The New Year is Here

I’ve been meaning to do a “New Year” post for a few weeks now. I don’t do the whole resolution thing because like most social traditions, I just don’t get the reason. I mean, I know why people do it. I just don’t see why… you know… like a true spectrum dweller.

I think about that a lot; why do certain social traditions exist? Bubs and I talk about our first wedding often in lieu of our re-do, pending the finalization of our current divorces. It was a full-on traditional wedding for the most part. Things like Zola and The Knot were not a thing, but I bought one of those giant wedding planning guides from ye olde book store and went to town. We had it a a large convention center and followed all of the Anglo traditions not tied to any one religion in general. The reception was very structured, as was the entire day. I wouldn’t have half the things today that we had then. The garter toss, the bouquet toss, the individual dances aside from our first dance… the toasts even, I would leave all of that out. Bubs remembers that we really didn’t get to enjoy the food, the cake or our champagne, as we were kept to the schedule of dances and such. The guest list would have been much smaller too. Aside from both families, the largest group were the friends of family. Mostly mine. Well, technically my mom and step-father. They had to invite everyone they knew. That is what it felt like. And of course, Bubs and I had to spend a lot of our time going table to table and talking to everyone. You can imagine how fun this was for us. SIKE! It was too much. We ended up just going to sleep when we got to the hotel that night.

Now that I know myself so much better, I really want more of a wedding than what we have been discussing as of late. I want to have family, but it is complicated on his end with his family. I want a little bit of the celebration and I want the people we love to be there again. I want to have invitations and a photographer. We don’t need a DJ or a minister, as my brother would do the handfasting ceremony. We would have shared vows while the cords are being tied, but nothing more formal than that. After, I would be happy with a really nice sandwich platter and home-made cupcakes. I have a simple lace dress and he can wear a suit and tie. All this, in my mom’s garden. Perfect.

As far as this new year is concerned, I just want both of our divorces to be finished at some point and I want to enjoy life with the person I love most, now that I have him back in my life.

What It Looks Like: Depression

I’ve had trouble with depression long before I had my ASD diagnosis. Having the ASD diagnosis now and also understanding myself more, I can see where much of my depression is caused by my life on the spectrum. I had a group of really solid friends throughout my school years and after. I still always felt different, although accepted by my friends, but still very different. Fold in the fact that while I am doing well, I am not where I had always seen myself, nor where my family thinks I should be in life. It is all a bother and has an impact on my mood in very negative ways. The country I thought I lived in as a young person is not the same one I actually live in and having earned an MS in Political Science, the difference is even more stark and extremely disappointing. It is all just very depressing for me.

Having to cut back on the marijuana due to a greater distance between me and my hook-up, along with living in a very expensive area of town, I’ve noticed a huge difference in my mood. Having the love of my life back, I have new and constant fear of loss; not of us splitting up again because we learned that lesson, but losing him from this world altogether. Morbid, maybe. I know that it is the only way we’d ever be parted again and that is scary.

Whatever the causes, depression is bullshit and I hate it.

What It Looks Like: Aggression

It has been a very long time since I have added to the What It Looks Like (WILL) series.  We are at the aggression section.  Obviously, this is a category that I have completely filled in to max severity.  I’m not proud of that.  But it’s true.  I have been on a high dose of Prozac for several years now due to my tendency to snap over anything.  Which, when I think about it, is really odd.  I tend to not get mad at things that most people get mad at.  I measure this by those around me.  And when I do become enraged, I take it out on inanimate objects, only hurting myself in the process.  I’ve injured myself, moderately, for the most part.  I’ve broken many things.   

Most of the things that spark my rage tend to be things I do or mistakes I make right at that moment.  The time I slammed my round hair brush was due to the fact that I kept burning myself on the same spot with a flat iron.  Ridiculous.  But I threw the flat iron and whacked the wall corner with the brush, which dented it.  Another time, I took an oscillating fan and swung it like a baseball bat at the wall… not sure what provoked me there. 

I can still get unreasonably mad, even on mood stabilizers.  But I haven’t erupted in over a year now.  The last time, I broke a lot of dishes.  A LOT.  My ex pushed my buttons, and I was in the kitchen, so kitchen things got thrown. It was a black-out moment.  Again, not proud.   

Having been diagnosed with ASD has helped, as I am far more understanding with myself, and I can see where things are coming from.  I have also been able to keep myself out of situations that might trigger aggression as well.  This includes finally moving out and separating from my ex. That particular change has really made a world of difference.   

Work and ASD

Any other ASD people out there find themselves to be too efficient at work?  It can’t just be me.  When I started this position last June, there had been no one doing the job for several months.  I had over 600 emails to wade through.  These emails were half junk and half people wanting to ask weird medical questions or get an appointment.  They should only be new patients requesting an appointment, alas, people are stupid and just use the email portal for whatever they want.  I get really annoyed when people can’t follow simple instructions or read them, for that matter.  I have little patience for that sort of bullshit.  But of course, no matter what I tell them, I still have a few patients that will repeatedly email me for everything.  I’ve started using a generic “do not reply” message because it is just more efficient.  Technically, I am supposed to call each person and see if they want an appointment with the practice.  After a few months of doing this, it was more than clear that 8 out of 10 people would answer their phones, at which point I had to leave a message and email them too.  So, I’m just emailing now.  Which cuts my workload by 70 percent.  Too efficient, but I do what I can to not have to call people and talk on the phone.  The rest of my time is waiting on other people to do their job.  Our practice is run by a corporation, and I don’t care for the business model.   

I’ve started blogging at work, for lack of other things to do.   

Work blogging

I don’t care to talk much to people in general, especially over the phone. Big surprise there. Unfortunately, it is a small part of my job. I try to mitigate doing so as much as possible. Doing so makes things run a little more efficiently on my end and people still get a reply from my office. If I could have a job with zero contact with other humans, this would be most ideal. I hate numbers, but I’d rather have to input numbers into a database for 8 hours a day than speak to customers/clients/patients. I know these exist, but I never come across them when job hunting. I’d like an office to myself… sigh… that would be so awesome. One where I could bring in my own lamps with normal light bulbs as opposed to these nasty fluorescent lights that make me want to die.

I find that by 12 in the afternoon, I am finished with the bulk of my work for the day and have to pretend to be busy when I’m just not busy at all. I just sit here and click back and forth between tabs, refresh my email over and over, and make more coffee just to have something to do. I read sometimes, but I don’t want it to be obvious… I certainly don’t want to invite any other responsibilities on top of those I already have. To be clear, I am already taking on tasks outside of my actual position, and I don’t want more.

So, I’m blogging to fill up some time and make it sound like I am working on work stuff, like emails and crap. I am looking forward to the 3 day week we have next week, thanks to Thanksgiving. That’s what I’m thankful for! I’ve also been reflecting on the major changes over the last five months. I’m still very much taken aback at where I am now, versus where I was in June, both physically and mentally. From my position on the spectrum, I’m not sure how I handled it all so well, at least, I hope I did from anyone else’s standpoint. Not that I care how one views the way I do things or the choices I make, but in general, I suppose.

15 years go, when I left Florida and Bubs, to say my world had shattered would be a gross understatement. I knew I’d physically survive, but I’d never love anyone nearly as much as I loved him. And that was very much the case, I had two serious relationships and while I did love those people, it was nowhere near in the same capacity in which I had, and still do, love Bubs. I never knew I had the capacity to love anyone like that and like I mentioned in a previous post, I realize now that I didn’t really know what that was the first time around with Bubs. I look at him everyday and I’m amazed by it. I’m amazed that he is next to me, in the same room, in the same state!

The horrible feeling of what happened will also never leave. I am in no way concerned that it will happen again; I trust Bubs completely as if the past never happened. But I will never forget the emotional hell itself. I’ve never felt so low and that sort of thing, I believe, never really leaves a person’s memory.

Changing leaves, changing dreams.

Yay autumn! We fall back this weekend and I am HERE FOR IT. This is my favorite time of year! Persephone is back in the Underworld with Hades and Demeter is letting everything die…. I LOVE IT! I’m one happy, Greek Pagan.

There are still a lot of things that I need to get out of my old house and sorted to which things will stay at my apartment and those that will be stored at my mom’s house. I still owe some money toward the my divorce bill and Bubs’ divorce is at a stand-still. I have my dress, I have his wedding band; meteorite and black opal. Pretty certain the ceremony will mainly be a hand-fasting and some vows. My beagle girl has come to live with us and she is slowly settling in as the only dog once again.

All things, including money, considered, things are pretty good. My dreams tend to reflect what is going on in my waking life and they have changed considerably. Up until recently, I’d been feeling very out of control and my dreams have largely involved terrible weather; tornadoes mostly. This has been a reoccurring theme since childhood and marks some of the most turbulent times in my life. My dream weather has cleared up and now I’m dreaming about the silly things, like telling off my stepdad… which I’ve been dying to do since the age of seven.

Our days aren’t perfect and sometimes we get snippy with each other, but I couldn’t be happier, save winning the lottery or something like that! We’d be pretty happy with winning the lottery. But damn, do I love my Bubs. He is incredibly intelligent and funny, he is quite handsome… I’m very bias, but he is really handsome. Things are pretty good.

Look at me… Slacking.

Oh hey. I forgot all about this place. It took the rest of September and the early part of October to really get settled and furnished here in the apartment, aka, the money hole. Thats just based purely on rent. We are paying for the area in which we live. But it’s nice. On the whole, rather quiet and safe. Our relationship has survived a few Ikea furniture builds; I refused to take part in the third…

Although I lived with my ex for the last 12 years, I was far more isolated than I realized. I spent all of my time in my bed room. Not that I don’t thrive in solitude, but it was too much. It’s been nice having someone to spend time with that I don’t want to punch for just existing. That sounds harsher than I really mean, but when you cant stand shit anymore, you just can’t stand it ANYMORE. And it’s odd because I have lived with Bubs before, of course, when we were in our early 20’s, but we were so very different from who we are now. There is much to be said for age, though I still don’t think age automatically equals respect as the Boomies would shove down our throats. Gotta earn that shit. Anyway…

Having tried to move on from my first go-round with Bubs and, in turn, trying to love someone else only underscored how very much I loved and still love Bubs. I don’t know how I was even able to try and love another. That’s not to say I didn’t love them, just nowhere near as deeply. Life was not the same without him and I am not doing that ever again. We are both on the ASD I spectrum, have very strong but very different PTSD, we both deal with anxiety and depression, but together, we are happy. And for both of us, it has been years. He was with someone horrible and I was just living one giant lie, to put it simply.

My girl beagle, Claire, has come to live with us very recently and she is having a time adjusting. Her beagle brother, one cat brother and three cat sisters are still with my ex in our old house. She howls all day when I am at work, pretty much no matter what Bubs does, aside from holding her on the couch. She sounds like a tornado siren… it’s so pathetic, so sad. We also have several fish… Hall, Oates, Simon, Garfunkel, Cindi and Fernando. Three neon danios, two neon striped barbs(?) and a blue shark of some sort. And two very pregnant ghost shrimp that don’t have names because they are identical. We have a very odd household.

It’s been a hot minute!

Since the last post, I’ve moved out of the house, filed for divorce and moved into a new apartment with the love of my life. We’ll call him Bubs. I briefly touched on this change in my last post. How do I know that he is the love of my life? Because I’ve loved him for a long time. We met at Space Camp when we were teenagers. We had a long distance relationship and I was an idiot who was 17…. I couldn’t even begin to comprehend the love he had for me and distance did not make it any easier. After graduating high school, he went to college in Florida, where I would later reconnect with him over spring break 2004.

I moved to Florida a month later. It was not easy to be away from him. We got married in the summer of 2005 and things went south the summer of 2006, and that’s when we split and I moved back home to Ohio. Long story short, I should have stayed and at least tried to make things work. We both should have been way more open and honest with each other, but neither of us had any good examples of what marriage is and/or could be.

Fast-forward 15 years later. It’s 2021. We are both ending marriages for a mix of reasons each. Bubs had been back home at his mom’s place and he found a collar that belonged to our late dog, Madison. 10/10 the best girl. I like to think that she planned this, somehow, from across the Rainbow Bridge. Both of us were in a bad place at just the right time. He messaged me on FaceBook and that was that, really. A few weeks later, we met in Chicago for a long weekend and the world I missed collided with the one I was reluctantly occupying. My time apart from Bubs might have never even happened; it all fell away when I hugged him again at O’Hare. His hug was the same, his smell was the same and his kisses still light my soul on fire.

I forgot that I could feel love like this, this intensely. He was the first person, outside of family, to which I said “I love you”. He would have been my first kiss, had I not totally chickened out the second year that we attended camp together… I had planned to kiss him goodbye and I was too afraid when the moment presented itself. What an idiot I was!!! Though, had I kissed him before leaving camp that year, I would have probably moved to Florida the minute we both graduated, when he went off to college.

Bubs and Squish, 4-ever ❤

Early Morning Scrambled Brains

My new work schedule is getting set in my brain and I’m waking up 2 hours earlier than I normally would on my own. I don’t like the feeling of the morning… The cold, flat light…. the feeling the my brain is still in bed, asleep, even though I’m part of the way through a very large iced coffee…. It’s a change that although was sudden, I had a little prep time for my autistic brain, rather than none at all. And on top of settling into a new job, in a slightly toxic office, the one person I thought I’d never hear from again, reached out to me a few days ago.

We were best friends. Plain and simple, we were young, and I certainly didn’t know my authentic self. All of the major traumas people can have in their pasts, we have had. Neither of us shared those things with each other and the communication needed for a healthy marriage just wasn’t there; mostly no fault of our own. It went south fairly fast. I thought my only option was to straight up bail. 17 years later, I would have treated the entire situation differently because I know who I am now.

Several people in my life are not happy about this and honestly, that’s the only part of the whole thing that is negative. Granted, I will give them all 100%, they do have a bit of a right to be. The people who put me back together are well within their place to have concern. What they don’t have the right to do, is get angry and not listen to me. First things, first… Ultimately, these are MY boundaries that I am adjusting. Did I think I’d ever adjust these particular boundaries? Nope. I gave up on the idea that any sort of mutual healing would ever happen. I licked my wounds for a really long time. Some of them stayed open for a really long time as a result. My pride, more than anything, had been severely battered. And then the trust broken, yada yada… Remember, I was also undiagnosed at the time. So how in the hell can I look at the situation the same way now?

I can’t. It wouldn’t be fair to either of us. The way I view human nature and relationships is 100% completely different now. For starters, I don’t feel it is right that humans are forced to “mate for life”. Some animals may do it, but marriage isn’t even used for the same reasons. It was property, money and power. Anyway, this isn’t a discussion on my feeling of society’s ridiculous boxes. It could easily turn to that though.

Our friendship is easy and it took no time before we were on the phone, catching up and laughing over the same shit that we used to, back when we met at camp, at 15. The friendship was still there and it was a great friendship.

Change

Since receiving my MS earlier this year, I have been giving the job market the run-down. I have used Indeed for years, since getting my undergrad degree. But I recently got on zip recruiter and got really lucky.

The past two years have been really jumbled as far as work is concerned. I got rehired at Starbucks in February of 2020; it had been 4 years since my first go with the Sbux and I should have been retrained. I was not. I was thrown back in and then the pandemic hit. I chose to stay on their LOA program for the pandemic until the fall. Back at it once again in November, I fell at work. Let it go for a month and after I wasn’t getting better, I had my shoulder looked at…. blah blah…. had surgery at the end of this January and just recently got cleared to go back to work.

I’d been dreading going back to a shit job, for shit pay, serving shit customers. That’s why I got on ZR and applied for a few administrative positions for a few medical offices and a few law offices around town.

I was able to resign from Starbucks this past Monday, after my Zoom interview with a local dermatologist office. The position was for the front desk, but I was offered a much better position!! With more pay than I’ve ever been offered; even as a managing cosmetologist!!!! I’ll be coordinator for all new referrals for multiple locations all over the greater Cincinnati area and I start next week.

I shared the back story because since the pandemic and my surgery, I’ve been waking up without and alarm, every single day and having a wonderful routine for my days. That is about to get turned upside-down. I’ve never been a morning person and I’m pretty sure it has to do with my experience on the spectrum. It takes me until well after noon to be able to even begin to feel functional. Of course school was complete hell. And I’ve based my work schedule, up until now, on that fact. It is going to kill me to get up at 6am M-F.

I’m still pretty excited.