Break Ups and Gray Areas

Wee Geek called to check in and had news that he has ended things with the girlfriend. It’s very difficult to console him. All of the things that I say come from the broken pile of miles of relationships that didn’t work for one reason or another. I know that it takes a very special sort of person to be with us. We are not easy people to get along with because for us life is black and white. We don’t do shades of gray well at all.

This is difficult for people who we have relationships with to understand. You love us or you don’t. There is no sort of land there. We are intense people. That is a given. Even the Best Buy guy will testify to that intensity. It is usually wonderful, but I’m sure there are moments that it is completely maddening. We don’t do maybes. Not well.

My heart breaks for him. But I know how strong he had to be to leave his dad’s and how much pride he had to swallow to call his mom after all of the horrible lies he’d been told. But he did it. I know he can do this, too. It will suck and be uncomfortable, but he will survive. The bad thing about being on the spectrum in this kind of situation is that we get so mired in the feelings that we can’t see past them. I can’t tell him how to get through it. I wish I could. The only way that I know how to get through things is to put your head down and put one foot in front of the other.

Relationships are so much harder when you don’t understand how other people operate. Relationships are harder when you’ve been mentally abused by an asshole father who used your insecurities against you. My best advice was not to play his dad tapes in his head. It’s difficult to do. When you suffer through the things we did, it’s hard to make things make logical sense.

It’s one of those things that you look behind you and see all of the unfinished, half finished and broken things behind you and you tell yourself that you are the common denominator so therefore the problem is you.  It’s not though.  It’s just really hard to realise that when you are in the hole and you feel like some asshole is up at the top throwing shit on you.

I really hate that I don’t know how to get him through this stuff. I guess that’s just being a parent. He’s upset with himself because he feels stupid. He says all his motivations for working and staying in Ohio are tied to her. I understand. I told him that he needs to shift his focus to doing this to remain independent. He is pretty proud of himself for all the independence he’s managed. I’m proud of him too. It’s not easy to be independent when you are a neurotypical kid. A kid on the spectrum has a hundred kinds of odds stacked up against them. He feels very against the odds and beat down. I understand that all too well. I hate watching him go through all of this.

I’m also watching the Best Buy guy go through these hard decisions with his dad. To him it’s a very simple equation of keeping his family name on the farm. For him the farm is so tied to his memories of his grandad that I think sometimes that he thinks the farm is his grandad. Before I break into Cure lyrics…  I think it’s important too. His nephew wants to work on the farm and we are watching him going through this huge growing process. He asks tons of questions because he’s trying to figure things out and it’s interesting to watch. It’s also interesting to see how much like my husband he is in temperment. The Best Buy guy has been the only guy who has ever been stable in his life and that’s kind of sad. But it makes me very happy to think about them working on the farm together. Maybe Wee Geek, too. Hard work that doesn’t actually require a lot of thinking is sometimes the best thing for our chaotic autistic brains.

I do see this path that he is desperately trying to avoid. I feel like everything keeps pointing him in the direction of coming home. He is fighting it. I’m supporting the fight. But I wonder if it’s inevitable. We’ll see what happens.

On a side note….it is autism awareness month and I feel compelled to mention it. I’m a little underwhelmed with the idea of there being a special month for it. I am acutely aware of my autism every day. I guess we are as worthy of a cause as anyone else. It’s also national child abuse month. That is an interesting contrast. Considering that being on the spectrum prolly triples your chances of being abused if not more. I’m all for autism awareness. Don’t get me wrong. I just question people who don’t strive for it everyday.  Not only awareness but tolerance. I don’t mean tolerance like “oh god, I have to accomodate this stupid autistic person with their weird shit again”. I mean the sort of tolerance that says  “I understand that for you to function and me to function and for us to do it effectively together, we need to make these little adjustments”.

So I strive to do this with a very distinctive voice every day. I do it with humour. If you can’t laugh at yourself when you make a mistake, then life isn’t worth living. I’m the first to jump up and admit when my little autistic moments are funny. The literal pictures that fill my brain are worthy of their very own laugh tracks. The machine that blows sunshine up your ass is always funny. I don’t care who you are.

So cross your fingers for Wee Geek’s broken heart. The bright spot if the day was finding out that he was approved for the Rispirdol drug card. So he can get his meds and it doesn’t cost him anything for the time being. We continue to use our evil powers for good trying to get this college thing resolved.  It sucks to think that my husband followed the rules and got screwed on his kid’s college and Wee Geek’s dad doesn’t follow the rules and gets out of doing his job. Life isn’t fair. That is for sure.

Sorting Through Relationships and the People Who Model the Process

   As I watch Wee Geek navigate through the universe, I am struck by the ease that he does it with.  He, of course, thinks he is horrible at it. He isn’t, though. He has so much more grace than I did at that time in my life. So much confidence. It amazes me. I had no idea who I was at 20 years old.  For that matter, I didn’t even have a very clear idea about who I wasn’t. When I think about it, now, it terrifies me.  Not having a clear sense of who you are is fine, but not knowing what you aren’t opens you up to all sorts of problems. I was like a giant magnetized mindfield for problems at that age.  Which made relationships a nightmare. I had no idea whatsoever about who I could trust, so I defaulted to trusting everyone.  Now I default the other way, I trust no one until they prove that they are trustworthy. That’s a pretty lengthy process in this little corner of the universe.

So I watch Wee Geek navigate this first very serious relationship and my feelings range from cautious for his heart to broken hearted for him. He’s at bad at unsaid and unwritten clues as I am, and girls send out pretty confusing signals sometimes. A few weeks ago they had agreed to take a break.  I don’t know what this means, but apparently it was a signal for Wee Geek to cool his jets a little.  Instead, with his medical insurance recently and so kindly stopped by his dad and a dwindling supply of meds, he was plunged into a heart breaking depression that seemed to have no light.

I understand this so profoundly.  Relationships are especially difficult because we often have no idea why the other person gives up on us. This isn’t to say that we weren’t told, we have a tendency to just ignore it and hope it will get better and the other person will realise that we can’t live without them and stay.  We are forever oblivious to the idea that this might be exactly why the other person bails out. Ironic, huh?

So, I watch him go through this first hard love and try to give him advice that doesn’t sound horrifically motherly.  It often sounds exactly like that, I’m afraid. I just try and make him understand that sometimes there isn’t an answer and sometimes we can’t get the closure that we need from the other person.  Unfortuneately, most of the time, that’s the part that kills us most. Not knowing how things got to be so awful and not knowing how these things can be fixed. We can’t stand not fixing things that go wrong in our lives.

Wee Geek has had so many odds against him since he left his dad. This weekend really highlighted that. He just got his car fixed a few weeks ago. It was a fairly pricey fix and sent him into a huge meltdown for about three days. This stall out occurred on the way to the dance that they DID eventually end up at as you can see from the photographic evidence. He was already so stressed feeling and then on the way there his car breaks down. He calls frantically and I spend a great deal of time trying to remind him that  this has a fix of some sort and that we will deal with it. I want him to start being able to put himself through the checklist so that he can minimize his meltdowns. I know that at times, this is difficult. It’s hard to think about whether or not you are safe when you are so frustrated.

I think about how many times I’ve needed Mazaria to guide me through this checklist when I’m in full scale meltdown. Are you safe? Are others around you safe? If you’re not or they’re not, what can you do to change this as quickly as possible? Are you breathing? If not, then start. What’s the most important thing that is happening right this second? Now start calming yourself down. Breathe. Stim a little. Okay, are you feeling better?

So, I’m trying to teach Wee Geek that this is definitely an integral part of managing your stress when you are on the spectrum.  He’s slowly learning. It’s a great big trial and error process because once you are in full meltdown, there’s no going back.  So, he also has to learn how to catch it so that it doesn’t go into meltdown.  I hear evidence that he is starting to learn to manage this great feat.  Because this is something that can occasionally be insurmountable.  I love watching him learn this and I cheer when he masters it and I cry when he doesn’t quite make it. It’s part of life. Managing and not managing and knowing who to call when you’re not managing.  Tied to this is learning to not be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

Other relationships keep popping up. Today is Mazaria and I’s 25th anniversary. It’s so hard to believe that we have been friends that long and I am amazed knowing that there is someone in my life that I’ve got so much history with. We have been through everything together and we have remained soul mates for all of this time. I feel sorry for our husbands sometimes because in the event of an apocalypse they become zombie fodder fairly quickly.  I take a great deal of pride and confidence from this relationship because it means that I’m not broken. Ccome to think of it, it might mean that someone is more broken than me. LOL. Well, that certainly puts a different spin on this relationship….

When Wee Geek’s car broke down, I had to call my dad to help me go and get him. Not necessarily my first choice, but the only option at the time. It turned out okay. But I am hugely grateful that I did not have to leave my car with Wee Geek and ride back with him and his wife. That relationship is still more complicated than I can manage. I especially don’t welcome parenting advice from someone who spends most of their time in lala land and who was never anyone I would want to model my parenting skills after anyway. I feel parts of the relationship with my dad coming back slowly, but for the most part, I still feel as if this relationship is permanently ruptured and it can never be put back the way that it was. I will forever resent that he put his wife’s needs to present the “happy family” to the world over keeping his relationship with his daughter intact.  That’s crazy to me.  Of course, none of my relationships are completely devoid of those little insanity moments. Since I cut my brother off from stalking me on Facebook, he now stalks my blog and bitches to everyone about what I write. Yep, I’m calling you out. Don’t behave like my ex-husband. If you want to know what’s going on with me, call me. You have my phone number.

As I look at all of the relationships that I’ve had in my life, these little hints help me to navigate the future better. We are making decisions about Wee Geek’s living arrangements and as long as his dad continues to live under the Scott-free program, then we will eventually have to make the important decision about whether or not he has to come home. He is terrified that he will lose his independence. I just look at it from an ever practical view. We do what we have to to keep him going. Sometimes these things are uncomfortable for everyone.

There are other complicated relationships, the Best Buy guy and his dad are once again bumping heads about the clean up of the farm and it has become so serious that we may lose the farm completely. This is a farm that has been in his family for 9 generations. It would be a shame to lose the farm. We have finally decided to pursue guardianship before things get any worse. this has not been an easy decision. I dread that I might have to do this with my parents some day. I am grateful that I have the experience so that laater if I do have to go through this, it will be easier. It’s very difficult to prioritize what needs to be done because so many things have to be done. There’s so many things that have to be done first, as well. I sigh sometimes when I think about all of the work that is ahead of us. I’m glad that the Best Buy guy’s nephew is now helping out. It’s still too big of a job for just the two of them, but it makes it a little more manageable.

Now, I am exhausted. Thinking about all of this stuff is very stressful sometimes. I’m also having a major allergy attack that is interfering with my thinking.  Pollen is through the roof right now. So, dear reader, until the next time, we must part ways. I’m working feverishly on a new short story for another PMP anthology and still trying to get the zombie book under control. I promise that something will squeak through this year.