Name Change


I’ve changed the title of my blog from sensoryoverload2012 to Chasing the Sunset, changed the tagline from This is who I am to Insights of an Aspergirl and changed my display name from SensoryOverload2012 to Bethenia.

The title Chasing the Sunset comes from an old photograph that I took while driving down the road towards a sunset. When I took the photo, I was thinking about how much I love driving at night but the sunset was so perfect.  So as I continued driving west, I was thinking of how I was minutely extending the duration of the sunset (because the sun sets in the west and as you travel westward, you go through earlier time zones).  Anyway… I was imagining chasing the sunset to follow it into the night but at the same time, incurring a counterproductive result of staying in the daylight. It represents my lifetime of attempting to do one thing but doing the opposite.

The new tagline Insights of an Aspergirl was the name of my old blog on Blogspot that I discarded when I moved to WordPress. When I came to WordPress I was looking at other blogs first to get an idea of themes and subjects, etc and I came across Musings of an Aspie. So, I decided not to keep my old blog name, afraid it would look like I was ripping off someone else. But, I’ve decided to use the old name as a tagline now because I just really like it. And I had it before I read any other aspie blogs so I know I wasn’t trying to steal the idea of someone else.

The change to my actual name is because I am done with being anonymous on here. I want to be myself and I don’t care who sees it.

I Do What I Want


There is a lot of freedom in going to sleep when I am sleepy and waking up when I am done being sleepy, regardless of the duration I have been asleep, or awake or the time of day. It can also be restricting because it results in difficulty planning events and tasks around the time I will be awake because I never know when that will be. But for the most part, I am happy with my erratic sleep non-schedule. Really, I feel more restricted by the things I am obligated to do and not restricted by my sleep. It is the one aspect of my life that I feel I can control, even though I have no control over it.

I was outside around 3am this morning using my little clippers to cut down some very tall weeds around the house. I only did a small section before my back hurt too much, but I felt accomplished. It was so liberating to be outside with my lantern doing yard work in the cool night air without the hot sun beating down on me or cars driving by with the passengers seeing my butt sticking in the air. I thought about how weird someone might think I am if they happened to see me doing this at 3am, but I was happy. I felt so free that I was doing what I wanted to do with no concern for the time.

Gratitude journal crap: I have gratitude for the freeing feeling of doing what I want, when I want.

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Gratitude Journal


My therapist, Julie, told me to start making a gratitude journal where I write one thing every day that was good about that day. I really don’t want to do it. It seems childish somehow. I feel like I have homework and I didn’t do my homework when I was in school so why would I do it now that I am almost 31 years old? Gawd I’m so freakin’ old…

The last time I went to the therapist, she got defensive when I told her I hadn’t done the journal, saying things like “Well, I always tell people that these sessions aren’t going to change your life, it’s what you do in the weeks between the sessions”… That really made me mad because I wasn’t just trying to ignore any suggestion she would ever give me. She had only given me ONE. And it was dumb. She said she gave me this suggestion because she knew I liked writing. I said “Yeah, past tense.” I haven’t written in years. She didn’t get defensive when I made ear plugs from a tissue and responded saying “your voice” when she asked what was wrong with my ears. So, why get defensive over a ridiculous suggestion? She made a new suggestion that I could research places I want to go since I like researching and traveling. I did like that suggestion but I already do that. Perhaps I will just do it in a different way and document my research now.

But now my friend, Lynne, keeps hassling me about doing this stupid journal and I figure I will just use it as a way to get back into doing this blog. If I happen to enjoy doing this gratitude journal later, I will still maintain that it is dumb and that I just ended up liking to do something that is dumb. That way I won’t prove myself wrong because I’m always right.

So… One good thing about today is that I finally made a new blog post.

Giving Up


In a previous post, I talked about losing motivation for writing my blog, as I do with many other things I start. Mados suggested making a few rules to keep me going even when I don’t feel like it. This could have 2 main effects that I can think of right now. It could work out great because I will be able to push myself and the satisfaction resulting from that may propel me into a new range of motivation. It could also not work because I have noticed that when I feel pressured to do something, I just focus on the fact that I have to do it and not on actually doing it. For example, when I was in 4th grade I stopped doing all my homework because I was made to do it but I found an old arithmetic school book from the 1950s that belonged to my aunt before she died and I did all the work in the book on my own in a few days. My teacher got mad at me because I was doing work above my level and she said that if I could do that without being told, I should certainly be able to do my real homework when I was told to. Now, some people would say I just wasn’t being challenged enough and that’s why I didn’t do work that was assigned but I don’t think that is all there was to it. My mom could ask me to do the dishes and I wouldn’t do it. But when she wasn’t home and didn’t ask me to do it, I would do the dishes on my own. When I made jewelry on my own, I had fun and liked it and gave it as gifts or sold it. But the moment someone asked me to make some for them, I had no desire to do it, even when they offered to pay me to do it. When I see a homeless person, I always give them money. But if they ask for money before I am able to dig it out, I end up telling them I don’t have any. When someone mentions they don’t have a ride to get somewhere, I offer to drive. But when someone asks me to take them somewhere, I don’t want to. This isn’t even what I was supposed to be writing about… hold on.

Ok,  so one of the rules Mados suggested was this “This rule is valid until [date] regardless what I feel like doing. Even if I can’t keep it up 100%, occasional failure doesn’t weaken the rule overall, and is no reason to abandon it.” Oh yeah, that’s what I was going to talk about, the abandoning-upon-failure part. This is something I do struggle with because the minute one thing goes wrong, I want to give up completely or start over from scratch. When I am have written a whole page of paper and am at the bottom of the back of the page, if I mess up I get so mad because I have to start over completely and rewrite the whole front and back of the paper instead of just scratching it out or just changing an e to an i or whatever. When I burned a small spot of my dashboard in my car, it made me want to take the whole car to the junk yard and buy a new one.

So, this is a very good rule for me, in my whole life not just in my blog, so that I can force myself not to do this kind of thing anymore. She has also offered me a lot of other advice in comments and has great tips on her blog so check it out too.

They Have Too Many Problems


I never knew my dad’s sister, Rosana. When I was younger, we would go to my grandmother’s house in Salter Path every Sunday after church and I would play in Rosana’s old room.  I would look out her old wood framed window at the inter-coastal waterway (what we always called the sound but no one would know what I was talking about if I said I looked at the sound out the window because most people don’t look at sounds, they listen to sounds) and lightly run my fingers across the frame where she had carved “I love Elvis” then turn around and look into her old mirror above the dresser picturing her brushing her hair with the brush that still sat there after 40-something years.

{Preface for the first word in next paragraph} Mam is what I called my grandmother because she wanted me to call her Meemaw, but when I was a baby I could only say Mam, so the name just stuck. Before I was in school, I never used the words mam and sir because my parents didn’t teach me to. I think it was because calling them mam or sir would have been too formal and we were from the country where formalities counteract the closeness of family. For example: door knocking. People may think it is polite to knock on a home’s door before entering, but here, we would just walk in because otherwise someone might think they have offended you in some way to make you feel unwelcome. So, one Sunday we took Mam with us to eat at Shoney’s. The waitress asked my grandmother “Can I get you something to drink, mam?”. And I asked the waitress “Wow, how did you guess her name?”. Then my parents had to explain to the waitress that, to me, her name was Mam.

Mam told me the story of how Rosana died when I was very young because I wouldn’t stop asking questions. On Rosana’s 12th birthday, she told Mam that she didn’t want to live to be a teenager and Mam gasped then asked her why as she started to tear up. Rosana simply said that they have too many problems in life. A few days before turning 13, Rosana passed away from an aneurysm.

 

Overwhelmed


I have a lot that I want to write about here but I lost motivation. I feared this would happen. I even said so in my Obsessions post. I have been so busy lately but now that I think about it, I don’t think I have done anything to be busy at all. Maybe I have just been thinking of all the things I need to do, so I just felt busy even though I haven’t accomplished anything. And I procrastinate too much. There may not be enough time to do and say all of this. I don’t know what is going on. I just feel lost.

Stickshift


An awesome analogy

The Asperger Café

Having Asperger’s Syndrome is like driving a car with a stickshift transmission: it means that everything most people do automatically, I have to do manually.

The Asperger brain.

When you drive a vehicle with automatic transmission, you barely have to think about driving, other than keeping your eyes on the road: the vehicle shifts gears without you knowing it, moving you smoothly from first to second and so forth as you travel.

When you drive a stickshift, though, not only do you have to pay attention to the road, but you need to listen to the engine, feel the vibration in the gas pedal and watch your tachometer (the dashboard instrument that tells you how many RPM your engine is turning) to determine when to change gears. Then you need to push in the clutch pedal, press the gearshift into the new position, and release the clutch again.

Similarly, for “neurotypical”…

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