Take a deep breath

I remember when I really learned how to handle my emotions. As in, the point when I was able to figure out how not to burst into tears over a stubbed toe. Before, I was prone to bursting into tears at these (relatively) small things.While I would burst into tears at minor injuries, I knew that I shouldn’t be upset. I knew it was a small injury and not a big thing. I knew that it would stop hurting soon. I just couldn’t stop myself from crumpling and crying. But then at some point, it just clicked. I was able to take a deep breath and walk it off. And after a few seconds, the stubbed toe or the skinned knee didn’t hurt any more and I was fine.

Part of the reason I remember this so well is because it definitely didn’t really develop until I was in college.

I still don’t really know why or how this change happened. I just know that all of a sudden, I was able to take that deep breath and pause for a second with a stubbed toe. And really, once you can do that, it makes it hurt so much less.

But before that, every time that someone told me to calm down, it didn’t work. When people told me to take a deep breath, to walk things off, it did not make any sense. I literally could not comprehend what people were saying or how it made any sense. I just didn’t have the tools in my brain to take a breath and make things stop hurting.

Some things just take time. Some things just happen late. Some things will probably never happen.

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Faces and being important

 

“Obviously it’s not important to you, else you’d have remembered it”…Uh yeah that’s not how it works.

http://andreashettle.tumblr.com/post/157544256183/obviously-its-not-important-to-you-else-youd
And I had thoughts that were longer than my normal length tumblr posts, so I thought I’d return to bloggy-land. I like tumblr for obtaining content, but not as much for creating it.

 

So, in undergrad, we did this weeklong service trip. We got to go do some manual labor, clean up some houses, play in the mountains. It was a group of maybe 20 people. We met a couple times, several weeks apart. Before every meeting, I would study their faces on facebook to try and match them. I’m almost positive I spent more time trying to learn their faces than anyone else in the group. I’ve learned, generally, that most people don’t study faces. I also did give my general face disclaimer–bad with faces, I don’t recognize my boyfriend when he shaves, etc.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Like seriously, the mountains were beautiful. And there were lots of trains, so I was pretty happy. Since I’m a fan of trains.

At the end of the week, people went around and said best and worst things about the weekend. One of the girls said the worst thing was that I didn’t care enough about them to learn their names. Other people seconded that. I’m pretty sure I spent more time trying to learn names than anyone else on the trip. But my brain does not like to learn faces.

Sometimes I forget my mother’s face. Often I forget my husband’s face. I know this is a regular problem that I face.

My grad school friends don’t really mind. When I met them for the first time, I mentioned it. I started grad school with my brand new (secret) autism semi-diagnosis and general weird-brain-awareness (although I have always known that I can’t recognize faces) and I would mention when I met them that I was extremely bad at recognizing faces. My grad school friends–science nerds–after 4 years of knowing them I can’t begin to tell you how much of nerds they are–would just excitedly ask “oh is that the face recognizing thing?” and then talk excitedly about prosopognasia. One person even asked me if I had brain scans (and what they looked like). Because brains are cool and differences in them are useful (in learning how they work). I like scientists.

*Darn. I was hoping it would embed visually. But it doesn’t seem to be doing that.

 

Shampoo Thief

Here follows an example of my problem solving abilities:

Freshman year of college, my mom and I flew out to my new school and supplied me with all the various things one needs when living in a dorm. I was all set-up and prepared with multiple toothbrushes in case I dropped one and soft blankets because those are the best and notebooks for everything and lots of snacks. However, at some point in the semester, I ran out of shampoo and conditioner, as someone with relatively long and thick hair tends to do on a somewhat frequent basis.

The previous way in my life that this issue was dealt with was going into my parents’ bathroom and getting a new bottle from under the sink. Of course, this was not an option 2,000 miles away. I knew that theoretically people got shampoo by going to the store (although I was not super clear on what type of store sold shampoo besides Costco). But it was a Midwest winter and I was from Southern California. Also, I didn’t know how to get there and the only transportation I would have had was my feet.

So, the only logical answer was to become a shampoo thief until Christmas break, when I could resupply myself with shampoo.

Luckily, in our dorm, people kept their shower things in shower caddies on shelves right outside the shower. I was not brazen enough to grab an entire shower caddy and take it in the shower with me. Someone may have noticed that if I accidentally grabbed theirs. Nothing was labelled (and I didn’t know most of the people on my floor anyway, because faces). I did not have a plan for being confronted with stealing someone’s shampoo or any idea of what would happen if someone (accurately) accused me of that, especially since they would most likely catch me when I was clothed in only a towel, as I usually was immediately prior to showering.

The plan I came up with was much more complicated. I would only shower in the dead of night, when most other people are asleep. Since I lived in a dorm with a lot of other college students who also stayed up late, the dead of night meant at least 3 am. Then, mid-shower, I would sneak out to the shower caddies and grab a handful of shampoo and then dart back into the shower. (Later, I would repeat with conditioner). I would spread out my borrowing, so I wasn’t stealing only one person’s shampoo. I wouldn’t take anything from an almost-empty bottle (or anything that looked overly expensive). Since there is a lot of options of shampoo in the floor of an all-girls dorm, I never really used more than one or two showers worth of shampoo from anyone in the whole semester.

This was not the most comfortable way to shower, running in and out in the cold, in the middle of the night, but it was the only solution I could come up with. It also had the result of making me feel incredibly guilty every time I showered. It also made me rather tired, from staying up late a few nights a week in order to wash my hair.

Asking someone for help or advice literally never occurred to me. I could have asked boyfriend or other friends or my RA, who probably could have also figured out a solution or told me that I could buy shampoo with fake money at the store on campus that was literally visible from my dorm-room window. My mom literally asked me if I was washing my hair every time she called me and who I always answered yes and told the most recent time I had washed my hair (hiding the guilt of my stolen shampoo). If I told her I was running low on shampoo or had run out, I would have gotten more somehow, or at least directions on how to solve the problem.

Instead, you got my deepest darkest secret of freshmen year (I was not full of deep, dark secrets yet at that time in my life): the months I was a thief every time I showered. (Also, now that I’ve actually thought about this story, I find it amusing although I’d likely be just as impractical today).

Friends of friends of friends

I’ve been thinking about friends and making friends and being friends recently. So here is post 2 of ??? in this set about friends (which is why they are also sort of repeating the same stories and ideas, as I go through and process different closely-related ideas, there will be closely-related similar posts.)

Sometimes my friends have friends who I do not know.

At my friend L’s wedding, I had struggles with that. Because she had other friends there and other family, and was busy with the getting-married-part of her wedding. So I didn’t really get to talk to her much, which was strange, because usually when I hang out with her, it is usually just me and her.

We had a pattern throughout high school, where we would go over to her house and study AP Biology and try to predict the theories we would learn in AP Calculus without reading ahead in the book, based on what we talked about last class. And we would read books and hang out and bake cookies and just sort of chill at her house quietly.

Whenever I hung out with other people with her, I would follow her around closely. She was homeschooled until high school and so by the time we were friends (sophomore year) she was still not quite as used to all the social things that happen at school and I was oblivious autistic me, so it got along well. But she was generally better at people, so I would follow her lead in social situations.

But then at her wedding, I couldn’t do that. Since I was a bridesmaid, there were various things I went to that boyfriend wasn’t there to be my social interpreter. But she was busy with other friends and family and his family. So I couldn’t follow her around. But it was also a very loosely-defined-casual-bridesmaid role so there weren’t really specific things that I had to do, so that didn’t help.

Sometimes my friends have friends who I don’t have.

And I don’t like that.

But I should. Because I have multiple groups of friends and they don’t all know each other. (I actually don’t really like when my friend-groups-intermingle… it stresses me out).

Sometimes my friends hang out without me, and that is ok, too.

One of my college friends specifically explained it to me. (Multiple times. Because I have good friends.) That it is ok when I hang out with one friend sometimes and not the other, and likewise, it is ok sometimes when one pair of friends hangs out without me. Especially since they would go do things like go to bars, and bars are not really something I do.

Also some of my friends like to do things more than I like to do things. Or at least things around people. So they would be lonely if they had to only wait around for me.

My friends have friends who I don’t have.
And that is ok.

Running Away

A while ago, I ran away from home. True, I am an adult. An independently living adult. So you might not strictly call what I did running away. You could call it “taking a walk to clear my head.”

But it was really running away.

It was a panic, that resulted in a pretty much nonverbal me running out barefoot into the neighborhood. After about half an hour, I was able to talk myself into going back to my apartment for shoes, a coat, and my phone.

Shoes, coat, phone.
Shoes, coat, phone.
Shoes, coat, phone.

Then I was off again.

I know to walk if I am able to walk instead of run. I know the ways to walk so no one asks you questions or if you are lost or asks for directions. I know how to wander aimlessly while looking like I am walking purposely. Because walking purposely protects you from the people that would stop and ask you questions that I would be unable to answer. (Admittedly, now that I live in a city, I suppose I am less likely to run into random people I know, or just nice other people who ask if you are ok, but that was a threat in undergrad.)

I knew to walk east and north. Always walk east and north. (This is a purely safety reason, because the neighborhoods south or west are not as nice of neighborhoods.)

So I walked east and north, aimlessly but with purpose, to get away, to escape my mind.

Eventually, I had calmed down enough to sit down on some steps and send a help message.

“Ran away but went back for shoes and phone so ok walking campus now not safe (physically ok) but cant go back home again tried once help maybe”

And boyfriend called and talked me through, even when I wasn’t talking, and talked to me about little things about the week until I had words back and was able to walk back home past the motorcycle crash and the angry people and the police back to my apartment back to my room and be safe again. And he stayed and talked me through to safety.

And that is why I love him.

If he hadn’t called back, I’m sure I would have eventually calmed down enough to get my words back. I am not sure where I would have been able to go, or hide. I would have kept walking east and north, until I hit the lake. And kept walking. Not into the lake, but somewhere. Eventually the cold might have reminded me to go home, but I’ve walked for hours while it was snowing before because of similar panic. (I usually loop around a relatively small area, though. So I won’t walk one direction for hours, but I would walk the same paths around campus for hours in the snow.)

When things get to be completely overwhelming, I hide or run. Hiding usually comes first. If there is nowhere to hide, then I will run. I’ve been in a hallway before for a professor-networking-dinner-event, then the next thing I know I am literally halfway across campus, running. At a certain point, it becomes something out of my control. That is why it is good I spent my first adventures into living alone in undergrad on a campus without a lot of streets criss-crossing it.

I am afraid that one day I will panic and run out of lab in the middle of an experiment. Or run out of a meeting or run out of my (in the far indefinite future) thesis defense. Most of all, I am afraid I will run out into the street.

So I look for hiding places, for safe places, for places that I can go in a panic. Ways to hide instead of run. I’ve found several of them. There are quiet rooms full of rarely used equipment. There are the wells under the desk (although people could find me there, but it is a small space). There are always bathrooms.

I wish that I could say definitively that one day I will grow out of the running. That I will be able to just stop it. That I will be able to manage things so that they are in control and so that it never happens. I’m afraid one day I might be watching my (potential far-distant) children and get so overwhelmed I run away, leaving them who knows where. I don’t think I will. I tend to prefer to hide, if at all possible. I want to be able to manage myself better, to know when I am close to overwhelming, to know when I can push myself and when I need to stop. I think I’m generally getting better. But these full-out-panic-don’t-remember-runnings didn’t happen all that frequently to begin with. (Possibly because usually I can hide.)

Cuddles and snuggles and hugs OH MY!!!

I like physical contact with people.

Wait–let me revise that. I like some kinds of physical contact with a select group of people. And then lots of snuggles and cuddles with animals.
I don’t like sudden touches. I don’t like when people sneak up behind me and put a hand on my back. Or on my shoulder. I would prefer to initiate the contact, or know it is coming.

It is grounding for me. I like to interact with other things that are alive. My plants are lovely, but they just aren’t very cuddly. I do like holding hands. Especially holding hands and swinging arms. I do this when I walk with my cousins. I like wedging myself into a warm pile of cousins to watch tv or a movie or talk.

I need regular physical contact with warm, living things to stay grounded and to keep me from flying away.
Physical contact helps keep me present.

When I got back to my apartment after a long day of traveling and delays (not too bad, luckily I managed to pick the only flight that day that was delayed for one hour (all the other ones between the city my parents live in and where I go to school were at least 4 hours late, and the flights the day before were often cancelled. And today is just horrible weather.) I was tired and a bit stressed. But I muddled through things and went to the store because I had no groceries. Then boyfriend came over and because I know I am safe when he is here, I stopped having to try to hold things together again.

So we cuddled and talked and I felt like I was flying away in a bad way. When that happens I flap and shake my hands and legs to try and keep me here and to feel like I am still here. Boyfriend knows my unhappy/stressed/flying away flaps. And he knows how to calm me down and hold me super tight so I stay here and don’t fly away.

When I’m feeling disconnected, physical contact, the right kind of physical contact, warm and lots of pressure can help me stay. It is important. If I’m alone, I’ll go under my heavy blankets and try to get some of it, but its not the same as a person.

I also love holding hands. I hold hands with boyfriend when we walk places. I will hold hands with most other people, too, if they will let me. (Most people don’t.) But my cousins and I often hold hands when we walk places together or are just hanging out together. I like knowing where the other person is and the warmth of their hands and the weight of their hands and swinging our arms together.

What more people will do with me is link arms and walk. A lot of my college friends would do this as we walked. It was quite nice (although a traffic impediment). I’m not sure why people seem more willing to do that than hold hands, but I don’t really understand people all that much anyway.

But I am not all that fond of hugging strangers. And to me, with my prosopagnosia and strangely large extended family, there are a lot of people that are “strangers” to me that I still have to hug.* But I was thoroughly trained into this when I was younger. So I can usually handle hugging strangers even if I do not like it. Especially when they are actually little old ladies who are related to me.

On that note, I am also rather annoyed by the fact that shaking hands seems to be coming less and less popular and common. I was at a work party for boyfriend, and as we were leaving and saying goodbye, several people insisted on goodbye hugs. At a formal work event (for a formal accounting company, too) and to me, too, who they had literally met at the beginning of the party. Admittedly, alcohol was involved, but I just don’t understand why shaking hands isn’t a thing in those circumstances. I can tolerate hugging the strangers that are actually family, because you do weird things for family. But why on earth would you want to hug one of your coworkers girlfriend who you met two hours ago? Anyway, people are strange.

I am autistic and I love physical contact.

I am just specific on the people and kinds.

Also related:
What hugs mean to one autistic person and Hugs from E. at the Third Glance

~~~

*Also, in college at Mass, everyone would hug during the sign of peace. That was a mixed bag. Because I didn’t like hugging strangers, but usually also people would hug me who weren’t strangers but that I would never ask for a hug and during my lonely time** freshman year it was sometimes the only time I got physical  contact the whole week so that was also important. But this sort of distracts from the organization. So I’m putting it down here.
**Although I did start dating boyfriend extremely early in college, I was really really shy and also a bit confused about what to do with a boyfriend, so it took a while before I really got even to the holding hands stage with him. Like several months. Eventually I figured out that boyfriends are good for hugs.

On official friends

Something I have trouble with is telling if I have successfully made friends. And the process of making friends. And generally things involving other people.

I have a list on my computer of how to hang out with people and initiate social activities.
I have a tendency of telling my friends, “I like you/I like hanging out with you” because I can’t tell if other people want to be my friend, so I figure its nice for them to know. (Apparently this isn’t normal behavior either.)
When I went to college, I knew I was going to have to make new friends and that would be difficult. And I was going to a co-ed school, after years of being at an all girls-school and only really having female cousins and stuff, so I was going to have to learn to talk to boys. My goal was to make some male casual acquaintances freshman year, maybe talk about school with them. And then maybe sophomore year I could make an actual friend (quantified by being able to initiate communication with them).

So early freshman year, I had made a group of potential friends. I went to some social activities with one of the boys and even a hockey game.  I couldn’t tell the difference between him and one of the other boys in the group, but it seemed to be pretty ok, since I am used to that and he generally recognized me (since you know, normal people seem to have this facial recognition thing going on). And after we hung out and went to a movie on campus and did a couple of other things that weekend. So I was pretty sure that I was on my way to making a friend (maybe two, but it was probably just the one). One night he walked me back to my dorm after we had been hanging out. He talked a bit about how much fun we had been having hanging out that weekend. And then he asked if I wanted to make it official.

I was pretty excited. My first official friend!
And a boy, too! I was ahead of schedule with that.

Later, I was informed by a facebook relationship request (and a high school friend interpretting the meaning) that I actually had obtained a boyfriend. Several years later I was informed that people don’t make official friends after kindergarten much.

Anyway, that is how I met boyfriend and started dating him.

And 4 years and a bit later, it is still pretty awesome–actually a lot more awesome–and we have much better communication skills now.

I don’t understand

TW: Depression and anxiety and suicidal thoughts. And something along the lines of thinking a disability doesn’t count or isn’t real.

In which you learn how I am secretly a horrible person.

My freshman year roommate and I generally got along. We weren’t really friends, and had rather different schedules, but were generally respectful and would study somewhere else when the other person needed to sleep and get dressed quietly with minimal light-turning on to not wake up the other person. She’s actually a cool person and I think I could have been good friends with her, except we never actually talked except greetings and stuff. (She had a rather intense long distance relationship the whole year that was not going super great, so it occupied a lot of her time.)

Sophomore and junior year I lived with the same girl. When I agreed to live with her freshman year, I knew it wouldn’t work well. But I couldn’t figure out how to say no. Sophomore year was ok though. Not super great but not awful.

And then junior year hit with the depression and anxiety and suicidal thoughts. (Junior year was just not a high point in my life).

And what had been a non-ideal but still functional living arrangement really just got awful. Because I had nowhere to hide.

And my roommate was having her problems with ADHD and stuff. Which meant that she was MESSY. (Which actually wasn’t that big of a problem because I am messy too, but I am usually only messy with stuff. Not with time.) And would sleep in late. And miss classes. So times when I expected to be home alone were totally destroyed. My schedule was gone and off. And meltdown over meltdown over meltdown and I couldn’t even hide in my room, since she was in there.

I need schedules.
Especially when my world is already going to pieces, I need my schedules and my routines.

And I hated ADHD. And thought it was fake and made up. Because CLEARLY IF SHE JUST GOT OUT OF BED when her alarm went off then she could go to class. If she just went to class, then maybe she wouldn’t have been failing her classes. Or maybe if she studied instead of internetting all the time.

I just didn’t understand why she couldn’t try harder.

Or why she kept missing her classes.

And to be honest, I still don’t really.

I don’t understand how someone can’t just sit down and do their work.

Or just wake up when the alarm goes off.

And then a couple years later, my youngest sister, who I’ve never gotten along with great, was in high school. And did a really bad job freshman year. And so my parents got her tested and found out that she had ADHD. And this made me even more mad and I decided ADHD was even more fake.

This is the sister who yells at me that I don’t know what it is like to be her because people like her and they don’t like me. And she has friends. And that’s important. And I just wouldn’t understand. And how she has other things that are important like sports. And I just don’t understand what it is like to be bored in class. (Also false, I didn’t learn a single thing in a math class until we got to the proofs in geometry in high school.) And who is generally difficult. And who lies to our parents so she can go do things she wants to do. (This is a big one. Even Medium Sister, who was much more social and fought a lot more with our parents than I did, never lied to them. Our parents are generally fair, reasonable people who just want us to succeed at life and be happy, decent people.) And she even lied about being sick to get out of school sometimes (something, again, I never did even though I hated school sometimes because lying was wrong. And incorrect.)

So it seemed perfectly reasonable to me that Small Sister was using this to get out of doing school work. Or other work. And to make things fit her life.

(And also I was mad at my parents for getting her tested but never thinking about it with me, even though I did go through various periods of life where it would have probably been somewhat obvious. But I was quiet and didn’t make trouble. And apparently, if you made trouble, then you got excuses. And that wasn’t fair at all.)

And I just didn’t understand why someone couldn’t just sit down and finish their homework.

Or why they would lie about things.

Or why they wouldn’t ask for help if they didn’t understand things. There are tons of people in my family that can help with math.

Or why she didn’t follow the rules my family has created about not forgetting things at home (homework isn’t done until it is in your backpack and your backpack is in the car.)

There are so many things that just don’t make sense to me.

But then again, I also don’t understand how people could have trouble with basic calculus. Or be biology graduate students and not understand how to look at simple recombination or complementation data.

Or how people can talk to other people without needing to take naps afterwards.

Or how people can just go up to random strangers and ask them for directions.

Or how to talk to a professor during office hours.

Or how to call and order food from a restaurant.

Or how people can remember other people’s faces.

Or how to remember to take a shower every day.

But I can not understand things about other people and not be a jerk about it. Because I’m sure there’s a lot of things people don’t understand about me. And I’d appreciate if they weren’t jerks about it either.

And I can not understand something and still know that it is a real experience for other people. Even if I don’t really understand it.

What do I do at football games also I am tired

I went to a football game this weekend.

Some of my friends were going, too, and it was on my old campus where I am an alumni (of less than a year! gasp!).

Also, I’m still tired and thinking weird so that is why everything is broken up into segments. Because I like segments. But hey, I’m mostly using sentences now even, so that’s cool. Grammar and stuff! Yay word choice and organization or structure or whatnot!

BEFORE THE GAME

So it was an efficient way to see a lot of people that I miss. And one of my close friends from the group of 4 bio majors was coming up and another one lives near by so it was 3 of the 4 all there at once. And I spent the night before with them and played with their dog and talked and drove to school on the long car ride up (well, talked while one of them drove).

It was super super awesome to see my friends again. Although the friend who was coming from far away missed their flight because Colorado is flooded so it took a long time to get to the airport so she didn’t even get in until 1 am and then we talked a lot. But we also slept in a lot and then the friend whose house we slept over at has awesome parents and they made us BACON for breakfast (and other foods). And also we all got to sleep in beds there, and that’s always cool.

And then saw a few more people and said goodbye and went to meet boyfriend because I had seats with him.

ON CAMPUS

It was super crowded. There’s a bazillion people on campus before football games. But boyfriend’s family usually tailgates somewhere quiet, so I could sit in the grass and eat chicken and talk to people I knew only. And we got to see boyfriend’s old roommate and his girlfriend and they are awesome people, and also I miss them, and also they do cool things in science so it was fun to learn that. And there was food.

DURING THE GAME

We got to the stadium early because we always get to the stadium early. Boyfriend because he likes to watch warmups and predict who is going on the field when and possible lineups and who even knows what and me because I like going in when the entry is less crowded and when it starts less loud so that I can get used to the noise and so that it slowly increases.

And we got to watch the marching band and I LOVE marching bands. With the lines and the music and the patterns they make OUT OF PEOPLE!

And then there is the whole announcer thing in the beginning where the announcer says all the same things all the time and I like that. Except it sounded different today than it did as a student so I didn’t like that.

And then there was the sports part. Which was ok. I’m not super interested in them, but they can usually hold my interest for the first quarter. And then there are fun things to look for and I like to watch the clock change and I like to watch people on the sidelines. And I looked for people I knew and sometimes was bored. But also boyfriend likes sports so sometimes I go to them. And I had fun sometimes.

And it wasn’t even hot which is good because I hate hot and also I tend to faint in it, or almost-faint, and that’s no good.

And also then there is MORE MARCHING BAND AT HALFTIME! I really love marching bands.

And it was quieter than watching in the student section because there were more adults there so no drunk people yelling right behind us or falling on me. (Boyfriend liked student section better because of “atmosphere” but I was very glad to be quieter with more space to sit and less drunk people.)

And boyfriend lets me play with his hands and do fun stimming things with them like when you hit your fingers through another person’s fingers or just repeatedly run into their hand with your hand or things like that. Also his hands are large so my whole hand fits inside which is good when it is cold.

And also I saw someone on the other team punch someone on our team, which amused me and I think is not supposed to happen in football.

And also our team won, which made boyfriend happy. Although I don’t know why because the other team lost so half of the people on the field are sad and a lot of the people in the stadium probably are too because people who go to football games often tend to be emotionally affected by them, so I don’t know how people can be happy when other people are sad. But I don’t think I understand sports probably the way “sports people” do.

AFTER THE GAME

We saw more people. I saw my baby cousin who is now in college which is really weird because she should be small.

Also it was weird to go in buildings I used to live but where I don’t anymore because I am grown up and graduated.

But it was nice to see people and talk to people.

THE DRIVE HOME

We got in the car and drove away. I went home with boyfriend and his family because my friends were staying overnight and going out and stuff and I knew that I wouldn’t have been able to handle it. And then boyfriend’s dad was stressed about getting to a specific route onto the tollroad and it was stress and loud and noise. But we found it.

I have a silent meltdown in the car on the way back, because I am driving back with my boyfriends family and don’t want them to know, although it is ok if boyfriend knows and luckily he and i can sort of talk in sign so no one else notices. (The not wanting anyone to know is the reason for the silent, not the meltdown.) And boyfriend is good at helping with meltdowns even at the one the day before where I lost all my words. I like boyfriend. (I think I will need to come up with a good name for him so that I stop just referring to him as boyfriend because that sounds sort of silly and I might end up referencing him a lot or he might pop up here and there in posts because I see him a lot.) So boyfriend helped and then I got better and went to sleep in the car almost and he talked of silly things that would make me laugh once I got more focus back and I was ok until I got home.

LATER AND ALSO NOW

I got home and went to sleep for a very long time.

And then I woke up.

and now I am still off and sad and floppy and tired.

And also starting school.

And changes. And tired.

and I probably need to remember that I can do loud crowded stuff and even have fun at them sometimes

but that is certainly does have an effect

(after football games freshman year, I would fall asleep within an hour wherever I was, even if it was on the floor in someone else’s room, and basically sleep the whole rest of the weekend)

But maybe not the best timing because it is a day later and I am still super tired and I have orientation starting Monday and there are social things there and other things there and I have things to do and paperwork and SO MANY THINGS.

Friends are good, though.

Poetry

I wrote poems in college sometimes. I’ve been looking back at them recently, since my life is in boxes which I have to move to suitcases soon. Some of them are interesting. They are mostly from freshman year, before I had even really thought I might be autistic (although I had already known for a long time that I might not work in quite the same way as everyone).

Anyway, here’s one of them. I think it’s interesting to look at now, with the things I know about how my brain works now.
~~~
numbers have feelings and ideas and tastes
numbers have differences and sums and some are good and some are bad
some are nice and some are not
some are happy and some are just there
and very precise
(but not people)
faces all disappear the moment I close my eyes
faces all have hidden languages
faces all whisper to everyone else secrets I never will know
faces all have people behind them a thing I am prone to forget
words are quite nice
words all sound different
words can be precise
words can be vague
words can be many things
words mostly make sense
(not as nice as numbers but better than people)
voices have differences
voices can be yes or no or maybe
voices mean different things for different ones more secrets I will never know
voices can be high or low or quiet or loud or happy or sad or bored or mad but I can never tell
I wish that people all had maps
And explanations
And google search for details when you don’t understand
And you could figure out what and why and when
I wish that you could pause

While you gather the other information