On The Ledges

emdr-300x228It’s no secret I haven’t felt much like myself lately; my anxiety has been all over the place, my mood has been erratic, my desire to socialize has diminished greatly, and my ability to enjoy things I used to has given way to a certain level of dread. I haven’t really been able to pin down the reason or the source but it has become more and more apparent something needed to be done about it. My medications weren’t really touching it and my self-care techniques that had proven themselves in the past just haven’t been cutting it lately. Every moment almost seems like a mix of crisis and apathy which is a confusing combination of feelings, especially for someone who has problems interpreting emotion anyway.

Something had to be done.

Perusing my Facebook feed, of all places, I came upon an infographic a friend from college had posted (she’s now an LMHP) about EMDR and all the issues it can be used to treat. Anxiety was on that list and so, with a curious mind, I sent her a message and asked if it can be used to treat anxiety and issues associated with Asperger’s. She was quick to respond and gave me both information and names of practitioners who specialized in working with patients with ASD and used EMDR as a method of treatment.

What is EMDR?

I also did some reading and discovered the following:

Patients with ASD are noted to have reduced hemispheric laterality, a condition that has been associated with an increased likelihood of both developing PTSD and increased severity of symptoms. The prevalence of PTSD in patients with ASD is unknown, however PTSD may be more difficult to detect in ASD given that some of the symptoms of PTSD (avoidance) overlap with those of ASD. In addition, ASD may mask other symptoms of PTSD, which in turn further hinders the patient (Kosatka & Ona 13)

If you’ve kept up with this blog, though unlikely, I’ve had some moments one might consider traumatic. If they qualify me as having PTSD I have no idea, but I have been having flashes of anxiety associated with memories of past events, including past relationships and their painful endings. So, with that in mind, I contacted the closest one and discussed the possibility of treatment. She seemed optimistic in being able to help, so I scheduled my appointment and got in two days later.

Fast-forward to two days later and I am standing at the office door of a woman who is easily more than a foot shorter than I but showed no signs of intimidation, which is always a good sign. We went through the general stuff: family history, complaints, basic evaluation, etc. She then moved to a different chair right in front of me and pulled this little device out of her bag. She asked me if I was ready to try EMDR.

I told her, “Hit me with your best shot”.

She placed two little teardrop-shaped paddles wired to a box with some knobs and lights on it. She switched it on and immediately the paddles began to vibrate, alternating left and right at a consistent tempo. We then went through what she called a “touchstone moment” which was the story of a colossal failure of a relationship I had a little over 5 years ago (Go back and read my blog from 2013-2014, you’ll see what I mean).

At first it felt like I was listening to my mindfulness meditation app as she talked me through the story I had given her previously using my own words. It was the strangest sensation in the world; my eyes ceased to focus on anything and would involuntarily shift left to right as she walked me through processing the memory while the paddles vibrated in my hands.

I could feel a transition of emotions as the story progressed, from anxiety, to sadness, back to anxiety and sadness. It was like my brain was on a ride all its own while I sat on that couch and tried to focus on what I was hearing and responding to any questions. She got tough with me at one point because I gave an answer that wasn’t concrete enough for her and pushed me. The session lasted maybe 15 or 20 minutes and then we were done.

“That was way more intense than I anticipated,” I told her.

So, it seems this is the next step on my journey. I am working through the frustrating part of getting my work schedule adjusted, which has been like anything else: never cut and dry and never simple. Based on how I felt after a short session, I knew I would have difficulty going to work after a full session so I am working on getting my EMDR days off and working a weekend day instead. That has proven not to be the simplest thing in the world but I am not defeated yet. Just frustrated.

Why am I doing all of this? I’ve been seeing a therapist for over 5 years and some of the issues I’ve been trying to address I’ve been talking about a lot of that time and still haven’t gotten over them or resolved them in my mind. I felt like I resolved at least a small piece of my years of troubles in one short session with EMDR. I want to be a better me. I don’t want to be so neurotic about things and anxious about things that don’t need to be worried about. I’m tired of avoiding triggers or having to talk myself down off the wall when one comes up.

I’m tired of feeling like I’m going to crawl out of my own skin.

This song came up when I was listening to music at work. I’ve had this album for ages but I hadn’t really connected with this song until recently:

I’ve got a lot of loose ends, I’ve done some damage
I’ve cut the rope, so it frayed
I’ve got a lot of good friends, keeping me distracted
Keeping my sanity safe

And I drink a little too much, it makes me nervous
I’ve got my grandfather’s blood
And I take a little too much, without giving back
If blessed are the meek then I’m cursed

Here, I stand on the edge of the ledges I’ve made
Looking for a steady hand
Here, I stand in the land of the rocks in the valley
Trying to be a better man (for you)

I want to learn how to love
Not just the feeling
Bear all the consequences
And I want to learn how to love
And give it all back
And be forgiven for all I’ve done

Here, I stand on the edge of the ledges I’ve made
Looking for a steady hand
Here, I stand in the land of the rocks in the valley
Trying to be a better man (for you)

Kosatka, D., & Ona, C. (2014). Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing in a Patient With Aspergers Disorder: Case Report. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 8(1), 13-18. doi:10.1891/1933-3196.8.1.13
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Shut Out the World

Closed-4167Woke up today and my apartment was too small; there was too much stuff in it and it was cranking up my anxiety. Not that burning-in-the-gut anxiety but the “excited neurons bouncing off the inside of my skull at a speed approaching that of light, nearly avoiding collision,” kind of anxiety. This is not real common for me but it’s in those moments I become hyper aware of the things that should get done around me and not necessarily right now but will need to get done eventually. I need to start sorting through my bookshelves for things to sell, I need to move all the stuff off my couch so I can throw it away, I need to pick up the floor…

 

I need to
I need to
I need to

Breathe…

The last few weeks have helped me realize I do not discharge and recharge like a battery and not those fancy Lithium ion batteries most things use these days. At the beginning cusp of my childhood, there were a lot of things that ran on Nickel-Cadmium batteries that could be very unpredictable in their charge and discharge. They’ve since been discarded for most things because they were wasteful and harmful to the environment.

Sometimes life feels like that for me

I don’t like to tell people that.

There is this persistent worry built into my DNA that feels like a disappointment to family and friends, even though I shouldn’t, because I fail at communicating, that I’m not good enough or I’m not around enough or I’m just not… enough. To some degree I’m sure a lot of people think like that and recognizing that, I’m sure, is helpful somehow but I’m not really seeing the benefit of that level of empathy right now. I feel tired, worn thin, and near the edge of what would be my second meltdown in three days and I don’t write all of this for sympathy.

Most of what I’ve put in my blog in the last week or so is a product of learning I can sometimes make more sense of my reality if I slow down enough to write it out, or maybe it will make it more real if I put it out there for eyes to see it rather than shutting out the world and let it go through the tumble cycle that is my brain over and over again. I’m in therapy, so I am intimately familiar with the reasons why having a go-to for catharsis is a good thing but I also know I’m facing obstacles that may be much bigger than I’m capable of handling, mostly my anxiety.

Unfortunately, the same anxiety I need people to know I have makes it very difficult for me to explain to people because anything I could perceive as negative, in my mind, is automatically my fault. So, if someone is having a bad day, the accusatory finger is in my face. I read Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Basics and Beyond by Judith S. Beck (daughter of its innovator, Aaron T. Beck) and taught myself most of the skillset I have to try and reframe my thought process. It’s telling other people; I feel guilty if I tell them but I feel guilty if I don’t because then there’s the “Why didn’t you tell me?”

I don’t even know if that makes sense. My brain is already tired and I’ve been awake for less than 4 hours.

It’s times like these I remember some lines from Buddey Wakefield’s poem, Information Man:

… I can feel the rumble between dusk and dawn
As if the chance to come clean with myself will be outlawed unless I relax

I have heard, that if you pull a bent breath
Through the second hole of a harmonica
Tuned to the key of Georgia
While a train moves by on the tail end of dusk
There is a good chance you will finally know what it means to rest
I have not yet rested

A Perpetual Case of the Mondays

It’s just  understood that you should be in a foul mood on Mondays, or at least that’s the trope that we often see in media and everything else. It makes logical sense if you work a Monday-Friday job and you spend your weekends doing things that aren’t work and, one would hope, something that is relaxing and/or fun. There’s plenty of truth to it, so I’m not trying to rail against this particular stereotype.

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Garfield always despised Mondays

Unfortunately for me, the feelings that follow the weekend don’t really depend on the day. I try really hard not to resent the fact that I was not diagnosed Autistic when I was younger because I could have learned coping skills while my brain was still developing rather than trying to figure out how to cope with an adult brain. Being resistant to change with a brain that does not change as dynamically as a still-forming one is a disadvantage, but I’m trying to work with it as best I can. So, when I have a good weekend like this past one and I wake up on Monday feeling like I’ve been hit by a car, well… I’m not the most excited about it.

I spent Friday through Sunday with people I enjoy and spent a good portion of it laughing so hard my face hurt. Sunday came along and I could feel my ability to cope just pour out of me like sand between my fingers. I went home Sunday afternoon unable to focus on anything. I just kind of laid on my bed for a while trying to figure out what to do with myself. I decided, eventually, to take a nap.

I woke up to a cycle of anxiety which I’ve come to recognize as a precursor to a meltdown and just tried to prepare myself. My whole body tenses and what emotion I do understand stampedes to the fore with a lot of rocking and fidgeting. I can’t keep my eyes open for too long because the stimuli is too much. I usually take a hot shower at this point just to drown out the noise and any other stimuli. I just wait for the storm to pass. Afterwards, I’m so exhausted I don’t want to move and I wish I had a better water heater in my apartment.

To make something perfectly clear, this is not anyone’s fault by my own. This is the product of my own choices and not realizing my own limits and my attempts to stretch them further and further. It’s hit or miss, I’ve found, not necessarily something I can change.

Regardless of the days or series of days I go through this, the next day I am irritable and impatient. And, almost inevitably, it’s a day I have to come to work. I finally qualify for intermittent leave through the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) if only my healthcare provider would get the paperwork finished and turned in.

The conclusion is, I do not especially like feeling like this and I’m still trying to understand how everything works. It’s stressful in itself but, I have found, writing is a good outlet. Some days I make connections I never would have made otherwise. Sometimes, it’s just another means of distracting myself.

In any case, I really just want to go home right now.

Don’t Be Sorry

Capture

One of the things I have been experimenting with lately is just how I adapt to being overstimulated or how well I can keep moving when I’m around people a lot. As both an introvert and an Aspie, social interaction can be both stressful and draining but I have not discovered a set formula or amount of time it takes for me to want to crawl into a ball in my apartment to decompress. I discovered earlier this month there is a lot to be said about talking through major social events afterwards, usually with my SO, to process the events.  After a particularly people-filled July 4th celebration, I found talking through things I was thinking about was monumentally helpful. I recovered faster for the next day and, though I carry a lot of stress in my body, I did not feel as beat in the morning.

I began to wonder if this was a muscle I could stretch, if I could build a better tolerance to the stress of socializing. The answer is not definitive by any means but a lot of it has to do with the people I’m around. I have friends I consider family and spent the last two weekends hanging out with them with various company, including my SO, her parents, and other friends. I can handle this with a decent amount of grace and very little fatigue.

I still don’t do well with surprises.

People who know me well tend to apologize for surprises. I certainly appreciate they care enough to make sure I’m doing okay because, sometimes, my ability to cope with my surroundings can be diminished and I end up staring off into space, fidgeting (stimming), and I stop talking. I’m not always aware of this but, once I do realize this, it generally results in a lot of negative self-talk which only makes it worse.

So, I gave up and just gave myself permission to just feel what I’m feeling without judgement. This has made coping a lot easier. Once I realized neither I, nor anyone else, has any control over the situation or how I’m going to react, it made the bumpy ride go a little more smoothly. Negative self-talk is something I have always struggled with and it is part of the reason I’m writing this now. There have been a lot of upheavals of stressful situations for me and other people lately and, honestly, after the shock and initial stress wears off, I am okay.

Sometimes, though, no matter what I do, everything still compounds and knocks me to the floor.

I could barely get out of bed this morning. My whole body hurt and my energy level was extremely low. It was just a long day that triggered memories and feelings I thought I had rid myself of. Stress has a way of opening old wounds you thought had had scarred over, I guess.

Therapy was difficult because I had to process through a particularly difficult event I was witness and party to this past weekend. It was the first time I really talked about the difficulty and my affectual response to what happened. That proved harder than I thought and I left the office feeling emotionally drained.

A surprise visit that ended up lasting 3 hours and way more conversation than I wanted to handle.

Smeared mascara was mistaken for a black eye and, thankfully, someone had the presence of mind to ask before jumping into protective mode and probably beating the hell out of me.

Socializing when I was already down to the bone when it came to my energy level.

Little kids.
Little kids yelling.
Little kids crying.
Little kids crying because they found out their uncle, whom they really liked, was no longer living with their aunt.
They really liked their uncle.

That last one. I recognized it very well and it filtered into the rest of my night though I’m not sure I realized it. I knew that feeling all too well and I thought I had overcome it. That feeling of abandonment and loss is hard to explain to people who don’t know what it’s like.

I have abandonment issues. I react very poorly when people decide to exit my life for no reason and I’m deathly afraid that those in my life whom I care deeply about are going to do the same. Couple that with a high level of anxiety and proclivities towards catastrophic thinking and obsessive thoughts and you get me. I have spent a very large portion of my life by myself and being okay with it because no one can hurt me when I’m by myself.

The problem is, humans are naturally social creatures, and eventually loneliness comes knocking.

This is the conflict: the thing I want most is human companionship. When I get it, I will work hard to get it but, when it gets too close for comfort, I start pushing away for fear of getting hurt again. It’s a cycle I’ve repeated many times and, essentially, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s a big reason why I haven’t had a serious relationship in a decade. It’s why I don’t trust many people unless they’ve proven themselves worthy. I call it setting up boundaries to make it sound healthy but, most of the time, it’s not.

This is my struggle now: all the times and all the people who have stepped out of my life came flooding back into my memory and I am not afraid to admit I had a bit of a meltdown. I went to bed after discussing this a bit and they apologized. I don’t want people to feel guilty for things neither of us can control.

I believe I can work through this as I have everything else in my life.

Sometimes memory is overwhelming, especially painful memory.

I care too much for you to let you blame yourself for things over which no one has any control.

These obstacles were built for overcoming. One day, people will know they don’t have to apologize to me for how overwhelmed I get sometimes.

Tears are sometimes meant for healing as much as an expression of grief and sadness. I don’t always know why I fight them.

Do not be sorry.

I’ve Had Enough of Being Sick and Tired

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I haven’t written here in a long time; mostly because I don’t get the urge to write or express myself at all unless I’m in some sort of emotional downturn or I’m really upset about something. Perhaps that’s something I should change, as I have always found writing to be therapeutic if not cathartic. I should preface this entry with the fact that I am struggling today.

Stress has overwhelmed me or ebbed and flowed into my life the last couple of weeks which has wrought hell on my brain and pushed me to levels of overstimulation I never thought possible. It has made me feel weak and useless as well as a failure in my relationships. I guess that’s the combination of learning how to cope with the world over the last two years with way less medication and life choices resulting in a complete alteration in my life. I do not handle change very well. Anxiety is one of the hardest things for me to control.

Waking up this morning feeling like I had been in a car accident probably hasn’t helped my current disposition; or maybe I’m just feeling this way because I’m overstimulated and I’m just feeling the physical manifestations of stress as it affects my body. My shoulders and neck are tense and sore; I feel like I cannot stretch enough to get the range of motion in my body back to a comfortable range. I’ve taken my daily 1mg clonazepam I keep on hand for break-through anxiety now.

Part of me is angry because, as someone who has had to self-advocate for several years regarding mental health, the amount of media attention the suicide of Anthony Bourdain is triggering all sorts of emotional content I can’t process and its overwhelming what little cognitive ability I possesses to camouflage in an office full of neurotypicals. My body temperature is rising, there’s almost a sickness in my gut, and I’m fighting back tears.

What I haven’t told a lot of people is, when I get completely overwhelmed or overstimulated, I cry. Full-on ugly cry. The strange part is I feel no emotional component behind it. I have described it to my SO as like releasing a pressure valve in my brain. Right now, it’s taking all I’ve got not to have a meltdown in my cubicle. I’ve learned in the last few months that I can keep it in check for the most part until I get home. I’ve found myself a few times in my bathroom with the shower on for white noise just letting go.

I’ve mentioned this in blogs before but there is a psychological term pertaining to relationships called “importing scripts”. It’s a cognitive jump-to-conclusions map your brain uses to predict possibly harmful stimuli which a lot of people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and attachment/abandonment issues such as myself develop to protect themselves from being hurt. Also, being high-functioning Autistic (Asperger’s) does not help this because I cannot rely on external cues or an ability to read emotions in others, often leading to projection of my own emotional problems on others. This also raises my anxiety which pushes me towards overstimulation and meltdown.

What’s a meltdown? It’s when I can no longer control whatever storm is raging in my head and I can no longer mitigate the information my brain is unable to filter, which can be any stimulus. Being around people is a huge source of this, but it can also be emotional content. I can fast-track myself with a combination of anger and anxiety and that’s sort of where I am right now. I tend to obsessively think and, when combined with the catastrophic thinking that comes with anxiety, it’s just a bomb waiting to go off. I must ration myself out around people and then I must take time for myself. I hate it because there’s quite frequently a part of me that never wants to leave my apartment again. This makes managing a relationship rather difficult but my SO is very understanding. However, our relationship is not exempt from my chaotic brain. Previous relationships have me believe I’m set up for failure and there are always obstacles with my difficulty with emotional feedback but I’m trying.

I feel like I’m rambling. The point of this post was to get out there how angry I am with myself right now and how angry I am with the population at large for mourning the loss of yet another celebrity suicide when there are plenty of people, including myself, who live with mental health issues every day and our lives do not make headlines. Those I know who have attempted suicide don’t make headlines. Those who have died from chemical dependency don’t get plastered all over Facebook and every news outlet imaginable. They may get a little square in the obituaries section in the newspaper. Those of us who are surviving it all do so with very little praise or encouragement and we shouldn’t have to.

Our country doesn’t care about mental health. It’s not a priority. Half the time, the people close to us don’t really want to hear about our struggles and, when they do, they think you want to be fixed when, in fact, it’s not something we can repair. We take medications that we don’t tell anyone about; we have breakdowns and isolate ourselves because we don’t think anyone will understand. Every day can be a fight or it can always feel like defeat regardless of our efforts.

I have fought my entire adult life for my health, my sanity, and equal treatment as well as my rights as I’m afforded them. You’ve been given a sneak peek into the things I think and endure daily. What are you going to do with that information?

Battles & Arrhythmia

I am loathe to use metaphors involving war because war implies violence. It conjures up images of bloodshed, death, and things so horrible I was not sure how to start describing my current state of affairs. Or are they ongoing? Ones affairs never really cease to be going, so I suppose ongoing is a better word. Anyway, I have been feeling this conflict rise and with great ferocity for quite some time and I’ve pushed it away.

In mindfulness meditation you are taught to label things and gently push them aside. They don’t tell you what to do afterwards when they come back.

There’s this increasing feeling of violence between my desire to live within the moment and try as best I can to adapt to my neurodivergence with humility, strength, and a strong sense of self, and this feeling of weakness, sometimes helplessness, when it becomes overwhelming. In short, I don’t think I’m a weak person. I’ve been through my share and probably other people’s share of bad times. I’ve been treated like I’m not even on the radar by a lot of people I thought were friends and, as previous posts have certainly illustrated, I have been just been treated like shit by people I thought were like family. It is in those situations I feel the most vulnerable and it’s starting to bleed into the shred of confidence I had in myself.

By many standards, what I have is a disability. I don’t look at it like that, though I have taken advantage of the accommodations afforded to me to make my day a little easier. I guess I thought I was unsure of myself before. Now that I know my perception is not always on target and, though I hate it most of the time, I have to explain why certain things are the way they are, I find I am often unsure of myself, how people really feel about me, sometimes if they really mean what they say. Stack that on top of pre-existing issues with trust and you have my recent state of anxiety. The methods of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy have not even been the greatest of help lately.

Imagine, if you will, every time someone said or did something even slightly out of the ordinary you questioned the motive behind it. Again, not necessarily out of lack of trust, but because your mind is so locked into routine that any deviance becomes suspect. I feel like I’m becoming paranoid and it’s a feeling I do not like because it’s an all-too-familiar feeling from about five years ago only now it’s almost everybody. I almost miss the days when my mind didn’t move in 8 directions and with such great speed it can be hard to keep pace. My stress level has gone up enough that my atria have begun fibrillation again. No serious runs of it, but I can feel the thump in my chest when a beat is missed.

The greatest obstacle is the explaining. I think I’ve said this more often to people than anything. I am so tired of having to tell people I didn’t mean to come off as sounding blunt or with some sort of moral superiority. I don’t mean to completely miss subtle social cues. I can’t help that crowded, noisy places must be avoided or I will likely spend most of the time covering my ears because I can’t block out the noise. I am tired of self-advocacy. I wish people would just shut up and listen so I only had to explain it once. I wish people would just accept and not ask unless it really doesn’t make sense. I wish a lot of things right now.

At this point I’m exhausted and the week isn’t even over yet.

I suppose I should report things are not all battles and arrhythmias. For the first time in several months i was able to see my big sister. One of the few people who listens when I need an ear to try and make sense of the garbage I have to go through. I also reconnected with the one I call my twin. It’s been a few years, I think. It has brought joy to my heart. I spent most of my weekend with one, the other, or both and it did my soul good to spend time with both of them.

As with any social interaction for this introvert, there is a price to pay and it probably has contributed to my current exhaustion but it was worth it. Now, to fight for the weekend.

The Box You Put Me In

img_0908-1There is this word that keeps cycling around in my head. That happens sometimes even when you don’t have Asperger’s. My obsessive thoughts tested three standard deviations above normal for Pyschasthenia (the obsessive thought component often found in those with ASD) which is why I always have songs stuck in my head or maybe just a lyric or this line of thought that I’m just meandering through. Besides, you’re probably wondering by now what the word is I’ve been tossing over and over in my head like one would a cinnamon candy on the tongue; it has to keep moving otherwise the place it rests begins to burn. There’s also the curiosity of texture and effect on the inside of one’s mouth.

My synesthesia is salivating at the thought of it.

The word itself is not so savory. Neither is the feeling, nor the emotional wreckage it evokes in me because it just so sums up how I’ve felt lately. The word is pillory or, in the past tense, pilloried. As I am wont to do, I did some cursory research on the etymology of this particular word and found that the source of it is uncertain. It has the connotation of strong censure or criticism, often in a public setting, or abuse if that’s a word you understand or can relate to. Definitions in the English language are so fluid and words don’t always mean what we think they mean or want them to mean or even intend them to mean. Couple that with the Sociological axiom that you will be perceived as you appear—or “perception is reality” if you like brevity—and you have the cause of concern for which I, myself, feel I have been pilloried.

And it has happened more than once in two completely different contexts. It is the constant struggle of the misperception that I am trying to be the antagonist or I am the victim. I stand accused of “verbally crucifying” people and for “playing the victim”. It would seem that I should not be allowed to use the fact that my brain perceives and understands communication in a far different manner than most by someone who believes themselves to be an advocate for mental health. The irony is not lost on me. However, that person is entitled to the opinion they have developed of me though I fail to understand it. I do not understand a lot of things these days and this is instance one of two for which I feel I have been censured. With this person I feel I cannot be myself anymore because I do not want, nor do I want to learn how, to be someone else. This is who and what I am. I hate to say I am defined by it but to avoid that requires the mental gymnastics I am not even close to being able to handle.

Admittedly, I get tired of explaining to NT’s the things they find easy and are essentially instinct to them are lost on me. Today, I had to explain that I have to buy a specific kind of bread. My coworkers thought that was strange. Who is to say what is and is not?

This is where I have run into another area of life, recently, where I feel I am relegated to a minority for my inability and lack of desire to try to fit in at work. That is not to say I do not get along with my coworkers. That is actually far from the truth; I enjoy being around a lot of the people I work with but there is a difference between business cordiality and friendship. I would not hang out with most of these people outside of work which speaks more towards my attitude about it than anything.

Demographics alone would have me standing out as a minority in my team, being one of two males on a team of 10 or so. You can imagine, then, the great divide when the two males are both share similar aversions to unprofessional or more personal conversation that we are more or less forced to be exposed to. For business purposes, or at least as I understand it, we maintain an instant message group chat for our site. It has now become overwhelmingly unrelated to work and more about expressing affection towards one another: things I’m sure are supposed to be uplifting and encouraging to some people. I, however, do not pretend to understand this behaviour. When I express my displeasure I am met with feigned or even passive-aggressive hostility. This, in turn, grates what little patience I have because, not only do I not understand it, I innately burn cognitive function attempting to understand it. This quickly turns to frustration. Add on top of that, the condescension.of writing me off as a curmudgeon or a jerk and I become incensed. My ability to intellectualize and filter emotion essentially dies at this point and my patience is lost somewhere along the way.

It is at this point I have to find someplace quiet, meditate, and pray. People have pushed me to the point, lately, that I have had to put myself in a dark room and go through, guided meditation, novenas, and pray the rosary (I am not Catholic, per se, but I find the repetition and ritual calming and it’s less stress on my knees than stimming). I am tired of always having to be on the defensive because of how I am wired. It is not an excuse any more than I could say depression or anxiety is an excuse as I experience both of them myself.

Right now that is me. I feel pilloried and I am tired of it.