. Single. Time.  The need for a schedule is even more intense, here, as this day triggers both my agoraphobia and my demophobia.  The schedul helps me deal with those twin terrors at least a little better than I would without it.  

My shopping day has moved once, but it's been Tuesday since the middle of last summer, and the time has never moved.  My sister is, until such time as I get an actual hearing from the disability people, loaning me money to buy the things that food stamps and Medicaid/Molina won't pay for.  She was supposed to give me some for a couple of needed medications that Molina won't pay for that day.  On a few other occasions when she couldn't be there to hand me the money, she stuck it under the door.  Not that day.  She left her house before eleven o'clock.  So I, with my extremely limited budget, was looking at two trips to the nearest sity for shopping, instead of one-- as she wasn't answering either texts or phone calls.

When she DID text me, she asked why I was in town so early-- at NOON.

Now, here's the frustrating part, for me:  I'm expected to remember my sister's rather complicated schedule of babysitting kids, their feeding and nap times, which she has what days, what times parents drop them off and pick them up, and not come or call at inappropriate times.  These change pretty often, as parents' schedules change, or the kids age out of babysitting, or whatever.  I'm expected to keep up with these changes.

But she can't remember ONE TIME that hasn't changed in a year.

Makes.  Me.  CRAZY!

Seriously.  I've got to remember five days worth of ever-changing schedule.  She gets pissed if I miss something and show up during naptime, wake a kid up.  But she can't remember one time a week for me.

Fortunately, the rest of the people in my life are pretty good about it, though my online-gaming people are neither of them the most prompt in the world.  That, I'm learning to adapt to.  A little.  Very slowly.  And, since that day, my sister has made an effort to remember my need for a schedule better.  (Possibly because of the fact that I pretty much fell apart while trying to talk to her about it, which, maybe, just MAYBE, actually got her to stop assuming that it's a want, not a need.  Possibly!)

Now all I have to do is teach everyone on Earth who uses the English language to spell correctly and understand the basics of grammar, and I will be good to go.

(Oh, gods and ancestors.  I am so completely DOOMED!)  :-p
6kinds_of_crazy: stupidity demons (Default)
Feeling safe is... well, it's not something that happens often if I'm not in my home.

Safe is maybe different for me than it is for you, too.  So I suppose I should explain what I mean when I say "safe"

When I feel safe, I'm not worried that someone I don't know is going to approach me and expect me to interact with them in some way.  I don't feel that things are likely to surprise me.  No, wait, that's not right.  I don't feel like things are likely to startle me.  Surprises can be good, startlings can't, not in my world.  

As example, it surprised me, last Christmastime, when L got me a gift.  (Coolest.  Mug.  EVER! Thank you again!)  That was groovitudinal.  

It startled me when, a couple of weeks ago, someone knocked on my door at around nine in the evening.  (Lady, really; if you haven't heard from an old friend in "five or six years," maybe you should NOT come to their apartment at night?  And that you were a rather powerfully attractive lady really didn't help, despite your obvious feeling that it should. Just a thing to consider.)

Safe is when I'm likely to not be forced to deal with a stranger, a problem (or at least no problem more stressful than "holy crap, my character has about ten percent of his hitpoints left and the cleric's out of spells," which isn't a problem, just a challenge), a startling event, or any genuine hostility.

Safe happens in three places outside of my home.  No, wait-- four.  I'm safe in my car, in control and comfortable, that's the fourth one.  The other three?  My sister's house, if I'm not there when a lot of parents are there to pick up their kids (my sister babysits professionally), B's house, and L's house.  Anywhere else?  Might be a problem.  So to my sister, B, and L, I say "thank you!"  It's nice to be able to be not at my house and feel safe, because I do get tired of being in the same place all the time.

No public place is truly safe.  I do feel more safe in public places that are familiar to me.  This probably explains why I prefer to shop at the same stores, whenever possible.  Despite high turnover rates at some stores, *coughWalmartcough* I can usually count on at least three or four familiar faces, and I can usually find someone I've interacted with in the past in a non-hostile way.  Same for Aldi and Jewel (except for the high turnover rates), there's a familiarity there that leaves me able to be less than "HIGH ALERT" tense.  Usually, I'm merely... wary, I think is the best possible word for it, while in those stores.  More alert than usual-- have to be to avoid accidental or unwanted touches-- but not actually "something moved, what moved, crap, I need a wall to get my back against" alert.  (WHY are people so casual about touching people they don't know!?  That's so... invasive!)

My doctor's office is pretty safe.  I'm aware of most of his staff, and I like my doctor.  (I'm referring to my general practitioner, here.)  I'm okay with my endocrinologist's office, same deal.  I've gotten accustomed to his staff, and I like the man himself.  But, you know, I'm having a really hard time getting down to Alert Status Yellow, even in the office of the guy I'm seeing who is assessing my mental and emotional health.  It's not him, so much as it is the place.  Unfamiliar.  Odd layout.  I don't know the staff yet.  I'm having a hard time even coming close to relaxing in there. 

Safety is an increasingly precious commodity.  So for those of you who offer it, either by letting me into your space or by just being my friends, I say "thank you.  Thank you VERY MUCH."

So.  There's the second confession.  (I'm stealing that word back from the catholics, so, no, you may NOT tease me about using it.)  I don't feel safe in very damned many places at all.  I'm not sure if that one's paranoia, some part of the suspected Autism Spectrum Disorder, or just plain old fashioned WEIRDNESS.  Given that this is me we're talking about, I'm willing to bet it's some of all three.
6kinds_of_crazy: stupidity demons (Default)
Really.  My brain hates me.  I have evidence.

I'm fifty years old, and I have recently been given reason to believe that I have some sort of Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Given what I know and have been able to learn, that pretty much translates to Asperger's Syndrome, in my case.  If it is Asperger's, I don't present quite typically, but hey-- that's why they refer to it as Autism Spectrum Disorder, I guess.

Then add in that a person whose entire job is to assess mental and emotional health told me that he's willing to tell my insurance administrators that it is a "medical necessity" for me to receive psychiatric and/or psychological treatment, and I hope you'll begin to understand my claim of brain-hate.

I've been trying to make my sister-- my closest living relative, the lady who pretty much keeps me (a little bit) sane, takes care of me as much as I'll allow, and probably more than is good for her-- my friends, and, as of today, my general practitioner, understand why things bug me the way they do.  I have a rather impressive shopping list of issues, and that's just the ones I'll admit to and am aware of.  So I'm gonna try and tackle them, make everyone understand that these things REALLY BOTHER ME, and, when I can articulate it, as least some of WHY.

Right now, it's late, I'm emotionally drained from having to be out in public today, and from having to talk to my doctor about some of the things that are going on with me.  That isn't easy for me.  At all.  That's another part of why I'm doing this.  I want to write professionally, to be a novelist, and I have some talent in that direction.  I discovered a long, long time ago that I can often say things by writing that I could never, ever say verbally.  That gets more and more true the older I get, so... I'm gonna take a shot at it, see if it holds true with my various phobias and neuroses.

I kind of hope so.  My friends are... well, these folks have the patience to be my friends, and I am self-aware enough (if only barely) to know that that isn't always easy.  That I don't make it easy, a lot of the time.  I'd like for them, and for my sister, and... well, a lot of people, I guess, to understand why the things that bother me affect me the way they do.  Why the way I perceive things makes those things bother me, I guess, because... well, because I know that my perceptions are skewed, sometimes.

That's a part of the problem, right there.  Call it my first confession.  (Yes, the raging anti-theist just used that phrase.  Deal with it.)

I know that my perceptions are skewed, sometimes, that I'm not seeing things correctly, that I'm not interpreting things correctly  Knowing that I'm wrong, that my perceptions aren't accurate?  It doesn't help.  In some ways, it makes things worse, because, rightly or wrongly, there's some shame attached to that.  I know that the perception is wrong, yet I can't make myself act on that?  I have to act on whatever screwed-up mess that I'm seeing/feeling/whatever?  That's pretty goddamned lame-- at least, it is over here in my head.

So, yeah.  That's where I'm coming from.  Not real sure about where I'm going, but I guess I'll find that out, sooner or later.

That's it for tonight.  You folks stay sane.  Somebody's got to-- and it's plainly not gonna be me.
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