Valentine’s Day & Other Opportunities for Musing

I know this is a little late in coming.  I’ve been thinking about it for a while and frankly, I’ve been avoiding it.

The Best Buy guy and I took my granddad to Outback to eat on Valentine’s Day.  I know, weird way to celebrate.  However, I do not see enough of my granddad and there’s a specific reason why I don’t.  My granddad had a stroke a few years ago and he lost his speech.  He has regained some, but most of the functional parts of his speech are gone and hard to understand.

Before the stroke, my granddad was a fantastic story-teller, probably because he was functionally illiterate.  He was also a jokester.  The man loved to play tricks on people.  Still does, actually.  It’s just that now, he can’t tell you about it.

So, we took him to dinner and I realised how much I truly miss him.  There’s been a gap between my family and I because of all the problems with my son and my dad.  The part of that gap that I truly miss are the moments of talking with my granddad.  Just talking.  I’m not the best communicator in the world, but now that it’s so truly hard to communicate with him, I feel that gap in my skills greatly.  I miss being able to talk with him so much and it makes me truly and deeply sad.  I feel the gaps in my communication skills so much more acutely with him, now and it really worries me.

I always pride myself on being pretty good at coming off as neurotypical, but with my granddad, my coping skills are stretched to the max.  At any rate, going to be with him reminded me of all the things that have changed in my life in the last few years and most of them seem to be sad changes.  Why I’m not despondent and in bed under the covers all of the time, I don’t know.  Probably the overwhelming fear that my ex might starve if I don’t get my ass out of bed and go to work everyday.  For those of you who don’t know, that was sarcasm.

So in reality, when I cannot cope, I just refuse to deal and unfortunately, this permeates all aspects of my life in general.  I can’t deal with my granddad not being able to communicate the way that he used to, so I avoid the entire thing.  I can’t deal with my dad and the way that I feel he sold me out, so I avoid him.  I can’t deal with all of the things with my son, so I shut down and become debilitated which makes it difficult for me to act.  Because I’m shut down and can’t crawl out without lots of help.

I know it’s been a while since I blogged, and I know that a lot of my audience is probably missing me.  I’ve been pretty busy.  State court has zapped a lot of my energy and my job has zapped what is left.  I’ve been tending to go home and sit down and cross stitch for the entire evening most evenings.  Some thing about all those little stitches makes my world a better place to be.  I actually feel like I’m in a place where I can go to sleep at night.

My life is still punctuated by this overwhelming feeling of missing my son.  I try not to think about it very much. Mostly because I really feel that if I ever do break down and cry about it that I will never stop.  That scares the hell out of me.  It scares me that it feels as if my heart is so fractured that nothing can put it back together and of course, the Kale sized hole can only be filled by Kale.

Lately, I’ve been operating as if all of these little things are dead.  It seems cruel and odd, I’m sure, but operating on this level helps me to not feel so powerless against it.  This whole experience has been such an awful thing and the powerlessness has left me wiped out. 

My friend, who I BlackBerry Message with on most evenings told me that he didn’t know how I have gotten through all of this.  I don’t know.  Rest assured that it’s not one of my autistic super powers.  I really wish I had a cooler range of powers to choose from.   I started to think about all of the things that have kept me from cracking up and going social on every one.

Didi is first and foremost on my not cracking up list.  She keeps me grounded and sane and reminds me that I am allowed to have moments of weakness and other assorted life disasters.  She always makes sure that I remember what is important in my life and she doesn’t ever yell at me when I’m mad and need to yell at others.

The Best Buy guy has gotten better.  He’s realised when I’ve been in places that I can’t get up and he’s tried to make sure that I don’t crack under all the pressure.  He makes our vacations true vacations and gives us little getaways to keep me on an even keel.  I can’t ever relax and he tries to just let me do it in little ways so that I do maintain some fleeting grasp on sanity. 

My mom is always my biggest cheerleader.  She is always there to remind me that I am an incredibly strong person and that I am always so much better than what others think of me.  She reminds me of how my ex constantly under estimates me and why that is going to bite him in the ass in the end.

My Diamond Boobies keep me writing which keeps me feeling hopeful, or at least busy.  I don’t know which one of these is more important. I do know that without those meetings to look forward to, I probably would have gone crazy a long time ago.  My whole week is a race to get to Saturday so that I can go and do something that makes me feel successful and worthwhile.  These are people who think I’m quirky and weird.  And for whatever reason, they still like me.  How can you not love that quality in a group of friends.  The Best Buy guy says that I don’t fit in with this group, but I feel like I do.  I feel integral and important and I feel like my input is wanted, needed and actually contributes.

I’ve had another thing on my brain lately. This comes from contributing on a lot of the autism support boards that I belong to.  A couple of people have said to be lately that because I have Asperger’s, I’m not really autistic.  WTF?!  I’m pretty sure that when I’m in full flappy meltdown that telling myself that I’m not really autistic and shouldn’t be having that particular manifestation is not going to change that I’m in full flappy meltdown with that particular manifestation.  I wish it would.  Then I wouldn’t feel so damned stupid when it’s over and I have no idea why the hell I reacted so adversely.  Fact of life.  The degree of my disability does not affect the diagnosis.  Maybe that’s why they are having such a hard time in writing the DSM-V.  Because there are so many degrees of being autistic.  It’s confusing for people that I seem to function pretty normally most of the time, but that’s just the way that life is.

I guess that I’m lucky.  There are aspects of my life that I would give away in a heartbeat and NEVER look back.  But there are so many things that I would NEVER trade.  I’ve been treating my life like a 12-step program and just getting through every second of every minute of every hour of every day.  Some days, that is the best that I can hope for.  Other days, it still seems overwhelming.  But still I get up every day and convince myself that I’ll actually live through and surprise myself that I do.