Tag Archives: asperger’s

It’s Happening Again

Well, hello, blog. (*Dusts it off.*)

It’s been six and a half months since I’ve updated, and I didn’t even realize it. Sorry. I’m a shitty blogging friend. But I’m still and still and still folding into myself, isolating.

I don’t expect anyone to read this, but I feel the need to document it. I don’t think I’m having another big break, but there is something that happened during the big break that’s happening again. My sleeping trends are out of whack. Then, I would be nervous and reluctant and afraid to go to sleep at night. Also, I would often sleep during the day.

That’s what’s happening again. I don’t want to go to sleep at night, and then I’m out of it during the day. My mind in general is out of it, and I feel like I’m wading through a morass to access any thoughts. I can feel myself doing a shoddy job on my tasks, and what’s more, sometimes I can’t bring myself to care. The only reason I care is that I know I would regret losing my job, that if I suddenly disappear and stop completing tasks, things would only get worse. I’d lose any source of income.

I just want to live in my own make-believe world. I feel like I can’t function in this one.

My therapist and psychiatrist have been talking about suspected Asperger’s. I realized that, when it comes down to it, my problems don’t matter. Social anxiety, anxiety, and depression. Asperger’s, which would not technically be a problem but a “difference.” I live in this world, and in this world, no one’s going to cut my any slack for mental health issues or accommodate me for any potential Asperger’s. If I have Apserger’s, I don’t even want people to know because I think they would view me through the label of that lens rather than as a person with many facets.

Anyway, my problems don’t matter, and so I have to live up to “normal” standards if I’m going to get anywhere in this world. But I can’t. Oh, I’m pretty sure I can’t. I’m not strong enough.

I just keep feeling like everything’s going to come tumbling down.

And I feel so much hatred, mostly of myself. But then sometimes I also just hate every single person I run into.

For a few months, I’ve been meaning to write a post explaining my absence and explaining why any future posts may be sporadic. It’s mostly related to my isolationist tendencies, but there’s also the factor that I’ve been gone so long that I don’t know if I could catch up anymore. (And my embarrassing new-ish Supernatural fanfic hobby.) Maybe I’ll write that one later, but for now, I’m just writing this ramble because I need to get it out of my system.

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Glimpses of the Past Week

This is not going to be cohesive, just a few snippets of things relevant to my past week.

I saw my pdoc Thursday. I told her about my steadily high levels of anxiety. It keeps me from sleeping at night because my jaw is constantly clenched. I have a perpetual urge to grind my teeth, and sometimes I feel a tingling in my teeth because the urge to chew is so strong. No matter what, I can’t see to relax my jaw. She prescribed me guanfacine, explaining to me some basic facts like it used to be a blood pressure medicine but sometimes it’s now prescribed for anxiety and ADHD, etc. We’ll see how that goes.

I haven’t been able to see the therapist in the past two weeks, and I’m a little sad because I thought we were going to talk about Asperger’s next time we saw each other. The first week, she had to cancel, though I don’t know why. She was out for some reason. This past week, I had to cancel because my plumbing needed fixing.

I’ve been thinking about this Asperger’s thing, and my mind has fixated on something the therapist said, that Asperger’s basically means a person is wired differently. I can’t quite articulate the import of this idea yet, but I feel like it could relate to me. Maybe this is why CBT is something that rubs me the wrong way–it assumes people inherently operate similarly, that thought structures/influences feeling. But as I told my last therapist, I can’t just believe something because I think it. I believe things only if I can both feel and comprehend them. She didn’t think that made much sense. It’s sort of like an intuitive method. I don’t believe something if I merely feel it, and I don’t believe something if I merely think it. I believe it somewhat, but not all the way. Skimming through some things on the Internet, I found something written by someone with Asperger’s, and that person said they had a similar way of forming beliefs. I can’t remember where I saw this now, but it gave me pause.

I’ve also discovered something else about Asperger’s that bothers me. There seems to be some content about how people with Asperger’s feel more deeply than others but that they just can’t express it (despite common conceptions). That sounds like me. From most of what I’ve read, though, people with Asperger’s lack empathy. As I’ve mentioned, I think I have more empathy than the average person. And if I have Asperger’s, I’m afraid it would imply that my empathy is somehow false, that my belief that I can easily understand other perspective is somehow false. What would this mean for me as a writer? Because that’s the force I draw on as a writer, and I think it’s something a writer has to possess. If I don’t have it, then there’s something not genuine about my writing. My creative writing, anyway.

I’ve been continuing to watch Supernatural. More slightly spoiler-ish rambling here. The episode “It’s  a Terrible Life” (Season 4, Episode 17) reminded me of myself in a way. The message was that being a hunter is something that’s in Dean’s blood, and he’ll find his way back to it no matter what. That’s how I feel about myself and my creative writing. It’s in my blood, and even when I foreswear it, for months or even years, I find myself coming back to it.

I think “On the Head of a Pin,” Season 4, Episode 16, is my favorite episode of all time. So far, anyway. There’s a lot that happens in it. At one point, Dean is torturing a demon, and the acting is superb. His expression is so cold, as if there’s nothing inside him. And what does it say about me that I thought it was kind of hot? There must be something wrong with me, lol.

I like Castiel a lot. Dean is still my favorite, though. Of course. And I’ve never liked Sam that much. I mean, he’s okay, but I much prefer Dean. I think I might be more like Sam than Dean, so what does that say about me, once again? However, I do think maybe I’m more like Dean than Sam emotionally. Maybe that’s why I find it easier to put myself in his place.

I think Season 2 is still my favorite season so far, but Season 4 is definitely spectacular as well.

Well, I rambled more than I meant to. I guess I just wanted to say these things.

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The Asperger’s Question

I am afraid that some of the things I’m about to say could possibly be offensive or portray me in an unflattering light. But when I started this blog, I promised to be brutally honest, and so far I’ve stuck to that promise. The fears I will discuss have been simmering in my mind for a few weeks, and I need to write about them, try to suss out the threads.

A while ago, I wrote a post about the possibility that I could have Asperger’s. I explained the reasons I thought that possibility was likely and the reasons I thought it was unlikely.

Last time I saw my latest pdoc, she mentioned that it seemed as if I could have Asperger’s. In the post I linked to above, I touched on an insecurity I felt about that label, but my thoughts have taken a more personal turn, one related to how I view myself.

Even if one day someone should proclaim I have Asperger’s, it never occurred to me that it would change my perception of myself, not until that appointment with the pdoc.

At the end of my appointment with the pdoc, I said that I felt like I never belonged anywhere, like I couldn’t connect. We discussed how I’ve often felt like I was “different” than other people. She said, “You are different.” Then she brought up that I reminded her of some of her patients with Asperger’s and that perhaps it was something I should think about.

I don’t know why, but something in her tone made me feel as if I could be slightly offended at the idea of me having Asperger’s. Maybe that implication wasn’t really there, but it evoked questions in my mind. Should I be offended if one day I’m “officially” diagnosed with Asperger’s? Would it offend me?

Since I was a child, I’ve felt different than everyone else. Yet I could occasionally spot similar differences in other people. Unlike me, though, those people seemed to be able to connect with others. This would make me resentful. Why should they have those connections and not me? What was with my rotten luck?

I could (and still can) tell when someone was socially awkward. I could tell when someone had qualities others would find off-putting, and I could tell when they didn’t seem to comprehend social cues. I, on the other hand, did understand social cues, even if I couldn’t convincingly follow those cues.

I thought there was nothing off-putting about me. Sure, people seemed to keep me at a distance, but that was surely because of my timidity or my dull-as-dishwater personality.

But what if there is something off-putting about me? What if I can read the off-putting quality in others, yet I’m blind to how off-putting I am?

I feel like I can’t live with knowing I’m off-putting. It’s hard to explain why. If I am off-putting, I don’t know why I never perceived that feature in myself. All those people I’d seen as off-putting . . . I didn’t look down on them, but I would excuse some quirks of theirs because I could tell they were just different. In a way, I feel like this is condescending, like it’s a comment on their intelligence or something. But what if I’m one of the people others think they should treat like that? If so, that would seem to reflect on my ability to understand fundamentals about how the world works.

Now that I’ve laid out this fear in writing, I suddenly get it. Literally, I just understood at this very minute. Being treated like that, knowing others treat me like that, would frustrate me because I believe I do understand those fundamentals; I just somehow don’t fit into the world. This would be unlike those other people I’ve met before, but perhaps I am being insulting to them as well. Perhaps they really could understand those same things without behaving according to them.

Yet I feel like I do act in a societally appropriate way, but I’m just unable to form connections.

Or maybe I’ve been deluded my whole life about this matter. Maybe I’ve been completely oblivious about why I’m an outsider; maybe it is caused by more than the social anxiety.

And that’s also something I can’t handle, the idea that I’ve been so erroneous about myself all my life. I’ve been thinking that I’ve been a consistently self-aware person, but perhaps there’s a large piece of myself I never even noticed.

And then to have that be a part of myself that determines what people think of me, how they interpret my actions . . .

It seems like an unfair way for others to define me, because it’s not my defining characteristic at all. At least, it feels that way to me. But I could be wrong . . . and the thought of being so completely wrong for so long, it stings.

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Asperger’s-ish

This morning, I had a therapist appointment. Unfortunately, I was too tired to articulate what I wanted to talk about, which was namely, what I’ve been lately writing about here. I think I was too sleepy to get much benefit.

Toward the end of our session, the therapist got on her computer and looked at some of my records. She mentioned that latest pdoc had written that I had never had a formal evaluation at the facility. Then the therapist asked about 2nd pdoc, and I replied that all I did was talk to him for ten seconds and get prescriptions. After that, she said, “I talked to 2nd pdoc about you a couple of times; I know he was trying to help you.” I replied, “I don’t doubt that, but that still doesn’t change that I met with him for only about ten seconds.”

The therapist then scrolled up to the beginning of my records and stated that 1st pdoc had given me an evaluation. My records listed some of my issues and social history. She asked me about that, and I said I didn’t think I could have had a thorough evaluation in ten seconds. She responded that it had to be more than ten seconds for him to get all that information. Well, okay, I said, but I still don’t think I had a thorough evaluation. I didn’t mention that latest pdoc had commented that 1st pdoc doesn’t really  do effective evaluations. Latest pdoc had said it in a nice and tactful way, but that’s what she’d expressed. I didn’t want my therapist to think that latest pdoc was badmouthing 1st pdoc, so I stuck to remarking that I was dissatisfied with 1st pdoc.

She then shrugged and commented, essentially, “Well, okay; I don’t know what you’re expecting for there to be in an evaluation.”

I said nothing about this; I had become so annoyed at my therapist at that point that I’d tuned out and begun behaving apathetically.  I really had zero interest in what she was talking about, and I had no idea why she’d suddenly decided to scan my records and ask me about them. This was not what I wanted to be talking about, not at all.

Her final comment, however, offended me. I am pretty sure that my evaluation with first pdoc was subpar. During the initial appointment, I’d even brought up diagnoses and asked when we would talk about them. He’d just brushed me off. How does my therapist know what my evaluation with 1st pdoc was like?! She wasn’t there!

I knew that I was overreacting, but I still felt like I’d been attacked. Like she doubted the validity of my experiences and opinions. I may have little self-esteem, but I still trust my intelligence. I’m still stubborn.

One interesting thing she told me, though, was that latest pdoc had written that I seemed Asperger’s-ish. This makes me even more confident in latest pdoc. AN has told me that she thinks I have may Asperger’s. Internet tests are usually on the fence about the possibility of me having Asperger’s. I know Internet tests aren’t the most reliable sources, but they can be informational. None of my past pdocs has ever mentioned Asperger’s. Thus, I think that latest pdoc is quite perceptive.

Reasons why I’ve occasionally suspected Asperger’s:

The biggest one is that I’m unable to look anyone in the eye. No matter how hard I try, I can’t.

I’m physically clumsy. I have poor spatial skills. I’d bring the latter up to my parents when I was younger, but they’d say I was making a big deal out of things. I was afraid to learn how to drive because I couldn’t estimate how much space a car would take up. I still don’t think I could drive a car that was a different size than mine.

I have what’s termed “flat affect.” I have a monotonous voice. My face rarely displays my emotions.

I’m startled by certain sounds, so much so that I visibly react.

I find it hard to visualize things, and maps and diagrams often bewilder me.

I am socially awkward.

I constantly fidget.

The therapist said that my social phobia would be categorized as stemming from Asperger’s if I received such a diagnosis. I don’t think social phobia is a quality of Asperger’s, however. I think the social awkwardness might make people seem like they’re socially anxious, but that doesn’t necessarily indicate that it’s present. There is a guy at work who has Asperger’s, and one time I talked to him about social phobia and asked him if he felt it. He said that he didn’t feel social anxiety; he wasn’t that nervous around people, just awkward.

Reasons I doubt Asperger’s:

I read somewhere that people with Asperger’s prefer nonfiction over fiction and that they don’t like to make up stories. That’s definitely not me.

I think I have more empathy than the average person, not less.

I am more sensitive than the average person. Just because I don’t display my emotions doesn’t mean I don’t have them.

I don’t have extremely narrow interests. I have some seemingly odd interests like classic films, but they’re not as narrow as the examples I’ve seen for Asperger’s. Plus, my interests are usually in a discipline as a whole.

I think I comprehend social rules and cues. I’m just awkward at fulfilling them.

I understand humor and don’t interpret words literally (at least not for purposes other than amusement).

I am more interested in abstract ideas than matters related to technology, engineering, or the like.

As I discussed in my response to Canvas‘s June topic, if I do have Asperger’s, I am glad I wasn’t diagnosed with it when I was young. It might’ve saved me some grief, but I think that I might’ve received accommodations that wouldn’t have allowed me to independently adapt as well as I have.

So perhaps I might be diagnosed with Asperger’s. I am a little afraid of having that as a label, though. I’m afraid it’ll color how people perceive me like, say, on this blog. Yes, I am awkward, but I don’t feel that I’m as awkward as what the label may connote.

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